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Archive for ArtsInLA

FALSETTOS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people hear the term “falsetto” and think of the vocal technique used by male singers to sing notes above their natural range, often resulting in a sound that is strikingly high and, in a sense, untraditional. It is not very obvious why the musical Falsettos, which opened last night at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre as part of a national tour, has the title it does, but it is about an untraditional family.
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Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Falsettos is a master class in acting modulation. The characters are self-involved, sometimes violent, energy vampires. An actor must be true to author William Finn’s vision of Marvin and his clan, revealing warts and all, but compel the audience to accept and forgive those who need eons of therapy.
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Now running through May 19

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN – Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

 Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Catch Me If You Can, based on the hit Steven Spielberg movie, is a swingin’ ’60s musical by the composers that brought Hairspray to the stage. At Musical Theatre West, director Larry Raben captures the energy of ’60s television variety specials…….Read more…

Now running through April 14

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN at Antaeus Theatre Company

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Playwright Martin McDonagh has mastered the art of slamming razor-sharp dark humor into sentimentality. The humor is always fierce, but he allows the audience to connect with the characters even in his works’ most perverse moments.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Irish writer Martin McDonagh is now a well-known and well-respected screenwriter and film director after 2017’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as well as his earlier films In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths.
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Now running through March 2

HELLO, DOLLY! at the Pantages Theatre

Julieta Cervantes

Julieta Cervantes

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Put on your Sunday clothes and get down to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre because there’s a new matchmaker in town, and her antics are bound to warm even the coldest of hearts. The Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Hello Dolly! is currently making its Los Angeles debut as part of a national tour, and it has arrived bursting at the seams with style and joy.
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Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

In the lexicon of American Musical Theatre, Hello, Dolly! is one of the best star vehicles ever written. And, because of the title role’s iconic nature, almost everyone can name the leading ladies who have played her.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

The national tour of director Jerry Zaks’ exuberantly received revival of “Hello, Dolly!” has finally reached the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. And though it brings us neither Bette Midler, who won a Tony Award for the title role in 2017, nor Bernadette Peters, who replaced Midler on Broadway to equally warm praise, this show cannot be accused of shortchanging us on star power.
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Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Betty Buckley is a Broadway legend. Besides her Tony-winning turn in Cats, she originated Martha Jefferson in 1776, tortured her daughter in the notorious flop Carrie, and replaced Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard.
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Now running through February 17

 

DEATH HOUSE at The Road on Lankershim

 Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Few elements of the criminal justice system generate more discourse and lack of consensus than capital punishment. There are now some 3,000 men and women on death row in the United States, many of whom have been languishing there for decades. Read more…

Harker Jones – Arts In LA

The death penalty ignites emotions in everyone, whether pro or con. It’s a complicated and complex subject, just like Jason Karasev’s world-premiere play Death House, which tackles the topic from many angles with compassion, intelligence, and insight.
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Now running through March 10

1776 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

Jason Niedle

Jason Niedle

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The musical “1776” is quite a piece of writing. Indeed, the story is the indisputable star in this La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts’ production, even while the performances engage and the staging enchants.
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Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

We hold these truths to be self-evident about the musical 1776. Truth one: Even an American audience member with a D- grade point average knows how this play will end. Truth two: Due to Peter Stone’s glorious libretto, what conclusions may be inevitable to everyone will still seem for most of play to be impossible…….Read more…

Now running through February 3

SCISSORHANDS at Rockwell Table and Stage

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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

After showcasing cheeky musical adaptations of films as diverse as Bridesmaids, Jurassic Park, and Hocus Pocus, Rockwell Table & Stage is back with a seasonal story that has enchanted audiences for 28 years. Tim Burton’s 1990 film Edward Scissorhands is an enduring classic that all misfits identify with—and we’ve all felt like misfits.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes, a story originally told nearly thirty years ago manages to feel more timely than ever. Read more…

Now running through January 27

 

THREE DAYS IN THE COUNTRY at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Love has a tendency to make fools out of people, and that is certainly the case in Three Days in the Country, Patrick Marber’s condensed adaptation of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, now in its west coast premiere at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
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Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Three Days in the Country, Patrick Marber’s adaptation of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, makes its West Coast premiere at Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale. A comedy of sexual compulsion, the play should explode. The gunpowder has been poured, but due to miscasting of a vital character, the director forgot to light the fuse.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Ivan Turgenev published A Month in the Country in 1855 under the title Two Women, a reference to two of his main characters — a disgruntled married woman and her teenage ward, who both fall passionately in love with a young student living in their home.  Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

According to the Director’s Note in the program for the current Antaeus Theatre Company’s production of Patrick Marber’s Three Days in the Country, his version of Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, Turgenev’s play inspired Anton Chekov to write for the theatre.
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Now running through August 26

THE 39 STEPS at International City Theatre

Tracey Roman

Tracey Roman

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

When it comes to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock is the acknowledged master. In 1935 he directed The 39 Steps, an adaptation of John Buchan’s popular British spy novel. The hero of the book is Richard Hannay, an ordinary man on the run from the authorities because he is a suspect in a murder.
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Now running through July 8

CABARET at the Celebration Theatre

Matthew Brian Denman

Matthew Brian Denman

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

By now, Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical Cabaret is as much a part of the American musical theater canon as Oklahoma. While it’s much darker than most of its Rodgers and Hammerstein counterparts (save, perhaps, for Carousel), it now feels like an old standby, performed by regional theaters and colleges nationwide. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Christopher Isherwood’s 1945 novel Berlin Stories was turned into a Broadway play called I Am A Camera in 1951 and later filmed, both starring a young Julie Harris as the desperate to be decadent cabaret performer Sally Bowles in 1930s Berlin. Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Kander & Ebb’s political musical Cabaret captures a horrific period in history. Set in 1929-1930 as the Nazis were coming into power, it is an unsparingly direct window into the deterioration of a country systematically brainwashed by the lunacy of a madman. It could never happen here, right? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany, and it was the end of the world.” Read more…

Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Based on the play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten (itself based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel The Berlin Stories/Goodbye to Berlin), Cabaret is a legendary musical: both the eight-time Tony-winning 1966 Broadway production and the eight-time Oscar-winning 1972 film adaptation.
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Now running through August 17

 

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN at Atwater Village Theatre

 

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The air between the words is so thick you could cut it with a knife in Daniel Talbott‘s shadowy play about three siblings attempting to survive their dysfunctional family. Each is broken in his or her own way and, as the hairball unravels, the audience must piece together their fragmented story over a period of six years.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There are generally two types of ghost stories: those with haunted characters, and those in which it is the audience that becomes haunted — that is, where the tale lingers after the show like an unquiet memory.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Daniel Talbott’s What Happened When is a claustrophobic, intense, and harrowing familial drama in the guise of a horror story. Set in a bedroom with red-paint (or blood-) spattered walls, three siblings huddle on a bed in an old farmhouse.
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Now running through April 26

 

THE MADRES at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Stephanie Alison Walker’s stirring drama is set in Buenos Aires in the 1980s, when Argentina was ruled by a ruthless military junta. Anyone who spoke out against the regime could be taken into custody and “disappeared,” and even those who privately disagreed with the government and its policies were in danger and subject to constant scrutiny by an extensive network of spies and informers.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Among the 20th century’s catalog of atrocities is the chilling fate of Los Desaparecidos of Argentina — unknown thousands of that country’s citizens who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by right-wing death squads between 1976 and 1983.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Madres is a searing, devastating look at a movement that swept Argentina in the 1970s. Set in 1978, the play focuses on Josefina (Margarita Lamas, who trades off with Denise Blasor), a housewife who buries her head in the sand at the political upheaval surrounding her….
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Now running through April 29