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Archive for TalkinBroadway.com – Page 2

BRIEF ENCOUNTER at the Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

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 Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Possibly his most recognized work, Noel Coward’s screenplay for David Lean’s 1945 British film Brief Encounter, with its proper and decent married lovers resolutely resisting adultery, was indubitably the adult romance of its time, with the swells of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto counterpointing the personal sacrifice of ardor for order and honor. What could be more archaic or ripe for ridicule in an era characterized by hookups on the one hand, and the puritanical concept of an “emotional affair” on the other, making a hash of moral distinctions based on actual behavior? Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Noël Coward’s 1936 one-act play Still Life was expanded into a feature-length film, directed in 1945 by David Lean and scripted by Coward.

Now UK’s Kneehigh Theatre has brought their version to the Wallis, adapted and beautifully directed by Emma Rice. In this lively staging (which essentially is a mixture of the film and the short stage play) the basic plot line remains yet it is spun into a frothy confection of bittersweet romance enhanced by lush cinematic projected visuals, puppetry, live music, song and dance interludes and mild comedic flourishes. Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

I often think it’s a shame that most of our medium-to-large stages in town are generally only used to bring in out-of-town shows, instead of highlighting some of our best local companies. I’d love to see what Evidence Room or Antaeus could do with a bigger stage and a decent budget, for example. Read more...

Now running through March 23.

FOXFINDER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

Photo by Owen Carey

Photo by Owen Carey

Dawn King’s play is set in Britain, in the near future. As with all good literature, it’s meant to represent the here and now. So when an inspector arrives at a struggling farm, interrogating the farmers too inappropriately and searching the home too thoroughly, a certain Notorious Safety Administration may come to American minds. Never fear, though: The word government appears only once in King’s script.
Read more…

Myron Meisel – Hollywood Reporter

Set on a distant, hardscrabble farm in a future designated by playwright Dawn King as “Soon,” Foxfinder posits a paranoid government supervising the food supply by intrusively scrutinizing family plots for contamination by feared foxes, wily conspirators responsible for all social ills and who provide a pretext for authoritarian witch-hunts.  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

The story in Dawn King’s Foxfinder — being presented by Furious Theater Company at the Pasadena Playhouse’s Carrie Hamilton Theatre — attempts to offer a window onto the soul of our body politic. It’s a futuristic fable set in the countryside, somewhere in the north of England, that’s a bit like a blend of Tartuffe and The Crucible.
Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Somewhere on a farm, in rainy rural England, a farming couple nervously awaits a government inspector. When the tall young man shows up at their door, drenched and firing questions at them before he even enters the premises, the tension of Dawn King’s disturbing play begins to build. Directed by Damaso Rodriguez, British playwright Dawn King’s play imagines a world in the not-too-distant future where a totalitarian regime grills and monitors its citizens in a bizarre fashion, subjecting them to intrusive interrogation and unrealistic accountability. Read more

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Foxfinder is one of those plays in which the rules of the universe in which it takes place slowly unfold. The action takes place at an English farmhouse; the program helpfully tells us the time is “Soon.” It is, actually, a useful piece of information, as you would think from our farmers’ appearance (and use of a pocket watch) that we might be in the past, rather than the future. Read more…
Now running through February 2.

LOST GIRLS at Rogue Machine

DiGiovanniLipnickiPauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Almost immediately after the central protagonist Maggie (Jennifer Pollono) bustles onto the stage, pretty soon she’s letting fly a string of profanity. We are abruptly dropped into playwright John Pollono’s milieu, inhabited by working class New Hampshire types who are struggling to make ends meet.
Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Idiosyncratic characters, colorful language and clever one-liners don’t always make a “dramedy” click. John Pollono’s latest play is set in working class New England and revolves around a divorced single mom, Maggie (Jennifer Pollono), who wakes one snowy morning to discover her car and teenage daughter Erica (Anna Theoni DiGiovanni) missing. Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

It is a nightmare scenario for any parent: your car is gone, your 17-year-old daughter is nowhere to be found, and there’s a snowstorm making driving especially hazardous. That is precisely what befalls divorced couple Maggie and Lou in John Pollono’s world-premiere play Lost Girls, and the show follows their attempts to find their daughter while they also, awkwardly, try to provide some necessary support for each other despite the rift between them. Read more…

Now running through November 4.

A Man of No Importance at Elephant Stages

man no importanceBob Verini – ArtsInLA

The first extended run of the tuner A Man of No Importance is a matter of some importance, as it inaugurates—in this era of folding companies and theaters in transit—a new enterprise: the Good People Theater Company, under the direction of the gifted veteran stager-choreographer Janet Miller. Taking on the countervailing winds (money drying up, expenses mounting, uninterest in live performance growing) is a brave and noble thing, and one wishes Miller and company well.
Read more…

Les Spindle – Frontiers L.A.

The intimate 2002 musical, A Man of No Importance—an Outer Critics Circle Award winner and Lucille Lortel nominee—proves to be an astute choice for the debut offering of the Good People Theatre Company. The new organization’s Producing Artistic Director Janet Miller produces, directs, and provides musical staging for a memorable production of this subtly profound musical.
Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

To tell you the honest truth, I’ve always loved A Man of No Importance, and wished this chamber musical had more success than it did. The tale of Alfie Byrne, a bus conductor in 1964 Dublin, desperately hiding his homosexual feelings from everyone and filling the void in his lfie with an amateur theatrical company at his local church, is a sweet and deeply moving one.  Read more

Slipping at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller

 

 

Slipping by David Talbott.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – Talkinbroadway.com

There is much to admire about the writing, and directing, of the Rattlestick production of Daniel Talbott’s Slipping. On a scene-by-scene basis, Talbott has a true gift for realistic dialogue; and, when directing his own work, he knows exactly where the pauses ought to go, to make for true-to-life conversations. But on a rather larger scale, what I really appreciate about Slipping is that, while it is definitely about its protagonist Eli, one could very well say it is about each of the other three characters as well.

Read more…

 

 

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight, Colony Theatre Company

Photo by Michael Lamont.

 

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight by Peter Colley.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – TalkinBroadway.com

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight is the sort of play that screams “regional theatre staple.” A four-character comic thriller, it doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is: a sometimes funny, sometimes jump-inducing diversion. In its Los Angeles premiere production at the Colony Theatre, it is perfectly executed. This is a show that won’t leave you debating about anything in the car on the way home, but it will leave you smiling, feeling solidly entertained.  Read more…

 

 

Cassiopeia, The Theatre @ Boston Court

Photo by Ed Krieger.

 

Cassiopeia by David Wiener.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – TalkinBroadway.com

David Wiener’s Cassiopeia is beautiful, intelligent, and delightful to listen to. To be sure, it isn’t much of a play. The script itself calls the piece a “duet,” which does seem a bit closer to the truth. It’s two poetic monologues, inextricably intertwined and occasionally interspersed with an actual scene. Read more…

 

 

Blue/Orange, Player King Productions

Photo by Patrick Viall Photography.

 

Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – TalkinBroadway.com

I’ve been waiting for a Los Angeles production of Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange ever since it won a bunch of awards in London back in 2000-2001. It’s a dark little piece about race, the human condition, degrees of insanity, and the way our own perceptions and biases influence our reality. Sort of an Oleanna by way of Equus, Blue/Orange centers on a power struggle between two mental health professionals as they disagree on the diagnosis of a patient, who is clearly caught in the middle.   Read more…

 

 

 

Justin Love, Celebration Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont.

 

Justin Love — Book by Patricia Cotter and David Elzer, Story by David Elzer and Bret Calder, Music by Lori Scarlett and David Manning, Lyrics by Lori Scarlett.

 

Sharon Perlmutter – TalkinBroadway.com

Justin Love gives an old plot a modern twist, shines it up with with a bright and upbeat score, adds genuinely clever dialogue and lyrics, and wraps it all up in a Hollywood that only exists in fairy tales. The result is a feel-good musical in the very best sense of the phrase—a show which (even if just for a couple hours) makes you think that dreams can come true, there are no real villains, and maybe, just maybe, barriers to equality aren’t as insurmountable as they seem.  Read more…

 

David C. Nichols – L.A. Times

Tinseltown tunefully outs itself in Justin Love, triumphantly opening the Celebration Theatre’s 30th anniversary season. Though not without its still-gelling aspects, this witty, full-hearted musical fable about an idealistic Hollywood assistant and the A-Lister he un-closets is as endearing an item as any in the venue’s history.   Read more…

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Fresh and fun, the marvelous new musical about gay closet-life in Hollywood, Justin Love, was eight years in development, and the dedication shows. The storyline is sweet and not-too-predictable, the songs are snappy, upbeat and enjoyable and the direction and staging by Michael Matthews is fluid. While it could be read as a sly dig at a certain high profile actor who adamantly refuses to ‘come out,’ the plot is far more interesting and original than easy satire. Sure, it does poke fun at certain Hollywood archetypes – opportunistic gayboys, harridan bosses and sleazy tabloid journalists – but what keeps you engaged throughout is its sweet romantic core.  Read more…

 

Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA.com

As with any fairy tale, we know the story but eagerly await the manner of its telling. The hero must make a difference, must battle demons, and probably should end up “the winner.” And likely if you have decided to see this production, you’d approve of the outcome. So, how is the telling?  Read more…

 

Winners announced for 43rd Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards

Co-hosts Lesli Margherita and Jason Graae. Photo by Ed Krieger.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has announced the winners and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles and Orange County theater for the year 2011.

You can now follow the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle on twitter via @LADramaCC.

The 43rd Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony took place Monday, March 19, 2012 at A Noise Within in Pasadena, and was co-hosted by Lesli Margherita and Jason Graae.

[Full list of nominees.]

The award recipients for the 2011 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards are as follows:

Read More→