Great New Location, Same Old Schlock

Cal State Fullerton's gorgeous new performing-arts center, which recently debuted its first play, is wickedly state-of-the-art, thanks to more than 15 years of planning and nearly $50 million well-spent. The university finally has five great performance spaces, three capable of live theater: the 500-seat Little Theater, which was upgraded, and the brand-new 250-seat Young Theater and the 150-seat Hallberg Theater.

So why did their theater department open the Young with The Philadelphia Story, which was written, like, 100 years ago about some rich people? It is a question for the ages—up there with why did Howard Hughes build the Hercules from spruce, instead of your more manly walnut, knotty pine or cherry? We can think of any number of productions we'd like to see come to Fullerton. Here are our top five.

1. Tony Kushner's Angels in America, which is as powerful, poignant and provocative as when it debuted. Rarely done but magnificent when it is.

2. Urinetown: The Musical! Fun, naughty and with a point.

3. The intelligent design of jenny chow by Rolin Jones. It debuted a couple of years ago—but it features young people whose concerns about identity, cultural assimilation and finding their places would certainly resonate with college audiences.

4. A Lie of the Mindby Sam Shephard. A towering playwright's most overlooked great work—but we'd accept any other play from Shephard.

5. Anything by Harold Pinter, just to shake things particularly up. The Homecoming is quite nasty.


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