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MADNESS, MAYHEM AND OTHER STIMULANTS…WHEN WOMEN WRITE at the Brickhouse Theatre

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This program of one acts by Linda L. Rand is part of Write Act Repertory’s summer playwrights lab festival. This year the festival features plays by women in the company.
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Now running through October 1

PTERODACTYLS at the Commissary at The Culver Studios

Photo by Edo Tsoar

Photo by Edo Tsoar

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

A frequent complaint heard over the years is that the film and TV industry doesn’t do anything to help support the L.A. theatre community. From personal experience, I can testify that this is true, although the reasons why remain mysterious. That said, Pop Up Theater, Inc. seems to have cracked the code…
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Now running through September 24

ALTERNATIVE ACTS at Theatre of NOTE

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Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Aside from its pleasantly eccentric quality, one of the more entertaining components of this slate of one-acts is Bill Robens’ Transitions, where cast members skillfully perform an imaginative string of mime tableaus to segue from play to play. All are shrewdly directed by Sabrina Lloyd.
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Now running through September 16

NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED – The Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

A workshop production whose aim is to showcase the talents of the Echo Theatre Company’s apprentice members, Nevertheless, She Persisted presents a mixed bag of one-acts that includes one dark ironic farce of considerable note and four other plays which vary in depth and craft. Read more…

Now running through September 10

EMILIE: LA MARQUISE DU CHÂTELET DEFENDS HER LIFE TONIGHT at Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by John Klopping

Photo by John Klopping

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the positive uses of art is to shine a light on historical figures that might otherwise  have remained obscure — to give someone the credit he or she deserved but didn’t receive in life. A film such as Hidden Figures, which detailed the important contributions African-American women made to the space program, is a good example.Read more…

Now running through September 17

BLACKBIRD at Grove Theatre Center

Photo by Jess Nurse

Photo by Jess Nurse

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

David Harrower’s edgy psychodrama has had many successful iterations over the years (most recently at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival), and now comes to Burbank’s Grove Theatre Center for a limited run. It’s a cheerless account of love and sexual obsession, as well as a stark glimpse of the collision of past and present.
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Now running through 17

WELCOME TO THE WHITE ROOM at Theatre of Note

 

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Trish Harnetiaux’s bizarre dark comedy, three slightly mad scientists find themselves stranded in an entirely white room. They are Mr. Paine (Chris Gardner), Jennings (Sarah Lily), and Mrs. White (Sierra Marcks).
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

 As Trish Harnetiaux’s “Welcome to the White Room” began, in its west coast premiere production at Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood, my first reaction was to think of Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit”: three people are placed in a room without any real understanding of what they are to do there.
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Now running through September 11

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW at the Lounge Theatre

(Photo by Logan S. Hufford)

(Photo by Logan S. Hufford)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

John Patrick Shanaley is practically unique among American playwrights in that although he has consistently hewed to a distinctly personal vision and style, he has achieved impressive commercial success as a screenwriter (Moonstruck, Doubt) and a director (Doubt).
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Now running through September 24

THE BALD SOPRANO AND THE LESSON at the Santa Monica Playhouse

(Photo by S. Dolinsky)

(Photo by S. Dolinsky)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In troubled times like these, there should be something rewarding in unwinding with absurdism. After all, when the world doesn’t make sense, a dose of topsy-turvy comedy should be just what the doctor ordered. French playwright Eugene Ionesco was one of the masters of absurdist comedy….
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Now running through August 26

‘HAMILTON’ IN LA IN THE TIME OF TRUMP

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Don Shirley – LA Observed

“Hamilton” was one of the great cultural achievements of the Obama years. The president nurtured its growth by hosting a 2009 performance of the show’s titular song in the White House, before the rest of the musical was even written. Then, after “Hamilton” had opened to widespread acclaim in New York, where its story is set, Michelle Obama called it “the best piece of art that I have ever seen” at yet another White House event in 2016.

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HAMILTON at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

So much has been written about Hamilton since its debut two and a half years ago. This musical, which has won just about every award it was eligible for including the Best Musical Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, has embedded itself in the pop culture zeitgeist more than any musical ever has. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

When Hamilton was performed for the Obamas in 2016, Michelle Obama is said to have called it “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.” Did she overstate things? Now that I’ve seen the show (for the first time), I don’t think she did. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz - TheaterMania

So often, expectations can overwhelm an actual experience, but the gripping Hamilton at the Pantages lives up to the hype.   Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How.” That’s the first word of Hamilton. The word, as a question, repeats throughout.    Pretty much everyone who has seen or heard this musical agrees it is genius. The question remains, how did Lin-Manuel Miranda come up with this miracle? Read more…

Pauline Adamek  -  ArtsBeatLA

When a touring Broadway show finally comes to town, coasting on a tidal wave of hype and critical acclaim, it’s difficult to make a clear-headed assessment of its value. Following its fêted move from the East Village to Broadway, composer and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has taken up residence at the glamorous Pantages Theater in Hollywood. There will performances through December 30, 2017.  Read more…

Now running through December 30

THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

(Photo by Gina Long)

(Photo by Gina Long)

Frances Baum Nicholson – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

A musical format which has become extremely popular, particularly in smaller venues, involves taking popular music from a particular genre and a particular time period and building a storyline around what is essentially a nostalgic concert.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Directed by Robert Marra at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Roger Bean’s The Marvelous Wonderettes offers a sparkling showcase of pop songs from the 1950s and 60s.   Read more…

Now running through September 17