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Don Grigware

Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:
www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

Don is in his sixth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page. He received a BWW Award for Excellence in 2014 as one of the top ten Regional Editors across the globe.

Don is also an author and recently published Book I of his children's fable Two Worlds Together: Donnelly's Greatest Christmas. Books II and III are set for publication August 2015. You may purchase copies at
amazon.com
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Reviews: A Lovely Traditional 70th Anniversary Production of GLASS MENAGERIE at Greenway CourtBWW Reviews: GLASS MENAGERIE
Posted: May. 19, 2015


BWW Reviews: IMMEDIATE FAMILY Rises Above Sitcom at the TaperBWW Reviews: IMMEDIATE FAMILY Rises Above Sitcom at the Taper
Posted: May. 5, 2015


BWW Reviews: Sequel to The Crucible ABIGAIL/1702 Mesmerizes at ICTBWW Reviews: Sequel to The Crucible ABIGAIL/1702 Mesmerizes at ICT
Posted: May. 5, 2015


BWW Reviews: Actor/Singer BILL A. JONES Knocks 'Em Dead at the E-Spot LoungeBWW Reviews: Actor/Singer BILL A. JONES Knocks 'Em Dead at the E-Spot Lounge
Posted: May. 26, 2015


BWW Interviews: BRETT RYBACK from Original Cast of Murder For Two To Play GeffenBWW Interviews: BRETT RYBACK from Original Cast of Murder For Two To Play Geffen
Posted: May. 20, 2015


BWW Reviews: Los Angeles Premiere of VIOLET Provides an Unparalleled Spiritual Journey of Great Depth by Kelrik ProductionsBWW Reviews: LA Premiere of VIOLET Provides an Unparalleled Spiritual Journey
Posted: May. 26, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

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BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the FederalBWW Reviews: JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Rocks Sterling's
Posted: Oct. 15, 2014


BWW Interviews: Actor RANDY HARRISON Talks AMADEUSBWW Interviews: Actor RANDY HARRISON Talks AMADEUS
Posted: Oct. 2, 2014


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BWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La MiradaBWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada
Posted: Mar. 19, 2015


Summer Stages: Los Angeles Summer Theatre 2015Summer Stages: Los Angeles Summer Theatre 2015
May 29, 2015

There's a fascinating mix of familiar and not- so-familiar plays and musicals that will grace Los Angeles stages this summer. LA editors Don Grigware, Ellen Dostal, Shari Barrett and Gil Kaan have chosen their favorites in the list below. Enjoy!
BWW Reviews: Los Angeles Premiere of VIOLET Provides an Unparalleled Spiritual Journey of Great Depth by Kelrik ProductionsBWW Reviews: Los Angeles Premiere of VIOLET Provides an Unparalleled Spiritual Journey of Great Depth by Kelrik Productions
May 26, 2015

WhenVioletfirst premiered off-Broadway in 1997, it created a stir winning two prizes for Best Musical but didn't make waves until 2014 when it transferred to Broadway in an all new production starring Sutton Foster. It heartfully tells the story of a disfigured girl from Spruce Pine, North Carolina Violet Karl who makes a journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma in the hopes of being physically transformed by a faith healer. An accident occurred when she was a teen - a blade that her father was using cut her face, leaving an ugly scar - and Violet always blamed her father proclaiming that he did not want her to be pretty. She would have no male prospects and be forced to stay on to live with him on their small farm. The scar runs deep - 'it reaches to your heart' new acquaintances tell her, so the journey to find a brand new 'glamorized' look means everything to Violet who will sacrifice just about anything to have it all.
BWW Reviews: Actor/Singer BILL A. JONES Knocks 'Em Dead at the E-Spot LoungeBWW Reviews: Actor/Singer BILL A. JONES Knocks 'Em Dead at the E-Spot Lounge
May 26, 2015

On Saturday May 23 actor/singerBill A. Jones, known to thousands of cheering fans as Rod Remington of Fox TV'sGlee, brought his one-man showFrank, Bobby &Meto the E-Spot Lounge at Vitello's in Studio City. This man is not only handsome with an affable charm onstage, but can truly sing these old standards with a smooth delivery and the fine easy-going style that they deserve. The packed SRO crowd would surely agree. Backed by three stellar musicians, musical director Paul McDonald at the keys, Steve Pemberton on drums and Kurt Smith on bass - known as Paul McDonald the A Players - for 90 minutes the 'joint was really jumpin' '.
BWW Interviews: BRETT RYBACK from Original Cast of Murder For Two To Play GeffenBWW Interviews: BRETT RYBACK from Original Cast of Murder For Two To Play Geffen
May 20, 2015

Explain briefly about the musical. Murder for Twois a two person murder mystery, where one guy plays the wanna-be detective, and the other guy plays all the suspects, and the both play the piano. How did it get started? If I remember correctly, you first started off-Broadway, ran a while and then returned after a brief absence due to overwhelming popularity? That's correct. We began at Second Stage Uptown, had an extended, sold-out run, and then transferred after a brief hiatus to New World Stages for a commercial run. All told, the show ran about a year in New York, before hitting the road in a tour.
BWW Reviews: LOVE AGAIN Premieres at Group RepBWW Reviews: LOVE AGAIN Premieres at Group Rep
May 20, 2015

It is refreshing in this day and age to see an attempt to create a new musical. With few exceptions, it appears to be a dying art. If not, we would not be witnessing a raft of old steady revivals on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional venues across the globe. Doug Haverty and Adryan Russ, no strangers to successful musical ventures, have taken the topic of love and have createdLove Again, a bold effort at showing the intermingling of different aspects of love with a semi-large cast. Under the steady hand of Kay Cole all manage to shine in one form or another and a lot of it works delightfully. There's much potential with some more work and readjustments to the book. Many of the songs are quite lovely, and love, in all of its shades and colors, is always a treat to experience.Love Againhas its niche at Group rep in NoHo through June 28.
BWW Reviews: MICHELE LEE's First LA Cabaret a Smash at CatalinaBWW Reviews: MICHELE LEE's First LA Cabaret a Smash at Catalina
May 19, 2015

On Sunday May 17 at Catalina Jazz Club renowned actress/singerMichele Leemade her Los Angeles cabaret debut. Why has it taken this long? She takes her one-woman showCatch the Lighton the road regularly and recently played 54 Below in NYC, but has never played a club in her hometown of LA. Well, it's high time, and the packed house agreed as the four-piece orchestra played the Beatles' 'Michelle, my belle...' as Lee was introduced to thunderous applause. She made her way through the audience singing the powerhouse 'Feeling Good', and with a combination of incredible drive and energy, an uber strong vocal style and sheer sauciness and personal sass, Lee's conquest of the room was guaranteed. Looking fabulous in black satin and sequins, she next essayed 'Nobody Does It Like Me' from her Broadway hitSeesaw. In the show she playe
BWW Reviews: A Lovely Traditional 70th Anniversary Production of GLASS MENAGERIE at Greenway CourtBWW Reviews: A Lovely Traditional 70th Anniversary Production of GLASS MENAGERIE at Greenway Court
May 19, 2015

For many, Tennessee Williams'The Glass Menagerieremains his finest play. Semi-autobiographical, the play takes place in St. Louis during the Depression and depicts the relationships between a restless alcoholic factory worker, wannabe writer, his overbearing mother and his psychologically deficient sister - all of which stems from Williams' actual background. Williams finds his voice in Tom. (Brian Foyster)
BWW Reviews: Candlelight's EVITA a Model RevivalBWW Reviews: Candlelight's EVITA a Model Revival
May 19, 2015

Tim Rice's &Andrew Lloyd Webber'sEvitahas had a thirty-seven year international love affair with the public since it premiered in 1978 in London and in 1979 on Broadway. The latest local reincarnation currently at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, Claremont until June 28 is lovingly directed by Chuck Ketter and excellently choreographed by Roger Castellano.
BWW Interviews: KAY COLE Directs Love Again at Group RepBWW Interviews: KAY COLE Directs Love Again at Group Rep
May 14, 2015

production of A Chorus Line, which garnered the Tony, Pulitzer Prize, Drama Desk, and Theatre World awards -among others. Other credits include: director/choreographer: 22%, Love Songs, Spelling Bee, Rose Bowl Queens, Bark! No Strings, Desperate Writers (Off-B'way/LA), Flunky, The Dining Room, Nuncrackers, Judy's Scary Little Christmas, Frog & Toad, A Chorus Line, choreographer: Hunger, Nightmare Alley, Atlanta, Great Expectations, Triumph of Love, Dancing at Lughnasa. Pasadena Playhouse: 110 in the Shade, Do I Hear A Waltz. Hollywood Bowl: Mame, Bernstein's Mass, My Fair Lady, Music Man, Camelot, Reprise!, Three Penny Opera, City of Angels, Company, 20th Century, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Most Happy Fella. Other Los Angeles: Atlanta, Paint Your Wagon (Geffen); Grave White Way (Hudson Theatre); Dogeaters, Gaytino (Kirk Douglas Theatre); Six Dance Lessons (Falcon, Geffen, B'way); Snoopy, Blockheads (London West End). Film/TV: Country Rules, Santa Clause 3, Six Dance LessonsWebsite:www.kaycole.net
BWW News: SENIOR STAR SEARCH Set in LA for July 12BWW News: SENIOR STAR SEARCH Set in LA for July 12
May 12, 2015

Actress/producer/motivational speaker/champion of senior causesJackie Goldberg, known more popularly as thePink Ladyand 'Pink' o her friends, has come up with yet another fantastic idea to help promote permanent senior entertainment in greater Los Angeles. The event is appropriately entitledSenior Star Search, a senior competition that will be held on Sunday July 12 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre at Barnsdall Park, Hollywood. Co-producing the event will be actress/singer/humanitarian Barbara Van Orden, known for her outrageous Las Vegas night club act as well as her close involvement in producing LA's Next Great Stage Star held annually at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in North Hollywood. Goldberg and Van Orden as co-producers of Senior Star Search wish to bring active, motivated seniors into local live entertainment. They are hopeful that more than 200 interested entertainers 55 or older will come forth to audition for the event on May 23rdand 24th.
BWW Reviews: Classic ODD COUPLE Given Classic Treatment at Sierra Madre PlayhouseBWW Reviews: Classic ODD COUPLE Given Classic Treatment at Sierra Madre Playhouse
May 11, 2015

It's been 50 years since Neil Simon wroteThe Odd Couple, perhaps the most famous of his early plays. March, 1965. I was a freshman in college, and little did I know that one day I would play Felix Unger in a local production onstage. Needless to say, I was certainly smitten with the crazed character and his neurotic mannerisms and with Simon's terribly funny comedic lines, whenever I watched the film with Jack Lemmon and the TV series with Tony Randall. Not so easy to essay...this character - as I found out first hand - for this play with all its laugh.a.minute jokes is really a very serious drama about the frailty of relationships and how we suffer through them. Now onstage in a wonderfully grounded and real portrait,The Odd Couplestill holds up; the Sierra Madre Playhouse production, under the meticulous direction of Alan Brooks, does the classic proud.
BWW Reviews: Sequel to The Crucible ABIGAIL/1702 Mesmerizes at ICTBWW Reviews: Sequel to The Crucible ABIGAIL/1702 Mesmerizes at ICT
May 5, 2015

The creation of Arthur Miller's now classicThe Crucibleabout the Salem witch trials of 1692 was influenced by the McCarthy era of the 50s. It provided an intensely ferocious perspective on the unjust distortion and destruction of human life. In Salem, Massachusetts it was a religious issue - did you believe in God or the Devil Incarnate? McCarthyism was about Americans and their supposed involvement with the Communist Party. Religion and politics should be private issues, but in a community riddled with guilt about morality, there is no such thing as personal. Your way of life is an open book for all to judge and condemn. Roberto Aguirre-Acasa has penned an imagined sequel toThe CrucibleentitledAbigail/1702about protagonist/witch namer Abigail Williams (Jennifer Cannon), who escapes Salem and tries to find salvation after her crimes. The action picks up ten years later in 1702, and as a thought-provoking piece now onstage at ICT, Long Beach, it works quite well under the expert guidance of director Caryn Dasai and with the help of five outstanding performances.
BWW Reviews: IMMEDIATE FAMILY Rises Above Sitcom at the TaperBWW Reviews: IMMEDIATE FAMILY Rises Above Sitcom at the Taper
May 5, 2015

It is rich yet rare to find a new American play that is at once terribly funny, terribly real and utterly demanding of one's attention.Immediate Familyis such a play; it's fiercely original way at looking at an American black dysfunctional family is both heartwarming and completely enjoyable. In fact, I found myself looking at this black family and listening to playwright Paul Oakley Stovall's jokes about being from a black family and found myself, although white, identifying thoroughly with the issues at play. The family is black - and much of the humor is unmistakably black - but the conflicts are universal. Under Phylicia Rashad's steady hand,Immediate Familyin its West Coast premiere at the Taper is one great big hit.
BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals Big Bold SIDE SHOW Is a Hot TicketBWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals Big Bold SIDE SHOW Is a Hot Ticket
April 27, 2015

The musicalSide Showplayed Broadway in 1997 for 91 performances and was Tony nominated but never got the recognition it deserved. A revamped version went to Broadway in 2014, but it, too, closed early. Like Jason Robert Brown'sParade, another noteworthy Broadway miss, it's worth the attention, but its dark grotesque presentation of carnival freak shows is not the most appealing fare for commercial theatre audiences. Many are repelled by the sight of a man with three legs, a bearded lady, a half-man, half-woman or in the case of Daisy and Violet Hilton, by the appearance of twins who are conjoined. The girls hated the term Siamese twins, for they were not Siamese, and also if people asked them if they wanted to be normal. What is normal? Now in a revival production of the original - not the 2013 revamped production, which played La Jolla and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. before Broadway - by3-D Theatricals at Plummer Auditorium, Fullerton,Side Showcomes out as winning and memorable as when it first appeared.
BWW Reviews: Well Acted THE ANARCHIST Takes Up a Short Residence at Theatre AsylumBWW Reviews: Well Acted THE ANARCHIST Takes Up a Short Residence at Theatre Asylum
April 27, 2015

David Mamet's curious one-act The Anarchist, which bombed on Broadway in 2012 after a mere 17 performances, was called by critics 'a slip of a play'. True, it does come in at 70 minutes, but who cannot be riveted by Mamet's intriguing exploration of salvation? Yes, religious salvation that erupts during a prison interrogation serving as a final appeal for prisoner Cathy (Felicity Huffman), convicted some 35 years previous for the murders of two guards. Cathy was a young revolutionary at the time in Algeria; when we see her she describes herself as 'an old lady', perhaps somewhere in her 50s. Ann (Rebecca Pidgeon), the warden of the prison or psychologist working in direct connection with the prison authorities, performs the interrogation with one goal in mind: to break down Cathy, to make her confess the whereabouts of her accomplice, whom she hasn't seen or had contact with since the crime. Far-fetched, you say? But Cathy's release depends on this piece of information. Despite some dissatisfying results, Mamet's fiercely engrossing dialogue, crisp direction from Marja-Lewis Ryan and superior performances from both Huffman and Pidgeon make the one-act worthy of note.
BWW Interviews: Delightful Mary Jo Catlett Appears in S.T.A.G.E. May 9 at the SabanBWW Interviews: Delightful Mary Jo Catlett Appears in S.T.A.G.E. May 9 at the Saban
April 23, 2015

Everybody's favorite character actress/singer/ comedienne from stage, TV and film Mary Jo Catlett will appear in S.T.A.G.E on May 9 at 7: 30 at the Saban in Beverly Hills. This year's show is entitled To Broadway from Hollywood...with Love. What are you doing in the show this year?
BWW Interviews: Young Reed Shannon Talks MOTOWN THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Young Reed Shannon Talks MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
April 21, 2015

Actor Reed Shannon is currently on tour with Motown the Musical playing Young Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In our chat he talks about preparing for these roles and his young theatre life so far. Unbelievable! You are playing Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson when they were young like you. How difficult is it for you to differenciate between the 3 boys? What do you have to do physically and mentally to portray them? Did you watch tapes or listen to CDs to get the voices just right? I know Jackson performed young but I'm not sure about Little Stevie Wonder.
BWW Reviews: Alexandra Billings Makes a Stunning Return to Singing at the Federal After 5 YearsBWW Reviews: Alexandra Billings Makes a Stunning Return to Singing at the Federal After 5 Years
April 21, 2015

On Sunday April 19, actress/singer Alexandra Billings brought her new show I'm Still Here...Still! to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal to overwhelming success. It was a packed house of adoring friends and fans who have come to love Billings for what she brings to the stage -passion, a passion for performing, and most importantly, a passion for her audience. She genuinely cares about everyone, and on top of that, she is screamingly funny. When I first reviewed her cabaret six years ago, I stated:
BWW Reviews: BARBARA MINKUS Performs Benefit Concert of Love Songs for St. Mark'sBWW Reviews: BARBARA MINKUS Performs Benefit Concert of Love Songs for St. Mark's
April 21, 2015

On Friday, April 17 Barbara Minkus brought her new one-woman show An Evening with Barbara Minkus 'It's All About Love' (the good, the bad, the funny, the sad) to Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Glendale as a fundraiser for the Sacred Arts Ministry. Affable Ron Barnett served as musical director and accompanied at the piano and Cooper Appelt was on bass for the bright 65-minute set.
BWW Reviews: Supercalifragilistic MARY POPPINS Flies Into CabrilloBWW Reviews: Supercalifragilistic MARY POPPINS Flies Into Cabrillo
April 21, 2015

Mary Poppins/book by Julian Fellowes/music by The Sherman Brothers/new songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe/directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld/choreographed by Cheryl Baxter/Cabrillo Music Theatre at the Fred Kavli Theatre of the Thousand Oakes Civic Arts Plaza/through April 26 only


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