Layout Image

THE LAST SHIP at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At first blush, the shipbuilding industry does not seem the most obvious topic for a musical. The Last Ship, an original musical with music and lyrics by Sting and a new book by Lorne Campbell, opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with some of the problems you might expect given the show’s tumultuous journey the last few years. But impressive design elements, a talented cast, and a surprising amount of heart save the production from running aground.
Read more…

Now running through February 16

EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The phrase, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” is used to describe doing something trivial when serious action is desperately required. It’s an apt epigram for humanity today — fully aware of the worsening disasters brought on by climate change but content to focus on acquiring more money and power, even as sea levels rise.
Read more…

Now running through March 1

 

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at the Mark Taper Forum

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When playwright Heidi Schreck was in high school, she traveled the country participating in Constitutional debate competitions. It was primarily a scheme cooked up by her mother to pay for college tuition with prize money (it worked), and she became an expert at defending or opposing various amendments to panels of judges that almost always consisted of exclusively old, white men.
Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In attendance last Friday at What the Constitution Means to Me, Heidi Schreck’s droll insightful play directed by Oliver Butler at the Mark Taper Forum, I had the rare experience of  bonding with the rest of my fellow audience members.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me arrives as the Mark Taper Forum with a lot of advance hype—Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominations, etc. It certainly is relevant given the current political climate in the United States……
Read more…

Now running through February 28

DISPOSABLE NECESSITIES at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The adage, “Youth is wasted on the young,” is generally attributed to George Bernard Shaw, a man who didn’t lack for adages. The idea that youth can also be wasted on the old is one of the undercurrents that powers ’s play, Disposable Necessities, a science fiction comedy/drama that posits a future in which extended life or immortality is technically possible, but only for the rich.
Read more…

Now running through February 3

 

SAFE HARBOR at the Zephyr Theatre

Courtesy of Lower Depth Theater Ensemble

Courtesy of Lower Depth Theater Ensemble

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Last year’s arrest of wealthy financier and pal-to-the-powerful Jeffery Epstein on charges related to the sex trafficking of minors sent salacious shock waves throughout the country via the headline-hunting national media.
Read more…

Now running through December 15

 

 

 

FROZEN at the Pantages Theatre

Deen van Meer

Deen van Meer

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Between the holiday season, the recent release of Frozen 2 in movie theaters, and the arrival of the musical version of Frozen at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, things are feeling quite festive.
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Remember L.A. in 2013 at the peak of the mania for the Disney movie “Frozen”? When the clarion command to “Let It Go” rang through the air? When little girls wore blue satin and blond fishtail braids and conjured fearsome powers that they, like Princess Elsa, struggled to hold back?
Read more…

Now running through February 2

 

BANDSTAND at Broadway In Thousand Oaks

Bandstand-ProductionPhotos-1920-6

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The musical Bandstand, which is now part of the American Theater Guild tour across the country, thrives when Andy Blankenbuehler’s Tony-winning choreography is front and center. Restaged for this production by Marc Heitzman, who was Dance Captain in the Broadway production, the dances display vitality that makes audiences want to stand up and join in.
Read more…

Closed

 

DEFENDERS at the Broadwater Black Box

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sander

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

On May 10, 1940, Iceland was invaded by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines because the British government feared the possible Nazi takeover of the country. A little over a year later, defense of the country was transferred to the United States. Against this backdrop, Cailin Maureen Harrison tells a story about three U.S. soldiers on a classified mission who are confronted by the powers of nature and myth.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Cailin Maureen Harrison’s Defenders is receiving its World Premiere at The Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood courtesy of Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company. Harrison attempts to blur the lines between myth and reality in her tale of three shipwrecked U.S. soldiers on the tiny island of Hrisey off the northern coast of Iceland.
Read more…

Now running through December 8

ELIJAH at The Victory Theatre Center

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Placing a disparate group of characters in a location they can’t leave and forcing them to deal with each other has been a tried and true source of dramatic conflict since Sartre’s No Exit. The claustrophobia and stress of interacting with new people ratchets up the tension swiftly. So it is with Judith Leora’s new play, Elijah, which is receiving its West Coast premiere at The Victory Theatre.
Read more…
Now running through December 15

KEY LARGO at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Key Largo was first a 1939 Broadway play, then a 1948 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and finally, it is now at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a new world premiere adaptation. Adapted by Andy Garcia and Jeffrey Hatcher, this play shifts some of the focus to the character of Johnny Rocco (played by Garcia), a notorious gangster who takes the inhabitants of a Florida Keys hotel hostage during a hurricane.
Read more...

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Key Largo, a 1948 film classic, Humphrey Bogart played a disillusioned anti-hero, an ex-army officer in World War II who, despite his cynicism, musters up enough moral conviction to stand up to Edward G. Robinson’s sneering gangster, Johnny Rocco.
Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Batten down the hatches— a hurricane has come to the Geffen. Key Largo, the new adaptation of the 1948 John Huston film, creates thunder and lightning with visual effects that turn the theater into ground zero of a devastating storm. The technical team brilliantly crafts a mood of claustrophobia and despair.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Key Largo is one of the classic Warner Bros. gangster movies. The film was the fourth and final pairing of legendary screen couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It also featured the fifth screen pairing of tough guys Bogart and Edward G. Robinson.
Read more…

Now running through December 15

THE GREAT LEAP at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes the most compelling drama in sports does not happen on the court or field, but behind the scenes. In The Great Leap, a play by Lauren Yee that opened in its Los Angeles premiere this weekend at the Pasadena Playhouse, in association with the East West Players, basketball serves as an entry point into an ambitious story about familial, cultural, and political conflict.
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

You may not know — I didn’t — that basketball is huge in China. Missionaries introduced the sport there in 1895, soon after it was invented, and when the Communists came into power in 1949, it was one of the few Western cultural contributions they didn’t criminalize. Apparently Chairman Mao was a fan.

Lauren Yee’s stunning play “The Great Leap,” now at the Pasadena Playhouse in a gorgeous co-production with East West Players….
Read more…

Now running through December 1

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The version of Thanksgiving most of us were taught in school is certainly problematic. From outdated, disrespectful views of Native Americans and erasure of their role to the generous portrayals of the first white settlers on this continent, the narrative around the whole holiday is due for reexamination. This discussion sets the stage for The Thanksgiving Play, a satirical comedy by Larissa FastHorse currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse.
Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays (not counting The Fourth of July), has long been shrouded in myth, perpetuated for decades by classroom images of earnest Pilgrims, helpful “Indians” and cheerful squawking turkeys. No longer, however, does it serve as an unsullied symbol of a generous, sharing national spirit.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In today’s world of seemingly absolute, complete, no excuses accepted political correctness, even the most holy of venerated saints would have a hard time saying, doing perhaps thinking anything the least bit outre without being shouted down by some fractional segment of the PC community. For example—how do you celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month while creating an elementary school pageant?
Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse has written a rambunctious and edgy satire of wokeness, The Thanksgiving Play, now running at the Geffen, in which she satirizes America’s precarious relationship to racial issues and gives a Native American writer’s perspective on the so-called white man’s burden.
Read more…

Now running through December 6