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Archive for ArtsInLA

THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Before Hamilton came along, there was another modern musical that took the world by storm, achieving rare crossover appeal with both theater and mainstream audiences and earning a place in the pop culture zeitgeist.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Joseph Smith. Angel Moroni. Nephites. Lamanites. Brigham Young. Golden Plates. You don’t have to know anything about any of the above arcane items in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, to enjoy the outrageous musical The Book of Mormon which is in its third visit to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The Book of Mormon is a phenomenon. It was geared to offend everyone and yet is so inoffensive that there have been no boycotts or controversy.    Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s vulgar, it’s blasphemous, it’s relentless. But it’s so skillfully, purposefully and humorously crafted, one might be hard-pressed to argue against it.   Read more…

 

 Now running through July 9

 

ACTUALLY at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He said, she said. Then he said more, and then she said more. They both kept saying things. But no matter how much they said, it was impossible to determine what had actually happened between the two freshmen in the Princeton University dorm room when they were very drunk. Was it consensual sex or rape? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Um, actually.” These seemingly innocuous words are critical to the events of the aptly named Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a co-world premiere with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

We see the kiss twice: once at the play’s beginning and once at its end. Her hands express her uncertainty. They don’t push him away, but they don’t embrace him. Her left hand hovers near his shoulder, a question mark over the moment and certainly over the play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Anna Ziegler’s smart and penetrating play Actually, now premiering at the Geffen Playhouse, Tom (Jerry MacKinnon), a freshman at Princeton, recounts an incident in which his best buddy Sunil leans in and kisses him on the mouth. Read more…

Now running through June 11

UNCANNY VALLEY at International City Theatre

Photo by Steven Georges

Photo by Steven Georges

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright Thomas Gibbons says the title of this play refers to the feeling that people have when they’re confronted with a very realistic robot: a feeling of fascination. He adds, “But the more realistic the robot becomes, at some point that fascination turns to a kind of revulsion. They’re creeped out, and that effect is called the ‘uncanny valley.’” Read more…

Now running through May 7

THE SIEGEL at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Fresh from the 2016 award winning Cloud 9 at Antaeus Theatre Company, savvy director Casey Stangl takes on a world premiere comedy by Michael Mitnick, designed to examine love and its complications. It has plenty of humor and a bit of food for thought along the way.    Read more…

Now running through April 23

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at the Pantages Theatre

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“When you think of Paris, what comes to mind?” This question, posed somewhat oddly to the audience, sets the tone for An American in Paris, the musical adaptation of the 1951 film of the same name now playing at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Most musicals either grab the audience or do not. It’s a risk to leave the audience a bit unsettled by intermission since there’s the chance people may walk out. An American in Paris takes that gamble, never giving audiences the assurance that the dangling story lines will ever gel, but by Act Two, it’s clear that the adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1951 musical is in very assured hands and quite a marvel. Read more…

Now running through April

AH WILDERNESS at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

When one thinks of Eugene O’Neill, one thinks of wrenchingly serious plays, but “Ah, Wilderness” gives him a chance to explore the comparative innocence of a life he wished he could have lived.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Ah, Wilderness! is a tender memory piece about a family rejoicing and struggling through the July Fourth holiday. Led by Nicholas Hormann and Deborah Strang as the patriarch and matriarch of the Miller Clan, the talented cast has the dynamics of a true family. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In his nearly 30 years of playwriting, Eugene O’Neill experimented with myriad stage conventions, winning Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Though most of his dramas were melancholy or tragic, in 1932 he penned a comedy that portrays the Miller family of Connecticut on the Fourth of July, 1906. Its protagonist is almost-17-year-old Richard (Matt Gall), certainly O’Neill’s alter ego, who is flush with first love and bursting with ideas culled from classic literature his mother finds improper for a boy his age. Read more…

Now running through May 20

 

FOR PIANO AND HARPO at the Falcon Theatre

Photo by Sasha Venola

Photo by Sasha Venola

Rob Stevens – HainesHisWay.com

Oscar Levant was a pianist, composer (“Blame It On My Youth”), actor (An American in Paris & The Band Wagon for starters), television personality (talk and quiz shows) and professional neurotic with an acid tongue and a quick retort for everything and everybody, including himself. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Noted musician, composer, and author Oscar Levant was one of those larger-than-life figures prominent from the 1930s until his death in 1972. In his New York days, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table along with Dorothy Parker, Alexander Wollcott, and Robert Benchley. Read more…

 

Now running through March 5

 

CHAPATTI at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have always been fond of Irish playwrights from Oscar Wilde’s wicked wit to George Bernard Shaw’s political take on the battle of the sexes. It’s the whimsical Irish with their gentle and/or raucous tales of opposites attracting and striking romantic sparks that resonate most with me. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Christian O’Reilly’s delightful Irish play about two lonely souls of a certain age is both witty and poignant. From the first moments when bachelor Dan (Mark Bramhall) speaks to the audience as storyteller, we are engaged in a tale that is deceptively simple yet thoroughly affecting. Read more…

Now running through January 29

THE WHOLEHEARTED at the Kirk Douglas theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Wholehearted is an intense, ambitious work in need of finessing.

Performed by Suli Holum, it’s inspired by the real life account of world champion female boxer Christy Martin, an abused spouse who survived a murder attempt by her husband but never made a comeback after he shot and stabbed her and left her for dead. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In Deborah Stein’s play “The Wholehearted,” world-premiering at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, a female prizefighter named Dee Crosby finds herself at a crossroads in life. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

Considering the gravity of the themes raised by this production—abuse, violence, homophobia, lifelong heartache—the audience should feel deeply immersed in the world of this woman boxer, feeling every literal and metaphoric punch that touched her. Instead, focus lands on the techniques the storytelling uses and not on the heart of The Wholehearted.

Now running through December 11

 

MEMPHIS at Musical Theatre West

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

High energy is the name of the game in Musical Theatre West’s 64th-season opener. With a large ensemble of talented singers and dancers, Memphis lives up to its Tony-award winning pedigree and delivers a thoroughly entertaining look at the music scene in the 1950s in the heavily segregated South. Read more…

Now running through November 6

GOING…..GOING….GONE! at the Hudson Theatre Guild

Going-Going-Gone_8

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This lightweight comedy, largely about legacy, by TV veteran and former sportscaster Ken Levine revolves around the hopes and fears of four L.A. sportswriters who are covering a baseball game that’s gone into extra innings. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

The sitcom originated in the early days of radio, and it has become one of the most-reliable forms for writers as they spin out a storyline. Playwright Ken Levine, with credits from M*A*S*H and other notable television comedies and 25 years as a major league baseball broadcast journalist, has used this structure and set the play in a press box in a Los Angeles ballpark. Read more…

Now running through November 6

HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY at the Getty Villa

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Scholars may try to tell us they know exactly what theater looked like in ancient Rome. But they’ll never convince all of us that Troubadour Theater Company’s Haunted House Party, in the nighttime air of the outdoor Getty Villa’s amphitheater, isn’t an exact replica of a sunny day at a suburban Roman crossroads, two millennia ago…..Read more…

Now running through October 1