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Archive for LA Times – Page 2

A TASTE OF HONEY at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In 1958, 18-year old Shelagh Delaney saw a production of Terrence Rattigan’s play Variations on a Theme, and was appalled by what she saw. The play had a reputation for boldness in tackling hot-button issues — it dealt with homosexuality, promiscuity, and bisexuality — but in Delaney’s view it was timid and genteel, and pussyfooted around its dangerous themes. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Kim Rubinstein, who directed a highly praised revival of “Anna Christie” at the Odyssey Theatre last year, is back with a revival of Shelagh Delaney’s once scandalous, now slightly quaint 1958 play “A Taste of Honey.” Read more…

Now running through November 27

ALL THE WAY at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatre based on the recreation of history can be frustrating. On the one hand, one never knows how much the facts have been altered to make it properly dramatic and entertaining, while on the other, there are often so many characters that one never really gets to know any of them. That said, Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way manages to avoid most of these pitfalls. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

There should be a special award for when one actor wins the Tony, but then another actor still finds a way to kill the role — to act the heck out of it and to make it new. I’d nominate Hugo Armstrong, who stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning “All the Way” at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In a tableau framed by a Greek colonnade with the US seal prominently placed centerstage, Robert Schenkkan’s political rouser revisits the moments following John Kennedy’s assassination as Lyndon Johnson (Hugo Armstrong) seizes the reins of power and steps into the presidency. Atop the columns on a raised stage stands a cast of characters who will both ally themselves with Johnson and oppose him, and that is the stuff of his ardent pursuit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more…



Now running through October 2

NEXT TO NORMAL at The Pico Playhouse

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Photo by John Dlugolecki

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical tackles a subject that many regarded as inimical to the musical format: mental illness and its effect on a family.     Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Next to Normal is a contemporary musical in many ways. First produced in 2008, its style, language and most of all subject matter keep it far from the likes of Golden Age happy-ending shows. But the material is powerfully transportive, particularly when the performers are uniformly capable of making it so. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Next to Normal,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical about a suburban mom’s struggle with bipolar disorder, first arrived in Los Angeles in 2010, on its national tour. I remember feeling electrified — Read more…

 

Now running through September 25

 

D DEB DEBBIE DEBORAH at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Troy Blendell

Photo by Troy Blendell

Margaret Gray – LA Times

From the title of Jerry Lieblich’s play “D Deb Debbie Deborah,” I was ready for an exploration of the fluidity of identity, perhaps at different stages of a woman’s life. But in this West Coast premiere at Theatre of Note in Hollywood, the blurring of selfhood cuts a lot deeper than names. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Jerry Lieblich’s cryptic play D Deb Debbie Deborah, a young urbanite begins questioning both the nature of reality and her own sanity when the physical features of both her lover and her employer — their height, weight, hair color, the whole kit and caboodle — alter radically, again and again, over a short space of time. Read more…

Now running through September 17

AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND at The Ruby Theatre at THE COMPLEX

Michael Helms Photography

Michael Helms Photography

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Most Americans have limited knowledge of the history and hardships of ethnic groups and nationalities outside their own (despite the best efforts of progressive educators in some of our urban schools to have it otherwise). With As Straw Before the Wind, Filipino-American playwright Felix Racelis aims to fill some of the gaps that audiences may have when it comes to the Filipino experience. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

It is difficult to revere the creators’ intentions for the Ruby Theater’s world-premiere production of As Straw Before the Wind at the Ruby Theatre at the Complex, because the story is so muddled. Both of its subjects — post-traumatic stress disorder and the plight of the elderly — deserve to be under the microscope, but this pedantic and draggy play gives neither topic its due. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In “As Straw Before the Wind,” playwright Felix Racelis attempts to draw attention to two topics sorely underrepresented in the theater: the Filipino American experience during and after World War II, and the challenges facing senior citizens.     Read more…

Now running through September 4

SPACE at the Stella Adler Mainstage

Photo by Bryan Wiggle

Photo by Bryan Wiggle

David C. Nichols – LA Times

You are all amazing. You all have vast untapped potential. You all have a future.”

With that mantra, so begins “Space” at Hollywood’s Stella Adler Theatre. Stefan Marks’ promising look at a man returning home from 30 years in a mental institution is still forming, but then, so is its fascinating protagonist. Read more…

Now running through August 20

 

IN TRUMP WE TRUST at the Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre

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(Second City Hollywood)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The line between political reporting and parody is blurrier than ever these days, especially since Donald Trump launched his presidential run. It’s not always obvious whether a headline comes from the Los Angeles Times or the Onion. Read more…

Now running through August 13

 

ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE at Pacific Resident Theatre

Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Eccentricities of a Nightingale was Tennessee Williams’ 1951 rewrite of his earlier Summer and Smoke. It was supposedly his preferred version of the story, and one can see why. The main character of Alma is more clearly delineated, and the drama springs more from her choices than from fate. The current production at Pacific Resident Theater benefits from Dana Jackson’s sensitive direction and a knockout lead performance. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

With “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” Tennessee Williams’ 1951 revision of his earlier play “Summer and Smoke,” Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice ends its 30th anniversary season on a quietly remarkable note. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” has been said to be about good and evil, illusion and reality.    Read more…

Now running through August 14

THE TOXIC AVENGER at Sacred Fools Theatre

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Photo by Rich Clark

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Radioactive laughter courses through Good People Theater Company’s “The Toxic Avenger,” wreaking sublimely silly havoc at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.    Read more…

Now running through June 26

THE LITTLE MERMAID at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Walt Disney’s legacy is more than just a mouse or an amusement park. He set in motion a juggernaut that includes films, both live, animated, or a combination of both; award-winning music; television programming; radio programs; and theatrical productions, mostly based on his animated films. McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s newest offering is The Little Mermaid, directed by Glenn Casale, who was charged with enriching and enlivening the original Broadway production with special effects. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It shouldn’t shock anybody to hear that McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s new production of “The Little Mermaid” at La Mirada Theatre is a treat for the eyes and ears. Read more…

Now running through June 26

LA CAGES AU FOLLES at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The best of times are now at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, where East West Players concludes its 50th anniversary season with an idiosyncratically endearing revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” Read more…

Now running through June 26

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Al Dubin wrote lyrics for enduring songs of the stage and screen, won an Academy Award in 1936 for “Lullaby of Broadway” and may be best known for his five-year partnership with Harry Warren at Warner Bros., which produced a string of hits — “42nd Street,” “We’re in the Money,” “I Only Have Eyes for You” and “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” among others. Read more…

Now running through June 12