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Archive for LA Times

THE OTHER PLACE at Chance Theatre

Doug Catiller

Doug Catiller

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sharr White’s “The Other Place” captures a powerful actress in her prime. This critic-pleasing play’s first New York production, back in 2012, which eventually moved to Broadway, starred Laurie Metcalf. Its O.C. premiere, now playing at Chance Theater, has lured the mesmerizing Jacqueline Wright to Anaheim. Read more…

Now running through October 28

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat

Jordan Kubat

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a stage or screen adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, however well-intentioned, must be unfavorably compared to the original.
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Now running through September 30

IS THERE COMEDY IN DEATH? PLAYWRIGHT JOSÉ RIVERA ON THE DARK TWISTS OF ‘NIKKI CORONA’

Lela  Edgar

Lela Edgar

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ask theater director Jo Bonney to describe playwright José Rivera’s new work — “The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona,” a world premiere that begins previews Tuesday at the Geffen Playhouse — and Bonney hesitates.

Is it comedy?

“Here’s the tricky thing,” Bonney says. “It’s about death, but that sounds so morbid. It’s more about who we are, how we face our final moment.”
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SCHOOL OF ROCK at the Pantages Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In one of the most entertaining numbers in the musical “School of Rock,” which opened Thursday at the Hollywood Pantages theater, a substitute teacher rallies his 10-year-old students to “stick it to the man” by ignoring their stuffy prep-school curriculum and forming a rock band.    Read more…

Ellen Dostal –Broadway World

As kid musicals go, SCHOOL OF ROCK isn’t half bad. It falls somewhere between ANNIE and MATILDA on the Richter scale of stories about downtrodden kids overcoming obstacles to win in the end.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

School of Rock, directed by Laurence Connor at the Pantages Theatre, doesn’t bowl you over with its mostly forgettable music. What it does do is deliver well-staged and well-executed family entertainment, showcasing an impressive ensemble of preteen actors who sing, dance and act up a storm.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music for one of musical theatre’s first rock operas, Jesus Christ Superstar, in 1970. Nearly 50 years later the show is still popular…Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It doesn’t have the cerebral and emotional heft of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” It doesn’t have the freshness and electricity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.” It certainly doesn’t showcase a lush score on par with those of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yet “School of Rock” engenders every bit of the theatergoing joy these theatrical pillars provide….Read more…

Now running through May 27

WILL VON VOGT LANDS HIS ‘SIGNIFICANT OTHER’

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Will Von Vogt, who plays the endearingly neurotic gay protagonist of Joshua Harmon’s play “Significant Other” at the Geffen Playhouse, brings so much to the role — not least his big, blue eyes, quicksilver comic timing and eloquent dance moves — that L.A. audiences can’t help wondering where he’s been all our lives.
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SELL/BUY/DATE at the Geffen Playhouse

a sell buy

Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The writer and actress Sarah Jones is gorgeous, about 8 feet tall (at least it seems that way) and rail thin, with a wide mane of hair. When she walks onstage at the Geffen Playhouse, where she is performing her one-woman show “Sell/Buy/Date” through April 15, it’s impossible to imagine her hiding in plain sight.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In her solo play, Sell/Buy/Date, Sarah Jones exposes the exploitation of women with 20/20 vision. By setting the play in the far future, where a professor looks back at the dystopian reality that our modern planet could be journeying toward, she allows the audience to see every perspective.
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Now running through April 15

THE FLYING LOVERS OF VITEBSK at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

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Steve Tanner

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sometimes it’s fun to sashay into a theater cold, without the slightest notion of what you’re in for. But before seeing “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” the Kneehigh Theatre production now at the Wallis in Beverly Hills, you might want to refresh your memory of the art of Marc Chagall.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And that’s particularly true if you’re a somewhat educated and somewhat well-read audience member.
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Now running through March 11

MAGIC FRUIT – Cornerstone Theater Company at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Magic Fruit is the latest (and last) offering in the Cornerstone Theater Company’s Hunger Cycle of nine plays exploring “hunger, justice and food equity issues.” It opens with sisters Tami (Cristina Frias) and Kiko (Rachael Portillo), frantic and bedraggled, stumbling through a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in search of refuge from a shadowy serpentine monster — hunger itself.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Mozart’s final opera, “The Magic Flute,” is not only one of the most frequently revived and crowd-pleasing of his works, but also possibly the most difficult to summarize. Read more…

Now running through December 10

THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry for the Wallis

Kevin Parry for the Wallis

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Marketed as family fare, The Heart of Robin Hood, David Farr’s feminist twist on the classic legend, is perhaps more suitable for kids than for grown-ups. Co-directed by Icelandic artists Gisli Örn Gardarsson and Selma Björnsdóttir, it’s a pleasant two-hour interlude that serves up an attractive spectacle…
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Wallis in Beverly Hills has a tradition of bringing International Theatre companies to local audiences. Currently they are presenting Vesturport’s The Heart of Robin Hood direct from Iceland. There is no ice on stage but there is a lot of green in Borkur Jonsson’s scenic design…
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Deep in “The Heart of Robin Hood,” a production by the Icelandic company Vesturport, Maid Marion confesses to her sidekick/BFF Pierre that she has fallen in love with the outlaw Robin Hood.

“But he’s brutish and emotionally unavailable,” Pierre replies.
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Now running through December 17

BLED FOR THE HOUSEHOLD TRUTH at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo ny John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Rogue Machine, one of the theatre companies in town I most admire, has been promoting its new show, Ruth Fowler’s bled for the household truth, as something important and shocking, and warning that easily offended people may walk out at intermission. In my experience, having specific expectations for a play or any work of art ahead of time often proves detrimental, and sadly that is the case here.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

A New York financier with a great apartment has advertised in the paper for a roommate — specifically a woman. Her rent and board will be free, but she has to be willing to walk around sometimes in her underwear, and she can’t entertain gentlemen friends there.
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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

Ambiguity and nuance are qualities in a play to be greatly desired and lauded – and yet, if you do not go “ick” at least four times while watching playwright Ruth Folwer’s increasingly disturbing drama, I’m not sure what can be done with you.
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Now running through December 18

 

A MAP OF VIRTUE at Atwater Village Theatre

(Barker Room Rep)

(Barker Room Rep)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

At first, Erin Courtney’s play “A Map of Virtue” presents itself as a quirky love story: Sarah (Megan Branch) and Mark (Sam T. West) stand side by side onstage and deliver alternating accounts of the first time they saw each other, as if answering an unseen interviewer’s questions.
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Now running through November 19

LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Antaeus Theatre Company

(Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography)

(Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography)

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Antaeus announced Christopher Hampton’s 1987 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses as the debut of its current season all the way back in June. The director’s note in the program discusses how this pre-revolutionary tale of French aristocratic depravity speaks to our era of the one percent.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a story that would be best served with popcorn and red wine. Written by Christopher Hampton and based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s 1782 novel of the same name, Liaisons opened at the Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles this weekend in a sexy, provocative production that explores the despicable behavior of what we would now refer to as “the one percent” in a modern, stylized fashion.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Are Americans today better off than the aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France? Spandex has simplified couture, wigs no longer require powder and, thanks to social media and smartphones, epistolary romances can be conducted in real time.
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Now running through December 10