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Archive for Reviews – Page 2

DIANA OF DOBSON’S AT Antaeus Theatre Company’s Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It is rare to see a play written in 1908 that can be described as feminist, but Diana of Dobson’s, currently playing at Los Angeles’s Antaeus Theatre Company in a rare production, is a delightful surprise.
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Now running through June 2

THE END OF SEX at the Victory Theatre Center

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There are at least two pitfalls for “a play of ideas” — that is, the kind of piece that George Bernard Shaw made his name on and that is specifically created to discuss and debate a particular issue. The first pitfall is that this sort of play can be talky and dry, all intellect and no plot, something Shaw was accused of more than once.
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Now running through June 2

REVOLUCIONES at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Andrew Vasquez

Andrew Vasquez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Too often idealists who lead revolts against fascist regimes end up assuming the same dictatorial and bloodthirsty predilections as their enemies.
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Now running through May 12

 

 

BOXING LESSONS at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

The terminally damaged clan on display in John Bunzel’s dark comedy convincingly affirms that oft quoted adage of Tolstoy’s that “every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.
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Now running through June 2

 

FALSETTOS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people hear the term “falsetto” and think of the vocal technique used by male singers to sing notes above their natural range, often resulting in a sound that is strikingly high and, in a sense, untraditional. It is not very obvious why the musical Falsettos, which opened last night at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre as part of a national tour, has the title it does, but it is about an untraditional family.
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Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Falsettos is a master class in acting modulation. The characters are self-involved, sometimes violent, energy vampires. An actor must be true to author William Finn’s vision of Marvin and his clan, revealing warts and all, but compel the audience to accept and forgive those who need eons of therapy.
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Now running through May 19

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT at the Edgemar Center for the Arts

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

If you find the page count or the dense subject matter of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment too intimidating, Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus’s award-winning stage adaptation might be more palatable. Clocking in at a cool 90 minutes and featuring only three actors, this version boils the classic tale down to the essentials, while still preserving the cat-and-mouse dynamic the source material is so known for.
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Now running through May 26

 

STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Actors’ Coop

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching this excellent current revival of Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias at Actors Co-op, I was reminded yet again of the power of a strong ensemble. Solo shows and two-handers certainly have their place, but there is something about the interaction among a group of talented actors, where many things combine to become one greater thing, that seems to me to be the very heart of whatever magic theater creates.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

In the first scene of the play “Steel Magnolias,” Robert Harling’s 1987 love letter to small-town Southern women, two Louisiana friends share favorites from their recipe boxes. Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake is so straightforward, it doesn’t even require an index card:
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Robert Harling’s comedy/drama play Steel Magnolias premiered off-Broadway in 1987 and ran for over 1,100 performances. Read more…

 

Now running through May

THE NICETIES at Geffen Playhouse

T. Charles Erickson

T. Charles Erickson

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people who went to college likely remember office hours as a phenomenon that you were glad existed, but rarely utilized. But in The Niceties, a play by Eleanor Burgess currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, office hours become a battleground between a professor and a student who see the world very differently.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In The Niceties, playwright Eleanor Burgess constructs a dialectic between a white liberal professor of history who believes in the ideal of America despite its failings, and an angry African-American student who bitterly challenges the bedrock of her teacher’s beliefs.
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Now running through May 12

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Margaret Gray – LA Times
Reviving a beloved musical can be a daunting proposition. Do you keep faith with tradition, or do you try something new? If you opt for a little of both, how much of each? It’s hard to find the balance — a bit like trying to play a fiddle on the roof.
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Now running through May 5

ARGONAUTIKA at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The best way to characterize Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the mythical tale of Jason and the Argonauts is as a playground for adults in which theatre artists use every storytelling trick in the book to bring gods, monsters, mortals, and kings to life.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The poet Ovid wrote his classic Metamorphoses during the reign of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. In 1996 playwright/director Mary Zimmerman brought ten of the myths to life in a pool of water on stage in Chicago and later Los Angeles and New York.
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Now running through May 5

JULIUS CAESAR – Independent Shakespeare Co at Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex

Grettel Cortes

Grettel Cortes

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Taking its cue from Orson Welles‘ 1937 Mercury Theatre production of JULIUS CAESAR, Independent Shakespeare Co. exercises its exceptional ability to adapt one of Shakespeare’s massive works for an intimate indoor setting without giving up any of the play’s scope or impact.
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Now running through May 11

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at 24th Street theatre

Cooper Bates

Cooper Bates

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Children’s author Kate DiCamillo won the 2006 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, about a pretentious porcelain rabbit and the misadventures that befall him before he learns about humility and love.
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Now running through May 19