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Archive for December 2017

PACIFIC OVERTURES – Chromolume Theatre at the Attic

Photo by Ederson Vasquez

Photo by Ederson Vasquez

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Premiering in 1976, this unique and unusual musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, and additional material by Hugh Wheeler, has no love story and no romantic ballads. Instead, it provides a lively impressionistic history of the Westernization of Japan, from 1853, when Commodore Perry opened up the isolated nation to world trade, to the present.       Read more…

Now running through December 17

MAGIC FRUIT – Cornerstone Theater Company at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Magic Fruit is the latest (and last) offering in the Cornerstone Theater Company’s Hunger Cycle of nine plays exploring “hunger, justice and food equity issues.” It opens with sisters Tami (Cristina Frias) and Kiko (Rachael Portillo), frantic and bedraggled, stumbling through a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in search of refuge from a shadowy serpentine monster — hunger itself.
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Now running through December 10

THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry for the Wallis

Kevin Parry for the Wallis

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Marketed as family fare, The Heart of Robin Hood, David Farr’s feminist twist on the classic legend, is perhaps more suitable for kids than for grown-ups. Co-directed by Icelandic artists Gisli Örn Gardarsson and Selma Björnsdóttir, it’s a pleasant two-hour interlude that serves up an attractive spectacle…
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Wallis in Beverly Hills has a tradition of bringing International Theatre companies to local audiences. Currently they are presenting Vesturport’s The Heart of Robin Hood direct from Iceland. There is no ice on stage but there is a lot of green in Borkur Jonsson’s scenic design…
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Deep in “The Heart of Robin Hood,” a production by the Icelandic company Vesturport, Maid Marion confesses to her sidekick/BFF Pierre that she has fallen in love with the outlaw Robin Hood.

“But he’s brutish and emotionally unavailable,” Pierre replies.
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Now running through December 17

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

A Christmas Carol is perfect fare for the holidays. It captures the importance of giving, sharing with loved ones, and reevaluating past choices. A Noise Within‘s co-producing artistic director Geoff Elliott has created his own adaptation, which has been performed at the theater for the last six years.
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PANG! at 24th STreet Theatre

Photo by John Pemble

Photo by John Pemble

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

A couple of years ago, looking to do a piece on socioeconomic disparity, Dan Froot & Company conducted a series of interviews with families suffering from food insecurity. From these interviews — in Los Angeles, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Miami — came three short pieces, designed as radio plays but meant to be produced as a theatre event with live performances, sound effects and music.
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Deborah Klugman – Tolucan Times

A beautifully designed radio play staged before a live audience, Pang! relays the stories of three American families who struggle each day with stresses brought on by poverty and want.
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SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Just in time for the holidays, the rambunctious, crowd-pleasing national tour of Something Rotten! has opened at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre. This original musical, which ran for nearly two years on Broadway and was nominated for 9 Tony Awards, is a rare show that is equally enjoyable for theatre aficionados and more casual patrons alike.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

There is nothing rotten to be found in Something Rotten!, a joyously over-the-top musical at the Ahmanson Theatre that spoofs and celebrates anything and everything about musical theatre. How can you not love a musical that celebrates The Black Death in song?
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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I’m of two minds about this upbeat musical (the bus and truck production of the 2014 Broadway hit) which is about theater during Shakespeare’s time. Credited to Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, it’s cheerful, peppy, energetic, and at times quite cute.
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Now running through December 31

THE LATINA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL at L.A.T.C.

Photo by Xavi Moreno

Photo by Xavi Moreno

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Both a gentle parody of the celebrity Christmas specials that ran on network television in the ’60s and ’70s, and a poignant memory play, is a goofy, spirited, lark running at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
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Now running through December

 

deLEARious at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It takes guts, or gleeful insanity, to tackle the three pillars of civilization: the Judeo-Christian Bible, Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and audition songs.

Whatever the motivation, Phil Swann and Ron West do exactly that in “deLEARious,” Open Fist Theatre Company’s revival of its 2008 production, playing through Dec. 16 in Atwater Village.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I must admit I was getting a bit delirious watching deLEARious, “a madcap musical” (their words not mine), at Open Fist Theatre Company because I thought it would never end. This interminable attempt to outdo Mel Brooks and Spamalot fell on its own sword, repeatedly.
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Now running through December 16