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Archive for Reviews

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE – Ebony Rep at Nate Holden Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Five Guys Named Moe celebrates the music of pioneering jazz musician Louis Jordan, a crossover artist whose swinging soulful music was popular with both black and white audiences from the late 1930s to the early ‘50s.  Read more…

Now running through June 11

 

DON’T YOU EVER CALL ME ANYTHING BUT MOTHER at Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Jen-Ann Kichmeier

(Photo by Jen-Ann Kichmeier

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The second in a set of two one-person plays, John O’Keefe’s Don’t Ever Call Me Anything But Mother may be that unique monologue that is literally unlike anything you’ve witnessed before — though whether it will beguile or appall you really depends on your mood and ability to deal with creepy darkness. Read more…

Now running through May 30

SEPARATE TABLES at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA 

In the 1940s and 50s, British playwright Terrence Rattigan was considered an important playwright, scoring successes in both England and the U.S. with The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, and other works.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Loneliness is a terrible thing, don’t you agree.” That sentiment is expressed by one of the lonely characters in British playwright Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, a collection of two one-act plays set at the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth, England….Read more…

Now running through June 18

THE LYONS at The Road Theatre on Lankershim

Michele Young

Michele Young

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Nicky Silver has written over a dozen plays which have mostly been produced off-Broadway and at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. South Coast Repertory produced his Pterodactyls and Raised in Captivity in the early 1990s. Read more...

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Nicky Silver’s mordant comedy revisits the familiar generative terrain of the dysfunctional family coping with life’s difficulties — and themselves. Read more…

Now running through July 1

HELLO AGAIN at Chromolume Theatre at the Attic

(Photo by James Esposito)

(Photo by James Esposito)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This long one-act by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party) is a musical update of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play La Ronde which, shocking for its time, featured 10 interconnected sexual encounters. The structure and the characters’ names are Schnitzler’s, though the Young Thing has been transformed from female to male to embrace a broader sexual spectrum. Read more…

Now running through May 28

 

LUCKY STIFF at Actors Co-op

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more far-fetched plot than the one that animates this zany musical by Lynn Ahren (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucky Stiff is a 1988 musical farce with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It was the team’s first collaboration…..Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily News

In 1988, the fledgling duo of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty produced their first musical: “Lucky Stiff.” The show is a silly send-up of the mystery/suspense genre, and based loosely on the 1983 book “The Man Who Broke Monte Carlo.” Read more…

Now running through June 18

ACTUALLY at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He said, she said. Then he said more, and then she said more. They both kept saying things. But no matter how much they said, it was impossible to determine what had actually happened between the two freshmen in the Princeton University dorm room when they were very drunk. Was it consensual sex or rape? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Um, actually.” These seemingly innocuous words are critical to the events of the aptly named Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a co-world premiere with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

We see the kiss twice: once at the play’s beginning and once at its end. Her hands express her uncertainty. They don’t push him away, but they don’t embrace him. Her left hand hovers near his shoulder, a question mark over the moment and certainly over the play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Anna Ziegler’s smart and penetrating play Actually, now premiering at the Geffen Playhouse, Tom (Jerry MacKinnon), a freshman at Princeton, recounts an incident in which his best buddy Sunil leans in and kisses him on the mouth. Read more…

Now running through June 11

THE SWEETHEART DEAL at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Grettel Cortes Photography

Grettel Cortes Photography

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Written and directed by Diane Rodriguez, The Sweetheart Deal is an amiable blend of political agitprop and audience-pleasing melodrama that unfolds against the backdrop of the struggle to empower the United Farm Workers union. Read more…

Now running through June 4

THE DESIGNATED MOURNER at REDCAT

K. HO

K. HO

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Sometimes a play finds its moment long after its premiere and initial exposure to the world. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Wallace Shawn is a powerhouse storyteller, and the story he spins in The Designated Mourner is a riveting tale.    Read more…

Now running through May 21

THE HOUSE IN SCARSDALE: A MEMOIR FOR THE STAGE at The Theatre at Boston Court

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Dan O’Brien has written an American gothic tale on a par with Pulitzer Prize winner Sam Shepard’s best works. Like many of the characters in Shepard’s plays, the protagonist seeks the truth, but the answers will not assuage his guilt or pain. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Early in Dan O’Brien’s intense and lyrical play, a scene transpires between Dan (Brian Henderson) the playwright’s alter ego, and Skip (Tim Cummings), a childhood acquaintance and the son of his wealthy grandfather’s second wife. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Sun

There are two ways to approach Dan O’Brien’s “The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage.” Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In “The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage,” the poet and playwright Dan O’Brien dramatizes a mystery of his past. His fictive alter ego, also named Dan O’Brien (played by Brian Henderson), is a writer in his late 30s whose parents recently, with no explanation, severed ties with him. Read more…

 

Now running through May 22

 

OF MICE AND MEN at The Belfry Stage at the Crown Theater

Photo by Lonni Silverman

Photo by Lonni Silverman

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

No American writer chronicled the unpleasant reality of the Depression era with more clarity and inventiveness than John Steinbeck. His gift for creating memorable characters underscores his best work, and this is no truer anywhere than in his 1937 novella about the ill-fated relationship between two itinerant migrant workers in Salinas Valley. Read more…

Now running through May 13

 

MIDDLETON at Chance Theatre

Photo by Doug Catiller

Photo by Doug Catiller

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Middletown, a delicate, essentially plotless play about Anywhere, U.S.A., and how human connection is essential for our survival, requires actors to be able to fill the void that playwright Will Eno has left in the script. Read more…

Now running through May 19