Don Grigware

Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and journalist/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 eighth 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/playwright and recently published Books I, II & III of his children's fable Two Worlds Together: Donnelly's Greatest Christmas. You may purchase copies of the two volumes at amazon.com A trilogy of one-acts in a collection called Holiday Madness was recently revised and re-published, also on amazon.com. Both the story and plays are available on kindle as well as in paperback.

There are new projects on the horizon, including co-authoring an autobiography, publishing a collection of scary mini-plays - 10-15 minutes in length - and publishing a sequel to Two Worlds Together, entitled Donnelly Tackles Technology. Stay tuned in 2017 for more fun and games!
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Musical HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La MiradaBWW Review: HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La Mirada
Posted: Sep. 19, 2016


BWW Review: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena PlayhouseBWW: Pasadena Playhouse's Mellow FANTASTICKS
Posted: Sep. 13, 2016


BWW Review: KURTIS SIMMONS Rocks Rockwell Table and Stage in his LA Solo Cabaret DebutBWW: KURTIS SIMMONS Rocks Rockwell in LA Solo Cabaret Debut
Posted: Aug. 31, 2016


BWW Review: KRITZERLAND Celebrates 6th Anniversary with a Big Dose of PanacheBWW Review: KRITZERLAND'S Spectacular 6th Anniversary
Posted: Sep. 6, 2016


BWW Review: Another Resoundingly Special EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAYBWW Review: A Funfilled EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY at Rockwell
Posted: Aug. 24, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

DON GRIGWARE Picks The BEST PRODUCTIONS AND PERFORMANCES in LOS ANGELES THEATRE for 2015BWW Review: The BEST of LA THEATRE for 2015
Posted: Dec. 28, 2015


BWW Interview: CEO Griff O'Neil Discusses WCOPA Championships Set to Open in LONG BEACH JULY 8BWW Interview: WCOPA Championships Set to Open in Long Beach July 8
Posted: Jul. 1, 2016


BWW Review: Musical HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La MiradaBWW Review: HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La Mirada
Posted: Sep. 19, 2016


BWW Interview: Dancer JEANNINE JACKSON Talks About Thrilling Dance Show on June 25BWW Interview: Dancer JEANNINE JACKSON Talks About Thrilling Dance Show
Posted: Jun. 20, 2016


BWW Review: National Tour of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Bows Gracefully at the AhmansonBWW Review: Glorious BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
Posted: Dec. 14, 2015


BWW Interview: Actress Rebecca Wisocky Does BARBECUEBWW Interview: Actress Rebecca Wisocky Does BARBECUE
September 28, 2016

Stage, film and TV actress Rebecca Wisocky, best known for the Lifetime series Devious Maids, is currently onstage at the Geffen in Barbecue. In our chat she discusses the play, Devious Maids and other theatrical interests. What is all the hype over Barbecue? Our audiences have been very enthusiastic. I think people have been excited to see a play that is both incredibly funny and sneakily scathing. It asks you by the end to think about how you are complicit in perceiving and perpetuating bullshit in our society. Among other things. Tell us about your role.
BWW Review: MTG Provides a Lilting Rendition of PROMISES PROMISESBWW Review: MTG Provides a Lilting Rendition of PROMISES PROMISES
September 27, 2016

In 1968Promises, Promises, based on 1960's hit filmThe Apartment, opened on Broadway to great critical and popular acclaim. It was the first collaboration between Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and the resultant score was - and still is - regarded as one of the most gloriously upbeat musicals to grace a stage. Throw in Neil Simon, who wrote the book, and how can you miss having a hit?Promises2was nominated for 8 Tony Awards and won 2 for Jerry Orbach and Marion Mercer. The show was successfully revived in 2010 in New York starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, but did not receive nearly the same praise from audience or critics.
BWW Review: Pinter's A SLIGHT ACHE Given Outstanding Production at Group rep in NoHoBWW Review: Pinter's A SLIGHT ACHE Given Outstanding Production at Group rep in NoHo
September 27, 2016

There's nothing like a Pinter play for stimulation and excitement. The playwright, in fact, has his very own adjective 'pinteresque'. Stephen Sondheim has immortalized him in song in 'The Ladies Who Lunch' fromCompany. He's the top, so why aren't his plays easier to figure out? One thing is certain, they provide an emotional workout for the actors involved. Now onstage at the Upstairs theatre at Group rep in NoHo,A Slight Acheis receiving a superb production with exemplary direction from Kevin Dobson and a fine cast of three, who really exercise/exorcise their demons within the 70-minute time.frame.
BWW Review: Musical HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La MiradaBWW Review: Musical HUNCHBACK On Top of the World at La Mirada
September 19, 2016

Victor Hugo's monumental romantic/gothic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, published in 1831, centers in, around and on top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. So does the new musical of the same name written by Peter Parnell, Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken, which received its U.S. premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in 2014 and is currently receiving its Los Angeles premiere at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Stephen Gifford's set replete with stained glass windows, balcony and overhanging bells is scaled down from the original but still impressive and pulls you in effectively to another world, the ethereal realm of a higher power. Catholic boy that I am, every kyrie eleison exuded by the resounding chorus moved me to tears.
BWW Review: Unusual Staging Intensifies Tony Winning A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGEBWW Review: Unusual Staging Intensifies Tony Winning A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
September 15, 2016

I hate when one acoustical element in a theatrical production prevents me from thoroughly enjoying the play. InA View From the Bridge, the Young Vic production currently at the Ahmanson through October 16, my concern was regarding Frederick Weller playing Eddie Carbone. He's a fine actor, but for some reason, from the very top, his voice was not carrying adequately over the stage to the audience. I could not hear many of his line deliveries in the first several minutes, and I was straining to understand. Perhaps because of the shell-like structure surrounding the actors center stage? Other voices seemed dimmed as well, so this set may have caused the problem. For a while, I thought it was me, that I was going deaf, but after the performance other audience members voiced the same complaint. Other than that, I have mostly good things to report about this piece directed incisively by Ivo van Hove. It comes to LA from Broadway where it won last year's Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.
BWW Interview: BWW Award Nominee ANDRE BARRON Talks About Edward Albee's THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY at the RoadBWW Interview: BWW Award Nominee ANDRE BARRON Talks About Edward Albee's THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY at the Road
September 14, 2016

The Road Theatre on Magnolia is proud to present the West Coast premiere of Edward Albee's The Play About the Baby, which begins previews Tuesday September 13 and opens Friday, September 16. Andre Barron will direct The Play About the B
BWW Review: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena PlayhouseBWW Review: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena Playhouse
September 13, 2016

The longest running musical in the worldThe Fantasticksis always at its best when produced and performed with simplicity. When I first saw it in New York in the 60s, it was performed in a cabaret space against a brick wall, with the suspension of a paper moon above. You can't get much simpler than that.In the current revival at the Pasadena Playhouse, the setting is bigger: a dilapidated, war-torn theatre in Southern California, shuttered since 1969, into which the actors enter to create art. The space may be bigger than the original, but the fine work on display maintains simplicity, especially in its message of love. This is a stunning production, one of the very best I have seen, with a magnificent interracial cast under the seamless direction of Seema Sueko.
BWW Review: One of a Kind NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR Haunts at Crown City Theatre through Halloween & BeyondBWW Review: One of a Kind NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY IN TERROR Haunts at Crown City Theatre through Halloween & Beyond
September 12, 2016

German film-maker F. W. Murnau created the 1922 eclectic silent filmNosferatubased on Bram Stoker'sDracula.It is highly regarded worldwide as an artistic masterpiece, utilizing Expressionistic art. Now in a unique Los Angeles production - unlike any you have seen or are likely to - William A. Reilly has adapted the film to the stage at Crown City Theatre in NoHo.Nosferatu: A Symphony in Terroris a silent film onstage with classical music, ballet and a splendid cast of nine actors, directed with remarkable precision by Reilly.
BWW Review: KRITZERLAND Celebrates 6th Anniversary with a Big Dose of PanacheBWW Review: KRITZERLAND Celebrates 6th Anniversary with a Big Dose of Panache
September 6, 2016

Hard to believe, butKritzerlandturned 6 on Sunday September 4 at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal.Bruce Kimmeland his record company Kritzerland began their series of concerts at the Gardenia for the first year, then moved to Vitello's with Michael Sterling and onto the Federal four years ago. Kimmel and Kritzerland are joined at the hip; it's his brainchild ... and he brings all of his ingenious theatricality and cleverness to each show. This anniversary show was over.the.moon great with terribly eclectic, funny numbers and some absolutely wonderful talent. On board were steadies Sharon McNight, Nick Santa Maria, Ilene Graff and hubbie Ben Lanzarone, Jenna Lea Rosen, Sami Staitman and special appearance by composer Richard M. Sherman. Newcomers Marc Ginsburg, Reagan Pasternak and little Hayley Shukiar joined 'Guy Haines' for a heartfelt and laugh-filled concert. WonderfulRichard Allenserved as musical director and accompanist for most of the songs throughout the 90-minute set.
BWW Review: KURTIS SIMMONS Rocks Rockwell Table and Stage in his LA Solo Cabaret DebutBWW Review: KURTIS SIMMONS Rocks Rockwell Table and Stage in his LA Solo Cabaret Debut
August 31, 2016

On Monday August 29 actor/singerKurtis Simmonsmade his solo cabaret debut at Rockwell Table and Stage to a SRO crowd of adoring fans and well-wishers. Simmons is no stranger to Los Angeles audiences, as he has appeared onstage in such popular shows asForever Plaidand premiered his musicalHipster Sweatshopat Rockwell in the company of co-creators Kyle Puccia and Darryl Stephens, in May of this year. But, there is something special about a solo show. As good as a performer is - and Simmons is very good indeed with a phenomenal voice - there's always that question, 'Can he carry a show by himself?' The answer is a resounding 'Yes!'
BWW Review: Rarely Seen in the US CALENDAR GIRLS Sheds a Delicious Naughtiness at Group repBWW Review: Rarely Seen in the US CALENDAR GIRLS Sheds a Delicious Naughtiness at Group rep
August 29, 2016

The 2003 filmCalendar Girlswas produced in the US with a British cast starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. It is a delightful comedy and a sweet ode to women, who, dissatisfied with many lifestyle choices, try quite earnestly to raise the bar. In 2008 it was made into a play and has been a best seller in the UK, probably because it takes place in and pays homage to Yorkshire. Now under Larry Eisenberg's keen and caring direction,Calendar Girls, rarely produced in the US, has a sturdy production with a sterling cast at Group rep in NoHo through October 9.
BWW Review: Another Resoundingly Special EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAYBWW Review: Another Resoundingly Special EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY
August 24, 2016

On Monday evening August 22An Evening of Classic Broadwayreturned to Rockwell Table and Stage for another resoundingly superb and downright mirthful show. Headed byBrad EllisandDianne Fraser, this show really grows on you. I love talent, and you can definitely find it here in abundance. On the bill this time around were of course ringmaster Ellis, ingenious as always with his delicious banter at the piano, and Fraser, who manages to do it all, even adjusting microphones and assisting with the props. She's amazing! Guest singers includedJoshua Finkel, Zachary Ford, Susan Edwards Martin, Barrett Foa, Christina Saffran and daughter Emma Ashfordand last but never least the inimitableJulie Garnye.
BWW Review: Engrossing NEXT TO NORMAL at Pico PlayhouseBWW Review: Engrossing NEXT TO NORMAL at Pico Playhouse
August 22, 2016

Bipolar disease most often occurs in women creating abnormal behavior patterns, and usually treated with drugs. In the Pulitzer Prize winningNext to Normal, the problem is presented via a wife and mother, Diana (Michelle Lane). Her behavior shows extreme mental instability, and the effects on her husband Dan (Nick Sarando) and teen daughter Natalie (Isa Briones) cause a serious rift in their ongoing relationships. Eventually a heartfelt loss from the past unravels that is at the core of the woman's suffering. Structured in a most unusual way,Next to Normalis akin to a rock opera, but it is not completely sung; there is intermittent dialogue. The most emotional moments, though, come through song, so the music by Tom Kitt and book by Brian Yorkey flow together smoothly, and with the three tiered open set and loosely structured staging, what occurs is an unparalleledmusical drama. Now in the intimate space of the Pico Playhouse, the complex drama unfolds crystal clear with fine direction from Thomas James O'Leary and a marvelously skilled ensemble, all of whom sing and act their socks off.
BWW Review: Moonlight Amphitheatre Mounts Gorgeous Rendition of the Rarely Seen TITANIC THE MUSICALBWW Review: Moonlight Amphitheatre Mounts Gorgeous Rendition of the Rarely Seen TITANIC THE MUSICAL
August 22, 2016

Despite boasting one of the most gloriously majestic musical scores ever written for a Broadway stage by Maury Yeston in 1997,Titanic the Musicalwas, no pun intended, a disaster with lukewarm reception from both audience and critics. Come to think of it, how entertaining can a musical be about the sinking of the Titanic?
BWW Review: Welk Resort Presents Sturdy ARSENIC AND OLD LACEBWW Review: Welk Resort Presents Sturdy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
August 22, 2016

Joseph Kesselring's dark comedy farceArsenic and Old Lacedates back to 1941 and was made into one hilarious film starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank Capra in 1944. Nevertheless, the comedy is timeless, so it still holds up quite deliciously in 2016. One never tires of murder especially when it's played out in a spooky old Brooklyn mansion adjacent to a cemetery...and most of the Brewster family who inhabit it are most definitely certifiable. Elderly Abby Brewster (Robin LaValley) and her sister Martha (Eliane Weidauer) dispose of over the hill lodgers all alone in the world - to bring them peace and eternal happiness. They offer homemade Eldeberry wine laced with arsenic and think they're doing the old codgers a favor. It seems perfectly harmless to them. In fact, they already have 11 bodies buried in the cellar and are about to embark on a funeral service for number 12 who is resting comfortably in the window seat of their living room. It helps when their nephew Teddy (Robin Thompson) - who thinks he's Theodore Roosevelt - carries out their orders and buries the bodies, convinced that he's digging locks of the Panama Canal. When brother Mortimer (Tim Benson) - a drama critic for a local paper - discovers the body by accident, he automatically assumes it's Teddy who has killed the man, never dreaming that his sweet aunts are responsible.
BWW Interview: ISA BRIONES Opens Up About NEXT TO NORMALBWW Interview: ISA BRIONES Opens Up About NEXT TO NORMAL
August 19, 2016

ISA BRIONESwas born Isabella Camille Briones in London, England. Her parents, Jon Jon Briones and Megan Johnson Briones are both actors and singers, and her younger brother, Teo Briones is also an actor. She began modeling in New York at the age of 3, and started acting when her family moved to Los Angeles in 2006. She is best known for her role in the film Takers, playing Matt Dillon's daughter. Isa is entering her senior year of high school, and is excited to be making her professional theater debut in this production of Next to Normal. School theater credits include: Velma in Hairspray, Brooke in Legally Blonde and Abigail in The Crucible. TV and film: "Takers," "Cutthroat", "Lonely Boy".
BWW Interview: Actor RANDY HARRISON Explores Emcee in CABARETBWW Interview: Actor RANDY HARRISON Explores Emcee in CABARET
August 15, 2016

Actor Randy Harrison is touring with Cabaret as the Emcee and is currently at Segerstrom Center for the Artsperforming the show through SundayAugust 21. In our chat he discusses the role and what Cabaret means to him. Describe the experience of playing the emcee in Cabaret. What makes this role such a coveted one?
BWW Interview: Thomas James O'Leary Directs NEXT TO NORMALBWW Interview: Thomas James O'Leary Directs NEXT TO NORMAL
August 15, 2016

Thomas James O'Leary's recent directing credits include Flim Flam: Houdini and the Hereafter, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Nine, Dusty de los Santos, The Debut of Georgia, A Horse with a View, and currently Sunday in the Park with George. Thomas is best known for his three-year run (over 1,000 performances) in the title role of Broadway's longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Other acting credits include Miss Saigon (Broadway original cast), Les Miserables (First National original cast), Chess (First National), You Never Can Tell (Yale Rep), Last Sunday in June (Century Center), Travels with My Aunt (Colony Theatre), and Take Me Out (LA Weekly Award, Celebration Theatre).
BWW Review: PRT's Superlative ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE ExtendsBWW Review: PRT's Superlative ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE Extends
August 15, 2016

1948'sSummer and Smokewas rewritten in the 60s by Tennessee Williams and what resulted was a more clearly structured/themed play with the same central characters entitledThe Eccentricities of a Nightingale.Music teacher Miss Alma (Ginna Carter), daughter of an Episcopal minister Reverend Winemiller (Brad Greenquist), was passionately in love with her neighbor young Dr. John Buchanan (Andrew Dits) and when that love was unrequited rather than become a miserable spinster, she turned to prostitution. Now in a rare and lovely production of the refined play at PRT, poetic spirit is alive and well in Miss Alma, the Spanish word forsoul.
BWW Review: Dark and Thrilling National Tour of CABARET Plays Segerstrom CenterBWW Review: Dark and Thrilling National Tour of CABARET Plays Segerstrom Center
August 15, 2016

Perhaps Kander and Ebb's best musical, apart fromChicago,Cabarethas it all: a fine book, deliciously diverse characters, dynamite music and a subtext that will not quit. The subtext being: either compromise or get out if you value your life, the latter, to be sure, the wiser. This is Berlin, circa 1929/30, before Hitler, just as Nazi pressure hits the fan. Now a national tour based on Roundabout Theatre's 2014 revival docks at Segestromfor a mere 2weeks with a glorious cast headed by Randy Harrison in a big, broad and devilishly fun performance as the Emcee.


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