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Archive for Erin Conley

DIANA OF DOBSON’S AT Antaeus Theatre Company’s Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It is rare to see a play written in 1908 that can be described as feminist, but Diana of Dobson’s, currently playing at Los Angeles’s Antaeus Theatre Company in a rare production, is a delightful surprise.
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Now running through June 2

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

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT at the Edgemar Center for the Arts

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

If you find the page count or the dense subject matter of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment too intimidating, Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus’s award-winning stage adaptation might be more palatable. Clocking in at a cool 90 minutes and featuring only three actors, this version boils the classic tale down to the essentials, while still preserving the cat-and-mouse dynamic the source material is so known for.
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Now running through May 26

 

THE NICETIES at Geffen Playhouse

T. Charles Erickson

T. Charles Erickson

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people who went to college likely remember office hours as a phenomenon that you were glad existed, but rarely utilized. But in The Niceties, a play by Eleanor Burgess currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, office hours become a battleground between a professor and a student who see the world very differently.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In The Niceties, playwright Eleanor Burgess constructs a dialectic between a white liberal professor of history who believes in the ideal of America despite its failings, and an angry African-American student who bitterly challenges the bedrock of her teacher’s beliefs.
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Now running through May 12

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Believe it or not, the characters in the musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory do not actually enter the titular chocolate factory until the very end of act one. That’s right, over an hour in to this perplexing adaptation there is nary an Oompa Loompa in sight.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Over the years, not all casts of national tours that come through Southern California are stellar. “Why aren’t we seeing better performers?” we may have been muttering to ourselves. We’re not saying that during this national tour of “Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’”……..
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

British author Roald Dahl’s children’s books (Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others) are known for their unsentimental, macabre and often darkly comic moods.
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Now running through April 14

THE WOLVES – ECHO THEATER COMPANY at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“We are the Wolves. We are the Wolves,” a group of teenage girls chants, each repetition of the phrase growing in both volume and urgency. The Wolves are a high school indoor soccer team, and the subject of Sarah DeLappe’s play of the same name currently in its west coast premiere at the Echo Theater Company.     Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It’s both remarkable and unnerving when a writer, director, and cast work in tandem so effectively that you leave the theater feeling like you know the characters personally. It’s a rare magic, currently happening in Atwater Village, where Echo Theater Company is staging Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.       Read more…

Now running through April 22

LACKAWANNA BLUES at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Lackawanna Blues, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s autobiographical solo show, has been on quite a journey since it first premiered at the Public Theater in New York in 2001. After that first production, which won a special citation Obie Award, it played at multiple regional theaters across the United States before being adapted into an HBO movie in 2005.
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Now running through April 21

HOW WE’RE DIFFERENT FROM ANIMALS at Atwater Village Theatre

Meredith  Adelaide

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In How We’re Different From Animals, a world premiere play based on short stories by Miranda July, there is one common theme—romance. Romance is, after all, how July argues we are different from animals.
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Now running through March 24

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

MATTHEW BOURNE’S CINDERELLA at the Ahmanson Theatre

Johan Persson

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“Admit passersby!” urged Britain’s wartime instructions. In Matthew Bourne’s dance-theater production of “Cinderella,” we find a reminder to open up our hearts and let the sunshine in.

But the story Bourne tells, at the Ahmanson through March 10, is far from the sunny fairytale we might expect. Using Sergei Prokofiev’s brooding, elegantly dissonant, subtly disturbing score, and setting the story in 1940 during the Blitz, Bourne makes his version fully accessible yet requires the audience to put puzzle pieces together.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

There are no carriages turning into pumpkins to be seen in Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, an enchanting, contemporary ballet currently being presented by New Adventures at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Instead, this interpretation of the classic fairy tale takes place over a backdrop of a city in turmoil at the height of World War II, crafting a new story of lovers torn apart until they are reunited, thanks, of course, to a very special shoe. Read more…

Now running through March 10

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

 

HIR at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The word “hir” is a gender-neutral, third-person pronoun that replaces “him” or “her.” It’s an appropriate title for Taylor Mac’s play, which examines gender definitions in the context of an American family drama. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when you return home after time away only to find the home you remember has been rendered virtually unrecognizable? In Hir, a play by Taylor Mac currently in its Los Angeles premiere at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, the concept of a dysfunctional family is taken to another level.
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Now running through March 17