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Archive for Ahmanson Theatre

FUN HOME at the Ahmanson Theatre

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Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Erin Conley – OnStage

Don’t be misled by the sight of three adorable children bouncing around and singing “come to the fun home.” In this case, ‘fun’ is short for ‘funeral,’ and while little about the tragic tale could actually be described as fun, it can certainly be described as some of the very best storytelling modern musical theater has to offer. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Just when we thought theater had nowhere else to go, had no further means to crawl into our jaded hearts, “Fun Home” wandered onto the scene. It encapsulates the best of musical theater, the best of dramatic literature, and the best examples of how we are our own worst enemies. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A childhood spent in a family run funeral home would be daunting under the best of circumstances. One spent in a funeral home with a closeted gay father who was a perfectionist and a bitter mother who regretted the choices she made and the life she was living must have been a living hell. Read more…

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

The musical based on Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic novel covers familiar and mostly predictably territory, but is wrapped up in a pleasing score and solid performances. While the show was highly praised when it opened in 2014, it already feels oddly dated. Read more…

Now running through April 1

AMELIE at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Photo by Mariah Tauger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Those who dared to take a charming little French film and turn it into a Broadway-bound musical had to know they’d be facing brickbats along with the plaudits. Or, as the French say, criticism is easy but art is difficult. Read more…

Erin Conley – Onstage

It is always a treat when those of us in Los Angeles get a sneak peek of a Broadway-bound new musical, and Amelie is no exception. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Amelie, A New Musical is currently at the Ahmanson Theatre after premiering at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2015 and before opening on Broadway in early April, 2017. Read more…

Now running through January 15

A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Jan Versweyveld

Photo by Jan Versweyveld

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge was roundly praised in both London and New York. The current version at the Ahmanson, however, has at least a couple of major problems. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Belgian theater director Ivo van Hove revives Arthur Miller’s 1957 classic “A View From the Bridge” with a staging at once utterly realistic and utterly stylized. Read more…

Now running through November 5.

GREY GARDENS at the Ahmanson Theatre

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(© Craig Schwartz)

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Grey Gardens, based on the 1975 cult classic documentary, is a gem of a one-act musical. Unfortunately, there are two acts. In wanting to flesh out the characters who were captured in the film, book author Doug Wright, composer Scott Frankel, and lyricist Michael Korie focus the entire first act on backstory that drags the show down.  Read more...

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Grey Gardens The Musical, about two women who (seemingly) had it all and then lost it, resonates with meaning, especially if you’re a woman. For one thing, it’s a mother-daughter story, of which, unfairly, there are far fewer than father-son. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale were the last century’s East Coast mother and daughter scions who plummeted from wealth to filth. Neither their own inordinate affluence and celebrity nor those of their relatives could save this pair from the physical and mental decay ravaging their lives.     Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

A pair of cantankerous older ladies, mother and daughter, rattle around their enormous derelict mansion in this smash musical based on a legendary 1970s documentary about the downwardly mobile lives of Big and Little Edie Bouvier of the Hamptons. Read more…

Now running through August 14

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

There are numerous delights to be found in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder — the raucously hilarious musical play that opened last night at the Ahmanson Theatre. The ingenious and lavish puppet theater-like set, designed by Alexander Dodge; the gorgeously detailed period costumes, designed by Linda Cho; the clever book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and lovely music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, all beautifully played by a live orchestra and sung by a cast with astounding voices.    Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

I’m often disappointed with the touring versions of shows that did well on Broadway or in London, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the current production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at the Ahmanson is excellent on every level. Based on the same source material as the classic film Kind Hearts and Coronets, this show is a dark delicacy of exquisite charm. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

How do they do it? As great artists, legendary sports coaches and our favorite schoolteachers will tell us, it’s all in the fundamentals.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” at the Ahmanson through May 1, is the lightest, brightest musical tour to swing through Los Angeles in a handful of theatrical ages. It demands nothing from its audiences except to enjoy every moment. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is a delectable concoction of a musical. True, it may not have you rolling in the aisles every single minute of its two hour and thirty minute length. But the show, directed by Darko Tresnjak (who also directed the 2013 Tony-winning Broadway original), has a lot to offer….Read more…

Now running through May 1

AN ACT OF GOD at the Ahmanson Theatre

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Photo by Jim Cox

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

God has returned to earth and borrowed Sean Hayes’ body to impart wisdom to the audience at the Ahmanson Theatre and deliver an updated 10 Commandments for the new millennium. Playwright David Javerbaum hilariously skewers humanity’s assumptions about God’s purpose using the popular TV comedian Hayes as a perfect vessel. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Directed by Joe Mantello, An Act of God is one of those comedies that will be disappointing if you go in expecting to split your sides laughing, but perfectly acceptable if you’re content to be reasonably entertained. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

So, Sean Hayes is playing God. The actor who once stood out among a quartet of standouts in the television series Will & Grace—playing the really funny second fiddle in a funny group of friends—stands out in this not-quite-solo show for playing the Judeo-Christian deity. Read more…

Now running through March 13

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at the Ahmanson Theatre

la-et-cm-the-bridges-of-madison-county-at-the--001Margaret Gray – LA Times

It happens so often in Iowa that the housewives have come to expect it: Moments after their husbands and children head off to the state fair, hunky photographers arrive, asking directions to picturesque bridges. The photographers have drifters’ souls and hide from true intimacy behind their cameras. Read more…

 Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

A runaway bestseller like Robert James Waller’s romantic novel, The Bridges of Madison County, must be irresistible to adapt to more popular media. What’s intriguing is that both as a movie, and now as a Broadway musical, first-rank creative talent have been enticed to tackle the purplish passion as a challenging technical exercise. Read more…

Now running through January 17.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

First of all, this is indeed your father’s The Sound of Music, in its national tour now launching here. The stage version birthed the film, which retained much of the theatrical book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.  Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s a romantic story: A young woman, plucked from her arcane studies, reinvigorates a stagnant community with the power of her song.

I’m referring, of course, to 20-year-old Kerstin Anderson, who plays Maria von Trapp in the revival of “The Sound of Music” beginning a national tour at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Heavenly harmonies, a singing nun and a passel of adorable children — family entertainment doesn’t get more wholesome than The Sound of Music, which opened this week at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in Downtown LA. Read more…

Bob Verini  -   Variety

Too bad Pope Francis couldn’t have capped his U.S. visit with the revival of “The Sound of Music” at the Ahmanson Theater. The Holy Father would surely have been impressed…….Read more…

Now running through October 31.

 

REAL WOMEN OF EAST LA ARE IN THE PALISADES AND PASADENA – Don Shirley, L.A. Observed

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Don Shirley – LA Observed

Center Theatre Group, which continues to call itself “L.A.’s Theatre Company,” also continues to demonstrate virtually no interest in LA stories.

When CTG recently announced the next Mark Taper Forum season, after previously revealing new seasons for the coming year at CTG’s Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas theaters, I began counting. So, how many of the 14 CTG productions at these three venues are set in or near LA?

None.

Read more…

MATILDA at the Ahmanson Theatre

"Matilda"

Photo by Joan Marcus

Jon Magaril – Curtain Up

Broadway is commonly viewed as a middle-of-the-road mecca for lite, tourist-friendly fare. But a surprisingly significant number of current smash hit musicals focus on singing revolutionaries battling stinging oppression. Elphaba defies the the duplicitous Wizard and Miss Morrible; Jean Valjean, France’s Orleanist monarchy; and Elder Price, the Ugandan despot General Butt-Fucking Naked. The most inspiring of these rebels with a tuneful cause is the youngest, Matilda Wormwood. Read more…

Now running through July 20.

DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOOD-BYE at the Ahmanson Theatre

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http://artsinla.com/Theater_Reviews.html

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

…With diamond studs in her horned-rimmed glasses, the purple-wigged, megalomaniac alter ego of 80-year-old Australian Barry Humphries spends much of the evening goading her Ahmanson Theatre audience. Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Dame Edna! The mere title and name connote rapier wit, lightly off-color insults, and self-obsession, in the ultimate unabashed satire of celebrities’ narcissism, not to mention their closet contempt for the paying customers. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

BLITHE SPIRIT at the Ahmanson Theatre

"Blithe Spirit"

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Noel Coward is said to have written Blithe Spirit in less than a week. The play premiered a couple of months after he completed it, in 1941, when the Germans were bombing London, and audiences, no doubt desperate for distraction, stepped gamely over the rubble on their way to the theater. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Noël Coward’s wonderfully daffy supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit is now playing at the Ahmanson, in downtown Los Angeles, with the marvelous (almost) nonagenarian Angela Lansbury portraying the idiosyncratic spiritualist at the center of the story. The acclaimed actress is returning to the role of Madame Arcati, for which she won her fifth Tony Award® in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Read more…

Now running through January 18.