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Archive for Gazette Newspapers

FENCES at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

August Wilson’s plays are as much about the historical experience of African-Americans as they are about any one of his characters. This is certainly true of Fences, which begins in 1957, a year marked by federal troops on the ground in Arkansas and the forced desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

You’ve got to take the crookeds with the straights,” says the disillusioned protagonist of “Fences” at International City Theatre. That observation indicates the multiple conflicts running through the late, great August Wilson’s 1987 study of a former Negro League player turned garbage collector battling prejudice, regrets and mortality. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Press-Telegram

Fences can keep people out and fences can keep people in. Fences separate races and generations. But for Troy Maxson, they also represent goals not reached and, for as long as he can manage, a barrier to death. Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

If you’re a theater fan, you undoubtedly know that August Wilson, set out to write a 10-cycle play about the African-American experience — with one for each decade of the 20th Century.`Read more…

Now running through September 13.

 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at the Long Beach Playhouse

Photo by Mike Hardy

Photo by Mike Hardy

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

This blockbuster rock-opera exploded from the stage in 1971 and has been playing all over the world ever since.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice, the plot revolves around the last week of Jesus’s life — from his arrival in Jerusalem until his world-renowned death.Read more…

Now running through August 15.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

Photo by Caught in the Moment Photography.

Photo by Caught in the Moment Photography.

Dany Margolies – Press-Telegram

More rain is coming down on the Carpenter Performing Arts Center’s stage through the end of this month than has been seen in Long Beach all year. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Perennially listed in the top films of all times, MGM’s Singin’ in the Rain is an early rarity: a film that preceded the subsequent theatrical production. Co-directed and choreographed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, with a screenplay by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, the film is inventive and iconic.em>Read more…Loredana Nesci

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Although I didn’t know it until recently, this is Musical Theatre West’s third production of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

If practice makes perfect and three is a charm, it’s not surprising to learn that tickets are hard to get, nor that MTW is almost sold out for the entire run. So act fast if you’re anxious to see what the excitement is all about, because “Singin’ in the Rain” closes Sunday.Read more…

Now running through July 23.

 

THE HEIR APPARENT at International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center

Photo by Susan Mapes

Photo by Susan Mapes

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Struggles over inheritance are always painful — unless, of course, they take place in a French farce, in which case they are endlessly prankish and ribald. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

David Ives’s“translaptation” of Jean-Francois Regnard’s 1708 farce The Heir Apparent (Le Legataire Universel), at International City Theatre, also involves a gathering to squabble over inheritance, only this time the corpse-to-be remains very much alive….Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Most people have never heard of French playwright Jean-Francois Regnard. Yet in his day, his work was compared to (and as popular as) the legendary comedies of Moliere — whose name is synonymous with the genre. Read more…

Now running through July 12.

GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES at the Garage Theatre

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Shirle Gottlieb – Gazettes.com

If you’ve ever seen anything written by Rajiv Joseph, you know that this brilliant young playwright is fascinated by the concept of why things happen.

In other words, why do different people do what they do? In each work, he courageously explores a different facet of human behavior by slowly peeling away obstacles in the outer layers, so he can access the heart of whatever matter he’s pursuing.

Read more…

Now running through through June 27.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Long Beach Playhouse

Death-of-a-Salesman-photo

Photo by Michael Hardy

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

I can’t count how many productions I’ve seen of “Death of a Salesman” over the years — including, of course, the inevitable movie that packs the theater whenever or wherever it plays.

Read more…

Now running through June 20.

SPRING AWAKENING at the Long Beach Playhouse

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Playhouse

Photo courtesy of the Long Beach Playhouse

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Set in 1891 when Germany was a rigid, class-oriented culture — one that was strictly dominated by male authority-figures — “Spring Awakening” was censored and banned from the stage. Those in charge considered it to be unfit for anyone in Germany’s “proper, well-brought-up society.” Resurrected and presented to audiences more than 100 years later, it was enormously successful as an authentic slice of drama. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

BIG FISH – Musical Theatre West at the Carpenter Center

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Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

When Paul Garman (Musical Theatre West’s executive director/producer) saw “Big Fish” on Broadway last fall, it was so outstanding he called it “magical.”

Indeed, he knew he had to bring it home to Long Beach. And so, being the inimitable musical theater executive that he is, this astonishing, award-winning, “magical” musical opened last Saturday before a sold-out audience in the Carpenter Center. Read more…

Now running through November 16.

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

Beauty01Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

What began years ago as a beloved animated children’s film became a hit Broadway musical in 1994. Live actors, singers and dancers play all the parts — even those of animals and household objects in the Beast’s haunted castle. Based on a book by Linda Woolverton (who went to Wilson High School); with music by Alan Menken (Academy Award-winning composer), and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice; “Beauty and the Beast” has become a beloved musical theater classic. Read more…

S’WONDERFUL at Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts

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Photo by Caught in the Moment

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Papers

As you take your seat in the Carpenter Center, the first thing you notice is the curtain has been raised.

The bare stage is dark and there is no scenery — only a grand piano, plus empty chairs and music stands silhouetted against a royal blue backlight. Then the musicians take their places, with musical director Bret Simmons seated at the piano; and suddenly, the theater is filled with the haunting rhythm of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

It would seem that producing a musical featuring the melodies of George Gershwin with the lyrics of his elder brother, Ira, would be simplicity itself, as their work has been acknowledged as among the greatest collaborations in musical theater history. The work has been recognized universally as remarkable for its breadth of style and sophisticated musicality. It was said that the music had “one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall.”  Read more…

Now running through April 20.

THE MUSIC MAN at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center

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Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Celebrated composer-lyricist Meredith Willson (1902-1984) had a colorful but surprisingly limited Broadway career, which included “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” (1960), “Here’s Love” (1963), and his most indelible musical, “The Music Man” (1957). Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb

Yeah, you’re right, “The Music Man” is an old war-horse over fifty years old; but it still has legs!  In fact, Meredith Wilson’s tribute to his home state (Iowa) has been in such demand, Musical Theatre West has produced it five times during its sixty-year history.  The latest version just opened last weekend under the direction of Jeff Maynard, with musical direction by Corey Hirsch and choreography by John Todd. Read more…

 Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How prescient was Meredith Willson to recognize the valuable gift we give our children when we expose them to the arts? In his 1957 musical The Music Man, the kids—and their parents—focus on forming a band, and the gangs and gossips find common ground and a better way to spend their days. Or, is there just one small problem? In the words of the infuriated town mayor, “Where’s the band?” Read more…

Now running through March 9.

OLD BLACK MAGIC: A HAUNTED MUSICAL at the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre

 

obShirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

The Olio Theatre Works is back with a new version of its all-time favorite production — one that OTW first produced 10 years ago.

By adding music and lyrics to “Old Black Magic,” Terra Taylor-Knudson and Lauren Nave have turned their Voodoo comedy into a high-spirited “Haunted Musical.” (Get it? The double meaning of “spirit” is intended.) On stage this at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday, “Old Black Magic” is part of the Collaborative Series in the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre.  Read more…

Now running through February 9.