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Archive for Margaret Gray

MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES at the Ahmanson Theatre

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  – Talkin’ Broadway

The old maxim states that truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes truth isn’t quite that bold and merely approaches the outlandishness of prose. Such is the case of Richard Lancelyn Green, the subject of a New Yorker article, a Sherlock Holmes expert who was found dead in his apartment in 2004….
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective dreamed up by the turn-of-the-century British doctor and writer Arthur Conan Doyle — or so history would have it. Certain scholars, collectors and fans prefer to believe that Holmes was an actual person. Holmes himself would probably agree with them….
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Now running through July 14

READY, STEADY, YETI, GO at Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Margaret Gray – LA Times

No folkloric Himalayan ape-men appear in David Jacobi’s play “Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go.” That may sound like a spoiler, but it’s a PSA: The friend who went with me to see Rogue Machine’s production was too disappointed by the lack of yetis to focus on what was happening onstage……
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Now running through July 29

STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Actors’ Coop

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching this excellent current revival of Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias at Actors Co-op, I was reminded yet again of the power of a strong ensemble. Solo shows and two-handers certainly have their place, but there is something about the interaction among a group of talented actors, where many things combine to become one greater thing, that seems to me to be the very heart of whatever magic theater creates.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

In the first scene of the play “Steel Magnolias,” Robert Harling’s 1987 love letter to small-town Southern women, two Louisiana friends share favorites from their recipe boxes. Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake is so straightforward, it doesn’t even require an index card:
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Robert Harling’s comedy/drama play Steel Magnolias premiered off-Broadway in 1987 and ran for over 1,100 performances. Read more…

 

Now running through May

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Margaret Gray – LA Times
Reviving a beloved musical can be a daunting proposition. Do you keep faith with tradition, or do you try something new? If you opt for a little of both, how much of each? It’s hard to find the balance — a bit like trying to play a fiddle on the roof.
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Now running through May 5

THE MOTHER OF HENRY at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Andrew Vasquez

Andrew Vasquez

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Evelina Fernández’s world premiere play, The Mother of Henry, is set within Los Angeles’ Eastside barrio, Boyle Heights, in 1968. It was a watershed year. Although change was in the wind — the anti-war protests, civil rights marches, the farmworkers’ strikes — the murders of MLK and Bobby Kennedy, just two months apart, were deeply and painfully disheartening for many Americans. Dark forces, it seemed, were ascendant.

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

La Virgen de Guadalupe — an apparition of the Virgin Mary — is an icon of the Catholic faith, the patron saint of Mexico and a symbol of Mexican independence venerated throughout the Americas, although not principally for her comic timing.
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Now running through April 20

 

PHOTOGRAPH 51 AT South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Every once in a while we experience a flare-up of puzzlement about why so few women pursue careers in math and science — even now, despite progress in gender equality.
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Now running through March 24

CANYON at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Dean Cechvala

Dean Cechvala

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ask any real estate agent: People love a view. We’ll go out of our way — and far above asking price — for an elevated perch with a sweeping panorama. A view makes us feel at peace and in control. Maybe it’s the same rush our forebears got when they surveyed their hard-won territory from the treetops.
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Now running through March 24

LIGHTS OUT: NAT “KING” COLE at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Is anything more fascinating than the mind of man?

From the 1930s through the ’60s, entertainer Nat “King” Cole seemed the epitome of gentlemanliness, clad and coiffed to perfection, his quiet croon a soothing voice in turbulent times.

But in “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” a West Coast–premiering play with music, at the Geffen through March 17, playwrights Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor imagine the intense, fractured, bleak, violent, self-abasing thoughts clashing in Cole’s mind moments before the final broadcast of his groundbreaking variety show. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

YouTube clips from Nat King Cole’s short-lived TV variety show, which premiered in 1956, convey the singer’s legendary charm. Handsome, elegant, impeccably dressed and graceful, Cole looked at ease on camera. More than at ease: happy.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Nat “King” Cole once considered himself the “Jackie Robinson of Television” because he was the first African-American to host a television variety show. The show began as a 15-minute outing in November, 1956 on NBC. It began without a national sponsor because a fear by Madison Avenue of a backlash in the Deep South.
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Now running through March 24

 

 

WITNESS UGANDA at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Presumably expelled by his New York City church for being gay, Griffin Matthews gathered his earnings from his then-unfruitful acting career and headed to Uganda for a six-week stay to help build a school.

He changed lives there. The Ugandans he met changed his. And from this real-life journey comes “Witness Uganda: A Documentary Musical,” though more musical than documentary, at the Wallis in Beverly Hills through March 3.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

I was not expecting the new show “Witness Uganda: A Documentary Musical” to win me over.

First, there’s that subtitle — its sheer rhetorical daring evoking all my favorite oxymorons, including “jumbo shrimp,” “new classic” and “unbiased opinion.”
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Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld

The need for human connection runs deep in WITNESS UGANDA, a musical by Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould based on Matthews’ real-life experiences in Uganda. At its center is the idea that we are all part of a global family – one world, one heart – connected by an invisible thread that never lets go.  Read more…

Now running through March 3

 

HELLO, DOLLY! at the Pantages Theatre

Julieta Cervantes

Julieta Cervantes

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Put on your Sunday clothes and get down to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre because there’s a new matchmaker in town, and her antics are bound to warm even the coldest of hearts. The Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Hello Dolly! is currently making its Los Angeles debut as part of a national tour, and it has arrived bursting at the seams with style and joy.
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Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

In the lexicon of American Musical Theatre, Hello, Dolly! is one of the best star vehicles ever written. And, because of the title role’s iconic nature, almost everyone can name the leading ladies who have played her.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

The national tour of director Jerry Zaks’ exuberantly received revival of “Hello, Dolly!” has finally reached the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. And though it brings us neither Bette Midler, who won a Tony Award for the title role in 2017, nor Bernadette Peters, who replaced Midler on Broadway to equally warm praise, this show cannot be accused of shortchanging us on star power.
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Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Betty Buckley is a Broadway legend. Besides her Tony-winning turn in Cats, she originated Martha Jefferson in 1776, tortured her daughter in the notorious flop Carrie, and replaced Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard.
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Now running through February 17

 

CULTURE CLASH (STILL) IN AMERICA at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat / South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat / South Coast Repertory

Margaret Gray – LA Times

As a punctuation nerd, I may be reading too much into the parentheses in “Culture Clash (Still) in America,” the satiric troupe’s latest anthology of sketches at South Coast Repertory.
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Now running through January 20

MIDDLE8 at the Stella Adler Theatre

Baranduin Briggs

Baranduin Briggs

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The eponymous, fictional Kansas City rock band in Stefan Marks’ new play, “Middle8,” now at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, almost made it big — 20-some years ago. Now losing their hair, paunchy, slogging away at ordinary jobs to support ordinary families, the five of them are still haunted by what-ifs and if-onlys.
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Now running through December 15