Author Archive



LA Times Review Anthony Minghella’s prescient playwriting finds life on a Venice stage “Cigarettes and Chocolate”

The self-imposed withdrawal of an enigmatic woman (Marwa Bernstein) provokes consternation from her clueless lover (Matt Letscher) in "Cigarettes and Chocolate" at Pacific Resident Theatre. (​​​​​​​Vitor Martins) Philip Brandes Although the late Anthony Minghella is remembered primarily for his film direction and screenplays (“The English Patient,” “Cold Mountain”), he also had a deep affinity with the intimate theatrical traditions of character-based drama. Pacific Resident Theatre offers a rare opportunity to appreciate Minghella’s playwriting Read More

Jewish Journal Cover Story by Rob Eshman Published Aug 15, 2017 /

Jewish Journal Cover Story by Rob Eshman Published Aug 15, 2017 / Cover Story I spent last Saturday night — the night of the neo-Nazi rally and the tragic murder — at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, watching a fine performance of Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros.” The play takes place in a French village, where the drunkard Berenger is witness to something bizarre: slowly, the townsfolk are turning into rhinos. Ionesco, whose Read More

StageSceneLA review – Cigs & Choc/Hang Up

Placing the emphasis on a playwright’s words and a cast’s gifts at bringing them to life, the latest from Pacific Resident Theatre proves an unexpected—and entirely unique—dramatic treat” - StageSceneLA CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE & HANG UP And now for something completely different, Pacific Resident Theatre treats L.A. audiences to the West Coast Premieres of Cigarettes & Chocolate and Hang Up, a couple of Anthony Mighella-penned BBC radio plays from the ‘80s that Read More

Silence is golden in ‘Cigarettes & Chocolate,’ ‘Hang Up’ at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice

Matt Letscher and Marwa Bernstein star in “Cigarettes & Chocolate,” one of two one-act radio plays written by Anthony Minghella at Pacific Resident Theatre. (By Dany Margolies) Posted: 07/30/17, 12:22 PM PDT | Updated: 4 days ago Marwa Bernstein, foreground, with Matt Letscher in “Cigarettes & Chocolate” (Photo by Vitor Martins) In their West Coast premieres, two one-act radio plays by Anthony Minghella grace the smaller stage at Pacific Resident Theatre. Though the Read More

LA Times A disconcertingly timely revival of ‘Rhinoceros’ warns of the easy surrender to herd mentality

"Rhinoceros"   Philip Brandes A lone holdout (Keith Stevenson) struggles to keep civilized values alive as his neighbor (Kendrah McKay) succumbs to herd mentality. (Vitor Martins / Pacific Resident Theatre) “It's silly to get worked up because a few people decide to change their skins.” So goes the excuse as easygoing provincial townsfolk spontaneously transform into the rampaging pachyderms of Eugene Ionesco’s seminal absurdist satire, “Rhinoceros.” In the easy surrender of their very humanity lies Read More

Rhinoceros Reviewed by Lovell Estell III

STAGE RAW Pacific Resident Theater Through September 10 RECOMMENDED It’s difficult to imagine a timelier and more fitting play for the “Make America Great Again,” era than Eugène Ionesco’s 1959 absurdist satire. The playwright wrote it in response to the alarming ascent of fascism during the first half of the twentieth century. Despite the passage of time, it is arguably more relevant now than when it was first written. The setting is a provincial town Read More

BWW Review: A Thrilling Ride On A Well-Mounted RHINOCEROS

by Gil Kaan Jul. 21, 2017 RHINOCEROS/by Eugene Ionesco/directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos/Pacific Resident Theatre/thru September 10, 2017 Director Guillermo Cienfuegos expertly guides his talented RHINOCEROS cast with tight, sturdy reins in a truly full-length play (three acts, spanning close to three hours) now at the Pacific Resident Theatre. Eugene Ionesco originally wrote RHINOCEROS in 1959 as his commentary on the state of the political atmosphere then. So, ironically funny (and sad) that Read More

Absurdity that’s all too real By Sarah A. Spitz

UNDER THE DEFT DIRECTION of Guillermo Cienfuegos, Pacific Resident Theatre is staging a truly stunning hit production of a play that’s six decades old. And on a second PRT stage, Minghella’s two radio plays directed by Michael Peretzian are utterly compelling. When Eugene Ionesco wrote “Rhinoceros,” it was about the totalitarian takeover of his native Romania and the dangers of ideological group think, both right and left. On its surface, this Read More

Splash Magazines Rhinoceros Review – The Zoo is Open! By Elaine L. Mura

A master of the Theatre of the Absurd, Eugene Ionesco penned RHINOCEROS in 1959, with its first performance in 1961. The production wowed enthusiastic audiences and won a Tony Award for Zero Mostel for best performance by a leading actor in a play. RHINOCEROS was adapted to an urban American setting for a 1973 film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. The script was later adapted to an American shopping Read More

The Argonaut: It’s Time About Finding Life Again

Paul Linke of ‘CHiPs’ fame has come full circle in a series of true-to-life plays that span losing his wife and finding love again By Christina Campodonico Paul Linke’s “It’s Time” is a story of true love Photo by Ed Krieger Storytelling is like shaping a smooth stone, if you ask Paul Linke. “If you go to a river, you’ll see incredibly polished stones sitting in the river. The river keeps moving over , across Read More