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Archive for Lovell Estell III

RED SPEEDO at the Road Theatre Company

Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

The legendary Vince Lombardi once declared that, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” (Actually the slogan was first voiced by UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders in 1950; Lombardi probably got it from him).
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Lucas Hnath made news in April, 2017 when his play A Doll’s House, Part II premiered locally at South Coast Repertory while also being staged on Broadway by a different director and with a different cast.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze 

Playwright Lucas Hnath has built some of his considerable reputation on positing ethical puzzles — tracing a single choice or event to the ramifications for others who must then also make choices, done while never signaling a single “rightness.”    Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

NATIVE SON at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

I wish one could say that Nambi E. Kelley’s incisive adaptation of novelist Richard Wright’s Native Son, brilliantly staged at Antaeus Theatre Ensemble under Andi Chapman’s direction, was testament to a 20th-century mindset we’ve long transcended. But as many of us are painfully aware, the stereotyping of minorities — and in this case black men in particular — persists like a grotesque contagion on our body politic.
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Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

When it was published in 1940, Richard Wright’s groundbreaking novel about the tragic undoing of Bigger Thomas caused an outburst of reaction and controversy. Native Son ‘s unsettling depiction of racism, poverty, and class conflict in America have been surpassed by few in impact and stature over the years.
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Now running through June 6

LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR at the Garry Marshall Theatre

a _Laughter Press 3

Chelsea Sutton

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Before Neil Simon became Neil Simon, he got his first break as a writer working for Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca’s 1950’ TV series “Your Show of Shows.” On board were some big talents, with scribes like Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Joseph Stein churning out the laugh material on a weekly basis.
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Now running through April 22

THE ART COUPLE at the Broadwater Black Box

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh and Neil Simon: two icons of the brush and canvass, another of the written word and stage, are all cleverly brought together in this striking world premiere by playwright Brendan Hurt.
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Now running through March 17

4PLAY: SEX IN A SERIES at the Actors Company

Kelsey Risher

Kelsey Risher

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

New York City’s trip. theatre ensemble brings their off-beat sex and romance saga to L.A., after a lengthy run in Chicago.
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Now running through March 17

LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS at the Hudson Guild Theatre

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw
Sam Steiner’s wildly eccentric two-hander follows the relationship of Bernadette (Brynn Alexander) and Oliver (Philip Asta) as they struggle to exist in an Orwellian world on steroids, where the government limits the number of words citizens can use daily. It’s an engaging premise with abundant potential, yet the playwright fails to explore it with commanding artfulness or coherency.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Sam Steiner’s 85-minute two-hander, comes packaged with an intriguing premise and the technical expertise of two of the L.A. theater community’s most established artists. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to compensate for an opaque, meandering script and uneven performances by actors understandably at sea with the flummoxing dialogue.
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Now running through February 11

 

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE RADIO PLAY at Theater Unleashed

(Photo by SoCal Studios)

(Photo by SoCal Studios)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Most of us are familiar with Frank Capra’s much-loved movie about George Bailey (memorialized in the film by Jimmy Stewart), whose life turns so desperately bad on Christmas Eve that he contemplates suicide, but is rescued by an angel from heaven.
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Now running through December 17

 

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER at Actors Co-op

(Photo by John Dlugolecki)

(Photo by John Dlugolecki)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Director Linda Kerns and a spirited cast do an excellent job with this old “chestnut” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. It’s rarely produced and tricky to stage successfully because of its dizzying carousel of characters and dated strain of humor. This production is a welcome addition to the usual L.A. theater offerings that make the rounds during the holiday season.

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The noted playwriting team of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman wrote their comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner in 1939 and the Broadway production starring Monty Wooley ran for 739 performances.
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Now running through December 17

UNCOVER THE MOON at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

(Photo by Susan Chambers)

(Photo by Susan Chambers)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Writer/director Susan Chambers scores a modest success with this short coming-of-age tale that meshes allegory with fairy tale, nature myths, and a dash of feminist esprit.
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Now running through November 25

 

THE DANCE OF DEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

(Photo by Enci Box)

(Photo by Enci Box)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

August Strindberg’s 1900 tale about a monumentally unhappy marriage has been neatly touched up in this adaptation by Irish playwright Conor McPherson. As bleak as it is funny, it unfolds on an island fortress in Sweden that was once a prison (nicely rendered interior of gloomy faux brick, arched doorways and barred windows by designer Christopher Scott Murillo).

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

At the turn of the last century, a husband and wife battle viciously, seemingly trapped in their marriage and in their prison-turned-home, in Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s new version of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1900 landmark “The Dance of Death.”
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Now running through November 19

 

ALTERNATIVE ACTS at Theatre of NOTE

AlternativeACts_GS-1

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Aside from its pleasantly eccentric quality, one of the more entertaining components of this slate of one-acts is Bill Robens’ Transitions, where cast members skillfully perform an imaginative string of mime tableaus to segue from play to play. All are shrewdly directed by Sabrina Lloyd.
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Now running through September 16

BLACKBIRD at Grove Theatre Center

Photo by Jess Nurse

Photo by Jess Nurse

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

David Harrower’s edgy psychodrama has had many successful iterations over the years (most recently at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival), and now comes to Burbank’s Grove Theatre Center for a limited run. It’s a cheerless account of love and sexual obsession, as well as a stark glimpse of the collision of past and present.
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Now running through 17