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Archive for Reviews – Page 2

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at the Independent Shakespeare Company

aw

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a young hotel manager optimistically states, in the face of every disaster: “In India we have a saying, ‘Everything will be alright in the end. So if it’s not alright, it is not yet the end.’ ” It’s the same idea Shakespeare’s heroine touts in ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL and, regardless of where it originated, it requires pluck.
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 Now running through April 22

LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR at the Garry Marshall Theatre

a _Laughter Press 3

Chelsea Sutton

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Before Neil Simon became Neil Simon, he got his first break as a writer working for Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca’s 1950’ TV series “Your Show of Shows.” On board were some big talents, with scribes like Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Joseph Stein churning out the laugh material on a weekly basis.
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Now running through April 22

ALMOST, MAINE at the Torrance Theatre Company

Miguel Elliot

Miguel Elliot

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It can be done. A director can take relatively ordinary material and, with the help of adept designers and a committed cast, turn it into extraordinary theater.
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Now running through April 15

 

PIGS AND CHICKENS at Atwater Village Theatre

Peter Carrier

Peter Carrier

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In the interests of full disclosure, let me say that I am not very knowledgeable about computers and programming, so much of the technical jargon and inside humor in Marek Glinski’s play went right over my head. Glinski’s play might be called a cyber-satire, or a madcap comedy for the cyber age. I could not always follow exactly what was happening, though the overall idea was clear enough.
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Now running through April 15

AN UNDIVIDED HEART at Atwater Village Theater

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Chris Fields, Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, co-produced by the Echo Theater Company and the Circle X Theatre Co., is an aspiring work that aims to be deep but doesn’t get there.

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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Any play that starts with a kid standing next to a burning typewriter holding a knife in one hand and a dead cat in the other is off to a good start in the “well, I haven’t seen that before” department. Unfortunately, such unusual visual tableaux aren’t really representative of the bulk of Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, a Circle X Theatre Co. and Echo Theater Company co-production.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Someone stands in front of you with a cat in one hand and a knife in the other, threatening to kill it. What do you say to save the cat? In An Undivided Heart, a co-production of Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Company that opened this past weekend at the Atwater Village Theatre, this is but one puzzle its complicated characters must attempt to solve.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

After all these centuries as a literate species, and with only seven basic plots in circulation (according to the late critic Arthur Quiller-Couch), human beings have developed a sense of where stories are likely to go — expectations that prompt us to complain when we can see an ending coming (“predictable”) and when we can’t (“what?”).
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Now running through April 22

 

UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS at the Little Victory Theatre

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld

Playwright Wendy Graf is best known for her uniquely dramatic works such as PLEASE DON’T ASK ABOUT BECKET, ALL AMERICAN GIRL, and NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME. But, in her latest world premiere, UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS – A LOVE STORY, she takes a lighter – and more formulaic – approach to her subject.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

A man and a woman meet at the airport. She is on her honeymoon, solo, after being dumped just before her wedding. He says he is on assignment for Animal Planet, researching the unemployed logging elephants of Myanmar.
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Now running through April 15

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS at Actors’ Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Thomas More was an exceptional man — a lawyer, writer and scholar who rose from the merchant class he was born into to become a chancellor for King Henry VIII. Friends with Europe’s great intellectuals, including Erasmus, who published his work, he is remembered today for his novel Utopia (a term he coined) which espoused the virtue of communal property, among other uncommon and radical ideas.
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Now running through April 15

A RAISIN IN THE SUN at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Progress treads so slowly it almost feels backwards. Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning play A Raisin in the Sun premiered almost six decades ago, but American culture still grapples heavily with racism and other prejudices. The Younger family of the play grabs at the American dream, but society keeps moving the brass ring just out of reach.
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Now running through April 8

SELL/BUY/DATE at the Geffen Playhouse

a sell buy

Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The writer and actress Sarah Jones is gorgeous, about 8 feet tall (at least it seems that way) and rail thin, with a wide mane of hair. When she walks onstage at the Geffen Playhouse, where she is performing her one-woman show “Sell/Buy/Date” through April 15, it’s impossible to imagine her hiding in plain sight.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In her solo play, Sell/Buy/Date, Sarah Jones exposes the exploitation of women with 20/20 vision. By setting the play in the far future, where a professor looks back at the dystopian reality that our modern planet could be journeying toward, she allows the audience to see every perspective.
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Now running through April 15

THE MADRES at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Stephanie Alison Walker’s stirring drama is set in Buenos Aires in the 1980s, when Argentina was ruled by a ruthless military junta. Anyone who spoke out against the regime could be taken into custody and “disappeared,” and even those who privately disagreed with the government and its policies were in danger and subject to constant scrutiny by an extensive network of spies and informers.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Among the 20th century’s catalog of atrocities is the chilling fate of Los Desaparecidos of Argentina — unknown thousands of that country’s citizens who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by right-wing death squads between 1976 and 1983.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Madres is a searing, devastating look at a movement that swept Argentina in the 1970s. Set in 1978, the play focuses on Josefina (Margarita Lamas, who trades off with Denise Blasor), a housewife who buries her head in the sand at the political upheaval surrounding her….
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Now running through April 29

BINGO HALL – Native Voices at the Autry Museum

BingoHallCraigSchwartzPhotography

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the nice things about being a theatregoer in Los Angeles is the diversity of theatre one is able to enjoy. On any given weekend, there are shows up at East West Players (which specializes in Asian American work), Ebony Repertory Theatre (which explores the African-American experience) or at the Latino Theater Company.
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Now running through March 25

STOMACH CONTENTS at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

Sharon Yablon

Sharon Yablon

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

These three one-acts by Sharon Yablon are all set in the bleak Mojave Desert, and they share an equally bleak vision, albeit touched with fantasy and surrealism.
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Now running through March 25