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Archive for Reviews

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 MUSIAL 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

HUMAN INTEREST STORY at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Poverty and homelessness and what to do about them are hardly new matters of concern. King Lear berates his newly-found conscience thus: “Poor naked wretches…how shall your houseless heads and unfed sides…defend you from seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en too little care of this!”
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

The plot and themes of Frank Capra’s film “Meet John Doe,” released in 1941, feel startlingly pertinent to America in 2020. A craven plutocrat buys a city’s newspaper, lays off its seasoned journalists and repurposes it as propaganda for his political campaign — and the public eats it up.
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Now running through April 5

REVENGE SONG at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Born around 1673, Julie D’Aubigny was an extraordinary women who defied the gender expectations of her time to live entirely on her own terms. D’Aubigny’s unconventional life is the basis for Revenge Song, a play by Qui Nguyen, familiar to local audiences for his compelling award-winning play Vietgone and its sequel Poor Yella Rednecks, both based on the immigrant experience of his Vietnamese parents.
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Now running through March 8

UNTIL THE FLOOD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Dael Orlandersmith in “Until the Flood.” Written by Orlandersmith and directed by Neel Keller, “Until the Flood” runs through February 23 at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. For more information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org. Press Contact: CTGMedia@CTGLA.org / (213) 972-7376. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in 2014 cast a harsh spotlight on the community of Ferguson, Missouri. Brown’s killing (six bullets in the front) provoked riots and unrest, stirring righteous rage within a black community long subject to abuse and intimidation from an all-white police force (supported in turn by an all-white city council).
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Now running through February 23

THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY at Theatre 68

 Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The 6th Act is currently presenting the World Premiere of co-artistic director Matthew Leavitt’s The $5 Shakespeare Company at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. The comedy is a self-professed “heartfelt love letter to all things 99-seat theatre”.
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Now running through March 8

THE FATHER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Perspective is crucial to the understanding of both life and theater, and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of The Father, which opened this week, an intentionally disorienting point-of-view offers a dramatic and moving look at late-stage dementia. Written by Florian Zeller, the play premiered in 2014 and many consider it one of the most acclaimed of the recently concluded decade.
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Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Getting old is painfully difficult. Pasadena Playhouse’s newest production, The Father, is a fascinating yet frustratingly unclear story that examines a rapidly shifting dynamic between parent and child as the line between reality and delusion becomes increasingly blurred.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

As life expectancy continues to grow, so does the concern for the wellbeing of our aging population. It’s a subject that hits close to home for everyone—whether it is providing care for a parent or thinking about our own future as we reach retirement age and beyond.
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Now running through March 1

 

THIS SIDE OF CRAZY at the Zephyr Theatre

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Well, what family doesn’t have its ups and downs?” Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine famously opines after a particularly vicious family squabble in James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter. I’m sure Ditty Blaylock, the matriarch in Del Shores’ latest play This Side of Crazy would gladly exchange the trio of crown-hungry Plantagenet princes for her three ungrateful daughters every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
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Now running through March 8

WEST ADAMS at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In September 2019, Investopedia published an article entitled “Six Gentrifying Neighborhoods in Los Angeles,” with West Adams at the top of the list. The writer mentioned the neighborhood’s proximity to Metro’s Expo Line, and the possibility of nabbing a property for $300 thou at a time when prices for L.A. housing are skyrocketing with no end in sight.
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Now running through March 8

 

NEVER BEEN KISSED: THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL at Rockwell Table & Stage

Andrew Gomez

Andrew Gomez

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The latest movie to receive the Rockwell Table & Stage parody treatment is Never Been Kissed, the 1999 romantic comedy about a late-blooming reporter who goes undercover at her old high school to research teenage culture and ends up having her own belated coming-of-age experience.
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Now running through February 23

 

THE LAST SHIP at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At first blush, the shipbuilding industry does not seem the most obvious topic for a musical. The Last Ship, an original musical with music and lyrics by Sting and a new book by Lorne Campbell, opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with some of the problems you might expect given the show’s tumultuous journey the last few years. But impressive design elements, a talented cast, and a surprising amount of heart save the production from running aground.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Last Ship is a good match for anyone with powerful empathy for the working-class men and women whose livelihoods over the past 50 years have been devastated by ruthless corporatism. It’s probably an agreeable one for theatergoers who, in their restless rebellious youth, may have pulled up roots to venture out into the world, leaving friends and family behind. And the show is a fortuitous opportunity for fans of Sting, the internationally famous British musician who birthed the idea behind it, wrote the score and lyrics, and is featured among the ensemble.
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Now running through February 16