Layout Image

Archive for June 2017

THANKSGIVING at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Holiday gatherings frequently serve as framework for plays about dysfunctional families, and Thanksgiving, written by Tiffany Cascio and directed by Kitty Lindsay, is one of them. Although not nearly as clever as it tries to be, it features several choice roles for women, a few good laugh lines and, in the case of this Hollywood Fringe premiere production, one outstanding performance.Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Everyone has probably had that family get together—a wedding, a funeral—or more likely a holiday dinner that they wish they could avoid. The saying goes we can choose our friends but we are stuck with the family we are given.Read more…

Now running through June 23

THE CONDUCT OF LIFE at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles.

(Photo by Brandon Le)

(Photo by Brandon Le)

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In days gone by, people made names for themselves by doing something useful for society. María Irene Fornés wrote plays that broke old rules, broke barriers and taught something, whether to other playwrights or to audiences.Read more…

Now running through June 25

THE PRIDE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride juxtaposes homosexuality in both the repressed world of 1958 London and the more liberated 2008. Whether people are trapped by society’s morality or by their own self-sabotaging instincts, love proves to be a true test of wills. Though the script can be didactic and overlong, the new production at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts features a top-notch cast who bring humanity to the characters.Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

News of the Los Angeles premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride generated hopeful expectations of high quality, since the play won an Olivier Award and critical acclaim for its 2008 London premiere.   Read more…

Now running through July 9

CONSTELLATIONS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Constellations, the character piece by Nick Payne that is now playing in a new production at the Geffen Playhouse, requires a talented cast to succeed. The expansive themes of love in an ever-expanding cosmos, the jarring sequencing of the moments, and their repetition could turn audiences off quickly.    Read more…

Now running through July 23

NICKY – Coeurage Theatre Company at Greenway Court Theatre

(Photo by John Klepping)

(Photo by John Klepping)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Boni B. Alvarez cunningly adapts Anton Chekhov’s 19th century drama “Ivanov,” shifting the setting from the Russian provinces to California’s own land of internal exile  (that is, if you’re a gay man of a certain age), Palm Springs.   Read more…

Now running through July 1

S/HE & ME at the Renberg Theatre at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza

(Photo by Alex Iseri)

(Photo by Alex Iseri)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

A few minutes into her autobiographical show, acclaimed transgender artist Alexandra Billings plops down on a stool center stage, and in an easy conversational tone tells her audience fifteen things about herself. Among these are that she has AIDS, is a recovering heroin addict, was a prostitute for six years, and that she used to hang out with a 72-year-old U.S. Senator who enjoyed dressing up in drag. Read more…

Now running through ]une 11

ARCHIPELAGO at Son of Semele

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Archipelago, Caridad Svinch spins a love story about a man and a woman from two different cultures, and sets it against a backdrop of war and apocalyptic upheaval. Director Barbara Kallir oversees an attractive and imaginative staging, but the vagueness of the play’s dramatic events and the absence of detail in the characters’ accounts of themselves make for an enervating narrative. Read more…

Now running through June 18

MAN OF LA MANCHA at La Mirada Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Director Glenn Casale helms a masterful production of one of Broadway’s greatest musicals. Man of La Mancha is a triumph of visuals and vocal talents. Sharing the stage with a gifted ensemble, Davis Gaines astonishes as the mad but pure Don Quixote.

Read more…

≈ [ALMOST EQUAL TO] at City Garage Theatre

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In addition to challenging the Stage Raw copy editing department with a title that uses one of those squiggly math signals, playwright Jonas Hassen Khemeri’s powerful drama embraces such a multitude of themes that it’s hard to adequately sum them up. One thing’s for sure, though: Donald Trump would hate the work’s incredibly scathing invective against capitalism.Read more…

Now running through July 2

DOGFIGHT at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

DOGFIGHT - 6

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The composing team of Benji Pasek and Justin Paul are very hot right now having just won an Academy Award for their song in the film La La Land. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This new musical, with book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by the team that produced La La Land, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, is based on the movie Dogfight, from a script by Bob Comfort. Superficially, it resembles the 1944 musical On the Town…. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

These days, it seems like nearly every musical was adapted from a movie. Some of my favorite stage musicals began their lives as films—OnceLegally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie come to mind. Sometimes, however, you can’t help but wonder—why that movie? Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Dogfight the musical (music and lyrics by La La Land creators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, book by Peter Duchan) is one of those period pieces that make the good old days appear not so good after all — kind of like the musical itself. Read more…

Now running through June 25

THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Before Hamilton came along, there was another modern musical that took the world by storm, achieving rare crossover appeal with both theater and mainstream audiences and earning a place in the pop culture zeitgeist.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Joseph Smith. Angel Moroni. Nephites. Lamanites. Brigham Young. Golden Plates. You don’t have to know anything about any of the above arcane items in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, to enjoy the outrageous musical The Book of Mormon which is in its third visit to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The Book of Mormon is a phenomenon. It was geared to offend everyone and yet is so inoffensive that there have been no boycotts or controversy.    Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s vulgar, it’s blasphemous, it’s relentless. But it’s so skillfully, purposefully and humorously crafted, one might be hard-pressed to argue against it.   Read more…

 

 Now running through July 9

 

I CARRY YOUR HEART at the Bootleg Theatre

Photo by Mae Koo

Photo by Mae Koo

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The title of Georgette Kelly’s play is both literal and figurative. On the literal level, it’s about a heart transplant and its emotional ramifications for the families of both the recipient and the donor. On the philosophical level, it has multiple implications: It refers to a mother’s feelings for her daughter, and to the feelings of a heart recipient for the woman who donated her heart. Read more…

Now running through June 10