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MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES at the Ahmanson Theatre

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  – Talkin’ Broadway

The old maxim states that truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes truth isn’t quite that bold and merely approaches the outlandishness of prose. Such is the case of Richard Lancelyn Green, the subject of a New Yorker article, a Sherlock Holmes expert who was found dead in his apartment in 2004….
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective dreamed up by the turn-of-the-century British doctor and writer Arthur Conan Doyle — or so history would have it. Certain scholars, collectors and fans prefer to believe that Holmes was an actual person. Holmes himself would probably agree with them….
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Now running through July 14

INDECENT at the Ahmanson Theatre

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

Those of us who frequent the theater do not need to be convinced of this art form’s importance. But there are some stories that really drive this home, emphasizing the true power of theater, particularly when the world wants to prevent a story from being told.
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Now running through July 7

THE LAST FIVE YEARS – After Hours Theatre Company at The Other Space at The Actor’s Company

 KJ Knies

KJ Knies

Erin Conley -  On Stage and Screen

After Hours Theatre Company made a name for themselves as innovators in Los Angeles theater with last year’s hit immersive production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where audience members donned hospital gowns and participated in pre-show activities, becoming a part of the asylum.
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Now running through July 14

HERLAND at Greenway Court Theatre

Philicia Endelman

Philicia Endelman

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

It’s not often we have a story that spotlights a friendship between an elderly woman and a much younger one. It’s a welcome notion, and the primary draw for playwright Grace McLeod’s Herland, a National New Play Network rolling world premiere, directed by Tiffany Moon at Greenway Court Theatre.
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Now running through June 23

READY, STEADY, YETI, GO at Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Margaret Gray – LA Times

No folkloric Himalayan ape-men appear in David Jacobi’s play “Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go.” That may sound like a spoiler, but it’s a PSA: The friend who went with me to see Rogue Machine’s production was too disappointed by the lack of yetis to focus on what was happening onstage……
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Now running through July 29

LADIES at Boston Court Pasadena

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Four young women in their underwear take the stage at Boston Court. While bopping along to a lively mixtape/Itunes playlist, they don the corsets and panniers of the 18th century women they will be portraying in the World Premiere of Kit Steinkellner’s Ladies.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Even in the darkest, most unenlightened era, there have been women prepared, often driven, to buck the strictures placed upon their gender. Ladies, Kit Steinkellner’s illuminating world premiere play directed by Jessica Kubzansky at Boston Court Pasadena, imagines what it must be like to be this kind of person, ready to risk pariahdom for the sake of personal freedom.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Kit Steinkellner’s new play “Ladies” presents itself initially as a stylized period piece about women’s empowerment.

At Boston Court Pasadena, four actresses walk onstage in beige bras and panties, then proceed to dress themselves in elaborate 18th century undergarments: black stockings, white corsets and hoop skirts. High-heeled lace-up white booties complete the look, which could be described as Laura Ashley bondage.
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Now running through June 30

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DANA H at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

CCraig Schwartz

CCraig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When playwright Lucas Hnath (A Doll’s House, Part Two, The Christians) was in college, his mother, Dana Higginbotham, went through a traumatizing ordeal. Dana struggled to speak about this painful experience with her son, so he eventually had fellow theater creator and collaborator Steve Cosson interview her about it. Hnath then adapted these interviews to create Dana H., a play currently in its world premiere at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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Now running through June 23

GATHER: SURPRISING STORIES AND OTHER MISCHIEF at the Pasadeena Playhouse

Nick Agro

Nick Agro

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Gather: Surprising Stories and Other Mischief is an unwieldy title for a theatrical piece. Then again, Gather is an unwieldy theatrical piece. It’s not immediately clear what the piece is, and the answer doesn’t come readily upon further reflection.
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Now running through June 22

MAMMA MIA at East West Players

Steven Lam

Steven Lam

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

There is something soothing about the music of ABBA, the 70s Swedish pop group that brought the world such songs as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia!” No matter how out of control the world gets, there’s always ABBA music to ease the soul, and, for the past 20 or so years, there’s been this jukebox musical of their hits to placate the mind.
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Now running through June 16

 

THE END OF BEAUTY – Playwright’s Arena at Atwater Village Theatre

PressPhotoBeauty3

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In its world premiere, Cory Hinkle’s The End of Beauty runs about two hours, but it’s not until the last 10 minutes that it grips one’s attention. That’s when Silas Weir Mitchell, playing one of the story’s three characters, looks back on the past with acceptance, perplexity and regret.
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Now running through June 18

 

LADY DAY AT THE EMERSON BAR AND GRILL at The Garry Marshall Theatre

Aaron Batzdorff

Aaron Batzdorff

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Deidrie Henry delivers a soulful performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill, Lanie Robertson’s 1986 one-act about the late great jazz singer who died prematurely at the age of 44.
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Now running through June 2

BRONCO BILLY – THE MUSICAL at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

If you haven’t seen the 1980 movie Bronco Billy with Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke (or can’t remember if you did), don’t worry. With a book by Dennis Hackin (who also wrote the novel and the movie’s screenplay), and music and lyrics by Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres, with additional lyrics by Michele Brourman, this world premiere musical version, smartly directed by Hunter Bird, is a heck of a lot funnier and way more enjoyable.
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Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

A singing cowboy tries to keep his Wild West show alive despite the cards being stacked against him in Bronco Billy – The Musical, a heartwarming musical comedy loosely based on the 1980 Clint Eastwood film.
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Now running through June 30