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BWW Reviews: Ken Ludwig's LEADING LADIES Are Ravishing at GCT Review BWW Reviews: Ken Ludwig's LEADING LADIES Are Ravishing at GCT
by Don Grigware - July 21, 2014

Playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo as well as Leading Ladies) is one of a dying breed of American farceurs. How many presently exist? In the UK, yes, there are many. Farce is their specialty, but not in the US. So, that given, Leading Ladies is a uniquely special ode to the theatre, to Shakespeare and to that band of traveling actors who make little money but devote their lives to entertain us, and to comedy put forth at a breakneck pace. Thanks to Ken Ludwig and his Leading Ladies our lives are that much brighter. Now in an especially exhilarating production at GCT James Castle Stevens skillfully guides a fiercely talented cast through August 16. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Cabrillo Brings Back BYE BYE BIRDIE Review BWW Reviews: Cabrillo Brings Back BYE BYE BIRDIE
by Don Grigware - July 21, 2014

Ah, the rhythms of the 50s/60s! Got 'A Lot of Livin' to Do'! Lee Adams and Charles Strouse wrote the music and lyrics of Bye Bye Birdie to honor a generation of fans who swooned and literally gave themselves over to the rock and roll of Elvis Presley. Conrad Birdie (Austin MacPhee) is an obvious play on Conway Twitty, a rock star of that era who later became a superstar in the world of country. When Elvis went into the army, he became a national hero. Female teens adored him and would give up their own boyfriends just to be near him. This is Bye Bye Birdie in a nutshell now in a rollicking revival at Cabrillo Music Theatre through July 27. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Laughter Abounds During TWELFTH NIGHT at Carlson Park in Culver City Review BWW Reviews: Laughter Abounds During TWELFTH NIGHT at Carlson Park in Culver City
by Shari Barrett - July 20, 2014

While there is speculation that Twelfth Night was written for the 12th night of Christmas by request of Queen Elizabeth, a holiday which celebrates revelry by turning the world upside down, with masks, music, dance, celebrating a moment where servants are masters, masters are servants, and not all seems as it should be. While there is no proof for this speculation, it was certainly the author's and this production's comic inspiration. (more...)


BWW Reviews: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Offers More Than Just a Traditional Story About Freedom of Choice Review BWW Reviews: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Offers More Than Just a Traditional Story About Freedom of Choice
by Shari Barrett - July 20, 2014

Each year, Long Beach Playhouse closes its Mainstage Season with a musical. This year it's presenting the popular classic, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. When it opened on Broadway 50 years ago in 1964, the musical was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won nine. In 1971, it was made into a movie, produced and directed by Norman Jewison, starring Chaim Topol who was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Tevye the Milkman. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ONCE's Absorbing Love Story Rocks the Pantages Review BWW Reviews: ONCE's Absorbing Love Story Rocks the Pantages
by Don Grigware - July 20, 2014

Once/book by Enda Walsh/music & lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova/directed by John Tiffany/Pantages Theatre/through August 10 (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT Examines the Exquisite Perversity of the Human Heart Review BWW Reviews: THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT Examines the Exquisite Perversity of the Human Heart
by Shari Barrett - July 19, 2014

The world premiere of Peter Lefcourt's play THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT takes an in-depth and often comic look at two couples, a pair of ex-spouses and their new mates. When the four get together for the first time in years, it blows up in a delightful mess of romantic complications proving you should never underestimate the power of designer shoes on matters of the heart. (more...)


BWW Reviews: OC's Chance Theater Presents Vibrant IN THE HEIGHTS Review BWW Reviews: OC's Chance Theater Presents Vibrant IN THE HEIGHTS
by Michael L. Quintos - July 19, 2014

Lively and electrified by its talented, winsome lead actors, this new admirable local production of the Tony Award-winning IN THE HEIGHTS has just been extended for additional performances in its Anaheim Hills home through August 8---and deservedly so. Overall, this new OC production crackles with an electric, infectiously appealing pulse, offering a genuinely entertaining, praiseworthy go at Lin-Manuel Miranda's multi-layered material. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SING ME HOME Rocks at Rockwell Review BWW Reviews: SING ME HOME Rocks at Rockwell
by Aimee Curameng - July 16, 2014

"Sing Me Home" is a new musical set to premiere at the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) on July 20th but Los Angeles had the honor of hosting its debut at Rockwell on Sunday, July 13th. Featuring a variety of performers, each song was introduced by writing team, Amber Cassell or author/singer/songwriter Kristy Hanson who penned all 13 songs. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Deliriously Funny BUYER & CELLAR Captivates Mark Taper Audiences Review BWW Reviews: Deliriously Funny BUYER & CELLAR Captivates Mark Taper Audiences
by Don Grigware - July 15, 2014

To set the record straight, actor Michael Urie introduces Buyer & Cellar by stating quite emphatically that what we are about to see is a fiction. He then holds up a copy of Barbra Streisand's book My Passion for Design published in 2010. In it Streisand describes her dream house. This book fed playwright Jonathan Tolin's imagination to create a fictitious play about a mall in the cellar of the icon's home. Starring Urie as an out-of-work LA actor who takes a job running the stores in the mall and focusing on his dream relationship with his new boss, Buyer & Cellar is replete with deliriously campy humor and takes a moment or two to show - if indeed it were possible - the very personal side of the iconic superstar. Streisand fans, take note: the award-winning off-Broadway one-man show plays at the Mark Taper Forum through August 17 only! (more...)


BWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric Affair Review BWW Reviews: SCLA's Jazz-Age ROMEO AND JULIET is an Electric Affair
by Ellen Dostal - July 14, 2014

It is a chilling conclusion when Kimberly Scott repeats the text of the prologue again at the end of ROMEO AND JULIET while standing over the dead bodies of the lovers. You can hear the bitter warning in her voice as she slowly looks from one end of the stage to the other at two fathers who have paid the price of their feud in blood. As her weighty words hang in the air, the lights dim and Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles's magnificent production fades out. (more...)


BWW Reviews: 3D Theatricals' DAMN YANKEES Boasts Miles of HEART Review BWW Reviews: 3D Theatricals' DAMN YANKEES Boasts Miles of HEART
by Don Grigware - July 14, 2014

Belonging to the Golden Age of Broadway musicals, Damn Yankees opened in New York in 1955, winning 7 Tony Awards and was made into a feature film in 1958, starring its original Tony winners Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon. In fact, Damn Yankees sparked the long-time fruitful collaboration between Verdon and choreographer Bob Fosse. Legendary stuff! Now in a dazzling revival at 3D Theatricals in Fullerton, America's number one sport baseball - well, in the 50s anyway - is given a finely honed treatment...the perfect summer entertainment. (more...)


BWW Reviews: ALWAYS PATSY CLINE Offers Lots of Love at the El Portal Review BWW Reviews: ALWAYS PATSY CLINE Offers Lots of Love at the El Portal
by Don Grigware - July 14, 2014

Popular across the country for the past decade, Always Patsy Cline celebrates country/pop superstar Patsy Cline, her music and her warm down.to.earth persona. Endearing from the get go it stars the very funny and endearing Sally Struthers as Texas housewife Louise Seger and Carter Calvert as Cline. With the overabundant charm exuded by both stars and backed by a superb five-piece combo that includes John Randall at the piano and Roger Cohen, Calvert's husband, on drums, Always Patsy Cline should take audiences over the moon, through August 3 only. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Theatricum Botanicum Broadens Perceptions in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL Review BWW Reviews: Theatricum Botanicum Broadens Perceptions in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
by Ellen Dostal - July 14, 2014

In Theatricum Botanicum's ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, the action begins and ends with a song. At rise it is the somber lamentation that accompanies a funeral procession and at the play's conclusion, an uplifting madrigal 'Sing We Enchant It.' (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Quintessential Modern Vaudeville - CLOCKWORK FOLLIES at Rockwell Review BWW Reviews: The Quintessential Modern Vaudeville - CLOCKWORK FOLLIES at Rockwell
by Aimee Curameng - July 14, 2014

Described as 'modern vaudeville,' Clockwork Follies at Rockwell manages to take a classic, almost-forgotten form of entertainment and transform it for today's audience. The show is comprised of a mixture of performers - a musical comedy troupe, beautiful dancers, a comedian, a magician, a French chanteuse, all hosted by the entertaining and magnetic, Jai Rodriguez. (more...)


BWW Reviews: JAGGED LITTLE PILL IN CONCERT Triumphs at Rockwell Review BWW Reviews: JAGGED LITTLE PILL IN CONCERT Triumphs at Rockwell
by Aimee Curameng - July 14, 2014

If you grew up in the '90s, you know exactly how Alanis Morissette impacted music. She burst onto the scene with her hit single 'You Outta Know' and followed it with hit after hit all from her album Jagged Little Pill. Alanis shaped an entire generation of strong women and her powerful voice, attitude, and unique style are not easily replicated, but the cast of Jagged Little Pill in concert: A Tribute to the Music of Alanis Morissette manage to do just that and more. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Colony Theatre Manages a Good Effort at FAMILY PLANNING Review BWW Reviews: The Colony Theatre Manages a Good Effort at FAMILY PLANNING
by Gil Kaan - July 14, 2014

Great to see TV veterans (of 1980's hit dramas) Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues) and Christina Pickles (St. Elsewhere) really enjoy themselves treading the stages of the Colony Theatre. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLO Review BWW Reviews: Blair Underwood and Richard Thomas Lead a Powerful OTHELLO
by Ellen Dostal - July 12, 2014

There is no redemption in OTHELLO. Shakespeare has provided no late opportunity to undo what has been done, no chance to make amends for the terrible wrongs lavished upon the innocent, and no way for the audience to feel anything but horror for the treachery that has filled the stage for two and a half hours. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Historic Pico House Review BWW Reviews: Downtown Rep Revives THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Historic Pico House
by Ellen Dostal - July 12, 2014

Within the courtyard of the historic Pico House in downtown LA, the Downtown Repertory Theater Company is in the midst of offering its sixth season of classical works. Led by artistic director Devon Armstrong, they have taken on Chekhov, Marlowe, Odets and numerous plays by Shakespeare, all while encouraging actors to tackle roles they might not otherwise have the opportunity to play. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WITHOUT ANNETTE Reawakens Improv at the Whitefire Review BWW Reviews: WITHOUT ANNETTE Reawakens Improv at the Whitefire
by Don Grigware - July 12, 2014

At first I thought, 'Oh, finally a tribute to Annette Funicello! It's about time.' Wrong!! Without Annette - without a net - is about an improv class with a mixed group of actors ranging in age from old to young, consummate pro to no experience, manic to laid back - you name it, that person is there. A play about improv? Improv can be fun sometimes if it's used for the right purposes, but a play about the process? Such was my dubious state as I entered the Whitefire last night, but got an initial nice surprise as producer Lawrence Juber was playing guitar onstage. Music before the show. Mmmm Maybe this will be a fun evening after all. And yes, indeed, it did exceed my expectations. With a fine cast, razor-sharp direction from co-writer Jeff Doucette and lots of surprisingly well-done scenarios, life and art do merge at least for two+ hours in Without Annette. The play is scripted, but honest to goodness real improvs do take place. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE MANOR Continues to Thrill in Its Twelfth Consecutive Year Review BWW Reviews: THE MANOR Continues to Thrill in Its Twelfth Consecutive Year
by Don Grigware - July 11, 2014

The Manor/written by Kathrine Bates/directed by Flora Plumb/Theatre 40 at Greystone/select performances through August 16/(consult www.theatre40.org) (more...)


BWW Reviews: SOC Sails to the South Pacific for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Review BWW Reviews: SOC Sails to the South Pacific for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
by Ellen Dostal - July 10, 2014

Yes, it takes a village. Shakespeare Orange County has pulled out all the stops, and even enlisted a not-so-secret weapon, to accomplish an extraordinarily beautiful debut in its first official production under new artistic director John Walcutt (more...)


BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co. Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHT Review BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co. Revels in Downton Abbey-Inspired TWELFTH NIGHT
by Ellen Dostal - July 08, 2014

Over the past ten years, Independent Shakespeare Co. has staked its claim on the city of Los Angeles with its 'of the people, by the people, for the people' brand of Shakespeare. Built from the ground up by two regular people (Melissa Chalsma and David Melville) who love what they do, they have created a fiercely loyal following that can't get enough of their kind of real-people theatre. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Goes Off-Broadway at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Review BWW Reviews: Kritzerland Goes Off-Broadway at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal
by Don Grigware - July 07, 2014

It was a pleasure to return to Kritzerland Sunday July 6 for its 47th show saluting Off-Broadway shows: Kritzerland Goes Off-Broadway. Featured were stalwart hits: Hair, Ruthless!, Little Mary Sunshine, Dames at Sea, Falsettos, The Fantasticks and more recent hits such as Floyd Collins, Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years and Dogfight. With Bruce Kimmel as host, in dandy form as usual with his amazing trivia notes in between numbers, and sensational musical director John Boswell at the piano, the show got off to a rousing start with young Brennley Brown belting out 'Born to Entertain' from Ruthless! Also on the bill for the evening were the wonderful: Robert Yacko, Madison Claire Parks, Kim Huber, young folks Jenna Lee Rosen, Sami Staitman and special guest stars Jason Graae and Rita McKenzie. (more...)


BWW Reviews: MAMA WON'T FLY Showcases Classic Comedic  Vaudeville Bits into Modern Road Trip Farcical Situations Review BWW Reviews: MAMA WON'T FLY Showcases Classic Comedic Vaudeville Bits into Modern Road Trip Farcical Situations
by Shari Barrett - July 07, 2014

Fans of sketch comedy TV shows such as The Red Skeleton Show, the Jackie Gleason Show and the Carol Burnett show will certainly recognize the many farcical vaudeville comedy bits in MAMA WON'T FLY, written by three of the most produced playwrights in America, Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, and directed by James Rice at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Skylight Theatre Company Achieves Great Climax with its World Premiere THE SEXUAL LIFE OF SAVAGES Review BWW Reviews: Skylight Theatre Company Achieves Great Climax with its World Premiere THE SEXUAL LIFE OF SAVAGES
by Gil Kaan - July 07, 2014

Very witty script, without one false note, by Ian MacAllister-McDonald; even strong-handed direction by Elina de Santos; and executed by a very abled cast of five make for a wonderful 90-minutes of very strong entertaining theatre. (more...)


 
🔀LOS ANGELES SHOWS
Oklahoma! in Los AngelesOklahoma!
(Runs 7/16 - 7/26)
Jesus Christ Superstar in Los AngelesJesus Christ Superstar
(Runs 7/26 - 7/26)
Footloose in Los AngelesFootloose
(Runs 7/18 - 7/27)
South Pacific in Los AngelesSouth Pacific
(Runs 7/18 - 7/27)
The Sound of Music in Los AngelesThe Sound of Music
(Runs 7/11 - 7/27)
Footloose in Los AngelesFootloose
(Runs 7/18 - 7/27)

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