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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

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

 

 

BEETHOVEN at the Wallis Annenberg Center

Christopher Ash

Christopher Ash

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Actor/writer/musician/producer/designer/musicologist Hershey Felder is about as close as they come to a modern Renaissance man. He has racked up an impressive array of musical biographies — one-man shows in which he plays noted composers. Read more…

Now running through August 12

 

THE MOTHER-F**KER WITH THE HAT at the Gloria Gifford Conservancy

Mathew Caine

Mathew Caine

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Plays about broken people dealing with issues of addiction, violence, and toxic sexuality are legion, but they don’t always translate into provocative and humorous theater. Both qualities are found in this dour comedy by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright .
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Now running through August 26

UNDER MILK WOOD – Open Fist Theatre Company at the Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

If one were to attempt to find a work comparable to Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, it would likely be Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Both plays deal with the mundane and the sacred, and both delve into the complexities of small communities.
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Now running through August 25

MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN at the Lounge Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Murray Mednick’s play, having its world premiere, is a tale of two suicides: that of the Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, who shot himself in the heart in 1930, and that of Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Nadya), the second wife of Joseph Stalin, who shot herself in her bedroom during a Communist Party gathering, supposedly in disgust at the way her husband’s brutal collectivist policies had produced mass famine.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

There are plays that tell a story and there are plays that ponder ideas. Murray Mednick’s latest world premiere MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN is the latter, an intellectual dissection of two Russian revolutionaries who were as integral to Eastern European history as beets are to borscht.   Read more…

Now running through August 19

CRY IT OUT at Atwater Village Theatre

 

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Caring for an infant is an important part of life, yet its difficulties are rarely depicted in the arts. While there is no lack of stories about pregnancy and birth, once the child is born, the drama seems to be considered less interesting. Playwright Molly Smith Metzler begs to differ…….Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

There is nothing quite so visceral, quite so individualistic in response, or quite so romanticized as becoming a new mother. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What exactly does it mean to be the “perfect mother?” This is a question many non-mothers think they know the answer to that also haunts new mothers, terrified of making the wrong decision in terms of what is best for their child.
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Now running through August 19