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HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY at the Getty Villa

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Scholars may try to tell us they know exactly what theater looked like in ancient Rome. But they’ll never convince all of us that Troubadour Theater Company’s Haunted House Party, in the nighttime air of the outdoor Getty Villa’s amphitheater, isn’t an exact replica of a sunny day at a suburban Roman crossroads, two millennia ago…..Read more…

Now running through October 1

 

THE FANTASTICKS at the Pasadena Playhouse

© Jim Cox Photography)

© Jim Cox Photography)

 Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The title says it all. The Fantasticks is always is a delight. This production at the Pasadena Playhouse is no exception. Led by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez as the mysterious El Gallo, the musical comedy features a talented cast, including Tony winner Hal Linden, all of whom add to the enchantment of the text. Read more…

Now running through October 2

THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY at The Road Theatre on Magnolia

Photo by Michele Young

Photo by Michele Young

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

As I was driving to The Road Theatre to see this Edward Albee play, the radio news announced that Albee had died earlier in the day, at the age of 88. At the theatre, director Andre Barron informed the crowd in the lobby that Albee had passed away. There was a murmur of sadness, but neither the crowd nor the actors were willing to let Albee’s death throw a wet blanket on his play’s rich comedy. Read more…

Now running through November 5

OUR TOWN at Actors Co-op

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

It’s been nearly eighty years since Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning paean to small town America was first performed, yet it still retains a mysterious charm. Perhaps it’s the play’s evocation of a less complicated time and place, or maybe it’s Wilder’s simple exploration of what is common and universal in the human condition. Read more…

Now running through October 23

NOSFERATU at Crown City Theatre

Nosferatu

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Nosferatu, adapter/director Bill Reilly’s musical stage adaptation of F.W. Murnau’s 1922 horror film classic, the bodies pile up swiftly, felled at the hands (or should I say teeth) of the title character, the remorselessly bloodthirsty Count Orlok (Michelle Holmes). Read more…

Now running through October 31

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Jan Versweyveld

Photo by Jan Versweyveld

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge was roundly praised in both London and New York. The current version at the Ahmanson, however, has at least a couple of major problems. Read more…

Now running through November 5.

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM at the Mark Taper Forum

L-R: Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, Keith David and Lillias White in August Wilson?s ?Ma Rainey?s Black Bottom,? directed by Phylicia Rashad, playing through October 16, 2016, at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772. Contact: CTGMedia@ctgla.org/ (213) 972-7376. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

At the Opening Night performance of director Phylicia Rashad’s powerful staging of playwright August Wilson’s modern classic Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, I found myself seated next to a gentleman who claimed to be one of the agents for one of the performers in the show. He promptly loosened his tie and shrugged off his blazer. “Better make myself comfortable,” he noted. “It’s kind of warm in here and Wilson doesn’t write short.” Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The late, greatly missed August Wilson wrote 10 plays for the 10 decades of the last century. Some of them come through Los Angeles often enough that we can compare productions, particularly because Mark Taper Forum and Fountain Theatre have a penchant for, and a talent for, Wilson’s works. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Center Theatre Group’s vibrant production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom fills the Mark Taper Forum stage with powerhouse performances. Lillias White brings down the house with her rendition of the title song, but it is the four band members, played by Keith David, Glynn Turman, Damon Gupton, and Jason Dirden, who take center stage with electricity and chemistry. Read more…

Now running through October 16

ALL THE WAY at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatre based on the recreation of history can be frustrating. On the one hand, one never knows how much the facts have been altered to make it properly dramatic and entertaining, while on the other, there are often so many characters that one never really gets to know any of them. That said, Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way manages to avoid most of these pitfalls. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

There should be a special award for when one actor wins the Tony, but then another actor still finds a way to kill the role — to act the heck out of it and to make it new. I’d nominate Hugo Armstrong, who stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning “All the Way” at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In a tableau framed by a Greek colonnade with the US seal prominently placed centerstage, Robert Schenkkan’s political rouser revisits the moments following John Kennedy’s assassination as Lyndon Johnson (Hugo Armstrong) seizes the reins of power and steps into the presidency. Atop the columns on a raised stage stands a cast of characters who will both ally themselves with Johnson and oppose him, and that is the stuff of his ardent pursuit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more…



Now running through October 2

CHARM at Celebration Theatre at The Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Anyone who’s been a teacher or who’s been otherwise charged with supervising troubled adolescents will understand straight off the problems facing Mama Darlin (Lana Houston), the beguiling nub of Philip Dawkins’ compelling Charm. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

A charm school for transvestites? It sounds like an odd premise for a serious piece of theatre, conjuring up images of endless camp and in-jokes. But Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins is angling for bigger fish, and his efforts pay off in this provocative piece, based on real events that happened in the Windy City. Read more…

Now running through October 23

MOUNT VERNON at Hudson Guild Theatre

Photo by Emiko Hall

Photo by Emiko Hall

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Among the horrors that manifest in America’s addiction to guns are deaths involving children — either as victims or, more seldom, as perpetrators. Read more…

Now running through September 18

PARALLEL LIVES at the Falcon Theatre

Photo by Sasha A. Venola

Photo by Sasha A. Venola

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The spirits of Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy cast a long shadow over director Jenny Sullivan’s mostly straightforward production of this one time off-Broadway hit.  (Gaffney and Najimi were the original writer/performers of this two-person comic show, which won an Obie in 1989 and was later produced on HBO in 1994.)    Read more…

Now running through September 18

CAPTAIN OF THE BIBLE QUIZ TEAM – Rogue Machine at Various Locations

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In a tiny church, a battle wages. That battle has been nearly settled by American law, it seems to be settling in large urban areas. But in the hearts and minds of the congregation at Kandota Lutheran Church in Little Sauk, Minn., it’s still a stubbornly fought war.Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Directed by Michael Michetti, playwright Tom Jacobson’s compelling drama is a powerful meditation on faith and prejudice. It’s staged with a deceptive simplicity that belies layers of thought-provoking philosophy and emotion. Read more…

Now running through October 3