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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 Reviews: Chance Theater's LOCH NESS, a new musical is Pure MagicBWW Reviews: LOCH NESS, a New Musical
Posted: Feb. 10, 2015


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
Posted: Feb. 4, 2015


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


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: 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.
BWW Reviews: Tarantino Meets Elizabethan England in PULP SHAKESPEAREBWW Reviews: Tarantino Meets Elizabethan England in PULP SHAKESPEARE
January 26, 2015

The stylistic marriage of Shakespeare's language and Tarantino's Pulp Fiction reaps heady rewards for linguists and lovers of indie crime drama in PULP SHAKESPEARE at Theatre Asylum in Hollywood. The runaway hit of the 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival is reinventing itself in a new production produced by Matthew Quinn and Aaron Lyons. Originally helmed by Jordan Monsell, this iteration is directed by Amanda McRaven and features three returning major cast members surrounded by a new ensemble of players.
BWW Reviews: The Ladies Rule in Cabrillo Music Theatre's COMPANYBWW Reviews: The Ladies Rule in Cabrillo Music Theatre's COMPANY
January 26, 2015

A noticeably long, drawn-out silence opens Cabrillo Music Theatre's production of COMPANY as 35-year old Robert (Alxander Jon) comes home to his empty New York bachelor pad. It is the final moment of solitude before the coordinated cacophony of voices begins in Nick DeGruccio's sleekly directed revival of Stephen Sondheim (music & lyrics) and George Furth's (book) 1970 classic.
BWW Interviews: Dana Solimando on Chairs, Ballet Girls, and BILLY ELLIOTBWW Interviews: Dana Solimando on Chairs, Ballet Girls, and BILLY ELLIOT
January 22, 2015

Recently, choreographer Dana Solimando took on the monumental task of choreographing Billy Elliot The Musical for La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The production opened to sold out crowds over the weekend and will run through February 8th. Here Dana talks about making the steps her own and how you've got to be flexible in the theatre because you never know what's going to happen. Here's her behind the scenes look at bringing Billy Elliot to life.
BWW Reviews: A Triumphant BILLY ELLIOT Comes to La Mirada TheatreBWW Reviews: A Triumphant BILLY ELLIOT Comes to La Mirada Theatre
January 19, 2015

The ensemble effort of La Mirada Theatre/McCoy Rigby's cast of BILLY ELLIOT is an extraordinary accomplishment and especially resonant in a musical that is all about solidarity and overcoming the odds. It also has the kind of opening night story that wins hearts and shows how a company will rally like a family to manage an unexpected, even disastrous, event.
BWW Review: Stimulate Your Creativity with FOR YOU by Maggie LynchBWW Review: Stimulate Your Creativity with FOR YOU by Maggie Lynch
January 16, 2015

Like many of us, I love wordsand I love to lose myself in a good book. But these days it seems like life moves at such a fast pace that there is little time to relax in the embrace of a good story, lost in a world of new ideas and adventures. The truth is - we're all busy. We all have to-do lists we can't possibly burn through in the time we've allotted, and as soon as one task is marked off we add another to our list until it becomes a revolving, unending, and often unmanageable mountain we race to scale at the expense of the view. The result is that we end up exhausted. Can you relate?
BWW Reviews: Chris Lemmon Becomes a Legend in JACK LEMMON RETURNSBWW Reviews: Chris Lemmon Becomes a Legend in JACK LEMMON RETURNS
January 12, 2015

"Music was his dream but acting was his passion." That's how Chris Lemmon describes his famous father Jack in JACK LEMMON RETURNS, the 90-minute play with songs that has settled into the intimate black box theater (The Edye) at the Broad Stage. The show is a tribute to the man who meant the world to him, and offers not only a look into their personal relationship as father and son, but also takes the audience behind the scenes with the kind of Hollywood stories you read about but never get to hear firsthand.


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