Kirk Douglas

A Times critic looks forward to a bright future backlit by a decade of brilliant theater

'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo'

Sometimes the word "unforgettable" can be taken literally.

I can still feel that electric charge when I first encountered Rajiv Joseph's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" in 2009. The world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre of this Iraq War drama represented not just the bold emergence of a globally attuned theatrical imagination but a notable victory of dramatic poetry over earnest reportage.

Yet after 10 years of writing about the theater for The Times, I'm occasionally surprised to discover that a play that has piqued my interest from reports elsewhere in the world is one that I actually reviewed years earlier in L.A. That, my journalist friends...