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Archive for March 2019

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Believe it or not, the characters in the musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory do not actually enter the titular chocolate factory until the very end of act one. That’s right, over an hour in to this perplexing adaptation there is nary an Oompa Loompa in sight.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Over the years, not all casts of national tours that come through Southern California are stellar. “Why aren’t we seeing better performers?” we may have been muttering to ourselves. We’re not saying that during this national tour of “Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’”……..
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

British author Roald Dahl’s children’s books (Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others) are known for their unsentimental, macabre and often darkly comic moods.
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Now running through April 14

THE MOTHER OF HENRY at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Andrew Vasquez

Andrew Vasquez

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Evelina Fernández’s world premiere play, The Mother of Henry, is set within Los Angeles’ Eastside barrio, Boyle Heights, in 1968. It was a watershed year. Although change was in the wind — the anti-war protests, civil rights marches, the farmworkers’ strikes — the murders of MLK and Bobby Kennedy, just two months apart, were deeply and painfully disheartening for many Americans. Dark forces, it seemed, were ascendant.

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

La Virgen de Guadalupe — an apparition of the Virgin Mary — is an icon of the Catholic faith, the patron saint of Mexico and a symbol of Mexican independence venerated throughout the Americas, although not principally for her comic timing.
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Now running through April 20

 

THE ELEPHANT MAN at El Portal Theatre

David Ruano

David Ruano

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

In the lobby of the theater in a plastic case, there is a life-size reproduction of the skeleton of Joseph Merrick, or “John” as he is referenced in the script for The Elephant Man. The night this reviewer attended, there was a small crowd gathered around it, staring in wonder and disbelief, and many expressions of sympathy arose about the hideous deformities this human being was forced to live with during his brief life.
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Now running through April 14

 

FIFTY WORDS at the Lounge Theatre

Zadran Wali

Zadran Wali

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Playwright Michael Weller’s messy marital drama transpires over the course of one night, during which time a married couple unleash all the frustration, disappointment and unrequited passion they’ve kept bottled inside for 18 long years.
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Now running through April 7

INCOGNITO at Son of Semele Ensemble

Son of Semele

Son of Semele

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

When Albert Einstein died of a brain aneurysm at Princeton Hospital in 1955, the pathologist who performed the autopsy ended up stealing Einstein’s brain.      Read more…

Now running through April 7

 

BLACK SUPER HERO MAGIC MAMA at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more painful life event than the death of a child — especially when that child is shot by police and the perpetrator goes free. That almost unbearable grief that a mother must feel is creatively addressed in Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Inda Craig-Galván’s latest play….
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Now running through April 14

HAMLET at the New American Theatre

 

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Shakespeare’s best plays are a rich source of complex, conflicted characters and readily lend themselves to creative, critical exploration or inspired adaptations. Of course, there are always risks when treading the path of the unconventional, but there are also creative successes. Director Matthew Leavitt’s updated take on the Bard’s famous tragedy, though far from perfect, offers some enjoyable quirks and surprises.
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Now running through March 31

THE WOLVES – ECHO THEATER COMPANY at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“We are the Wolves. We are the Wolves,” a group of teenage girls chants, each repetition of the phrase growing in both volume and urgency. The Wolves are a high school indoor soccer team, and the subject of Sarah DeLappe’s play of the same name currently in its west coast premiere at the Echo Theater Company.     Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It’s both remarkable and unnerving when a writer, director, and cast work in tandem so effectively that you leave the theater feeling like you know the characters personally. It’s a rare magic, currently happening in Atwater Village, where Echo Theater Company is staging Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.       Read more…

Now running through April 22

LACKAWANNA BLUES at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Lackawanna Blues, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s autobiographical solo show, has been on quite a journey since it first premiered at the Public Theater in New York in 2001. After that first production, which won a special citation Obie Award, it played at multiple regional theaters across the United States before being adapted into an HBO movie in 2005.
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Now running through April 21

PHOTOGRAPH 51 AT South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Every once in a while we experience a flare-up of puzzlement about why so few women pursue careers in math and science — even now, despite progress in gender equality.
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Now running through March 24

THE GLASS MENAGERIE at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

If you had a perfectly happy childhood with ideal parents, good for you. Tennessee Williams did not, and this led to some of literature’s most-affecting, most-enduring plays.

Many in his audiences didn’t, either, and that’s why we keep coming back to his classics, particularly “The Glass Menagerie.” Indeed, its title refers to a collection of tiny toy animals on display but perhaps also to the glassiest of menageries: our families.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

One of the seminal works of American theatrical literature is Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” the play which vaulted him to fame. It was in my high school English textbook, in the equivalent for that preliminary English course everyone has to take in college, and one of the great plays studied in my theater lit course.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

When a group of theatre critics discuss the greatest American playwrights, three names are usually mentioned the most—Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.
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Now running through April 26

 

PURE NATIVE at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry Museum of the American West

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatrically, Los Angeles is blessed in many ways, and one of them is the presence of Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works from Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights. Their shows are often specific and insightful in a way no other theatre company can be — yet at the same time the themes in their work have a universal resonance.
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Now running through March 24