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Archive for South Coast Repertory

NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN at South Coast Repertory

Arie Bianca Thompson, Chibuba Osuala, Jennifer Leigh Warren and Meredith Noël. Photo by Jenny Graham.

Arie Bianca Thompson, Chibuba Osuala, Jennifer Leigh Warren and Meredith Noël. Photo by Jenny Graham.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

A young Nina Simone never aspired to be a singer. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, the sixth of eight children, she studied classical piano as a child, her training paid for by the white employer of her mother, a Methodist minister who worked part-time as a housekeeper. Later she attended Juilliard on funds raised by people in her hometown of Tryon, North Carolina, and in 1951 applied to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia — but was rejected (in a brutal, unmistakably racist message from the Establishment), despite her overwhelming talent. With no money and needing to support herself and her family, Simone began playing piano in clubs in Atlantic City — then was told she would have to sing if she wanted to keep her job. She complied, and the career of an American musical legend was launched. Read more…

Through October 23

 

Remembering humbug hunter Dan Sullivan. ‘Search’ slackens. ‘Simone’ simmers.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Desert Stories for Lost Girls” at LATC, ‘Babe’ and ‘To the Bone’ in Atwater.

Dan Sullivan, the former LA Times theater critic who ushered LA readers into the modern theatrical world, died last week at the age of 86. It’s time to remember him, before moving on to current fare such as “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” at the Mark Taper Forum and “Nina Simone: Four Women’ at South Coast Repertory.

During the ‘70s and ‘80s — two decades when theater in Greater LA was rapidly proliferating — Sullivan was its most important chronicler. And he helped expand public awareness of the region’s theater not only by bearing witness but by bringing a winning wit to that task. The often playful quality of his prose probably drew readers who weren’t all that interested in theater, as well as the fervent fans. Read more…

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at South Coast Repertory

Chris Clark, Amrando Gutierrez, Rustin Cole Sailors, and Billy Rude. Photo by Jenny Graham/SCR.

Chris Clark, Amrando Gutierrez, Rustin Cole Sailors, and Billy Rude. Photo by Jenny Graham/SCR.

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – BroadwayWorld

South Coast Repertory presents the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet at the Mission San Juan Capistrano under the stars as part of its new Outside SCR program, and the quality production recalls the good, old days of Summer Stock. SCR has collected a talented cast and put on an enchanting evening. Read more…

Now through August 21

OUR TOWN at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Matt Gush/SCR

Photo by Matt Gush/SCR

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

It may seem like nothing much happens in Thornton Wilder’s most important work, Our Town. It is a play, after all, about ordinary people living ordinary lives. But the 1938 Pulitzer Prize winner is quietly deep and profoundly moving. Edward Albee once described Wilder’s play as “the greatest American play ever written.” Read more…

Now through June 4

 

WHAT I LEARNED IN PARIS at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Pearl Cleage’s romantic comedy, What I Learned in Paris, proves that politics and office romance are not compatible.  Read more…

Now running through March 19

PHOTOGRAPH 51 AT South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Every once in a while we experience a flare-up of puzzlement about why so few women pursue careers in math and science — even now, despite progress in gender equality.
Read more…

Now running through March 24

SWEENEY TODD at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Done right, the first notes of a musical will tell you exactly what kind of world you’re stepping into. When it comes to the masters, Stephen Sondheim does it better than just about anyone.
Read more…

Now running through February 16

 

CULTURE CLASH (STILL) IN AMERICA at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat / South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat / South Coast Repertory

Margaret Gray – LA Times

As a punctuation nerd, I may be reading too much into the parentheses in “Culture Clash (Still) in America,” the satiric troupe’s latest anthology of sketches at South Coast Repertory.
Read more…

Now running through January 20

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat

Jordan Kubat

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a stage or screen adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, however well-intentioned, must be unfavorably compared to the original.
Read more…

Now running through September 30

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at South Coast Repertory

Paul David Story and Carmela Corbett in South Coast Repertory's 2018 production of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

These days, films are regularly being converted into musicals, some which actually benefit from the change. It’s rarer to see a film made into a dramatic play, perhaps because of the belief that there’s less box office profit to be had.
Read more…

 

The 1998 period romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love was an upset winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture of the year, leaving Stephen Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan floundering on the beaches of Hollywood.

Now running through February 10

ONCE at South Coast Repertory

(Photo by Jordan Kubat)

(Photo by Jordan Kubat)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Mounting the first regional production of a show that recently played on Broadway puts the creative team between a rock and a hard place: Is it better to do a new take on the material, or is it better to emulate the original production?
Read more…

Now running through September 30

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2  at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Debora Robinson

Photo by Debora Robinson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the most intriguing uses of art is a conversation between an acknowledged masterpiece from the past and a current artist commenting upon it or adding to it in some way. Of course, this doesn’t always work, but when it does, the results are often fascinating. Such is the case with Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, where the playwright examines the issues brought up in the Ibsen’s classic play with complexity and empathy. The world premiere production at South Coast Repertory is bracingly intelligent and superbly performed. Read more…

Now running through April 30