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Archive for Stage Raw

GLORIA – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Although the publishing world serves as the framework for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ scathing dramedy, his story is less about the decimation of a once flourishing profession as it is about the impoverishment of our lives and our relationships with others, or lack thereof.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When Gloria, a Pulitzer Prize-finalist play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins currently in its west coast premiere at The Echo Theater Company, begins, it seems like a modern workplace comedy.
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Now running through October 21

 

ALL NIGHT LONG at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Not every work of art is designed with the mass audience in mind. Some are experiments or explorations, or maybe just a diverting goof. All these terms might apply to John O’Keefe’s All Night Long, a kaleidoscopic fever dream of a play that revels in erudition and silly humor but doesn’t hew to a traditional dramatic structure or feature a standard resolution.
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Now running through October 7

SWANSONG at the Skylight Theatre

(Photo, courtesy Australian Theatre Company)

(Photo, courtesy Australian Theatre Company)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Swansong, Irish playwright Conor McDermottroe drafts a portrait of a disturbed and angry man unable to quell his sudden fits of rage or find balm for the inner wound that’s been festering since his childhood.
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Now running through October 7

CYMBELINE – The Porters of Hellsgate at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre

Mandi Moss Holmes

Mandi Moss Holmes

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s a reason that Shakespeare’s Cymbeline doesn’t get produced very often. It’s not that it’s bad per se, but that it’s familiar without being extraordinary.
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Now running through October 14

SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Colorism is a topic that may be unfamiliar to many white audiences, but it’s an issue Jocelyn Bioh examines beautifully in her new work School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, now making its Los Angeles debut at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Teenage girls worldwide struggle with a number of the same issues—body image, fitting in at school, planning for the future, dealing with societal and familial pressures. But while many of these issues are universal, there are also major differences depending on where in the world girls grow up.
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Now running through September 30

 

A 60’S TRILOGY at The New American Theatre

Joel Daavid

Joel Daavid

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Presented by the USVAA Vets Repertory and Revenant Stage (formerly the Elephant Theatre), Tommy Carter’s trio of one-acts is capably directed by David Fofi. All of them evoke disquieting recollections of the America of the 1960’s, a period like no other in our nation’s history….
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Now running through September 23

MARIAN, OR THE TRUE TALE OF ROBIN HOOD at Theatre of NOTE

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Male actors have always had a lock on the role of Robin of Locksley, whether on stage or screen, but now the provocative Kirsten Vangsness crashes the hallowed fraternity and dons the green feathered cap in this “gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic Robin Hood myth.”  The play, by Adam Szymkowicz, is imaginatively directed by Christopher Johnson.
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Now running through September 23

AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Look out, baby, cause here they come. Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations opened in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre last night, just hours after it was announced the show will transfer to Broadway in spring 2019. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The two trickiest types of musical, to this critic’s mind at least, are the bio-musical and the jukebox musical. The former ties musicals, often a fanciful form, to rote biographical facts, while the latter often requires the show’s cast and creative team to impart significance to songs that might not be able to carry the meaning they’re meant to support.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

For sheer entertainment, “Ain’t Too Proud” is the show to see in Los Angeles during the next five weeks.
As a jukebox musical featuring the songs of The Temptations plus a generous handful of others, the score is unsurpassable. The quintet that many consider the greatest group ever in R&B music gave us such 1960s and ’70s classics as “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and of course “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.”
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Now running through September 30

 

THE LADY DEMANDS SATISFACTION at the Loft Ensemble

Victoria Anne Greenwood

Victoria Anne Greenwood

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

An old saw states that comedy is hard; a qualifying truth might well be that farce is the hardest. It requires wit, energy, sometimes broad slapstick and, above all, exquisite timing. When everything clicks, you get a masterpiece such as Noises Off. When it doesn’t, the results can be frustrating.
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Now running through September 23

 

YELLOW FACE at the Beverly Hills Playhouse

yellowface

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

When Rachel Dolezal was forced to step down from the presidency of the local branch of the NAACP in Spokane, Wash., in 2015 because she was not (as she had claimed) African-American, it spurred a debate on the nature of race and cultural appropriation which was long past due.

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1989, Caucasian actor Jonathan Pryce, sporting eye prosthetics and bronzer, appeared as a Eurasian pimp in a West End production of playwright David Henry Hwang’s Miss Saigon. Pryce won the Olivier award that year for best actor in a musical, and was slated to appear in the Broadway production as well.
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Now running through September 26

SHINING CITY at the Hudson Guild Theatre

Burt Grinstead

Burt Grinstead

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Irish playwright Colin McPherson explores the dark hollows of the human psyche in this penetrating drama. A sad, intensely human story, the play speaks knowingly to the guilt, regret and unfulfilled desires that dwell within many of us.
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Now running through August 26

WAITRESS at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

You cannot walk five feet in the Pantages Theatre without encountering a bunch of mini pies for sale, perfectly setting the scene for Waitress, the hit Broadway musical that opened in Los Angeles for the first time last night.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 2007 writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly created a little gem of an independent film entitled Waitress. Unfortunately Shelly was murdered before the film’s debut. In 2015 playwright Jesse Nelson and songwriter Sara Bareilles turned the story of three waitresses and their love lives in a small Southern town into a Broadway musical.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Can eating a pie be a religious experience? It can if it was made by Jenna, the diner waitress in the Broadway musical WAITRESS, who turns ordinary ingredients like butter, sugar, and flour into mouthwatering slices of life in a pie tin.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Easy as it is to bemoan the current trend of turning movies into Broadway musicals, Waitress, now playing at the Pantages in Hollywood, is proof that Broadway shows can still tell beautiful stories, even when they’re based on movies that came out over a decade ago.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Though a few of its ingredients are so right, so much is so wrong with “Waitress,” the musical now at the Pantages.
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Now running through August 26