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Archive for April 2015

LOOPHOLES: A PAIN IN THE I.R.S. at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Stan Rich and Ronnie Jayne’s flippant tour de force about taxation with musical representation is a charming affair, though hardly enough to shake off our rage relating to any recent adventures with the I.R.S.

Rich and Jayne’s sweet musical slides by a fair way on upbeat silliness, while the straightforward structure and browbeating sensibility hardly make for sophisticated entertainment.  To its credit, the work is Duty Free, meaning your only duty is to snicker at the cheesy jokes and facile lyrics. Read more…

Now running through May 17.

BETRAYAL at Noho Arts Center

Photo by Esteban Pulido

Photo by Esteban Pulido

 

Harold Pinter’s Betrayal may revolve around an adulterous triangle, but the tone and language of the play are as restrained, as understated and as famously precise as anything else in his poetically taut compendium of work. Read more…

Now running through May 17.

BOY GETS GIRL at Theatre Unleashed

Photo courtesy Theatre Unleashed

Photo courtesy Theatre Unleashed

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Rebecca Gilman’s 2000 play about stalking, Boy Gets Girl, unfortunately hasn’t become any less relevant 15 years after its initial production. Her observations that male dominance and female submission is culturally reinforced, and that most “romantic” movies are essentially stalker how-to guides, still hold true, which gives the play an undeniable chill. Theatre Unleashed’s effective revival thrives from a terrific ensemble. Read more…

Now running through May 9.

 

AFTER THE REVOLUTION at Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy Chance Theatre

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

The prophet Ezekiel, preaching to the Babylonian exiles, decried the maxim that “the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth turn out,” insisting that each generation was responsible for its own sins. While as moralists we might agree, if we eschewed the concept, where would the modern theater be? Read more…

Now running through May 10.

 

ENTROPY at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

Ground Control to Major Tom: David Bowie, Richard Nixon, the Cold War, the women’s liberation movement, early Steven Spielberg movies and a staff-impaired NASA space program from 1973 all combine into a Mel Brooks aesthetic in Bill Robens’ world-premiere farce Entropy, which just opened at Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE. Read more…

Now running through May 30.

 

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD at the Lillian Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

A recurring pulse of pure exhilaration with purpose spins through “Recorded in Hollywood” at the Lillian Theatre.

  Read more…

Now running through May 17.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

 

Photo by Michael Lamont
Photo by Michael Lamont

Melinda Schupmann – Showmag.com

Garnering numerous awards at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2011, it has been re-worked as a full-scale production and is McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s first world-premiere musical. Fresh and imaginative, it takes the finest features of Jane Austen’s classic novel and musically highlights the love stories of its principal characters. Read more…

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a story in possession of a built-in fanbase must be in want of a musical adaptation. But even to Jane Austen fans, the notion of reworking Pride and Prejudice with a score may seem ill-advised, if inevitable. After definitive film renderings, modernist updates, and Austen-flavored concoctions, must we suffer the indignity of Darcy, master of Pemberley, singing and capering about? Read more…

Now running through May 10.

CORKTOWN 57 at the Odyssey Theatre

pHOTO BY eD kRIEGER

Photo by Ed Krieger

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Corktown 57 unfolds entirely in the Irish-quarter grocery-shop basement of Frank Keating (John Ruby), who’s having difficulties with his wife (Natalie Britton, in a nicely textured performance). Read more...

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Family dynamics and political ire mix it up in “Corktown ‘57” at the Odyssey Theatre. Playwright John Fazakerley’s account of a volatile clan in Philadelphia’s Irish quarter owes more than a little to Eugene O’Neill and Sean O’Casey, but it has plenty of emotional and ideological fodder of its own. Read more…

Now running through May 3.

THE GLASS MENAGERIE at the Renegade Theatre

Photo by Theodora Greece

Photo by Theodora Greece

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The published text of Tennessee Williams’ play is rife with stage directions insisting that it’s not a realistic play, but its production history suggests that Williams didn’t trust his own creation. When it’s performed with honesty and simplicity, as it is here, debates about realism vs. memory seem merely academic. Read more…

Now running through May 17.

 

MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The things that are good about Rajiv Joseph’s new play Mr. Wolf outweigh the things that are misguided, enough that one hopes the author will use this world premiere to tighten the play’s focus and deepen its impact. The current production at South Coast Repertory benefits from an excellent cast and a veteran director in David Emmes, but other elements of the show, such as the set design, are somewhat lacking. Read more…

Now running through May 3.

NEVER GIVING UP

Photo by Maury Phillips / Getty Images for The Broad Stage

Photo by Maury Phillips / Getty Images for The Broad Stage

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Anna Deavere Smith is an American treasure. She is a vivid storyteller who has mastered building monologues from interviews with those affected by her subject matter. She captures the cadence and moods of the real people she impersonates and finds the most penetrating details to flesh out. em>Read more…

Melinda Schupmann –  ShowMag

Anna Deveare Smith has an impressive resume. She is an artist-in-residence at the Center for American Progress, a professor in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, a lecturer at the NYU School of Law, and formerly taught at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, she is a talented actress performing in television, film, and theater. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Since 1992, writer-performer Anna Deavere Smith has performed several one-person shows, employing her perfected documentary theater style. She describes her new show as a “rhetoric of hope.” Read more…

I AND YOU at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

In Lauren Gunderson’s bittersweet drama, two high school students are thrown together to work on a school project about Walt Whitman’s poem Leaves of Grass. Gradually the pair forge an unusual friendship. Read more…

Now running through June 14.