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Archive for Reviews

ARGONAUTIKA at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The best way to characterize Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the mythical tale of Jason and the Argonauts is as a playground for adults in which theatre artists use every storytelling trick in the book to bring gods, monsters, mortals, and kings to life.
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Now running through May 5

JULIUS CAESAR – Independent Shakespeare Co at Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex

Grettel Cortes

Grettel Cortes

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Taking its cue from Orson Welles‘ 1937 Mercury Theatre production of JULIUS CAESAR, Independent Shakespeare Co. exercises its exceptional ability to adapt one of Shakespeare’s massive works for an intimate indoor setting without giving up any of the play’s scope or impact.
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Now running through May 11

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at 24th Street theatre

Cooper Bates

Cooper Bates

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Children’s author Kate DiCamillo won the 2006 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, about a pretentious porcelain rabbit and the misadventures that befall him before he learns about humility and love.
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Now running through May 19

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN – Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

 Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Catch Me If You Can, based on the hit Steven Spielberg movie, is a swingin’ ’60s musical by the composers that brought Hairspray to the stage. At Musical Theatre West, director Larry Raben captures the energy of ’60s television variety specials…….Read more…

Now running through April 14

ACTORS’ GANG ONE ACT FESTIVAL at the Actors’ Gang

ag photo

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This program of original work in the Actors’ Gang One Act Festival illustrates how a misguided directorial choice can undermine a strong piece of writing, while a sketchier script can be illuminated by a gifted performance.
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Now running through April 20

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

 

STEEL MAGNOLIAS at the Actors’ Coop

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching this excellent current revival of Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias at Actors Co-op, I was reminded yet again of the power of a strong ensemble. Solo shows and two-handers certainly have their place, but there is something about the interaction among a group of talented actors, where many things combine to become one greater thing, that seems to me to be the very heart of whatever magic theater creates.
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Now running through May 5

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