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Archive for July 2013 – Page 2

SISTER ACT at the Pantages Theatre

Sister Act Tour

Photo by Joan-Marcus

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

From the moment the curtain goes up and our diva is belting out a song (in a nightclub setting) while flanked by two smooth back up singers, you know you are in good hands and are heading for a fun time. Sister Act stars Ta’Rea Campbell, whose voice is a powerhouse—and she’s not the only great voice in the show, not by a long shot.
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Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

Sister Act’s story of a murder witness hiding out in a convent is similar to a summer blockbuster in that it viscerally excites despite a flimsy premise and plot points advanced through coincidences of convenience.
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Now running through July 28.

LOVE SONGS – A MUSICAL at the Attic Theatre

LSimage1Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

This world premiere of Steven Cagan’s amorous musical hardly feels like a full-fledged production. First off, James Esposito’s set is little more than some black cubes and stools on a bare stage. Add to that the fact that A. Lynn Downey’s lights are wincingly and monotonously bright throughout…
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Now running through July 28.


Photo by Garth Pillsbury

Photo by Garth Pillsbury

Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

Kings Road Park is a small, bucolic gem, plunked down amid our urban sprawl, and a perfect venue for the city of West Hollywood’s Free Theatre in the Parks program. This play, produced by the Classical Theatre Lab, is by Carlo Goldoni and was first performed in 1762. But the approach is anything but purist:
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JUST IMAGINE at the Hayworth Theatre

JustImagineDeborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Although the wow factor is missing, aficionados of John Lennon probably will appreciate this tribute to the iconic musician, which juxtaposes renditions of his most famous songs with a narrative of his life. Read more…


Melinda Schupman – ArtsInLA

Tribute band concerts have become more and more common, particularly when the band in question has aged or broken up. The performers generally have an ear for the melodies and mannerisms of their idols, but you are, by and large, aware that they are not the originals. In the case of Tim Piper playing John Lennon, that doubt vanishes immediately, as he projects the look, the mannerisms, the accent, and the talent.
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Now running through August 25.

THE FANTASTICKS at the Sierra Madre Playhouse


Photo by Ward Calaway

Pauline Adamek  – LA Weekly

The original off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks ran for 42 years, making it the world’s longest-running musical. The show’s songs are quaint and pretty and its simple, allegorical story is complemented by its bare-bones staging. Read more

Now running through July 13.

THE ROYAL FAMILY at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

royalfamBob Verini – ArtsInLA

A nation should know and experience its classic dramatic texts. Yet the major virtues of many of ours remain virtually unknown, even to many serious theatergoers, solely because the casts are too large for almost any contemporary producer to afford.
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Now running in repertory through September 28.

MODROCK at El Portal

Bob Verini – ArtsInLA

ModRock is a train wreck, the waste of a perfectly good idea for a jukebox to rifle, namely the array of 1950s and ’60s British hits that transformed the pop music scene worldwide and eventually made its way to our shores as the “British invasion.” As British invasions go, ModRock is Dunkirk.   modrockRead more…

Now running through July 14.

SUBURBAN SHOWGIRL at the Noho Arts Center

Suburban-Showgirl1Deborah Klugman – ArtsBeatLA

In her smart and funny show, solo performer Palmer Davis portrays alter ego Wendy Walker, a talented dancer who struggles to juggle a passion for her art with motherhood and the bread-and-butter jobs she needs to pay her bills. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – LA Weekly

In this solo show conceived and performed by perky pro dancer-actress Palmer Davis, the travails of invented character Wendy Walker apparently hew closely to her own life experiences. Read more…

Now running through August 4.

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Les Spindle – Frontiers

Veteran playwright-screenwriter-director Del Shores (Sordid Lives, Yellow) dons a producer’s hat for an encore production of Matthew Leavitt’s raucous sex comedy, The Boomerang Effect. This episodic play, charting the subtly interrelated lives of five couples in five separate bedrooms, premiered at the Odyssey Theatre in April 2012.  Read more

Now running through July 27.

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at Pacific Residents Theatre Ensemble

Terry Morgan – LAist

When one thinks of Arthur Miller’s body of work, one doesn’t immediately think “chronicler of Italian-American experience,” but with A View From The Bridge, he revealed a further breadth of his talent. The lead characters of most of Miller’s plays are imperfect men, from Willy Loman and John Proctor, and Eddie Carbone from View fits right in.
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Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

“I want my respect!” insists Eddie Carbone continually—and ambiguously. Sadly for him, but thrillingly for audiences since 1955, when Arthur Miller’s magnificently crafted play premiered, Miller’s protagonist Eddie has no idea what respect means nor how to earn it.
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Now running through August 25.

THE RAVEN at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater Group

TheRavenNeal Weaver – LA Weekly

This production, directed by Zombie Joe, consists of four adaptations of short works by Edgar Allan Poe: the short story “The Oval Portrait,” two short poems — “Song” and “Alone” — and the longer narrative poem “The Raven,” with its haunting refrain of “Nevermore!” All four pieces are narrated rather than dramatic, and reflect the 19th century’s fondness for horror stories and Romantic despair. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Currently playing on Friday nights at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in NoHo is a presentation of four adaptations of short works from the early-to-mid 1800s by Edgar Allan Poe: the short story The Oval Portrait, two short poems—”Song” and “Alone”—and the longer narrative poem “The Raven.” Read more…

Photo by Zombie Joe

Photo by Zombie Joe

Now running through July 26.


bronzevilleDeborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Intolerance comes in many colors. In Tim Toyama & Aaron Woolfolk’s somewhat contrived period melodrama, an African-American family moves into a home presumably left vacant when its Japanese owners are interned during World War II. But Henry (Jeff Manabat), a young Japanese man who’s rebelled against internment, is hiding out there.
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Now running through July 21.