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Archive for Sheldon Epps

BREAKING THROUGH at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jim Cox

Photo by Jim Cox

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Struggling singer Charlie Jane wants to find her voice. She writes songs that speak to her frustrations growing up as the daughter of a failed artist, and she wants to reach other youngsters. Sleazy producers, egotistical colleagues, and her own insecurities stand in her way….

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KISS ME KATE at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Earl Gibson III

Photo by Earl Gibson III

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Let’s Make a Deal’s” Wayne Brady as the lead in a revival of “Kiss Me, Kate”: It almost sounds like an especially wacky draft in some fantasy stunt-casting league for theater directors.

Sheldon Epps of the Pasadena Playhouse has not only made it happen, he has used it as the inspiration for an ingenious adaptation of the beloved 1948 musical.Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Pasadena Playhouse‘s artistic director Sheldon Epps and music director Rahn Coleman have updated the musical comedy juggernaut Kiss Me, Kate by altering some of the orchestrations and featuring a mostly black cast to “showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century.” This production has many dazzling moments, particularly because of the supporting cast, but it’s not without its faults in casting and concept. Read more…

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Your typical Kiss Me, Kate features exactly one African-American. It’s Hattie the maid, who kicks off the proceedings with the lead vocals on “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”  and thereafter recedes into the background during the Baltimore tryout of a musical version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.   Read more…

Now running through Oct. 12.

 

 

 

 

TWELVE ANGRY MEN at the Pasadena Playhouse

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

TAM

Photo by Jim Cox Photography

From 1954 to the present, Reginald Rose’s Emmy-nominated teleplay on CBS’s Studio One has been rewritten as a theatrical piece, was made into an Academy Award–winning film with some of the finest actors in the business, and has been reworked by theater companies over the years, even as 12 Angry Women. In this Pasadena Playhouse production, director Sheldon Epps has gathered an accomplished group of actors who have the heft and charisma to tackle this nearly archetypal work.
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Now running through December 1.

Intimate Apparel, Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jim Cox.

 

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage.

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

A persuasive melodrama, Intimate Apparel is perhaps Lynn Nottage’s best known play, although she won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined in 2009. Written and first staged at Center Stage in Baltimore almost ten years ago, Intimate Apparel has a pleasing contemporary relevance. Although Nottage’s drama is set in New York City in 1905, in the love letter romance there are parallels with the perils of contemporary online dating, as well as a slight nod to the pretext of Cyrano de Bergerac.   Read more…

 

Terry Morgan – LAist

There’s a lot to be said for the virtues of a compelling tale well told. It hearkens back to the initial reasons people get interested in narrative art in the first place: the seduction of story. While it’s great that some plays have important messages and others are triumphs of style and wit, it’s worthwhile to remember the considerable pleasures of investing in the trials and tribulations of a sympathetic character. Such is the appeal of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, receiving a solidly satisfying production right now at the Pasadena PlayhouseRead more…