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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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DEFENDERS at the Broadwater Black Box

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sander

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

On May 10, 1940, Iceland was invaded by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines because the British government feared the possible Nazi takeover of the country. A little over a year later, defense of the country was transferred to the United States. Against this backdrop, Cailin Maureen Harrison tells a story about three U.S. soldiers on a classified mission who are confronted by the powers of nature and myth.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Cailin Maureen Harrison’s Defenders is receiving its World Premiere at The Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood courtesy of Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company. Harrison attempts to blur the lines between myth and reality in her tale of three shipwrecked U.S. soldiers on the tiny island of Hrisey off the northern coast of Iceland.
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Now running through December 8

ELIJAH at The Victory Theatre Center

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Placing a disparate group of characters in a location they can’t leave and forcing them to deal with each other has been a tried and true source of dramatic conflict since Sartre’s No Exit. The claustrophobia and stress of interacting with new people ratchets up the tension swiftly. So it is with Judith Leora’s new play, Elijah, which is receiving its West Coast premiere at The Victory Theatre.
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Now running through December 15

KEY LARGO at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Key Largo was first a 1939 Broadway play, then a 1948 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and finally, it is now at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a new world premiere adaptation. Adapted by Andy Garcia and Jeffrey Hatcher, this play shifts some of the focus to the character of Johnny Rocco (played by Garcia), a notorious gangster who takes the inhabitants of a Florida Keys hotel hostage during a hurricane.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Key Largo, a 1948 film classic, Humphrey Bogart played a disillusioned anti-hero, an ex-army officer in World War II who, despite his cynicism, musters up enough moral conviction to stand up to Edward G. Robinson’s sneering gangster, Johnny Rocco.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Batten down the hatches— a hurricane has come to the Geffen. Key Largo, the new adaptation of the 1948 John Huston film, creates thunder and lightning with visual effects that turn the theater into ground zero of a devastating storm. The technical team brilliantly crafts a mood of claustrophobia and despair.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Key Largo is one of the classic Warner Bros. gangster movies. The film was the fourth and final pairing of legendary screen couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It also featured the fifth screen pairing of tough guys Bogart and Edward G. Robinson.
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Now running through December 15