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 seventh 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 Soon to be published are two one-acts in a collection called Holiday Madness.
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Rarely Produced ASSASSINS a Meaty Hit at Pico PlayhouseBWW Review: Rarely Produced ASSASSINS a Meaty Hit at Pico Playhouse
Posted: Aug. 23, 2015


BWW Reviews: ROCKWELL'S Classic Evening of Broadway a Stellar EndeavorBWW Reviews: ROCKWELL'S Classic Evening of Broadway a Stellar Endeavor
Posted: Aug. 12, 2015


BWW Review: Candlelight's IN THE HEIGHTS Is a WinnerBWW Review: Candlelight's IN THE HEIGHTS Is a Winner
Posted: Aug. 18, 2015


BWW Interviews: Director DAN FISHBACH and Actor/Producer ZACHARY LUTSKY Discuss ASSASSINSBWW Interviews: Director DAN FISHBACH and Actor/Producer ZACHARY LUTSKY Discuss ASSASSINS
Posted: Aug. 12, 2015


BWW Review: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Sheer Brilliance at the FalconBWW Review: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Sheer Brilliance at the Falcon
Posted: Aug. 31, 2015


BWW Review: Pianist TOM AMEEN Takes E Spot Lounge By StormBWW Review: Pianist TOM AMEEN Takes E Spot Lounge By Storm
Posted: Aug. 18, 2015


LAST 365 DAYS

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 Review: GCT Performs a Rollicking GUYS AND DOLLSBWW Review: GCT Performs a Rollicking GUYS AND DOLLS
September 1, 2015

My first association with musical composer Frank Loesser was as an actor in the 70s in a revue of his music. I played Sky Masterson ofGuys and Dollsand sang a duet of 'I've Never Been In Love Before'. I came to realize quite rapidly how lovely his music is and how well he manages to capture the moment of genuine emotion within a song. Upon seeingGuys and Dollsseveral times since, I have been awestruck as well by Abe Burrows and Joe Swerling's ability to take Damon Runyon's New York Broadway characters from the 20s and blow them up into something overwhelmingly moving and appealing. The two worlds of sin and redemption have never been connected so naturally, cleverly and colorfully nor with such style and panache. Now at GCT, the cast give their all to Loesser's Runyonesque romp and it comes up a surefire hit.
BWW Review: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Sheer Brilliance at the FalconBWW Review: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Sheer Brilliance at the Falcon
August 31, 2015

To anyone who has not witnessed an Impro Theatre production, a word to the wise: you are about to experience a rare form of brilliance, sometimes seen in improvisation, but especially keen inSondheim Unscripted, because it not only has an original book but music as well... totally in the style of Stephen Sondheim. A Sondheim composition is known for its incredible range of notes, strident chords, mixed rhythms, fugues, not to mention that his music amazingly conveys the themes or moods of the piece...to the letter. He is a unique composer, impossible to copy...well, Impro surely proves that statement wrong.
BWW Review: Rarely Produced ASSASSINS a Meaty Hit at Pico PlayhouseBWW Review: Rarely Produced ASSASSINS a Meaty Hit at Pico Playhouse
August 23, 2015

Assassins/book by John Weidman; music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim/presented by Red Blanket Productions with Punk Monkey Productions at the Pico Playhouse/directed by Dan Fishbach/thru September 27 A word or two before I start this review. In the film Judgement at Nuremberg, Spencer Tracy who plays the judge of the tribunals, states emphatically at the end that in the light of today's changing values, condoning these actions may seem logical, but it is not - or never is - right. Assassination is murder pure and simple. I will never condone it, even though I may understand the circumstances. I may laugh and enjoy Assassins and weigh the killers' motivations, but I will never accept them.
BWW Review: Candlelight's IN THE HEIGHTS Is a WinnerBWW Review: Candlelight's IN THE HEIGHTS Is a Winner
August 18, 2015

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony and Grammy Award-winning showIn the Heightshad a lot to shout about when it played Broadway in 2008...in fact, it still does. First of all, it's a musical with and about Latinos - way overdue -plus it has a terrific book with a heartwarming storyline about a closely knit community. That's right, a real community, one that boasts a bevy of exceedingly real and likeable characters. Miranda also created a varied score with ballads & traditional pop melodies and salsa meshed together with rap. Candlelight Pavilion bringsIn the Heightsto Claremont with a dynamite cast and slick direction by Benjamin Perez. It's full-out, enjoyable fare!
BWW Review: Pianist TOM AMEEN Takes E Spot Lounge By StormBWW Review: Pianist TOM AMEEN Takes E Spot Lounge By Storm
August 18, 2015

Virtuoso pianist Tom Ameen made his E-Spot Lounge debut at Vitello's Friday August 14 with a joyously entertaining show highlighting Disney music from TV, film and the Disney theme parks. It was a smash. Ameen is no stranger, though, to Vitello's, as he plays downstairs at the bar very Monday and Tuesday. He has amassed quite a following there, and his fans had only to climb a short flight of stairs to hear him play...and sing. Though he claims he hasn't sung in 15 years, his sweet, gentle tones and clear, smooth delivery were a consistent delight to listen to.
BWW Interviews: Director DAN FISHBACH and Actor/Producer ZACHARY LUTSKY Discuss ASSASSINSBWW Interviews: Director DAN FISHBACH and Actor/Producer ZACHARY LUTSKY Discuss ASSASSINS
August 12, 2015

On August 21 Red Blanket Productions will present a rare revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins at the Pico Playhouse in West LA. Director Dan Fishbach and actor Zachary Lutsky, who plays assassin John Hinckley, recently took time out of their busy schedules to talk about the show. It is particularly relevant this year as we recollect the 150thanniversary of Lincoln's assassination by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. BIOS:
BWW Reviews: ROCKWELL'S Classic Evening of Broadway a Stellar EndeavorBWW Reviews: ROCKWELL'S Classic Evening of Broadway a Stellar Endeavor
August 12, 2015

Proving once and for all that concerts need not be serious or dull, Fraser Entertainment Group's 9th installment ofA Classic Evening of Broadwaybowed at Rockwell Table and Stage on Monday, August 10 to a packed audience of enthusiastic show tune fans. And it was an uber delightful show! Musical director Brad Ellis, best known for TV'sGleeand Broadway'sForbidden Broadway,is outrageous fun and his witty repartee at the piano serving as introduction to each of the guest singers was a big plus to the evening's seemingly spontaneous entertainment. Yes, indeed, the ambiance was so casual in the 90-minute set that it was as if we were all sitting on Ellis's private patio sipping drinks and listening to this musical genius create something fresh, for the very first time. He took lots of risks as in his exuberant opener, Peter Allen's 'Everything Old Is New Again'...and motivated each and every singer to join right in and follow his lead. And what a bevy of super-talented performers were on hand, including Valerie Perri, Barbara Minkus, Kevin Odekirk, Damon Kirsche, Jahmaul Bakare, Elizabeth Hayden and even producer Dianne Fraser, whom Ellis referred to as the series' empresario.
BWW Reviews: Group rep Is On a WINNING STREAKBWW Reviews: Group rep Is On a WINNING STREAK
August 12, 2015

As a companion piece to Eric Simonson'sLombardion the main stage, Group rep presents Lee Blessing'sThe Winning Streakon their second stage. Both plays involve sports:Lombardi, football andThe Winning Streak, baseball. For full enjoyment ofLombardi, it helps to be a football fan; forThe Winning Streak, you need not care at all about baseball. WhereasLombardiderives its spark from the spirit of the sport,Streak's comes totally from the human spirit. Blessing's brilliance as a writer is in his ability to show human conflict full-out, and there is no finer example of a dysfunctional father/son relationship than this play.
BWW Reviews: Sierra Madre Playhouse Goes CRAZY for Patsy ClineBWW Reviews: Sierra Madre Playhouse Goes CRAZY for Patsy Cline
August 3, 2015

Popular across the country for many years,Always Patsy Clinecelebrates country/pop singing superstar Patsy Cline, her music and her warm down.to.earth persona. Endearing from the get go, the show's success depends on the right casting. Its two actresses must be perfect fits for their roles. Louise Seger is a diehard fan of Patsy Cline. She's all Texan, has an exuberant personality and is over.the.top humorous, and of course, Patsy is Patsy. The actress playing her must look pretty and just right in those curly black wigs, and most urgently be able to duplicate Cline's unique vocal stylings. Well, the Sierra Madre Playhouse and director Robert Marra have hit the jackpot with its two leading ladies, Nikki D'Amico as Louise and Cori Cable Kidder as Cline. With the overabundant charm exuded by both stars and backed by a superb five-piece combo that includes terrific musical director Sean Paxton at the piano,Always Patsy Clineshould take audiences over the rainbow, through September 12.
BWW Interviews: Bent's MARTIN SHERMAN Talks About The Play and the Taper's ProductionBWW Interviews: Bent's MARTIN SHERMAN Talks About The Play and the Taper's Production
July 28, 2015

Playwright Martin Sherman, most famous for his Pulitzer and Tony-nominated play Bent is in town for the Mark Taper Forum's revival of the classic directed by Moises Kaufman. We sat down at Vespaio at the after party Sunday July 26 and chatted briefly about the play and this production. What research you did originally on the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany?
BWW Reviews: Brilliant BENT Revival at TaperBWW Reviews: Brilliant BENT Revival at Taper
July 30, 2015

WhenBentfirst premiered in 1979 its persecution of gays in Nazi Germany was a real eye opener. This was before the onset of AIDS...in the first scene, the depiction of Max's (Patrick Heusinger)one night stand and his gay relationship with a dancer could have been taken right out of contemporary West Hollywood were it not for the fact that we are told up front that the play takes place in 1934-36. The violence against gays that follows is staggering and horrifying. Deep down we knew that being homosexual had built-in problems and tensions, but did we really think about it so seriously? Did we really know how ugly it all was back then? And what about now? In spite of marriage equality in the US, in Kenya and in other areas of the world, the struggle for sexual freedom unbelievably goes on...to this very day. In a rare revival, Moises Kaufman brilliantly directs this new production ofBentat the Mark Taper Forum, and you'd be a fool to miss it. The cast is extraordinary, and Martin Sherman's poignant lyricism is simultaneously funny, touching and thoroughly riveting from moment to moment.
BWW Reviews: THE FABULOUS LIPITONES Bring Back Barbershop at the ColonyBWW Reviews: THE FABULOUS LIPITONES Bring Back Barbershop at the Colony
July 28, 2015

In its California premiereThe Fabulous Lipitonesby John Markus and Mark St. Germain sounds like a silly promo for an overrated sexual enhancement product and with its initially corny lines could easily fall into the category of 'sitcom onstage' comedy, but thank heavens it rises far above and beyond.Lipitonesis a deliciously funny and substantially reflective take on what might happen if a traditional barbershop quartet inducted a culturally un...suitablereplacement. Now onstage at the Colony Theatre, Burbank,Lipitoneswill make you laugh your pants off!
BWW Reviews:  LOMBARDI Brings Taste of Football to Group repBWW Reviews: LOMBARDI Brings Taste of Football to Group rep
July 28, 2015

From the moment you enter the Group rep theatre and see a warmup football practice onstage, the tone for the play is set. You are about to watch, breathe, eat and sleep football. At least that is what Vince Lombardi did as head coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1968. Now onstage at the theatre in NoHo,LOMBARDI,an LA premiere, has no great dramatic plot or conflict but is true to form, an excellent slice.of.life character study of the man of the hour whom the play is named after. Boasting brilliant direction from Gregg T. Daniel and an outstanding cast of six,LOMBARDI, like a good football season,should pack 'em in.
BWW Interviews: GREGG T. DANIEL Talks About Directing LOMBARDI at Group repBWW Interviews: GREGG T. DANIEL Talks About Directing LOMBARDI at Group rep
July 24, 2015

Director Gregg T. Daniel returns to The Group Rep to direct Eric Simonson's critically acclaimed play LOMBARDI based on the bookWhen Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardiby Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss. In our conversation, Gregg talks about the play, his fascination with the nature of greatness, andwhat he's been up to as a director. By Steve Peterson
BWW Reviews: Electric Motown Music Relived at the Federal by MARK ARTHUR MILLERBWW Reviews: Electric Motown Music Relived at the Federal by MARK ARTHUR MILLER
July 21, 2015

On Sunday, July 19 pop/ rock/soul balladeerMark Arthur Millerbrought his uber entertaining showSoul Searchingto an SRO crowd at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. The man tells his story about growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 60s via the tunes that shaped him, notably those of Motown and his dad Ron Miller who became one of the few very successful white lyricists/composers at Motown Records. Ron Miller wrote 'Touch Me in the Morning', 'For Once In My Life' and 'If I Could' among many other hits. Mark Arthur Miller's show is not only a reflection of his passion for the unforgettable rhythms of that era but also a loving ode to his father.
BWW Reviews: MUSIC MAN Marches Melodically Onto Moonlight StageBWW Reviews: MUSIC MAN Marches Melodically Onto Moonlight Stage
July 17, 2015

What do the 1950s have in common with 1912? Ages of innocence, both.When Meredith Willson wrote his story with Franklin Lacey about a con artist bamboozling an Iowa town in 1912, which formed the substance of his musicalThe Music Man(1957), the effect became like that of N. Richard Nash'sThe Rainmaker.People werejubilant, ecstatic and welcomed Professor Harold Hill, as they craved a good old-fashioned love story coated with ironic excitement. He was a charmer, and they saw way past his bad side. Now in a spirited new production at Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista , the company pulls out all the stops and yet presents a delightfully down.to.earth show that keeps the flavor of Meredith Willson in tact. With fast-paced direction from John Vaughn and a splendid cast led by David Engel as Hill ,The Music Manoffers an unrealistic yet refreshing look at the way life should be.
BWW Interviews: STACY ANN RAPOSABWW Interviews: STACY ANN RAPOSA
July 14, 2015

Stacy Ann Raposa has, for several years, worked with actors to explore the depths of their minds and souls. In doing so, the actors create solo pieces that are performed in public at the end of a four month process. Rather than just moving from one solo piece to another, all actors are on stage throughout the show sometimes playing characters in other actors' solo pieces. We sat down with Stacy to hear about the process and how BARE NAKED ANGELS came to be.
BWW Reviews: JOSEPH Rocks Candlelight PavilionBWW Reviews: JOSEPH Rocks Candlelight Pavilion
July 14, 2015

Considered Andrew Lloyd Webber's first official musical in the late 60s, in spite of the fact that it really took off afterJesus Christ Superstar,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoathas within itself a miraculous power to entertain and inspire...especially the young among us who dare to dream. Now onstage at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre in Claremont, with a totally contemporary and fresh perspective, thisJosephunder the direction of choreographer Alison Hooper really leaps off the stage and rocks the entire house...and the audience was composed of mainly seniors, which has a lot to say about dreaming...it's never to late to follow your dreams.
BWW Review: SENIOR STAR SEARCH a Resounding SuccessBWW Review: SENIOR STAR SEARCH a Resounding Success
July 14, 2015

On Sunday July 12 the Pink Lady Jackie Goldberg and her producer partners Barbara Van Orden and Amanda Blake Secola presented their uniqueSenior Star Searchcompetition for the very first year 2015 to a sold out crowd at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park, Hollywood. It was such a resounding success, a real love affair with the public, that hopefully the event will be an annual occurrence. Seniors perform exceedingly well, as well as anyone at any age. Age has nothing to do with talent and drive, a fact which was assuredly proved during the course of this show. All contestants ranged in age from 55 and up with the oldest contestant Nick Pietroforte, age 86. Accompanist for the program was maestro par excellence Ron Snyder.
BWW Reviews: A Classy SINGIN' IN THE RAIN at MTWBWW Reviews: A Classy SINGIN' IN THE RAIN at MTW
July 14, 2015

To those newer generation theatre and movie fans who do not remember 1952's blockbuster hit filmSingin' in the Rain, directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green and costars Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds all contributed to making it the smash that it was... and still is. The zany lightweight hit transferred to the stage in the early 80s and showed the craziness that may have happened when the big movie studios were transitioning fromsilentstotalkiesin the late 20s. Now in a classy revival at Musical Theatre West (MTW) in Long Beach, it's all brought back to exuberantly colorful life by skilled director Jon Engstrom and a delicious company of triple threats through July 26 only.


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