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Archive for December 2012

The Second City’s “A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!”

Photo by Craig Schwartz.


The Second City’s “A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!” by Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

‘Tis the season for Christmas-themed shows and every year there are numerous versions of “A Christmas Carol.”  Now playing at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre is a barely above-average sketch comedy show based on the ghostly old Holiday chestnut by Charles Dickens, entitled “A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!”  At least it’s not a tired old rendition of the classic tale. The comedians do their best to mix it up, ostensibly setting the story in its original Victorian period, but playing around with the storyline and adding modern touches here and there as well as inserting new dialogue and numerous comedy sketches throughout. While there are some laughs to be had, this approach is hit and miss.  Read more…



Gatz, Elevator Repair Service at REDCAT

Photo by Steven Gunther.


Gatz by Elevator Repair Service after F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

It’s engrossing, subtle and riveting. A theatrical performance that consists of the “reading” and acting out of an entire novel over the course of a single day, Gatz, by New York City’s experimental theater ensemble Elevator Repair Service (ERS) is a unique and rewarding experience – both literary and theatrical.   The novel is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz-age classic The Great Gatsby and the show is staged as a marathon event. Dedicated LA audiences see the ‘curtain’ rise at 2pm and fall at 10pm (1pm till 9pm on Sundays). It’s a lot to demand from both audiences and the acting company, and yet it works.  Read more…



David C. Nichols – Backstage

The spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald permeates Gatz at REDCAT, as do the ghosts of David Belasco, Joseph Papp, and John Houseman, for starters. In its breathtaking L.A. premiere, Elevator Repair Service’s marathon embodiment of The Great Gatsby is a watershed theatrical event.   Read more…



LADCC statement of support for the Colony Theatre

Considering the ongoing, essentially bogus view of Los Angeles theater as a tertiary entity to films and television — in fact, L.A. enjoys as vibrant, actively engaged a theatrical community as any city in the nation – it’s ominous for the entire landscape that the Colony Theatre in Burbank faces possible closure due to their current financial crisis.

After 37 years of steady growth, from a 99-seat Equity-waiver house in Silver Lake to a mid-size Equity house in Burbank, the Colony has been hard-hit by the national economic downturn. From the perspective of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, which has awarded the company multiple times over that period, including the prestigious Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater, it’s particularly upsetting, not least given that in past years the Colony has graciously hosted the Circle’s annual awards show, going above and beyond the call of duty to help this non-profit organization put on the best celebration of excellence in Los Angeles theater possible.

While this is hardly the only local theater struggling with severe monetary straits, it would set a dangerous precedent for all L.A. theaters, and strike a major blow to the community, if so professionally-minded, quality-proven a venue cannot remain open.

Therefore, the Circle expresses its support for artistic director Barbara Beckley, executive director Trent Steelman and everyone involved at the Colony.

Please visit this link to their website and donate whatever you can to help keep this venerated theater in active producing mode.


David C. Nichols

LADCC President


Anything Goes, CTG/Ahmanson Theater

Photo by Joan Marcus.


Anything Goes by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse; revised by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse; reworked by librettist John Weidman and Timothy Crouse.


Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Wall-to-wall hit tunes, ear-to-ear grin all night long F U N ! –  Cole Porter’s timeless classic musical theatre masterpiece, Anything Goes, has set sail at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in a new Broadway revival and continues through January 6, 2013. The fluffy, madcap and satirical storyline concerns a young man Billy Crocker (Erich Bergen) who is in love with an ingénue Hope Harcourt (Alex Finke). The obstacle to their romance is that she is betrothed to a wealthy Brit, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh (Edward Staudenmayer) – a union that her gold-digging mother Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt (Sandra Shipley) is eager to secure. Meanwhile, a gangster named Moonface Martin (Fred Applegate) – humiliatingly only listed as Public Enemy #13 – and his moll Erma (Joyce Chittick) are on board, as well as a handful of other characters, including our hero’s friend, nightclub singer Reno Sweeney – a brassy, older woman who gives him hard-boiled advice, played superbly by Rachel York.  Read more…



The Santaland Diaries, Blank Theatre

PHOTO CREDIT: Evan Martin.


The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris.


Pauline Adamek – LA Weekly

The season brings with it enough Christmas- and holiday-themed fare to set your teeth on edge from sugar overload. Fortunately for the cynics among us, the Blank Theatre has brought back its not-safe-for-children, one-man hit show for the fourth year running. Based on comedian David Sedaris’ sardonic radio segments on NPR’s Morning Edition, the show charts the protagonist’s increasingly bizarre experience as a costumed elf at Macy’s department store.  Read more…