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Archive for Laguna Playhouse

KIM’S CONVENIENCE at Laguna Playhouse

Clinton Lowe and Yong Kim. Photo by Jackie Teeple.

Clinton Lowe and Yong Kim. Photo by Jackie Teeple.

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

Born in the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, Korean-Canadian scribe Ins Choi’s widely produced family comedy (spurring a spinoff sitcom on Canadian TV and Netflix) is a paeon to family. It clearly fills a hunger to reinforce embattled institutions (family businesses and family bonds), against children’s quest for independence, and also the pressures of gentrification — and it does so with a fair amount of wit and charm. Future productions of this comedy could likely be funded by any city’s Small Business Administration. Read more…

Through October 9

XANADU at Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Matthew Saville

Photo by Matthew Saville

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

It is said that Xanadu is “a gift so grand that none of us truly knows what it is.” In that case, Xanadu (book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar) is a gift that keeps on giving. Laguna Playhouse’s current production, the campy mashup of ‘80s pop rock shoved into a jukebox musical based on one of the worst movies ever made, is as lovable as it is vapid. Read more…

Now through August 21

CHAPATTI at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Photo by Aaron Rumley

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have always been fond of Irish playwrights from Oscar Wilde’s wicked wit to George Bernard Shaw’s political take on the battle of the sexes. It’s the whimsical Irish with their gentle and/or raucous tales of opposites attracting and striking romantic sparks that resonate most with me. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Christian O’Reilly’s delightful Irish play about two lonely souls of a certain age is both witty and poignant. From the first moments when bachelor Dan (Mark Bramhall) speaks to the audience as storyteller, we are engaged in a tale that is deceptively simple yet thoroughly affecting. Read more…

Now running through January 29

ACT 3 at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

The U.S. premiering Act 3 is the story of a couple of a certain age who have been together for nearly 13 years without benefit of marriage. They have been married before, but not to each other. Things are getting monotonous and stale, so something needs to happen to liven up the action.   Read more…

Now running through January 30

 

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

 Life changes in an instant. The ordinary instant.” And so it did for Joan Didion in 2003, when her husband John Gregory Dunne succumbed to cardiac arrest in their New York apartment.

  Read more…

Now running through Oct. 30.

BUDDY – THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

With gusto, this musical taps into the rock ’n’ roll’ 50s and examines the backstory of this seminal artist. Like the legends of James Dean and others who died tragically and very young, Buddy Holly’s has achieved almost mythic proportions. Read more…

Now playing through August 10.

 

SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

A special sort of magic occurs when a celebrated and much-loved star takes on a role in live theater. Such is the atmosphere at Laguna Playhouse’s current offering, starring Leslie Caron and the multi-talented David Engel. The two-person vehicle sets up a sure-fire storyline. Lily, a former teacher and the widowed wife of a Southern Baptist preacher, hires a young dance instructor to provide the lessons the title.  Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

An inordinate degree of audience-savvy skill and no small amount of personal charm distinguishes “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at the Laguna Playhouse.

By embracing rather than avoiding the conventional contours of Richard Alfieri’s international hit two-hander about an imposing Florida retiree and a salty-tongued dance instructor, this elegant revival pulls the crowd-pleasing combination of sass and sentiment into surprisingly affecting bas-relief. Read more…

 

Now running through June 8.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Delicate, bittersweet nostalgia suffuses “A Christmas Memory,” Truman Capote’s enduring 1956 autobiographical story, and the Laguna Playhouse staging of Duane Poole, Carol Hall and Larry Grossman’s 2010 musical adaptation honors that ethos.
Read more…

Now running through December 29.