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Archive for reviews

Godspell Jr., Eclectic Company Theatre

Photo by Sherry Lynn.


Godspell Jr. by John Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

There’s nothing quite like the pure spirit and shining, happy faces of talented young teens and kids. Provided with a suitable vehicle, namely Godspell, Jr., the vibrant energy of this mostly female, mostly eight-grader cast of eight kids provides a great night of musical entertainment.  Fittingly, the classic Broadway hit musical from the seventies, Godspell, has been refashioned for young audiences and young performers. Godspell, Jr. is a fun and sweet production now running on weekends at the Eclectic Company Theatre in NoHo until Nov. 18.  Read more…



The Elephant Room, Center Theatre Group

Photo by Scott Suchman / Arena Stage


The Elephant Room created by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

A creepy trio of lounge lizard magicians, sporting pedophile moustaches, cheesy outfits, hideous wigs and (in one case) false buck teeth, are the “protagonists” of a spoofy “play” called The Elephant Room, now playing at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City. But it’s not really a play at all. Instead it’s an ill-focused, poorly developed and chaotic assemblage of mildly amusing nonsense featuring a handful of extraordinary magic tricks outweighed by far too many gags, pratfalls and lame conjuring stunts that fail to impress. Think Spinal Tap for magicians… Yes, it’s clearly a send-up of the more tacky elements of the world of magic, but when you can actually SEE one of the magicians (Louie Magic) diving in and out of the voluminous pockets and secret compartments of his coat, that is what is known as prestidigitation FAIL.   Read more…


Bob Verini - Variety

What hath “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” wrought? The creators of “Elephant Room” may not have been directly inspired by Paul Reubens’ campy childhood takeoff, but the magic show now at the Kirk Douglas is cut from the same lightly smarmy, semi-surrealist, so-clunky-we’re-cool cloth. What Pee-wee pulls off, the Elephants muff: The framework of “Room” is incoherent and distasteful (beneath a wholesome veneer), and the performers spectacularly overestimate their personal appeal.  Read more…



The Exorcist, Geffen Playhouse

Production photo by Michael Lamont.


The Exorcist by John Pielmeier.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

The Geffen Playhouse have commissioned John Pielmeier to adapt author William Peter Blatty’s legendary horror story to the stage for a world-premiere presentation, and it’s difficult to comprehend why. Why take a sensational novel that was cleverly parlayed into a hit movie to great effect and then – almost forty years later – adapt that story for the theatrical stage? Why?  Read more…


Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA

Give John Doyle’s direction its due: It lends an effective visual and aural atmosphere to a problematic script. Regrettably, the direction does not quite create the fearsome battleground presumably intended by the writers. John Pielmeier’s scrip, in its premiere here, is of course based on William Peter Blatty’s iconic novel. Missing from the direction is thorough-enough dramaturgy and any passion—maternal or religious.  Read more…


Sharon Perlmutter – Talkin’ Broadway

When you enter the theatre for the world premiere adaptation of The Exorcist, you’ll notice that the set looks church-like, with a massive wooden cross suspended over the stage. There is nothing subtle about it.  Read more…


Bob Verini – Variety

The Geffen’s updated stage adaptation clearly hopes helmer John Doyle’s theatricality will compensate for cinematic pea-soup vomit and a moppet’s spinning head, but his black magic never quite rises to the spine-chilling. Read more…