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KING LEAR at The Wallis

Photo by Jason Williams

Photo by Jason Williams

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

Shakespeare’s play gets a Wooster Group-ish makeover in John Gould Rubin’s modern dress staging for the Wallis. Tech is omnipresent, almost omniscient. Narrow, vertical panels on both sides of the stage provide screens for Keith Skretch’s projection design, featuring striking images of fires and floods now generally associated with climate change. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

After three years of preparation, The Wallis somehow made the decision to greenlight a befuddling presentation of one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays and its chief character in the process.  The result is detritus. Read more…

Now running through June 3

LADCC Announces Officers and Members for the 2022-2023 Season

LADCC Logo

The 2022 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is pleased to announce its current officers and members for the upcoming 2022- 2023 season. Founded in 1969, the Circle currently includes 17 critics covering productions across the Greater Los Angeles area.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle has held its first election since the COVID lockdown. The new slate of officers consists of President Jonas Schwartz-Owen (TheaterMania, BroadwayWorld/LA), Vice President Dana Martin (Stage Raw), Treasurer Hoyt Hilsman (Cultural Daily, Pasadena Now, Riot Material), Secretary Terry Morgan (Stage Raw, ArtsBeatLA.com) and Web Content Editor Ellen Dostal (BroadwayWorld/LA, Musicals in LA). LADCC welcomes its new officers for the 2022-2023 season.

Nominations for the upcoming LADCC Awards, which will include award recipients for both 2020 and 2021, will be announced shortly.

The current 2022 membership of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (in alphabetical order): Lara J. Altunian (Stage Raw, L.A. Dance Chronicle), Katie Buenneke (Stage Raw, TheaterDigest.substack.com), Peter Debruge (Variety), Ellen Dostal (BroadwayWorld/LA, Musicals in LA), Margaret Gray (L.A. Times), Hoyt Hilsman (Cultural Daily, Pasadena Now, Riot Material), Deborah Klugman (Stage Raw, ArtsbeatLA.com, GiaOnTheMove.com), Harker Jones (BroadwayWorld/LA, ArtsInLA.com, LA Weekly), Dany Margolies (ArtsinLA.com, Southern California News Group), Dana Martin (Stage Raw), Myron Meisel (Stage Raw), Terry Morgan (Stage Raw, TalkinBroadway.com, ArtsBeatLA.com), Tracey Paleo (BroadwayWorld/LA, GiaOnThe Move.com), Melinda Schupmann (ShowMag.com, ArtsInLA.com), Jonas Schwartz-Owen (ArtsinLA.com, Theatermania, BroadwayWorld/LA), Don Shirley (Angeles Stage on Substack) and Rob Stevens (HainesHisWay.com).

For more information, photos or press interviews, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at davidelzer@me.com

HADESTOWN at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by T Charles Erickson

Photo by T Charles Erickson

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

There’s a gargantuan myth surrounding the opening of Hadestown at the Ahmanson Theatre. Not the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, which this musical does borrow, but the legend of the juggernaut Broadway production that opened in April 2019. Arriving with 14 Tony nominations and eight awards in tow, the production almost dares the audience to not be absorbed by the fandom and hype. Read more…

Now running through May 29

TAMBO & BONES at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography

Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

If one reads in the press that a new play is a “minstrel show,” it might give one pause about seeing said show. Historically, minstrel shows were racist entertainment in which White people wearing “blackface” makeup depicted African-Americans in a derogatory way. These shows were mostly popular in the 19th century, but regrettably carried into the 20th century as well. Fortunately, Dave Harris’s play Tambo & Bones only takes on the format of minstrelsy to examine and debunk it, and has more on its mind than just that. Read more…

Now through May 29

THREE TABLES at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

The times have caught up to playwright Murray Mednick, now an octogenarian, who has sustained a singular, uncompromising vision in his plays over the course of half a century. The vision is grim, but not without humor. I found myself smiling throughout his latest play, Three Tables, but unable to laugh. That feels just about right for this cultural moment, though it’s getting harder even to smile. Read more…

Now running through May 22

TOOTSIE at the Dolby Theatre

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

The musical TOOTSIE, based on the 1982 film of the same name, is a contemporary take on an old trope: a man unconvincingly passes himself off as a woman, everyone in his world buys it, and hilarity tries to ensue. It’s been done countless times, going back past Shakespeare to the ancient Greeks. That doesn’t mean it always works, however, and TOOTSIE is a mixed bag. Read more…

Now running through May 15

To hell (and back?) in TOOTSIE and HADESTOWN: Plus, A Heated Discussion, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Doll’s House Part 2, Masao and the Bronze Nightingale, Jane Austen Unscripted

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Just over a month ago, millions of us witnessed a dramatic descent into chaos onstage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. At the Oscar ceremony, the usual back-patting was upstaged by the unscripted cheek-slapping of Chris Rock by Will Smith.

Now fresh drama has returned to the Dolby. Last Tuesday, the stage musical adaptation of “Tootsie” made its first LA appearance there, under the auspices of Broadway in Hollywood, depicting a very different fall from grace. It’s a contemporary take on the beloved 1982 film comedy about a man who enjoys steady employment — and even fame — while posing as a woman, before his ruse is exposed. Read more…

 

TEA – Hero Theatre at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Tea, the final installment in Velina Hasu Houston’s trilogy of plays about Japanese war brides, takes place, geographically speaking, in Junction City, a small town in the northeast stretch of Kansas. That’s close to where Houston, the daughter of a Japanese woman and an American GI of African American and Native American descent, spent part of her childhood. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

Where there’s tea, there’s hope in playwright Velina Hasu Houston’s story about five Japanese war brides living in Kansas with their GI husbands in the 1960s.  A group of like women with no real “community”, Himiko Hamilton, Teruko MacKenzie, Atsuko Yamamoto, Setsuko Banks, and Chizuye Juarez are disconnected from each other and also from themselves. Read more…

Now running through May 15

DANCIN’ at the Old Globe in San Diego

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

In 1978, Bob Fosse created an evening spotlighting the artistry of dance called Dancin‘, utilizing songs from the ’70s, previous decades, and classical music. Currently at the Old Globe in San Diego, the revival of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ is having its pre-Broadway run, under the direction of Wayne Cilento, one of the original cast members. Though many Fosse routines have been re-created for this production, the flavor and the meticulousness of his genius is missing. Read more…

Now running through May 29

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF at Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

Bitchiness, thy name is Albee. Has there ever been a play that reveled in so much in mean-spirited badinage as Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Sour wit courses through the blackened veins of this show like acidic blood, or more specifically like the booze the characters actively embalm themselves with.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Edward Albee’s classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? exposes the crud hidden behind the closed doors of American households between Eisenhower’s cheery post-war tranquility and John F. Kennedy’s focus-on-the-future optimism. No couple performs an S&M act, even without whips and chains, as depraved as George and Martha. Reveling in the play’s bitterness and booze, Zachary Quinto and Calista Flockhart make a cruel twosome in this harrowing and darkly hilarious production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Peter Debruge – Variety

The trick of stage acting comes in playing the same thing every night as if it were happening for the first time, right there in front of the audience’s eyes. But once-controversial American classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” calls for something different. Edward Albee wrote a play in which we get to observe the latest round in a cruel and competitive game of escalating insults between career-stalled history professor George and Martha, the wife who makes vicious sport of her disappointment. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play about discontent and despair in 1960s academia is brought to blazing, blistering life by director Gordon Greenberg at The Geffen Playhouse, its themes and anxieties as relevant as ever on its 60th anniversary. Read more…

Now running through May 29

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at International City Theatre

Photo by Kayte Deioma

Photo by Kayte Deioma

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 1879, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen shook up the theatrical world with his “feminist” play A Doll’s House. In 2017, up and coming young American playwright Lucas Hnath wrote a sequel, A Doll’s House, Part 2, that picked up the action 15 years later. Read more...

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

What is the point of writing and staging a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1894 world classic A Doll’s House – perhaps the earliest call to feminism in modern stage literature? Read more…

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BRIGHT HALF LIFE at the road Theatre on Magnolia

Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

Plays that chart the course of a romantic relationship have long been a staple of theater. Stories told in a nonlinear way are less common but not unheard of. When you take the previous two structures and apply them to the topic of a lesbian interracial marriage, the result is a work that one doesn’t often see in American theater, which is refreshing. What’s better is that Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life is more than the sum of its diverse parts…. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Pulitzer Prize nominee Tanya Barfield‘s brilliant BRIGHT HALF LIFE is smartly and artfully realized by director Amy K. Harmon at the Road Theatre on Magnolia. With just two actors, the energy never flags, but it does fluctuate, veering as it does from high comedy to pathos to heart-rending drama… Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

BRIGHT HALF LIFE at The Road Theatre in North Hollywood is nothing less than exhilarating; genuine theater baddassery in your face – empathetic and very personal.  Sit up front… Read more…

Now running through May 8