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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.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

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


BWW Reviews: West Coast Premiere BIG FISH Reels Us In Big TimeBWW Reviews: West Coast Premiere BIG FISH Reels Us In Big Time
Posted: Nov. 3, 2014


BWW Reviews: Pantages Shows Off KINKY BOOTSBWW Reviews: Pantages Shows Off KINKY BOOTS
Posted: Nov. 13, 2014


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: Endearing LIZA Minnelli Performs at Walt Disney Concert HallBWW Reviews: Endearing LIZA Minnelli Performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Posted: Mar. 26, 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: La Mirada Performs a Triumphant LES MISBWW Reviews: La Mirada Performs a Triumphant LES MIS
Posted: Jun. 3, 2014


BWW Reviews: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAMEBWW Reviews: THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
November 18, 2014

Victor Hugo's monumental romantic/gothic novel of the mid 15th century The Hunchback of Notre Dame centers in, around and on top of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The new musical of the same name written by Peter Parnell, Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken, which is receiving its U.S. premiere at La Jolla Playhouse, capitalizes on this fact. Alexander Dodge's massive set of the cathedral replete with gargoyles, multiple statues, stained-glass window and huge overhanging bells is a work of art that dominates the action onstage in front of it. In fact, it is impossible to take your eyes off at least a part of it for a split second.
BWW Interview: JOHN LALONDEBWW Interview: JOHN LALONDE
November 14, 2014

Actor John LaLonde, artistic director of Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre in Claremont is preparing to mount his Christmas show It's Christmas Everyday at Candlelight, opening the weekend after Thanksgiving. In our chat, he talks in detail about the show, the upcoming season and some of his favorite musical roles.
BWW Reviews: Pantages Shows Off KINKY BOOTSBWW Reviews: Pantages Shows Off KINKY BOOTS
November 13, 2014

Following in the footsteps of La Cage Aux Folles, Billy Elliott and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, all foreign films turned into Broadway musicals, Kinky Boots, the 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, brings its spirited message of 'Just Be Who You Wanna Be' to the Pantages in its West Coast premiere for three weeks only through November 30. Replete with splashy direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a splendid cast, it's top.of.the.line entertaining fare.
BWW Reviews: Sultry Jazz Singer Lyn Stanley Does Release Party of POTIONS in StyleBWW Reviews: Sultry Jazz Singer Lyn Stanley Does Release Party of POTIONS in Style
November 10, 2014

On Saturday November 8 at Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, international jazz vocalist Lyn Stanley presented a CD release party to celebrate her new recording Potions (from the 50s). Onstage with her were sensational musicians tenor-saxophonist Terry Harrington, pianist Mike Lang, bassist Mike Valerio and drummer Joe La Barbera. The 80-minute set was an evening to remember, a jazz lover's dream come true.
BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Salutes JERRY HERMANBWW Reviews: Kritzerland Salutes JERRY HERMAN
November 4, 2014

On Sunday November 2, Kritzerland presented its 51st show Put on Your Sunday Clothes, The Songs of Jerry Herman at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal with special guest star Karen Morrow. No surprise that this was an uplifting, thoroughly enjoyable evening of song, for as host Bruce Kimmel stated up front, 'No one brings optimism to Broadway like Jerry Herman.' Fabulous Tom Griep served as musical director at the piano with super songsters David Engel, Valerie Perri, Damon Kirsche, Shannon Warne, Chelsea Emma Franko and 14 year-old Sami Staitman as well as the aforementioned queen of singers Karen Morrow. Singing doesn't get any better than this!
BWW Reviews: West Coast Premiere BIG FISH Reels Us In Big TimeBWW Reviews: West Coast Premiere BIG FISH Reels Us In Big Time
November 3, 2014

Based on Daniel Wallace's 1998 novel and Tim Burton's 2003 film of the same name, Big Fish, with a few minor changes in plot, becomes quite an imaginative musical...with Andrew Lippa composer of some of the best songs written for a Broadway show in a long time. So, it is hard to imagine why its Broadway run ended after a mere three months. Now in its West Coast premiere, Big Fish comes to MTW with a glorious cast directed by Larry Carpenter and choreographed by Peggy Hickey with vibrant sets and costumes from the original New York production. It's a real charmer and another big win for MTW.
BWW Reviews: Sparkling Cast in Falcon's A OR B?BWW Reviews: Sparkling Cast in Falcon's A OR B?
October 28, 2014

Which is more important in life ... love or position? Ambitious men and women compete for power in the corporate world and sometimes business partners fall in love, but can they have both equally? In his new comedy A or B? Ken Levine thinks not. With two dynamic and likable actors and directed skillfully by Andrew Barnicle at the Falcon through November 16, the play is slick, funny and engaging to a point, but something is lacking.
BWW Reviews: Thrilling JEKYLL & HYDE at CandlelightBWW Reviews: Thrilling JEKYLL & HYDE at Candlelight
October 28, 2014

For some inexplicable reason, composer Frank Wildhorn frequently gets a bad rap, accused of copying from other composers or just being a giant step below the quality of say, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, or Jerry Herman, among others. Many forget Wildhorn is responsible for the beautiful music of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dracula the Musical and more recently, Bonnie and Clyde, as well as Jekyll & Hyde. Wildhorn's popular tunes, especially the ballads are glorious, verging on opera and stand on their own as hits, such as 'This Is the Moment', 'Once Upon a Dream', 'In His Eyes' and 'A New Life' all from his Jekyll & Hyde score. Combining talent with great lyricist / book writer Leslie Bricusse is a little miracle, so Wildhorn comes up, in fact, a real winner. And in Candlelight's current stellar revival, the show is a darkly rich feast for the eyes and ears, just in time for Halloween. Jekyll & Hyde will play out its intriguing game of good versus evil at Candlelight through November 23.
BWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big WinnerBWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big Winner
October 28, 2014

On Sunday October 26, Clifford Bell presented the first Rick Starr Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert, entitled Starr Bucks, at Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City. The beloved Starr, who passed away about a year ago, worked at Hollywood Sheet Music and served the Los Angeles musical theatre community in a most unusual, endearing way. Not only did he assist singers over the years to find unpublished songs for their various club acts and cabaret performances, but would go out of his way to find material for them depending on their individual preferences...and would call each and every customer on his or her birthday every year, just to wish them a Happy Birthday. A rare and delightful human being! Starr was remembered fondly with anecdotes by the three cabaret stars of the evening Mary Jo Mundy, Todd Murray and Shawn Ryan. Affable virtuoso pianist/singer Michael Sobie served as accompanist/musical director throughout the 90 minute set.
BWW Reviews: GCT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Reaches The Impossible DreamBWW Reviews: GCT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Reaches The Impossible Dream
October 28, 2014

As many times as I have seen Man of La Mancha, I relish the music and high dramatic moments of this classic piece of theatre. Being, naturally, that the production of it is top notch, with the right actors and skilled direction! GCT's current revival is top of the line. I remember seeing Richard Kiley, the original Cervantes/Alonso Quijana/Don Quijote in a Broadway revival in the 70s and was blown away by his ferocious commitment to the role. He spoke and sang to the last row of the balcony without even trying because of his brilliant focus on relaying the message of peace, justice, love and the simple joy of living in harmony with your fellow-man. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Well, GCT's production is quieter, more subdued, but every bit as serious, entertaining and nurturing.
BWW Reviews: Newest Broadway Revival of PIPPIN Provides Spills and Thrills at the PantagesBWW Reviews: Newest Broadway Revival of PIPPIN Provides Spills and Thrills at the Pantages
October 23, 2014

In 1972 Pippin opened on Broadway and became one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, closing in 1977. Stephen Schwartz's bubbling optimistic tunes made the surreal and sensual mood of the piece an ultra-pleasant experience for theatre goers. One actually left the theatre humming the score. Throughout the dreamlike texture of Pippin's quest for his 'Corner of the Sky', however, there blooms a simplistic, timeless message that reverberates to this day. So, even though this brand new revival set in a circus big top is visually more opulent with high swinging artists and feats of magic, the pieces of the puzzle do fit into place - original director Bob Fosse would approve - and the play's substance is untarnished. Director Diane Paulus may take a bow for her simply stunning ambition of embellishment. I prefer the simplicity of the original, which allows your imagination to take flight, but must own up to enjoying most of the new version. How can you not, as the Fosse-esque style with acrobatics added on make for a visually splendid evening of dance and action.
BWW Reviews: Peter Quilter's GLORIOUS! Comes to ICTBWW Reviews: Peter Quilter's GLORIOUS! Comes to ICT
October 20, 2014

At least four plays have been written about Florence Foster Jenkins, who in the 30s and 40s, in spite of being considered the worst singer ever, recorded and gave highly publicized annual SRO concerts including one in 1944 at... Carnegie Hall. A rank amateur, Jenkins had no pitch, tone or rhythm and decimated just about every note and lyric in every score she put her voice to. BUT, she had a dream and she loved music with a passion. In her head and heart, she sounded like one of the most gorgeous sopranos that ever graced a stage. Maybe she really knew she was tone deaf and couldn't hit the mark... or maybe she didn't. If we cannot get our hands on one of her recordings, we can only estimate the truth of the matter by what we read or see in the various plays about her life.
BWW Reviews: Handsome AMADEUS at ETCBWW Reviews: Handsome AMADEUS at ETC
October 20, 2014

Peter Shaffer's incredibly intriguing examination of the demise and death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the hands of Court Composer Antonio Salieri in 1791 Vienna is at the core of Amadeus, which premiered in London in 1979, went on to win a Tony Award as Best Play of 1981 and also an Oscar for the reinvented film version in 1984. It is well reputed that Shaffer used artistic license in creating the play and movie as Mozart and Salieri were never official rivals/foes, but, yes or no, it certainly makes for divinely pleasant theatricality, now in a handsome revival at ETC in Santa Barbara through October 26.
BWW Reviews: Olson Brothers' Latest DON'T HUG ME, WE'RE MARRIED Plays Group Rep in NoHoBWW Reviews: Olson Brothers' Latest DON'T HUG ME, WE'RE MARRIED Plays Group Rep in NoHo
October 16, 2014

Folks who are unfamiliar with the Don't Hug Me series of shows need look no further than at the signs in the lobby of the group rep that say 'Have a Crappie Day!' It's obvious that the show inside is unlike any other with an unmistakable individuality and peculiarly regional point of view, that everyone can relate to. We've all known people like these crazy characters. In a long series of Don't Hug Me productions the Olson Brothers are at it again, this time around with Don't Hug Me, We're Married, now onstage in NoHo through November 15.
BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the FederalBWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal
October 15, 2014

Actor/singer John Lloyd Young, best known for his Tony-winning portrayal of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway Jersey Boys and for his performance in the 2014 film, has performed three cabaret concerts at the Cafe Carlisle in New York since 2013. He felt it was high time to bring the act home to California, and so on Monday October 13 and Tuesday October 14, Young, backed by a dynamite five-piece band, presented An Evening for Friends at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. It was a sold-out engagement with screaming fans who had flown in from all over the world. It was my first time experiencing the talent of this young artist, and hopefully not my last. If you have never heard his angelic tenor voice that glides smoothly and effortlessly into high-octave falsetto, you are missing a rare treat. He has a one.of.a.kind style that sets him apart from every male singer on the music scene today with a quiet, personable charisma and stellar stage presence that keep you hanging on to every note, every phrase. At the end of the 60-minute set, he left us wanting more; true artist that he is, Young knows when it is time to finish.
BWW Reviews: SCR Presents Tony-winning VENUS IN FURBWW Reviews: SCR Presents Tony-winning VENUS IN FUR
October 15, 2014

David Ives' fascinating two character play within a play Venus in Fur won a Best Actress Tony Award for Nina Arianda in 2012. It's no wonder as the role in theatrical size and scope is every actress's dream. Now onstage at SCR, Casey Stangl directs two first-rate actors in Ives' thoroughly engrossing, unpredictable story of degradation.
BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' Lush RAGTIME Graces Fullerton StageBWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' Lush RAGTIME Graces Fullerton Stage
October 14, 2014

Since its creation in 1997, Ragtime has remained one of my favorite musicals for two reasons. Its simply gorgeous almost opera-like musical score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens moves me to the bone, and it has more meaningful historical content about America at the turn of the 20th century than just about any other show. Now by means of 3D Theatricals' new, freshly staged production, onstage in Fullerton through October 26, Ragtime continues its deeply moving effect on audiences.
BWW Reviews: Reinvented CABARET Sizzles at CrownBWW Reviews: Reinvented CABARET Sizzles at Crown
October 14, 2014

Perhaps Kander and Ebb's best musical, apart from Chicago, Cabaret has 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 1930, before Hitler, but just as Nazi pressure hits the fan. Crown City Theatre's new revival production, with a small ensemble of 11, has a completely new look with slick direction from Gary Lamb.
BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Releases AND THE WORLD GOES ROUNDBWW Reviews: Kritzerland Releases AND THE WORLD GOES ROUND
October 10, 2014

With the arrival of a two-disc studio recording of the complete Kander & Ebb score of And The World Goes Round from Kritzerland Records, there's reason to shout and sing out loud.Starring powerhouse vocalists Brent Barrett, Jason Graae, Christiane Noll, Kristin Towers-Rowles, Kyra DaCosta and musical director Joshua Eli Kranz, the discs offer more than two hours of simply sensational music.
BWW Interviews: Grammy Nominated Songstress JANE MONHEIT Talks About Saban Appearance, October 19BWW Interviews: Grammy Nominated Songstress JANE MONHEIT Talks About Saban Appearance, October 19
October 9, 2014

Singer Jane Monheit will appear October 19 at the Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills singing the jazz of Judy Garland. Her latest CD - there are 9 - is called the heart of the matter (cover pictured above). Since high school, she has been dazzling audiences world-wide with her beautiful multi-ranged voice. For a young singer to concentrate on jazz and the classics is in itself quite extraordinary in this day and age. Monheit graduated with a BA from the Manhattan School of Music winning many prizes and is a two-time Grammy nominee. She is married to drummer Rick Montalbano Jr. and has one little boy.


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