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WHEN LIVES MATTER: THE PLAY at the Lounge Theatre

Photo: Courtesy of When Lives Matter: The Play)

Photo: Courtesy of When Lives Matter: The Play)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

It may be one of the unintended consequences of the 2017 Presidential Ascension of the Infernal One that we have a chance to witness the blooming of art in protest and an attempt to confront and shake up the new status quo. If we are lucky, there will be many plays like playwright/director Monti Washington’s passionate and thought-provoking meditation on race in the U.S., including ruminations on the philosophy surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. Read more…

Now running through January 22

PICK OF THE VINE at the Little Fish Theatre

Photo by Mickey Elliott

Photo by Mickey Elliott

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Nine short plays by nine playwrights fit together snugly to make a brisk evening of theater in Little Fish Theatre’s 15th annual “Pick of the Vine” play festival. Read more…

Now running through February 11

BRILLIANT TRACES AT The Underground Theatre

 

 (Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Henry (Juan Lozano), a reclusive hermit, is asleep in his bed in a remote cabin in the wilds of Alaska during a white-out blizzard. The door bursts open and a young woman, Rosannah (Roxanna Kaye), enters, wearing a wedding gown complete with veil. Read more…

Now running through February 11

THE LAST VIG at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The Last Vig is billed as a show starring Burt Young, the Academy Award-nominated actor who played Paulie in the Rocky series. Unfortunately, Young’s performance is one of many big problems in the show, which plays through February 19 at the Zephyr Theatre. Read more…

Now running through February 19

THE ROOMMATE at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

A worldly 50-something lesbian from the Bronx moves in with a naïve 50-something woman in Iowa and changes her roommate’s life. That’s the gist of Jen Silverman’s stilted one-act, whose main appeal is its focus on the lives of older women, usually given short shrift in American film and theater.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

There are just a few two-handers in theatre that feature two women of a certain age talking and bonding over the similarities and/or differences in their lives. Read more…

Now running through January 22

THE LION at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Christie Goodwin

Margaret Gray – LA Times

I spent much of “The Lion,” singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer’s one-man musical at the Geffen Playhouse, inwardly commiserating with my twentysomething self. She hung out in so many coffee shops all those years ago, strung out on caffeine and poetry slams, waiting in vain for someone exactly like Scheuer to walk in with his guitar. Read more…

Now running through February 19

SYNTHESIS at the Dorie Theatre at the Complex

(Photo by Kim Beavers)

(Photo by Kim Beavers)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Paul Shoulberg’s dark sardonic comedy is a tale of finding love within the rubble of one’s damaged psyche. It’s a work that brings to mind Hemingway’s old koan, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

My first review of 2017 is of “a new play about God, rehab, and a fern.” So says the tagline for the World Premiere of Paul Shoulberg’s Synthesis at The Dorie, directed by Stan Zimmerman. Read more…

Now running through January 29

I’M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY at Theatre Unleashed

Photo by Divimage

Photo by Divimage

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This latest bit of froth from Theatre Unleashed is a musical adaptation of Brandon Thomas’s 1892 comedy, Charley’s Aunt. While we all need distraction these days, in this case the plot and its prime comic hook are simply too out-of-date to be interesting. Read more…

Now running through January 15

AMELIE at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Those who dared to take a charming little French film and turn it into a Broadway-bound musical had to know they’d be facing brickbats along with the plaudits. Or, as the French say, criticism is easy but art is difficult. Read more…

Erin Conley – Onstage

It is always a treat when those of us in Los Angeles get a sneak peek of a Broadway-bound new musical, and Amelie is no exception. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Amelie, A New Musical is currently at the Ahmanson Theatre after premiering at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2015 and before opening on Broadway in early April, 2017. Read more…

Now running through January 15

THE KING AND I at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Matthhew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

The production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King & I that won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival, in 2015 has made its way to Los Angeles just in time for the holidays.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The King and I was the fifth collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II, following their classics Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and their flop Allegro.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The national tour of director Bartlett Sher’s revival of The King and I, now making a stop at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, is scrumptiously produced, a visual feast worthy of the exotic musical. Read more…

F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times

Twentieth-century French literary maven François Mauriac once observed, “If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Anna and the King of Siam first emerged in popular culture in 1944 as a novel by Margaret Langdon, which she based on the memoirs (now considered suspect) of Anna Harriette Leonowens, a British widow who taught English in the court of the King of Siam between 1862 and 1867. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In mid-Victorian days, a Siamese king and an English activist-educator came together in a clash of cultures. That pairing inspired memoirs, then a novel, then films and stage musicals. Read more…

Now running through January 21

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE RADIO PLAY at the Belfry Stage

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

When I was a kid, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life was shown on TV every holiday season, along with Miracle on 34th Street, another heart-warmer that celebrated the essential goodness of human beings, or a few of them at least. Read more…

Now running through December 18

HOOKED at City Garage Theatre

(Photo courtesy City Garage Theatre)

(Photo courtesy City Garage Theatre)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

A sad Russian clown. His wife, who can’t laugh. An interloper with a mysterious past. A hook that appears in the bathroom one day. Read more…

Now running through December 18