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Archive for February 2015 – Page 2

SONS OF THE PROPHET at the Blank Theatre


Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

In playwright Stephen Karam’s touching and funny drama, characters are frequently spotted quoting the great Lebanese poet-philosopher Khalil Gabran.  “All is well,” they say, often in the midst of the most odious adversity.  Of course, all is not well at all:  Indeed, all is rather, as the Yiddish expression goes, full of tsuris.  Or, as Samuel Becket might note, “I can’t go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on!”  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Shakespeare’s adage from Hamlet, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,” seems to course through Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play, Sons of the Prophet. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The inevitable pain of human existence receives an exhilarating shake-up in “Sons of the Prophet,” the Blank Theatre’s latest L.A. premiere and a fairly triumphant one.

Stephen Karam’s acclaimed 2011 comedy-drama about two gay Lebanese American brothers in Pennsylvania dealing with spiritual, economic and medical challenges in the wake of their father’s death was a Pulitzer finalist, and it’s easy to see why. Read more…

Now running through March 15. 


ENTER LAUGHING at the Wallis Annenberg Center


Margaret Gray – LA Times

Enter Laughing,” Carl Reiner’s semi-autobiographical 1958 novel, has had nearly as varied a career as its author. Playwright Joseph Stein (“Fiddler on the Roof”) turned it into a Broadway play (1963), a film (1967), a Broadway musical that famously flopped (1976) and then, with director Stuart Ross, a successful off-Broadway musical (2008), which is now at the Wallis Annenberg Center in its West Coast premiere. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

This time, one might not enter the Wallis with high hopes, let alone laughingly. Young audiences probably know nothing of Carl Reiner, the comedic talent on whose “semi-autobiographical” novel of the same name this musical is based. Older audience members might wonder whether they’ll still find his humor engaging. Read more…


Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In today’s world of “Fifty Shades of Blech,” where young ladies of intelligence and means agree to be subjected to dominating brutes who whack them with neck ties and do terrible things with handcuffs and strings of beads, what a pleasure it is to be reminded of more civilized times, when courtship was about wooing and not about beating. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA 

When this adaptation of the much-loved Jane Austen novel, by Australian writer Helen Jerome, was produced on Broadway in 1936, pictures suggest, the sets and costumes were lavish, opulent and expensive. A relatively small company like Actors Co-op had to take a more modest approach. Its efforts with the settings are generally successful. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

PULP SHAKESPEARE, Combined Art Forum at Theatre Asylum

Photo  by Bren Coombs

Photo by Bren Coombs

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

What happens when you construct a mashup of Shakespeare with a Quentin Tarantino movie? The result is a convoluted plot, with pseudo-Elizabethan dialogue, and masses of violence, throat-cuttings, and general death and destruction, delivered via blunderbus, sword, dagger, or in one case by an overdose of cocaine. Read more…

Now running through March 8.


VOICE LESSONS at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

We’ve all known folks with outsized perspectives on their own talent or worth.  Justin Tanner’s funny hour-long play turns on an encounter between Ginny (Laurie Metcalf), a screechy community theater performer with diva aspirations, and Nate (French Stewart), a reserved but financially pressed vocal coach who reluctantly agrees to give her lessons. Read more…

Now running through February 22.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Gigi Bermingham is well-known in Los Angeles for her performances, comedic and dramatic. Recently, these have included leading roles in Terrence McNally’s Master Class at International City Theatre and Non-Vital Organs at Skylight Theatre. She also directs, lately for Antaeus Theatre Company (You Can’t Take It With You) and Sierra Madre Playhouse (An Ideal Husband). Read more…


CHAVEZ RAVINE at the Kirk Douglas Theatre


Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In 2003, the Latin-American troupe Culture Clash presented Chavez Ravine, a mixture of history, comedy, and outrage, at the Mark Taper Forum. Now the group has, in its own words, “remixed, relived, reloaded” its sociopolitical piece, this time at the more intimate Kirk Douglas Theatre. Read more…


DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOOD-BYE at the Ahmanson Theatre


Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

…With diamond studs in her horned-rimmed glasses, the purple-wigged, megalomaniac alter ego of 80-year-old Australian Barry Humphries spends much of the evening goading her Ahmanson Theatre audience. Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Dame Edna! The mere title and name connote rapier wit, lightly off-color insults, and self-obsession, in the ultimate unabashed satire of celebrities’ narcissism, not to mention their closet contempt for the paying customers. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL at Boston Court Performing Arts Center


Photo by Ed Krieger

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The world-premiere play “The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll,” at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, was inspired by a historical mystery: Three entries from June 1863 were cut out of the diaries of Charles Dodgson, the Oxford math professor who wrote “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” under his pen name, Lewis Carroll. Read more…

Now running through March 1.

THE PITCHFORK DISNEY at the Lyric-Hyperion Theatre and Cafe

Photo by Nardeep Khurmi

Photo by Nardeep Khurmi

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Philip Ridley, whether as playwright (The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Mercury Fur, Tender Napalm) or filmmaker (The Mysterious Skin, Heartless), remains ever distinctively individual, and this revival of his first play, 1991’s The Pitchfork Disney, produced locally in 2006 by Company of Angels (and subsequently in 2011 at Next Stage), affords a revealing opportunity to see how his work holds up long after its initial shocks ought to have worn off. Read more…

Now running through March 6.

BOYS’ LIFE at Theatre Asylum

Photo by Ionna Meli

Photo by Ionna Meli

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

If its Pulitzer Prize nomination is any indication, Howard Korder’s Boys’ Life must have caught something in the zeitgeist when it debuted on Broadway in 1988. Read more…

Now running through March 7.


TRISTAN AND YSEULT at South Coast Repertory


Following their astonishing­ Brief Encounter and The Wild Bride, the beguiling players from Kneehigh return to St. Ann’s Warehouse with this glorious adaptation of Tristan & Yseult. Based on an epic ancient tale from Cornwall, Tristan & Yseult revels i

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

One element that’s always appealed to me in the Tristan and Yseult story [this  version, anyway] has to do with how King Mark – a betrayed ruler and cuckolded husband -  declines to violently avenge himself on the erring lovers.  Although the opportunity is there, he forbears from plunging a dagger into their sleeping bodies……Read more…

Now running through February 22.