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Ellen Dostal

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 Interviews: Emily Lopez Turns up the Heat for Revival of CARRIE THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Emily Lopez Turns up the Heat for Revival of CARRIE
Posted: Feb. 27, 2015


BWW Interviews: Misty Cotton Takes on the Mother of all Mothers in CARRIE THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Misty Cotton is the Mother of all Mothers in CARRIE
Posted: Mar. 4, 2015


BWW Reviews: PROPERTIES OF SILENCE Resonates with DepthBWW Reviews: PROPERTIES OF SILENCE Resonates with Depth
Posted: Mar. 7, 2015


LAST 365 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: OSF's Breathlessly Enchanting INTO THE WOODS at The WallisBWW Reviews: OSF's Enchanting INTO THE WOODS
Posted: Dec. 5, 2014


BWW Reviews: Deaf West and Michael Arden Discover a New SPRING AWAKENINGBWW Reviews: Deaf West Theatre's SPRING AWAKENING
Posted: Sep. 17, 2014


BWW Interviews: Luke Kernaghan Talks DUNSINANE and the Continuation of MACBETHBWW Interviews: Luke Kernaghan Talks DUNSINANE and the Continuation of MACBETH
March 18, 2015

What if Shakespeare's Macbeth wasn't the end of the story? It's intriguing, isn't it; to consider a world in which Lady Macbeth might have survived, for she would most certainly not have gone quietly into the night. Playwright David Greig thought so too and, beginning March 27th, LA Shakespeare lovers will have a chance to see his modern day sequel to The Scottish Play when the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company bring DUNSINANE to The Wallis in Beverly Hills.
BWW Reviews: HENRY IV, PART ONE, by The Rogues of AntaeusBWW Reviews: HENRY IV, PART ONE, by The Rogues of Antaeus
March 18, 2015

A striking image hovers above the action in HENRY IV, PART ONE at The Antaeus Company. It is a partial rendering of the planets orbiting the sun which serves as a constant reminder that this is the journey of a king-in-the-making. As Prince Hal, also known as Harry, slowly transitions from party boy to royal warrior, its glow becomes more and more noticeable until it finally overtakes the stage.
BWW Preview: Newly Restored TALES OF HOFFMAN to play The CinefamilyBWW Preview: Newly Restored TALES OF HOFFMAN to play The Cinefamily
March 11, 2015

A luscious new 4K digital restoration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1951 Technicolor film TALES OF HOFFMAN (in English) will be screened at The Cinefamily, March 13 - 19. This new restoration is supervised by Martin Scorsese and Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker, wife of director Powell and Scorsese's longtime film editor, and contains eight minutes of never before seen footage along with newly restored footage not seen since the 1951 release.
BWW Reviews: PROPERTIES OF SILENCE Resonates with DepthBWW Reviews: PROPERTIES OF SILENCE Resonates with Depth
March 7, 2015

No reality exists in which an historical figure from the 17th century would end up in the present day kitchen of a realtor in Phoenix, Arizona but in the dreamtime of PROPERTIES OF SILENCE all things are possible. Here, authors Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo, and Alan Pulner explore the imagination of necessity by transcending time to merge the stories of two women led by the calling of their own inner voice.
BWW Interviews: Misty Cotton Takes on the Mother of all Mothers in CARRIE THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Misty Cotton Takes on the Mother of all Mothers in CARRIE THE MUSICAL
March 4, 2015

Last week we introduced you to Emily Lopez, soon to be playing Carrie in the revival of CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Today we meet Misty Cotton, the other powerhouse actor who will be leading the cast as the mother of all mothers, Margaret White. A day off from rehearsals gave Misty a chance to catch her breath and tell us a little about her road to CARRIE and what it's like stepping into this iconic role.
BWW Reviews: The Porters Present a Prohibition Era OTHELLOBWW Reviews: The Porters Present a Prohibition Era OTHELLO
March 3, 2015

Why does Iago hate the Moor? That has always been the great question in OTHELLO and one for which Shakespeare provides no definitive answer. Yes, he feels slighted when Othello promotes Cassio over him but is that enough reason to plot the general's demise? Is it because he believes that Othello has slept with his wife, or because of the color of his skin? Or are Iago's actions fueled by something deeper like self-loathing?
BWW Interviews: Emily Lopez Turns up the Heat for Revival of CARRIE THE MUSICALBWW Interviews: Emily Lopez Turns up the Heat for Revival of CARRIE THE MUSICAL
February 27, 2015

One of the most highly anticipated productions in LA is the upcoming revival of CARRIE THE MUSICAL opening March 18 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Word has it that the performance will take place all over the theater in what will be a truly immersive experience. Based on the Stephen King unforgettable horror novel, the revival reunites the original creative team: bookwriter Lawrence D. Cohen (screenwriter of the classic film) who has revised the book, lyricist Dean Pitchford (Fame, Footloose), and composer Michael Gore (Fame, Terms of Endearment). Carrie has always been the kind of story that prompts a strong reaction. People who love it, really love it. As for those of us in the musical theatre community - we can't wait to see what happens at this high school prom. Today we get a first look at one of the actresses who is headlining the show, Emily Lopez, who plays Carrie White, as she talks about high school, auditioning for Carrie, and that blue prom dress.
BWW Reviews: It's Delicious Thievery in A Noise Within's THE THREEPENNY OPERABWW Reviews: It's Delicious Thievery in A Noise Within's THE THREEPENNY OPERA
February 25, 2015

The first thing you notice when you step into the theater for A Noise Within's THE THREEPENNY OPERA is Frederica Nascimento's stunningly vivid set design. It's a deconstruction in which none of the elements are hidden: lighting instruments are in plain sight; pieces of scenery hang suggestively from the rails but without trying to make a complete picture; furniture litters the upstage areas and props are scattered about; the band is in plain view tuning up on one side and actors in rags are already roaming the audience.
BWW Reviews: Good People Theater Company's Elegant CLOSER THAN EVERBWW Reviews: Good People Theater Company's Elegant CLOSER THAN EVER
February 24, 2015

A tastefully elegant production of Maltby & Shire's CLOSER THAN EVER brings the duo's beautiful and thought-provoking songs to life in the intimate performance space at Hollywood Piano in Burbank. It's a co-production between Good People Theater Company and Hollywood Piano; a partnership that means the audience gets the rare opportunity to hear the score played on a gorgeous 9 foot Mason & Hamlin grand piano.
BWW Photo Review: Les 7 Doigts de la main in SEQUENCE 8BWW Photo Review: Les 7 Doigts de la main in SEQUENCE 8
February 20, 2015

On Thursday, February 19th, Valley Performing Arts Center brought the beauty and artistry of Les 7 doigts de la main to Southern California audiences in a one-night-only performance of Sequence 8. Breathtaking acrobatics, unexpected humor, and exciting innovation are the hallmarks of this mesmerizing piece of storytelling.
Shaun Taylor-Corbett to Star in Native Voices at the Autry's OFF THE RAILSShaun Taylor-Corbett to Star in Native Voices at the Autry's OFF THE RAILS
February 20, 2015

Continuing its role as the only Equity theatre company dedicated to developing new work by Native American artists, Native Voices at the Autry presents OFF THE RAILS by Randy Reinholz (Choctaw*), starring Shaun Taylor-Corbett. A bawdy and irreverent adaptation of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure set in Buffalo Bill's Wild West, the production is presented as part of Native Voices at the Autry's 2014-2015 season, themed 'Legacy and Loss: Stories From the Indian Boarding School.'
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: ROMEO AND JULIET with Joseph FiennesShakespeare Uncovered Preview: ROMEO AND JULIET with Joseph Fiennes
February 10, 2015

In the final episode of Shakespeare Uncovered - Series II, Joseph Fiennes takes a look at Shakespeare's most often performed play, Romeo and Juliet, and the relevance it has in our world today. It is the story of two teenagers whose deep, profound love heals a deeply pathetic hatred between warring families and leaves the audience with a puzzling redemption. Love and death, conflict and pride, this play has it all.
BWW Reviews: Chance Theater's LOCH NESS, a new musical is Pure MagicBWW Reviews: Chance Theater's LOCH NESS, a new musical is Pure Magic
February 10, 2015

There was a moment in Chance Theater's LOCH NESS, a new musical, when I realized I had fallen completely in love with it; when everything suddenly came together in the most wonderful of ways - the glow of the lighting on a handful of heart wide open actors, the lyrical swell of their singing voices soaring with hope, a fog rising from a sea of imagination brought to life with unexpected delight - all of it morphed into what can only be described as pure magic.
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA with Kim CattrallShakespeare Uncovered Preview: ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA with Kim Cattrall
February 9, 2015

Next on Shakespeare Uncovered, Kim Cattrall goes back 2000 years to explore the epic love story between a Roman General and an Egyptian Queen, two of the most powerful people in the world. She says theirs was an almost sadistic love affair and although she has played Cleopatra twice, she still has questions about the woman.
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: OTHELLO with David HarewoodShakespeare Uncovered Preview: OTHELLO with David Harewood
February 5, 2015

In the fourth installment of Shakespeare Uncovered - Series 2, David Harewood asks a very difficult question. Could you kill a person you love? Shakespeare made his audience confront that question when he created the character of Othello 400 years ago. It holds a key to understanding how such a strong warrior could end up so vulnerable that he would actually consider killing his wife. Harewood says, 'Whether you love him or hate him, we have to understand Othello. If you don't understand Othello, I don't think you understand yourself.'
BWW Reviews: Chemistry Counts in MURDER FOR TWOBWW Reviews: Chemistry Counts in MURDER FOR TWO
February 4, 2015

This two-man tour de force musical comedy mystery is killing it on stage at The Old Globe in San Diego - or, rather, it's killing someone - and that someone is none other than Great American Novelist, Arthur Whitney. Unfortunately, this is one birthday party the much-hated author will never get to enjoy since he takes a bullet to the head in the first few minutes of the musical with all of his guests in attendance.
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW with Morgan FreemanShakespeare Uncovered Preview: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW with Morgan Freeman
February 4, 2015

Is it sexist or subversive? Morgan Freeman says he's always seen The Taming of the Shrew as a country tale, one that he feels is Shakespeare's most compelling comedy. In the next episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, Freeman takes a look at the play and explores that question, as well as what is at the heart of it all, love.
BWW Preview: Les 7 Doigts de la Main Brings Emotional Acrobatics to VPACBWW Preview: Les 7 Doigts de la Main Brings Emotional Acrobatics to VPAC
February 4, 2015

Les 7 doigts de la main returns to Southern California for a one-night-only performance of Sequence 8, a uniquely theatrical production full of the company's signature acrobatics, at Valley Performing Arts Center on February 19.
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: KING LEAR with Christopher PlummerShakespeare Uncovered Preview: KING LEAR with Christopher Plummer
January 29, 2015

In the second episode of Shakespeare Uncovered II, airing at 10:00 pm on January 30th, Christopher Plummer explores Shakespeare's great tragedy, KING LEAR. It is a role he knows well, having played the doomed king in a critically acclaimed production that was directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.
Shakespeare Uncovered Preview: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Hugh BonnevilleShakespeare Uncovered Preview: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM with Hugh Bonneville
January 28, 2015

Get ready Shakespeare lovers! Shakespeare Uncovered returns to PBS this Friday, January 30th. Like the first series, the second celebrity-hosted installment will cover a wealth of information, including a look at some iconic performances, historical and biographical data, and new analysis by noted scholars and guests, all of which will open up six of Shakespeare's greatest plays.


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