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Archive for Reviews

SKELETON CREW at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The mockery of the American dream lies at the heart of Skeleton Crew, where trade workers invest their lives in a company that easily turns its back on them. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Project trilogy, Skeleton Crew reflects a distant past……Read more…

Now running through July 8

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

 Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell’s see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill wrote what is probably the most searing family portrait ever penned. It owes its extraordinary power to the fact that it is mercilessly autobiographical. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Eugene O’Neill won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his masterwork, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. O’Neill wrote the semi-autobiographical play about his family in 1941-42 but it was never produced until after his death. I’m sure it caused his parents to spin in their graves anyway. Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

LYSISTRATA UNBOUND at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado‘s LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way.
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Now running through August 4

HENRY IV at the Japanese Gardens on the West L.A. VA campus

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Tom Hanks as Falstaff, Joe Morton as King Henry IV and a solid supporting ensemble add up to half a dozen good reasons to see director Dan Sullivan’s staging of Henry IV,….Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Director Daniel Sullivan‘s adaptation of HENRY IV, Parts 1 & 2 may only be playing in the Japanese Garden on the VA campus for another three weeks but it is bound to rank as one of the summer’s most talked-about events. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

William Shakespeare’s Henry IV focus on growth and having history thrust upon oneself whether wanted or not. For The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, director Daniel Sullivan has culled and combined both plays into an evening of ribaldry, song, and pageantry. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Shakespeare’s duo of Henry IV plays are mainly about two subjects: the relationship between fathers and sons and the conflict between duty and selfishness. That these topics are placed in one of his “history plays” means little—audiences haven’t cared primarily about the history on display here for centuries. The appeal of these plays has ever been in its characters and humor and beautiful language….
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Now running through June 24

BORDERTOWN at the Pasadena Playhouse

 Philicia Endelman

Philicia Endelman

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Twenty years ago, Culture Clash presented Bordertown Now, which took a look at the percolating tension between the US government and undocumented Mexican immigrants crossing the border. Read more…

Now running through June 24

HOSTAGE at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Capital and Main

On November 4, 1979, several hundred Iranians, mostly students, stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took 60-odd hostages — 52 of whom were held captive for 444 days. It was a humiliating event for the U.S. government and, in general, a wake-up call for Americans…..

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Now running through June 24

HER PORTMANTEAU at Boston Court Pasadena

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Nigerian-American playwright Mfoniso Udofia is part of a projected cycle of nine plays about the lives of the Ufot family in Nigeria and America.
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Now running through June 30

PARADE at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

People apparently must hate another group they barely know, no matter the race, religion or financial bracket.

The Judeo-Christian Bible reflects back to us myriad examples of this untethered hatred. Eastern and Western history serializes it. And it fills today’s media.
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Now running through June 10

 

RESA FANTASTISKT MYSTISK at the Broadwater Main Stage

Scott Golden

Scott Golden

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the pleasures of the Hollywood Fringe Festival is discovering something genuinely original amid the minefield of one-person shows. ’s revival of its 1999 production of Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk, written by obscure Swedish playwright Lars Mattsun, is one of these finds.
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Now running through June 22

CABARET at the Celebration Theatre

Matthew Brian Denman

Matthew Brian Denman

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

By now, Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical Cabaret is as much a part of the American musical theater canon as Oklahoma. While it’s much darker than most of its Rodgers and Hammerstein counterparts (save, perhaps, for Carousel), it now feels like an old standby, performed by regional theaters and colleges nationwide. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Christopher Isherwood’s 1945 novel Berlin Stories was turned into a Broadway play called I Am A Camera in 1951 and later filmed, both starring a young Julie Harris as the desperate to be decadent cabaret performer Sally Bowles in 1930s Berlin. Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Kander & Ebb’s political musical Cabaret captures a horrific period in history. Set in 1929-1930 as the Nazis were coming into power, it is an unsparingly direct window into the deterioration of a country systematically brainwashed by the lunacy of a madman. It could never happen here, right? Read more…

Now running through July 15

 

PLUNGE at Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

James Joyce in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man famously wrote, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” That sentiment describes a lot of historical fiction, in which the sins of the past reverberate endlessly down decades or centuries into the present. Read more…

Now running through June 17

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE SUPER LAIR at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The world of super heroes can be fun to satirize, and Greg Kalleres’ Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair, directed by Jack Stehlin, is a potentially entertaining spoof, with enough irony and character-driven humor for an adept actor to play with. Read more…

Now running through June 23