iOS app Android app

Hoyt Hilsman
Hoyt Hilsman is an award-winning author, journalist and former candidate for Congress. He has written films and television shows for the major studios and networks, including Sony, Disney, New Line, ABC and CBS, and has been a regular theater and television critic for Daily Variety and contributor to the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other publications. He also has been active in national politics and policy, and was a candidate for Congress in California.

He has written a series of novels, including 19 Angels, a political thriller set in the Middle East. He is author of Idonomics: How The Pleasure Principle is Destroying the American Dream and the co-author of The Power of Uncertainty with Dennis Palumbo.

Hoyt can be contacted at

Entries by Hoyt Hilsman

'Susannah' at the Pasadena Opera

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2016 | 1:05 PM


Like a spring wildflower in an operatic desert, the Pasadena Opera has sprung up to offer a refreshing, accessible and affordable alternative to the mega-opera companies. Its latest production, Susannah, which was presented recently in an all-too-short run, is another example of the...

Read Post

What Donald Trump Gets Right

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 12:06 AM


Donald Trump is wrong about most everything - not to mention being hate-filled and demagogic. But the few things he does get right may account for his popularity among Republican voters. While he offers very few solutions - and those he offers range...

Read Post

The California Political Model

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2016 | 3:44 PM


The $171 billion budget proposal released this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown shows how politics can work well in a state with the 8th largest economy in the world. It also offers a clear contrast to the political dysfunction in the budget...

Read Post

Robert Frank's The Americans

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 8:35 PM


courtesy of Sotheby's

Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank, who created the iconic photographic study The Americans, has been hailed as a latter-day deTocqueville for his visual chronicling of American life in the 1950's. His book of photographs, which was initially published in Paris and...

Read Post

The Girl King

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 6:11 PM

2015-12-04-1449268984-7729767-12.TGKKristinaonThroneCathedral_JB30292copy.jpgMalin Buska as Queen Christina (courtesy of Wolfe Releasing)

Queen Christina, who ruled Sweden from 1632 to 1654, was an outspoken, intelligent and ephemeral monarch who defied the conventions of her era, in both religious and secular realms. She refused to marry, was unconventional...

Read Post

Can Rubio Restore the Republican Brand?

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2015 | 4:09 PM


The Republican party's national approval rating is at its lowest point since 1992 - about 32%, compared with 46% for Democrats. As pollster Stanley Greenberg points out in his book America Ascendant, the Republicans are fighting a rear-guard action against America's...

Read Post

The Cloth Peddler Has Its Hollywood Premiere

(1) Comments | Posted September 20, 2015 | 3:12 PM

2015-09-20-1442772170-465535-11215116_1173710805977841_3372259178663782907_n.png photo courtesy of Heydar Aliyev Foundation

Uzeyir Hajibeyov is considered the father of Azerbajiani classical and operatic music and composed the first operetta ever produced in the Muslim world. Hajibeyov, who was born in 1885, lived through a turbulent time in the history...

Read Post

Mummies: New Secrets of the Tombs at the Natural History Museum

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2015 | 3:52 PM

photo by John Weinstein

In the popular imagination, mummies are associated with the royalty of Egyptian dynasties, but a new exhibit from the Field Museum in Chicago at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles reveals the widespread practice of mummification not...

Read Post

Equity Wars: All's Quiet on the Western Front

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Maybe it's the summer doldrums, but an uneasy quiet has settled in on the Western Front war between Actors' Equity and LA's 99-seat theater movement. After a heated debate, a local referendum and the election of a new Equity president and several new Council members, a hiatus is understandable, but...

Read Post

Trade Pacts and American Jobs

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 12:44 PM


While the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal is being hotly debated in Congress, the fact is that this trade deal -- or any trade deal -- will have little impact on American jobs, or more specifically, on the decline in good-paying jobs for middle-class Americans.

Read Post

The TPP and the Future of the U.S. Economy

(5) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 12:05 AM


America is at a crossroads in the global economy. The debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) highlights the sharp divisions in Congress over trade, as well as the important stakes for America's economic future. Few would argue that the United States needs...

Read Post

Othello at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre

(1) Comments | Posted June 14, 2015 | 4:11 PM

photo by Josh T. Ryan

Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group is possibly one of the most creative and innovative companies to burst onto the national theater scene in recent decades. The eponymous Zombie Joe and his collaborators have redefined post-modern theater forms...

Read Post

Matilda at the Ahmanson

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 2:43 PM


Photo by Joan Marcus

Matilda, the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1988 children's classic, has some delightful moments, including a devilish turn by Bryce Ryness as the villainous Miss Trunchbull, as well as the prodigious display of talents by the youthful performers. However,...

Read Post

Slushy Politics in California

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 2:38 PM


For years, watchdog groups in California have criticized the existence of a slush fund controlled by the Speaker of the California Assembly. The fund, which is not subject to any credible audit or oversight, has spent over $100 million in the past six...

Read Post

Actors Equity and the Future of American Theater

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 12:17 AM


This week, the membership of Actors Equity, the union of American stage actors, voted to oust an incumbent president -- virtually unprecedented in the history of the organization. The ouster was the result of an organized revolt by actors in Los Angeles,...

Read Post

Marco Rubio and the Challenge to Hillary Clinton

(145) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 2:30 PM

In a recent article in the New York Times, Jeremy Peters reported on the growing fears of some Democrats -- even within the Clinton camp -- over facing Marco Rubio in the 2016 campaign. They see several powerful forces at work in Rubio's candidacy -- his youth and...

Read Post

Immediate Family at the Mark Taper Forum

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 1:46 PM

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Playwright Paul Oakley Stovall's lighthearted family comedy would be right at home as a TV sitcom with the deletion of a few swear words. It trods the familiar territory of a young man returning home and coming out...

Read Post

Should the NLRB Mediate LA's Equity Wars?

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 6:28 PM


It may be time for the National Labor Relations Board to step in and mediate LA's "99-seat theater wars." This is especially urgent since Actors Equity may have violated both the National Labor Relations Act and numerous court decisions that require the...

Read Post

Equity's Union-Busting Tactics

(2) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 9:12 PM

Original image by Rick Baumgartner

In its battle with a majority of its Los Angeles members over the 99-seat theater plan, Actors Equity is deploying some of the union-busting tactics that have been used for over a century by employers bent on crushing...

Read Post

Actors Equity Meets Franz Kafka

(13) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 1:25 PM

In a twist worthy of a Kafka novel, the national council of Actors Equity, the union of American stage actors, this week rammed through a proposal that would essentially rip the heart out of the Los Angeles theater scene, even though the proposal had been voted down by two-thirds of...

Read Post