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CANNIBALS ALONE at The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown

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Photo by Lonni Silverman

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Steph Deferie’s Cannibals Alone bears the surface markings of a timely dystopian drama, with an all-female cast of tough characters you wouldn’t want to mess with. The feminist angle is commendable; otherwise, the play lacks cogency and reeks of bad TV melodrama of the sci-fi variety. Read more…

Now running through March 5

 

LYRICS FROM LOCKDOWN at the ACTORS GANG

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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Somewhere in the middle of Bryonn Bain’s soulful one-of-a-kind show, the playwright/poet/performer recounts an interview between himself and a public defender. Their talk takes place in an interrogation room in a New York City police precinct, where Bain has been wrongly detained on criminal charges. The Nuyorican Grand Slam Poetry champion and teacher of incarcerated youth explains to the legal aid attorney that the situation at hand is a case of mistaken identity…Read more…

Now running through February 26

33 VARIATIONS at the Actors Co-op

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(Photo by Lindsay Schnebly )

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

33 Variations starring Jane Fonda appeared on Broadway in 2009 and played the Ahmanson Theatre in 2011. Now Actors Co-Op in Hollywood is offering the area’s first intimate production. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Moises Kaufman is an extraordinary piece of work — rich, multifaceted and multilayered, both disturbing and reassuring. Nominally, it’s about a piece of music: Beethoven’s 33 Diabelli Variations, which he wrote based on a waltz by Anton Diabelli. Read more…

Now running through March 26

946: THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS at the Wallis Center for the Performing Arts

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Wallis in Beverly Hills has brought back Kneehigh, the English theatre company that presented Brief Encounter at the venue in 2014. The company also appeared locally in 2015 at South Coast Repertory with their take on Tristan & Yseult. Now they are back with , a mixed bag of an undertaking….Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

William Faulkner’s famous quote “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” is reconfigured in the new presentation by Britain’s Kneehigh Theatre into the refrain, “Not gone, just gone away,” referencing how history is always with us.    Read more…

Now running through March 5

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Mary Tyrone is the female Hamlet. She’s a role that measures an actress’ stamina, talent, and resourcefulness. No wonder many top-echelon actresses such as Jessica Lange, Katharine Hepburn, and Vanessa Redgrave jump at the role. This time, it’s Jane Kaczmarek who takes on the challenge….Read more…

Now running through March 18

CLAUDIO QUEST at Chance Theatre

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have never been much of a video game player. Truthfully I haven’t played one since the very early versions of Pong and PacMan started replacing pin ball machines in bars to give customers something to do while drinking. So I was a bit leery about seeing the new musical Claudio Quest…..Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Beating a video game is no simple feat, and neither is writing a musical — especially a new musical about video games. Unfortunately, while the characters in Claudio Quest, now playing at the  in Anaheim, are able to save the day, the show itself can’t beat the final boss battle: being an unequivocally good piece of theater. Read more…

Now running through February 26

FOR PIANO AND HARPO at the Falcon Theatre

Photo by Sasha Venola

Photo by Sasha Venola

Rob Stevens – HainesHisWay.com

Oscar Levant was a pianist, composer (“Blame It On My Youth”), actor (An American in Paris & The Band Wagon for starters), television personality (talk and quiz shows) and professional neurotic with an acid tongue and a quick retort for everything and everybody, including himself. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Noted musician, composer, and author Oscar Levant was one of those larger-than-life figures prominent from the 1930s until his death in 1972. In his New York days, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table along with Dorothy Parker, Alexander Wollcott, and Robert Benchley. Read more…

 

Now running through March 5

 

EVERY BRILLIANT THING at the Edye at the Broad

Photo by Michaela Bodlovic

Photo by Michaela Bodlovic

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Jonny Donahoe, a wonderful storyteller, is so personal and persuasive that one assumes, or at least I did, that the solo show he performs at the Edye at the Broad is an autobiographical play. But it isn’t. Every Brilliant Thing was initially written by Duncan Macmillan….Read more…

Now running through February 12

THAT LONG DAMN DARK at Atwater Village Theatre

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Two teenagers drag two freshly dead corpses into a storage unit. The moment they leave, the corpses sit up and start talking to each other, and it would be like nothing ever happened if not for the gaping bullet wounds in both of their chests. Read more…

Now running through February 12

CLAUDIO QUEST at Chance Theatre

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Photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have never been much of a video game player. Truthfully I haven’t played one since the very early versions of Pong and PacMan started replacing pin ball machines in bars to give customers something to do while drinking. So I was a bit leery about seeing the new musical Claudio Quest….

Read more…

Now running through February 26

THE LAST FIVE YEARS at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Cathy stands center stage, in the spotlight, singing at yet another audition. That is, until Jamie wordlessly steps in front of her and sits on a stool to begin reading from his novel. Cathy, her spotlight now literally and figuratively occupied by her more successful husband, silently retreats, defeated once again. Read more…

Now running through February 12

KING HEDLEY II at the Matrix Theatre

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Photo by Oliver Bokelberg

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

August Wilson’s King Hedley II takes place in the 1980s when Reaganomics, and the notion that wealth trickles down from the rich to the poor, was the hypothetical order of the day. The reality, of course, is that no such trickling took place; the poor, black and white, grew poorer than ever, a circumstance we see in the struggle of Wilson’s title character to earn a living for himself and his family, and to garner, against odds, some measure of self-respect.    Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by the late August Wilson is part of his 10-play series about the black experience in each of the decades of the 20th century. This one is set in the 1980s. The title character, King Hedley II (Esau Pritchett), is a proud but thwarted black man, whose face is bisected by a livid scar, the result of a razor attack.   Read more…

Now running through February 12