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Archive for Ellen Dostal

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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Now running through April 26

 

LOVE NEVER DIES at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Romance based on obsession is a challenging tale in today’s world. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 hit musical The Phantom of the Opera might have had a more difficult debut if it had taken place today amid the #MeToo movement. But it didn’t, and the British composer’s masterpiece went on to conquer the West End, Broadway, and the rest of the world, creating legions of fans in its wake.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

It is not clear whether the sentiments expressed in Glenn Slater’s lyrics for the title song of Love Never Dies, currently at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, are true or not.    Read more…

Now running through April 22

MACBETH. HIS STORY. HER TRAGEDY. at the McCadden Place Theatre

Macbeth 750x500 (1)

Fearless Imp Entertainment

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World
This adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy has been reconceptualized to connect with the modern day #MeToo movement by offering an alternative explanation for one of its leading character’s actions. It is built on the notion that all of the women are victims of sexual abuse – most specifically, Lady Macbeth – who, in this version, has been raped by King Duncan while her husband is off fighting the war.
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Now running through April 29

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at the Independent Shakespeare Company

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a young hotel manager optimistically states, in the face of every disaster: “In India we have a saying, ‘Everything will be alright in the end. So if it’s not alright, it is not yet the end.’ ” It’s the same idea Shakespeare’s heroine touts in ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL and, regardless of where it originated, it requires pluck.
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 Now running through April 22

UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS at the Little Victory Theatre

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld

Playwright Wendy Graf is best known for her uniquely dramatic works such as PLEASE DON’T ASK ABOUT BECKET, ALL AMERICAN GIRL, and NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME. But, in her latest world premiere, UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS – A LOVE STORY, she takes a lighter – and more formulaic – approach to her subject.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

A man and a woman meet at the airport. She is on her honeymoon, solo, after being dumped just before her wedding. He says he is on assignment for Animal Planet, researching the unemployed logging elephants of Myanmar.
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Now running through April 15

JACKIE UNVEILED at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Kevin Parry

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In Act 1 of JACKIE UNVEILED, Tom Dugan‘s new solo play about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she repeats a single phrase over and over. “I’m no good alone.” The chain smoking, alcohol indulging former first lady has just learned that her brother-in-law (and secret lover) Bobby Kennedy has been assassinated. Now, in the wee hours of the morning, she is distraught.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In the 1960s, only realists and Republicans could possibly think first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was not perfect. She was willowy, whispery, well-spoken. She had chic taste, financial comfort, a handsome husband. And he and she occupied the White House.
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Now running through March 18

ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

After nearly nine years, Allegiance has come home to Southern California. The co-production by East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center opened to a sold out crowd on Wednesday night, less than half a mile from the Japanese American National Museum where it had its first reading in 2009.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Produced by East West Players at the Japanese American Cultural Center, Allegiance features noted performer-activist George Takei, and draws inspiration from his personal experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There are two ways to look at the East West Players/Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s new production of the musical “Allegiance,” recently opened at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. Both have a validity, but the results of those two ways of examination may prove very different.

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In 21st century internet parlance, there’s a lot to unpack in East West Players’ production of Allegiance, now playing at Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. On the first, most obvious level, there’s the timeliness of telling a story about sending Americans off to internment camps — an event that no longer seems out of the realm of possibility given our current Administration.
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Now running through April 1

DADDY LONG LEGS at International City Theatre

 

Tracey Roman

Tracey Roman

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

It can be a wonderful adventure to watch two people falling in love, particularly when they themselves don’t realize it’s happening. When the adventure takes place on stage – as in John Caird and Paul Gordon’s musical two-hander DADDY LONG LEGS – the audience has an advantage because they get to see the relationship develop from both points of view.
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Now running through March 11

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

3-D Theatricals recreates a pivotal moment in rock and roll history in their latest production, Million Dollar Quartet. It’s the date (December 4, 1956) four legendary musicians – Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash – would all end up at Sun Records in Memphis on the same day and take part in one of the most famous jam sessions of all times.
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Now running through March 4

HENRY V at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

By the time Shakespeare gets to the last of his history plays concerning the Wars of the Roses*, HENRY V, the party boy who would be king has become a man. Gone are the indiscretions of youth seen in the earlier HENRY IV plays, which follow young Prince Hal on his escapades with Falstaff and the Eastcheap gang.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Of all Shakespeare’s history plays, the one which has always fascinated me most is “Henry V.”

From its prologue, which defines the very essence of live theater and the suspension of disbelief, through the humanity of its central figure wrestling with the understood demands of the crown and the lasting echoes of a misspent youth, it has an articulation of language and emotion which have always caught my imagination.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The idle, degenerate, boozing and whoring Prince Hal from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays grows up quickly when he ascends the throne and chooses to go to war with France in Henry V.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

A war pageant, Shakespeare’s Henry V portrays a king evolving into a formidable force. Codirectors Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott incorporate music, pomp, and studied performances to elevate the text and keep audiences engaged. Some directorial choices in this A Noise Within production, though, wound Act 1′s momentum. However, a triumphant Act 2 leaves audiences rousing for the English crown.
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Now running through April 6

 

THE BRICK: A ONE MAN MUSICAL at the Whitefire Theatre

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In Bill Berry’s solo show THE BRICK: A ONE MAN MUSICAL, Berry isn’t addressing the audience in a theater. He’s on a beach having a two-way conversation with his dead mother and we are the accidental eavesdroppers who witness their complicated relationship unfold piecemeal.
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PIRATES OF PENZANCE at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

When W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan premiered their operetta Pirates of Penzance in 1879, they never could have imagined the Hypocrites’ winning production, now playing at the Pasadena Playhouse 138 years later.
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Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Say what you will, The Hypocrites have found a way to transform traditional theatre into a form of entertainment that appeals to folks who’d rather go to a party than sit in a theater. And they’ve done it using Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. No joke.
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Now running through February 25