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Archive for Paul Birchall – Page 2

CAPTAIN OF THE BIBLE QUIZ TEAM – Rogue Machine at Various Locations

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In a tiny church, a battle wages. That battle has been nearly settled by American law, it seems to be settling in large urban areas. But in the hearts and minds of the congregation at Kandota Lutheran Church in Little Sauk, Minn., it’s still a stubbornly fought war.Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Directed by Michael Michetti, playwright Tom Jacobson’s compelling drama is a powerful meditation on faith and prejudice. It’s staged with a deceptive simplicity that belies layers of thought-provoking philosophy and emotion. Read more…

Now running through October 3

 

MEDEA at Zombie Joe’s Underground

MEDEA4

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The stage at the Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater is really extremely small. While at times it feels like the size of a large conference table or a front counter at Starbucks, the electrifying power that erupts from this tiny postage stamp is really quite amazing. Read more…

Now running through September 11

RUDDIGORE at Studio/Stage Theater

Photo by Johnny Love

Photo by Johnny Love

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The Victorian Era operettas of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan are almost unique in the theatrical canon in that sometimes talent is not as important to a production’s success as gusto and enthusiasm. Read more…

Now running through August 28

GREY GARDENS at the Ahmanson Theatre

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(© Craig Schwartz)

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Grey Gardens, based on the 1975 cult classic documentary, is a gem of a one-act musical. Unfortunately, there are two acts. In wanting to flesh out the characters who were captured in the film, book author Doug Wright, composer Scott Frankel, and lyricist Michael Korie focus the entire first act on backstory that drags the show down.  Read more...

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Grey Gardens The Musical, about two women who (seemingly) had it all and then lost it, resonates with meaning, especially if you’re a woman. For one thing, it’s a mother-daughter story, of which, unfairly, there are far fewer than father-son. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale were the last century’s East Coast mother and daughter scions who plummeted from wealth to filth. Neither their own inordinate affluence and celebrity nor those of their relatives could save this pair from the physical and mental decay ravaging their lives.     Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

A pair of cantankerous older ladies, mother and daughter, rattle around their enormous derelict mansion in this smash musical based on a legendary 1970s documentary about the downwardly mobile lives of Big and Little Edie Bouvier of the Hamptons. Read more…

Now running through August 14

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY at an Undisclosed Location

Photo Halei Parker

Photo Halei Parker

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

It’s easy to love site specific theater —particularly one in which the setting essentially adds a character to the show itself. I’m thinking of recent shows like Flagship Theater’s Second Skin, which was a ghost story staged on the beach outside the Annenberg Beach House, with ghostly figures emerging from the cascading surf……Read more…

Now running through July 3

AS YOU LIKE IT at Zombie Joe’s Underground

Photo  courtesy of Zombie  Joe's Underground

Photo courtesy of Zombie Joe’s Underground

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I am not sure why it comes as a surprise that Zombie Joe’s Underground, the ferociously imaginative theater company on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, should so ably create this sweet, artful candy box of an adaptation of Shakespeare’s frivolous rustic comedy. Read more…

Now running through June 19

THE BOY FROM OZ – Celebration Theatre at the Lex

THE BOY FROM OZ - 1(1)

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

What makes this boisterous jukebox musical about the life of late music and stage legend Peter Allen (whose songs make up the show’s core) so winning, is the combination of larger-than-life excess and the piquant whiff of melancholy – all of which are frankly irresistible to a wide swath of showtune-loving patrons. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We expect lots of glitz and glamor In The Boy From Oz, a musical based on the life and works of Australian songwriter and performer extraordinaire, Peter Allen. After all, it was a big splashy Broadway show, with a book by Martin Sherman (based on an original script by Nick Enright) and a huge cornucopia of songs by Allen himself. And we get plenty of both…….Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Celebration Theatre has landed a coup with the West Coast premiere of  “The Boy From Oz,” and what a festive party it’s throwing. Read more…

Now running through June 19

 

SECOND SKIN at the Annenberg Beach House

Photo by Sam Hunter

Photo by Sam Hunter

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

A ghost story around the campfire on the beach: It seems like such a natural fit, you almost wonder why you haven’t seen this sort of thing before. But director Kate Jopson’s compelling site specific production of Kristin Idaszak’s moody drama, set a few yards from the thundering surf at twilight on the beach in front of the Annenberg Beach House, is a spectacle that eerily and profoundly mixes the timelessness of a campfire story with the intimacy of therapy session. Read more…

Now running through May 15

OTHELLO/DESDEMONA at City Garage

Photo by Paul R. Rubenstein

Photo by Paul R. Rubenstein

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Charles A. Duncombe’s drama is ostensibly a riff on the play Othello. It’s not an adaptation, mind you, because the structure and plot digress wildly from the Shakespearean original — but it is a work involving some of the same themes with basically the same set of characters.   Read more…

Now running through May 28

WEAPONS at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The shadow of Eugene O’Neill looms large over the plot and writing of playwright Chris Collins’ angry family drama. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, as Collins lays the sadness and rage on so thick that Long Day’s Journey almost seems like a situation comedy in comparison. Read more…

Now running through May 8

SCHOOL FOR WIVES at the Archway Studio Theatre

Photo by Elias McCabe

Photo by Elias McCabe

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Although it’s dangerous to impose our own political leanings on works of the past, Moliere’s 1662 sex farce could in many ways be considered a bona fide feminist tract. Read more…

Now running through May 7

OTHELLO at the Independent Shakespeare Company/Atwater Crossing Arts and Innovation Complex

ISC-Othello

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I think there will always be people who ask “Why on earth do another production of Othello? What more can you say than hasn’t already been said?“ Fortunately, director Melissa Chalsma’s crackling production of Shakespeare’s spite-fest boasts plenty of reasons to captivate and intrigue — though perhaps not the ones that are mentioned in the program notes. Read more…

Now running through May 7