Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal is a longtime west coast editor and reviewer for BroadwayWorld.com. A self-professed musical theatre geek, she also publishes two popular Southern California theatre blogs – Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA – and has covered jazz and classical events for the KJazz 88.1 FM and K-Mozart 1260 AM Arts and Music Blogs. As a founding member of New Musicals Inc’s repertory company, she has developed roles in countless new works, many of which have been produced regionally and in New York. She also continues to work as an actress, singer, and voiceover artist in Los Angeles.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Michael Arden Reinvigorates MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at The WallisBWW Review: Michael Arden Reinvigorates MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at The Wallis
Posted: Dec. 7, 2016


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: FIGHTING SHADOWS - An L.A. Story of Love and RedemptionBWW Review: FIGHTING SHADOWS - An L.A. Story of Love and Redemption
Posted: Apr. 20, 2016


BWW Review: Disney Premieres Gorgeous FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERIONBWW Review: Disney Premieres Gorgeous FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERION
Posted: May. 29, 2016


BWW Review: CIRCUS 1903 Recreates the Golden Age of Circus at the Hollywood PantagesBWW Review: CIRCUS 1903 Recreates the Golden Age of Circus at the Hollywood Pantages
February 16, 2017

If Dorothy in THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZhad run away from home and found this traveling circusinstead of Professor Marvel and his crystal ball, she might never have gotten swept up in a twister and landed in Munchkinland. Instead, she might have become part of a new family, the kind that traveled the dust bowl in the early part of the twentieth century and instilled a sense of wonder in every child who was lucky enough to hear that the circus was coming to town.

BWW Review: To the Genius of Oscar Levant - FOR PIANO AND HARPO at Falcon TheatreBWW Review: To the Genius of Oscar Levant - FOR PIANO AND HARPO at Falcon Theatre
February 13, 2017

Pulling double duty as both playwright and star, Dan Castellaneta portrays Oscar Levant in his latest new work, FOR PIANO AND HARPO. Levant was a concert pianist, and contemporary of George Gershwin, whose genius gave him entree into the glittering worlds of classical music, Broadway, and Hollywood but whose private demons ultimately undermined his career. The play explores Levant's addictions and mental health issues while committed to a Mt. Sinai psych ward in 1956, on the Jack Paar Show in 1962, and during an extended stay at the home of his friend, Harpo Marx, in 1935.

BWW Feature: Center Theatre Group and FUN HOME Announce Choir CompetitionBWW Feature: Center Theatre Group and FUN HOME Announce Choir Competition
February 6, 2017

Heads up singers - want to win tickets to see Fun Home at the Ahmanson? Center Theatre Group is holding a cool choir competition in conjunction with the upcoming national tour of Fun Home, which begins performances at the Ahmanson Theatre on February 21st!

BWW Review: An Elegant Revival of THE LAST FIVE YEARS Soars in La MiradaBWW Review: An Elegant Revival of THE LAST FIVE YEARS Soars in La Mirada
January 25, 2017

Jason Robert Brown's THE LAST FIVE YEARS is the kind of musical you often find produced in small theaters and black boxes. Written for a cast of two, it can be done very simply without much in the way of a set or props making it a popular choice for those with a limited budget or other technical constraints.

BWW Review: Love Transcends the Limitations of Language in Casa 0101's ALADDIN Dual Language EditionBWW Review: Love Transcends the Limitations of Language in Casa 0101's ALADDIN Dual Language Edition
January 20, 2017

Love transcends the limitations of language in Casa 0101's charming production of Disney's ALADDIN Dual Language Edition/Edicion De Lenguaje Dual and that uplifting message is a takeaway that never loses its luster. The simple story of Aladdin (Daniel Martinez) and his magic lamp overcoming the villainous Jafar (Omar Mata), with the help of a jovial Genie (Lewis Powell III) and his loyal pet monkey (Sebastian Gonzalez), has become a family favorite thanks to the popularity of Disney's 1992 animated film.

BWW Review: Christopher Reiner Reflects on the Road in END UP HEREBWW Review: Christopher Reiner Reflects on the Road in END UP HERE
January 18, 2017

Composer Christopher Reiner serves up a sixty-minute set of original songs and prose selections at ZJU Theatre Group that demonstrates the unique range of programming found at Zombie Joe's North Hollywood establishment. The company's niche is live horror and they have gained tremendous popularity with productions like their URBAN DEATH series and other renegade theatre pieces that deliver a purposely disquieting 'underground' take on the world. But ZJU also produces a wide variety of other theatrical offerings including Shakespeare, musicals, and even family theatre under its Limecat banner.

BWW Interview: Jeffrey Kahane - Venturing Out Into What Matters with LOST IN THE STARSBWW Interview: Jeffrey Kahane - Venturing Out Into What Matters with LOST IN THE STARS
January 16, 2017

Not since 1950 have audiences in L.A. been able to see a live professional performance of Kurt Weill's musical masterpiece LOST IN THE STARS. That changes this month when the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane, presents a brand new production in partnership with CAP UCLA. Set during the era of South African apartheid, the devastating taleof a black minister whose son accidentally kills a white neighbor's son explores racial inequalities and the courage it takes to forgive when faced with an impossible moral dilemma.

BWW Review: Michael Arden Reinvigorates MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at The WallisBWW Review: Michael Arden Reinvigorates MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at The Wallis
December 7, 2016

When MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG opened on Broadway in 1981, no one anticipated that it would be a flop. With a score by Stephen Sondheim and direction by Hal Prince, it should have been the next success in a series of highly successful collaborations by the two kings of musical theatre, following such game changers as COMPANY, FOLLIES, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, PACIFIC OVERTURES, and SWEENEY TODD

BWW Interview: Todd Lerew Offers Insight into AMERICA'S SHAKESPEARE: THE BARD GOES WESTBWW Interview: Todd Lerew Offers Insight into AMERICA'S SHAKESPEARE: THE BARD GOES WEST
November 14, 2016

Something may be rotten in the state of Denmark but, in Los Angeles, Shakespeare lovers will find all the joy that they can wish when the Library Foundation of Los Angeles opens its newest exhibit: American's Shakespeare: The Bard Goes West on November 17 at the Central Library. The show is a partnership between the Library Foundation, the Los Angeles Public Library, and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC and will not only offer a look at his incredible legacy worldwide but show how Shakespeare's impact was felt here in California.

BWW Review: Cirque du Soleil Creates a Wondrous World in TORUK - THE FIRST FLIGHTBWW Review: Cirque du Soleil Creates a Wondrous World in TORUK - THE FIRST FLIGHT
November 4, 2016

Don LaFontaine was one of the most prolific voice actors in the movie industry for more years than I can even remember, until his death in 2008. You may not know his name but you've certainly heard his deep bass voice and famous catch phrase, 'In a world' in hundreds of movie trailers during his more than forty-year career. Were he alive today and recording the movie trailer for TORUK - THE FIRST FLIGHT, that signature 'in a world' would be the perfect beginning to describe what Cirque du Soleil has created in this stunning yet atypical foray into acro-musical storytelling.

BWW Review: Rubicon Theatre's RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET is Scintillating Sci-Fi FunBWW Review: Rubicon Theatre's RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET is Scintillating Sci-Fi Fun
November 2, 2016

Rubicon Theatre Company lands a winner with its latest musical comedy RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANETby Bob Carlton. The silly sci-fi confection is two hours of deliciously kitschy fun accompanied by a rock and roll score that blasts out more than twenty hits from the '50s and '60s and a dynamite cast that spews planetary puns and classical text faster than the speed of light.

BWW Review: 24th Street Theatre's HANSEL AND GRETEL BLUEGRASS Is Artful StorytellingBWW Review: 24th Street Theatre's HANSEL AND GRETEL BLUEGRASS Is Artful Storytelling
October 31, 2016

24th Street Theatre takes on the Brothers Grimm in its latest world premiere Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass by Bryan Davidson, but forget the fairy tale you think you know. This is no sanitized version of the story. The original, written in 1812, was a cautionary tale, bleak in its portrayal of a time when it was commonplace for impoverished families to abandon their children for lack of food and resources. The thought was that they would somehow find a way to survive and maybe even be better off on their own. It's a heartbreaking decision for any parent to make and, unfortunately, one that families in dire circumstances around the world still face today.

Theatre in Historic Places: Unbound Productions Takes MYSTERY LIT to the Santa Anita Train DepotTheatre in Historic Places: Unbound Productions Takes MYSTERY LIT to the Santa Anita Train Depot
October 26, 2016

Back in 2008, the creators of Unbound Productions - Jonathan Josephson, Paul Millet, and Jeff G. Rack - bet that audiences were ready for something different. That's when the trio began to explore adapting classical literature to create a new kind of immersive theatre no one had seen before. You know them better as the guys who produce Wicked Lit.

BWW Review: SKULLDUGGERY: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet, a Rowdy Good TimeBWW Review: SKULLDUGGERY: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet, a Rowdy Good Time
October 11, 2016

I love a good prequel, especially when a contemporary playwright decides to take on the back story of a hallowed play by the likes of William Shakespeare. I mean, come on. Daring to tread on that playing field takes some guts because you know before you begin that audiences are going to have high expectations of your work. They also know where you need to end your story in order for Shakespeare's to begin so getting there must be highly inventive and worthy of its foregone conclusion.

BWW Review: THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)BWW Review: THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)
October 7, 2016

The Blank Theatre opens its 26th season with a new work written and directed by founding artistic director Daniel Henning that explores one of the most controversial events in U.S. history - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare) is the result of several decades of research during which time Henning has come to be recognized as an authority on the subject. That, combined with his other great obsession - live theatre - meant it was only a matter of time before LA audiences would see a stage play based on his work.

Overtone Industries Presents The ICELAND Concert at the Ford, Friday, October 7thOvertone Industries Presents The ICELAND Concert at the Ford, Friday, October 7th
October 4, 2016

Overtone Industries, a celebrated force in the evolution of contemporary music theatre and experimental opera, will share the next phase of its epic new multidisciplinary production,ICELAND, in concert form, at theFord Theatres'stunning, newly renovated amphitheatre in Los Angeles onFriday, October 7, 2016 at 8:30pm.

Theatre in Historic Places: OKTOBERFEST THE MUSICAL at the Crest TheatreTheatre in Historic Places: OKTOBERFEST THE MUSICAL at the Crest Theatre
September 28, 2016

Frances Seymour Fonda, actor Henry Fonda's second wife, was only 32 years old when the theater she commissioned architect Arthur W. Hawes to build opened in December of 1940. Originally known as the Westwood Theater, it was designed to be a performance space for live productions and for a short time it did fulfill that mission. Across town, movie musicals like Busby Berkeley's Strike Up the Band and Down Argentine Way were becoming box office hits as Tinseltown capitalized on the popularity of established young stars such as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney and soon-to-be stars like pin-up girl Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda.

BWW Review: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at the Norris Center - It Vas a Fun Night, YaBWW Review: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at the Norris Center - It Vas a Fun Night, Ya
September 27, 2016

When October hits and Halloween horror movies begin to flood late night TV, you can always count on at least one station somewhere airing Mel Brooks' 1974 classic comedy YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. But this year, the situation is a little different. With the recent passing of Gene Wilder, who stars in the title role and also co-wrote the film with Brooks, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN has been making many more appearances than usual in tribute to Wilder's uncommon genius. As a writer and actor, the film was some of his finest work and will continue to make audiences laugh for years to come.

BWW Review: A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Story: A Legacy of Letting GoBWW Review: A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Story: A Legacy of Letting Go
September 23, 2016

The essence of Latino Theatre Company's monumental production of A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Story is beautifully captured in the simple photograph above. In this starry night scene, a family poised on the edge of major change looks to the infinite sky with hope. Quietly, in these few moments of silence, we as audience members know exactly how they feel. For what parent has not dreamed of providing a better life for his or her children and what child has not longed for a future where dreams come true?

BWW Review: GENERATION ME Tackles Important Teen IssuesBWW Review: GENERATION ME Tackles Important Teen Issues
September 19, 2016

Two years ago this teen musical was one of the best new works to come through Hollywood. Its young writers Julie Soto, Ryan Warren, and composer Will Finan had found a way to tell a story about teen suicide that was relatable to both youth and adults alike. It's a parent's worst nightmare; the thought of your own child suffering in silence and one that also speaks to the isolation that persists among many adults as well.



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