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Archive for The Daily Breeze

BRIGHT STAR at the Ahmanson theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“Bright Star” is a fairly new musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. It had a life on Broadway last year and has arrived at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Bright Star has so many winning attributes that one can easily forget its shortcomings and simply enjoy the experience. The music by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell employs a lilting bluegrass sound, Walter Bobbie’s direction is stellar, and Carmen Cusack gives a performance you will remember for years to come.
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Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

Trouble and happiness often go hand in hand, and there is plenty of both to be found in Bright Star, the charming bluegrass musical that just launched its national tour at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles after a Broadway run last year.

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The opening lyrics of the opening song of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass/country western infused musical Bright Star, currently starting its National Tour at the Ahmanson Theatre, tell you what to expect.
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Now running through November 19

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL at the Geffen Playhouse

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It seems Arye Gross hasn’t aged well. As the actor emerges onstage at the Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, he puffs and sweats and walks creakily.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The biggest mystery of Underneath the Lintel is how the unspectacular quest for the late fees of a 113-year-old past due library book could make for such a riveting evening. Playwright Glen Berger turns this minuscule task into a reflection of the human experience and the desperation to find meaning in an unfulfilled life.
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Now running through November 19

 

CAPTAIN GREEDY’S CARNIVAL at the Actors Gang

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

So, you buy tickets to “Captain Greedy’s Carnival.” You sit in the audience. A character calling himself Captain Greedy comes out and asks, “Who wants more money in their pocket?”
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Now running through November 11

 

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Photo courtesy Caughtinthemoment.com

Photo courtesy Caughtinthemoment.com

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

There’s not much difference between creating a monster and creating a monster hit.

Take for example “Young Frankenstein,” the musical currently in the hands of 3-D Theatricals.
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Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

3D Theatricals offers another solid Broadway revival with Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein
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Now running through October 29

 

 

ON THE VERGE OR THE GEOGRAPHY OF YEARNING at the Little Fish Theatre

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Nostalgia for the future and a droll chiding of the past drive the storytelling in Eric Overmyer’s “On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning,” at Little Fish Theatre through Oct. 19.

It’s a smart play. Sorry if that damns it for you, but if you’re thinking of seeing it, you need to know: It’s two and a half hours of smart.

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Now running through October 19

 

THE DANCE OF DEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

(Photo by Enci Box)

(Photo by Enci Box)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

August Strindberg’s 1900 tale about a monumentally unhappy marriage has been neatly touched up in this adaptation by Irish playwright Conor McPherson. As bleak as it is funny, it unfolds on an island fortress in Sweden that was once a prison (nicely rendered interior of gloomy faux brick, arched doorways and barred windows by designer Christopher Scott Murillo).

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

At the turn of the last century, a husband and wife battle viciously, seemingly trapped in their marriage and in their prison-turned-home, in Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s new version of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1900 landmark “The Dance of Death.”
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Now running through November 19

 

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at the Norris Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The Norris Theatre’s latest theatrical offering is entrancing and ebullient, two words best defined as fun. And although its characters are too-smart adolescents and odd adults, it feels inviting and universal.
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Now running through October 1

 

ALL MY SONS at the Torrance Theatre Company

(Photo by Miguel Elliot)

(Photo by Miguel Elliot)

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Arthur Miller’s classic “All My Sons” opened on Broadway in January 1947, but it still feels relatable, thought-provoking and moving in its revival at Torrance Theatre Company.
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Now running through October 15

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY at the Geffen Playhouse

 

(© Chris Whitaker)

(© Chris Whitaker)

Jonas Schwartz –  TheaterMania

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City tosses around the word “funny” often. Besides landing in the title itself, the characters constantly tell others they are funny, declare that they themselves are funny, and attempt funny jokes….Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The title of the latest show at Westwood’s Geffen Playhouse is unwieldy and less than truthful. It sets the audience up for as much disappointment as its prime character, Karla, seems to have faced for much of her life. Read more…

Now running through September 30

BIG NIGHT at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Big Night is one of those sitcom-like stage comedies that tries super hard to tackle big themes but trips on the very glibness it purports to satirize. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Big Night is a play with aspirations bigger than it can deliver on. The new work by playwright Paul Rudnick wants to make grand statements and provoke gnarly debates about important social issues, but complex issues need to be explored carefully — they’re not best served by being glossed over to get to the next Big Idea, a trap Big Night falls into all too often.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

While it is clear that the recent tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the regularity of mass shootings have weighed heavily on comedy writer Paul Rudnick’s mind, his distillation of these heady conversations about gun violence and mental health come wrapped in too shiny of a package in the form of his play, Big Night.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

It’s not a new topic, but the superficiality of the film industry seems an easy and thus fairly constant pick as the foundation for an examination of modern ethics.
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 Now running through October 8

 

CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE at Pacific Residents Theatre

Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In their West Coast premieres, two one-act radio plays by Anthony Minghella grace the smaller stage at Pacific Resident Theatre. Though the two are produced as radio plays, the actors speaking from music stands, Michael Peretzian directs with enough subtext and reactions to start the audience’s imagination moving and filling in any blanks.
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Now running through September 10

SEQUENCE at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In playwright Arun Lakra’s quick-witted, if perhaps overly cerebral piece, it isn’t a rabbit’s foot or a four-leaf clover that makes someone lucky — it’s genetic predisposition.  Or perhaps it’s an evolutionary adaptation that allows people to peer into the future, quantum physics-style, and somehow bring about their future happiness.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Imagine writing a play in the hopes of creating as complex a double helix as a strand of DNA. That appears to be the intent of Arun Lakra, whose “Sequence” is at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. Complex it is, at least in volume though not necessarily in nuance. Still, the play proves artfully directed enough that the script’s overt nature is, to some extent, overcome.
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Now running through August 20