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Archive for Gazette Newspapers – Page 2

RED at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA


Photo by Suzanne Mapes

It might be deduced, knowing painter Mark Rothko’s iconoclastic nature, that he might not applaud the news that a recent Christie’s auction of paintings included one by him that sold for $86.9 million. Considered one of the great postwar modern artists, in the latter years of his life he grew increasingly disturbed by the collector who wanted his work as a conquest, acquiring it as a trophy rather than for what meaning might be gleaned from it.
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Now running through September 15.






Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

John Logan’s Tony-winning play looks at the life and work of abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, a soldier in the art wars of the 20th century who helped to kill cubism and surrealism. In the play’s now, circa 1958-59, Rothko (Tony Abatemarco) is feeling threatened by the new generation of Pop artists, including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, who seem bent on killing abstract expressionism.
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Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Like almost everyone at opening-night, we were captivated by International City Theatre’s production of “Red” from the very beginning. So please forgive my use of the titular “we,” as I relate some personal history that’s relevant to this award-winning work before I start my review.
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SUNSET BOULEVARD at Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center








Les Spindle – Frontiers L.A.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1993 musical adaptation of writer-director Billy Wilder’s legendary 1950 film classic Sunset Boulevard is perhaps as well known for its behind the scenes melodrama as its Gothic-flavored narrative about faded Hollywood glamour and unrequited love.

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Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

It’s no wonder that “Sunset Boulevard” received an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1950, nor that it has become an American film classic. People marvel at the continuing resonance of this black and white “film noir” that starred Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond (the grand dame of the silent screen) and William Holden as Joe Gillis (a young struggling screen-writer).
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Vigils-Photo-5Shirle Gottlieb – The Gazette Newspapers

“Vigils,” an award-winning comedy by Noah Haidle, acclaimed Julliard graduate & playwright, is an extremely difficult play to perform. It tackles the serious subject of death and grieving in comedic form,which makes it more readily accessible to contemporary audiences without denying the gravity of the human condition.
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Little Shop of Horrors at Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage

Shirle Gottlieb for the Gazette Newspapers

Unless you’ve been lost in the desert for the last five decades, you’ve undoubtedly heard of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Originally produced circa 1960 by the infamous Roger Corman, this black-and-white film has become a cult classic that is still going strong.
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Photo by Jonathan Lewis

Photo by Jonathan Lewis

Dead Man’s Cell Phone at International City Theatre

 Melinda Schupman – ArtsInLA

Sarah Ruhl’s slightly daffy but contemplative play takes a shot at our cell phone culture while examining human connections and the nature of love. Jean (Alina Phelan) is sitting in a cafe, ostensibly working on something, when a cell phone at the next table rings over and over, interrupting her concentration. Finally, she rises to encourage the man at the table to answer it. The problem is, he’s dead, and, in Ruhl’s world, a phone demands to be answered.
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Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

International City Theatre opened “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” last Friday, and it’s a winner across the board. Written by Sarah Ruhl in 2007, it walked away with the Helen Hayes Award for the Best New Play, and with Richard Isreal’s astute direction, it’s easy to see why.
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THE BALD SOPRANO and THE CHAIRS at the Garage Theatre



THE BALD SOPRANO and THE CHAIRS by Eugene Ionesco.


Shirle Gottlieb – The Gazette Newspapers

Written in 1948 shortly after World War II, “The Bald Soprano” was Eugene Ionesco’s first play. As the transplanted Romanian struggled to write in French (the language of his adopted country), he realized how banal everyday communication had become. He had to wonder–after all the tragedy Europe had gone through, how could conversation have become so superficial?
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A FLEA IN HER EAR at the Long Beach Playhouse

Photographer, Jonathan Lewis.

Photographer, Jonathan Lewis.


A FLEA IN HER EAR by George Feydeau.


Shirle Gottlieb for Gazette Newspapers

When someone says the word “farce,” the first name that comes to mind is Feydeau.  Indeed, “farce” and Feydeau are synonymous.
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A CHORUS LINE at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center

A Chorus Line


A CHORUS LINEmusic by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante.

         by Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

In 1974, dancer/choreographer Michael Bennett asked 18 dancers why they auditioned for the chorus when the demand for musicals was in decline, there was little work in large productions, and everyone was struggling to make ends meet. Their honest answers led to the 1975 premiere of “A Chorus Line,” produced Off-Broadway by the inimitable Joe Papp. Audience reaction was ecstatic, so the sold-out musical moved to Broadway. There, it walked off with nine Tony Awards including Best Musical ‑ plus a Pulitzer.

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Master Class, International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes.


Master Class by Terrence McNally.


David C. Nichols – L.A. Times

It’s a softer-grained “Master Class” than usual in Long Beach, but just try to look away. Although more muted than some past editions, this adroit International City Theatre revival of Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning fantasia on Maria Callas’ life and art carries real immediacy and thematic point.   Read more…



Hoyt Hilsman – The Huffington Post

Gigi Bermingham, one of the leading lights of Los Angeles theater, gives a masterful performance in Terrence McNally’s challenging portrait of opera diva Maria Callas. With a strong supporting cast under the skilled direction of Todd Nielsen, Bermingham brings Callas to life – make that larger than life – fascinating flaws and all.  Read more…



Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Leonard Bernstein referred to legendary soprano Maria Callas as “The Bible of opera.” Opera News still called her a “diva” and “La Divina” three decades after her death. And Terrence McNally received his fourth Tony Award for “Master Class,” a brilliant work about the last tortuous phase of Callas’ life.   Read more…



LADCC Annual Awards – Monday March 18th – Host and Presenters announced

French Stewart, TV star (“3rd Rock From the Sun”) and local theatre mainstay (“Stoneface”: “Voice Lessons”) will host the 44th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Awards on Monday, March 18, 2013 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St. Downtown. Tickets for the show and opening reception, which will start at 6:30 pm, can be reserved by e-mailing All seats are $30.00

Stewart will preside over this year’s theme “Theatre Everywhere,” focusing on the wide geographical range within which LADCC members travel in the course of a year to see and celebrate the best of live performance. Top representatives of local institutions – including Michael Ritchie of CTG; Sheldon Epps of The Pasadena Playhouse; Barbara Beckley of The Colony Theatre; and Zombie Joe of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre – will assist Circle members in presenting awards in 17 competitive categories as well as a host of special award plaques.

Entertainment, too, will come from all over the region. Almost two dozen performers from Orange County will reunite to perform “The Rumble” from the Chance Theatre’s acclaimed and nominated revival of “West Side Story.” The cast of “Justin Love,” the smash musical that originated at Celebration Theatre – winner of this year’s Margaret Harford Award for distinguished achievement – will appear, alongside performers from “The Color Purple” (Cesili Williams); “The New Electric Ballroom” (Tim Cummings); and “Bad Apples” (Kate Morgan Chadwick, accompanied by the show’s composer/lyricists Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns.)

Ryan Johnson, nominated for his score for “Stoneface” which starred Stewart as the legendary Buster Keaton, serves as musical director for the evening, which will be produced by Daily Variety and critic Bob Verini. Production stage manager is Heatherlynn Gonzalez. Award-winning sound designer Cricket S. Myers lends her skills to the event, whose associate producer is Peter Finlayson of Footlights Publishing.

A cash bar with great food and a silent auction (cash and checks only, please) will occupy the 6:30-7:30 hour, until doors open and the annual celebration of great L.A. area theatre begins.


The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) has announced its nominations and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre in 2012.

All tickets have been reduced to $30.00. Tickets can be arranged through, and PayPal will be accepted prior to March 18. Credit cards will be accepted at the door.

Nominees are entitled to a single complimentary ticket. Nominees please click here for important information regarding ticketing etc.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on March 18 for drinks, music, hors d’oeuvres (no full dinner) and conversation, while at a Silent Auction attendees can bid on theater and film-related items. Only cash or checks will be accepted at the auction, please. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Scheduled host French Stewart is a 25-year mainstay of the Los Angeles theatre scene and a notable star of TV and film. Best known for his six seasons co-starring on NBC’s 3rd Rock From the Sun, he is a member of Sacred Fools and played the title role in that company’s 2012 production of Stoneface, The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, which has received two LADCC nominations.

In recognition of this year’s theme, “Theatre Everywhere,” representatives of theatre companies based within the geographic beat covered by members of the Circle will join Stewart and Circle members to present awards in 17 competitive categories.

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The 2012 nominees are…


Six special awards will be presented under the sponsorship of organizations and individuals to whom the LADCC is most grateful. Honors have been announced for local institutions Celebration Theatre (for sustained excellence); and The Fountain Theatre and Center Theatre Group (for their excellent seasons). The Circle also recognizes prominent individuals: David O; Elina de Santos; Stephen Gifford; as well as Evelina Fernandez for her A Mexican Trilogy, an outstanding L.A. world premiere play.

The 2012 special awards winners are…


Three already-voted awards will be presented on awards night.

Plaques will be presented on March 18 to the following recipients:

Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Theatre, in recognition of the design, fabrication, and direction of the puppets of War Horse at the Ahmanson Theatre

David McCormick and Kelly Todd for their fight direction of West Side Story at the Chance Theatre in Anaheim.

In addition, a special plaque will be awarded to Center Theatre Group for an excellent season.

# # # # #


The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2012 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, LA Weekly;

F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers;

Hoyt Hilsman, Back Stage, The Huffington Post

Mayank Keshaviah, LA Weekly

Amy Lyons, Back Stage, LA Weekly

Dany Margolies,

Terry Morgan,; Daily Variety

Steven Leigh Morris. LA Weekly

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times, Back Stage

Sharon Perlmutter,

Melinda Schupmann, Back Stage;;

Madeleine Shaner, Park La Brea News/Beverly Press; Back Stage

Les Spindle, Frontiers; Theatremania; EDGE LA

Bob Verini, Daily Variety;

Neal Weaver, LA Weekly; Back Stage


The LADCC is pleased to welcome FootLights Publishing, Inc. as consultants on this year’s awards events. The mission of FootLights is to illuminate the theatre community, providing greater access to a more diverse public while at the same time offering insight into the production and process of theatre.

The LADCC expresses its gratitude to Los Angeles Theatre Center and Latino Theatre Company for their warm welcome and many courtesies.



Oklahoma! Musical Theatre West


Oklahoma! by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II.


Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Written in 1943 by musical titans Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Oklahoma! was a theatrical milestone that changed the face of musical theater forever.   Read more…


David C. Nichols – LA Times

A bright golden haze of timeless musical theater invention suffuses Oklahoma! at the Carpenter Center. It carries Musical Theatre West’s affable, fleet-footed 70th anniversary revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s indestructible 1943 classic past some minor oddities in casting and tone.   Read more…



Fuddy Meers, Long Beach Playhouse

Photo credit – Jonathan Lewis.



Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire.


Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Some theater enthusiasts are still shaking their heads in disbelief. After so many years of featuring Agatha Christie-type mysteries and British living-room comedies, it’s hard to believe the Long Beach Playhouse is producing provocative, cutting-edge plays. Read more…