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Archive for Reviews

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Photo courtesy Caughtinthemoment.com

Photo courtesy Caughtinthemoment.com

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

There’s not much difference between creating a monster and creating a monster hit.

Take for example “Young Frankenstein,” the musical currently in the hands of 3-D Theatricals.
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Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

3D Theatricals offers another solid Broadway revival with Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein
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Now running through October 29

 

 

TIME ALONE at L.A.T.C.

 (Photo by David Morrison)

(Photo by David Morrison)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

This powerful drama by Alessandro Camon delves into the minds of two extraordinarily isolated people: a convict serving a life sentence for a murder he committed as a juvenile, and the mother of a police officer whose only son was shot and killed in the line of duty.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Alessandro Camon, an Oscar nominee for his screenplay for The Messenger, is deeply interested in the soul-destroying practice of solitary confinement, and in the experiences of crime survivors — people who lost loved ones to murder. He deals powerfully with both issues in this two-person play.
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Now running through October 22

ON THE VERGE OR THE GEOGRAPHY OF YEARNING at the Little Fish Theatre

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Nostalgia for the future and a droll chiding of the past drive the storytelling in Eric Overmyer’s “On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning,” at Little Fish Theatre through Oct. 19.

It’s a smart play. Sorry if that damns it for you, but if you’re thinking of seeing it, you need to know: It’s two and a half hours of smart.

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Now running through October 19

 

WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN at Boston Court Performing Arts Center

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Some people go through life with their heart on their sleeve, while others are much more guarded, desperate to protect their hearts from being broken. In With Love and a Major Organ, a whimsical, poignant play by Julia Lederer currently in its west coast premiere at Boston Court Performing Arts Center, this concept is taken a step further. Read more…

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

Midway through playwright Julia Lederer’s feather-light, yet rather droning romantic comedy, a character literally reaches into her own chest and pulls out her heart, which thumps and pumps and leaks blood into the padded envelope she shoves it into. The lovesick woman then leaves it in a New York City subway station for the man she hopes to catch. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In playwright Julia Lederer’s With Love and A Major Organ, a West Coast premiere directed by Jessica Kubzansky at Boston Court, a warm spontaneous woman falls ardently in love with a stranger she meets on the subway.  The main idea — a quest for love requited —may be as old as the hills, but Lederer’s wit and poetical language, along with Kubzansky’s directorial finesse and state-of the-art staging, makes for a beguiling evening of theater. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Recently, as part of an assignment at a nearby public high school, students experimented at a local mall to see what people their age would do if a stranger (also their age) came up to try to engage them in conversation. Over and over, the subjects of their experiment would look down at their phones – use their electronic social network to avoid talking to a real person. Interestingly, that was the expected result, according to the teens.
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Now running through November 5

CURVE OF DEPARTURE at South Coast Rep

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

After Rachel Bonds’ “Five Mile Lake” had its world premiere in 2014 at South Coast Repertory, news that SCR would be producing Bonds’ new “Curve of Departure” this fall was thrilling.Read more…

Now running through October 15

BR’ER COTTON – Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble at the Zephyr Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in 2014 sparked a groundswell of angry protest in Ferguson, Missouri where the tragedy occurred. Captured on camera for the world to see, his killing spotlighted the endemic racism in that community and others like it across the United States.
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Now running through October 29

FREDDY – The Fountain Theatre at the Caminito Theatre, Los Angeles Community College

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Deborah Lawlor, co-founder of the Fountain Theatre, is perhaps a fictionalized personal memoir. It’s about Freddy Herko, a gifted young dancer and pianist, whose talent blazed in New York City’s avant-garde scene in the 1960s, only to be snuffed out by drug addiction. Herko died when he leapt naked from a fifth-floor window when he was only 28. Read more…

Now running through October 14

OUR TOWN at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, the Stage Manager guides audiences through the fictional New Hampshire town of Grover’s Corners. She confides in the audience, shares secrets, and points out revelations. Which is why the casting of Jane Kaczmarek in Pasadena Playhouse‘s production makes sense.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

When Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” first appeared in 1938, its production was a radical departure from what theater had been up until that time. This intimate portrait of small town New Hampshire at the start of the 20th Century would prove to modern audiences what theater could do that film (and later television) could not…..
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Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

The Pasadena Playhouse opened its season – the first under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman – with a truly memorable staging of Thornton Wilder’s iconic play. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Our Town presents a daunting challenge for theaters and theater artists.
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Now running through October 22

 

RESOLVING HEDDA at the Victory Theatre

(Photo by Tim Sullens)

(Photo by Tim Sullens)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Sometimes the best way to watch a movie or TV show is to kick back with a glass of wine and some friends and yell at the TV whenever the characters do something you don’t agree with. Resolving Hedda, the new play now at the Victory Theatre in Burbank, offers a similar experience — except the titular character in Hedda Gabler is your drunk friend, railing against all her own bad decisions.
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Now running through November 12

HEAD OF PASSES at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Every once in a while one comes across a performance which may outweigh the play it takes place in. In this case, a good play becomes greater because of one person who takes a playwright’s words and their own and their director’s understandings and makes of them something much more than the sum of those parts. This is Phylicia Rashad in “Head of Passes,” now open at the Mark Taper Forum.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Throughout Act 1 of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Head of Passes, now at the Mark Taper Forum, Phylicia Rashad plays a religious woman on her last legs who chooses her birthday to unravel family secrets. Nothing in that act prepares audiences for the awe-striking flow of passion that emits from the famous actor in Act 2 as she spews fury at God……..
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Head of Passes, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney strives to create a narrative of epic proportion, but with only moderate success. Directed by Tina Landau at the Mark Taper Forum, the play nonetheless is worth seeing for the questions it poses, the production’s finely-tuned ensemble, and the lead performance by Phylicia Rashad as a devout woman sorely tested by her God.
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Now running through October 22

 

STUPID KID at the Road on Magnolia

Photo by Brian Cole

Photo by Brian Cole

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

To paraphrase a theater maxim of Edmund Kean’s, “Tragedy is easy; comedy is hard.” It’s an assertion that’s proved true time and again. Harder still, perhaps, is successfully combining these two genres into one play, as the disappointing Big Night at the Douglas proved a couple of weeks back.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Sharr White and actress Taylor Gilbert proved to be a winning pair in The Road Theatre Company’s 2015 production of The Other Place. They have joined together again for The Road’s current World Premiere of the playwright’s Stupid Kid. Gilbert’s Gigi in the current play is worlds apart from the dementia plagued Juliana of Cape Cod in the previous play. Read more…

Now running through November 11

 

THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of Chaillot (translated by Maurice Valency) has always been one of my favorite plays. Written in 1943 and premiering after the playwright’s death in 1945, it’s a witty whimsical takedown of perfidious capitalism and a paean to the artists and free spirits who oppose them.
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The Stage Struck Review

Jean Giraudoux’s classic play “The Madwoman of Chaillot” is one of those plays everyone should see at some point in life. Though written in 1943, during the Nazi occupation of France, and only performed after the playwright’s death, it is often associated with a celebration of the end of tyranny. Read more…

Now running through November 11