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 A trilogy of one-acts in a collection called Holiday Madness was just published, also on amazon.com. Both the story and plays are available on kindle as well as in paperback.
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Sierra Madre Playhouse Stages DEATHTRAPBWW Review: Demonic DEATHTRAP
Posted: Jan. 19, 2016


BWW Review: Off-Broadway's Hit HAM Brings Mega-Talented SAM HARRIS to LGBT Hollywood for Three WeeksBWW Review: SAM HARRIS Dishes Out HAM
Posted: Jan. 29, 2016


BWW Interview: RUDY RAMOS Portrays the Humanity of GERONIMOBWW Interview: RUDY RAMOS Plays GERONIMO
Posted: Jan. 27, 2016


BWW Review: LYN STANLEY's CD Release Party for INTERLUDES a Lush Evening of EntertainmentBWW Review: LYN STANLEY Performs a Lush Evening of Entertainment
Posted: Jan. 18, 2016


BWW Review: New Adaptation of George Orwell's Bleak 1984 Docks at the BroadBWW Review: New Adaptation of George Orwell's Bleak 1984 Docks at the Broad
Posted: Jan. 15, 2016


BWW Review: Cabrillo Presents the Quintessential FORUMBWW Review: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Posted: Feb. 1, 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 Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La MiradaBWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada
Posted: Mar. 19, 2015


BWW Review: JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Rocks Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal for the Eighth Consecutive Sellout EngagementBWW Review: JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Rocks Sterling's
Posted: Dec. 31, 2015


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 Review: Irreverent AN ACT OF GOD Brings Deliciously Funny SEAN HAYES to the AhmansonBWW Review: Irreverent AN ACT OF GOD Brings Deliciously Funny SEAN HAYES to the Ahmanson
February 11, 2016

Years ago, comedian extraordinaire George Burns inhabited God on film; when he spoke, we listened. The world was in love with Burns, so who presently has the charisma, that same unmistakable appeal? Why, Sean Hayes, of course! Everybody loved him as rambunctious but likable Jack McFarland in TV'sWill & Grace.He's the man. Even the voice of God admits up front inAn Act of God, currently onstage at the Ahmanson Theatre through March 13, that if he is going to come down and meet the people, there are certain things that He lacks, which Hayes possesses. 'He acts, he sings, he dances, not exceedingly well; he just does them, but in the end we find ourselves rooting for him, don't we? The funny thing is, he has no idea he's here. My depthless profundities will be aided by his offbeat charm.'
BWW Review: LA's NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR 2016 PRESENTED BY PRINCESS CRUISES Comes to a Resounding ConclusionBWW Review: LA's NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR 2016 PRESENTED BY PRINCESS CRUISES Comes to a Resounding Conclusion
February 10, 2016

On Monday, February 8LA's Next Great StageStar 2016 Presented by Princess Cruisescame to an exciting conclusion on the mainstage of the NoHo Arts Center. After an amazing 90-minute program in which the 20 contestants gave 150% to their uptempo songs from Broadway shows, fifteen contestants were eliminated and the top five finalists selected during the first intermision. It was decided, like last year from the consensus of the judges, to add a sixth contestant. But when judges' votes were tabulated, there emerged a three-way tie between contestantsJames Padilla, Bethany Baderdeen and Edward Anderson.Each of these three presented a song andEdward Andersonwas announced as the sixth finalist. Then each of the six proceeded to perform a second number after which the distinguished panel of 15 judges made the final decision during the second intermission.Musical director par excellence James Lent accompanied at the piano throughout the three hour show.
BWW Review: JACK & JILL Spar For Love at Santa Monica PlayhouseBWW Review: JACK & JILL Spar For Love at Santa Monica Playhouse
February 8, 2016

InJack &Jill,playwright Jane Martin introduces us toa fictitious contemporary couple, both from previous failed marriages, who meet, have a reluctant affair, replete with doubts and insecurities, and eventually tackle marriage. At the very top they are skeptical about love and commitment - at least she is - so like a modern day George Bernard Shaw, Martin predicts unhappiness, a great deal of it. What makes this two-character comedy work especially well is the finite chemistry between its two stars Tanna Frederick and Robert Standley, two dynamite actors who are a joy to watch, under the expert direction of Jack Heller at the Santa Monica Playhouse through March 27.
BWW Review: Cabrillo Presents the Quintessential FORUMBWW Review: Cabrillo Presents the Quintessential FORUM
February 1, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum/book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart/ music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim/Cabrillo Music Theatre, Thousand Oaks/directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld/choreographed by John Charron/through February 14 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. Cabrillo's current revival is astonishingly good with a delicious cast and superlative direction from Lewis Wilkenfeld. It's a practically flawless production.
BWW Interview: RUDY RAMOS Portrays the Humanity of GERONIMOBWW Interview: RUDY RAMOS Portrays the Humanity of GERONIMO
January 27, 2016

Veteran actor/producer Rudy Ramos shares with us his reasons for giving life to the Apache leader Geronimo who has been portrayed as a savage in the court of public opinion; that 'savage' image of the man that is often reflected in literature, film, and TV. The more Rudy Ramos looked into the life of the man and the warrior - - Geronimo's humanity took center stage. In this play, we witness his resiliency, humor and geniusas he cleverly evolves from a POW into a celebrity and entrepreneur. The well-received solo showGERONIMO Life on the Reservationwritten by Janelle Meraz Hooper, directed by award-winning actor/director Steve Railsback,has toured the U.S. and now enjoys encore performances through February 20that the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.
BWW Review: Candlelight Pavilion Lights Up GUYS AND DOLLSBWW Review: Candlelight Pavilion Lights Up GUYS AND DOLLS
January 26, 2016

Guys and Dolls/music & lyrics by Frank Loesser/book by Joe Swerling and Abe Burrows/based on stories by Damon Runyon/directed by John LaLonde/Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, Claremont/through February 27
BWW Review: Off-Broadway's Hit HAM Brings Mega-Talented SAM HARRIS to LGBT Hollywood for Three WeeksBWW Review: Off-Broadway's Hit HAM Brings Mega-Talented SAM HARRIS to LGBT Hollywood for Three Weeks
January 29, 2016

In his early days circa 1984, when he won 13 consecutive weeks on TV'sStar Search,Sam Harriswas flatly denied work on TV and in film because he was labeled 'too theatrical'. This quality - and I say quality - is what makes a performer exceptional; it sets him apart from the crowd,separating the men from the boys, so to speak. But casting people and agents frankly did not know what to do with him; his enormous talent defied categorization. He can sing, he can dance, he can act the bejesus out of a piece, injecting so much raw energy and passion into it that its substance literally leaps off the stage, directly into our hearts. Well, times did change. He has worked on television and on Broadway to great acclaim, and now he is back onstage once more with his autobiographical showHAM: A Musical Memoirfor a limited run at the Renberg Theatre of LGBT, Hollywood through February 7 only.
BWW Review: Group rep Offers Engaging ANOTHER ANTIGONEBWW Review: Group rep Offers Engaging ANOTHER ANTIGONE
January 19, 2016

Playwright A.R. Gurney, best known forLove LettersandThe Cocktail Hour,has written some very topical plays, among them the lesser known 1988Another Antigone, on the surface a dispute between a college professor of the classics and a creative student, but on a far greater level, exposing the repercussions of anti-semitism and the behind the scenes manipulation of courses and staff by a typical college administration in today's world of education. Produced in the new black box theatre upstairs at Group rep,Antigoneis evenly directed by Linda Aznauer and extremely well acted by its ensemble of four, currently through February 7, only. When Senior Judy Miller (Natalia Santamaria) turns in a paper to Profesor Harper (Doug Haverty) in her Greek
BWW Review: Sierra Madre Playhouse Stages DEATHTRAPBWW Review: Sierra Madre Playhouse Stages DEATHTRAP
January 19, 2016

Broadway had one of its greatest commercial hits andthelongest running comedy-thriller with Ira Levin'sDeathtrapin 1978, and it was later on film in 1982 with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. LikeSleuth before it,Deathtrapmakes a game out of murder with plot twists too numerable to mention, and adds just a small amount of comedy to make it all palatable. It's a play within a play, making it doubly intriguing to watch. Now on stage at Sierra Madre Playhouse, this new production of the classic is solid with fine direction from Christian Lebano and a resilient cast.
BWW Review: LYN STANLEY's CD Release Party for INTERLUDES a Lush Evening of EntertainmentBWW Review: LYN STANLEY's CD Release Party for INTERLUDES a Lush Evening of Entertainment
January 18, 2016

On Friday January15internationally renowned jazz vocalist Lyn Stanleybrought her CD release party for her latest hit albumInterludesto the beautiful Art Deco La Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles. It was a lush evening of jazz with a fabulous onstage orchestra of seasoned musicians and some delightful singing and dancing guest stars.
BWW Review: New Adaptation of George Orwell's Bleak 1984 Docks at the BroadBWW Review: New Adaptation of George Orwell's Bleak 1984 Docks at the Broad
January 15, 2016

The Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse, and Almeida Theatre Production of/1984/by George Orwell/in a new adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan/directed by Icke and Macmillan/The Broad Stage, Santa Monica/through February 6
BWW Review: Unexpectedly Entertaining BULLETS OVER BROADWAY Spray Like ConfettiBWW Review: Unexpectedly Entertaining BULLETS OVER BROADWAY Spray Like Confetti
January 6, 2016

As Helen Sinclair (Emma Stratton) holds her hand over playwright David Shayne's (Michael Williams) mouth (picture above), fans of the 1994 filmBullets Over Broadwayare bound to chuckle as they remember the famously unforgettable line spoken by the movie's Helen Sinclair Oscar winner Dianne Weist, 'Don't speak!' Weist, Jennifer Tilly as Olive and Chaz Palminteri as Cheech stole the brilliant film, so when I heard a couple of years ago that they were rehashing this for a Broadway musical, my reaction was 'Sacrilege! Why? Don't tamper with perfection!' Well, they didn't listen to me, obviously, as the musical went forward, and for some sketchy reasons, was a flop on Broadway. Let me tell you, as reluctant as I was to see the musical now onstage at the Pantages through January 24, I am glad I did, for it is actually quite good, with mostly sparkling performances, ingenious choreography recreated from Susan Stroman's original, fabulous costumes by William Ivey Long...and it's faithful to the film. No one dared to touch Woody Allen's uncannily sharp plot, dialogue and laugh lines. Yes, it could have an original score, but what is accomplished with the old standards aiding in moving the story forward, kind of like inMamma Mia, works damn well. It's fun, ear and eye-filling entertainment!
BWW Review: LA'S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR 2016 PRESENTED by PRINCESS CRUISES Off to a Great StartBWW Review: LA'S NEXT GREAT STAGE STAR 2016 PRESENTED by PRINCESS CRUISES Off to a Great Start
January 5, 2016

Loosely patterned after 'an audition process', this 10th annual fully produced event is geared to discovering new talent between the ages of 18 and 32 for the musical theatre stage. This year the contest is generously sponsored/presented by Princess Cruises.
BWW Review: GLADYS KNIGHT's Rockin' New Year's Eve at WALT DISNEY HALLBWW Review: GLADYS KNIGHT's Rockin' New Year's Eve at WALT DISNEY HALL
January 4, 2016

What can one say about pop/rock living legendGladys Knight? A 7-time Grammy winner for gospel as well as R&B/pop hits, this lady at 71 years young, still rocks. She looks and sounds amazing! On New Year's Eve, Knight made an appearance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for two concerts, one at 7 pm and the second at 10: 30 pm. I attended the 7 pm show, which was a near to full house of genuine fans, those who have followed her career since the 60s when she appeared as Gladys Knight and the Pips. A great five-piece band backed her: musical director Leon Turner; Darryle Woolfork on drums; James Davis on guitar; Joseph Green on bass; and Yuko Tamura on keyboard...and four terrific backup singers: Alexus Hoover, Brandon Smith, Porcha Clay, and JaVonte Pollard, all of whom got into the act a little bit later in the 90-minute set.
BWW Review: JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Rocks Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal for the Eighth Consecutive Sellout EngagementBWW Review: JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Rocks Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal for the Eighth Consecutive Sellout Engagement
December 31, 2015

Actor/singerJohn Lloyd Young, best known for his Tony-winning portrayal of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway musicalJersey Boysand for his performance in the 2014 film, has performed eight record-breaking sell-out headlining engagements at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal since October 2014. His December 29th performance was once again sold out, with people waiting in line outside in the bitter cold for hours, and was attended by fans from all over the world, including a small Asian contingent from Japan and Germany. It is absolutely amazing to see how enthusiastically the fans respond to his first entrance onstage, and how they scream and stand up after many of the show's songs. He is revered and idolized almost as much as yesteryear's Elvis or Michael Jackson.
BWW Review: THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWBOY Return to STERLING'SBWW Review: THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWBOY Return to STERLING'S
December 29, 2015

When Faith Prince and Jason Graae first performed their showThe Prince and the Showboyat Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal in June, 2012, I wrote, '...there were enough sparks to set Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal on fire asJason Graaeand Tony Award winnerFaith Princeseized the stagewith the premiere of their new showThe Prince and the Showboyto an adoring packed house. Graae's inimitable sarcasm and overdone delivery along with Prince's unique pauses and double takes made for a delicious evening of comedy through song as they focused on what makes them click as a team, namely the fun side of life'. Well, the show played 54 Below in New York and has returned to the Federal - December 27 and 28 for two nights only. It's now about 20 minutes longer, bringing it in at 90 minutes and allowing each of the stars to concentrate more fully on dramatic career transitions, especially for Prince.
DON GRIGWARE Picks The BEST PRODUCTIONS AND PERFORMANCES in LOS ANGELES THEATRE for 2015DON GRIGWARE Picks The BEST PRODUCTIONS AND PERFORMANCES in LOS ANGELES THEATRE for 2015
December 28, 2015

There are undoubtedly other productions worthy of merit in 2015 which I did not cover. This list is based only on what I saw and reviewed. (alphabetical listings; Equity, Equity-waiver & Non-Equity productions are mixed) (artists performing outside LA may be included in performance categories) No set, costume, or technical awards. I leave that to the bigger awards and to the expertise of those who really know those fields inside out.
BWW Review: LAURA DICKINSON 17 Rocks the El PortalBWW Review: LAURA DICKINSON 17 Rocks the El Portal
December 23, 2015

On Tuesday, December 22 exciting singerLaura Dickinsonbrought herBIG BAND HOLIDAYto the El Portal Mainstage in NoHo. The house was SRO, and Dickinson, needless to say, accompanied by a 17-piece band, knocked it out of the park. When I reviewed her CD release party a year ago at Vitello's I noted, 'She blew the roof off the joint with her dynamic delivery, oozing charm and warmth from every pore. Not only is she beautiful, but oh so terribly engaging as she grabs hold of you and won't let go. She's been called 'masterful'; I'll go a step further and add 'captivating and spellbinding'. She's a singer to be reckoned with!' A year later, she's even more appealing with a talent and drive that will not quit.
BWW Interview: JULES AARON Talks About THAT LOVIN' FEELIN' at Group repBWW Interview: JULES AARON Talks About THAT LOVIN' FEELIN' at Group rep
December 23, 2015

Award-winning veteran director Jules Aaron has been putting his directorial stamp on musicals and plays for several decades. Mr. Aaron takes time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about his current project, the west coast premiere of The Group Rep's production of THAT LOVIN' FEELIN' running December 11 through January 24, 2016 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood, which already has some SOLD OUT performance dates. He also gives us a glimpse into his background and the encouragement he received along the way.
BWW Review: Crown City Theatre  Produces Exultant NUNSENSE for the HolidaysBWW Review: Crown City Theatre Produces Exultant NUNSENSE for the Holidays
December 22, 2015

Resourceful Dan Goggin designed a line of greeting cards to honor the nun, then turned the project into a cabaret which finally became a full-fledged musical comedy in 1985. NowNunsenseplays in several languages all over the world. Everyone has a peculiar fascination with nuns. Why? Well, number one, they dress oddly and apart from that, they live out their daily lives praying and doing things uncommon to the average person. Say you are or grew up a Catholic, you still have difficulty figuring them out. Are they really that stern and block-headed? Well, Dan Goggin takes you behind the scenes, so-to-speak, in this tongue -in-cheek look at the Little Sisters of Hoboken at Mt. Saint Helen's School - you will see them do things, irreverent things, you never imagined in your wildest dreams - who are about to put on a benefit show to raise funds to...Oh, Saints preserve us... to bury four nuns who died from botulism. Currently onstage at Crown City Theatre in NoHo,Nunsenseis receiving a nifty revival directed by the terrific Kristin


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