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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: Alexandra Billings Makes a Stunning Return to Singing at the Federal After 5 YearsBWW Reviews: Alexandra Billings Makes a Stunning Return to Singing
Posted: Apr. 21, 2015


BWW Reviews: Kelrik's SWEENEY TODD a Dynamite Hit at the El PortalBWW Reviews: Kelrik's SWEENEY TODD a Dynamite Hit at the El Portal
Posted: Apr. 14, 2015


BWW Reviews: Supercalifragilistic MARY POPPINS Flies Into CabrilloBWW Reviews: Supercalifragilistic MARY POPPINS Flies Into Cabrillo
Posted: Apr. 21, 2015


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
Posted: Apr. 27, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Reviews: 3D Theatricals' DAMN YANKEES Boasts Miles of HEARTBWW Reviews: 3D Theatricals' DAMN YANKEES Boasts Miles of HEART
Posted: Jul. 14, 2014


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


BWW Reviews: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAMEBWW Reviews: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
Posted: Nov. 18, 2014


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


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
BWW Reviews: Henry Holden's THE HITMAN AND OTHER SHORT PLAYS Is a Must ReadBWW Reviews: Henry Holden's THE HITMAN AND OTHER SHORT PLAYS Is a Must Read
April 17, 2015

Unlike books about the disabled that prey on your sympathy, The Hitman and other short plays show the disabled living within a mix of regular people, and facing the same conflicts and feeling the same emotions as everyone else. It's one big melting pot of human beings from every walk of life. There are the young and the old; there's new-found love and romance, and then there's marriage; there are politicians, actors and just plain middle class workers at IKEA and and in an optometry store in Wassila, Alaska. Henry Holden creates characters that are simultaneously similar and different...and we can relate to all of them.
BWW Reviews: Kelrik's SWEENEY TODD a Dynamite Hit at the El PortalBWW Reviews: Kelrik's SWEENEY TODD a Dynamite Hit at the El Portal
April 14, 2015

Sweeney Todd first bowed on Broadway in late 1979. Fortunately, I was in New York to witness the brilliant achievement of Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou and the entire creative team. Kelrik Productions is presenting the masterwork for the first time, hardly an easy task in a small intimate theatre space such as the Monroe Forum Theatre of the El Portal. Well, let me tell you, they may be exceedingly proud of this production, as it replicates just about everything that the original achieved, minus a full orchestra. Every detail, every move and every musical beat are in line with wonderful musical director Joe Lawrence at the piano. With a perfect cast and brilliantly inventive direction and staging from Kristin Towers-Rowles, this Sweeney Todd could not be better.
BWW Reviews: Crown Excels with Comedy TonightBWW Reviews: Crown Excels with Comedy Tonight
April 14, 2015

The now classic musical A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum is silliness personified from its zany characters and inane plot contrivances to its corny yet witty dialogue. It is clever farce set to music. Mistaken identities, zippity fast exits and entrances...it has no rhyme or reason but is terribly, terribly funny with belly laughs about every two seconds. Crown City Theatre's new revival rates an A+ with a devilishly good cast and delicious direction and choreography from Lisaun Whittingham. The production is about as good as it gets.
BWW Reviews: Candlelight Pavilion Brings Back Crowd-Pleasing SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAINBWW Reviews: Candlelight Pavilion Brings Back Crowd-Pleasing SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN
April 14, 2015

Satire on religion can be fun to watch. Take The Book of Mormon, for example, with its ferocious attack on innocence and man-made intervention. On a much smaller scale, Smoke on the Mountain is an intimate up close theatrical experience that comes to life via its bluegrass-style gospel musical numbers. Some of the stories as told by the Sanders family, a group of traveling singers/musicians, who perform a one-night gig circa 1938 at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, North Carolina are wrenchingly funny. In a well-directed and very well-cast revival at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, Smoke on the Mountain becomes a real audience pleasing entertainment.
BWW Reviews: CLASS is Class At the Falcon TheatreBWW Reviews: CLASS is Class At the Falcon Theatre
April 6, 2015

Charles Evered's West Coast premiere Class is a lovely piece of theatre currently onstage at the Falcon Theatre through April 19. It's always great to see a good script be given a laudatory production with fluid staging by director Dimitri Toscas, two sensitive performances from Gildart Jackson and Callie Schuttera, and a superior set design from Francois-Pierre Couture. It's a flawless experience that makes you realize just how much value theatre has in our lives.
BWW Reviews: Actor/Singer Kevin Earley Brings Uber Enjoyable ON THE RECORD to Sterling'sBWW Reviews: Actor/Singer Kevin Earley Brings Uber Enjoyable ON THE RECORD to Sterling's
April 1, 2015

On Monday March 30 actor/singer Kevin Earley brought his show On the Record to a packed house of adoring fans at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in NoHo, and it proved nothing short of a triumph. Earley's tenor is no stranger to these parts, as the Chicago born spent a lot of time from 2001 onward playing supporting and lead singing roles on legitimate stages in and around Los Angeles, such as his award-winning Rutledge in 1776, Terry Conner in Side Show, as well as leads in Can-Can and No Strings. He has also appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Death Takes a Holiday and A Tale of Two Cities.
BWW Reviews: Above the Fold! Pulsating NEWSIES Storms the PantagesBWW Reviews: Above the Fold! Pulsating NEWSIES Storms the Pantages
March 28, 2015

In 1899 droves of newsboys from every borough of New York City banned together and went on strike against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other wealthy newspaper owners, in a crusade to save children from menial wages and physical abuse. This was a first, where uneducated street kids stood up to the big suits and won. In 1992 Disney created the movie Newsies that went on to become a humongous hit. In 2012 Harvey Fierstein, Alan Menken and Jack Feldman came to Broadway with a musical show they created based on the film. Under the Disney banner, the first national tour of Newsies is currently onstage at the Pantages. All I can say is run, don't walk, to purchase tickets. The Newsies ensemble pulsates from the moment the lights hit the stage. It will jolt you, fulfill you and make you jump for joy.
BWW Reviews: New CINDERELLA Dreams the Impossible at AhmansonBWW Reviews: New CINDERELLA Dreams the Impossible at Ahmanson
March 25, 2015

Broadway's Tony Award-winning production of Cinderella (2013) has a brand new book by Douglas Carter Beane and an expanded score of the glorious music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. As the musical based on the fairy tale possesses a more contemporary storyline, both Cinderella (Paige Faure) and Prince Topher (Andy Huntington Jones) are different - they are orphans, whose similarities in character make them a perfect match. No more losing her Venetian glass slipper at the first act curtain, this Cinderella, with much help, love, support and encouragement from her fairy godmother (Kecia Lewis) is in control and journeys into the second act with a mission to make the 'Impossible' truly 'Possible'.
BWW Reviews: Stellar TWINTASTIC at the El Portal One More WeekendBWW Reviews: Stellar TWINTASTIC at the El Portal One More Weekend
March 23, 2015

Actors/singers Eddie and Anthony Edwards, identical twins originally from Burbank, Ca, have been doing singing impressions for the last 30 years. In their renowned Vegas-style show entitled Twintastic, which tours much of the east coast and Canada, Anthony creates mostly male celebrities and Eddie, the females. Eddie's most popular divas are Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and Cher. In their new show for 2015, currently onstage at the El Portal in NoHo through March 29 only, he does not do Midler, but adds Celine Dion to his regular roster of Barbra and Cher. These vocal impressions, apart from incorporating incredible wigs, makeup and costumes, employ Eddie's and Anthony's actual voices - that's right, there is no lip-syncing, they are doing their own singing... and their vocals... are amazingly precise and on.target.
BWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La MiradaBWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada
March 19, 2015

I remember the melodrama of the film Carrie (1976) and director Brian De Palma's splashy special effects more than anything else. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie really tore up the scenery in their overblown scenes together. Onstage Carrie The Musical brings out so much more. It really zeroes in on the problem of bullying among teenagers and shows the psychological consequences. When a shy girl Carrie (Emily Lopez) has her period for the first time in the girls' shower after PE class, she experiences a devastating ridicule by most of her classmates. She's bright, but dresses shabbily and doesn't know how to stand her ground. At home her mother Margaret (Misty Cotton), a Christian fundamentalist, abuses her in a different way, leading her to believe that she is basically bad and that only Jesus can saver her soul. Carrie discovers that she has telekinesis, a power to move objects at will. When things do not work out for her as she attemps to fit in at the high school prom, she takes control, punishing everyone around her.
BWW Interviews: DAN DeLUCA Talks Jack Kelly and NEWSIESBWW Interviews: DAN DeLUCA Talks Jack Kelly and NEWSIES
March 19, 2015

Actor/singer Dan DeLuca has many regional stage credits that include Danny in Stephen Schwartz's Snapshots (Goodspeed), Lucas in The Addams Family (Muny), and Gabe in Next to Normal (Weston Playhouse). New York credits include: Cain/Japheth in Children of Eden (CAP21), plus various concerts/new works at 54 Below, Joe's Pub & Radio City. DeLuca will begin performances at the Pantages in the first national tour of Newsies as Jack Kelly on March 24. In our chat he tells us just how much Newsies means to him.
BWW Reviews: Group Rep Revives Early AlbeeBWW Reviews: Group Rep Revives Early Albee
March 18, 2015

Early Albee is better than no Albee at all, but a recent look at his The American Dream, circa 1960, shows how he had not quite settled into a style of his own. Now onstage at Group rep in NoHo, the one-act belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd, and like any good vaudeville, pokes fun at just about everything from the instability of marriage to poor child rearing to abuse of the elderly. The American Dream in this case is a young stud (Andre Jack) with a muscle t-shirt who could be Mommy and Daddy's son but instead is a boy toy who may bring some joy to the faltering marriage bed but certainly not in the same way the American Dream envisions. Apart from belonging to the absurdist camp, the play reminded me of British farce where the language is inane and the actions about equal. The character American Dream is akin to Sloane in Entertaining Mr. Sloane without the evil slant. Here he is innocence personified; in Sloane, no. Albee protests fiercely against the idol rich, as Mommy, Daddy and Grandma all come from a well.to.do clan...and they are obviously squandering too much time and energy.
BWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRISBWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRIS
March 17, 2015

First mounted in 1985 at Theatre West, Jim Beaver's Verdigris was critically acclaimed. He has since reworked the play and now in its second production 30 years later, Verdigris still holds up as a major exploration of the dysfunctional American family in both a serious and comic vein. Directed skillfully once more by Mark W. Travis and boasting a stellar ensemble cast, Verdigris remains a winner.


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