Monday, February 23, 2009

News flash: L.A. critic's review of "Bohemian Cowboy," good!

Raymond called excited and was reading me some of the review on line. He said the paper, the L.A. Weekly, would be out soon, and he thought his play would be pick of the week! He said there was not a glitch in the review. He had to go but is sending me the link so I can read it online, too, but I just could not wait to share the news, as this means a lot in picking up more viewers as well as adding to the lustre of the play. In fact those who want to see it better reserve. I told him to reserve me two seats on Saturday, March the 7th. Every family member I called was not at home, except one son, Dan, who thought that was good news and was excited for Raymond. He has written a number of screen plays, too, so he knows what a good review means.
As soon as I find the review I will add it to this entry. Oh joy!

Later: Here is the review from the L.A. Weekly stage reviews:

"BOHEMIAN COWBOY is this week's Pick of the Week

Crossing the Center Line
A father heads into the desert, never to return

By Steven Leigh Morris

The original title of Raymond King Shurtz's one-man show was The Gospel of Irony ― which would have been a particularly ironic title, had it stuck, since there's not a trace of irony in Shurtz's unwaveringly sincere family memoir, now called Bohemian Cowboy. It's all hinged to his efforts to understand the mystery of his father's disappearance three years ago. The elder Shurtz drove six miles into the Nevada desert in his pickup, got out and, evidently, started walking. And now the younger Shurtz is trying to fathom whether this was suicide, or homicide and just some freak turn of events. The older man was not the best of fathers, his son explains through shards of poignant stories that are as compassionate as they are in gracefully written, and spoken. And the father was feeling some humiliation from the physical aftereffects of treatments for a form of cancer not specified in the play. The uncredited set contains raw wood slabs of some nondescript interior; when not showing family photographs, an overhead video monitor frames the action with an image of the boundless Mojave. Under Kurt Brungardt's tender direction, background sounds to Shurtz's fantastical mystery tour to the scene of his father's disappearance include howling wind, the rat-tat-tat of search-and-rescue helicopters. The father was a musician, and Shurtz juxtaposes his saga with moving ballads from his memory, as well as his own original compositions. Near the beginning, Shurtz quotes William Styron saying that depression is the inability to grieve. Shurtz's performance is, indeed, an elegy, a theater-poem of Styron-esque insight and elegance. He describes his playwright mother as a poet, while his father was merely "poetical." He meets Jesus in the desert, a figure "with ebony eyes and crooked teeth," while Hamlet accompanies him for some of the drive across the expanse. Hamlet, he says, does not care for Shurtz's song honoring Ophelia. Shurtz performs all this with gentle, wistful intelligence while avoiding the morose or the melodramatic. Through this deeply personal story of fathers and sons, and marriages gone awry, Shurtz has stumbled onto a romantic allegory, not only for a man lost in the wilderness but for a country, dangerously tipsy, swerving over the broken center line of an open road, as though between nostalgia and despondency. Overhead, the canopy of stars remains, as ever, oblivious. Elephant Lab Theatre, 6324 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m. (no perfs March 13-14); through March 21. (323) 960-7744. A Theatre 4S Production"

P.S. See L.A. News link on my blog list Also see the link to Raymond's blog on my blog list, Cowboys and Bohemians, where he has blogged about the whole experience!


Carlene Noggle said...

I am so happy for your son Gerry!!!! that was a great review! I know you are so very proud of him....

Ann said...

Wow, what a great review. It is so well written...almost poetic itself. How great to put on such a tremoundous energetic one man show and get such a review right off. I am impressed...and I haven't even seen it. Great job, Raymond.

sober white women said...

That is just so awesome! It looks like we both are having great days.
Life is good.

sober white women said...

That is just so awesome! It looks like we both are having great days.
Life is good.

Astaryth said...

That is sooo cool! Congrats to your son. Too awesome and I know you have to be so proud of him.

Pamela said...

That is GREAT! Give Raymond my best! This is wonderful!

Connie said...

This is such great news.
I am so happy for you and Raymond.I'll bet his feet haven't touched the ground.He must feel like he's walking on air.
That review couldn't have been more eloquent.

Joyce said...

I know you are so proud of Raymond...what a great job and review...hope your week is going well, hugs and love,


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