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Archive for The Daily Breeze – Page 2

ALMOST, MAINE at the Torrance Theatre Company

Miguel Elliot

Miguel Elliot

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It can be done. A director can take relatively ordinary material and, with the help of adept designers and a committed cast, turn it into extraordinary theater.
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Now running through April 15

 

JACKIE UNVEILED at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Kevin Parry

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

In Act 1 of JACKIE UNVEILED, Tom Dugan‘s new solo play about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she repeats a single phrase over and over. “I’m no good alone.” The chain smoking, alcohol indulging former first lady has just learned that her brother-in-law (and secret lover) Bobby Kennedy has been assassinated. Now, in the wee hours of the morning, she is distraught.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In the 1960s, only realists and Republicans could possibly think first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was not perfect. She was willowy, whispery, well-spoken. She had chic taste, financial comfort, a handsome husband. And he and she occupied the White House.
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Now running through March 18

ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

After nearly nine years, Allegiance has come home to Southern California. The co-production by East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center opened to a sold out crowd on Wednesday night, less than half a mile from the Japanese American National Museum where it had its first reading in 2009.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Produced by East West Players at the Japanese American Cultural Center, Allegiance features noted performer-activist George Takei, and draws inspiration from his personal experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There are two ways to look at the East West Players/Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s new production of the musical “Allegiance,” recently opened at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. Both have a validity, but the results of those two ways of examination may prove very different.

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In 21st century internet parlance, there’s a lot to unpack in East West Players’ production of Allegiance, now playing at Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. On the first, most obvious level, there’s the timeliness of telling a story about sending Americans off to internment camps — an event that no longer seems out of the realm of possibility given our current Administration.
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Now running through April 1

THE FLYING LOVERS OF VITEBSK at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

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Steve Tanner

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Sometimes it’s fun to sashay into a theater cold, without the slightest notion of what you’re in for. But before seeing “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” the Kneehigh Theatre production now at the Wallis in Beverly Hills, you might want to refresh your memory of the art of Marc Chagall.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And that’s particularly true if you’re a somewhat educated and somewhat well-read audience member.
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Now running through March 11

NICE FISH at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

“Think of the prose poem as the box, perhaps the lunch box dad brought home at night,” writes down-to-earth poet Louis Jenkins in the program notes to Nice Fish, a unique (and to my mind brilliant) collaborative work by Jenkins and renowned performer Mark Rylance.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What do we hope for when we head out to the theater? Even if it’s entertainment, or meaning, our deepest purpose is elusive.
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Now running through March 25

HENRY V at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

By the time Shakespeare gets to the last of his history plays concerning the Wars of the Roses*, HENRY V, the party boy who would be king has become a man. Gone are the indiscretions of youth seen in the earlier HENRY IV plays, which follow young Prince Hal on his escapades with Falstaff and the Eastcheap gang.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Of all Shakespeare’s history plays, the one which has always fascinated me most is “Henry V.”

From its prologue, which defines the very essence of live theater and the suspension of disbelief, through the humanity of its central figure wrestling with the understood demands of the crown and the lasting echoes of a misspent youth, it has an articulation of language and emotion which have always caught my imagination.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The idle, degenerate, boozing and whoring Prince Hal from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays grows up quickly when he ascends the throne and chooses to go to war with France in Henry V.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

A war pageant, Shakespeare’s Henry V portrays a king evolving into a formidable force. Codirectors Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott incorporate music, pomp, and studied performances to elevate the text and keep audiences engaged. Some directorial choices in this A Noise Within production, though, wound Act 1′s momentum. However, a triumphant Act 2 leaves audiences rousing for the English crown.
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Now running through April 6

 

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Though Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trio of plays is called the “Elliot trilogy,” Water by the Spoonful, isn’t really about Elliot.

The middle work in the triad, it’s a stark change from its predecessor, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, currently playing at the Kirk Douglas in Culver City. Here, Elliot (Sean Caravajal) is no longer pivotal; instead, he’s a supporting character who takes a backseat to the members of a Narcotics Anonymous online support group.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

A 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner, Water by the Spoonful is the second in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy revolving around Elliot, a young war veteran from a Puerto Rican family living in Philadelphia.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Water by the Spoonful,” which just opened at the Mark Taper Forum, continues the legacy of her “Elliott: A Soldier’s Fugue,” now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Elliot Trilogy, which focuses on a Puerto Rican family in Philadelphia and one son’s post-military trauma, has been mounted at three theaters concurrently in Los Angeles.
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Now running through March 11

RAGTIME at the Candlelight Pavillion

RAGTIME

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

By design or by accident, several local theater companies have offered seasons that include classic shows which address very, very current issues.

One such venue is the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater where, and not for the first time in this last calendar year, they are producing something powerfully relevant while also being impressively entertaining.
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Now running through February 24

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Darja, the lonely, unfulfilled antihero of Ironbound, at the Geffen Playhouse, grants actor Marin Ireland a showcase for her vast talents. In lesser hands, Darja, a woman who seems to live only to survive, is a character that could turn off audiences, but Ireland finds Darja’s unsinkable core and hooks us along with it.
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Now running through March 4

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE at the Norris Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

As we count the years, or lately the days, of the 21st century, what are we taking pride in? Are we already viewing the 20th century with nostalgia? And regret?
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Now running through February 4

CHARLEY’S AUNT at Torrance Theatre Company

Miguel Elliot

Miguel Elliot

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

How ironic that the nation that once banned women from acting on the stage found it hilarious a few centuries later to see a man onstage in a woman’s dress. But irony is a large part of British humor.
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Now running through February 18

 

SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG at the Broad Stage

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

It takes an awfully long time to get to the point in Philip Whitchurch’s original one act play directed by Julia St. John. Set during a fictional night in the lives of William Shakespeare (played by Whitchurch) and his wife Anne (Sally Edwards) at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon, the story reveals a couple in their later years, bickering but still clearly in love…
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“You cannot talk without it being puns or snatches of your plays,” William Shakespeare’s wife complains in “Shakespeare his wife and the dog.” The audience might feel likewise.

But in this 65-minute work by Philip Whitchurch, ending Sunday at the Broad Stage, when these two get down to the troubles ordinary humans face — illness, lovelessness — we feel every bit of their pain.
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Now running through January 28