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Archive for Broadway World

JULIUS WEEZER at the El Portal Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

To quote an obscure Elizabethan playwright, “we lucky few” have been privileged to enjoy the work of the Troubadour Theater Company for 25 years now. Its trademark — combining a play (often Shakespeare) with the music of a famous artist, then adding its own blend of anarchy and witty topical references (Hello, Game of Thrones Starbucks cup!) — remains a reliable delight.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In JULIUS WEEZER, Troubadour Theater Company uses its signature wit to turn a Shakespeare classic into a blissfully-alive rocker version of its ancient self, and the result is divine madness. You don’t need to be a Bard lover to have a great time but, if you are, you’ll be impressed by the level of classical talent on stage and the company’s ability to “speak the speech” while tickling your funny bone.
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Now running through May 19

THE SECRET GARDEN – 3-D Theatricals at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

When 3-D Theatricals artistic director T.J. Dawson tells you during the curtain speech to read his program note before THE SECRET GARDEN begins, take him at his word.
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Now running through May 19

A Conversation with Matt Walker and Beth Kennedy, the King and Queen of Troubie Land

weezer david 3x750

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

When it comes to developing a loyal fan base, Troubadour Theater Company has found the secret: do outstanding work, stay true to your aesthetic, and give the people what they want – a great time at the theater. Artistic Director Matt Walker started the troupe and, with the help of longtime friend and foil, Beth Kennedy, continues to lead his merry band into the great theatrical unknown. Next up for the company is JULIUS WEEZER, which combines Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR and the music of Weezer to tell its tale of political intrigue Troubie style. Today, they talk about what it’s like putting together a new show and why they keep on coming back for more.

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ARGONAUTIKA at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The best way to characterize Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the mythical tale of Jason and the Argonauts is as a playground for adults in which theatre artists use every storytelling trick in the book to bring gods, monsters, mortals, and kings to life.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The poet Ovid wrote his classic Metamorphoses during the reign of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. In 1996 playwright/director Mary Zimmerman brought ten of the myths to life in a pool of water on stage in Chicago and later Los Angeles and New York.
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Now running through May 5

JULIUS CAESAR – Independent Shakespeare Co at Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex

Grettel Cortes

Grettel Cortes

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Taking its cue from Orson Welles‘ 1937 Mercury Theatre production of JULIUS CAESAR, Independent Shakespeare Co. exercises its exceptional ability to adapt one of Shakespeare’s massive works for an intimate indoor setting without giving up any of the play’s scope or impact.
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Now running through May 11

THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON at The Wallis-Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Kevin Parry

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Remember the joy of being a kid and spending hours upon hours acting out stories using whatever you could find? When two sticks stood in for a swordfight to save the day or a towel became the mantle of a king? That’s what it feels like watching PigPen Theatre Co. in THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON at The Wallis.
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Now running through March 17

CATS at the Pantages Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Do you invent a new cuss word every time your phone insists you install a slight update? Do you glare at products in the grocery store whose labels boast “improved” when you know they’re not.

Chances are, then, you’ll feel the same about this “new Broadway production” of “Cats,” in its national tour, currently stalking across the stage and up the aisles of Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Without a doubt, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical CATS is of an era. Based on one of Lloyd Webber’s favorite books as a child, T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, it was a perfect vehicle for the tastes of theatre lovers in the eighties, the decade of excess.
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Now running through April 14

OTHELLO at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Never has the relationship between Iago and Roderigo in Shakespeare’s OTHELLO stolen the show like it does in the current A Noise Within production, directed by Jessica Kubzansky.
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Now running through April 28

RAGTIME at the Pasadena Playhouse

Nick Agro

Nick Agro

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Ragtime has got to be up there with Oklahoma! as one of the most undeniably American musicals of all time, and it has finally come home to Southern California. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical made its U.S. premiere at the now-demolished Shubert Theatre in Century City in 1997, before opening on Broadway the following year.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

How do you scale down an epic musical like RAGTIME for a smaller stage and a different time? When it opened at the Shubert Theatre in Century City in 1997, the cast numbered nearly fifty, the same as it would for its Broadway debut later that year. The stage was enormous and the production filled every inch of it.

For the revival at Pasadena Playhouse, director David Lee has a different spin.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Make them hear you” is one of the most well-known refrains in Ragtime, and the current production at the Pasadena Playhouse is in fact demanding to be heard—and it is well worth listening to.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 1975, E.L. Doctorow published Ragtime, his work of historical fiction set in and around New York City during the early years of the 20th Century. He intermingled the stories of three distinct groups of people–upper Middle Class white Americans in New Rochelle, African Americans in Harlem and Eastern European immigrants in the slums of the lower East Side.
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Now running through March 3

WITNESS UGANDA at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Presumably expelled by his New York City church for being gay, Griffin Matthews gathered his earnings from his then-unfruitful acting career and headed to Uganda for a six-week stay to help build a school.

He changed lives there. The Ugandans he met changed his. And from this real-life journey comes “Witness Uganda: A Documentary Musical,” though more musical than documentary, at the Wallis in Beverly Hills through March 3.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

I was not expecting the new show “Witness Uganda: A Documentary Musical” to win me over.

First, there’s that subtitle — its sheer rhetorical daring evoking all my favorite oxymorons, including “jumbo shrimp,” “new classic” and “unbiased opinion.”
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Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld

The need for human connection runs deep in WITNESS UGANDA, a musical by Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould based on Matthews’ real-life experiences in Uganda. At its center is the idea that we are all part of a global family – one world, one heart – connected by an invisible thread that never lets go.  Read more…

Now running through March 3

 

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTANA CLAUS – Troubadour Theater Company at The El Portal Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

What would Christmas in LA be without the Troubies? A lot less funny.

Happily, artistic director, writer, and head jokester Matt “Mashup” Walker and his coterie of clowns aren’t about to let anyone down. Not only are they back with their seventeenth annual holiday show, they’re proving just how smart they really are when it comes to delivering a performance that has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening now.
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Now running through December 30

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The countdown to Christmas begins and ends with an all-out love blitz this year in For the Record’s latest world premiere, LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE, a hybrid entertainment that blends scenes from Richard Curtis‘ 2003 film Love Actually with live performances of the movie’s soundtrack.
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Now running through December 31