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Archive for The Daily Breeze – Page 2

THE THEATRE IS A BLANK PAGE at UCLA’s Royce Hall

 

Photo by Reed Hutchinson/CAP UCLA )

Photo by Reed Hutchinson/CAP UCLA )

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Memorable? Yes. Thought-provoking? Yes. Worthy of a production on the treasured stage of UCLA’s Royce Hall, which has over the decades housed world-class performing arts? Yes.
Groundbreaking? Not so much. Read more…

Now running through May 12

 

SCHOOL OF ROCK at the Pantages Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In one of the most entertaining numbers in the musical “School of Rock,” which opened Thursday at the Hollywood Pantages theater, a substitute teacher rallies his 10-year-old students to “stick it to the man” by ignoring their stuffy prep-school curriculum and forming a rock band.    Read more…

Ellen Dostal –Broadway World

As kid musicals go, SCHOOL OF ROCK isn’t half bad. It falls somewhere between ANNIE and MATILDA on the Richter scale of stories about downtrodden kids overcoming obstacles to win in the end.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

School of Rock, directed by Laurence Connor at the Pantages Theatre, doesn’t bowl you over with its mostly forgettable music. What it does do is deliver well-staged and well-executed family entertainment, showcasing an impressive ensemble of preteen actors who sing, dance and act up a storm.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music for one of musical theatre’s first rock operas, Jesus Christ Superstar, in 1970. Nearly 50 years later the show is still popular…Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It doesn’t have the cerebral and emotional heft of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” It doesn’t have the freshness and electricity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.” It certainly doesn’t showcase a lush score on par with those of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yet “School of Rock” engenders every bit of the theatergoing joy these theatrical pillars provide….Read more…

Now running through May 27

ICE at 24th Street Theatre

Cooper Bates

Cooper Bates

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

ICE, Leon Martell’s family friendly play, takes place in 1988 and follows the misadventures of two undocumented immigrants: Chepe (Jesús Castaños-Chima), an avid baseball fan who dreams of making a fortune selling gourmet tacos; and his cousin Nacho (Tony Dúran), whom the beleaguered Chepe summons from Mexico to assist him in setting up his business.

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Seduced by the notion that, in America, winning is everything, an immigrant loses sight of what is really important in Leon Martell’s world premiere play, ICE. Commissioned by 24th STreet Theatre to commemorate its 20th anniversary, the 65-minute one act highlights the plight of every hopeful soul diligently trying to attain the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness promised by our founding fathers.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The simple but extraordinarily effective stage designs for 24th Street Theatre’s latest offering, “ICE,” immediately inform us of time and place.

A dilapidated truck, a cathedral’s stained-glass window, a quintessentially local street lamp — all these say Los Angeles. A Dodgers announcer excitedly narrating Fernando Valenzuela’s every move via two large television sets with display dials proclaims the 1980s.
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Now running through June 10

AMERYKA at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Lawrence K. Ho

Lawrence K. Ho

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

 In 2009, Ameryka’s writer/director Nancy Keystone was perusing a catalogue,Western Amerykański: Polish Poster Art and the Western, when she spotted a 1989 poster that celebrated the first democratic elections in Poland since World War II.

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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

One of the more fascinating events at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City is the annual Block Party — a series of productions bringing the work of other Los Angeles theater companies to this Center Theatre Group space.
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Now running through April 29

 

BELLEVILLE at the Pasadena Playhouse

 

(Photo by Philicia Endelman

(Photo by Philicia Endelman

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Labeling a work of art as being one particular thing can often be problematic, creating expectations that the piece doesn’t fulfill. Amy Herzog’s play Belleville is being promoted as a Hitchcockian thriller, which it is not. It’s only a thriller in the sense that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a thriller, in that it depicts the emotional combat between a married couple.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There is no doubt that Amy Herzog’s “Belleville,” now at the Pasadena Playhouse, has dramatic power, and some extraordinary characters which must be an actor’s dream to perform. In many ways, this is enough to recommend the show.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Amy Herzog’s thriller Belleville benefits from solid direction by Jenna Worsham and stellar performances by its leads, Anna Camp and Thomas Sadoski.
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Now running through May 13

SIGNIFICANT OTHER at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, now playing at the Geffen Playhouse, explores friendship as a buffer, a support system, and a crutch when navigating the precarious world of love. Often funny, the comedy will remind audiences of their own singlehood, past or present. Unfortunately….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What a lovely protagonist Jordan Berman is. Sure, he’s a little too chatty and perhaps a touch too insecure, but he’s honest, caring, bright and perceptive. And he has a delightful sense of humor.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” That seems to be the fate of nebbish-y Jordan Berman (Will Von Vogt) in Joshua Harmon’s very funny and intuitive play, Significant Other, being given a first-rate production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Watching Significant Other is something of a sadomasochistic experience for single people. I mean that in the best possible way. Joshua Harmon’s play achieves a singular sense of catharsis, which is no small feat.
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Now running through May 6

MOUSETRAP at Crown City Theatre

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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Agatha Christie’s play “The Mousetrap” has been running, interrupted, in London’s West End since 1952, making it the longest-running play in the English language anywhere in the world.

With that kind of longevity (66 years and counting), traditions and tales are inevitable. A favorite story, perhaps apocryphal, says that taxi drivers taking patrons to see “The Mousetrap” in London will reward stingy tippers by shouting out the murderer’s name as the playgoers exit the cab.
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Now running through

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