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: 24th Street Theatre's HANSEL AND GRETEL BLUEGRASS Is Artful StorytellingBWW Review: HANSEL AND GRETEL BLUEGRASS at 24th Street Theatre
Posted: Oct. 31, 2016


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
Posted: Nov. 4, 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: 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.

BWW Review: The Troubies and Getty Villa Throw a HAUNTED HOUSE PARTYBWW Review: The Troubies and Getty Villa Throw a HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY
September 9, 2016

Troubadour Theatre Company's classless clowns of classical comedy go rogue in their latest adaptation at the Getty Villa. Taking generous liberties with the source material (Plautus's Mostellaria) they reinvent the over-2000-year-old play as HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY, A Roman Comedy in their own unique style. Yes, it's definitely 'a comedy tonight.'

BWW Review: NEWSIES Continues to Win Audiences' Affection in LABWW Review: NEWSIES Continues to Win Audiences' Affection in LA
September 1, 2016

I already knew Disney's NEWSIES had developed cult status before I saw the show. Its legions of loyal 'Fansies' have championed it from the very beginning. But even I wasn't prepared for the audience's screams of appreciation for the hard-working boys - and one girl - who form the heart of the current national tour playing at the Hollywood Pantages through September 4th.

Theatre in Historic Places: THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS at El Molino ViejoTheatre in Historic Places: THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS at El Molino Viejo
August 25, 2016

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to enjoy an evening of theatre outdoors in one of the area's loveliest and most unique venues - El Molino Viejo, The Old Mill, in San Marino. I'd never been there before, but since I love historic buildings and grew up on Sunday afternoon westerns, I was immediately intrigued by an invitation to see THE LIGHT OF WESTERN STARS in the mill's garden courtyard.

BWW Review: CHICKSPEARE Moves, Audience Laughs, Comedy WinsBWW Review: CHICKSPEARE Moves, Audience Laughs, Comedy Wins
August 9, 2016

The ladies of CHICKSPEARE are back for another summer of Elizabethan improv, this year indoors in their new home at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. It's been two years since I saw them perform on their lovely outdoor patio in Hollywood and I wondered how the experience would compare. I'm happy to report, these Bard broads get funnier every time I see them and the new venue works like a charm.

BWW Review: IN & OF ITSELF, Where Theatre and Magic Become ArtBWW Review: IN & OF ITSELF, Where Theatre and Magic Become Art
August 2, 2016

In 1817, 'poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined the phrase 'willing suspension of disbelief' and suggested that if a writer could infuse a 'human interest and a semblance of truth' into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative.' [Wikipedia]

BWW Review: It's Austen Time - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY / I LOVE YOU BECAUSEBWW Review: It's Austen Time - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY / I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
July 25, 2016

This past week I saw two different musicals that have taken their inspiration from classic Jane Austen novels and, while completely different in size and scale, both have considerable merits. The first is in San Diego where Paul Gordon's to-die-for new musical SENSE AND SENSIBILITY is gracing the stage at The Old Globe.

BWW Review: Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, The Experience - RICHARD IIIBWW Review: Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, The Experience - RICHARD III
July 7, 2016

How many different ways are there to say how much Angelenos love the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival? Thousands. Ask anyone who's ever parked themselves on a blanket or lawn chair with their family and friends and you'll get as many different answers as there are people in the audience.



...
1