Ellen Dostal

In addition to being part of the west coast Broadway World team, Ellen also publishes two popular Southern California Theatre Blogs - Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals across the country.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric AffairBWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric Affair
Posted: Jul. 14, 2014


BWW Reviews: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Historic Pico HouseBWW Reviews: Downtown Rep's MERCHANT OF VENICE
Posted: Jul. 12, 2014


BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co. Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHTBWW Reviews: ISC Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHT
Posted: Jul. 8, 2014


BWW Reviews: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLOBWW Reviews: Underwood and Thomas in a Powerful OTHELLO
Posted: Jul. 12, 2014


BWW Reviews: ZJU Theatre Group Goes Sexy for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMBWW Reviews: ZJU Theatre Group Goes Sexy for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Posted: Jul. 6, 2014


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Interviews: Glory|Struck Productions' BARE: An Inside LookBWW Interviews: Glory|Struck Productions' BARE
Posted: Sep. 3, 2013


BWW Reviews: 50 SHADES! The Musical - A Parody With Balls!BWW Reviews: 50 SHADES! The Musical - A Parody With Balls!
Posted: Mar. 3, 2014


BWW Reviews: THE PRODUCERS - Another Big Hit for 3-D TheatricalsBWW Reviews: THE PRODUCERS - Another Big Hit for 3-D Theatricals
Posted: Feb. 6, 2014


BWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: SUPER GAY ASIAN CABARETBWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: SUPER GAY ASIAN CABARET
Posted: May. 19, 2014


BWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric AffairBWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric Affair
Posted: Jul. 14, 2014


BWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric AffairBWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric Affair
July 14, 2014

It is a chilling conclusion when Kimberly Scott repeats the text of the prologue again at the end of ROMEO AND JULIET while standing over the dead bodies of the lovers. You can hear the bitter warning in her voice as she slowly looks from one end of the stage to the other at two fathers who have paid the price of their feud in blood. As her weighty words hang in the air, the lights dim and Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles's magnificent production fades out.
BWW Reviews: Theatricum Botanicum Broadens Perceptions in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELLBWW Reviews: Theatricum Botanicum Broadens Perceptions in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
July 14, 2014

In Theatricum Botanicum's ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, the action begins and ends with a song. At rise it is the somber lamentation that accompanies a funeral procession and at the play's conclusion, an uplifting madrigal 'Sing We Enchant It.'
BWW Reviews: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLOBWW Reviews: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLO
July 12, 2014

There is no redemption in OTHELLO. Shakespeare has provided no late opportunity to undo what has been done, no chance to make amends for the terrible wrongs lavished upon the innocent, and no way for the audience to feel anything but horror for the treachery that has filled the stage for two and a half hours.
BWW Reviews: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Historic Pico HouseBWW Reviews: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Historic Pico House
July 12, 2014

Within the courtyard of the historic Pico House in downtown LA, the Downtown Repertory Theater Company is in the midst of offering its sixth season of classical works. Led by artistic director Devon Armstrong, they have taken on Chekhov, Marlowe, Odets and numerous plays by Shakespeare, all while encouraging actors to tackle roles they might not otherwise have the opportunity to play.
BWW Reviews: SOC Sails to the South Pacific for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMBWW Reviews: SOC Sails to the South Pacific for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
July 10, 2014

Yes, it takes a village. Shakespeare Orange County has pulled out all the stops, and even enlisted a not-so-secret weapon, to accomplish an extraordinarily beautiful debut in its first official production under new artistic director John Walcutt
BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co. Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHTBWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co. Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHT
July 8, 2014

Over the past ten years, Independent Shakespeare Co. has staked its claim on the city of Los Angeles with its 'of the people, by the people, for the people' brand of Shakespeare. Built from the ground up by two regular people (Melissa Chalsma and David Melville) who love what they do, they have created a fiercely loyal following that can't get enough of their kind of real-people theatre.
BWW Reviews: ZJU Theatre Group Goes Sexy for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAMBWW Reviews: ZJU Theatre Group Goes Sexy for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
July 6, 2014

It never ceases to amaze me how effectively the members of Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group can create an atmosphere in their incredibly intimate - make that tiny - black box. You would think a small space might limit their options but they have proven, over and over again, their innate ability to suggest time and place using even the simplest of objects.
BWW Reviews: Fringe Review: THE WEREWOLVES OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD Rocks the FringeBWW Reviews: Fringe Review: THE WEREWOLVES OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD Rocks the Fringe
June 28, 2014

I have to say...I really loved this crazy new rock musical. In my book, it's the kind of show that embodies all that is best about the Fringe, with its unconventional characters, sly direction (by Aaron Lyons), pert choreography (by Michelle LaVon), and wicked twist on a relevant message.
ISC Releases a Video Preview of This Year's Griffith Park Free Shakespeare FestivalISC Releases a Video Preview of This Year's Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival
June 18, 2014

This summer, Shakespeare's delightful and romantic comedy is given a Downton Abbey-twist with elegant and sumptuous costumes and the ringing sounds of the early twentieth-century music hall as Independent Shakespeare Co. presents Shakespeare's Twelfth Night or What You Will, directed by ISC's artistic director Melissa Chalsma.
BWW Reviews: Fringe Review: Jacob's Sidney's HAMLET MAXBWW Reviews: Fringe Review: Jacob's Sidney's HAMLET MAX
June 18, 2014

The title of Jacob Sidney's futuristic Hamlet refers to the Dane's dead father Maximus, a character who never appears live on stage but only materializes as part of Hillary Bauman's black & white anime projections on a screen behind the actors. The audience sees the ghost fade in and out behind them while a mirthless Hamlet peers out over the audience and responds to his father somewhere out in the empty wasteland beyond us
BWW Reviews: Blood, Guts and Classic Troubie Mayhem in ABBAMEMNONBWW Reviews: Blood, Guts and Classic Troubie Mayhem in ABBAMEMNON
June 17, 2014

After a particularly long laundry list of names in which Helen of Troy jumps out as the only familiar one, Chorus Leader Rob Nagle says in a completely deadpan voice, 'Don't worry... that's the last name you'll recognize tonight,' and everyone bursts into laughter.
BWW Reviews: STONEFACE Gets a New Life at Pasadena PlayhouseBWW Reviews: STONEFACE Gets a New Life at Pasadena Playhouse
June 16, 2014

Vanessa Claire Stewart's Stoneface, the Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton, first produced at Sacred Fools Theatre Company in 2012, finds fresh life in a newly remounted production simply titled STONEFACE at Pasadena Playhouse. With a bigger budget, more space in which to play, and clearly enhanced with an eye to continuing its life beyond Los Angeles, it should be set for a rousing success.
BWW Reviews: Fringe Review: Generation ME The Musical Has a Lot to SayBWW Reviews: Fringe Review: Generation ME The Musical Has a Lot to Say
June 16, 2014

You may think you've seen it all before but GENERATION ME isn't just another story about teen suicide. In all honesty, this new full-length musical from three first-time writers is the surprise of the festival. It has moments - a lot of them - that will knock the wind out of you, and for much of the performance I attended, the audience was so quiet and so engaged you could hear a pin drop.
BWW Reviews: Fringe Review: GIRAFFENSTEIN, Frankenstein with Singing and Dancing GiraffesBWW Reviews: Fringe Review: GIRAFFENSTEIN, Frankenstein with Singing and Dancing Giraffes
June 16, 2014

This original one-act pop musical aims high and often hits its mark although it may not be the musical you think it's going to be. While it contains a fair amount of wry humor, don't expect the kind of silliness you found in The Pokemusical, the team's entry into last year's Fringe Festival. This twist on the Frankenstein story has a more sophisticated harmonic structure and a richer musical texture that gives it an added edge.
BWW Reviews: A Formidable Ellen Geer Becomes LEAR at Theatricum BotanicumBWW Reviews: A Formidable Ellen Geer Becomes LEAR at Theatricum Botanicum
June 14, 2014

A frightening thing happens when a woman plays the title role in a gender-reversed King Lear; the betrayal and revenge between mother and sons takes on an added level of horror. What was already tragic to begin with, as originally written for a father and daughters, now feels even more threatening in the reverse.
BWW Reviews: ZOMBIES FROM THE BEYOND This Fringe Hit Gets a Big Thumbs UpBWW Reviews: ZOMBIES FROM THE BEYOND This Fringe Hit Gets a Big Thumbs Up
June 12, 2014

This is the kind of musical even non-musical theatre folks will love! Forget any idea of skipping it because it is a hilariously fun send-up of the 1950s and sci-fi B-movies directed by Dan Spurgeon and choreographed by Anna Safar with spot-on cheeseball precision, featuring a cast that knows how to play the comedy without ruining it.
BWW Reviews: Maura Hanlon Smith in LIFE, LOVE AND ALL THAT COMES WITH ITBWW Reviews: Maura Hanlon Smith in LIFE, LOVE AND ALL THAT COMES WITH IT
June 10, 2014

Michael Sterling celebrated the 8th anniversary of his popular Supper Club, Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal, on Monday, June 9th, continuing a tradition he began in 2006 to honor his dear friend and mentor, Rosemary Clooney. Sterling promised her that he would make sure future generations would be able to hear the music of Broadway and the Great American Songbook in LA. A man of his word, he has presented over 600 shows since closing his doors at his original venue at Vitello's and opening at The Federal in 2012.
BWW Reviews: The Old Globe's New Musical DOG AND PONYBWW Reviews: The Old Globe's New Musical DOG AND PONY
June 10, 2014

An Idaho film festival reunites a pair of estranged screenwriters in the new musical DOG AND PONY by Rick Elise (Peter and the Starcatcher, Jersey Boys) and Michael Patrick Walker (Altar Boyz). As Mags (Nicole Parker) and Andy (Jon Patrick Walker) rehash memories from their 13-year partnership, we quickly see that this dysfunctional relationship was doomed from the start. We also know from the beginning how this musical is going to end.
Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks in Los Angeles and San DiegoSummer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks in Los Angeles and San Diego
June 4, 2014

Here are Summer Stages Picks from Broadwayworld's Ellen Dostal for what to see in Los Angeles and San Diego.
BWW Reviews: Diane Haithman Kills in DARK LADY OF HOLLYWOODBWW Reviews: Diane Haithman Kills in DARK LADY OF HOLLYWOOD
June 3, 2014

It was only natural that former Los Angeles Times writer and current Deadline|Hollywood contributor Diane Haithman would one day turn the tables on the town she has covered with such precision for the last 25+ years. A writer after my own heart, she also knows her Shakespeare Ps and Qs.


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