Layout Image

Archive for November 2014 – Page 2

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at Sacred Fools Theatre

Woman_168.w

 

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Oscar Wilde’s satire of English upper-class society has solemn and feminist undertones to it, making a precursor of the “dramedy of manners.” After all, it was first performed in 1893 at London’s Haymarket Theatre. The titular “Woman of No Importance” turns out to be a survivalist who suffered scandal, estrangement from her father (and his fortune) and single motherhood in an age where that route caused irreparable damage to one’s reputation, and social ostracism. Read more…

WONI_22

 

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sacred Fools is famous for mounting edgy adventuresome productions. Every so often they take a shot at one of the classics: Richard III a couple of years ago, and now A Woman of No Importance, a drawing room comedy by Oscar Wilde concerned with gender roles and the sexual double standard. Read more…

Now running through December 20.

BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS at Torrance Theatre Company

BBM

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Widely considered the best of writer Neil Simon’s well-made plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs—about a Jewish family in 1930s Brooklyn—has landed in the South Bay through Dec. 19 at Torrance Theater Company. But can this Southern California cast give it that New York zing and Jewish bittersweetness?

Read more…

Now running through December 14.

SPRING AWAKENING at the Long Beach Playhouse

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Playhouse

Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Playhouse

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Set in 1891 when Germany was a rigid, class-oriented culture — one that was strictly dominated by male authority-figures — “Spring Awakening” was censored and banned from the stage. Those in charge considered it to be unfit for anyone in Germany’s “proper, well-brought-up society.” Resurrected and presented to audiences more than 100 years later, it was enormously successful as an authentic slice of drama. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

KINKY BOOTS at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Would you believe that in the Broadway juggernaut “Kinky Boots,” which has just arrived at the Pantages Theatre, nobody even wears boots?

Of course you wouldn’t. I’m kidding. The show, which won six Tonys last year, including awards for musical, choreography and score, fulfills half of the promise of its title: boots, and plenty of ‘em. By the end of the evening, the stage has become a forest of colorful, thigh-high, stiletto-heeled, feathered and tasseled and sequined contraptions that look as though they could snap a badly planted ankle like a twig. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Please, if you can’t tolerate disco music and you loathe musicals about accepting people for who they are, skip this one. If, however, you appreciate the propulsive glory of that musical genre, and if the theme of acceptance cheers you, this show is worth your while. Read more…

KB1

Now running through November 30.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME at the La Jolla Playhouse

Photo by Kevin Berne

Photo by Kevin Berne

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

When Disney Theatricals launched an epic musical version of the 1996 animated film in Berlin in 1999, The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the first Disney production to open outside the United States. With additional songs by the original writers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and a book and direction by the acclaimed James Lapine, the show broke box-office records and ran for three years. Now the producers have mounted the first U.S. production at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse but with a new book by Peter Parnell and direction by Scott Schwartz. Read more…

 

CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL – Coeurage Theatre Company at the Lyric-Hyperion Theatre & Café

CannibalNardeepKhurmi

Photo by Nardeep Khurmi

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Trey Parker is best known for being one half of the duo who created the irreverent animated TV show South Park. He and Matt Stone also recently earned Tony Awards for their smash-hit musical The Book of Mormon. Working solo, Parker’s hysterically funny western spoof Cannibal! The Musical is an appealing mash-up of Mormon and South Park… Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

COMPLETENESS at VS. Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Itamar Moses’ Completeness is chockfull of discourse about protein processes and algorithmic probabilities, and if, like myself, you’re not of a scientific bent, you could drift off amidst the disquisition and the theory.  Chances are you won’t, however. As directed by Matt Pfeiffer, VS. Theatre’s current production is so smart and the ensemble so crisp and so charming that despite the yaddiyadda, one stays engaged.

Read more…

Now running through December 7.

 

SERIAL KILLER, BARBIE at the NoHo Arts Center

skb

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

This fall, a string of new musicals that spoof horror films was kicked off with “Scary Musical, The Musical” and “Scream!” Those productions are now joined by ”Serial Killer Barbie,”featuring a book and lyrics by Colette Freedman, with music and additional lyrics by Nickella Moschetti. Despite its amusing title, “Barbie” is less concerned with sending up the horror genre than offering a boisterous off-the-wall satire of adolescent angst and crass social values. Read more…

Now running through December 21.

BIG FISH – Musical Theatre West at the Carpenter Center

bf2

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

When Paul Garman (Musical Theatre West’s executive director/producer) saw “Big Fish” on Broadway last fall, it was so outstanding he called it “magical.”

Indeed, he knew he had to bring it home to Long Beach. And so, being the inimitable musical theater executive that he is, this astonishing, award-winning, “magical” musical opened last Saturday before a sold-out audience in the Carpenter Center. Read more…

Now running through November 16.

 

UPLOADED at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo by John Flynn

Photo by John Flynn

Margaret Gray – LA Times

If you weren’t already worried about the future, “Uploaded,” L.R. Gordon’s new play premiering at Rogue Machine, will give you specific reasons to fear the rise of the millennial generation. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

KING LEAR at the Broad Stage

KLTour2013-045

Photo by Ellie Kurttz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

 A production of Shakespeare’s King Lear imported from the Globe Theatre in London stirs all sorts of expectations. Surely no one can do Shakespeare better than the Brits. And besides, the play is one of the most highly regarded works of literature in the English language. Read more…

marc1

 

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

This production purportedly re-creates an Elizabethan-style touring version of one of Shakespeare’s most-famous plays, presumably staging it the way the Bard’s contemporaries would have seen his plays. All the action is packed onto a small, portable, two-story structure. The motley costuming probably harkens to the days when actors wore their own clothing. The production uses no “theatrical” lighting, and the actors make their own sound effects. Read more…

 

Now running through November 16.

ZOETROPE PART 1 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Courtesy: Caborca Theatre

Courtesy: Caborca Theatre

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play, written and directed by Javier Antonio Gonzalez, and presented as part of the Encuentro 2014 Festival, is set on a more or less bare stage, with two colorful grids painted on the floor. On the back wall and in the wings hang a multitude of costumes, and several table lamps are arranged on the floor around the periphery. At a table upstage, two actors sit, during most of the action. Read more…

Now running through November 8.