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Archive for Les Spindle

DEAR WORLD at the Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State Northridge

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Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

The rarely revived musical “Dear World” is by legendary composer-lyricist Jerry Herman (“Mame,” “Hello. Dolly!” “La Cage Aux Folles”) and his two “Mame” collaborators: co-librettists Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Read more…

BEAUTIFUL at the Pantages Theatre

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Photo by Joan Marcus

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Stories like this have been told before, many in exactly this way, where a nay-saying parent and a self-doubting inner voice cannot stem the creative force of an artist who soars above them to shape an art form. Read more…

Les Spindle – Edge on the Net

The genres of bio-musical and jukebox musical merged serendipitously at the 2014 Tony awards, when the biographical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” aced two honors (actress in a leading role, for Jessie Mueller as iconic singer/songwriter King, and sound design for Brian Ronan), out of seven nominations. Read more…

Now running through July 17

 

THE FANTASTICKS at Crown City Theatre

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Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Known as the world’s longest-running musical (Off-Broadway from 1960-2002), this fanciful fable by composer Now running thhrough June 5 is widely considered a gem. Alternating whimsy, Shakespearean-flavored romance, slapstick and slightly darker elements, the simple love story has a classical feel.   Read more…

Now running through June 5

ELECTRICITY at Two Roads Theatre

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Photo by Elizabeth Ige

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Gary (playwright Terry Ray) and Brad (Kevin Scott Allen) are sort of a gay odd couple. Gary is a 28-year-old gay virgin, nerdy and prim, who thinks his homosexuality is a deep dark secret, though everyone at his school refers to him as gay Gary. Read more…

Les Spindle – Frontiers L.A.

Sparks fly when two gay high school classmates from Ohio reunite in a motel room at four class reunions, between 1983 and 2013. Read more…

Now running through May 22

SUMMER AND SMOKE at the Actors Co-op

Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Summer and Smoke” may stand a little higher in the Tennessee Williams canon after you see an exceptional Actors Co-op revival of the 1947 drama, one of the best offerings in the company’s storied history.   Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Tennessee Williams’ sultry and thought-provoking 1947 drama, strongly associated with Geraldine Page’s unforgettable lead performances on stage and screen, is also known as Eccentricities of a Nightingale, the author’s 1964 revision.

Read more..

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Tennessee Williams was always an intensely personal writer, verging on the obsessive in his preoccupation with certain themes, locales, and character types. But earlier in his career, his obsessions were kept in control, and he had a real desire to make his work accessible to the larger audience. Read more…

Now running through April 17

 

SEX WITH STRANGERS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It could be the setup for a Harlequin romance: A beautiful novelist curls on a couch in a bed-and-breakfast in rural Michigan, proofreading a manuscript, completely alone. Heavy snow has deterred other guests, and even the proprietor has been called away on family business. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz –  Theatermania

Laura Eason’s exploration of egos, insecurities, and drowning in digital communication features a fiery performance by Stephen Louis Grush as a mysterious stranger who struggles to separate from a bad-boy persona in the Geffen Playhouse production of Sex With Strangers.

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The title “Sex With Strangers” may be the most exciting thing about this production. A flat script, uninspired direction and a robotic performance turn it to lead. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf company in 2011 and having its New York bow in 2014, Laura Eason’s two-character play offers a seriocomic glimpse at fervent career ambitions and provocative romance in the internet age. Read more…

Now running through April 10

SISSYBOY at Noho Arts Center

 

James Garcia Photography

James Garcia Photography

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

In the debut of his solo vehicle, multi-talented James Mellon gives a crash course on his remarkable life, blending fascinating anecdotes and irresistible musical sequences. Read more…

Now running through March 5.

CONNECT at Theatre 68

Photo by Isabel Wagner

Photo by Isabel Wagner

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Robert Lawrence Nelson’s melodrama about two lonely people finding a connection disappoints on almost all fronts. While the performances from the two leads — Julie Dolan as Samantha and Chad Addison as Toby — are solid, with both actors plumbing some complicated emotional depths, the production as a whole fails to ignite. That’s because its sodden storyline lands like a wet blanket. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

At times, Theatre 68′s premiere rendition of Robert Lawrence Nelson’s comedy-drama “Connect” has the feel of a soapy two-character drama from the ’40s or ’50s, though its primary themes, setting and plot elements are fully contemporary.Read more…

Now running through March 16

BROKEN FENCES at the Road on Magnolia

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Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

In its West Coast debut, Steven Simoncic’s 2013 portrait of urban gentrification, set in contemporary Chicago, offers intriguing ruminations on the human ramifications of the phenomenon. Read more…

Now running through April 3

DREAM BOY at the Celebration Theatre at the Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Teenage romance meets Southern Gothic in Eric Rosen’s intriguing and quirky play, based on the novel by Jim Grimsley and directed by Michael Matthews. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Based on a 1995 novel by Jim Grimsley, which was subsequently adapted into a 2008 film, Eric Rosen’s evocative 1996 play makes its L.A. debut. Set in a repressive North Carolina town in the 1970s, it’s a lyrical gay love story that blends gothic romance, wry humor, poignancy and suspense. Read more…

Now running through March 20

DREAM CATCHER at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Stephen Sachs’ Dream Catcher at the Fountain Theatre is a timely play. Directed by Cameron Watson, it details a clash between a young engineer involved in designing a solar-energy plant that would help combat global warming, and a poorly educated Native American woman who objects to the project because it violates the sacred lands of her people. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Contemporary headlines about global warming, a hot-button political controversy, merge with matters of social conscience and human history in the world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ challenging two-person drama. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Spending any extended time in a desert like our own Mojave inevitably becomes a transformative experience, gradually and continually altering one’s perceptions of our place in a natural environment. It’s eerie the way one’s sensibility adjusts to the desert’s variety and pulse as our awareness continues to fine-tune. Read more…

Now running through March 21

FOREVER HOUSE at the Skylight Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Tony Abatemarco’s play Forever House, about a gay couple who purchase a home and then struggle to make a go of their partnership, is something of a hybrid. In some places it’s an airy situation comedy that drifts into horror-lite…… 

Read more…

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

For Jack and Ben (Michael Rubenstone, James Liebman), the future could not be brighter. At a time when gay couples have attained something approaching legitimacy and equal rights, they have just purchased a stylish craftsman home in a very white bread “straight,” neighborhood, and are mulling over the details of decoration and the possibility of a family. Full assimilation and acceptance at last. Or is it?       Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Veteran playwright Tony Abatemarco offers an alternately funny and heartrending new play, exploring the quest for happily-ever-after domesticity in contemporary gay relationships. Read more…

Now running through February 28