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Author Archive for LADCC critics – Page 2

COLLECTIVE RAGE at The Theatre at Boston Court

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Photo by Ed Kreiger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Collective Rage, whose poster features a gal with soft eyes, a flexed bicep and a clenched fist, is subtitled “a play in 5 boops” because all five characters are named Betty Boop, after the cartoon figure conceived by Max Fleischer in 1930. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

If a play intends to use cultural references in the course of its work, it probably makes sense to be sure that the audience will catch a clue as to what those references are. Read more…

Now running through March 19

DIE MOMMIE DIE at the Celebration Theatre at the Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Cross-dressing actor-comedian Charles Busch wrote this glossy movie parody as a vehicle for himself in the central role of has-been movie star, Angela Arden. He performed in the play in Los Angeles several years ago, and his Angela was subtle and elegant. But now actor Drew Droege is giving him a run for his money….Read more…

Now running through March 26

LUSTING AFTER PIPINO’S WIFE at Theatre 68

Photo by Doren Sorrell)

Photo by Doren Sorrell)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

According to director/performer Ronnie Marmo, this production of Sam Henry Kass’s comedy is a 25th anniversary staging of a show that he remembers fondly from when he acted in it many years ago. To my mind, however, the play’s mix of calculatedly quirky romantic situations and abrasively eccentric characters has aged quite poorly. I’m not sure why. Read more…

Now running through April 19

 

THE NORMAL HEART at Chromolume Theatre

Photo courtesy Chromolume Theatre

Photo courtesy Chromolume Theatre

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

At intermission, one woman audience member declared that Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play is terribly dated — an assertion I feel obliged to refute. While it’s true that the issues it deals with are no longer burning with the white heat they once generated, the piece itself is now old enough to qualify as a historical artifact. Read more…

Now running through March 19

LITTLE CHILDREN DREAM OF GOD at The Road on Magnolia

Photo by Michele Young)

Photo by Michele Young)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

With its plot involving the fate of a foreign refugee seeking a new life in America, Jeff Augustin’s Little Children Dream of God couldn’t be timelier. It gets a solid production from the Road Theatre Company in this West Coast premiere and is full of strong performances, but something curiously flat in the main storyline keeps it from attaining its full potential. Read more…

Now running through April 15

FUN HOME at the Ahmanson Theatre

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Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Erin Conley – OnStage

Don’t be misled by the sight of three adorable children bouncing around and singing “come to the fun home.” In this case, ‘fun’ is short for ‘funeral,’ and while little about the tragic tale could actually be described as fun, it can certainly be described as some of the very best storytelling modern musical theater has to offer. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Just when we thought theater had nowhere else to go, had no further means to crawl into our jaded hearts, “Fun Home” wandered onto the scene. It encapsulates the best of musical theater, the best of dramatic literature, and the best examples of how we are our own worst enemies. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A childhood spent in a family run funeral home would be daunting under the best of circumstances. One spent in a funeral home with a closeted gay father who was a perfectionist and a bitter mother who regretted the choices she made and the life she was living must have been a living hell. Read more…

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

The musical based on Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic novel covers familiar and mostly predictably territory, but is wrapped up in a pleasing score and solid performances. While the show was highly praised when it opened in 2014, it already feels oddly dated. Read more…

Now running through April 1

2016 LADCC AWARDS NOMINEES AND INFORMATION

This year the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award ceremony will take place on March 20, 2017, at the Colony Theatre at Burbank Town Center, 555 N. Third Street, Burbank. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception with a cash bar, and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. There is ample, free, on-site parking.

Tickets are $40.00 and can be purchased at  2017criticsawards.brownpapertickets.com (a small service fee applies), or, depending on availability, at the door.

Nominees are entitled to one complimentary ticket apiece and should RSVP to criticsawards2017@gmail.com. All questions regarding the event should also be directed to this address.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Following is a list of special awards and nominees:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre: Antaeus Theatre Company.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre, sponsored by the Nederlander Organization: Rogue Machine Theatre.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play: Aliza Goldstein for A Singular They, originally produced by the Blank Theatre.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for outstanding achievement in theatrical design, sponsored by Kinetic Lighting: lighting designer Jared A. Sayeg.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre: Cabrillo Music Theatre.

 The Milton Katselas Award for career or special achievement in direction, sponsored by the Beverly Hills Playhouse: Maria Gobetti.

 The LADCC’s newest award, the Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community: I Love 99.

 

 ANNUAL AWARD CATEGORIES 

Production

  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Disgraced, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum.
  • Fly, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Urinetown the Musical, Coeurage Theatre Company.

 

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1991)

  • Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Endgame, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre.
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum.
  • West Side Story, Musical Theatre West, Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Lead Performance

  • Hugo Armstrong in All the Way, South Coast Repertory.
  • Andrew Bongiorno in The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Ginna Carter in The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Pacific Resident Theatre.
  • Kate Morgan Chadwick in Bed, The Echo Theater Company.
  • Darren Criss in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
  • Hari Dhillon in Disgraced, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum.
  • Rebecca Gray in One of the Nice Ones, The Echo Theater Company.
  • Connor Kelly-Eiding in Dry Land, The Echo Theater Company.
  • Matt Orduña in Bars and Measures, The Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Gedde Watanabe in La Cage aux Folles, East West Players.
  • Jacqueline Wright in Blueberry Toast, The Echo Theater Company.

Featured Performance

  • JD Cullum in Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Bo Foxworth in Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Lena Hall in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
  • Steve Hofvendahl in The Engine of Our Ruin, The Victory Theatre.
  • Bess Motta in The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Jessica Pennington in The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Victoria Ortiz in The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!, Rogue Machine Theatre.

Ensemble Performance

                                         

  • Ameryka, Critical Mass Performance Group, The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles.
  • Casa Valentina, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum.
  • The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.

 Solo Performance

  • Deborah Puette, Captain of the Bible Quiz Team, Rogue Machine Theatre.

Direction

  • Tim Dang, La Cage aux Folles, East West Players.
  • Kari Hayter, Urinetown the Musical, Coeurage Theatre Company.
  • Ricardo Khan, Fly, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Michael A. Shepperd, The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Casey Stangl, Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.

Writing

  • Ayad Akhtar, Disgraced, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum.
  • Idris Goodwin, Bars and Measures, The Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Erik Patterson, One of the Nice Ones, The Echo Theater Company.
  • Jason Wells, The Engine of Our Ruin, The Victory Theatre.

 

Musical Score

  • Noah Agruss, Bars and Measures, The Theatre @ Boston Court.
  • Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.

 

Music Direction

  • Bryan Blaskie, The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Paul Litteral, Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara, Geffen Playhouse.
  • Marc Macalintal, La Cage aux Folles, East West Players.
  • Gregory Nabours, Urinetown the Musical, Coeurage Theatre Company.

 

Choreography

  • Hope Clarke, Fly, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Reggie Lee, La Cage aux Folles, East West Players.
  • Janet Roston, The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.
  • Leslie Stevens, The Full Monty, 3-D Theatricals.

Set Design

  • Tom Buderwitz, Casa Valentina, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre.
  • David Gallo, Empire the Musical, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
  • Michael Navarro, My Mañana Comes, The Fountain Theatre.

Lighting Design

  • Brandon Baruch, Urinetown the Musical, Coeurage Theatre Company.
  • Ken Billington, Dreamgirls, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
  • Rui Rita and Jake DeGroot, Fly, The Pasadena Playhouse.XXX
  • Tim Swiss, Dream Boy, Celebration Theatre.

 Costume Design

  • Kate Bergh, Casa Valentina, Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Amy Clark and Mark Koss, The Little Mermaid, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
  • A. Jeffrey Schoenberg, Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.
  • Anthony Tran, La Cage aux Folles, East West Players.

Sound Design

  • John Farmanesh-Bocca and Adam Phalen, Tempest Redux, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and New American Theatre.
  • John Gromada, Fly, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Rebecca Kessin, Dream Boy, Celebration Theatre.
  • Eric Snodgrass, The Boy from Oz, Celebration Theatre.

Specialty: Fight Choreography

  • Jen Albert, Punch and Judy, The School of Night, Ruby Theater at the Complex.

Specialty: Wigs, Hair and Makeup

  • Rick Geyer, Casa Valentina, The Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Jessica Mills, Cloud 9, Antaeus Theatre Company.

Productions that have garnered nominations:

 

The Boy from Oz (Celebration Theatre) 9
Cloud 9 (Antaeus Theatre Company) 8
Fly (The Pasadena Playhouse) 5
La Cage aux Folles (East West Players) 5
Casa Valentina (The Pasadena Playhouse) 4
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Ahmanson Theatre) 4
Urinetown the Musical (Coeurage Theatre Company) 4
Bars and Measures (The Theatre @ Boston Court) 3
Disgraced (Mark Taper Forum) 3
Dream Boy (Celebration Theatre) 2
The Engine of Our Ruin (The Victory Theatre) 2
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Hollywood Pantages Theatre) 2
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Taper Forum) 2
One of the Nice Ones (The Echo Theater Company) 2
All the Way (South Coast Repertory) 1
Ameryka (Critical Mass Performance Group) 1
Bed (The Echo Theater Company) 1
Blueberry Toast (The Echo Theater Company) 1
The Bridges of Madison County (Ahmanson Theatre) 1
Captain of the Bible Quiz Team (Rogue Machine Theatre) 1
Dreamgirls (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts) 1
Dry Land (The Echo Theater Company) 1
The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (Pacific Resident Theatre) 1
Empire the Musical (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts) 1
Endgame (Kirk Douglas Theatre) 1
The Full Monty (3-D Theatricals) 1
The Little Mermaid (La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts) 1
Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara (Geffen Playhouse) 1
My Mañana Comes (The Fountain Theatre) 1
Punch and Judy (The School of Night) 1
A Singular They (The Blank Theatre) 1
The Super Variety Match Bonus Round! (Rogue Machine Theatre) 1
Tempest Redux (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble/New American Theatre) 1
West Side Story (Musical Theatre West) 1

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 2016 membership – and voters – consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw

Paul Birchall, Stage Raw

Shirle Gottlieb,  StageHappenings.com

Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times

Hoyt Hilsman, The Huffington Post

Deborah Klugman, LA Weekly,  Stage Raw, Capital and Main

Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, LA Weekly

Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com

Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, The Daily Breeze. The Daily News

Myron Meisel, Stage Raw

Terry Morgan,  Stage Raw

Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly, Stage Raw

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times

Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com

Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com

Don Shirley, LA Observed

Les Spindle, EDGE LA

Bob Verini,  ArtsinLA.com, Stage Raw

Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

Katie Buenneke, L.A. Weekly. Stage Raw

Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw

 

 

FINDING NEVERLAND at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Finding Neverland was a charming, heart-warming 2004 film about British playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired him to write his immortal classic Peter Pan. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning… Peter Pan is an iconic story, and the musical adaptation of Finding Neverland, currently playing at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, tells but one iteration. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The touring production of “Finding Neverland,” about how J.M. Barrie came to write “Peter Pan” in the early 1900s, may well inspire a new generation of young playwrights.Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Despite being a musical about a soaring imagination, “Finding Neverland” somehow feels coldly leaden. It tells of the Scottish playwright and novelist J.M. Barrie, who created Peter Pan, and the writer’s relationship with an English mother’s four very young sons, whom he met in a park. Red flags going up? You’re not alone. Read more…

Now running through March 12

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Isaac James Creative

Photo by Isaac James Creative

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The visuals are gorgeous in 3–D Theatricals’ production of the infrequently produced “Once on This Island.” Costuming, lighting, choreography — everything that appeals to the eye gets a lavish treatment in this lively….. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Once on This Island is a little gem of a show that has rarely been seen on local stages. It was written by Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music) based on the novel My Love, My Love or The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy. Read more…

Now running through March 5

CANNIBALS ALONE at The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown

CA4

Photo by Lonni Silverman

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Steph Deferie’s Cannibals Alone bears the surface markings of a timely dystopian drama, with an all-female cast of tough characters you wouldn’t want to mess with. The feminist angle is commendable; otherwise, the play lacks cogency and reeks of bad TV melodrama of the sci-fi variety. Read more…

Now running through March 5

 

LYRICS FROM LOCKDOWN at the ACTORS GANG

LYRICS FROM LOCKDOWN - 2

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Somewhere in the middle of Bryonn Bain’s soulful one-of-a-kind show, the playwright/poet/performer recounts an interview between himself and a public defender. Their talk takes place in an interrogation room in a New York City police precinct, where Bain has been wrongly detained on criminal charges. The Nuyorican Grand Slam Poetry champion and teacher of incarcerated youth explains to the legal aid attorney that the situation at hand is a case of mistaken identity…Read more…

Now running through February 26

ZOOT SUIT at the Mark Taper Forum

zoot

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – OnStage

It is not every day that a hat receives entrance applause at the theater. However, it is also not every day that Zoot Suit returns to Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum, the very theater that commissioned and hosted its world premiere in 1978. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino and writer/director of the 1978 play with music Zoot Suit, says in his program notes for the current revival at the Mark Taper Forum, “On opening night, when the character of El Pachuco, memorably played by Edward James Olmos, swaggered onto the Taper stage, Chicano theatre became American theatre.” Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

The return of Luis Valdez’s groundbreaking musical “Zoot Suit” to the Mark Taper Forum is less of a theatrical milestone than it is a major cultural event.   Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Swinging social commentary abounds with the lively, if overlong Zoot Suit, a mostly upbeat revival now playing at the Mark Taper Forum. With swagger and flair, Demian Bichir haunts the stage as ‘El Pachuco’ – the play’s Zoot-suited narrator – singing and growling in a (sometimes) unintelligible yet authentic Pachuco idiom. Ann Closs-Farley’s costume creations deserve special mention for their vibrancy, as does Maria Torres for her superb choreography. Read more…

Now running through March 26