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.

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MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

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


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
Posted: Aug. 25, 2016


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


BWW Review: GENERATION ME Tackles Important Teen IssuesWW Review: GENERATION ME Tackles Teen Issues
Posted: Sep. 19, 2016


BWW Review: A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Story: A Legacy of Letting GoBWW Review: A MEXICAN TRILOGY: An American Story
Posted: Sep. 23, 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


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.
BWW Review: Imagination Reigns in Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's HENRY VBWW Review: Imagination Reigns in Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's HENRY V
July 5, 2016

Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's production of HENRY V takes its cue from one of Shakespeare's most well-known speeches, "O for a Muse of fire," the prologue to this play. In it, Shakespeare invites the audience to use its imagination in viewing what is about to transpire, to picture the battle scenes that will take place and the great kings who will lead their armies across the vast countryside, all represented on this humble stage.
BWW Review: ROMEO AND JULIET Through the Lens of the Middle East by Way of Topanga CanyonBWW Review: ROMEO AND JULIET Through the Lens of the Middle East by Way of Topanga Canyon
July 5, 2016

Not even a wall can keep these lovers apart. This particular wall happens to be in modern-day East Jerusalem and as Theatricum Botanicum's production of ROMEO AND JULIET commences, chaos ignites at a checkpoint that divides Israel and Palestine. It is a city that has seen struggle for thousands of years and for one Muslim boy named Romeo and one Jewish girl named Juliet, not even their innocence can change the course of this story.
BWW Interview: Christopher Hoag's Cinematic Approach to Writing Music for ShakespeareBWW Interview: Christopher Hoag's Cinematic Approach to Writing Music for Shakespeare
June 30, 2016

For the past seven years, composer Christopher Hoag has conjured up battle scenes, storms, romance, and adventure with his music for Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's annual summer festival. If you've seen one of their productions, you know how beautifully his rich orchestral scores enhance Shakespeare's text on their outdoor festival stage. He's back again this year writing music for two shows: the currently running Henry V, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, opening July 15. Here he talks about the process of bringing the world of Shakespeare's plays to life with music.
BWW Review: BUMPERSTICKER: THE MUSICAL, a Sure-fire Fringe FavoriteBWW Review: BUMPERSTICKER: THE MUSICAL, a Sure-fire Fringe Favorite
June 16, 2016

BUMPERSTICKER: THE MUSICAL conquers the Hollywood Fringe Festival with its terrific triple threat combination making it great for people who don't like musicals and even better for those who do. It's the right show in the right venue with the right cast, and a rousing good time from beginning to end.
BWW Review: OCCUPATION, A Provocative Look at the Future After WarBWW Review: OCCUPATION, A Provocative Look at the Future After War
June 14, 2016

We meet five women in Merri Biechler's new play OCCUPATION - three mothers and two daughters - none related by blood, all connected by something larger. The United States looks completely different than it did five years ago, before the terrorist takeover by an unnamed faction. Martial law is in effect. An undercurrent of anger bubbles just beneath the surface and we are told repeatedly that these are days of caution.
BWW Review: Some Win, Some Lose in WAR STORIESBWW Review: Some Win, Some Lose in WAR STORIES
June 13, 2016

In Sarah Kelly's new play, WAR STORIES, we meet four of them: Chelsea (Sarah Schreiber), an actress constantly attracted to catastrophe; Sam (Clayton McInerney), a writer whose motto is 'never fall in love with an actress'; Jen (Sarah Kelly) a therapist, and sucker for a good love story; and Jake (Brian Guest), an intense actor convinced that love is the worst. Four people. Four separate issues. All of them call LA home.
BWW Review: HOW TO BE A VIRGIN (in 12 morally ambiguous steps)BWW Review: HOW TO BE A VIRGIN (in 12 morally ambiguous steps)
June 11, 2016

Playwright Carla Neuss lays it all out there in this autobiographical two-hander, starring Katelyn Schiller as The Virgin and Joshua Bross as a variety of past boyfriends. Schiller narrates the largely comedic piece, which combines the framework of a slide projector presentation with flashback scenes from her dating days, to explain her personal commitment to that all-important V card.
BWW Interview: The World According to Sue Fink and Angel City ChoraleBWW Interview: The World According to Sue Fink and Angel City Chorale
May 31, 2016

For 23 years, Angel City Chorale and Artistic Director Sue Fink have been bringing people together with their community-building world music concerts. Celebrating the spirit of diversity they make music in a wide variety of musical styles and for all people to enjoy. Up next for the illustrious group is Rhythm Planet, featuring the music of two-time Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin and other world composers. These two family-friendly evenings (June 4 & 5 at 7pm) will feature 150 voices in a grand collaboration that celebrates the Earth's rich cultures and beauty. I asked Sue to share her thoughts about working with Christopher Tin on Rhythm Planet and what is in store for audiences this weekend.
BWW Review: Disney Premieres Gorgeous FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERIONBWW Review: Disney Premieres Gorgeous FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERION
May 29, 2016

Frozen fans will be ecstatic with the way Disney has re-imagined its much-loved blockbuster film for the stage, now that the doors to FROZEN - LIVE AT THE HYPERION are open on the Hollywood backlot of Disney California Adventure. And with its stunning state-of-the-art visual technology and heart-opening theatricality, it's safe to say that even Uncle Walt would be proud of his studio's latest creation.


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