“Author Archive”

Theater Review: Andrea Martin Flies High In ‘Pippin’

Theater Review: Andrea Martin Flies High In ‘Pippin’

The word “showstopper” is often used loosely and, as a result, its meaning has come to be diluted. A true “showstopper” is a moment in a play or a musical so wondrous that the prolonged applause it inspires actually brings the performance to a halt.

November 7th, 2014

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Theater Review: ‘Armen’ Endearing and Daring

Theater Review: ‘Armen’ Endearing and Daring

So far as I know, Armenian performance art in Los Angeles has not confronted issues of gender and sexual identity ever since Nancy Agabian left these parts for the East Coast over a decade ago.

October 31st, 2014

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Theater Review: ‘Rafael’s Treasures’ Rich in Comedy

Theater Review: ‘Rafael’s Treasures’ Rich in Comedy

Audiences familiar with Vahik Pirhamzei’s work are apt to recognize his Uncle Rafael character, who first appeared on stage and later on screen.

June 27th, 2014

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Theater Review: ‘Heroes,’ ‘Groom’ Join Cavalcade of Comedy

Theater Review: ‘Heroes,’ ‘Groom’ Join Cavalcade of Comedy

Since only a handful of Armenian plays grace Southland stages in any given year, the concentration of four – four! – plays in a single month must have required a rare alignment of the planets.

May 30th, 2014

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Theater Review: Satamian Company’s ‘Flatterer’ Falters

Theater Review: Satamian Company’s ‘Flatterer’ Falters

The great Armenian satirist Hagop Baronian wrote about the foibles of the Armenian bourgeoisie in Constantinople during the latter half of the 19th century, skewering that echelon for its materialistic and ostentatious tendencies. Since such tendencies still prevail in present-day Armenian-American communities, Baronian’s century-old plays could have contemporary relevance.

May 8th, 2014

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Australia Dispatch: Kachoyan’s Star Ascends Down Under

Australia Dispatch:  Kachoyan’s Star Ascends Down Under

Sitting in a theater in Sydney a few weeks ago, waiting for the start of the play “Sweet Nothings” – directed by John Kachoyan – I could not help but think of William Saroyan’s lines about Armenians encountering one another in all corners of the world.

December 31st, 2013

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CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

CRITICS’ FORUM: A Year of Ventures and Growth

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the ANCA Grassroots Conference, which examined the interplay between Armenian arts and activism.

December 31st, 2013

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Theater Review: Triumphant Performances at Theater Fest

Theater Review: Triumphant Performances at Theater Fest

Performances of exceptional caliber were the defining feature of the Armenian Theater Festival organized by the Hamazkayin Educational & Cultural Society last week. The triumphs belonged to the talented ranks of the “Sos Sargsyan” State Theater Company of Armenia, which made its U.S. debut less than a month after its illustrious namesake passed away at the age of 84.

October 25th, 2013

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Theater Preview: Festival to Celebrate Armenian Theater

Theater Preview: Festival to Celebrate Armenian Theater

Hamazkayin, a leading Armenian educational and cultural institution, has a liking for festivals. Its regional wing for the Western U.S. has sponsored several iterations of Mosaic, the music festival featuring eclectic line-ups of Armenian singers and bands from around the world.

September 27th, 2013

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Theater Review: “There Is” . . . More

Theater Review: “There Is” . . . More

In her first autobiographical solo work, “Ka yev Chka” (There Is and There Isn’t), Anahid Aramouni Keshishian recounted her early life in pre-revolution Iran; now, six years later, she has returned with a sequel, “There Is and There Isn’t II,” which picks up her story at the time of her family’s immigration to Soviet Armenia and traces her years there until her eventual settlement in the United States.

August 23rd, 2013

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Theater Review: ‘Armenian Improv’ Marks Milestone

Theater Review: ‘Armenian Improv’ Marks Milestone

Setting a milestone in the evolution of diasporan theater, Armenian improvisational comedy – or “improv” – marked its arrival last Sunday.

July 26th, 2013

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Theater Review: Angst, Humor in ‘Yeté’

Theater Review: Angst, Humor in ‘Yeté’

It’s been five years since Vahe Berberian’s last solo show, “Sagayn” (But), and judging from the sold-out audiences flocking to his latest stand-up comedy routine, “Yeté” (If), he’s been sorely missed.

July 19th, 2013

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Theater Review: Renamed Troupe Returns With ‘Aunt’ In Tow

Theater Review: Renamed Troupe Returns With ‘Aunt’ In Tow

Anyone who feared that the renaming of the Ardavazt Theatre Company last summer would signal a turn away from its history of staging low-brow farces can rest easy. Anyone who hoped that the newly-christened Krikor Satamian Theater Group would usher in an era of sophisticated fare can brace for disappointment.

July 2nd, 2013

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Theater Review: More ‘Liars,’ Less Laughter

Theater Review: More ‘Liars,’ Less Laughter

An article I wrote at last year’s end examined the “balkanization” of Armenian theater – that is, its tendency to serve fragmented segments of the community, comprised of Armenians from Armenia and from Iran (who speak dialects of Eastern Armenian), and Armenians from countries of the Middle East (who speak Western Armenian dialects).

March 22nd, 2013

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