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Archive for Melinda Schupmann

THE CAKE – Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Americans in the U.S. have struggled with a cultural divide for decades — right from the beginning, it can be argued. The Founding Fathers, deists and 18th century rationalists, made separation of Church and State a fundamental principle of our government and their lives, while more traditional classes of people, especially in the South and Midwest, built theirs around their Christian faith.

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when someone or something suddenly throws the belief system you have held your entire life into question? The Cake, a play by Bekah Brunstetter currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, is a thoughtful and heartfelt examination of conservative values in increasingly liberal times, all hinging around one wedding cake.

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

North Carolina bakery owner Della (Debra Jo Rupp) announces at Cake’s beginning that nothing is as gratifying as baking a perfect cake. It is the ultimate satisfaction. Frostings, fillings, she loves them all, and her enthusiasm for her craft has landed her a gig on one of those reality television bake-off shows.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In one of its last acts before adjourning for summer, in late June the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage even though the state had an anti-discrimination law in effect at the time. It was just days later that Atwater’s Echo Theater Company opened their World Premiere of playwright Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake. Read more…

Now running through August 6

UNCANNY VALLEY at International City Theatre

Photo by Steven Georges

Photo by Steven Georges

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright Thomas Gibbons says the title of this play refers to the feeling that people have when they’re confronted with a very realistic robot: a feeling of fascination. He adds, “But the more realistic the robot becomes, at some point that fascination turns to a kind of revulsion. They’re creeped out, and that effect is called the ‘uncanny valley.’” Read more…

Now running through May 7

THE SIEGEL at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Fresh from the 2016 award winning Cloud 9 at Antaeus Theatre Company, savvy director Casey Stangl takes on a world premiere comedy by Michael Mitnick, designed to examine love and its complications. It has plenty of humor and a bit of food for thought along the way.    Read more…

Now running through April 23

AH WILDERNESS at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

When one thinks of Eugene O’Neill, one thinks of wrenchingly serious plays, but “Ah, Wilderness” gives him a chance to explore the comparative innocence of a life he wished he could have lived.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Ah, Wilderness! is a tender memory piece about a family rejoicing and struggling through the July Fourth holiday. Led by Nicholas Hormann and Deborah Strang as the patriarch and matriarch of the Miller Clan, the talented cast has the dynamics of a true family. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In his nearly 30 years of playwriting, Eugene O’Neill experimented with myriad stage conventions, winning Pulitzer and Nobel prizes. Though most of his dramas were melancholy or tragic, in 1932 he penned a comedy that portrays the Miller family of Connecticut on the Fourth of July, 1906. Its protagonist is almost-17-year-old Richard (Matt Gall), certainly O’Neill’s alter ego, who is flush with first love and bursting with ideas culled from classic literature his mother finds improper for a boy his age. Read more…

Now running through May 20

 

FOR PIANO AND HARPO at the Falcon Theatre

Photo by Sasha Venola

Photo by Sasha Venola

Rob Stevens – HainesHisWay.com

Oscar Levant was a pianist, composer (“Blame It On My Youth”), actor (An American in Paris & The Band Wagon for starters), television personality (talk and quiz shows) and professional neurotic with an acid tongue and a quick retort for everything and everybody, including himself. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Noted musician, composer, and author Oscar Levant was one of those larger-than-life figures prominent from the 1930s until his death in 1972. In his New York days, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table along with Dorothy Parker, Alexander Wollcott, and Robert Benchley. Read more…

 

Now running through March 5

 

CHAPATTI at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have always been fond of Irish playwrights from Oscar Wilde’s wicked wit to George Bernard Shaw’s political take on the battle of the sexes. It’s the whimsical Irish with their gentle and/or raucous tales of opposites attracting and striking romantic sparks that resonate most with me. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Christian O’Reilly’s delightful Irish play about two lonely souls of a certain age is both witty and poignant. From the first moments when bachelor Dan (Mark Bramhall) speaks to the audience as storyteller, we are engaged in a tale that is deceptively simple yet thoroughly affecting. Read more…

Now running through January 29

MEMPHIS at Musical Theatre West

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

High energy is the name of the game in Musical Theatre West’s 64th-season opener. With a large ensemble of talented singers and dancers, Memphis lives up to its Tony-award winning pedigree and delivers a thoroughly entertaining look at the music scene in the 1950s in the heavily segregated South. Read more…

Now running through November 6

GOING…..GOING….GONE! at the Hudson Theatre Guild

Going-Going-Gone_8

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This lightweight comedy, largely about legacy, by TV veteran and former sportscaster Ken Levine revolves around the hopes and fears of four L.A. sportswriters who are covering a baseball game that’s gone into extra innings. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

The sitcom originated in the early days of radio, and it has become one of the most-reliable forms for writers as they spin out a storyline. Playwright Ken Levine, with credits from M*A*S*H and other notable television comedies and 25 years as a major league baseball broadcast journalist, has used this structure and set the play in a press box in a Los Angeles ballpark. Read more…

Now running through November 6

ALL THE WAY at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatre based on the recreation of history can be frustrating. On the one hand, one never knows how much the facts have been altered to make it properly dramatic and entertaining, while on the other, there are often so many characters that one never really gets to know any of them. That said, Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way manages to avoid most of these pitfalls. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

There should be a special award for when one actor wins the Tony, but then another actor still finds a way to kill the role — to act the heck out of it and to make it new. I’d nominate Hugo Armstrong, who stars as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning “All the Way” at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In a tableau framed by a Greek colonnade with the US seal prominently placed centerstage, Robert Schenkkan’s political rouser revisits the moments following John Kennedy’s assassination as Lyndon Johnson (Hugo Armstrong) seizes the reins of power and steps into the presidency. Atop the columns on a raised stage stands a cast of characters who will both ally themselves with Johnson and oppose him, and that is the stuff of his ardent pursuit of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more…



Now running through October 2

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

Spelling Bee 2016 A

Photo by Gina Long

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In the grand scheme of things, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is only as good as its cast, and Sierra Madre has that nailed with a terrific ensemble who enliven William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s amusing take on competition among the young. Read more…

Now running through August 21

 

THE LITTLE MERMAID at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Walt Disney’s legacy is more than just a mouse or an amusement park. He set in motion a juggernaut that includes films, both live, animated, or a combination of both; award-winning music; television programming; radio programs; and theatrical productions, mostly based on his animated films. McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s newest offering is The Little Mermaid, directed by Glenn Casale, who was charged with enriching and enlivening the original Broadway production with special effects. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It shouldn’t shock anybody to hear that McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s new production of “The Little Mermaid” at La Mirada Theatre is a treat for the eyes and ears. Read more…

Now running through June 26

THE BIG MEAL at Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy of Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy of Chance Theatre

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Love, marriage, birth, and death are fodder for Dan LeFranc’s fast-paced narrative spotlighting a couple who meet, marry, and produce several generations in the space of 90 minutes.Read more…

Now running through May 22