At one time, I attended a lot of theatre productions in the greater Los Angeles area. I checked in to see what was on stage recently and learned that the landscape for coverage and listings has shrunk dramatically over the past few years. The LA Weekly, LA Stage Alliance, Variety, and Backstage West have scaled back or discontinued their offerings. The LA Times continues to view theatre as something for the old-at-heart in NYC and occasionally in Orange County and San Diego. This is all old news for many but then again not for those out of the loop.
For those unsatisfied with Two-Buck Chuck McNulty’s emasculated sniveling at the Times, a couple of websites have come up to try to fill the coverage gap. ArtsInLA.com contains theatre, dance, and other performance reviews and listings. Longtime critics Dany Margolies, Travis Michael Holder, Julio Martinez, and Neal Weaver appear among the contributors.
The cutback at the Weekly was most surprising given its historical support for the form. Steven Leigh Morris, the Chekhov-loving theatre lead, has launched StageRaw.com with many of his Weekly colleagues on the reviewing staff. They’re starting with theatre and planning to expand as resources permit.