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Archive for Rob Stevens

HONKY TONK LAUNDRY at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

(Photo by Michael Lamont)

(Photo by Michael Lamont)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Roger Bean, who wrote and directed the hit musical The Marvelous Wonderettes and its various sequels, has done it again. He’s written another juke-box musical — but here the emphasis is on country and western songs.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way 

Bets Malone and Misty Cotton are two of the Southland’s best known and most talented musical theatre performers. They have known each other since they were children growing up in Northern San Diego County…Read more…

Now running through September 17

 

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

Simon Stephens’ Tony-award winning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel arrives in Los Angeles after productions in New York and London, still full of vibrancy and innovation. It tells the story of Christopher John Francis Boone (Adam Langdon), a 15-year old on the autism spectrum, who sets out to solve the mysterious killing of a neighbor’s dog. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

At the start of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the National Tour is currently at the Ahmanson Theatre, 15-year old Christopher (Adam Langdon), a mathematical genius, is found in a neighbor’s garden next to a dog which has a garden fork AKA pitchfork sticking out of it. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Part murder mystery, part technical extravaganza, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows the earnest endeavors of an autistic 15-year old named Christopher John Francis Boone, (played by Adam Langdon, alternating with Benjamin Wheelwright), to solve the mysterious and violent killing of a neighbor’s dog. Sadly, this production from The National Theatre of Britain suffers from some overly dramatic acting and over enunciation (everything is so terrible spiffing!) in its attempt to express the heart of the story beneath the technical spectacle.  Read more…

 

Now running through September 10

THE DEVIL’S WIFE at the Skylight Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Premiering at the Skylight Theatre under Eric Hoff’s direction, Tom Jacobson’s latest play is a delectable little fable about free will, human folly and the encounter of a non-believer with God, Hell and the Devil.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

With his latest work, The Devil’s Wife, playwright Tom Jacobson has created a fun piece of fluff. Read more…

Now running through August 20

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

THANKSGIVING at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Holiday gatherings frequently serve as framework for plays about dysfunctional families, and Thanksgiving, written by Tiffany Cascio and directed by Kitty Lindsay, is one of them. Although not nearly as clever as it tries to be, it features several choice roles for women, a few good laugh lines and, in the case of this Hollywood Fringe premiere production, one outstanding performance.

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Everyone has probably had that family get together—a wedding, a funeral—or more likely a holiday dinner that they wish they could avoid. The saying goes we can choose our friends but we are stuck with the family we are given.

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Now running through June 23

DOGFIGHT at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

DOGFIGHT - 6

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The composing team of Benji Pasek and Justin Paul are very hot right now having just won an Academy Award for their song in the film La La Land. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This new musical, with book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by the team that produced La La Land, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, is based on the movie Dogfight, from a script by Bob Comfort. Superficially, it resembles the 1944 musical On the Town…. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

These days, it seems like nearly every musical was adapted from a movie. Some of my favorite stage musicals began their lives as films—OnceLegally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie come to mind. Sometimes, however, you can’t help but wonder—why that movie? Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Dogfight the musical (music and lyrics by La La Land creators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, book by Peter Duchan) is one of those period pieces that make the good old days appear not so good after all — kind of like the musical itself. Read more…

Now running through June 25

LES BLANCS – Rogue Machine Theatre at the Met

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s kind of amazing that a major play by Lorraine Hansberry is just having its Los Angeles premiere now. Perhaps the tide of criticism that caused the play to close after one month on Broadway in 1970 tainted its reputation in some way, or its need for a 24-member cast scared producers off. Thankfully, Rogue Machine decided to rectify this situation, and its current production is a smart, exciting theatrical event. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lorraine Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play that was produced on Broadway when her classic A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award becoming the youngest playwright to do so.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs is set in colonial Africa sometime in the mid–20th century, and while much has changed since then, the play’s moral dilemmas and the racism and hypocrisy that give rise to them remain with us. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer in 1965 when she was only 34, leaving behind incomplete drafts of “Les Blancs” (“The Whites”), a play she had begun writing in 1960, soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made her famous.Read more…

les-blancs-2

Now running through July 3

SEPARATE TABLES at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA 

In the 1940s and 50s, British playwright Terrence Rattigan was considered an important playwright, scoring successes in both England and the U.S. with The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, and other works.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Loneliness is a terrible thing, don’t you agree.” That sentiment is expressed by one of the lonely characters in British playwright Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, a collection of two one-act plays set at the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth, England….Read more…

Now running through June 18

THE LYONS at The Road Theatre on Lankershim

Michele Young

Michele Young

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Nicky Silver has written over a dozen plays which have mostly been produced off-Broadway and at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. South Coast Repertory produced his Pterodactyls and Raised in Captivity in the early 1990s. Read more...

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Nicky Silver’s mordant comedy revisits the familiar generative terrain of the dysfunctional family coping with life’s difficulties — and themselves. Read more…

Now running through July 1

LUCKY STIFF at Actors Co-op

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more far-fetched plot than the one that animates this zany musical by Lynn Ahren (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucky Stiff is a 1988 musical farce with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It was the team’s first collaboration…..Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily News

In 1988, the fledgling duo of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty produced their first musical: “Lucky Stiff.” The show is a silly send-up of the mystery/suspense genre, and based loosely on the 1983 book “The Man Who Broke Monte Carlo.” Read more…

Now running through June 18

THE BODYGUARD at the Pantages Theatre

The Bodyguard

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Not many musicals literally start with a bang. In the case of The Bodyguard: the Musical, now playing at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, an opening gunshot was both very startling and pretty effective at getting the stragglers to settle into their seats. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The 1992 film The Bodyguard starred Kevin Costner in the title role and featured the film debut of singing superstar Whitney Houston. The film received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations, including Worst Picture, and has a score of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes yet it was the second highest grossing film worldwide that year. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

If in 1992 the films on your must-see list included “Reservoir Dogs,” “The Player,” “Howard’s End,” “Orlando” or even “Wayne’s World,” Lawrence Kasdan’s “The Bodyguard” probably didn’t make the cut. But that film has indeed been musicalized and brought to the stage, adapted by Alexander Dinelaris. Its national tour is basking at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre, where the late Whitney Houston’s legion of fans can hear her megahits receive full power-ballad treatment. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Now playing at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and it’s the closest thing you’ll get to hearing the late, great pop star Whitney Houston sing live. All up, this is a fantastically entertaining show. The pace is snappy and the staging is fluid.   Read more…

 

Now running through May 21

KISS at the Odyssey Theatre

Kiss_8

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have always been a proponent of good political theatre, not agitprop theatre such as written by Italian playwright Dario Fo. I prefer political writing that is more balanced like the great teleplays that David E. Kelley wrote for L.A. Law…Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón sets his play in the apartment of a young woman named Hadeel (Kristin Couture), who is hosting a soap-opera watching party for her friends. Read more…

Photo by  Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Kiss, directed by Bart DeLorenzo at the Odyssey Theatre, Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón explores the gap (one might say chasm) in perspective between people who live in a war-free society (ourselves, at least for now), and those trapped in the horrors of war who are subject to atrocities committed by vile men, like Syria’s Assad. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Critics have been asked to not give away the plot of this play. Out of respect to the theater, the work’s playwright, and its director, most of us won’t. But good luck to anyone who tries to describe the work and the potent sensations it induces. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Both in theater and in life, things are often not what they seem to be. The power of perspective is a strong influence in Kiss, a play by Guillermo Calderón currently in its west coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre. Read more…

Now running through June 18