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BWW Review: SIGHT UNSEEN Looks Deeply Into the Emotional Complexities of Modern Art Review BWW Review: SIGHT UNSEEN Looks Deeply Into the Emotional Complexities of Modern Art
by Shari Barrett - March 28, 2015

SIGHT UNSEEN by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies opened on Broadway in 2004 and went on to win an Obie Award for Best New American Play, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, and brought Laura Linney a Theatre World Award and nominations for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards. It centers on celebrated artist Jonathan Waxman who, despite immense popularity, yearns for something more in his life. His soul-searching leads him to visit an old girlfriend and former muse he selfishly dismissed over a decade before. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Above the Fold! Pulsating NEWSIES Storms the Pantages Review BWW Reviews: Above the Fold! Pulsating NEWSIES Storms the Pantages
by Don Grigware - March 28, 2015

In 1899 droves of newsboys from every borough of New York City banned together and went on strike against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other wealthy newspaper owners, in a crusade to save children from menial wages and physical abuse. This was a first, where uneducated street kids stood up to the big suits and won. In 1992 Disney created the movie Newsies that went on to become a humongous hit. In 2012 Harvey Fierstein, Alan Menken and Jack Feldman came to Broadway with a musical show they created based on the film. Under the Disney banner, the first national tour of Newsies is currently onstage at the Pantages. All I can say is run, don't walk, to purchase tickets. The Newsies ensemble pulsates from the moment the lights hit the stage. It will jolt you, fulfill you and make you jump for joy. (more...)


BWW Reviews: New CINDERELLA Dreams the Impossible at Ahmanson Review BWW Reviews: New CINDERELLA Dreams the Impossible at Ahmanson
by Don Grigware - March 25, 2015

Broadway's Tony Award-winning production of Cinderella (2013) has a brand new book by Douglas Carter Beane and an expanded score of the glorious music of Rodgers & Hammerstein. As the musical based on the fairy tale possesses a more contemporary storyline, both Cinderella (Paige Faure) and Prince Topher (Andy Huntington Jones) are different - they are orphans, whose similarities in character make them a perfect match. No more losing her Venetian glass slipper at the first act curtain, this Cinderella, with much help, love, support and encouragement from her fairy godmother (Kecia Lewis) is in control and journeys into the second act with a mission to make the 'Impossible' truly 'Possible'. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Some Great Laughs with RISE 'N SHINE WITH BETTE & JULIETTE (Salute: to the 1st Ladies of Television) Review BWW Reviews: Some Great Laughs with RISE 'N SHINE WITH BETTE & JULIETTE (Salute: to the 1st Ladies of Television)
by Gil Kaan - March 25, 2015

The brainchild of Craig Taggart & Chris Pudlo, Rise 'n Shine with Bette & Juliette, exudes a fun 'Let's put on a show!' vibe via a talented troupe of enthusiastic performers. (more...)


BWW Reviews:  ILove99 THE MUSICAL! Offers A Cabaret To Save Los Angeles Intimate Theatre Review BWW Reviews: ILove99 THE MUSICAL! Offers A Cabaret To Save Los Angeles Intimate Theatre
by Shari Barrett - March 25, 2015

Due to the enormous success of their first show, Sixth Avenue presented an encore of its National Tour 'ILove99 The Musical!' cabaret event to save Los Angeles intimate theatre on Tuesday, March 24 at the Dragonfly on Hollywood's Theater Row. Produced by Adam Silver and directed by Alan Smithee (wink wink) featuring returning and additional performers, the event proved to be a real meeting of the minds for both union and non-union audience members. And what a show it was, giving both AEA union members as well as non-members a chance to enjoy great entertainment while rallying everyone to go out and encourage all union member to vote NO on the proposed union changes that could wipe out intimate theater in Los Angeles. (more...)


BWW Review: The Ultimate Online Party Awaits IF YOU CAN GET TO BUFFALO Review BWW Review: The Ultimate Online Party Awaits IF YOU CAN GET TO BUFFALO
by Shari Barrett - March 24, 2015

The online world of social media began long before the internet exploded with email services and today's outlandish graphics and photo capabilities. Local BBS online systems allowed its members to log on, visit various chat rooms on lots of topics and create a world unto themselves by just typing away and watching plain text conversations fly by at rapid speed. No graphics - no photos - just words from however many users were in that particular chat room. It was a heady time when anyone could pretend to be whoever they wanted to be and create worlds where each of us could be a star - or the controller of everyone and everything going on in that imaginary room. Have avatar, will travel. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Stellar TWINTASTIC at the El Portal One More Weekend Review BWW Reviews: Stellar TWINTASTIC at the El Portal One More Weekend
by Don Grigware - March 23, 2015

Actors/singers Eddie and Anthony Edwards, identical twins originally from Burbank, Ca, have been doing singing impressions for the last 30 years. In their renowned Vegas-style show entitled Twintastic, which tours much of the east coast and Canada, Anthony creates mostly male celebrities and Eddie, the females. Eddie's most popular divas are Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and Cher. In their new show for 2015, currently onstage at the El Portal in NoHo through March 29 only, he does not do Midler, but adds Celine Dion to his regular roster of Barbra and Cher. These vocal impressions, apart from incorporating incredible wigs, makeup and costumes, employ Eddie's and Anthony's actual voices - that's right, there is no lip-syncing, they are doing their own singing... and their vocals... are amazingly precise and on.target. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Casey Smith Gets Off AT SOME POINT IN THE PROCESS OF THE END OF THE WORLD Review BWW Reviews: Casey Smith Gets Off AT SOME POINT IN THE PROCESS OF THE END OF THE WORLD
by Gil Kaan - March 23, 2015

More of a performance art piece than a play, Casey Smith masters an hour of mimed sketches timed with complementing video projections by Dustin Hughes. Not for the prude at heart, Smith performs a handful (pun intended) of explicit sexual miming, mimics loads of scat and vomit humor, and administers an exorbitant amount of intense violence on imaginary animals, babies, and Smith himself. (more...)


BWW Reviews: South Coast Rep Serves Up World Premiere of TOKYO FISH STORY Review BWW Reviews: South Coast Rep Serves Up World Premiere of TOKYO FISH STORY
by Michael L. Quintos - March 23, 2015

In playwright Kimber Lee's hushed yet absorbing sushi-making drama TOKYO FISH STORY---now having its World Premiere production at Costa Mesa's Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory through March 29---centuries of painstaking tradition are... well, rapidly showing its age against the progress of modern times. Can both harmoniously co-exist? Directed with poetic beauty by Bart DeLorenzo, the play is a subtle yet engagingly universal drama that is also a 90-minute love letter to the intricate art of making sushi. (more...)


BWW Reviews: GLOBAL TAX DRIVER Could Use Clearer Directions Review BWW Reviews: GLOBAL TAX DRIVER Could Use Clearer Directions
by Gil Kaan - March 23, 2015

A talented ensemble energizes the Los Angeles premiere of playwright Leilani Chan's Global Taxi Driver, a collection of taxi drivers' stories from all over the world. (more...)


BWW Review: AMERICAN WEE-PIE Proves A Second Chance Can Happen When You Least Expect It Review BWW Review: AMERICAN WEE-PIE Proves A Second Chance Can Happen When You Least Expect It
by Shari Barrett - March 21, 2015

Most people who change career paths make that choice due to being let go from a job or being offered a new challenge that seems to be something more rewarding. But what about those who walk away from a successful career, from a job with a great salary and excellent benefits, to go back to a more simple life that offers a more fulfilling way to express your creativity when a second chance comes along? Wouldn't it be wonderful to be that lucky? (more...)


BWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada Review BWW Reviews: Impressive CARRIE THE MUSICAL at La Mirada
by Don Grigware - March 19, 2015

I remember the melodrama of the film Carrie (1976) and director Brian De Palma's splashy special effects more than anything else. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie really tore up the scenery in their overblown scenes together. Onstage Carrie The Musical brings out so much more. It really zeroes in on the problem of bullying among teenagers and shows the psychological consequences. When a shy girl Carrie (Emily Lopez) has her period for the first time in the girls' shower after PE class, she experiences a devastating ridicule by most of her classmates. She's bright, but dresses shabbily and doesn't know how to stand her ground. At home her mother Margaret (Misty Cotton), a Christian fundamentalist, abuses her in a different way, leading her to believe that she is basically bad and that only Jesus can saver her soul. Carrie discovers that she has telekinesis, a power to move objects at will. When things do not work out for her as she attemps to fit in at the high school prom, she takes control, punishing everyone around her. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Group Rep Revives Early Albee Review BWW Reviews: Group Rep Revives Early Albee
by Don Grigware - March 18, 2015

Early Albee is better than no Albee at all, but a recent look at his The American Dream, circa 1960, shows how he had not quite settled into a style of his own. Now onstage at Group rep in NoHo, the one-act belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd, and like any good vaudeville, pokes fun at just about everything from the instability of marriage to poor child rearing to abuse of the elderly. The American Dream in this case is a young stud (Andre Jack) with a muscle t-shirt who could be Mommy and Daddy's son but instead is a boy toy who may bring some joy to the faltering marriage bed but certainly not in the same way the American Dream envisions. Apart from belonging to the absurdist camp, the play reminded me of British farce where the language is inane and the actions about equal. The character American Dream is akin to Sloane in Entertaining Mr. Sloane without the evil slant. Here he is innocence personified; in Sloane, no. Albee protests fiercely against the idol rich, as Mommy, Daddy and Grandma all come from a well.to.do clan...and they are obviously squandering too much time and energy. (more...)


BWW Reviews: HENRY IV, PART ONE, by The Rogues of Antaeus Review BWW Reviews: HENRY IV, PART ONE, by The Rogues of Antaeus
by Ellen Dostal - March 18, 2015

A striking image hovers above the action in HENRY IV, PART ONE at The Antaeus Company. It is a partial rendering of the planets orbiting the sun which serves as a constant reminder that this is the journey of a king-in-the-making. As Prince Hal, also known as Harry, slowly transitions from party boy to royal warrior, its glow becomes more and more noticeable until it finally overtakes the stage. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRIS Review BWW Reviews: Theatre West Brings Back a Resounding VERDIGRIS
by Don Grigware - March 17, 2015

First mounted in 1985 at Theatre West, Jim Beaver's Verdigris was critically acclaimed. He has since reworked the play and now in its second production 30 years later, Verdigris still holds up as a major exploration of the dysfunctional American family in both a serious and comic vein. Directed skillfully once more by Mark W. Travis and boasting a stellar ensemble cast, Verdigris remains a winner. (more...)


BWW Reviews: An Evening of Classic Broadway Features Performers Who Can REALLY Sing!!! Review BWW Reviews: An Evening of Classic Broadway Features Performers Who Can REALLY Sing!!!
by Gil Kaan - March 17, 2015

Rockwell Table & Stage could barely contain the theatre aficionados' applause and excitement generated by the incredible singers belting out one showstopper after another in An Evening of Classic Broadway. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SWITZERLAND Moves Chillingly to the Geffen Review BWW Reviews: SWITZERLAND Moves Chillingly to the Geffen
by Don Grigware - March 16, 2015

Switzerland/written by Joanna Murray-Smith/directed by Mark Brokaw/Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse/co-world premiere with the Sydney Theatre Company/through April 19 (more...)


BWW Reviews: Brilliant, Yet Frustrating TREVOR Review BWW Reviews: Brilliant, Yet Frustrating TREVOR
by Gil Kaan - March 16, 2015

A stellar cast, led by Laurie Metcalf, gives their all in the West Coast premiere of Nick Jones' smartly written Trevor. Jimmi Simpson embodies his character of Trevor, an 11-year-old chimpanzee with a child-like humanness, not unlike a human youngster with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (more...)


BWW Reviews: ChicabaRENT Wows in an All-Encompassing Interactive Experience Review BWW Reviews: ChicabaRENT Wows in an All-Encompassing Interactive Experience
by Gil Kaan - March 16, 2015

In ChicabaRENT, director/writer Shannon Sukovaty creates a clever mash-up of Chicago, Cabaret and Rent in a non-stop, in-your-face attack on your senses. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Noisy Nest's PROOF Holds Up Review BWW Reviews: Noisy Nest's PROOF Holds Up
by Gil Kaan - March 16, 2015

David Auburn's 2000 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof receives a sturdy mounting from Noisy Nest, with Amanda Bird directing the real-time scenes with a firm grip. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Jane Monheit Presents Stunning Tribute to Judy Garland Review BWW Reviews: Jane Monheit Presents Stunning Tribute to Judy Garland
by Michael L. Quintos - March 16, 2015

Any opportunity to catch two-time Grammy-nominated international jazz superstar and frequent favorite BroadwayWorld Cabaret Award-winner Jane Monheit bring her talents to a local venue outside of New York (and even nearby Los Angeles) is its own cause for celebration. That was certainly evidenced by the rapturous reception she received during her triumphant return to Orange County's Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Monheit closed out the Center's 2014-2015 Jazz series with Hello Bluebird, her jazz-centric tribute to the legendary Judy Garland. As expected, the 85-minute concert was nothing less than stunning. Let me repeat... stunning. (more...)


BWW Review: LIFEBOAT Recounts a True Story of Courage, Survival and Enduring Friendship Review BWW Review: LIFEBOAT Recounts a True Story of Courage, Survival and Enduring Friendship
by Shari Barrett - March 15, 2015

Winner of the Barclays Stage Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, LIFEBOAT by Nicola McCartney is a true story of courage, survival and enduring friendship set during World War II. In September 1940, a ship, the City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. Onboard were 90 evacuees trying to escape the relentless bombing and dangers of war-torn Britain. Four days into its journey, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived, including two fifteen-year-old girls, Bess Walder (Ashley Smith) and Beth Cummings (Hannah Donaldson) who spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat during a harsh, relentless storm. Through their will to survive in spite of their dire situation, they endured to tell their story so the bitter consequences of World War II on so many innocent, young children will never be forgotten. (more...)


BWW Review: Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Presented by LA Opera as Second Part of Figaro Trilogy Review BWW Review: Rossini's THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Presented by LA Opera as Second Part of Figaro Trilogy
by Shari Barrett - March 15, 2015

Trevore Ross stages this splendid revival of a production originally created by Spanish director Emilio Sagi for the Teatro Real in Madrid. Thanks to his stellar ensemble who do the lion's share of changing the sets while playing multiple roles, the opera is just as lovely to watch as it is to hear with the entire cast harmonizing spectacularly and playing their parts for all the laughs they can muster. THE BARBER OF SEVILLE is performed in Italian with simultaneous English translations projected over the stage. (more...)


BWW Reviews: RACHEL SORSA Band Releases Sumptuous Jazz CD SISU Review BWW Reviews: RACHEL SORSA Band Releases Sumptuous Jazz CD SISU
by Don Grigware - March 13, 2015

Sisu is sheer delight for lovers of jazz, blues and soul. With a sound that is passionate and seductive, vocalist Rachel Sorsa's soft, high-pitched delivery is like that of a little girl...kittenish and erotic a la Earth Kitt. Add great musicians Andy Allen on bass, Preston A. Gould on trumpet, Gus Duffy on drums and Serge Kasimoff at the piano, and what you come up with is one savory musical banquet. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Desert Theatreworks' NUNSENSE: THE MEGA-MUSICAL is Silly, Irreverent, and Lots of Fun Review BWW Reviews: Desert Theatreworks' NUNSENSE: THE MEGA-MUSICAL is Silly, Irreverent, and Lots of Fun
by Audrey Liebross - March 11, 2015

Desert Theatreworks (DTW), one of the Coachella Valley's nonprofit theatre companies, is presenting the hilarious musical comedy, NUNSENSE: THE MEGA-MUSICAL. Dan Goggin's musical farce contains clever wordplay and groaner puns. The show as DTW presents it is silly, irreverent, and highly enjoyable. (more...)






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