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Archive for Pauline Adamek

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE at the Mark Taper Forum

(© Stephen Cummiskey)

(© Stephen Cummiskey)

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Marie Mullen won the best actress Tony for the original Broadway production of  The Beauty Queen of Leenane as a tortured daughter. Now she has returned almost 20 years later to play the tormentor — her cruel, selfish mother.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1998, The Druid Theatre Company’s production of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane won four Tonys, including the award for Best Direction to Garry Hynes (a first for a woman) and one for Best Featured Actress to Marie Mullen. As co-founders of Druid, Hynes and Mullen were the first to secure the rights to the play, premiering it in 1996 in County Galway, West Ireland, where the company is based, and where the story takes place. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

The Beauty Queen of Leenane launched British-born (of Irish descent) playwright Martin McDonagh onto the theater scene in 1996. His first play is a black comedy is about a tempestuous mother-daughter relationship and is set in rural Ireland during the early 90s…….Read more…

Now running through December 18

BLUE SKY at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The marital problems of an upper-middle-class couple (with particular focus on the vague discontent of an adulterous wife) are the stuff of soap opera.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Broadway director John Rando brings the witty comedy Big Sky to the Geffen with a talented cast and a script that plays on conventions of the 1980s, but reflects how times have not changed when it comes to American’s obsession with wealth above all. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

A family faces a confluence of crises during an Aspen blizzard. Making its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse is playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros’ dramedy Big Sky, directed by John Rando. It’s a lively work, full of relatable, if affluent (at least at first glance) white characters, who are definitely privileged.  Read more…

Now running through July 17

HEDDDA GABLER at the Antaeus Theatre Company

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

If you’re someone who usually dismisses 19th-century theater classics as stuffy and stiff, you might want to reconsider and go see Hedda Gabler at Antaeus Theatre Company, where Jaimi Paige delivers a mesmerizing performance as the beautiful and manipulative title character. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Who is Hedda Gabler? Of course she’s the crux of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1891 play. But who is she, deep down? Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Heinrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler remains a titanic creation that still demarcates the theater’s passage into modernity. Its protagonist is the embodiment of contradiction, from the diamond-like clarity of her individuality to her ultimately inscrutable motives.    Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

When Ibsen’s thoroughly modern drama was first staged in Munich in 1891, the response from the critics was damning. They almost universally decried the play, declaring it was a presentation of a monster whereas the art of theater was supposed to elevate and refine. Read more…

Now running through July 17

THE CITY OF CONVERSATION at the Bram Goldsmith Theatre at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Kevin Parry forThe Wallis

Photo by Kevin Parry forThe Wallis

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In one way, The City of Conversation can be seen as playwright’s paean to the bygone politics of 20th century America —in retrospect a fairer and far less brutal game than the one played today. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Plays usually center on a boiling-over point. “The City of Conversation” offers at least two. And its two focal characters aren’t shy about confronting them. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

An ambitious young woman forces a showdown with her mother-in-law that has devastating consequences in The City of Conversation. Read more…

Now running through June 4

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

LUNATICS AND ACTORS at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

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Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Lunatics & Actors, the latest world premiere by Jeremy Aluma’s clowning troupe Four Clowns, is less a fixed narrative than a series of funny, unpredictable, and menacing vignettes that excavate the distinction between creative performance and insanity.

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Four Clowns’ newest theatrical staging is Lunatics & Actors, written by David Bridel. Bridel’s one-act drama is posited as an anthropological and scientific experiment in progress, with some results and further experimentation being presented this night to a collection of interested persons (being us, the audience).  The play commences when an eccentric neurologist, Dr. Duchenne du Boulogne (Thaddeus Shafer) introduces himself to us and explains his work to date; being the science of electrophysiology. Read more...

Now running through May 28

CURRENCY at VS. Theatre

Stephanie Fishbein Photography

Stephanie Fishbein Photography

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

This world premiere comedy from Los Angeles playwright Jennie Webb has its moments of glorious insanity and humor, but not enough of them to make it a full-on success. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Jennie Webb’s hilarious new play Currency, is a sly commentary on modern relationships — both the intimate kind and familial ones. It begins in the abundantly chintzy yet palatial bedroom of Helen (Dale Waddington) – scenic design is by Krystyna Loboda. It’s the morning after her boyfriend Dan (Warren Davis) has spent the night and, judging by their awkward but friendly banter, it’s the first time he has done so.  Read more…

Now running through May 21

A SINGULAR THEY at the Blank Theatre

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Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

An astonishingly edgy, timely and sensitive drama by Aliza Goldsmith, A Singular They is making its world premiere at the Blank Theatre — and what a singular play it is. Read more…

Now running through May 1

 

STAGE KISS at the Geffen Playhouse

 

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

More than any contemporary playwright who comes to mind, Sarah Ruhl’s characters inhabit worlds wholly her own. Even when she adopts a historical setting, as with In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), her lyrical sensibility fashions heightened realities, where a house of string or a dead man’s perpetually ringing cellphone seem natural. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Stage Kiss, now featured at the Geffen Playhouse, offers both belly laughs and belly aches. Many zingers leave audiences gasping for air between chortles, but the play feels empty because of sketchy characterizations and a fuzzy interpretation of Shakespeare’s frequently quoted, “All the world is a stage.” Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Sarah Ruhl’s insular comedy is set in the world of the theater. Act One begins with an audition then sees its way through to opening night. Act Two follows our leading pair and the aftermath of their off-stage love affair. Stage Kiss is chock full of in-jokes and ‘theaterly’ sight gags and business, but none of it proves all that funny. Read more…

Now running through May 15

WAITING FOR JOHNNY DEPP at the Whitefire Theatre

Photo by Jessica Sterling

Photo by Jessica Sterling

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Janet Valdez Cole’s semi-autobiographical musical, co-written with solo performer Deedee O’Malley, is a fun romp that traces the trials and tribulations of an aspiring actress. Read more…

Now running through April 24

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

There are numerous delights to be found in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder — the raucously hilarious musical play that opened last night at the Ahmanson Theatre. The ingenious and lavish puppet theater-like set, designed by Alexander Dodge; the gorgeously detailed period costumes, designed by Linda Cho; the clever book and lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and lovely music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak, all beautifully played by a live orchestra and sung by a cast with astounding voices.    Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

I’m often disappointed with the touring versions of shows that did well on Broadway or in London, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the current production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder at the Ahmanson is excellent on every level. Based on the same source material as the classic film Kind Hearts and Coronets, this show is a dark delicacy of exquisite charm. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

How do they do it? As great artists, legendary sports coaches and our favorite schoolteachers will tell us, it’s all in the fundamentals.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” at the Ahmanson through May 1, is the lightest, brightest musical tour to swing through Los Angeles in a handful of theatrical ages. It demands nothing from its audiences except to enjoy every moment. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is a delectable concoction of a musical. True, it may not have you rolling in the aisles every single minute of its two hour and thirty minute length. But the show, directed by Darko Tresnjak (who also directed the 2013 Tony-winning Broadway original), has a lot to offer….Read more…

Now running through May 1

A SHRED OF EVIDENCE at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Not so much a ‘whodunit’ as a guilty cover-up, Sheriff’s stuffy old mystery A Shred of Evidence plays like a trip back in time to quaint 1950s England.

Sheriff begins with a small action — the switching on of a radio — that completely alters the course of his central character’s life. A morning news report of a nearby fatal hit-and-run accident becomes more than just shocking as Richard Medway struggles to remember the events of the previous night. Read more…

Now running through April 11