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Archive for Broadway World

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

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

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

 

RAPUNZEL ALONE at the 24th Street Theatre

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 2013, the 24th Street Theater produced a play by British playwright Mike Kenny, Walking the Tightrope. It was directed by Debbie Devine and starred adult performer Paige Lindsey White as a little girl who visits her grandparents at the seaside every year…Now comes Rapunzel Alone, another play by Kenny that was commissioned by this company in 2019, with the request that it embody the theme of isolation. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

The room was dark and bare. Not much to do or look at. There were no other children to play with. In fact, it wasn’t welcoming at all. Even the projections were like shadows stenciled in 3-D moving across the stage-wide screens. It was cold. I didn’t like it there. Just like Lettie, I felt very alone. Read more…

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A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

I have a rule about avant-garde theater: if an artist chooses to deliberately obscure his/her/their meaning via unusual methods or flirts dangerously with pretentiousness, the play had better validate those choices by demonstrating how they were necessary. Most experimental pieces, in my experience, fail that test, but when they succeed it’s thrilling. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucas Hnath is a young American playwright whose work (The Christians, Red Speedo, A Doll’s House, Part 2) I have found interesting and worth experiencing. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Broadway World

Lucas Hnath is an ambitious playwright. He turned his mother’s harrowing recollections of being abducted in the ’90s into a riveting, intimate one-woman tale, Dana H, where the actress lip-syncs to the recording that his mother had made. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

John Updike once called Mickey Mouse “the most persistent and pervasive figure of American popular culture in his century.” The mouse came into being in 1928, birthed by a young animator named Walt Disney. Read more…

Now running through May 1

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Broadway World

Three men stand on a stage for over three hours, trekking through 150 years of history in The Lehman Trilogy and it’s the most invigorating evening imaginable. Read more…

Now running through April 6

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE at the Ahmanson Theatre

 

Photo by Johan Persson

Photo by Johan Persson

Tracey Paleo – Broadway World

It was just what we needed!”

The audience response was joyous. Indeed, that was the very vocal sentiment of so many in the crowd after a triumphant opening night at the Ahmanson Theatre downtown Los Angeles….
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Of course, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, since its star, Layton Williams, is an unbridled force of nature. Read more…

Now running through February 2o

LIZASTRADA at Getty Villa

Beth-K-Lizastrata--570x713

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Broadway World

During the opening number, the Troubadour Theatre Company, affectionately known to all as the Troubies, comment how thrilled the troupe, and the audience by extension, is to have returned to live theatre. The audience responded with glorious applause, and both the occasion and the Troubies deserve that adulation. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  ArtsBeat LA

So my first large audience theatre experience since being fully vaccinated featured women sporting two-foot-long phalluses singing Liza Minnelli songs in a Greek amphitheater on the grounds of the Getty Villa. Perhaps this requires some context. Read more…

Now running through October 2.

BOLLYWOOD KITCHEN at Geffen Playhouse

Kyle Rosenberg

Kyle Rosenberg

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Since the pandemic forced the temporary end of in-person theater, Geffen Playhouse audiences have performed magic tricks, solved puzzles, and investigated a cold case, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The latest Geffen Stayhouse offering brings new meaning to the phrase “dinner and a show.”

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Even before the performance began, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop smelling the spices.

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Now running through March 6, 2021

BREATHE at The Broadwater

Mike Struna

Mike Struna

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Like most solo productions, Philicia Saunders’ BREATHE comes from her own experiences. Unique to her telling however is the method by which she relates that story. Necessitated by a global pandemic that has forced audiences to view theatrical productions from behind a computer screen, Saunders has employed a variety of media to raise engagement with her personal tale.

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THE FUTURE at Geffen Playhouse

Julie Ann Renfro

Julie Ann Renfro

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Geffen Playhouse has found its own unique key to navigating the dark days of 2020 — and still maintain that art is alive and well — with its highly successful Stayhouse series of interactive performances. These virtual offerings allow for several productions to run concurrently, rather than being limited to consecutively scheduled dates on one of the Geffen’s two live stages. That may be one of the very few benefits of making art during a pandemic but hey, we’ll take it.

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Off the unprecedented success of their first virtual production, The Present, the Geffen Playhouse is doubling down on magic. And it makes sense—The Present sold out 251 performances, plus an additional 6,000 tickets for the closing night alone, when the audience was greatly expanded beyond its usual intimate number to allow more to experience magician Helder Guimarães’s impressive and mystifying feats.

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Now running through March 14, 2021

 

NATHAN C. JONES: A LOVE STORY? – an online performance from The Blank Theatre

pics

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

“May you live in interesting times,” has taken on new meaning in 2020 amid the current world health crisis. No one could have imagined a scenario like this where theater doors would be forced to close indefinitely. And yet, they have. But you can’t dampen the heart of an artist for they will always find a way to create. That resilience is what should inspire us all as we continue to look to the future.

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