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THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY at Theatre 68

 Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The 6th Act is currently presenting the World Premiere of co-artistic director Matthew Leavitt’s The $5 Shakespeare Company at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. The comedy is a self-professed “heartfelt love letter to all things 99-seat theatre”.
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Now running through March 8

THE FATHER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Perspective is crucial to the understanding of both life and theater, and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of The Father, which opened this week, an intentionally disorienting point-of-view offers a dramatic and moving look at late-stage dementia. Written by Florian Zeller, the play premiered in 2014 and many consider it one of the most acclaimed of the recently concluded decade.
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Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Getting old is painfully difficult. Pasadena Playhouse’s newest production, The Father, is a fascinating yet frustratingly unclear story that examines a rapidly shifting dynamic between parent and child as the line between reality and delusion becomes increasingly blurred.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

As life expectancy continues to grow, so does the concern for the wellbeing of our aging population. It’s a subject that hits close to home for everyone—whether it is providing care for a parent or thinking about our own future as we reach retirement age and beyond.
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Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The specter of dementia touches us all, whether within our immediate family or not. It’s a particularly awful condition in which someone you once knew well might not even recognize you anymore or be able to do things they previously were expert at.
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Now running through March 1

 

THIS SIDE OF CRAZY at the Zephyr Theatre

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Well, what family doesn’t have its ups and downs?” Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine famously opines after a particularly vicious family squabble in James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter. I’m sure Ditty Blaylock, the matriarch in Del Shores’ latest play This Side of Crazy would gladly exchange the trio of crown-hungry Plantagenet princes for her three ungrateful daughters every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
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Now running through March 8

WEST ADAMS at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In September 2019, Investopedia published an article entitled “Six Gentrifying Neighborhoods in Los Angeles,” with West Adams at the top of the list. The writer mentioned the neighborhood’s proximity to Metro’s Expo Line, and the possibility of nabbing a property for $300 thou at a time when prices for L.A. housing are skyrocketing with no end in sight.
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Now running through March 8

 

NEVER BEEN KISSED: THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL at Rockwell Table & Stage

Andrew Gomez

Andrew Gomez

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The latest movie to receive the Rockwell Table & Stage parody treatment is Never Been Kissed, the 1999 romantic comedy about a late-blooming reporter who goes undercover at her old high school to research teenage culture and ends up having her own belated coming-of-age experience.
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Now running through February 23

 

THE LAST SHIP at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At first blush, the shipbuilding industry does not seem the most obvious topic for a musical. The Last Ship, an original musical with music and lyrics by Sting and a new book by Lorne Campbell, opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles with some of the problems you might expect given the show’s tumultuous journey the last few years. But impressive design elements, a talented cast, and a surprising amount of heart save the production from running aground.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Last Ship is a good match for anyone with powerful empathy for the working-class men and women whose livelihoods over the past 50 years have been devastated by ruthless corporatism. It’s probably an agreeable one for theatergoers who, in their restless rebellious youth, may have pulled up roots to venture out into the world, leaving friends and family behind. And the show is a fortuitous opportunity for fans of Sting, the internationally famous British musician who birthed the idea behind it, wrote the score and lyrics, and is featured among the ensemble.
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Now running through February 16

EARTHQUAKES IN LONDON at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The phrase, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” is used to describe doing something trivial when serious action is desperately required. It’s an apt epigram for humanity today — fully aware of the worsening disasters brought on by climate change but content to focus on acquiring more money and power, even as sea levels rise.
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Now running through March 1

 

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME at the Mark Taper Forum

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When playwright Heidi Schreck was in high school, she traveled the country participating in Constitutional debate competitions. It was primarily a scheme cooked up by her mother to pay for college tuition with prize money (it worked), and she became an expert at defending or opposing various amendments to panels of judges that almost always consisted of exclusively old, white men.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In attendance last Friday at What the Constitution Means to Me, Heidi Schreck’s droll insightful play directed by Oliver Butler at the Mark Taper Forum, I had the rare experience of  bonding with the rest of my fellow audience members.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me arrives as the Mark Taper Forum with a lot of advance hype—Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominations, etc. It certainly is relevant given the current political climate in the United States……
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Now running through February 28

DISPOSABLE NECESSITIES at Rogue Machine Theatre

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The adage, “Youth is wasted on the young,” is generally attributed to George Bernard Shaw, a man who didn’t lack for adages. The idea that youth can also be wasted on the old is one of the undercurrents that powers ’s play, Disposable Necessities, a science fiction comedy/drama that posits a future in which extended life or immortality is technically possible, but only for the rich.
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Now running through February 3

 

SAFE HARBOR at the Zephyr Theatre

Courtesy of Lower Depth Theater Ensemble

Courtesy of Lower Depth Theater Ensemble

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Last year’s arrest of wealthy financier and pal-to-the-powerful Jeffery Epstein on charges related to the sex trafficking of minors sent salacious shock waves throughout the country via the headline-hunting national media.
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Now running through December 15

 

 

 

FROZEN at the Pantages Theatre

Deen van Meer

Deen van Meer

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Between the holiday season, the recent release of Frozen 2 in movie theaters, and the arrival of the musical version of Frozen at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, things are feeling quite festive.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Remember L.A. in 2013 at the peak of the mania for the Disney movie “Frozen”? When the clarion command to “Let It Go” rang through the air? When little girls wore blue satin and blond fishtail braids and conjured fearsome powers that they, like Princess Elsa, struggled to hold back?
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Now running through February 2

 

BANDSTAND at Broadway In Thousand Oaks

Bandstand-ProductionPhotos-1920-6

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The musical Bandstand, which is now part of the American Theater Guild tour across the country, thrives when Andy Blankenbuehler’s Tony-winning choreography is front and center. Restaged for this production by Marc Heitzman, who was Dance Captain in the Broadway production, the dances display vitality that makes audiences want to stand up and join in.
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