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Archive for Celebration Theatre

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…

Now running through July 15

 

SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF A PLAY at the Celebration Theatre

Mat Hayes

Mat Hayes

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s little that chills the blood of a theatre critic more than the three words “one-man show.” When these things are bad, they tend to be especially so, and unlike a usual play, there’s nothing else to distract one from the spectacle. On the other hand, when they’re good, they place the focus squarely on great writing and performance and can be very satisfying.
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Now running through March 25

TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST at the Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Byron Lane’s shtick-drenched comedy at the Celebration Theatre, a flamboyant figure claiming to be actress Tilda Swinton (Tom Lenk) shows up on the doorstep of a suicidal man named Walt (Lane) and inspires him to accept himself and get on with his life. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s a special subset of shows that parody or examine a particular celebrity, such as Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers’ Matt & Ben (about the titular Good Will Hunting creators), or Jonathan Tolins’ examination of life in Streisand’s home mall in Buyer and Cellar. Read more…

Now running through August 31

 

BRIGHT COLORS AND BOLD PATTERNS at the Celebration Theatre

Photo by Russ Rowland

Photo by Russ Rowland

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Humor is subjective.

In this case the show in question is writer/performer Drew Droege’s Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, directed by Michael Urie at the Celebration Theatre. Urie wowed L.A. audiences in Buyer & Cellar at the Ahmanson in 2014.  Droege is a comedian known on the Internet for his drag impersonations of Chloe Sevigny.

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Now running through November 14

BOOTYCANDY – Celebration Theatre at the Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Robert O’Hara’s Lambda Award-winning comedy is the first production by Celebration Theatre in its new home. It’s largely a fictionalized, semi-autobiographical tale satirizing the trials and tribulations of growing up Black.

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In some ways Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy is like a confounding road trip: you get where you’re going eventually, but not before encountering a bunch of bewildering detours. Read more…

 

Now running through December 20.

 

The Homosexuals and Celebration Arrive in Atwater Village

Photo by Sean Lambert

Photo by Sean Lambert

Les Spindle – LA Stage Times

The show must go on for the currently homeless 31-year-old Celebration Theatre, and it will.

Celebration’s season is opening belatedly, as the veteran GLBT-focused group is offering the West Coast premiere of Philip Dawkins’ ensemble drama The Homosexuals at Atwater Village Theatre.   Read more…

Justin Love, Celebration Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont.

 

Justin Love — Book by Patricia Cotter and David Elzer, Story by David Elzer and Bret Calder, Music by Lori Scarlett and David Manning, Lyrics by Lori Scarlett.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – TalkinBroadway.com

Justin Love gives an old plot a modern twist, shines it up with with a bright and upbeat score, adds genuinely clever dialogue and lyrics, and wraps it all up in a Hollywood that only exists in fairy tales. The result is a feel-good musical in the very best sense of the phrase—a show which (even if just for a couple hours) makes you think that dreams can come true, there are no real villains, and maybe, just maybe, barriers to equality aren’t as insurmountable as they seem.  Read more…

 

David C. Nichols – L.A. Times

Tinseltown tunefully outs itself in Justin Love, triumphantly opening the Celebration Theatre’s 30th anniversary season. Though not without its still-gelling aspects, this witty, full-hearted musical fable about an idealistic Hollywood assistant and the A-Lister he un-closets is as endearing an item as any in the venue’s history.   Read more…

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Fresh and fun, the marvelous new musical about gay closet-life in Hollywood, Justin Love, was eight years in development, and the dedication shows. The storyline is sweet and not-too-predictable, the songs are snappy, upbeat and enjoyable and the direction and staging by Michael Matthews is fluid. While it could be read as a sly dig at a certain high profile actor who adamantly refuses to ‘come out,’ the plot is far more interesting and original than easy satire. Sure, it does poke fun at certain Hollywood archetypes – opportunistic gayboys, harridan bosses and sleazy tabloid journalists – but what keeps you engaged throughout is its sweet romantic core.  Read more…

 

Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA.com

As with any fairy tale, we know the story but eagerly await the manner of its telling. The hero must make a difference, must battle demons, and probably should end up “the winner.” And likely if you have decided to see this production, you’d approve of the outcome. So, how is the telling?  Read more…