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Archive for Margaret Gray

THE LITTLE FOXES at Antaeus Theatre Company

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes, family can bring out the worst in us—especially if your relatives would do anything to get to the top.
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Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Sometimes a play simply works within its own era, and exists later simply as an accurate representation of that time. But other times a play is prescient, and seems as if it was written directly to comment on today. Although Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes is a period piece, its portrait of dreadful people doing awful things in the pursuit of money and power feels particularly pointed now…Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Say your husband, whom you had never liked, suffered from an ill-defined but dangerous heart condition. And say he happened to mention — in not a very nice way — that he was about to take a step that would scuttle all your hopes and dreams and leave you penniless. And imagine that at that very moment, overexcited by triumph, he reached for his medicine bottle and found it empty.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lillian Hellman was a playwright, screenwriter, memoirist whose most famous piece of writing may well be the letter she wrote in 1952 to the House Un-American Activities Committee stating “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions..”
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Now running through December 1o

WINTER SOLSTICE at City Garage

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

There’s nothing scary, at first, about Rudolph, the elderly gentleman who shows up at Albert and Bettina’s house one Christmas Eve in “Winter Solstice,” a 2013 play by the German writer Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham, which is having its West Coast premiere at City Garage.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It is abundantly clear that Roland Schimmelpfenig, the playwright of Winter Solstice, currently making its West Coast debut at City Garage in Santa Monica, wishes he were a novelist, or perhaps an experimental filmmaker like the characters in the play.
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Now running through November 25

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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AN UNDIVIDED HEART at Atwater Village Theater

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Chris Fields, Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, co-produced by the Echo Theater Company and the Circle X Theatre Co., is an aspiring work that aims to be deep but doesn’t get there.

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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Any play that starts with a kid standing next to a burning typewriter holding a knife in one hand and a dead cat in the other is off to a good start in the “well, I haven’t seen that before” department. Unfortunately, such unusual visual tableaux aren’t really representative of the bulk of Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, a Circle X Theatre Co. and Echo Theater Company co-production.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Someone stands in front of you with a cat in one hand and a knife in the other, threatening to kill it. What do you say to save the cat? In An Undivided Heart, a co-production of Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Company that opened this past weekend at the Atwater Village Theatre, this is but one puzzle its complicated characters must attempt to solve.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

After all these centuries as a literate species, and with only seven basic plots in circulation (according to the late critic Arthur Quiller-Couch), human beings have developed a sense of where stories are likely to go — expectations that prompt us to complain when we can see an ending coming (“predictable”) and when we can’t (“what?”).
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Now running through April 22

 

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

THIS IRAQ WAR VETERAN DIDN’T JUST SEE ‘WATER BY THE SPOONFUL.’ HE LIVED IT by Margaret Gray

Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s intermission during Quiara Alegría Hudes’ “Water by the Spoonful,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning centerpiece of her Elliot trilogy of plays portraying the experiences of a Marine during and after the Iraq war. It’s interesting, a tall young man says, how each actor in each play puts his stamp on the role of Elliot.
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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