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BWW Reviews: OH MY GOODNESS… IT'S PAUL LYNDE Journeys Back to the Wild Life of the Hollywood Squares Star Review BWW Reviews: OH MY GOODNESS… IT'S PAUL LYNDE Journeys Back to the Wild Life of the Hollywood Squares Star
by Shari Barrett - September 01, 2014

Directed by John Hall and based in part on Lynde's life and 1976 touring show, OH MY GOODNESS…IT'S PAUL LYNDE is produced with the full approval and cooperation of the estate of Paul Lynde, starring Michael Airingon who channels the late entertainer both in appearance, voice and attitude to a tee. The show traces Lynde's Life from his humble beginnings to his rise to stardom as one of America's funniest and biggest stars on television in the 70's, featuring voice-overs by the Master of the Hollywood Squares himself, Peter Marshall. (more...)


BWW Reviews: World Premiere THE FACE IN THE REEDS Proves Everyone Needs and Deserves a Second Chance Review BWW Reviews: World Premiere THE FACE IN THE REEDS Proves Everyone Needs and Deserves a Second Chance
by Shari Barrett - September 01, 2014

The World Premiere of THE FACE IN THE REEDS by Robin Uriel Russin, directed by Sarah Figoten Wilson at Santa Monica's The Ruskin Group, centers on a dysfunctional family gathering to celebrate Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating freedom. As the meshuge meshugas (crazy madness) plays out, the evening's seder turns into quarrels about the meaning of freedom, the value of life, and the shadow of death, which symbolically "passes over" the house. During the course of the evening, conflicts emerge about the merit of faith over conversion, the truth in religion, and the nature of parental responsibility. This night is different from all other nights and of course, this being a Jewish family, it is also a comedy. We're all going to die--but first, you should eat. (more...)


BWW Reviews: GCT Brings On Splashy, Roaring THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE Review BWW Reviews: GCT Brings On Splashy, Roaring THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
by Don Grigware - August 31, 2014

The 1920s were not called the roaring twenties for nothing, and when 'modern' girls came from small towns across America to New York to seek a job, a husband and money, they were an overabundant lot. Take Millie Dillmount (Allyson Spiegelman) for example, who, like many others, sets her eyes, but hardly her heart, on dreamy boss Trevor Graydon (Kelby Thwaits), who also has eyes for Miss Dorothy Brown (Deanna Bakker). Add Jimmy Smith (Jason Webb), who literally ran into Millie on the streets and then pops back into the picture, attempting to win her over romantically. Welcome to modern big city living: take a number, stand in line. And there's even more discouragement. Apart from New York's degrading social life led by Muzzy Van Hossmere (Julia Marie Rodriguez), Millie is living in a den of iniquity the Priscilla Hotel where hostess Mrs.Meers (Alison England) has a side job selling orphan girls into white slavery. However, despite all these calamities, big and small, there's an air of the ridiculous surrounding them. Based on the 1967 film which starred Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing, TMM is an ode to madcap senselessness, and go no further than to Glendale and GCT for a nifty revival now onstage through October 4. (more...)


BWW Reviews: IT'S JUST SEX Will Make You Cry Through Your Laughter Review BWW Reviews: IT'S JUST SEX Will Make You Cry Through Your Laughter
by Gil Kaan - August 31, 2014

In It's Just Sex, multi-award-winning producer Rick Rose has concocted the perfect cocktail for the main soiree of this piece; expertly blending one part-genius script of Jeff Gould; one part-firm and slick-paced directing by himself (Rose); one part-clean, efficient, non-obtrusive production elements; and seven parts-talented troupe of actors. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Friday Night Laughs with the Ladies of CHICKSPEARE Review BWW Reviews: Friday Night Laughs with the Ladies of CHICKSPEARE
by Ellen Dostal - August 28, 2014

One of the best ways to end the stress of a busy work week is with a few laughs. Best place to find those laughs right now is at ComedySportz LA, where the classically-trained, comically-proficient ladies of CHICKSPEARE take over the courtyard on Friday nights and improvise a one-act Shakespearean comedy guaranteed to start your weekend right. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony-Winning ONCE Makes Stirring OC Debut Review BWW Reviews: Tony-Winning ONCE Makes Stirring OC Debut
by Michael L. Quintos - August 28, 2014

Subtle and, at times, molasses-slow in execution---yet ultimately powerful in impact---ONCE is a beautifully-staged, soul-searing musical that interchanges romantic entanglement for creative fulfillment---and how the line that separates these emotions are often blurred. The eight-time Tony award-winning musical---featuring a book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova---continues performances in Costa Mesa through August 31. (more...)


BWW Reviews: AUTOUR DU MONDE by Paris Chansons Celebrates Joyous Music From Many Countries Review BWW Reviews: AUTOUR DU MONDE by Paris Chansons Celebrates Joyous Music From Many Countries
by Shari Barrett - August 27, 2014

Los Angeles is a melting pot made up of people from around the world, most looking to settle here to enjoy the great weather, to be with their families, or perhaps to live their dream on breaking into the entertainment industry. Paris Chansons is an international music group made up of talented musicians and singers from Ukraine, Russia, France, Morocco, Israel, Germany, Queens and Las Vegas, who have banded together to present some of the world's best music to appreciative audiences at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood and at the Riviera 31 Lounge at Sofitel in West Hollywood. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lovely Two CharacterTRYING Brings Back 40s and 60s History and Nostalgia to ICT in Long Beach Review BWW Reviews: Lovely Two CharacterTRYING Brings Back 40s and 60s History and Nostalgia to ICT in Long Beach
by Don Grigware - August 25, 2014

Playwright Joanna McClelland Glass's autobiographical Trying is a two character play based on her working relationship as secretary to Judge Francis Biddle from 1967-68 in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Now in a fine West Coast premiere at ICT in Long Beach, Trying recounts the difficult professional and personal growth of Sarah Schorr (Paige Lindsey White) at the beginning of her career and Biddle (Tony Abatemarco) in the final days of his, against the backdrop of 60s political turmoil. With excellent direction from John Henry Davis and two astounding performances, Trying runs to September 14 only. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Secret Rose in NoHo Brings Back LA's Longest Running Hit the Entertaining IT'S JUST SEX Review BWW Reviews: Secret Rose in NoHo Brings Back LA's Longest Running Hit the Entertaining IT'S JUST SEX
by Don Grigware - August 25, 2014

Sex in a title is an eye-catching titillation guaranteed to attract an audience. I had never seen It's Just Sex originally, so I thought, 'OMG, let's do it - no pun intended - and be done with it'. Is it about sex for the sake of sex or what? Hardly. The play is not a parody of the porn industry or about consistently rampant promiscuity. Not that there's isn't sex involved or that the actors are not appealing. It is and they are, but, in the long run , there is much, much more. In fact, you leave the theatre gaining more from it than you expected, going in. It's Just Sex had an 11-year run in LA before it spent a year off-Broadway; now it returns with a brand-spanking new and electric cast to the Secret Rose Theatre for continued fun, games and plenty of food for thought, through October 26. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LA Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist BULRUSHER Gets a Sturdy Mounting At Skylight Review BWW Reviews: LA Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist BULRUSHER Gets a Sturdy Mounting At Skylight
by Gil Kaan - August 25, 2014

A trio of strong female performances anchor playwright Eisa Davis' Bulrusher; an intriguing story of a mixed-raced 18-year-old with psychic powers growing up in a predominantly white 1950s California town. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TIME STANDS STILL Focuses on Living Through the Lens of a Camera as Opposed to Real Life Review BWW Reviews: TIME STANDS STILL Focuses on Living Through the Lens of a Camera as Opposed to Real Life
by Shari Barrett - August 25, 2014

TIME STANDS STILL is so well written with honest observations on modern life, and directed with an intimate understanding of the characters, the audience is positioned as flies on the wall watching the action as if we are reflecting on our own lives as well as the characters. The actors are totally focused and feed off the energy emanating from each other from moment to moment, making the action and emotions all the more real and heartfelt. This is truly a brilliant piece of theater, posing thought-provoking unanswerable questions. (more...)


BWW Reviews: OKLAHOMA! Kicks off Torrance Theatre Company's 15th Anniversary Season in Great Style Review BWW Reviews: OKLAHOMA! Kicks off Torrance Theatre Company's 15th Anniversary Season in Great Style
by Shari Barrett - August 24, 2014

Torrance Theatre Company celebrates its 15th anniversary by saddling up at the James Armstrong Theatre and presenting OKLAHOMA! with music and lyrics by one of Broadway's most influential duos, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Based on Lynn Riggs' stage play, Green Grow the Lilacs, OKLAHOMA! marked the duo's first collaboration and set the standard for modern musical theatre. Although not the first musical to tell a story of emotional depth and psychological complexity, OKLAHOMA! introduced a number of new storytelling elements and techniques including the use of song and dance to convey plot and character rather than act as a diversion from the story, and the firm integration of every song into the plot-line. And most important, they introduced a new element to musical theatre: social commentary. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE BEATLES' 50th Brings Their Rock and Roll Celebration Back to the Hollywood Bowl Review BWW Reviews: THE BEATLES' 50th Brings Their Rock and Roll Celebration Back to the Hollywood Bowl
by Shari Barrett - August 23, 2014

The anticipation of celebrating the 50th anniversary of that memorable night, August 23, 1964 when I saw The Beatles live at the Hollywood Bowl for the first time, had me excited for days, knowing this time I would be able to hear the music and celebrate it along with a sold out Hollywood Bowl audience eager to experience some of the best music ever written. And I was not disappointed. The show ROCKED! (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Jennifer Holliday Leads Dazzling BROADWAY UNDER THE STARS Concert Review BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Jennifer Holliday Leads Dazzling BROADWAY UNDER THE STARS Concert
by Michael L. Quintos - August 22, 2014

When you've been given the privilege to watch and, of course, listen to legendary Tony winner Jennifer Holliday sing live---in that signature inimitable style---it's practically akin to a religious experience. She is, to put it mildly, still one of the world's most treasured, gifted musical voices. Even more awesome? Holliday served as the finale headliner that capped off an impressive line-up of Broadway stars that included Erich Bergen, Rogelio Douglas, Jr., Danny Gurwin, and Tony nominee Chad Kimball. And the highly entertaining evening---a pleasant mixture of amusing anecdotes and enthralling showtune performances---was hosted by Holliday's Tony nominated DREAMGIRLS co-star, Obba Babatunde. (more...)


BWW reviews: Actor/Singer DAN CALLAWAY  Says Farewell to LA With Homespun Music and Warmth Review BWW reviews: Actor/Singer DAN CALLAWAY Says Farewell to LA With Homespun Music and Warmth
by Don Grigware - August 18, 2014

Actor/singer Dan Callaway has been revered over the last decade in New York and Los Angeles for his fine tenor/baritone voice, and so it is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to him as he leaves to assume a teaching position in his home state of Elon, North Carolina. We are indeed happy that through his teaching he will be sharing his great love of music with others, but on local musical stages he will be sorely missed. On Sunday August 17 Callaway presented a farewell concert at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal that was full of the simplistic, homegrown music of his youth. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Actress/Singer REBECCA SPENCER Brings a Lilting and Classy Fair Warning to Vitello's Review BWW Reviews: Actress/Singer REBECCA SPENCER Brings a Lilting and Classy Fair Warning to Vitello's
by Don Grigware - August 18, 2014

On Friday August 15 singer/actress Rebecca Spencer made her Los Angles concert debut with Fair Warning at Upstairs at Vitello's with her long-time collaborator Philip Fortenberry as musical director, also making his LA debut. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MotorCity Magic-The Next Best Vegas Lounge Revue You'll See! Review BWW Reviews: MotorCity Magic-The Next Best Vegas Lounge Revue You'll See!
by Gil Kaan - August 18, 2014

Guiding a group of harmonious singers and a kick-ass band in their re-creation of past Motown hits, producer/director Michael Yorkell has transformed The Laguna Playhouse into a lively Las Vegas lounge. (more...)


BWW Reviews: In LOST IN LVOV, Sandy Simona Shares Her Russian-Jewish Immigrant Family Stories Through Music, Dance, and Love Review BWW Reviews: In LOST IN LVOV, Sandy Simona Shares Her Russian-Jewish Immigrant Family Stories Through Music, Dance, and Love
by Shari Barrett - August 18, 2014

Sandy Simona is an Interdisciplinary, Multimedia Artist & Storyteller who grew up on both sides of the George Washington Bridge. Now based in Los Angeles, Simona has created LOST IN LVOV, an emotional solo performance-storytelling-love letter inspired by the most private, immigration stories of her family. Like many Russian-Jewish families who left The Soviet Union before and after Perestroika, as a first generation American, Simona has a unique perspective on what is means to be living with one foot in the Old World and the other in Modern America. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Montae Russell Channels Charlie 'Bird' Parker in BIRD LIVES! at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic Review BWW Reviews: Montae Russell Channels Charlie 'Bird' Parker in BIRD LIVES! at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic
by Shari Barrett - August 16, 2014

Charlie 'Bird' Parker's belief that "music is like a fire to warm your hands on" and a "joyful noise" is currently being celebrated in BIRD LIVES! at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic starring Montae Russell as the jazz icon. Written by Willard Manus and directed by Tommy Hicks, the play continues with a strictly limited engagement through September 21 only. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Chemistry Drives Theatricum Botanicum's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Review BWW Reviews: Chemistry Drives Theatricum Botanicum's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
by Ellen Dostal - August 15, 2014

What a wonder is love in the hands of a writer like Shakespeare. Through comedy, tragedy, sonnet and poem, the way he captures lovers and their essence is pure magic. In MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, bringing that magic to life rests largely with its leading man and lady, and when a company gets the pairing right, the experience is so thoroughly engaging you never want it to end. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jason Alexander Goes From Broadway Star to Star Director in BROADWAY BOUND at the Odyssey Review BWW Reviews: Jason Alexander Goes From Broadway Star to Star Director in BROADWAY BOUND at the Odyssey
by Shari Barrett - August 15, 2014

From December 1986 to September 1988, Jason Alexander, the actor best known for his role as George Costanza for nine seasons on the television series Seinfeld, played older brother Stanley in the original Gene Saks production of BROADWAY BOUND on Broadway. It's a play that he loves dearly, calling it Neil Simon's strongest dramedy, and he has directed the marvelous production on the intimate Odyssey stage through September 21, effectively seating the audience in the living room of the Jerome home. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TOP ROCK Raises the 'Heat Quotient' at The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs thru September 20 Review BWW Reviews: TOP ROCK Raises the 'Heat Quotient' at The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs thru September 20
by David Green - August 14, 2014

It is always great when a theatrical event meets your expectations. It is even better when it exceeds them. TOP ROCK at The Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs did just that. Live It Up Production's TOP ROCK rivals the best production show on the Las Vegas strip with a tremendously talented and charismatic cast of triple threats, expert staging, superb vocal arrangements and strong production values at every turn. TOP ROCK runs every Friday and Saturday through September at 8:00 pm and is a definitive 'must see' for your Palm Springs weekend. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Rare FIFTH DIMENSION Concert Rocks Los Angeles Review BWW Reviews: Rare FIFTH DIMENSION Concert Rocks Los Angeles
by Don Grigware - August 11, 2014

'Up, Up and Away' is not only the signature tune of the Fifth Dimension but it expressed the overall uplifting feeling Saturday night when the group made a rare Los Angeles concert appearance at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Their positive energy made the entire audience want to fly right along with them as they soared through a thrilling 90 minute odyssey of their hits as well as a bevy of Motown pop standards and other great tunes from the past. It was indeed a walk down memory lane, a dandy one, with gorgeous Florence LaRue, one the original founders of the Fifth Dimension, and her current partners Willie Williams, Patrice Morris, Leonard Tucker and Floyd Smith. Every one just oozed personality, charm, warmth and pizzaz and are still in super dynamic vocal form. LaRue sounds every bit as good as she did back in 1965 when the group started out, with an incredible range and sultry delivery that will not quit. (more...)


BWW Reviews: LaBute's REASONS TO BE PRETTY Hits a High Note Review BWW Reviews: LaBute's REASONS TO BE PRETTY Hits a High Note
by Don Grigware - August 11, 2014

Neil LaBute is known for writing abrasive plays, in which aggression often leads to violence. And the characters are not criminals but ordinary people who find themselves reacting differently when placed in extreme circumstances. It could happen to anyone. Take Bash for example. In his latest work reasons to be pretty currently onstage at the Geffen Playhouse through August 31, LaBute examines ordinary people once again, but in ordinary, day to day life, in ordinary relationships. Directed meticulously by Randall Arney and with an outstanding cast, reasons to be pretty, in spite of its slow, realistic pacing and drawn out but believable dialogue exchanges, offers some pretty sage advice on how to treat others. And that is pretty welcome advice, indeed. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S THE TEMPEST Combines Enchantment and the Wonder of First Love Review BWW Reviews: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S THE TEMPEST Combines Enchantment and the Wonder of First Love
by Shari Barrett - August 11, 2014

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S THE TEMPEST, the last of his romantic comedies, was written in 1610 and published in 1623. This great romantic comedy has it all: danger, intrigue, politics, revenge, a mighty sorcerer, and his beautiful daughter who falls deeply in love at first sight with the handsome prince who is so conveniently shipwrecked near her island home. THE TEMPEST still exerts an influence over popular culture four centuries later, ranging from "Forbidden Planet" to "Gilligan's Island" to "Lost." (more...)


 
🔀LOS ANGELES SHOWS
The Light in the Piazza in Los AngelesThe Light in the Piazza
(Runs 8/15 - 9/7)
Grease
(Runs 9/5 - 9/12)
Once Upon a Mattress in Los AngelesOnce Upon a Mattress
(Runs 8/22 - 9/13)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (MEGAMIX) in Los AngelesJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (MEGAMIX)
(Runs 8/1 - 9/27)
Footloose in Los AngelesFootloose
(Runs 9/12 - 9/28)

(Runs 8/2 - 9/28)
Big Fish
(Runs 9/12 - 9/28)

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