THEATRE REVIEWS by Willard Manus

Three bold theatrical experiments are currently shaking things up in Los Angeles. KILL YOUR HISTORY--A MANIFESTO IN PERFORMANCE, a solo work written and performed by Arron Shiver, directed by Drago Sumonja, is a sometimes maniacal, sometimes satirical rant against conformity and timidity. Very 60s in the way it breaks down the fourth wall between
performer and audience--and flails away at bourgeois conventions and behavior--KILL YOUR HISTORY is a tour de force for Shiver, who is an actor of considerable power and charisma, and will undoubtedly be heard from
in future. (Gardner Stages, 1540 N. Gardner Ave, Hlywd. 323-661-3004).

Thanks to director/translator Abraham Celaya, we have the rare chance to see a play by the Spanish surrealist Fernando Arrabal. THE ARCHITECT AND THE EMPEROR OF ASSYRIA (which was performed in a different
English translation at Britain's National Theatre in 1971) is a long, wild two-hander about the battle for power and supremacy in life. Elijha Mahar plays a
white man called The Emperor who crashlands on a remote island and discovers its only other inhabitant, The Architect (Derrick Demetrius Parker), a black man who appears to be a simple, primitive soul. Arrabal turns the Robinson Crusoe story on its ear, though, with The Architect becoming The Emperor at times and lording it over him, only to have the tables turned and the master/slave relationship reversed. Arrabal tosses poetry, eroticism,
games-playing, cross-dressing, religion and cannibalism into the stew, resulting in a fiery dish of outrageous, language-drenched, Absurdist theatre
which goes down like a peppery paella. Celaya directs the actors with flair and energy, and coaxes daring performances out of them. Set, costumes, music, lighting and sound are equally colorful and effective, resulting in a production that is a feast for all the senses.

At Stages Theatre Center, 1540 N. McCadden Place, Hlywd. Call (323) 465-1010 or visit