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Author Archive for LADCC critics

STILL at Pasadena Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The historic Pasadena Playhouse is empty. No ticket holders gossiping and rubbing elbows in the Spanish Revival-style courtyard. No line at the bar.
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Closed

MARCH at The Garage at the LGBT Center

Kelly Stuart

Kelly Stuart

Dana Martin– Stage Raw

LA’s LGBT Center and Playwrights’ Area have gone (COVID compliantly) rogue by staging high stakes drama in the LGBT Center parking garage. (The audience watches the action from within their cars, sound broadcast through a pre-set FM radio station.) March, conceived and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera and written by MJ Brown, Amir Levi, Coretta Monk, Alex Budin, Chad Christopher, Matthew Clark, Brandon English, MARDOZA, Jon Lawrence Rivera, Roland Ruiz and Nick Salome, is high stakes melodrama with a lot of heart.
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Now running through November 15

 

 

INSIDE THE BOX at Geffen Playhouse

David Kwong

David Kwong

 Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The Geffen is hosting a game night and it’s a goofy, geeky, glorious distraction from the gloom and doom of 2020. Created and led by puzzle enthusiast David Kwong, this latest version of the Geffen Stayhouse series, Inside The Box, is a perfect way to connect with others in these isolating times.

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, it has become increasingly clear that theater as we know it will not be returning for some time. On the heels of last week’s heartbreaking yet expected announcement that Broadway will remain shuttered through at least May 2021, the pressure is on for artists and theaters to innovate and adapt.

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Now running through January 3

NATHAN C. JONES: A LOVE STORY? – an online performance from The Blank Theatre

pics

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

“May you live in interesting times,” has taken on new meaning in 2020 amid the current world health crisis. No one could have imagined a scenario like this where theater doors would be forced to close indefinitely. And yet, they have. But you can’t dampen the heart of an artist for they will always find a way to create. That resilience is what should inspire us all as we continue to look to the future.

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‘THE PRESENT’…AND THE FUZZY FUTURE OF L.A. THEATER from LA Observed

don

Don Shirley – LA Observed

“There is no theater in Los Angeles.”

This line, or some variation of it, has been around for decades — sometimes spoken by real people, sometimes ascribed to fictional characters. It’s normally a snarky wisecrack, completely unrelated to the truth.

Right now, however, this line is much more accurate than usual. Like theaters in most of the rest of the world, L.A. stages — in the sense of physical spaces where actors and audiences gather — are dormant.

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LADCC Announces Recipients of its 2019 Awards

LADCC LogoThe Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced the recipients of its 51st annual awards for distinguished achievement in theatre today, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

There were two recipients of the 2019 Production award: Witch (Geffen Playhouse) and Indecent (Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company). Awards in 17 other categories celebrated a wide range of Los Angeles theatre, with 18 different productions taking home honors. Geffen Playhouse’s Witch took home the most awards for a single production, with seven. Geffen Playhouse also received the most awards, with three of its productions winning a combined 10 trophies.

Center Theatre Group received a combined nine awards with three of its productions, including Deirdre O’Connell for Solo Performance in Dana H., Bill Sims Jr. for Musical Score for August Wilson’s Jitney and the aforementioned Indecent for Production, Ensemble, Writing and Direction.

The complete list of award recipients is as follows:

PRODUCTION

  • Indecent, produced by Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company
  • Witch, produced by Geffen Playhouse

MCCULLOH REVIVAL

  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle, produced by Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Two Trains Running, produced by Sophina Brown

LEAD PERFORMANCE

  • Grant Chang, The Great Leap, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Steve Hofvendahl, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Evan Jonigkeit, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Michael Manuel, Frankenstein, A Noise Within
  • Rob Nagle, The Judas Kiss, Boston Court Pasadena
  • Maura Tierney, Witch, Geffen Playhouse

FEATURED PERFORMANCE

  • Nija Okoro, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Adolphus Ward, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre

ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE

  • Indecent, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre
  • The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Witch, Geffen Playhouse

SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H., Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre

WRITING

  • Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Jen Silverman, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Paula Vogel, Indecent, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre

WRITING ADAPTATION

  • Lucas Hnath, Dana H., Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre

MUSICAL SCORE

  • Mark Heard, Pat Terry, Randy VanWarmer, Tim Alderson, Salvage, Lounge Theatre
  • Bill Sims Jr, August Wilson’s Jitney, Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum

MUSIC DIRECTION

  • Anthony Lucca, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
  • Stephan Terry, Salvage, Lounge Theatre

CHOREOGRAPHY

  • Edgar Godineaux and Jared Grimes, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse

DIRECTION

  • Marti Lyons, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Stephanie Shroyer, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Rebecca Taichman, Indecent, Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre

SET DESIGN

  • John Lee Beatty, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse

LIGHTING DESIGN

  • Peter Kaczorowski, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
  • Jared A. Sayeg, Ragtime, Pasadena Playhouse

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Jenny Foldenauer, Argonautika, A Noise Within
  • Danae Iris McQueen, Witch, Geffen Playhouse

SOUND DESIGN

  • Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H., Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre

CGI/PROJECTION

  • Yee Eun Nam, The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
  • Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre

SPECIALTY

  • Steve Cuiffo, Illusions and Lip Sync, Dana H., Center Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre

The following special award winners were previously announced:

The GORDON DAVIDSON Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community: Ojai Playwrights Conference.

The MARGARET HARFORD Award for sustained excellence in theatre:
The Fountain Theatre.

The POLLY WARFIELD Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre: A Noise Within.

The JOEL HIRSCHHORN Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre: Celebration Theatre.

The TED SCHMITT Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play:
The Mother of Henry, written by Evelina Fernández, produced by the Latino Theater Company.

The MILTON KATSELAS Award for distinguished achievement in direction:
Michael Michetti.

The KINETIC LIGHTING Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design: Hana S. Kim, Projection and Set Designer.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles. The 2019 membership consisted of:

Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Katie Buenneke, Stage Raw, Theater Diges
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, ArtsInLA.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw
Harker Jones, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Jenny Lower Beckman, Stage Raw
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com
Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw
Melinda Schupmann, Showmag.com, ArtsInLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway.com

LOS ANGELES DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE Announces Nominations for Theatrical Excellence in 2019

LADCC LogoGreetings, members of the Los Angeles theatre community! The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is proud to announce the nominees for theatrical excellence for the year 2019. This year, for obvious reasons, we are forgoing our annual event ceremony and will instead post the award recipients online in the upcoming weeks. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

The recipients of our annual special awards are listed following the nominees. In addition, we dedicate this year’s awards to the memory of Orson Bean, whose recent tragic passing has affected us all.

We would like to take this opportunity to relay our best hopes that you are all well and staying safe.

In the meantime, the worthy nominees for 2019 are as follows:

Production:

  • Gem of the Ocean, A Noise Within
  • How We’re Different From Animals, ÉLAN Ensemble
  • Indecent, Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company
  • The Great Leap, East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse
  • The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
  • Witch, Geffen Playhouse

McCulloh Award for Revival

  • The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
  • The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Two Trains Running, Sophina Brown

Lead Performance

  • Grant Chang, The Great Leap, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Willow Geer, The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Rafael Goldstein, The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
  • Steve Hofvendahl, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Kate Huffman, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
  • Evan Jonigkeit, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Michael Manuel, Frankenstein, A Noise Within
  • Rob Nagle, The Judas Kiss, Boston Court Pasadena
  • George Salazar, Little Shop of Horrors, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Liza Seneca, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Maura Tierney, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Dianne Wiest, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Featured Performance

  • Eden Espinosa, Falsettos, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Tyrin Niles, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • Nija Okoro, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Arianna Ortiz, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
  • Adolphus Ward, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Denise Yolén, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Ensemble Performance

  • Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
  • Witch, Geffen Playhouse

Solo Performance

  • Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre

Writing

  • Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
  • Jen Silverman, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Paula Vogel, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Writing, Adaptation

  • Lucas Hnath, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Mary Zimmerman, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Musical Score

  • Mark Heard, Pat Terry, Randy VanWarmer, Tim Alderson, Salvage, Lounge Theatre
  • Bill Sims Jr, August Wilson’s Jitney, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Music Direction

  • Anthony Lucca, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
  • David O, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, South Coast Repertory
  • Stephan Terry, Salvage, Lounge Theatre

Choreography

  • Edgar Godineaux & Jared Grimes, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse
  • Janet Roston, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
  • Stephanie Shroyer, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Direction

  • Marti Lyons, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Stephanie Shroyer, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Jack Stehlin, Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
  • Rebecca Taichman, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Stevie Walker-Webb, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Set Design

  • John Lee Beatty, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
  • John Iacovelli, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
  • Izmir Ickbal, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum
  • Frederica Nascimento, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Lighting Design

  • Ken Booth, Argonautika, A Noise Within
  • Elizabeth Harper, Mysterious Circumstances, Geffen Playhouse
  • Peter Kaczorowski, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
  • Jared A. Sayeg, Ragtime, Pasadena Playhouse

Costume Design

  • Linda Cho, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre
  • Jenny Foldenauer, Argonautika, A Noise Within
  • Danae Iris McQueen, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
  • Katherine O’Neill, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse

Sound Design

  • Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Jeff Gardner, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
  • Jeff Gardner, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Robert Oriol, Argonautika, A Noise Within

CGI/Video

  • Jared Mezzocchi, Poor Yella Rednecks, South Coast Repertory
  • Yee Eun Nam, The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
  • Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre

Specialty

  • Steve Cuiffo , Illusions & Lip Sync, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Dillon Nelson, Puppet Design, Argonautika, A Noise Within

One or more awards will be named in each category. Seven special award honorees are also being named.

The LADCC special award recipients for 2019 are:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to The Fountain Theatre.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to A Noise Within.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to The Mother of Henry, written by Evelina Fernández, produced by the Latino Theater Company.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to projection and set designer Hana S. Kim.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to Celebration Theatre.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Michael Michetti.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to the Ojai Playwrights Conference.

Every effort has been made to ascertain proper credits for our nominees. We regret any errors or omissions. Any that come to our attention will be corrected here and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award certificate.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2019 membership consisted of:
Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Katie Buenneke, Stage Raw, Theater Digest
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, ArtsInLA.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw
Harker Jones, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Jenny Lower Beckman, Stage Raw
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com
Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw
Melinda Schupmann, Showmag.com, ArtsInLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway.com

Citations by production:
Witch (Geffen Playhouse): 7 Nominations
Argonautika (A Noise Within): 7 Nominations
The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Antaeus Theatre Company): 5 Nominations
Scraps (Matrix Theatre Company): 5 Nominations
Two Trains Running (Matrix Theatre): 5 Nominations
Indecent (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre): 4 Nominations
Dana H. (Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre): 4 Nominations
The Glass Menagerie (A Noise Within): 2 Nominations
Uncle Vanya (The New American Theatre): 2 Nominations
Happy Days (Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum): 2 Nominations
Salvage (Lounge Theatre): 2 Nominations
Bronco Billy – The Musical (Skylight Theatre): 2 Nominations
The Wolves (Echo Theater Company): 2 Nominations
The Mother of Henry (Latino Theater Company): 2 Nominations and the Schmitt Award
The Skin of Our Teeth (Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum): 2 Nominations
Key Largo (Geffen Playhouse): 2 Nominations
Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (Geffen Playhouse): 2 Nominations
Anastasia (Pantages Theatre): 2 Nominations
Friends With Guns (The Road Theatre Company): 2 Nominations
Gem of the Ocean (A Noise Within): 1 Nomination
Frankenstein (A Noise Within): 1 Nomination
The Judas Kiss (Boston Court Pasadena): 1 Nomination
Falsettos (Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre): 1 Nomination
August Wilson’s Jitney (Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum): 1 Nomination
How We’re Different From Animals (ÉLAN Ensemble): 1 Nomination
Mysterious Circumstances (Geffen Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Little Shop of Horrors (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Ragtime (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
The Great Leap (Pasadena Playhouse): 1 Nomination
Poor Yella Rednecks (South Coast Repertory): 1 Nomination
Sweeney Todd (South Coast Repertory): 1 Nomination

Citations by company:
Geffen Playhouse: 12 Nominations
A Noise Within: 11 Nominations and the Warfield Award
The Matrix Theatre Company/Matrix Theatre: 10 Nominations
Antaeus Theatre Company: 5 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre: 5 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Kirk Douglas Theatre: 4 Nominations
Pasadena Playhouse: 4 Nominations
Center Theatre Group / Mark Taper Forum: 3 Nominations
Latino Theater Company: 2 Nominations and the Schmitt Award
Pantages Theatre: 2 Nominations
The Road Theatre Company: 2 Nominations
Lounge Theatre: 2 Nominations
Skylight Theatre: 2 Nominations
South Coast Repertory: 2 Nominations
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum: 2 Nominations
The New American Theatre: 2 Nominations
Echo Theater Company: 2 Nominations
Boston Court Pasadena: 1 Nomination
ÉLAN Ensemble: 1 Nomination
The Fountain Theatre: Harford Award
Celebration Theatre: Hirschhorn Award

 

RORSCHACH FEST, INKBLOT C at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In a Rorschach test, an individual is presented with a series of abstract images and asked what they see. Their answers are used by the administering psychiatrist or psychologist to gain insight into that person’s state of mind.

Open Fist Theater Company’s current production is titled Rorschach Fest. Presented as three separate programs, it’s a series of short plays by John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor and Caryl Churchill — four playwrights widely recognized for the distinctive style and/or content of their work.
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Now running through April 5

 

FOUND at IAMA Theatre Company

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It all begins with a note on a car and a case of mistaken identity. Found, a musical based on the books and magazines of the same name by Davy Rothbart, opened this past weekend in its west coast premiere at IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

If you’ve ever wondered if a talented musical theater composer could take literally anything and turn it into music, Found, now playing at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, is proof that that’s possible. Composer Eli Bolin, who wrote a number of winning songs for the Netflix special John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch, works with book writers Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree to take the notes that people misplace and turn them into a musical.
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Now running through March 23

THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Ahmanson Theatre

Julieta Cervantes

Julieta Cervantes

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

After two successful runs in Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014 at the Pantages, that smut-mouthed, but endearing musical comedy The Book Of Mormon has squatted downtown at the Ahmanson, and third time around, it has lost none of its luster, or its smut.
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Now running through March 29

A BODY OF WATER at Actors’ Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A middle-aged couple wake up one morning naked in bed. The woman gently removes his hand from her breast, dons a handy silk robe and is off to the kitchen to make coffee. The man soon follows.
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Now running through March 15

HAMLET THE ROCK MUSICAL at the El Portal Theatre

Barry Weiss

Barry Weiss

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Hamlet The Rock Musical has had a few iterations since it debuted in 1973 with the title Kronberg 1582. It was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where it was part of a larger radio program. In 1976, it ran on Broadway for seven shows as Rockabye Hamlet, and played here at the Odyssey Theatre in 1981 for 18 months as Somethin’ Rockin’ in Denmark.
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Now running through February 23