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Archive for December 2016

I’M JUST WILD ABOUT HARRY at Theatre Unleashed

Photo by Divimage

Photo by Divimage

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This latest bit of froth from Theatre Unleashed is a musical adaptation of Brandon Thomas’s 1892 comedy, Charley’s Aunt. While we all need distraction these days, in this case the plot and its prime comic hook are simply too out-of-date to be interesting. Read more…

Now running through January 15

AMELIE at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Those who dared to take a charming little French film and turn it into a Broadway-bound musical had to know they’d be facing brickbats along with the plaudits. Or, as the French say, criticism is easy but art is difficult. Read more…

Erin Conley – Onstage

It is always a treat when those of us in Los Angeles get a sneak peek of a Broadway-bound new musical, and Amelie is no exception. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Amelie, A New Musical is currently at the Ahmanson Theatre after premiering at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2015 and before opening on Broadway in early April, 2017. Read more…

Now running through January 15

THE KING AND I at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Matthhew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

The production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King & I that won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival, in 2015 has made its way to Los Angeles just in time for the holidays.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The King and I was the fifth collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II, following their classics Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and their flop Allegro.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The national tour of director Bartlett Sher’s revival of The King and I, now making a stop at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, is scrumptiously produced, a visual feast worthy of the exotic musical. Read more…

F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times

Twentieth-century French literary maven François Mauriac once observed, “If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Anna and the King of Siam first emerged in popular culture in 1944 as a novel by Margaret Langdon, which she based on the memoirs (now considered suspect) of Anna Harriette Leonowens, a British widow who taught English in the court of the King of Siam between 1862 and 1867. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In mid-Victorian days, a Siamese king and an English activist-educator came together in a clash of cultures. That pairing inspired memoirs, then a novel, then films and stage musicals. Read more…

Now running through January 21

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE RADIO PLAY at the Belfry Stage

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

When I was a kid, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life was shown on TV every holiday season, along with Miracle on 34th Street, another heart-warmer that celebrated the essential goodness of human beings, or a few of them at least. Read more…

Now running through December 18

HOOKED at City Garage Theatre

(Photo courtesy City Garage Theatre)

(Photo courtesy City Garage Theatre)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

A sad Russian clown. His wife, who can’t laugh. An interloper with a mysterious past. A hook that appears in the bathroom one day. Read more…

Now running through December 18

 

THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Loft Ensemble Theatre

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Photo by Shane Tometich

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Writers and directors are famously at odds, and there is perhaps no more celebrated example than the clash between Anton Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski over The Cherry Orchard…… Read more…

Now running through January 15

SANTASIA at the Whitefire Theatre

Photo by Michael Duisenberg

Photo by Michael Duisenberg

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

The creators of Santasia, Shaun and Brandon Loeser, have been serving up their particular brand of zany, snarky holiday cheer for 16 years —this year makes 17 — but time hasn’t mellowed them and they haven’t lost their edge. Read more…

Now running through December 25

LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE at the Falcon Theatre

(Photo - Sherry Greczmiel)

(Photo – Sherry Greczmiel)

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

A Troubadour Theatre Company holiday show has become a beloved local tradition, often selling out shortly after the dates are announced. There’s good reason for this: Troubie shows are reliably hilarious and fun, combining the classic music of a particular artist with the interpretation of a well-known story. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Classical music composer Katherine Kennicott Davis wrote the song “The Little Drummer Boy” AKA “Carol of the Drum,” based on a traditional Czech carol, in 1941.    Read more…

Now running through January 15

THE TEMPEST at Zombie Joe’s Underground

Photo by Jana Wimer

Photo by Jana Wimer

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

One thing about the folks at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater is that they never seem to run out of bold inventive ways to reinvent the classics. They’ve mined the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe with considerable success in the past, and now, once again, provide their take on one of the pillars of the Shakespeare canon. Read more…

Now running through December 18

A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Philicia Endelman

Photo by Philicia Endelman

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

A Cinderella Christmas, the latest pantomime show at the Pasadena Playhouse, has an age limit. The children at the theater delighted in the sophomoric jokes, sing-alongs, and fourth-wall-breaking conversations with the audience. Read more…

Now running through January 8

‘MERRILY’ IS A MASTERPIECE, MELTED ‘ICEBERGS’ by Don Shirley

Photo: Kevin Parry for The Wallis

Photo: Kevin Parry for The Wallis  

Don Shirley – LA Observed

Two major productions in LA right now more or less begin with scenes set in LA – which is so unusual on our larger stages that I’m happy to salute any effort to examine our own community, no matter how tentative.

Read more…

THE WHOLEHEARTED at the Kirk Douglas theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Wholehearted is an intense, ambitious work in need of finessing.

Performed by Suli Holum, it’s inspired by the real life account of world champion female boxer Christy Martin, an abused spouse who survived a murder attempt by her husband but never made a comeback after he shot and stabbed her and left her for dead. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In Deborah Stein’s play “The Wholehearted,” world-premiering at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, a female prizefighter named Dee Crosby finds herself at a crossroads in life. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

Considering the gravity of the themes raised by this production—abuse, violence, homophobia, lifelong heartache—the audience should feel deeply immersed in the world of this woman boxer, feeling every literal and metaphoric punch that touched her. Instead, focus lands on the techniques the storytelling uses and not on the heart of The Wholehearted.

Now running through December 11