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 going into 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.
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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Splashy West Coast Premiere of THE BOY FROM OZBWW Review: West Coast Premiere of THE BOY FROM OZ
Posted: May. 3, 2016


BWW Review: Scott Dreier Triumphs with THE DORIS DAY PROJECT CDBWW Review: THE DORIS DAY PROJECT: It's Magic!
Posted: May. 6, 2016


BWW Review: A Thoroughly Reinvented GLASS MENAGERIE Thrills in Sierra MadreBWW Review: A Thoroughly Reinvented GLASS MENAGERIE Thrills in Sierra Madre
Posted: May. 9, 2016


BWW Review: Rarely Revived It's a Bird...It's a Plane...IT'S SUPERMAN THE MUSICALBWW Review: IT'S SUPERMAN The Musical
Posted: Apr. 25, 2016


BWW Review: Clever L.A. NOW AND THEN Shines at LACCBWW Review: Bright, Upbeat L.A. NOW AND THEN
Posted: May. 16, 2016


BWW News: New HIPSTER MUSICAL to Hit RockwellBWW News: New HIPSTER MUSICAL to Hit Rockwell
Posted: May. 4, 2016


BWW Review: Stellar AGNES OF GOD at Coyote StageWorksBWW Review: Stellar AGNES OF GOD
Posted: May. 3, 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 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: 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: Sierra Madre Playhouse Stages DEATHTRAPBWW Review: Demonic DEATHTRAP
Posted: Jan. 19, 2016


BWW CD Review: REFLECTIONS of Judy NortonBWW Review: REFLECTIONS by Judy Norton
Posted: Sep. 15, 2015


BWW Review: Singer PAT WHITEMAN and Composer HARRIET SCHOCK Make a Dream Team  in the E-Spot Lounge at Vitello'sBWW Review: Singer PAT WHITEMAN and Composer HARRIET SCHOCK Make a Dream Team in the E-Spot Lounge at Vitello's
May 23, 2016

On Thursday May 19 consummate singer Pat Whiteman presentedAn Evening of Pat Whiteman & Grammy nominated songwriter Harriet Schock at the E Spot Loungeat Vitello's in Studio Cityto a sold-out house of arduous music lovers.Although not as well known as the others,Harriet Schockhas been compared to Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon. Her pop songs are that good, for example 'Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady' which gave Helen Reddy a great big hit back in the 70s. Who better to interpret her incisive emotional messages than virtuoso Pat Whiteman? The evening was a divine songfest of original material with a 6-piece band, including Schock at the piano and electronic keyboard, and two backup singers. There were also special guests: Gary Lynn Floyd, who has an uber expressive singing style perfect for Schock's music...and movie composer Misha Segal who co-wrote the gorgeous 'First Time on a Ferris Wheel' with Schock.
BWW Review: Clever L.A. NOW AND THEN Shines at LACCBWW Review: Clever L.A. NOW AND THEN Shines at LACC
May 16, 2016

What a lovely surprise! I know that Bruce Kimmel is quite the clever gentleman and would not expect anything less than superlative work from his camp, but stepping down to the college campus level to review is not something that I particularly savor. These actors, with the exception of Robert Yacko and April Audia, are students, not yet professional performers as such. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, not by the singing, but at least by the acting and overall drive and energy of the performers who delivered a mightily informative, nostalgic and fun show. It's calledL.A. Now and Then, and it's a revue with songs and monologues that take a glance back at Los Angeles through the years and compare past with present cultural values. Kimmel as director maintains a great pace throughout: no lags; the show moves!
BWW Interview: Amazing Musician CORKY HALE Tells Us About I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU Opening Tonight at the Ricardo Montalban TheatreBWW Interview: Amazing Musician CORKY HALE Tells Us About I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU Opening Tonight at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre
May 13, 2016

The great musician Corky Hale needs no introduction. She and her husband composer Mike Stoller have worked with everyone in the music business including Sinatra and Steisand. She is currently producing a revue entitled I Only Have Eyes For You about the music of Al Dubin. It will open at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre Friday May 13. In our chat Hale talks about the show, Dubin and about her incomparable show business life.
BWW Review: A Thoroughly Reinvented GLASS MENAGERIE Thrills in Sierra MadreBWW Review: A Thoroughly Reinvented GLASS MENAGERIE Thrills in Sierra Madre
May 9, 2016

For many, Tennessee Williams' first play The Glass Menagerie remains his finest. Semi-autobiographical, the play takes place in St. Louis during the Depression and depicts the relationships between a restless alcoholic/shoe factory worker/wannabe writer, his overbearing mother and his psychologically deficient sister - all of which stems from Williams' actual background. Williams finds his voice in Tom. (Christian Durso)
BWW Review: Scott Dreier Triumphs with THE DORIS DAY PROJECT CDBWW Review: Scott Dreier Triumphs with THE DORIS DAY PROJECT CD
May 6, 2016

My association with Scott Dreier dates back to a cabaret for his first album named aptlyScott Dreier.I was exceedingly impressed with his fine voice, boyish charm and affability.Then followed his showDoris and Me, which I reviewed once in Escondido and later in Los Angeles. The show about Doris Day and his love for her went beyond what I would call an ordinary cabaret presentation. He literally blew me away. It is really two shows in one: a biography of Doris's career told through the songs she made famous and then a semi-biography of Dreier, who grew up from a young age loving Doris Day, her songs, and her movies. It is the second show that makes it all work so beautifully, because, as fans of Doris Day, we see and appreciate the effects that her persona has had on all of us. As an individual Scott Dreier is expressing what we all feel, that intense love and admiration for one of the greatest screen legends of all time.
BWW News: New HIPSTER MUSICAL to Hit RockwellBWW News: New HIPSTER MUSICAL to Hit Rockwell
May 4, 2016

Ashley Argota, whose credits includeThe Fosters; True Jackson, VP;Lab RatsandMichael Viruet(pictured) , boastingPitch PerfectandHunkappella, are set to star in a hyper-styled new musical entitledHipster Sweatshop. Argota and Viruet play love interests from opposite sides of the track in this musical set in downtown LA's hottest jewelry boutique. Viruet, who plays the sexy delivery guy Jesus for whom Argota's Siri falls hard, says thatHipster Sweatshopis "a fun concept with some great characters. Its duets will blow your socks off!"
BWW Review: Stellar AGNES OF GOD at Coyote StageWorksBWW Review: Stellar AGNES OF GOD at Coyote StageWorks
May 3, 2016

Playwright John Pielmeier'sAgnes of God, written in 1982, was based upon a real life police case of a novice nun in Boston, accused of murdering her baby. Coyote StageWorks just closed a stellar 10 performance only run of the play at the Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs. Under the direction of veteran actor/director Don Amendolia,Agnes of Godproved itself as topical today as it did in the 80s, and Broadway is ripe for a revival.
BWW Review: Splashy West Coast Premiere of THE BOY FROM OZBWW Review: Splashy West Coast Premiere of THE BOY FROM OZ
May 3, 2016

Once in a great while an extraordinary performer comes along, one that not only moves us, but also affects meteoric changes within our culture. Peter Allen, born Peter Woolnough in 1944 in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia and who died young in 1992, was one such mega-talented singer/dancer/musical composer, who appealed to a wide audience.Not at first, mind you; it took a few years in the 60s for him to realize his bisexuality and to understand who he was.
BWW Review: Pink Lady Brings MAGICAL MUSICAL MATINEES to the WhitefireBWW Review: Pink Lady Brings MAGICAL MUSICAL MATINEES to the Whitefire
April 29, 2016

On Thursday April 21,Prime Time Playerspresented their second of threeMagical Musical Matineesat the Whitefire Theatre. It was a delightful show full of talented people 60 years young or older. There was dancing, singing and comedy all wrapped up with a pink bow in the name ofJackie Goldberg, the Pink Lady. Goldberg stands for Senior Star Power 'Get Up, Get Out and Get a Life!' The talent in this show are prime examples of people who are still vital and full of performing glee.
BWW Review: It's Thanksgiving in April at Group rep in NoHoBWW Review: It's Thanksgiving in April at Group rep in NoHo
April 29, 2016

Playwright Phil Olson, who is best known for his outrageousDon't Hug Memusical comedies, is taking a look at a typical American family on Thanksgiving Day inA Nice Family Gathering, currently onstage in the black box theatre of Group rep in Noho through May 29.
BWW Review: Rarely Revived It's a Bird...It's a Plane...IT'S SUPERMAN THE MUSICALBWW Review: Rarely Revived It's a Bird...It's a Plane...IT'S SUPERMAN THE MUSICAL
April 25, 2016

Wham! Pow! Boom! Up and away, it's Superman! Growing up in the 50s I couldn't wait for the next weekly adventure-filled installment of Supie and Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and the Daily Planet on the small television screen. It was thrilling to see a man go into a telephone booth and change from street clothes into tights - even if they were baggy - andfly off- imagine! - to save the world from crime and destruction. It didn't matter that it was pure fantasy and that he he was only a comic book hero. Superman brought lots of excitement into our young lives. In 1966, the same musical composers who wrote the successful Broadway hitBye Bye Birdie, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, pennedIt's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman! The New Musical Comedyand in spite of the great reviews, it did not catch on with the public, so quickly fizzled. Now 50 years later, what a camp to look back and laugh at all the silliness and innocence of that era, for the Superman musical is loaded with clumsy, goofy, campy laughs. Now onstage in a rare revival...It's Supermanreceives a terrifically entertaining production at the Grove Theatre in Upland.
BWW Review: Crown City Theatre Revives THE FANTASTICKSBWW Review: Crown City Theatre Revives THE FANTASTICKS
April 25, 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 their revival Crown City Theatre keep it simple with minimal blocking from director Lisaun Whittingham and boasting a fine cast...
BWW Review: Unusually Bold and Engrossing FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS by Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright at the TaperBWW Review: Unusually Bold and Engrossing FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS by Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright at the Taper
April 25, 2016

Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has the uncanny ability to get under your skin and really make you feel the turmoil and misery of the black soul. In her latest play, now onstage at the Mark Taper Forum through May 15 entitledFather Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Parks takes the audience back to 1862 and the slave involvement in the Civil War starting with the anticipation and fear of going off to war, then witnessing the horrors of the actual war itself, and the aftermath for returning soldiers and their families. Under the sturdy hand of director Jo Bonney, the cast is amazing... and the play is mostly fascinating to watch, mainly because Parks' style does not repeat itself from part to part.
BWW Interview: Playwright WILLARD MANUS Discusses His New Play About MMBWW Interview: Playwright WILLARD MANUS Discusses His New Play About MM
April 22, 2016

Local Playwright Willard Manus' Joe & Marilyn: A Love Story, a new play about the troubled relationship between baseball great Joe DiMaggio and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, debuts this Saturday, April 23rd at 8:00 pm, runs April 23 - May 22, produced by John Lant and Anne Mesa, directed by T.J. Castronovo and starring Rico Simonini and Emily Alicia Low, produced by Write Act Rep@TheBrickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. The play was developed at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit (West Coast), where Manus and Castronovo are fellow-members. He shared with us a bit about the play and quite a bit about his life.
BWW Interview: Actor KEVIN MASSEY Loves Doing A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDERBWW Interview: Actor KEVIN MASSEY Loves Doing A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER
April 20, 2016

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder at the Ahmanson Theatre. He chats with us about the challenges of playing the role and other theatrical interests. What is the biggest challenge in playing Monty 8 times a week? Staying hydrated! I have to make sure I drink enough water during the day. I hardly have a chance to drink any water during the course of the show, because I am onstage 99% of the time!
BWW Review: Those Fetching KINKY BOOTS Return to the Pantages for Two WeeksBWW Review: Those Fetching KINKY BOOTS Return to the Pantages for Two Weeks
April 14, 2016

Following in the footsteps ofLa Cage Aux Folles, Billy ElliottandPriscilla 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' in a return to the Pantages for two weeks through April 24. Replete with splashy direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a splendid cast, it's top.of.the.line entertainment fare.
BWW Review: AN EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY Returns Triumphantly to RockwellBWW Review: AN EVENING OF CLASSIC BROADWAY Returns Triumphantly to Rockwell
April 14, 2016

On Tuesday April 12 I eagerly returned to Rockwell Table and Stage for the third time to seeAn Evening of Classic Broadway.The show comes to Rockwell for one evening every couple of months. Why do I keep coming back? Produced by Dianne Fraser and musically directed by extraordinarily talented Brad Ellis ... and with a bevy of great singers on board, it's guaranteed fun, extra high on entertainment, and it incorporates Broadway standards both classic and contemporary. If that isn't enough, the structure is laid back and spontaneous, allowing one to sit back, relax and just savor the sounds.
BWW Review: Jubilant SISTER ACT Will Raise You Up at MTWBWW Review: Jubilant SISTER ACT Will Raise You Up at MTW
April 11, 2016

Sister Actthe Musicalstarted out in 2006 at the Pasadena Playhouse, premiered in London's West End in 2009 and then underwent serious revisions before coming to Broadway in 2011. I remember liking the first mounting in 2006 with many reservations. Since I loved the 1992 film so much, I didn't feel that the stage version was particularlyfaithful...no pun intended. Well, with all the 2011 changes, MTW's revival of the Broadway version is tops, a joyful, tuneful, splashy romp that never lets down, with a tremendous cast, stellar direction from Michael Matthews and soulful choreography from Daniel Smith. Douglas Carter Beane, who penned the screenplayTo Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmarand the Tony nominated playThe Little Dog Laughed, added new book material for the national tour, included here, and this contributes substantially to molding a sleek and unforgettable show.
BWW Review: WILHOITE'S LIVING ROOMBWW Review: WILHOITE'S LIVING ROOM
April 6, 2016

About eight months ago, actress/singerKathleen Wilhoitebegan performing the first Monday of every monthat the E-Spot Lounge, formerly Upstairs at Vitello's, with a show entitledWilhoite's Living Room.It is described as an evening of music, poetry reading, guest stars and comedy. I was curious. I had long been a fan of Wilhoite from her TV appearances onERand in several MOWs. She is a helluva character actress, edgy, quirky and always an engaging standout. When you see her onscreen, regardless of the size of the role, you remember her long afterwards. What I did not realize was that she is also a fine musician... until I googled and read about her background growing up in Santa Barbara and singing in choirs. She eventually produced two CDs and several of her original songs have been recorded for movie soundtracks. So, exceedingly interested in hearing her, I decided to check outWilhoite's Living RoomonMonday, April 4 at 7: 30 pm. What a fun and exciting surprise was in store!
BWW Review: A Deluge of RAIN Pours Into the Old GlobeBWW Review: A Deluge of RAIN Pours Into the Old Globe
April 4, 2016

You cannot beat the Old Globe Theatre for its audacity in mounting the challenging musicalRain, based on a short story by W. Somerset Maugham.Rainwas made into three separate films, a silent in 1928 starring Gloria Swanson, and then in 1932 starring Joan Crawford as Miss Sadie Thompson, and finally in 1953 Rita Hayworth assumed the role of the prostitute stranded on the South Pacific Island of Pago, Pago in 1924. This much anticipated musical version with book by Sybille Pearson and music by Michael John LaChiusa is the second timeRainhas been performed onstage, the first being a play in 1922. For the entire cast and creative team in San Diego this enterprise has been enormous. It is truly an outstanding ensemble headed by Eden Espinosa as Sadie, and the set designed by Mark Wendland is by itself worth the price of admission.


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