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PATERNUS at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo by John Flynn

Photo by John Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In addition to the two-show schedule Rogue Machine generally runs, the company also does things such as their late-night “Off The Clock” productions. Daphne Malfitano’s Paternus is the latest entry in this series, and while it’s enjoyable for its strong acting and some good writing, its structure is flawed and it’s too short to achieve the catharsis it’s looking for. Read more…

Photo by John Flynn

Photo by John Flynn

Now running through August 9.

DORIS AND ME at the El Portal Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Thanks to fans of iconic movie star Doris Day, this past April felt like a month-long Day-fest in cyberspace, as postings about the reclusive performer’s unexpected appearance at her 90th birthday celebration flooded social media for several weeks.  Read more…

Now running through August 3.

LUIGI at the VS Theatre

Photo by Lew Abramson

Photo by Lew Abramson

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Louise Munson’s meandering and nostalgic family drama is set in Italy during a summer holiday. Two American siblings touch base with their Italian mother’s parents and brother, discussing poetry and philosophy while drinking and dining, reading, playing board games, singing songs and telling stories. Much of the conversation is in Italian, with some translation here and there. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The simple candor and unruffled presence of performer Erin McIntosh is perhaps the most likable thing about Luigi, Louise Munson’s aggravatingly kitschy and predictable family drama. McIntosh portrays Anna, a thoughtful thirteen year old who reaches out to her elderly uncle (Ray Xifo, in the title role) for answers to the questions that vex her about life and love. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

A sullen 13-year-old sets in motion this world premiere, by Louise Munson. That’s the playwright’s first mistake. Uninteresting and unlikeable, young Anna doesn’t anchor the audience’s interest. Munson introduces her in the midst of the American teen’s visit to her great-uncle Luigi at his villa in Italy. Read more…

Now running through August 16.

A FAMILY AFFAIR at Plummer Park and Kings Road Park, West Hollywood

FA_Donald-Wayne-Kaye-Kittrell-Riley-Dandy_photo-Garth-Pillsbury-300x200

Photo by Garth Pillsbury

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Though just about every serious theatergoer in this country has seen a Chekhov play, few have heard of Alexander Ostrovksy, a prolific 19th century Russian playwright and satirist whose first work, A Family Affair, was not only banned from the stage but even prohibited from being discussed in the press. Read more…

Now running through August 10.

SORDID LIVES at the Westchester Playhouse

Photo by Shari Barrett

Photo by Shari Barrett

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Give Kentwood Players credit for mounting this production. Del Shores’ “Sordid Lives,” at Westchester Playhouse through Aug. 16, focuses on social outcasts who ignite ire, if not disgust and even hatred.  Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Pity the survivors of the late Peggy Ingram, whose bizarre demise is the talk of Winters, Texas. Elder daughter Latrelle drowns her mortification by fighting wildcat sister La Vonda over burying Mama in a ratty mink stole. Sissy, Peggy’s sibling, has more nicotine withdrawal angst than sisterly grief. Read more…

Now running trough August 16.

 

WE WILL ROCK YOU at the Ahmanson Theater

Photo by Lawrence . Ho

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA

This show is an exuberant, enthusiastic, unabashed homage to the rock group Queen and its lead singer, the late Freddie Mercury. It is also splashy, a little bit silly, and loud enough to rattle your ribcage, with a rock-concert-style light show that is occasionally blinding. Read more…

Photo by Paul Kolnik

Photo by Paul Kolnik

 

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Whenever I travel, in an attempt to overcome jet lag, I try to find the loudest, most obnoxious musical I can find, in the hopes that it will keep me awake my first night in town. I have seen quite a few shows on this principle, and none suits the task quite as well as We Will Rock You. It’s currently playing the Ahmanson, as part of a national tour, and though it has been Americanized (and not necessarily for the better) since I saw it in London, it’s still just as loud and just as brash. Read more…

Now running through August 24.

 

THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT at the Odyssey Theater

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Margaret Gray – LA Times

A divorced couple and their new partners meet for a dinner that shakes up their lives in Peter Lefcourt’s romantic comedy “The Way You Look Tonight,” premiering at the Odyssey Theater under the direction of Terri Hanauer.   Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Peter Lefcourt’s romantic comedy takes a wry, witty, and occasionally wicked look at sexual mores in Los Angeles in 2014. Read more…

Now running through August 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHELLO at San Diego’s Old Globe

© 2006 Craig Schwartz PhotographyBob Verini -  Stage Raw

A rip-roaring Othello is being offered under the stars at San Diego’s Old Globe, in a fast-paced production full of suspense and action. Of course, many will not approve of the price paid for all this excitement, which includes a decided dearth of poetry and romance; some really hammy acting and barbarous verse-speaking; and the excision of at least 1/6 of the text (in San Diego, evidently, less is Moor). Read more…

Now running through July 27.

LAY ME DOWN SOFTLY at Theatre Banshee

Photo by Erin Noble

Photo by Erin Noble

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Irish playwright Billy Roche’s family drama, Peadar (John McKenna), a gentle man in a rough and unforgiving world, reminisces to his friend’s daughter, Emer (Kristen Kollender), about his encounter with her mother, Joy. In his story, Joy had just been abandoned by the girl’s callous dad, Theo (Andrew Graves), and Peadar had come to offer Joy solace and a day’s bed and breakfast – until she could pull herself together and be on her way. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA

Billy Roche’s play is set in Delaney’s Traveling Roadshow, a down-market boxing show that’s touring the Irish midlands, circa 1960. Theo Delaney (Andrew Graves) is the show’s proprietor, who has a love ’em and leave ’em approach to women. He makes his profit from admission tickets, concessions, and a raffle, but his chief gimmick is advertising that his fighters will take on all comers. This seems to be a fine plan until a pro fighter—whom we never see—turns up to challenge Theo’s principal boxer, Dean (Kevin Stidham), and defeat him in the ring. Read more…

Now playing through August 23.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

Beauty01Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

What began years ago as a beloved animated children’s film became a hit Broadway musical in 1994. Live actors, singers and dancers play all the parts — even those of animals and household objects in the Beast’s haunted castle. Based on a book by Linda Woolverton (who went to Wilson High School); with music by Alan Menken (Academy Award-winning composer), and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice; “Beauty and the Beast” has become a beloved musical theater classic. Read more…

BUYER AND CELLAR at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Joan MarcuLes Spindle – Edge on the Net

Les Spindle – Edge on the Net

Michael Urie proves to be a virtuoso clown, a consummate actor, and a force of nature, all rolled into one, in his tour de force solo turn in Jonathan Tolins ‘ irresistible showbiz comedy, “Buyer & Cellar.” Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Sweet and snarky, with a few cheap shots and a lot of belly laughs, Buyer & Cellar is a hilarious one-person show about a struggling actor’s brief period of working for a major celebrity. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Fresh off an acclaimed New York run where it won multiple awards for best solo show and performance, Jonathan Tolins’ snarky yet sneakily sentimental Buyer & Cellar, starring Emmy nominee Michael Urie (Marc St. James in the long-running series Ugly Betty), represents some kind of ne plus ultra of a mainstream gay one-hander. Read more…
Now running through August 17.

MICHAEL URIE: FUNNY GIRL MEETS FUNNY GUY IN BUYER AND CELLAR at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Joan Marcus

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Michael Urie, beloved for his smartly nuanced portrayal of Marc St. James, the conniving assistant to diva magazine editor Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) in the hit sitcom Ugly Betty, is bringing his latest career breakthrough vehicle to L.A. this month. There’s a heaping helping of Barbra Streisand-aimed satire amid an evening’s worth of solo Urie in the hit off-Broadway comedy Buyer and Cellar. Read more…

Now playing through August 17.