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Archive for Shirle Gottlieb – Page 2

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Carpenter Performing Arts Center

Beauty01Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

What began years ago as a beloved animated children’s film became a hit Broadway musical in 1994. Live actors, singers and dancers play all the parts — even those of animals and household objects in the Beast’s haunted castle. Based on a book by Linda Woolverton (who went to Wilson High School); with music by Alan Menken (Academy Award-winning composer), and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice; “Beauty and the Beast” has become a beloved musical theater classic. Read more…

S’WONDERFUL at Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts


Photo by Caught in the Moment

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Papers

As you take your seat in the Carpenter Center, the first thing you notice is the curtain has been raised.

The bare stage is dark and there is no scenery — only a grand piano, plus empty chairs and music stands silhouetted against a royal blue backlight. Then the musicians take their places, with musical director Bret Simmons seated at the piano; and suddenly, the theater is filled with the haunting rhythm of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

It would seem that producing a musical featuring the melodies of George Gershwin with the lyrics of his elder brother, Ira, would be simplicity itself, as their work has been acknowledged as among the greatest collaborations in musical theater history. The work has been recognized universally as remarkable for its breadth of style and sophisticated musicality. It was said that the music had “one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall.”  Read more…

Now running through April 20.

THE MUSIC MAN at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center


Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Celebrated composer-lyricist Meredith Willson (1902-1984) had a colorful but surprisingly limited Broadway career, which included “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” (1960), “Here’s Love” (1963), and his most indelible musical, “The Music Man” (1957). Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb

Yeah, you’re right, “The Music Man” is an old war-horse over fifty years old; but it still has legs!  In fact, Meredith Wilson’s tribute to his home state (Iowa) has been in such demand, Musical Theatre West has produced it five times during its sixty-year history.  The latest version just opened last weekend under the direction of Jeff Maynard, with musical direction by Corey Hirsch and choreography by John Todd. Read more…

 Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How prescient was Meredith Willson to recognize the valuable gift we give our children when we expose them to the arts? In his 1957 musical The Music Man, the kids—and their parents—focus on forming a band, and the gangs and gossips find common ground and a better way to spend their days. Or, is there just one small problem? In the words of the infuriated town mayor, “Where’s the band?” Read more…

Now running through March 9.

OLD BLACK MAGIC: A HAUNTED MUSICAL at the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre


obShirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

The Olio Theatre Works is back with a new version of its all-time favorite production — one that OTW first produced 10 years ago.

By adding music and lyrics to “Old Black Magic,” Terra Taylor-Knudson and Lauren Nave have turned their Voodoo comedy into a high-spirited “Haunted Musical.” (Get it? The double meaning of “spirit” is intended.) On stage this at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday, “Old Black Magic” is part of the Collaborative Series in the Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre.  Read more…

Now running through February 9.

RED at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA


Photo by Suzanne Mapes

It might be deduced, knowing painter Mark Rothko’s iconoclastic nature, that he might not applaud the news that a recent Christie’s auction of paintings included one by him that sold for $86.9 million. Considered one of the great postwar modern artists, in the latter years of his life he grew increasingly disturbed by the collector who wanted his work as a conquest, acquiring it as a trophy rather than for what meaning might be gleaned from it.
Read more…

Now running through September 15.






Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

John Logan’s Tony-winning play looks at the life and work of abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, a soldier in the art wars of the 20th century who helped to kill cubism and surrealism. In the play’s now, circa 1958-59, Rothko (Tony Abatemarco) is feeling threatened by the new generation of Pop artists, including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, who seem bent on killing abstract expressionism.
Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Like almost everyone at opening-night, we were captivated by International City Theatre’s production of “Red” from the very beginning. So please forgive my use of the titular “we,” as I relate some personal history that’s relevant to this award-winning work before I start my review.
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SUNSET BOULEVARD at Musical Theatre West at Carpenter Performing Arts Center








Les Spindle – Frontiers L.A.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1993 musical adaptation of writer-director Billy Wilder’s legendary 1950 film classic Sunset Boulevard is perhaps as well known for its behind the scenes melodrama as its Gothic-flavored narrative about faded Hollywood glamour and unrequited love.

Read more…


Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

It’s no wonder that “Sunset Boulevard” received an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1950, nor that it has become an American film classic. People marvel at the continuing resonance of this black and white “film noir” that starred Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond (the grand dame of the silent screen) and William Holden as Joe Gillis (a young struggling screen-writer).
Read more…


Vigils-Photo-5Shirle Gottlieb – The Gazette Newspapers

“Vigils,” an award-winning comedy by Noah Haidle, acclaimed Julliard graduate & playwright, is an extremely difficult play to perform. It tackles the serious subject of death and grieving in comedic form,which makes it more readily accessible to contemporary audiences without denying the gravity of the human condition.
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Little Shop of Horrors at Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage

Shirle Gottlieb for the Gazette Newspapers

Unless you’ve been lost in the desert for the last five decades, you’ve undoubtedly heard of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Originally produced circa 1960 by the infamous Roger Corman, this black-and-white film has become a cult classic that is still going strong.
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Photo by Jonathan Lewis

Photo by Jonathan Lewis

Dead Man’s Cell Phone at International City Theatre

 Melinda Schupman – ArtsInLA

Sarah Ruhl’s slightly daffy but contemplative play takes a shot at our cell phone culture while examining human connections and the nature of love. Jean (Alina Phelan) is sitting in a cafe, ostensibly working on something, when a cell phone at the next table rings over and over, interrupting her concentration. Finally, she rises to encourage the man at the table to answer it. The problem is, he’s dead, and, in Ruhl’s world, a phone demands to be answered.
Read more…

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

International City Theatre opened “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” last Friday, and it’s a winner across the board. Written by Sarah Ruhl in 2007, it walked away with the Helen Hayes Award for the Best New Play, and with Richard Isreal’s astute direction, it’s easy to see why.
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THE BALD SOPRANO and THE CHAIRS at the Garage Theatre



THE BALD SOPRANO and THE CHAIRS by Eugene Ionesco.


Shirle Gottlieb – The Gazette Newspapers

Written in 1948 shortly after World War II, “The Bald Soprano” was Eugene Ionesco’s first play. As the transplanted Romanian struggled to write in French (the language of his adopted country), he realized how banal everyday communication had become. He had to wonder–after all the tragedy Europe had gone through, how could conversation have become so superficial?
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A FLEA IN HER EAR at the Long Beach Playhouse

Photographer, Jonathan Lewis.

Photographer, Jonathan Lewis.


A FLEA IN HER EAR by George Feydeau.


Shirle Gottlieb for Gazette Newspapers

When someone says the word “farce,” the first name that comes to mind is Feydeau.  Indeed, “farce” and Feydeau are synonymous.
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A CHORUS LINE at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center

A Chorus Line


A CHORUS LINEmusic by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante.

         by Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

In 1974, dancer/choreographer Michael Bennett asked 18 dancers why they auditioned for the chorus when the demand for musicals was in decline, there was little work in large productions, and everyone was struggling to make ends meet. Their honest answers led to the 1975 premiere of “A Chorus Line,” produced Off-Broadway by the inimitable Joe Papp. Audience reaction was ecstatic, so the sold-out musical moved to Broadway. There, it walked off with nine Tony Awards including Best Musical ‑ plus a Pulitzer.

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