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Archive for October 2018

QUACK at the Ahmanson Theatre

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when a popular television personality finds himself in the middle of a scandal? This topical question is at the center of Quack, a world premiere play by Eliza Clark currently playing at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

When Neel Keller directs a play, the audience is sure to see two elements. One is memorable scenic design, with settings and scene changes we could only have imagined. The other element is atypical characters with something of import to say. In the case of “Quack,” they have a bit too much to say, and that puts a damper on an otherwise intelligent script.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania 

Male entitlement sits at the forefront of Quack, the salty new satire by Eliza Clark now playing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. At the crux of the comedy is an institutionalized resistance to growth as a society.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Eliza Clark’s new play, directed by Neel Keller at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, disappoints at the top but broadens and deepens as the story develops. It’s about a celebrity doctor with a long-running TV show whose career begins to fracture after his careless comments lead to the death of two children.
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Now running through November 18

CAL IN CAMO at VS Theatre

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It could be said that Sam Shepard perfected the strain of poetic realism that runs in American playwriting, particularly in works such as True West and Buried Child. Symbols abound, from characters representing civilization and wilderness to bushels of corn growing from a dead field.
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Now running through November 9

 

THE WOMAN IN BLACK at the Pasadena Playhouse

Roger Mastroianni

Roger Mastroianni

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

An evening of chills, giggles, and parlor tricks are on offer in Stephen Mallatratt’s The Woman in Black, which serves up the perfect treat for the Halloween season.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

One of the things theatre does extremely well is create something out of nothing. That’s pretty much the key to Stephen Mallatratt‘s adaptation of Susan Hill‘s gothic ghost story THE WOMAN IN BLACK, which ushers in the Halloween season at Pasadena Playhouse.
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Now running through November 11

ROPE at Actors Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Rope, Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 suspense thriller at Actors Co-op, commences with an electrifying moment — the sort of cleverly crafted theatrics one might expect from director Ken Sawyer. In a pitch-black theater, the soft strains of a popular love ballad (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) can be heard.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Leopold and Loeb killed Robert Franks in 1924 in what at the time was labeled “the crime of the century”. They committed the crime as a demonstration of their perceived intellectual superiority, citing the philosopher Nietzsche’s concept of Ubermenschen or supermen.
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Now running through October 28

 

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Frances Baum Nicholson – Stage Struck Review

There is a certain fascination in the fact that two theaters in Pasadena are featuring plays based on looking sideways at a Shakespearean works. At Boston Court, a new play looks at “The Merchant of Venice” from the Jewish perspective. At A Noise Within it’s the now-classic “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” in which two seemingly superfluous characters in “Hamlet” become the center of a debate about existence.
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Now running through November 18

DEAR EVAN HANSEN at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Frances Baum Nicholson – Stage Struck Review

When news the Tony-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” was headed for L.A. on its first national tour, a dash for tickets seeming mildly reminiscent of the “Hamilton” frenzy began.
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Erin Conley -  On Stage and Screen

There have been plenty of musicals about complicated, grieving families over the years, but until now, there has not been one tailor-made for the social media era. Enter Dear Evan Hansen, the 2017 Tony winner for Best Musical that opened last night at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

If you have seen the musical Dear Evan Hansen and are a fan, you might not want to read any further because I will be challenging most things that you hold dear about the show.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

First things first: if you didn’t get the chance to see Dear Evan Hansen in New York, don’t worry. The first national tour of the show, currently playing at the Ahmanson, is nearly identical to the New York incarnation.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Young Evan Hansen has broken his arm. Before the Tony winning musical Dear Evan Hansen ends, the titular character will also have broken many hearts in this poignant, topical drama about isolation in high school and how social media takes an already stressful situation and heightens it by exposing and recording all of life’s foibles small and large.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Evan Hansen struggles with social interaction, prefers to isolate himself and fears being judged by others. To varying degrees, so do we all, whether for a moment, a day or constantly.
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Now running through November 25

THE OTHER PLACE at Chance Theatre

Doug Catiller

Doug Catiller

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sharr White’s “The Other Place” captures a powerful actress in her prime. This critic-pleasing play’s first New York production, back in 2012, which eventually moved to Broadway, starred Laurie Metcalf. Its O.C. premiere, now playing at Chance Theater, has lured the mesmerizing Jacqueline Wright to Anaheim. Read more…

Now running through October 28

THE BENCH, A HOMELESS LOVE STORY at Hudson Guild Theatre

Aidan Grant

Aidan Grant

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This solo performance is written and performed by Robert Galinsky. In addition to being a writer and actor, Galinsky is a lifelong social activist, volunteering with numerous organizations, including teaching classes for incarcerated youth at New York City’s Rikers Island Detention Center.
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Now running through November 9

OPPENHEIMER – Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Although Rogue Machine is a small theatre company, it’s always punching above its weight class and generally achieving whatever artistic challenges it sets for itself. This year the group had a particularly difficult task — it had to find a new home, a misfortune that sometimes sinks otherwise stable organizations.
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Now running through December 30

 

WICKED LIT at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena

Daniel Kitayama

Daniel Kitayama

 Harker Jones – LA Weekly

Presenting its 10th season of screams and scares at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, Wicked Lit has become an Halloween-season tradition in Los Angeles. The immersive walking theater experience presented by Unbound Productions gives patrons a look at Mountain View’s stunning mortuary (designed by Cecil E. Bryan) and provides a perfect complement to the show’s supernatural subject matter.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World
For eight of the last ten years, Wicked Lit has created theatre among the dead – quite literally – at Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena.
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Now running through November 10

EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED at Boston Court Pasadena

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Boston Court Pasadena’s Co-Artistic Director Jessica Kubzansky loves Shakespeare. That I know. She has directed insightful productions of the Bard’s work at several venues, and in her “RII” at BC she  pared one play down to great effect, allowing more focus on essential and timeless themes in a comparatively obscure history play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sarah B. Mantell’s poignant play begins with a young couple capering playfully across the spare, unembellished set. Their first words are tentative; they’re the sort uttered, pretty much ubiquitously, between would-be lovers who do not know each other well. For a couple of minutes, you wonder if you’re in for a fancified rom-com about the rocky shoals coursed over by true love.
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Now running through November 4

A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY at A Noise Within

Caig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Of all of Oscar Wilde’s creations, the overall theme of “A Picture of Dorian Gray” has most become a part of the English language. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In his program notes for the current A Noise Within’s production of his adaptation of A Picture of Dorian Gray, director Michael Michetti states “Oscar Wilde was perhaps the nineteenth century’s most infamous homosexual”. Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

They say a picture paints a thousand words. In director Michael Michetti’s compelling stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, it does more than that. It captures a lifetime.
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Now running through November 15