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Author Archive for LADCC critics

YELLOW FACE at the Beverly Hills Playhouse

yellowface

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

When Rachel Dolezal was forced to step down from the presidency of the local branch of the NAACP in Spokane, Wash., in 2015 because she was not (as she had claimed) African-American, it spurred a debate on the nature of race and cultural appropriation which was long past due.

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Now running through September 26

SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Apparently the songs of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim are not failsafe.

He’s the genius behind some of the last century’s and some of this one’s best musicals. Some of his early songs are showcased in the revue titled “Side by Side by Sondheim,” currently at the Odyssey in West Los Angeles.

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Now running through September 2

SHINING CITY at the Hudson Guild Theatre

Burt Grinstead

Burt Grinstead

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Irish playwright Colin McPherson explores the dark hollows of the human psyche in this penetrating drama. A sad, intensely human story, the play speaks knowingly to the guilt, regret and unfulfilled desires that dwell within many of us.
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Now running through August 26

TITUS ANDRONICUS in Griffith Park

Grettel Cortes

Grettel Cortes

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

TITUS ANDRONICUS is one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedies. Characters are stabbed, beheaded, mutilated, raped, baked in a pie, and one is even buried up to his neck and left to die. At first glance it may not sound like an obvious choice for families…….
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Now running through September 1

WAITRESS at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

You cannot walk five feet in the Pantages Theatre without encountering a bunch of mini pies for sale, perfectly setting the scene for Waitress, the hit Broadway musical that opened in Los Angeles for the first time last night.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 2007 writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly created a little gem of an independent film entitled Waitress. Unfortunately Shelly was murdered before the film’s debut. In 2015 playwright Jesse Nelson and songwriter Sara Bareilles turned the story of three waitresses and their love lives in a small Southern town into a Broadway musical.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Can eating a pie be a religious experience? It can if it was made by Jenna, the diner waitress in the Broadway musical WAITRESS, who turns ordinary ingredients like butter, sugar, and flour into mouthwatering slices of life in a pie tin.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Easy as it is to bemoan the current trend of turning movies into Broadway musicals, Waitress, now playing at the Pantages in Hollywood, is proof that Broadway shows can still tell beautiful stories, even when they’re based on movies that came out over a decade ago.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Though a few of its ingredients are so right, so much is so wrong with “Waitress,” the musical now at the Pantages.
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Now running through August 26

 

 

BEETHOVEN at the Wallis Annenberg Center

Christopher Ash

Christopher Ash

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Actor/writer/musician/producer/designer/musicologist Hershey Felder is about as close as they come to a modern Renaissance man. He has racked up an impressive array of musical biographies — one-man shows in which he plays noted composers. Read more…

Now running through August 12

 

THE MOTHER-F**KER WITH THE HAT at the Gloria Gifford Conservancy

Mathew Caine

Mathew Caine

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Plays about broken people dealing with issues of addiction, violence, and toxic sexuality are legion, but they don’t always translate into provocative and humorous theater. Both qualities are found in this dour comedy by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright .
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Now running through August 26

UNDER MILK WOOD – Open Fist Theatre Company at the Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

If one were to attempt to find a work comparable to Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, it would likely be Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Both plays deal with the mundane and the sacred, and both delve into the complexities of small communities.
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Now running through August 25

MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN at the Lounge Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Murray Mednick’s play, having its world premiere, is a tale of two suicides: that of the Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, who shot himself in the heart in 1930, and that of Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Nadya), the second wife of Joseph Stalin, who shot herself in her bedroom during a Communist Party gathering, supposedly in disgust at the way her husband’s brutal collectivist policies had produced mass famine.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

There are plays that tell a story and there are plays that ponder ideas. Murray Mednick’s latest world premiere MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN is the latter, an intellectual dissection of two Russian revolutionaries who were as integral to Eastern European history as beets are to borscht.   Read more…

Now running through August 19

SCREWBALL COMEDY at Theatre 40

 

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The classic screwball comedy films of the 1930s and 40s have remained popular from that time on because of four basic elements: the ridiculousness of the essential storyline, the crisp and evocative dialogue, the quality of and apt casting of the performers, and timing – always the fast-paced, pinpoint timing of the lines and scenes which makes the whole thing memorably funny.

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The screwball comedy genre of films was popular during the Great Depression. It Happened One Night is considered to be the first followed by My Man Godfrey, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday,The Philadelphia Story and a host of others.

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Now running through August 19

PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

Gina Long

Gina Long

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

One thing’s for sure – country musicals are an awful lot of fun. There aren’t very many of them and, if you can name one at all, it’s most likely THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS or THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM. But there is another rarely produced gem that is just as enjoyable – PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES……Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the definition of what made something a Broadway-style musical was in flux.
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Now running through August 12

MUTT HOUSE at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

mutt-house_115

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could talk to dogs? For Eddie (Ryan McCartan), the main character in Mutt House, a new musical now in its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, this is his reality.   Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

Singing strays and the humans who love them are the focus of the world premiere musical Mutt House, currently on stage in a guest production at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The cute, sweet story about learning to believe in yourself isn’t a musical for deep introspection, but it does offer a good time with its charming songs, lovable mutts, and a fun production design.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

If you are not now and forever a Cats person and you never saw the short-lived Sherman Brothers musical Dawgs! then Mutt House, a guest production at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, may be the canine centric musical you have been panting for.
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Now running through August 5