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 fifth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page. He received an Award for Excellence from BWW as one of the top ten Regional Editors across the globe for 2013.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW interviews: Director LEE SANKOWICH Discusses LOW HANGING FRUITBWW interviews: Director LEE SANKOWICH Discusses Low Hanging Fruit
Posted: Sep. 19, 2014


BWW Interview: CARNIE WILSON of Wilson Phillips Talks About Saban Concert on the 26thBWW interview: CARNIE WILSON Talks Wilson Phillips Concert
Posted: Sep. 18, 2014


BWW Reviews: Fine Tuned OKLAHOMA! at Welk Resort EscondidoBWW Reviews: OKLAHOMA! at Welk Resort
Posted: Sep. 12, 2014


BWW Reviews: Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista Rolls Out Red Carpet for CATCH ME IF YOU CANBWW Reviews: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN at Moonlight Amphitheatre
Posted: Sep. 12, 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: La Mirada Performs a Triumphant LES MISBWW Reviews: La Mirada Performs a Triumphant LES MIS
Posted: Jun. 3, 2014


BWW Reviews: Barry Manilow's HARMONY Finally Gets a Deserved Staging at the AhmansonBWW Reviews: Barry Manilow's HARMONY Finally Gets a Deserved Staging at the Ahmanson
Posted: Mar. 13, 2014


BWW Reviews: Pantages Presents the Definitive EVITA for Three Weeks OnlyBWW Reviews: Pantages Presents the Definitive EVITA for Three Weeks Only
Posted: Oct. 25, 2013


BWW interviews: Author JAMES SPADA's New Streisand In The Camera Eye Is FetchingBWW interviews: Author JAMES SPADA's New Streisand In The Camera Eye Is Fetching
October 1, 2014

Renowned author/biographer James Spada, who has penned best-selling books on Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis and Peter Lawford, to name a few, has a new coffee table book which will hit the book stands mid October, entitled Streisand in the Camera Eye. I have seen an advanced copy, and it is simply beautiful...'Hello, gorgeous!' Barbra would say as Fanny Brice. Fans of Barbra will adore this one and even if you are merely fond of her work, like me, you will be blown away by the beauty of these rarely seen photographs accompanied by short descriptions of the time and place by Spada. It's a real page turner, and each photograph is more eye-catching, more vivid than the last.
BWW Reviews: Candlelight Pavilion's SPAMALOT Is Tunefully StagedBWW Reviews: Candlelight Pavilion's SPAMALOT Is Tunefully Staged
September 29, 2014

Monty Python'sSpamalot/book & lyrics by Eric Idle/music by John Du Prez & Eric Idle/directed by Chuck Ketter/Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre, Claremont/through October 19
BWW Reviews: Mel Brooks Musical of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN Wicked Fun at DOMABWW Reviews: Mel Brooks Musical of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN Wicked Fun at DOMA
September 29, 2014

I revert to childhood when I see a Mel Brooks movie or show. The sillier the better: the sight gags, the double entendres, the more the merrier. The New Mel Brooks Musical, Young Frankenstein is a real rip-roaring hoot of a show from start to finish as produced by DOMA with a great cast and zippy fast-paced direction and fine staging from Marco Gomez.
BWW Reviews: Albee's GOAT a Knockout at LGBTBWW Reviews: Albee's GOAT a Knockout at LGBT
September 29, 2014

Nothing like an idyllic family portrait (at left): father Martin (Paul Witten), mother Stevie (Ann Noble), son Billy (Spencer Morrissey) and close family friend Ross (Matt Kirkwood). They are what one might call perfect. They have everything and adore one another. Martin is a prize-winning architect, Stevie is his loyal, devoted mate, Billy, although a teenager and gay, is a good kid, who is encouraged by his parents to be who he is and to embrace it. Ross, a TV interviewer, is about to interview Martin about his recent award and turning 50, when the taping is botched by Martin's sudden inability to remember anything or to put a few words together intelligibly. He has a problem and who should he turn to but his best friend Ross. When Martin confides that he is having an 'affair' of sorts, Ross is shocked not only by the fact that Martin has always been completely faithful to Stevie, but by the new object of his affection. Martin is in love with a goat named Sylvia.
BWW Reviews: Amy Herzog's Sweet 4,000 MILES Resonates at Sierra MadreBWW Reviews: Amy Herzog's Sweet 4,000 MILES Resonates at Sierra Madre
September 29, 2014

Amy Herzog's Pulitzer-Prize nominated 4,000 Miles explores a most difficult relationship between a grandmother of 90 and her grandson some seventy years her junior. That gap in age is very wide like the distance of 4,000 miles from Seattle, Washington to New York City which Leo (Christian Prentice) covers by bicycle. Long journeys of any type involve struggles as well as rewards, and the play is a sweet optimistic look at how two very different people can change each other for the better. Now in its LA premiere 4,000 Miles is onstage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in an endearing and richly detailed production directed lovingly by Christian Lebano and featuring a dynamite cast of four actors.
BWW Reviews: MARJORIE PRIME World Premieres at TaperBWW Reviews: MARJORIE PRIME World Premieres at Taper
September 26, 2014

Audiences may be somewhat confused, but nonetheless intrigued and maybe even stimulated by Jordan Harrison's world premiere play Marjorie Prime now onstage at the Mark Taper Forum through October 19. It's an insightful 80-minute one-act but would most likely work better in tandem with another one-act, to ensure a thoroughly fulfilling evening of theatre.
BWW Reviews: Cole Porter Lives at Pasadena Playhouse with KISS ME KATEBWW Reviews: Cole Porter Lives at Pasadena Playhouse with KISS ME KATE
September 24, 2014

Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate is a timeless, delightful musical romp that can be seen again and again. It's an overblown, joyous account of two egotistical actors, once married to each other, who adore one another but just cannot be around each other very long without catastrophic, calamitous results. It's also a play within a play, as Lilli Vanessi (Merle Dandridge) and Fred Graham (Wayne Brady) are on tour essaying Katharine and Petruchio in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Above all, the silly contrived story is overshadowed by Cole Porter's divine score with some of the most glorious tunes ever composed. Kiss Me Kate is a showcase to Porter's genius. The current revival at Pasadena Playhouse, although not any better than any of the other local revivals as of late, does boast the comical presence of Wayne Brady and the stunning talent of Merle Dandridge..
BWW Reviews: Valerie Perri Makes Cabaret Debut with David Burnham in TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIMEBWW Reviews: Valerie Perri Makes Cabaret Debut with David Burnham in TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME
September 23, 2014

Actors/singers David Burnham and Valerie Perri were critically acclaimed costars of Musical Theatre West's (MTW) Sunset Boulevard last season, but they have never sung together in cabaret until now. Together Again For the First Time premiered at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal on Sunday September 21, and with the opening number 'It's a Grand Night for Broadway' to the strains of 'Its a Grand Night for Singing', no finer words could appraise the evening. Accompanied on the piano and at various points in song by superior musical director Mark Vogel the trio knocked it out of the park.
BWW Reviews: SCARY MUSICAL THE MUSICAL a Fun Entertainment for NoHo ACEBWW Reviews: SCARY MUSICAL THE MUSICAL a Fun Entertainment for NoHo ACE
September 23, 2014

Clever and full of campy humor, the world premiere Scary Musical The Musical has a dangerously speedy pace that will surely keep you on your toes as you enjoyably try to figure out whodunit. Now at the NoHo Arts Center and produced by NoHo ACE, the new musical has brilliantly skilled direction and choreography from James Mellon and boasts a truly killer cast, through November 9.
BWW Reviews: Stunningly Staged EDWIN DROOD at Actors CoopBWW Reviews: Stunningly Staged EDWIN DROOD at Actors Coop
September 23, 2014

Charles Dickens' last novel, unfinished at the time of his death in 1870, supplied the story for the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood which won five Tony Awards when it first premiered in 1985. Although it won for Best Book and Best Score, I hardly find either completely satisfying. On the musical side, it's very much like operetta, with pretty singing, but with only one memorable song 'Don't Quit While You're Ahead'. As far as the book is concerned, it is a lengthy attempt to complete Dickens' story by allowing the audience to have its say...certainly a novel concept in 1985. Was he murdered? Was he in fact alive at the end? You decide! On the positive side, it is creative and very theatrical as a play within a play encouraging grande overplaying by the company of actors, and making it an assuredly fun entertainment. Despite mixed feelings about the play, I cannot but laud the current production at Actors Coop which is magnificently staged by director Stephen Van Dorn, wonderfully choreographed by Julie Hall and with an astounding ensemble... through October 26.
BWW interviews: Director LEE SANKOWICH Discusses LOW HANGING FRUITBWW interviews: Director LEE SANKOWICH Discusses LOW HANGING FRUIT
September 19, 2014

After serving sixteen years as Artistic Director of the Marin Theatre Company, Lee Sankowich resigned in 2006 to return to producing and directing independently. Among the forty five plays he directed at Marin, there were two Estate sanctioned world premieres of previously unproduced Tennessee Williams' plays. His career began with a jump start with his successful productions of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS' NEST which ran for two and a half years in New York, five and a half years in San Francisco, a year and a half in Boston, and in Israel. Since then he has worked in Regional Theatres across the country including Baltimore Center Stage, The Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, Florida Stage, Geva, Jewish Repertory Theatre, City Theatre, Center Rep, San
BWW Interview: CARNIE WILSON of Wilson Phillips Talks About Saban Concert on the 26thBWW Interview: CARNIE WILSON of Wilson Phillips Talks About Saban Concert on the 26th
September 18, 2014

Carnie, daughter of Brian Wilson, one of the original Beach Boys, and sister of Wendy Wilson, is also known for her television work and recently for creating gourmet desserts for Vitello's Ristorante in Studio City. Carnie is married to music producer Rob Bonfiglio and has two young daughters, Lola 9 and Luci 5. She recently sat down with me to chat about the upcoming concert and various aspects of her career.
BWW Reviews: Allison Brush Makes Cabaret Debut at Upstair's at Vitello'sBWW Reviews: Allison Brush Makes Cabaret Debut at Upstair's at Vitello's
September 16, 2014

Actress/lawyer Allison Brush made her very well-received cabaret debut at Upstairs at Vitello's Sunday September 14 with her show entitled For This You Went to Law School? Once an actress/singer, Brush, discouraged by rejection like many, left the profession and studied law, passing the bar exam on her first try. Now after many successful years as a lawyer, in which she claims she was miserable, she is returning to show biz, something she has sorely missed. In fact, participating in weekly sessions of Open Mic at the Gardenia and studying with songstress/master teacher Karen Morrow - law by day and singing at night - singing became her therapy.
BWW Reviews: YOU LOVE THAT I'M NOT YOUR WIFE a Real Crowd Pleaser in NoHoBWW Reviews: YOU LOVE THAT I'M NOT YOUR WIFE a Real Crowd Pleaser in NoHo
September 15, 2014

Think quirky like Moonstruck, only transplant the action from New York to Los Angeles and replace the large Italian Family with a dysfunctional community of friends and their current significant others. For those that have forgotten Moonstruck it was a hit movie in 1987 in which relationships were turned upside down, inside out under the spell of a full moon, creating odd, unpredictable sexual entanglements. It's not John Patrick Shanley but Joanne Mosconi who has written You Love That I'm Not Your Wife, and with a kooky title like that, something's got to give comedically. Now onstage in NoHo at the Avery Schreiber Playhouse, Wife is a crowd-pleaser with miles of heart, 10 very likable characters as well as the actors playing them.. under the direction of the playwright who really knows how to keep the pacing fast and bright and to stage action fully within the confines of a minimal space.
BWW Reviews: Audiences Love ARTHUR DUNCAN at the Monroe Forum Theatre of the El PortalBWW Reviews: Audiences Love ARTHUR DUNCAN at the Monroe Forum Theatre of the El Portal
September 15, 2014

What a joy-filled experience to see tap legend Arthur Duncan live onstage in his one man show One More Time! at the El Portal when he performed five shows September 12 - 14 in the Monroe Forum Theatre! Duncan was the first African American performer to do a regular TV gig - for 18 years in fact - on The Lawrence Welk Show. His legendary tapping has been seen all over the world from Australia to Egypt to Yugoslavia and on various TV shows such as Diagnosis Murder dancing with Dick Van Dyke and on the big screen in Tap with Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines.
BWW Reviews: Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista Rolls Out Red Carpet for CATCH ME IF YOU CANBWW Reviews: Moonlight Amphitheatre, Vista Rolls Out Red Carpet for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
September 12, 2014

It used to be, in days gone by, that hit Broadway shows would be made into movies; now, it's the reverse. With a dearth of ideas for Broadway musicals, the trend lately has been to turn to the big screen and revamp a popular film for the stage, adding song and dance. Such was the case with 9 to 5 and later Legally Blonde engendering quite a bit of success. Those two had female stars at the core, so it's high time a male got some attention. Voila! Catch Me If You Can has a quirky real-life story about an anti-hero Frank Abagnale Jr. (Jacob Haren) who in the 60s was called the Johnny Appleseed of fraud. The outstanding creative team of book writer Terrence McNally and musical wizards Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman took an old idea and created an entertainingly fresh showcase around it. The resultant Catch Me If You Can which received several Tony Award nominations in 2012 - one win for Norbert Leo Butz as Best Featured Actor playing Agent Carl Hanratty - is now playing in its West Coast regional premiere in Vista at the Moonlight Amphitheatre with Josh Adamson essaying Hanratty.
BWW Reviews: Fine Tuned OKLAHOMA! at Welk Resort EscondidoBWW Reviews: Fine Tuned OKLAHOMA! at Welk Resort Escondido
September 12, 2014

When Oklahoma! was first produced on Broadway in 1943 it became the first smash hit for newly formed collaborating team Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and also the first real book musical, preceded only by Showboat. It was a breakthrough musical, which when given a first-class production, is still, some 71 years later, without question, one of the greatest American musicals ever written. 'The Farmer and the Cowman' truly represents the philosophy of what America is all about, a unity and pride that is unmistakably individual. Welk Resorts' newest production is wonderfully entertaining, retaining a lot of traditional elements. Director Dan Mojica jubilantly brings together a very talented cast now in Escondido through November 16.
BWW Reviews: KRITZERLAND 4th Anniversary Show Is a WinnerBWW Reviews: KRITZERLAND 4th Anniversary Show Is a Winner
September 9, 2014

On Sunday September 7, at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal, due to an advance sell-out crowd for the 7 pm show, an additional matinee show was performed for the Fourth Anniversary of Kritzerland. Needless to say, both matinee and evening performances were sold out, making the monthly Kritzerland tributes the most popular shows at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. The anniversary party was entitled They're Playing Our Song: The Songs That Got Away III and along with special guests Kerry O'Malley and Bruce Vilanch, the big cast also included Robert Yacko, Evan Harris, Madison Claire Parks, Sami Staitman, Jenna Lea Rosen, and also little Hadley Miller, and in chorus numbers of What If?: Kimberly Hessler, Travis Leland, Bruce Merkle, and Adrienne Visnic, all under the baton of super musical director John Boswell. This marked the 49th Kritzerland show since its inception at the Gardenia in 2010, and its host Bruce Kimmel, founder of Kritzerland Records, was in rare form, doling out trivia-worthy anecdotes about every number presented, as well as singing a song himself, due to the absence of Guy Haines.
BWW Reviews: Rubicon Theatre Premieres CONVICTIONBWW Reviews: Rubicon Theatre Premieres CONVICTION
September 8, 2014

Playwright Carey Crim has a great talent for digging deep and exposing the many different layers of her characters. In Wake, her main character, an undertaker, is agoraphobic and attempting to recover from the death of her husband. She struggles to find a sense of self-worth, independence and freedom within her relationships with her mother and her teenage daughter and to accept a new love interest. In her world premiere Conviction, there's an even more critical issue facing its protagonists. Tom Hodges (Tom Astor), a high-school teacher in New Jersey, is accused of improper conduct with a female student, convicted and sent to prison for four years for a crime he may or may not have committed. His devastating struggle after release from prison is at the core of the play: a struggle to find a job and more urgently, self-worth through maintaining his relationships with his wife Leigh (Elyse Mirto), teenage son Nicholas (Daniel Burns) and friends Bruce and Jayne Wagner (Joseph Fuqua and Julie Granata), all of whom have been deeply affected by his supposed crime, some far worse than others. The friends represent only a small fraction, to be sure, of the negativity from the community at large. Heartbreaking though it is, each character must come to terms with what has happened and try to move on. The intense emotional layers that Crim unravels from all of them is astounding. Now onstage at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, Conviction boasts taut direction from Scott Schwartz and a superlative five-member ensemble, through September 28 only.
BWW Reviews: Falcon Turns to Impro for a WESTERN UNSCRIPTEDBWW Reviews: Falcon Turns to Impro for a WESTERN UNSCRIPTED
September 8, 2014

Impro Theatre's mission is to create a play from scratch in a particular style, right before the eyes of its audience. Their improvised plays include: The Twilight Zone, and the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Dickens, Tennessee Williams, even Sondheim - all unscripted. This time around it's The Western Unscripted, now onstage at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank through October 5.


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