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Archive for Margaret Gray – Page 2

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

IN & OF ITSELF at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Jeff Lorch

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The first time Derek DelGaudio performed at the Geffen Playhouse — in the 2012 show “Nothing to Hide,” which he created with co-star Helder Guimarães and director Neil Patrick Harris — DelGaudio ended up staying longer than expected: The magic act, originally slotted for a one-month run, packed the house for 18 weeks. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Arts in LA

Derek DelGaudio’s world premiere In & of Itself proves him to be a captivating performer and a mesmerizing illusionist. He is not quite yet the philosopher he purports to be, but kernels of interesting ideas weave through the piece—such as making personal pain disappear like a house of cards. Read more…

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Derek DelGaudio’s new solo show at the Geffen Playhouse’s black-box theater is a lot different from other one-man ventures. For one thing, there’s magic. And unlike the impulse to overshare that weighs down so many other autobiographical efforts, DelGaudio cloaks his personal storytelling in mythological allusions….. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

The illusion and prestidigitation show, In & Of Itself, presently playing at the Geffen Playhouse, feels somewhat underwhelming. Ostensibly a very short evening with a solo performer (one hour and five minutes) the show unfolds at a languid pace. Read more…

Now running through June 26

THE PAVILION at the Malibu Playhouse

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Craig Wright’s often-produced play “The Pavilion,” now in a lovely revival at Malibu Playhouse, takes place in the early 2000s, in the fictional town of Pine City, Minn. (That’s where Wright, who also has a long list of TV writing credits including “Six Feet Under,” “Lost” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” has set a number of plays.)   Read more…

Now running through May 22

MY MAÑANA COMES at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Immigration issues are bandied about in political discourse in the media every day, but the lives of kitchen workers and janitors and fruit pickers are rarely brought to the stage. Kudos to New York-based playwright Elizabeth Irwin for doing just that. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The workplace, where so many of us spend so much time, offers a rich trove of subjects for playwrights eager to move away from the dysfunctional family. As “The Office” suggested on TV, even the most pedestrian employee breakroom can roil with enough intrigue and folly to make the House of Borgia look tame. Read more…

Now running through June 26

BORROWED TIME at a Secret Location

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Borrowed Time,” a new magic act by Helder Guimarães, doesn’t quite defy description. Rather, it reminds its audience, with a conspiratorial wink, that description might spoil the fun for future audiences.     Read more…

Now running through May 29

WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Is “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” the first play inspired by an Internet meme? In 2011 the feminist website the Hairpin published stock photographs of slender models appearing to exult over forkfuls of mixed greens. We’d all seen these images in advertisements, but we’d never really looked at them, or wondered what, exactly, was so hilarious about salad. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sheila Callaghan’s Women Laughing Alone With Salad isn’t quite the female-centric piece you expect it to be. As anticipated, it comments on women’s attitudes about their bodies, the pressures they face to conform to a certain image and their experience of womanhood within our culture in general. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

From Kate Crackernuts through Crumble (Lay me down, Justin Timberlake), Lascivious Something and Roadkill Confidential to her best work to date, the award-winning Everything You Touch, Sheila Callaghan has purveyed a consistently inventive theatrical vision, always identifiably hers, yet with a flair for ranging variations across a spectrum of anger to whimsy. Read more…

Now running through April 3

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

CRIERS FOR HIRE at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Culture shock, like grief, progresses through distinct stages: There’s the honeymoon period, when an expatriate is enchanted by a new country. Bliss gives way to withdrawal and hostility, the adjustment and, ultimately, acceptance. This journey happens to have a pleasing narrative structure that works well onstage. Read more…

Now running through March 13.

 

ALTMAN’S LAST STAND at the Zephyr Theatre

(Photo by Ellen Giamportone)

(Photo by Ellen Giamportone)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Franz Altman (Michael Laskin), the protagonist of playwright Charles Dennis’s deft solo drama, is an elderly Viennese Jew born just before the turn of the 20th century. Now nearly 100 years old, he owns a second-hand store called King Solomon’s Treasures, located in mid-town Manhattan, circa 1990. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Franz Altman, the fictional New York City junk-shop proprietor in Charles Dennis’ play “Altman’s Last Stand” now at Zephyr Theatre, may be 90 years old, but he’s in no hurry to retire. In fact, he’s recently become a celebrity, interviewed on “60 Minutes” for refusing to sell his store, King Solomon’s Treasure, to high-rise developers.   Read more…

Now running through March 13

RED at South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Debora Robinson / South Coast Repertory

Margaret Gray – LA Times

“I am not your rabbi, I am not your father, I am not your shrink, I am not your friend, I am not your teacher,” the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko warns his new assistant in the first scene of John Logan’s Tony Award-winning bio-drama “Red,” now at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. “I am your employer.” Read more…

Now running through February 21

MY SISTER at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

 Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Sometimes all a play really needs is two characters and some genuine emotion. Set in 1930s Berlin, playwright Janet Schlapkohl’s evocative two-hander tells of a pair of identical twin sisters (played by bona fide identical twins Elizabeth Hinkler and Emily Hinkler) beset by troubles as the Nazis rise in power all around them. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Two sisters — identical twins — eke out an existence, sharing a single room in Berlin during the mid 30s. Magda (played by Emily Hinkler) is a lowly orderly at a hospital by day, though her dream career as singer and comedienne at a nightclub is starting to take off. Matilda (played by Elizabeth Hinkler) is afflicted with cerebral palsy, which greatly impairs her movements but not her mental faculties. She stays at home writing poetry as well as sketches and comedy routines for her sister to perform.  Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Horror doesn’t always announce its arrival; it can overtake us gradually. Few occupants of Germany in the years after World War I, for example, could have predicted the Holocaust, although in retrospect the signs look so clear.

Read more…

Now running through March 6

EMPIRE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

 

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini  -   Variety

The stunningly appointed “Empire The Musical,” world premiering at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (and no relation to the hit Fox series), gains strength from the entire company’s shared desire to erect the unprecedentedly tall Empire State Building, in stubborn defiance of the Great Depression. Alas, authors Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull willfully betray their storytelling judgment and taste…

Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

New evidence suggests it’s easier to build the world’s tallest skyscraper than to create an original American musical. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The new musical Empire pays homage to the musicals of the ’20s and ’30s. The original score by Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull contains snappy songs and captures the bubbly effervescence of the classic age. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

On May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building was completed as the world’s tallest skyscraper, at 102 stories. That it was successfully done during the difficult days of the Depression was a testament to the vision of its creators and, more important, the hardworking builders who erected it. Read more…

 

Now running through February 14