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Archive for Mayank Keshaviah

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: TWIST YOUR DICKENS! at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Mayank Keshaviah – LA Weekly

Dickens

Photo by Craig Schwartz

 

 

Like the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Second City’s twist on the Dickensian classic is back to remind you that you’ve been naughty. Very naughty, in fact, judging by the responses from audience members, who are (anonymously) asked to write down “the worst thing you’ve ever done.” Some of those responses are incorporated into the performance; the rest are displayed in the lobby.
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Now running through December 29.

THE LATE, LATE SHOW at the Bootleg Theatre

Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

It’s probably not surprising that a show about a vampire that opened on Halloween night features great costumes and is quite the visual spectacle. A fantasia spanning three acts and three vastly different time periods in the life of 300-year-old former slave Porphyrion (creator and performer Paul Outlaw), the piece is a playground for visual exploration, and director Asher Hartman and scenic and lighting designer François-Pierre Couture take full advantage.
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Late

Bootleg Theatre

 

IN MY CORNER at the Odyssey Theatre

 

InMyCorner

Photo by Enci Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

The theme of fathers and sons occupies well-trodden ground in the theater, but Joe Orrach’s exploration of his relationship with his Puerto Rican father is unique in its presentation. Having been a professional boxer and tap dancer, Mr. Orrach is hardly an average Joe, and he and co-writer Lizbeth Hasse infuse this solo show with elements of his former lives, cleverly employing choreography, a jump rope and a speed bag in the storytelling … not to mention a live jazz trio.   Read more…

Now running through November 3.

SISTER ACT at the Pantages Theatre

Sister Act Tour

Photo by Joan-Marcus

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

From the moment the curtain goes up and our diva is belting out a song (in a nightclub setting) while flanked by two smooth back up singers, you know you are in good hands and are heading for a fun time. Sister Act stars Ta’Rea Campbell, whose voice is a powerhouse—and she’s not the only great voice in the show, not by a long shot.
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Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

Sister Act’s story of a murder witness hiding out in a convent is similar to a summer blockbuster in that it viscerally excites despite a flimsy premise and plot points advanced through coincidences of convenience.
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Now running through July 28.

LOVE SONGS – A MUSICAL at the Attic Theatre

LSimage1Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

This world premiere of Steven Cagan’s amorous musical hardly feels like a full-fledged production. First off, James Esposito’s set is little more than some black cubes and stools on a bare stage. Add to that the fact that A. Lynn Downey’s lights are wincingly and monotonously bright throughout…
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Now running through July 28.

The Taming of the Shrew at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

Taming Shrew

Photo by Ian Flanders

David C. Nichols – LA Times

With summer here, the whirligig of time brings in “The Taming of the Shrew” at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, and it proves a blissfully madcap occasion. This rip-roaring take on William Shakespeare’s ever-popular romantic comedy opens the 40th anniversary season at this incomparable outdoor venue with marvelous forward momentum.
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Mayank Keshaviak  – LA Weekly

The slapstick, or batacchio, which originated in the commedia dell’arte of 16th-century Italy, is a wooden device used to create a loud, smacking sound. So it seems fitting that in staging Shakespeare’s contemporaneous tale of a headstrong woman who finally meets her match, director Ellen Geer plays its physical comedy to the hilt, incorporating slide whistles, drums and other noisemaking devices to punctuate the onstage pratfalls, fisticuffs and acrobatics.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the New American Theatre

Mayank Keshaviak – LA Weekly

Bottom is the tops in New American Theatre’s take on the classic tale of love and mischief, here set in 1930s Greece. Director and company founder Jack Stehlin brings energy and cheeky wit to the character of Nick Bottom by fully exploring the hills and valleys of Shakespeare’s linguistic landscape.
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Robert Cicchini and Vanessa Waters.  Photo by Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Robert Cicchini and Vanessa Waters. Photo by Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

CHESS at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

 

CHESS  – Book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

 

Mayank Keshaviah – LA Weekly

Like the 1980s, this revival of the Cold War-themed musical that produced the hit song “One Night in Bangkok” is kitschy, colorful and full of spectacle. Yet its return also reveals the contrived, confusing plot and threadbare characters that have perennially plagued this piece.
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David C. Nichols – L.A. Times

There’s a wryly energetic thrust to “Chess,” being revived by East West Players in an imaginative production that certainly puts its own spin on this problematic concept album-turned-popera.
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MARILYN – MY SECRET, MACHA Theatre/Films

Kevin Michael Campbell

Kevin Michael Campbell

 

Marilyn – My Secret by Odalys Nanin and Willard Manus.

 

Mayank Keshaviah – LA Weekly

Though iconic Hollywood bombshell Marilyn Monroe’s story has been examined and re-examined from almost every possible angle over the years, Marilyn — My Secret, Odalys Nanin and Willard Manus’ take, treads ground yet unworn as it explores the star’s bisexuality and lesbian affairs.
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Belz! The Jewish Vaudeville Musical, Whitefire Theatre

Photo credit: Levon Parian.

 

Belz! The Jewish Vaudeville Musical by Pavel Cerny.

 

Mayank Keshaviah – LA Weekly

An ersatz cross between Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret, writer and director Pavel Cerny’s 1979 show enjoyed a successful 1984 run at the now defunct Callboard Theatre. But like the Callboard, the show’s best days may be behind it.   Read more…

 

 

LADCC Annual Awards – Monday March 18th – Host and Presenters announced

French Stewart, TV star (“3rd Rock From the Sun”) and local theatre mainstay (“Stoneface”: “Voice Lessons”) will host the 44th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) Awards on Monday, March 18, 2013 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St. Downtown. Tickets for the show and opening reception, which will start at 6:30 pm, can be reserved by e-mailing crixawards2013@gmail.com. All seats are $30.00

Stewart will preside over this year’s theme “Theatre Everywhere,” focusing on the wide geographical range within which LADCC members travel in the course of a year to see and celebrate the best of live performance. Top representatives of local institutions – including Michael Ritchie of CTG; Sheldon Epps of The Pasadena Playhouse; Barbara Beckley of The Colony Theatre; and Zombie Joe of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre – will assist Circle members in presenting awards in 17 competitive categories as well as a host of special award plaques.

Entertainment, too, will come from all over the region. Almost two dozen performers from Orange County will reunite to perform “The Rumble” from the Chance Theatre’s acclaimed and nominated revival of “West Side Story.” The cast of “Justin Love,” the smash musical that originated at Celebration Theatre – winner of this year’s Margaret Harford Award for distinguished achievement – will appear, alongside performers from “The Color Purple” (Cesili Williams); “The New Electric Ballroom” (Tim Cummings); and “Bad Apples” (Kate Morgan Chadwick, accompanied by the show’s composer/lyricists Beth Thornley and Rob Cairns.)

Ryan Johnson, nominated for his score for “Stoneface” which starred Stewart as the legendary Buster Keaton, serves as musical director for the evening, which will be produced by Daily Variety and ArtsinLA.com critic Bob Verini. Production stage manager is Heatherlynn Gonzalez. Award-winning sound designer Cricket S. Myers lends her skills to the event, whose associate producer is Peter Finlayson of Footlights Publishing.

A cash bar with great food and a silent auction (cash and checks only, please) will occupy the 6:30-7:30 hour, until doors open and the annual celebration of great L.A. area theatre begins.

ALL INFORMATION:

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) has announced its nominations and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theatre in 2012.

All tickets have been reduced to $30.00. Tickets can be arranged through crixawards2013@gmail.com, and PayPal will be accepted prior to March 18. Credit cards will be accepted at the door.

Nominees are entitled to a single complimentary ticket. Nominees please click here for important information regarding ticketing etc.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on March 18 for drinks, music, hors d’oeuvres (no full dinner) and conversation, while at a Silent Auction attendees can bid on theater and film-related items. Only cash or checks will be accepted at the auction, please. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Scheduled host French Stewart is a 25-year mainstay of the Los Angeles theatre scene and a notable star of TV and film. Best known for his six seasons co-starring on NBC’s 3rd Rock From the Sun, he is a member of Sacred Fools and played the title role in that company’s 2012 production of Stoneface, The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, which has received two LADCC nominations.

In recognition of this year’s theme, “Theatre Everywhere,” representatives of theatre companies based within the geographic beat covered by members of the Circle will join Stewart and Circle members to present awards in 17 competitive categories.

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NOMINEES:

The 2012 nominees are…

SPECIAL AWARDS:

Six special awards will be presented under the sponsorship of organizations and individuals to whom the LADCC is most grateful. Honors have been announced for local institutions Celebration Theatre (for sustained excellence); and The Fountain Theatre and Center Theatre Group (for their excellent seasons). The Circle also recognizes prominent individuals: David O; Elina de Santos; Stephen Gifford; as well as Evelina Fernandez for her A Mexican Trilogy, an outstanding L.A. world premiere play.

The 2012 special awards winners are…

ALREADY-VOTED AWARDS:

Three already-voted awards will be presented on awards night.

Plaques will be presented on March 18 to the following recipients:

Adrian Kohler with Basil Jones for Handspring Puppet Theatre, in recognition of the design, fabrication, and direction of the puppets of War Horse at the Ahmanson Theatre

David McCormick and Kelly Todd for their fight direction of West Side Story at the Chance Theatre in Anaheim.

In addition, a special plaque will be awarded to Center Theatre Group for an excellent season.

# # # # #

MEMBERSHIP:

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2012 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, LA Weekly; ArtsBeatLA.com

F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers; stagehappenings.com

Hoyt Hilsman, Back Stage, The Huffington Post

Mayank Keshaviah, LA Weekly

Amy Lyons, Back Stage, LA Weekly

Dany Margolies, ArtsinLA.com

Terry Morgan, LAist.com; Daily Variety

Steven Leigh Morris. LA Weekly

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times, Back Stage

Sharon Perlmutter, TalkinBroadway.com

Melinda Schupmann, Back Stage; ShowMag.com; ArtsinLA.com

Madeleine Shaner, Park La Brea News/Beverly Press; Back Stage

Les Spindle, Frontiers; Theatremania; EDGE LA

Bob Verini, Daily Variety; ArtsinLA.com

Neal Weaver, LA Weekly; Back Stage

 

The LADCC is pleased to welcome FootLights Publishing, Inc. as consultants on this year’s awards events. The mission of FootLights is to illuminate the theatre community, providing greater access to a more diverse public while at the same time offering insight into the production and process of theatre.

The LADCC expresses its gratitude to Los Angeles Theatre Center and Latino Theatre Company for their warm welcome and many courtesies.

 

 

Nice turnout for Nominees Reception, March 4th, 2013

Jitney director Ron OJ Parson and members of his cast: Charlie Robinson, Larry Bates, and James Watson. Photo by Dany Margolies.

It was a convivial group of actors, directors and theater artists of all kinds who mingled with the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) members last night at the lovely theater space of Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) in Downtown LA.  Gathering were the nominees for this year’s LADCC awards ceremony.

The LATC is generously providing their venue for the awards night, to be held in two week’s time, on Monday, March 18, 2013.

Awards show host, French Stewart, was on hand, regaling party-goers with jokes and witty conversation.

A delectable buffet was supplied by Gwen Kenneally and her partner Rafet, from “Back to the Kitchen” Catering company,  that was 50% vegan fare and 100% delicious!

Enjoy the following photo essay of select attendees.

*** For more information and to order tickets to the awards event, please go here***

 

Photos by LADCC member and critic, Dany Margolies.

 

Rafael Goldstein, nominated for his lead performance in ‘Hamlet’ at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater, and costume designer Angela Balogh Calin, costumer of ‘Cymbeline.’ Photo by Dany Margolies.

 

 

 

Actor Casey Kramer and set designers David Mauer and Hazel Kuang of Rogue Machine Theater Co. Photo by Dany Margolies.

 

 

 

Michael Arabian, director of ‘Waiting for Godot’; Lisa Pelikan, nominee in the ensemble category for ‘The New Electric Ballroom’; and Alan Mandell, ‘Waiting for Godot’ lead actor. Photo by Dany Margolies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LADCC & LA Weekly Critics Pauline Adamek and Mayank Keshaviah. Photo by Dany Margolies.

 

 

 

Actor Melora Marshall and director Ellen Geer, siblings and representatives of the revival nominee play ‘Heartbreak House.’ Photo by Dany Margolies.

 

 

 

Publicist ‘extraordinaire’ Lynn Tejada and playwright Daniel Talbott, of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Photo by Dany Margolies.