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Archive for February 2014

DISASSEMBLY at Theatre of Note


Photo by Eric Neil Gutierriez

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

While the overarching message in playwright Steve Yockey’s fractured farce Disassembly isn’t quite clear, its clever irony is nonetheless unmistakable.  Read more...

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

The often cutting-edge company Theatre of NOTE opts for undiluted black comedy in Disassembly, in which multiple stab wounds and murderous mayhem are a source of shudderingly persistent laughs. L.A. Weekly Theater Award winning playwright Steve Yockey (Very Still & Hard to See) finds contemporary twists on venerable templates like Arsenic and Old Lace or You Can’t Take It With You by honoring their farcical conventions while shattering their more circumspect norms with an up-to-date uninhibited aggression. Read more…

Now running through March 22.


WHITE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts


Photo by Douglas McBride

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Continuing their commitment to presenting high quality theater for children, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is staging another imported show. The award-winning Catherine Wheels Theatre Company from Scotland presents White, a magical and delightful production for the very young, in the Wallis’ smaller space, the intimate Lovelace Studio Theater. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In Scottish children’s theater company Catherine Wheels’s charming 35-minute theater piece, Cotton and Wrinkle take nurturing care of an all-white world. The two are clad in white, head to toe. They live in a white tent. They tend white birdhouses, grooming and dusting them, and then they carefully put a white egg in each tidy little abode.
Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Theater of substance for children as young as three to five that can effectively captivate adults as well requires not merely simplicity but also grand ambition, both of which are abundantly on display in White, a 35-minute burnished gem from Scotland’s Catherine Wheels Theatre Company. Read more…
Now running through March 23.

The LADCC Nominees Reception 2014

LADCC nominees reception 2014LADCC nominees gather at the Colony Theatre on Feb. 24 to mingle and celebrate their nominations. The theater-makers met old friends and made new ones, visiting with their colleagues and chatting with nominees in other categories. They even met the critics and seemed to enjoy our company.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for March 17 at the Colony. For more information and ticketing, visit


THE RECOMMENDATION at the Asylum Theatre


  Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

IAMA Theatre Company returns from its off-Broadway run of two recent productions without breaking stride, with yet another robustly contemporary offering, again characterized by distinctively fresh language. The aspiring son of an Ethiopian immigrant father, Iskinder (Brandon Scott), finds himself simultaneously charmed, fascinated and resentful of his freshman dorm roommate at Brown, Brentwood-raised Feldman (Adam Shapiro), who represents a privileged ease in a connected world characterized by the power of the “recommendation.”   Read more…

Now running through March 9.

GOING TO ST. IVES at the Crossley Theatre at Actors Co-op


Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

Neal Weaver  – ArtsInLA

Lee Blessing’s taut and subtle two-character drama proves that a play with a small cast can deal with large issues. Cora Gage (Nan McNamara) is a British ophthalmologist, living in St. Ives, who is approached for treatment by May N’Kame (Inger Tudor), the empress of an unidentified African nation and the mother of its bloody, ruthless emperor/dictator. Gage’s liberal principles rebel at the idea of helping a member of a murderous and unscrupulous family, but she hopes that by agreeing to perform surgery on the empress, she can save the lives of four doctors the corrupt and vicious emperor has—presumably unjustly—sentenced to death.
Read more…

Now running through March 16.

INHERIT THE WIND at the Grove Theatre Center


Photo by Ed Krieger.


Deborah Klugman – ArtsBeatLA

One would have thought (perhaps hoped is the better word) that Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee’s 1955 play Inherit the Wind, about the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial, would have lost some of its relevance by now. Like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, it was written in response to the close-mindedness and prosecution of freedom of thought that swept through the nation during the McCarthy era of the mid twentieth century.  Read more…

Now running through March 16.

SEX AND EDUCATION at the Colony Theatre


Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

The best news about the Colony Theatre’s production of Lissa Levin’s comedy “Sex and Education” is the star performance of Stephanie Zimbalist, the accomplished veteran of stage, film and television, who is perhaps most widely known for her role as a sexy detective in the hit 1980s television series “Remington Steele.” Read more…

Don Shirley – L.A. Observed

Sex, basketball and cheerleaders. Two productions that opened over the weekend at two of Greater LA’s midsize theaters share these popular topics. Let no one say that the stage focuses only on the more esoteric concerns of the elite.

At Burbank’s Colony Theatre, the title is “Sex and Education.” But basketball, cheerleaders and selling houses are also on the agenda in Lissa Levin’s probing comedy set in a high school classroom. The school’s hoops star Joe (William Reinbold) and his English teacher Miss Edwards (Stephanie Zimbalist) are both on the verge of graduation – he to college and then (he hopes) the NBA, and she to a new career in real estate. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s hard to think of a clearer instance of preaching to the converted than a play in which a grammarian gets the best of an athlete. Read more…

Now running through March 16.

THE MUSIC MAN at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center


Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Celebrated composer-lyricist Meredith Willson (1902-1984) had a colorful but surprisingly limited Broadway career, which included “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” (1960), “Here’s Love” (1963), and his most indelible musical, “The Music Man” (1957). Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb

Yeah, you’re right, “The Music Man” is an old war-horse over fifty years old; but it still has legs!  In fact, Meredith Wilson’s tribute to his home state (Iowa) has been in such demand, Musical Theatre West has produced it five times during its sixty-year history.  The latest version just opened last weekend under the direction of Jeff Maynard, with musical direction by Corey Hirsch and choreography by John Todd. Read more…

 Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How prescient was Meredith Willson to recognize the valuable gift we give our children when we expose them to the arts? In his 1957 musical The Music Man, the kids—and their parents—focus on forming a band, and the gangs and gossips find common ground and a better way to spend their days. Or, is there just one small problem? In the words of the infuriated town mayor, “Where’s the band?” Read more…

Now running through March 9.

Love, Noel: The Letters And Songs Of Noel Coward at the Lovelace Studio Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts


Photo by Ed Krieger

 Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

The new intimate room at the old Beverly Hills post office has been nostalgically configured as a vintage supper club with alcohol and food service for this sentimental yet substantial cabaret performance of Noel Coward‘s words and music by a pair of genuine theatrical stars, John Glover and Judy Kuhn. In a satisfyingly full 90 minutes (including the de rigeur intermission to refill cocktails), Glover assumes the role, if not the persona, of the incomparably talented Coward, while Kuhn reads from the letters of his eminent female intimates.   Read more…

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

While the depths of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts are given over to a magical reinvention of Noël Coward’s bourgeois romantic melodrama Brief Encounter, a black-box studio space on the ground floor brings out his brittle, witty, demimonde side in Love, Noël.   Read more…

Now running through February 23.

LYSISTRATA JONES at the Chance Theater

Photo by Thamer Bajjali

Photo by Thamer Bajjali

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

When Aristophanes penned Lysistrata in 411 BC, he could hardly have imagined that his play would have spawned the many innovative modifications that have taken place over the centuries. The concept is irresistible: A group of women band together and withhold sex from their menfolk until the men have taken action to end a war. In this case, a group of college cheerleaders make a pact to forgo “giving it up” until their losing Athens University basketball team wins a game. Read more…

Now running through March 9.

VILLON at the Odyssey Theatre


Photo by Miki Turner

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

This play is more about storytelling than story. It is about the way we make theater and observe theater. It is about words and how they are enhanced by a theatrical production. And yet, as the title character tells us in a surprisingly emotion-stirring moment at the play’s end, our story remains behind when we are long gone. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

As played by Kevin Weisman, Mednick’s Villon swashes a squat figure, a charismatically ugly man of whose sexual power derives from bile and rage, along with a lofty confidence in the power and pointlessness of his gifts. Beaten and abused by his impoverished mother, he is adopted as a young adolescent by a scholar-priest (Gray Palmer) whose name he assumes.  Read more…
Now running through March 23.

THE WHIPPING MAN at the Pico Playhouse


Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

This Matthew Lopez play would have made a fascinating two-hander. But the playwright added a third character and ratcheted up the intrigue, conflict, and shaping, making it an even more fascinating play. Like a fine puppeteer, director Howard Teichman pulls strings to alter the balance among the characters, adding even more to the interplay. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

In the backwash of 12 Years a Slave, a film most notable for how it reflects on the present day rather than solely as a window into the past, Matthew Lopez‘s play The Whipping Man stands out as a different sort of inquiry into the meaning of freedom, which it accurately depicts as much as a matter of the soul and spirit as the body.  Read more…

Now playing through April 13.