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Archive for Ellen Dostal

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

 

SWEENEY TODD at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Done right, the first notes of a musical will tell you exactly what kind of world you’re stepping into. When it comes to the masters, Stephen Sondheim does it better than just about anyone.
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Now running through February 16

 

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

 

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

 

 

COME FROM AWAY at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

On paper, it feels a bit wrong to call a musical about September 11th, 2001 “uplifting.” It is easy to wonder how that could possibly be true…until seeing Come From Away, a true marvel of a show that manages to take a large story everyone knows about one of the most devastating days in modern times and find inside of it a much smaller story few people know that shines a light on the very best aspects of humanity.      Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

On September 11, 2001, the world stopped. A horrific and unforgettable event took place that a generation will always remember where they were, what they were doing when they first heard news of it.    Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

On Sept. 11, 2001, 38 airliners were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. There they remained grounded for five days.

The story of the Canadians and the world travelers they fed and housed makes up this 2013 musical — with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. You won’t hum any of the songs when you’re leaving the theater. You will instead hum the human spirit.
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Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

My one big recommendation this holiday season is an easy one – go see Come From Away at the Ahmanson. That’s it. The world’s a tough place right now and this musical will restore your faith in humanity in every way possible.    Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

No argument. Anyone who was alive and over 5 or 6 on September 11, 2001 remembers with aching accuracy all that they did, heard, and reacted to that day.
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Now running through January 6

ONE ACT FESTIVAL at SkyPilot Theatre Company

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

New work is the lifeblood of the theatre and it is also the sole focus of LA-based SkyPilot Theatre Company. Going one step further, SkyPilot’s niche is “producing only original plays, created by LA playwrights,” which they have done consistently since 2010.
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Now running through November 18

THE WOMAN WHO WENT TO SPACE AS A MAN at Son of Semele

Mauricio Gomez

Mauricio Gomez

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Maureen Huskey’s new one act play with music takes place wholly in the moment before death. Conceived as a 90 minute suspension of time in which Alice B. Sheldon (Betsy Moore) watches her life pass before her eyes, it blends music, movement, sound, and text to create as enigmatic a piece as the life of its central character. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Alice B. Sheldon was a Chicago debutante who was never completely comfortable in her body or her life.
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Now running through November 18