(L-R) David Hyde Pierce and Edward Hibbert in "Curtainsr".
photo: Craig Schwartz. Courtesy of Center Theater Group
Let me start off with the positive. The best part of the Ahmanson Theater’s “Curtains,” is the extraordinary Edward Hibbit. You may not know the name, but you should recognize the face, especially if you’re a theater aficionado. He left “The Drowsy Chaperone” to appear in this production, and they are beyond lucky to have him. His performance alone is worth the price of admission. But he made me wish it was a one-man show.
Not that I hated it. Far from it. It’s just that the previews build-up had me prepared for something special. And “Curtains” was good enough, just not great.
When the ensemble sang as one, it was fabulous. But that didn’t happen very often. And though I did laugh many times, it just didn’t seem like enough. It was the same feeling one gets when dating a cute guy who’s really stupid.
And, although I seem to be in the minority, I have never understood the attraction of David Hyde-Pierce. (I don’t know which is more pretentious--his acting or his name.) There seems to be a sameness to everything he does, and not in a Spencer Tracy type of way.
At least the show was a lot better than Patina’s food at the opening night after-party. It’s pretty sad catering when the best item on the menu, BY FAR, is watermelon!
Cast of "Curtainsr".
photo: Craig Schwartz. Courtesy of Center Theater Group
But the stellar crowd appeared to be in great spirits. Most events at the Music Center have at least a handful of celebrities, and this one had its share. I spotted Doris Roberts, John Glover (an excellent theater actor whom I care about because he’s on “Smallville”), Bruce Vilanche, Joel Grey, and the still-glamorous Samantha Egger.
The girl from the show “Providence” (don’t know her name, but the last one begins with a K and she has curly hair) sat behind us and I’m afraid I must report her for wearing jeans to a theater opening night. Shame. You would think people in the biz would be classier than that. If she had a fashion emergency that night, as I have on many an occasion, please ignore the previous judgment.
“Curtains” running through September 10
Ahmanson Theater 135 Grand Ave. 213-628-2772
Roger Karnbad/Celebrity Photo
I always dread art openings because what passes for art nowadays is often offensive. Let’s not get me started on that topic. But Burton Morris’ works had been featured on “Friends,” and the popcorn box on the invitation to his showing at Mark’s Restaurant was so inviting that I decided to chance this one.
And I’m positively THRILLED that I did! This is the most fun art I’ve seen for a long time. Each pop art painting was better than the other. (They were so good, that I even looked okay next to them!) There’s one of the Ruby Slippers that had me entranced. I forgot to even eat for a long time (and I loved the food) because I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
At one point, I was listening to Burton explain his technique to another artist in attendance. At the end of it, I blurted out, “This is the first time I’ve ever said this to anyone, but I wish you were my brother.” He understood how unique a compliment that was, rendering him even more lovely in my eyes.
The only person there who might have been as proud as the artist and his adorable girlfriend, Sarah, was the fabulous theater producer/marketer/PR guru, David Elzer. He owns several of Burton’s originals, including one entitled Poparazzi that was featured in the 2004 Academy Award campaign. How impressive is that?! So, maybe I should include David on my Fantasy Family Team, too.
Burton Morris Exhibit at Mark’s Restaurant through Oct.8
861 N. La Cienega Blvd. 310-652-5252
This is an easy, entertaining evening at the theater. (What’s up with all my alliteration in this column?!) Short, too, which is always appreciated. It’s basically a group of skits, but with some common threads. You never know when they’ll show up, which makes it funnier. And bits just morph into each other, so the action is constant.
There are a few musical numbers, also, that we can actually understand the words to.
If you find yourself in Hollywood on a week-end, with seventy minutes to kill, and you just want a light laugh, this would be the place for you.
FOODSEXWORKSLEEPGOD running through September 16
The Open Fist Theatre 6209 Santa Monica Blvd. 323-882-6912
Yet another great time was had by all at Champions On Ice last week-end, at the Staples Center. I must thank several people who made the whole event fabulous for me:
Michael Collins, who always looks out for me and gets me primo seats for the show
Angie Dickinson, who shared these great people with me in the first place
Michael Roth, who gets me good parking at Staples
Sasha Cohen, who joined me on the radio (see next line)
Fred Wallin, Chuck Hayes and Engineer Tomas, who hosted Sasha and me on Sports Corner on www.crni.net
Gwendal Peizerat, the hunky French skater, who hugged me almost as many times as I wanted him to!
Karen w/ Gwendal
photo by Sydney Bacenas
And EVERY SKATER, for making the show so enjoyable.
And lastly, I must thank the audience for having general good behavior. I’ve been to so many shows recently, from plays to musicals to tennis to the circus, where people are just so rude and think that they’re the only ones there. This was seriously a pleasure, and it helped that the Staples Center staff didn’t let late-comers go to their seats, except between numbers. I wish they had thought of that during the circus last month!