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BWW Review: GCT Performs a Rollicking GUYS AND DOLLS
by Don Grigware - September 01, 2015

My first association with musical composer Frank Loesser was as an actor in the 70s in a revue of his music. I played Sky Masterson of Guys and Dolls and sang a duet of 'I've Never Been In Love Before'. I came to realize quite rapidly how lovely his music is and how well he manages to capture the mo... (more...)
BWW Review: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Sheer Brilliance at the Falcon
by Don Grigware - August 31, 2015

To anyone who has not witnessed an Impro Theatre production, a word to the wise: you are about to experience a rare form of brilliance, sometimes seen in improvisation, but especially keen in Sondheim Unscripted, because it not only has an original book but music as well... totally in the style of S... (more...)
BWW Review: CAFE SOCIETY - An Almost Satisfying Coffee Break
by Gil Kaan - August 24, 2015

The world premiere of Emmy-winning writer Peter Lefcourt 's CAFE SOCIETY deserves credit for attempting a hostage situation as a satisfying sitcom dramedy. A frequent collaborator, Terri Hanauer directs her game cast of seven. Kudos to Yee Eun Nam for her novel, innovative projection design utilizin... (more...)
BWW Review: GODSPEED the Rock Opera Brings Scripture to Life Onstage at El Portal
by Shari Barrett - August 24, 2015

What is truly amazing - a miracle really - is the entire production began rehearsals (including learning the music as well as staging) on August 13 and opened on August 21. That this ensemble, directed and choreographed by the talented powerhouse Jeffrey Polk, was able to put the rock opera togethe... (more...)
BWW Review: Rarely Produced ASSASSINS a Meaty Hit at Pico Playhouse
by Don Grigware - August 23, 2015

Assassins/book by John Weidman; music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim/presented by Red Blanket Productions with Punk Monkey Productions at the Pico Playhouse/directed by Dan Fishbach/thru September 27 A word or two before I start this review. In the film Judgement at Nuremberg, Spencer Tracy who p... (more...)
BWW Review: STUPID SONGS PRESENTS STUPID GOLD Featuring Stupidly Funny and Stupidly Incredible Singers!
by Gil Kaan - August 19, 2015

On August 18th, The Stupid Songs Troupe wowed the packed house of the Rockwell Table & Stage with their fast-paced 70-minutes of 18 non-stop songs of high hilarity and witty, hysterical lyrics. Director Keri Safran begins the fun with 'Stupid Gold,' her re-written lyrics to the tune of 'Xanadu.' Bac... (more...)
BWW Review: Pianist TOM AMEEN Takes E Spot Lounge By Storm
by Don Grigware - August 18, 2015

Virtuoso pianist Tom Ameen made his E-Spot Lounge debut at Vitello's Friday August 14 with a joyously entertaining show highlighting Disney music from TV, film and the Disney theme parks. It was a smash. Ameen is no stranger, though, to Vitello's, as he plays downstairs at the bar very Monday and Tu... (more...)
BWW Review: Candlelight's IN THE HEIGHTS Is a Winner
by Don Grigware - August 18, 2015

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony and Grammy Award-winning show In the Heights had a lot to shout about when it played Broadway in fact, it still does. First of all, it's a musical with and about Latinos - way overdue -plus it has a terrific book with a heartwarming storyline about a closely knit ... (more...)
BWW Review: World Premiere Musical FRACTURED BROADWAY: MADE IN LA Pokes Loving Fun at Local Theatre
by Shari Barrett - August 18, 2015

The San Pedro Theatre Club presents the World Premiere of FRACTURED BROADWAY: MADE IN LA. This hilarious parody with a big Los Angeles point of view is a satirical romp through your favorite musicals parodied to reflect the current affairs of live theatre in Los Angeles. With 24 original parodies s... (more...)
BWW Review: GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS Charismatically Commands Your Presence and You Must Go
by Gil Kaan - August 17, 2015

In GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS, multi-hyphenate David Rambo has written a very smart and involving script on the inner workings of a successful Baptist church empire.  Rambo also quite ably directs his trio of highly skilled actors in a firmly-reined, tight, well-crafted production. All three actors adeptly ... (more...)
BWW Review: GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT Provides Multiple Happy Endings Laughing
by Gil Kaan - August 15, 2015

GROUNDLINGS RED LIGHT DISTRICT, most assuredly continues The Groundling's well-earned reputation of being one of the funniest improvisational and sketch comedy troupes in Los Angeles, if not the entire United States. Ably directed by Karen Maruyama, the evening features the talented Groundling memb... (more...)
BWW Reviews: ROCKWELL'S Classic Evening of Broadway a Stellar Endeavor
by Don Grigware - August 12, 2015

Proving once and for all that concerts need not be serious or dull, Fraser Entertainment Group's 9th installment of A Classic Evening of Broadway bowed at Rockwell Table and Stage on Monday, August 10 to a packed audience of enthusiastic show tune fans. And it was an uber delightful show! Musical di... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Group rep Is On a WINNING STREAK
by Don Grigware - August 12, 2015

As a companion piece to Eric Simonson's Lombardi on the main stage, Group rep presents Lee Blessing's The Winning Streak on their second stage. Both plays involve sports: Lombardi, football and The Winning Streak, baseball. For full enjoyment of Lombardi, it helps to be a football fan; for The Winni... (more...)
BWW Reviews: ISC's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is a 1940s Charmer
by Ellen Dostal - August 12, 2015

One of the keys to providing great entertainment is understanding your audience. For a theatre company that means knowing what your audience wants and then being able to provide it so they keep coming back for more. Independent Shakespeare Co. has done a brilliant job of both. Not only do they play ... (more...)
BWW Reviews: SNEAKY OLE TIME Will Have You Clapping Along, Tapping Your Toes and Laughing in No Time
by Gil Kaan - August 10, 2015

Ruskin Group Theatre's world premiere of Sneaky Ole Time makes for a delightful, easy-breezy, light-hearted two hours filled with clever songs by Grammy-winning writer Paul Overstreet and solid performances by its cast of nine triple-threats.  Michael Myers directs his talented ensemble at a steady,... (more...)
BWW Reviews: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a Beautiful Production, Well Worth the Trip from the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire
by Audrey Liebross - August 10, 2015

The new touring production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, currently playing at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, is a must-see. The music, costumes, and sets are hauntingly beautiful and the performances are generally superb. Katie Travis, as Christine Daae, is a standout.... (more...)
BWW Reviews: THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS (THE MUSICAL!) at West Valley Playhouse
by Cary Ginell - August 10, 2015

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BWW Review: ALMOST PERFECT Winds its Way Through a Guilt-Ridden Affair
by Shari Barrett - August 10, 2015

Twenty-nine years after it premiered, playwright Jerry Mayer's hit comedy ALMOST PERFECT has returned to the Santa Monica Playhouse playing weekends through September 27 as part of the Playhouse's three-year Jerry Mayer-a-thon, reuniting Mayer with director Chris DeCarlo. Mayer is based in Pacific ... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Actor James Sherman Shines in His THE BEN HECHT SHOW
by Gil Kaan - August 10, 2015

The West Coast Premiere of The Ben Hecht Show, ably directed by Dennis Zacek, showcases the charismatic performance of James Sherman in the titular role. In The Ben Hecht Show, playwright Sherman has written many a witty line ('She didn't have any anti-Semitic germs.') and dropped many a famous name... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Witty NO HOMO Provides a Thoroughly Entertaining Tale of a Misconceived Bromance
by Gil Kaan - August 10, 2015

In NO HOMO, playwright Brandon Baruch has written a very funny, smart and realistic script on the perceived misconceptions of Ash and Luke's relationship.  Their respective siblings and their friends think the two admittedly hetero guys really cohabitate as lovers and not just roommates. Jessica Han... (more...)
by Ellen Dostal - August 09, 2015

REDCAT debuted an eclectic program of new works this week during its 12th Annual New Original Works Festival - two dance/movement-based pieces and a third that fused theatre and live music to create an absurdist performance art piece based on early twentieth century Surrealism.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE GREAT DIVIDE Hits a Home Run Straight Into Fantasy Land
by Shari Barrett - August 08, 2015

Playwright Lyle Kessler is perhaps best known as the author of 'Orphans' which began its stage life at the Matrix Theater in Los Angeles. Similar to the two lost brothers living in Philadelphia looking for family in that play, Kessler's new play 'The Great Divide' also centers on two very different... (more...)
BWW Reviews: GREEN GROW THE LILACS at Will Geer's Botanicum Theatricum
by Cary Ginell - August 05, 2015

In Scene Two of Lynn Riggs' play, Green Grow the Lilacs, farm girl Laurey Williams speaks passionately to her Aunt Eller about the ranch where she grew up:... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Sierra Madre Playhouse Goes CRAZY for Patsy Cline
by Don Grigware - August 03, 2015

Popular across the country for many years, Always Patsy Cline celebrates country/pop singing superstar Patsy Cline, her music and her warm persona. Endearing from the get go, the show's success depends on the right casting. Its two actresses must be perfect fits for their roles. Louise... (more...)
BWW Reviews: Come to LUKA'S ROOM for a Totally Satisfying Experience!
by Gil Kaan - August 03, 2015

Rob Mersola has written a wonderfully witty, realistic, totally shocking 'family drama' in the world premiere of his Luka's Room. Two major surprises in plot you will not see coming. But after theses 'surprises,' you realize Mersola has previously set up the plot points to make total sense. A brilli... (more...)