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


BWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRISBWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRIS
Posted: Mar. 17, 2015


BWW Reviews: Group rep Hits the Mark with TIGER BY THE TAILBWW Reviews: Group rep Hits the Mark with TIGER BY THE TAIL
Posted: Mar. 9, 2015


BWW Reviews: INSIDE OUT Rocks the Grove Theater CenterBWW Reviews: INSIDE OUT Rocks the Grove Theater Center
Posted: Mar. 2, 2015


BWW Interviews: DAN DeLUCA Talks Jack Kelly and NEWSIESBWW Interviews: DAN DeLUCA Talks Jack Kelly and NEWSIES
Posted: Mar. 19, 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 Interviews: MICHAEL ARDEN Talks About Playing Quasimodo at La JollaBWW Interviews: MICHAEL ARDEN Talks About Playing Quasimodo at La Jolla
Posted: Nov. 25, 2014


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.
BWW Reviews: SWITZERLAND Moves Chillingly to the GeffenBWW Reviews: SWITZERLAND Moves Chillingly to the Geffen
March 16, 2015

Switzerland/written by Joanna Murray-Smith/directed by Mark Brokaw/Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse/co-world premiere with the Sydney Theatre Company/through April 19
BWW Interviews: Director Brady Schwind Talks About CARRIE THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Director Brady Schwind Talks About CARRIE THE MUSICAL
March 16, 2015

The biggest challenge to directing this production of Carrie is our environmental staging which is at once intimate and epic - putting the actors and very complicated special effects only feet away from audience members. It's rather like creating a two hour 'close-up' magic trick - you can't hit any false notes - either in the slight of hand of the effects, or in the honesty of the performances.The audience will be right there for everything.
BWW Reviews: RACHEL SORSA Band Releases Sumptuous Jazz CD SISUBWW Reviews: RACHEL SORSA Band Releases Sumptuous Jazz CD SISU
March 13, 2015

Sisu is sheer delight for lovers of jazz, blues and soul. With a sound that is passionate and seductive, vocalist Rachel Sorsa's soft, high-pitched delivery is like that of a little girl...kittenish and erotic a la Earth Kitt. Add great musicians Andy Allen on bass, Preston A. Gould on trumpet, Gus Duffy on drums and Serge Kasimoff at the piano, and what you come up with is one savory musical banquet.
BWW Interviews: Producers of Carrie the Musical Talk About the Reimagined Staging at La MiradaBWW Interviews: Producers of Carrie the Musical Talk About the Reimagined Staging at La Mirada
March 11, 2015

years ago. I understand the set is different. How? Does it bring the audience into the action more? The Off Broadway production was the impetus for a renewal of interest in the show. Although it closed early, that chamber production, which was performed on a standard proscenium stage, proved that the brand still had widespread audience appeal.
BWW Reviews: Group rep Hits the Mark with TIGER BY THE TAILBWW Reviews: Group rep Hits the Mark with TIGER BY THE TAIL
March 9, 2015

One faces an undeniably horrendous situation that will only get worse before it gets better...and the clincher?... it is fueled by love. That's the trap created by Frawley Becker in his play Tiger by the Tail now playing at Group rep in Noho through April 19. The tender theme is made sweeter by smooth direction and a terribly appealing cast. For those who are not afraid to follow their feelings of romance and take the plunge into the realm of the unknown, Tiger by the Tail is most worthwhile.
BWW Interviews: FRAWLEY BECKER Discusses His Play Tiger by the Tail To Open Tonight at Group repBWW Interviews: FRAWLEY BECKER Discusses His Play Tiger by the Tail To Open Tonight at Group rep
March 6, 2015

FRAWLEY BECKER is a published book and short story author and a published and three-time prize-winning playwright. A man of many talents, he was a State Department Entertainment Director for military bases outside Paris during the Cold War, founded the first African-American theatre company within the U.S. military in 1959, formed Paris Playhouse in 1963 and was the first to professionally produce Edward Albee plays in France. For the next ten years he worked as a bilingual dialogue coach in films while living in Paris, coaching Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Rex Harrison, Omar Sharif, Jacqueline Bisset, Ann-Margret, Samantha Eggar, Robert Ryan, Gene Wilder and all the Oompa-Loompas of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Back in the U.S., Becker worked as a location manager for features including Jerry Maguire, Steel Magnolias, and the original Footloose, and TV movies for Oprah Winfrey Presents; and was a production executive at The Disney Studios. His award-winning, searing drama 'Tiger by the Tail' has its west coast premiere March 6 through April 19 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood, CA. For more information about the play please visit http://www.thegrouprep.com
BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' SEUSSICAL Makes You Realize BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' SEUSSICAL Makes You Realize "How Lucky You Are"
March 3, 2015

Remember when you were a child and hated to think? Or were you like JoJo with excessively brilliant thinks? No matter! Put yourself into a Dr. Seuss...ical mode and get on down to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center from Friday March 6 to Sunday March 8 only for the final weekend of performances of 3-D Theatricals' exhilarating Seussical the Musical. David Engel, an original member of the Broadway cast, directs with panache and Cathy Rigby leads a delightful cast in a show for youngsters young and old.
BWW Reviews: INSIDE OUT Rocks the Grove Theater CenterBWW Reviews: INSIDE OUT Rocks the Grove Theater Center
March 2, 2015

Inside Out/book by Doug Haverty/music by Adryan Russ/lyrics by Haverty & Russ/directed by Bruce Kimmel/The Grove Theater Center, Burbank/through March 22 Celebrating its 20th anniversary the little musical Inside Out by Doug Haverty and Adryan Russ throws a boldly bright spotlight on the positive loving effects of group therapy. Based on the actual accounts of women who joined a group in the early 90s, Inside Out shares their stories...and the music is not only part of the plot, as pop singer Dena (Leslie Stevens) agonizes over the challenges of making a comeback, but more urgently becomes the almost guaranteed therapeutic force of nature for the entire piece. Six outstanding singers/actresses under the uber skilled direction of Bruce Kimmel dispense advice and sing and move with electrifying verve. Now onstage at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank, Inside Out may very well prove to be a better tonic than a gospel revival. In fact, it's assuredly the most effervescent all-girl group in town!
BWW Interviews: Cathy Rigby Talks About SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Now in Redondo BeachBWW Interviews: Cathy Rigby Talks About SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Now in Redondo Beach
March 2, 2015

Actress/singer Cathy Rigby is finishing her run with one more weekend as the Cat in the Hat in 3-D Theatricals' production of Seussical The Musical at Redondo Performing Arts Center March 6-8. Rigby talks about her love of this role and other theatrical delights. Why is the Cat in the Hat a favorite role of yours? I saw you play it at your theatre many years ago. Although the Cat seems to create chaos His main objective in this play is to help 'Jojo' understand that his imagination and creativity are wonderful!!! As well as valuable, and practical! In this story, Jojo's 'Thinks' help him to save 'Whoville' and all the people who live there.
BWW Reviews: END OF THE RAINBOW Falls Short at ICTBWW Reviews: END OF THE RAINBOW Falls Short at ICT
February 23, 2015

When I first heard that Peter Quilter's End of the Rainbow, the story of the demise of Judy Garland during her gig in December, 1968 at Talk of the Town, London, was going to be produced at ICT, Long Beach, I remember thinking 'They'd better get a super dynamic actress. Not everyone can play Judy Garland!' Whether you believe that the events that happen onstage really did occur seems irrelevant in ICT's production; what is all wrong is the casting. Unfortunately, Gigi Bermingham, a fine actress/singer, just does not make the cut. Within five minutes of her first entrance, I saw a woman playing an actress/singer with emotional problems, but that woman might as well be herself; it is not Judy Garland.
BWW Reviews: Kristin Towers-Rowles Brings A LOVELY LINEAGE to Sierra MadreBWW Reviews: Kristin Towers-Rowles Brings A LOVELY LINEAGE to Sierra Madre
February 17, 2015

On Sunday July 24, actress/singer Kristin Towers-Rowles debuted her one-woman cabaret A Lovely Lineage at Sterling's Upstairs @ Vitello's to resounding success. The amazing singer, who is the grand daughter of legendary MGM musical star Katharine Grayson and Broadway veteran Johnnie Johnston, saluted them both as well as her musical comedy performing parents Patty and Robert Towers. Although the young descendant of American show business royalty has a stupendous background, her life has not been that rosy. Playing a role onstage in a show called Veggie Tales, Towers-Rowles popped a disc in her back from wearing a 50-pound costume and was told she would never appear on stage again. She made a near complete recovery and although she still is in pain, exclaims, 'If I have to hurt, I might as well hurt on stage.' It is this unsinkable brave spirit that is present in her beautiful singing voice, in her glowing personality and overall captivating aura. She has an infectious sense of humor as well.
BWW Reviews: Glorious SOUTH PACIFIC at MTWBWW Reviews: Glorious SOUTH PACIFIC at MTW
February 17, 2015

Like The King and I, Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific is a heartbreaking, yet uplifting story told across racial borders ... with an elegant score. The look in its rich set design with an incredible, dreamlike Bali Ha'i in the background, setting the romantic tone for the entire show, adds lovely detail to the current production at MTW, Long Beach. This production is marvelous with great direction and a sensational cast.
BWW Reviews: DOMA Scores Again with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTARBWW Reviews: DOMA Scores Again with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
February 17, 2015

Back in the early 70s I was enthralled by the majestic overture of Jesus Christ Superstar and by the gripping power of the lyrics.This is operetta at its best, where the entire story must come to fruition through the singing. When done well, these Bibilical characters come off the pages as real human beings with raw emotions; because of this musical endeavor, we more clearly understand the motivations of Christ, the adoration of his disciples and Mary Magdalene, the bewilderment of Pontius Pilate and Herod and try to see how one friend may betray another. I was so moved that as a Catechism teacher, I played the Webber/Rice score for my classes to stimulate their critical thinking. Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson and Yvonne Elliman provided sterling vocal interpretations that made the whole process so richly rewarding. But, religious or not, audiences across the board are deeply moved by the elegant score, and DOMA's re-envisioned production now onstage at the MET is splendiferous with a terrific cast that can all really sing and move.


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