BroadwayWorld.com

Los Angeles Theater Reviews

Los Angeles Home Page | Broadway Reviews | Search Reviews:
 

BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co.'s DOCTOR FAUSTUS Examines the Road to Hell Review BWW Reviews: Independent Shakespeare Co.'s DOCTOR FAUSTUS Examines the Road to Hell
by Ellen Dostal - October 28, 2014

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions but for Dr. Faustus (Adam Mondschein) the shortcut forged by a writ in blood expedites a journey that has nothing to do with being good. Frustrated in his search for knowledge and arrogant in his desires, he makes a deal with the Devil (Lexie Helgerson) and in exchange for his soul, is granted twenty-five years with Lucifer's demon Mephistopheles (Suzan Crowley) by his side, serving him in any way he chooses. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Extraordinary Tony-Winning Revival of PIPPIN Somersaults into SoCal Review BWW Reviews: Extraordinary Tony-Winning Revival of PIPPIN Somersaults into SoCal
by Michael L. Quintos - October 28, 2014

Arguably, director Diane Paulus' greatest triumph to date is the spectacular new production of PIPPIN, the 2013 Tony-winning revival of Stephen Schwartz's trippy but winsome musical about the angst-riddled but hyper-aspirational young son of King Charlemagne, and his erratic, sometimes frustrating journey of self-discovery. In her marvelously inventive, re-imagined update---now playing at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood through November 9---Paulus brilliantly orients the topsy-turvy machinations of the entire story within the canvas-lined confines of a big-top circus. Here, the over-the-top performance troupe that 'guides' our hero's search for self-fulfillment aren't merely just actors (or 'players') but are also all agile, athletic circus performers that tumble, leap, and balance themselves for our (and Pippin's) entertainment pleasure. As expected, both Pippin and the audience are equally lulled into submission. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Sparkling Cast in Falcon's A OR B? Review BWW Reviews: Sparkling Cast in Falcon's A OR B?
by Don Grigware - October 28, 2014

Which is more important in life ... love or position? Ambitious men and women compete for power in the corporate world and sometimes business partners fall in love, but can they have both equally? In his new comedy A or B? Ken Levine thinks not. With two dynamic and likable actors and directed skillfully by Andrew Barnicle at the Falcon through November 16, the play is slick, funny and engaging to a point, but something is lacking. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Thrilling JEKYLL & HYDE at Candlelight Review BWW Reviews: Thrilling JEKYLL & HYDE at Candlelight
by Don Grigware - October 28, 2014

For some inexplicable reason, composer Frank Wildhorn frequently gets a bad rap, accused of copying from other composers or just being a giant step below the quality of say, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, or Jerry Herman, among others. Many forget Wildhorn is responsible for the beautiful music of The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dracula the Musical and more recently, Bonnie and Clyde, as well as Jekyll & Hyde. Wildhorn's popular tunes, especially the ballads are glorious, verging on opera and stand on their own as hits, such as 'This Is the Moment', 'Once Upon a Dream', 'In His Eyes' and 'A New Life' all from his Jekyll & Hyde score. Combining talent with great lyricist / book writer Leslie Bricusse is a little miracle, so Wildhorn comes up, in fact, a real winner. And in Candlelight's current stellar revival, the show is a darkly rich feast for the eyes and ears, just in time for Halloween. Jekyll & Hyde will play out its intriguing game of good versus evil at Candlelight through November 23. (more...)


BWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big Winner Review BWW Reviews: RICK STARR SCHOLARSHIP CABARET CONCERT a Big Winner
by Don Grigware - October 28, 2014

On Sunday October 26, Clifford Bell presented the first Rick Starr Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert, entitled Starr Bucks, at Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City. The beloved Starr, who passed away about a year ago, worked at Hollywood Sheet Music and served the Los Angeles musical theatre community in a most unusual, endearing way. Not only did he assist singers over the years to find unpublished songs for their various club acts and cabaret performances, but would go out of his way to find material for them depending on their individual preferences...and would call each and every customer on his or her birthday every year, just to wish them a Happy Birthday. A rare and delightful human being! Starr was remembered fondly with anecdotes by the three cabaret stars of the evening Mary Jo Mundy, Todd Murray and Shawn Ryan. Affable virtuoso pianist/singer Michael Sobie served as accompanist/musical director throughout the 90 minute set. (more...)


BWW Reviews: GCT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Reaches The Impossible Dream Review BWW Reviews: GCT's MAN OF LA MANCHA Reaches The Impossible Dream
by Don Grigware - October 28, 2014

As many times as I have seen Man of La Mancha, I relish the music and high dramatic moments of this classic piece of theatre. Being, naturally, that the production of it is top notch, with the right actors and skilled direction! GCT's current revival is top of the line. I remember seeing Richard Kiley, the original Cervantes/Alonso Quijana/Don Quijote in a Broadway revival in the 70s and was blown away by his ferocious commitment to the role. He spoke and sang to the last row of the balcony without even trying because of his brilliant focus on relaying the message of peace, justice, love and the simple joy of living in harmony with your fellow-man. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Well, GCT's production is quieter, more subdued, but every bit as serious, entertaining and nurturing. (more...)


BWW Reviews: FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUSICAL Presents the Classic Horror Story as a 1700s Steampunk Operetta Review BWW Reviews: FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUSICAL Presents the Classic Horror Story as a 1700s Steampunk Operetta
by Shari Barrett - October 27, 2014

FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUSICAL is based on the original novel by Mary Shelley and has music by Mark Baron, lyrics by Jeffrey Jackson, and a book by Jackson and Gary P. Cohen. The story follows Shelley's novel quite closely, and is ultimately about man reaching for the power of God, while battling the two deadly sins of greed and pride. Victor is a tragic character who means well. He simply wants to learn the secrets that would allow him to bring back to life someone he lost when he was young - his much-beloved mother. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Porters Weave a WINTER'S TALE Review BWW Reviews: The Porters Weave a WINTER'S TALE
by Ellen Dostal - October 27, 2014

THE WINTER'S TALE is not the easiest of Shakespeare's plays to stage. It must believably present a story sharply divided into two parts set in two different countries with drastically contrasting tones, and pull off an ending that resolves them by way of magic or a well-concealed plot, based on whichever point of view the director takes. The violence of the first half of the play in Sicilia (winter) melts away in the pastoral beauty of Bohemia (spring) in the second where the story continues sixteen years later before reuniting the past and present and absolving the sins of a repentant king. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE ZOMBIE EFFECT Will Make You Puke Your Guts From Continuous Laughter and Astonishing Fright Review BWW Reviews: THE ZOMBIE EFFECT Will Make You Puke Your Guts From Continuous Laughter and Astonishing Fright
by Gil Kaan - October 27, 2014

The Zombie Effect -the ideal scary experience for the haunting Halloween season. Like taking one of those house of horrors rides where some creature jumps out at you when you least expect it (more...)


BWW Reviews: In BROOMSTICK, Jenny O'Hara Brilliantly Takes You Through the Dark Memories Of A Lonely Old Witch Review BWW Reviews: In BROOMSTICK, Jenny O'Hara Brilliantly Takes You Through the Dark Memories Of A Lonely Old Witch
by Shari Barrett - October 24, 2014

Set in Appalachia and written entirely in verse, Biguenet's charming and mesmerizing solo play introduces us to a wacky, bizarre old woman living in an odd little shack deep in the woods… who just happens to be a witch. Creepily funny and frightening, Jenny O'Hara takes us back to our childhoods when, in our innocence, we first wrestled with good and evil. As she unveils her life, we journey with her down a shadowy path somewhere between our material world and the realm of fantasy. But we soon find out this is no Hansel and Gretel fairytale; in BROOMSTICK, justice has been meted out swiftly and harshly by the Witch during her entire lifetime. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Newest Broadway Revival of PIPPIN Provides Spills and Thrills at the Pantages Review BWW Reviews: Newest Broadway Revival of PIPPIN Provides Spills and Thrills at the Pantages
by Don Grigware - October 23, 2014

In 1972 Pippin opened on Broadway and became one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, closing in 1977. Stephen Schwartz's bubbling optimistic tunes made the surreal and sensual mood of the piece an ultra-pleasant experience for theatre goers. One actually left the theatre humming the score. Throughout the dreamlike texture of Pippin's quest for his 'Corner of the Sky', however, there blooms a simplistic, timeless message that reverberates to this day. So, even though this brand new revival set in a circus big top is visually more opulent with high swinging artists and feats of magic, the pieces of the puzzle do fit into place - original director Bob Fosse would approve - and the play's substance is untarnished. Director Diane Paulus may take a bow for her simply stunning ambition of embellishment. I prefer the simplicity of the original, which allows your imagination to take flight, but must own up to enjoying most of the new version. How can you not, as the Fosse-esque style with acrobatics added on make for a visually splendid evening of dance and action. (more...)


BWW Reviews: OC's 3-D Theatricals Presents Epic Production of RAGTIME Review BWW Reviews: OC's 3-D Theatricals Presents Epic Production of RAGTIME
by Michael L. Quintos - October 21, 2014

Admirably directed by 3-D Theatricals co-founder and resident artistic director TJ Dawson, this ambitiously impressive regional revival of RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL, continues through October 26 at its home-base at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton before moving north for its set of performances at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, November 1-9. A stunning, beautifully-rendered production enhanced by a supremely talented cast and Broadway-caliber production values, this rarely-produced musical is a Southern California must-see! (more...)


BWW Reviews: Peter Quilter's GLORIOUS! Comes to ICT Review BWW Reviews: Peter Quilter's GLORIOUS! Comes to ICT
by Don Grigware - October 20, 2014

At least four plays have been written about Florence Foster Jenkins, who in the 30s and 40s, in spite of being considered the worst singer ever, recorded and gave highly publicized annual SRO concerts including one in 1944 at... Carnegie Hall. A rank amateur, Jenkins had no pitch, tone or rhythm and decimated just about every note and lyric in every score she put her voice to. BUT, she had a dream and she loved music with a passion. In her head and heart, she sounded like one of the most gorgeous sopranos that ever graced a stage. Maybe she really knew she was tone deaf and couldn't hit the mark... or maybe she didn't. If we cannot get our hands on one of her recordings, we can only estimate the truth of the matter by what we read or see in the various plays about her life. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Handsome AMADEUS at ETC Review BWW Reviews: Handsome AMADEUS at ETC
by Don Grigware - October 20, 2014

Peter Shaffer's incredibly intriguing examination of the demise and death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the hands of Court Composer Antonio Salieri in 1791 Vienna is at the core of Amadeus, which premiered in London in 1979, went on to win a Tony Award as Best Play of 1981 and also an Oscar for the reinvented film version in 1984. It is well reputed that Shaffer used artistic license in creating the play and movie as Mozart and Salieri were never official rivals/foes, but, yes or no, it certainly makes for divinely pleasant theatricality, now in a handsome revival at ETC in Santa Barbara through October 26. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NICE THINGS Very Nice! Review BWW Reviews: NICE THINGS Very Nice!
by Gil Kaan - October 20, 2014

A strong, nicely-matched cast of four playing well opposite, and with, each other; firmly directed at a steady clip by Elina de Santos; and presented with top-notch production elements make Nice Things a very nice 85 minutes of entertainment. (more...)


BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT 2014 Presents 3 Moody and Atmospheric World Premiere Adaptations of Classic Horror Literature Review BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT 2014 Presents 3 Moody and Atmospheric World Premiere Adaptations of Classic Horror Literature
by Shari Barrett - October 20, 2014

Each Halloween season, Unbound Productions presents adaptations of classic horror literature as an immersive theatre event that takes place at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, California. Yes, that's right - you spend the evening surrounded by dead people with much reverence and respect paid to each vault and tombstone, especially those lucky enough to become part of the show. No doubt, as they have in the past, the shows will sell out this year so order your tickets soon. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE DIVINERS - An Exacting Test of Heroic Patience Review BWW Reviews: THE DIVINERS - An Exacting Test of Heroic Patience
by Gil Kaan - October 19, 2014

Multi-award winning playwright Jim Leonard, Jr. definitively succeeds in explicitly depicting the tragic affects of caring for Buddy, a mentally disturbed boy with a gift for divining water. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Whip-Smart Philosophical Comedy DISCORD Presents a Battle of Wits for the Ages Review BWW Reviews: Whip-Smart Philosophical Comedy DISCORD Presents a Battle of Wits for the Ages
by Shari Barrett - October 17, 2014

DISCORD brings three great thinkers together in a room which appears to be a holding cell for heaven. They enter according to the time period in which they lived: first Thomas Jefferson, then Charles Dickens, and finally Count Leo Tolstoy. When each enters through the only door, it closes and locks, blocking the only way out. Thus begins their examination of why they have been brought together, what they could possibly have in common, and how can they possibly escape? It's a blistering battle of wits for the ages. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Olson Brothers' Latest DON'T HUG ME, WE'RE MARRIED Plays Group Rep in NoHo Review BWW Reviews: Olson Brothers' Latest DON'T HUG ME, WE'RE MARRIED Plays Group Rep in NoHo
by Don Grigware - October 16, 2014

Folks who are unfamiliar with the Don't Hug Me series of shows need look no further than at the signs in the lobby of the group rep that say 'Have a Crappie Day!' It's obvious that the show inside is unlike any other with an unmistakable individuality and peculiarly regional point of view, that everyone can relate to. We've all known people like these crazy characters. In a long series of Don't Hug Me productions the Olson Brothers are at it again, this time around with Don't Hug Me, We're Married, now onstage in NoHo through November 15. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal Review BWW Reviews: Singer JOHN LLOYD YOUNG Brings An Evening for Friends to Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal
by Don Grigware - October 15, 2014

Actor/singer John Lloyd Young, best known for his Tony-winning portrayal of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway Jersey Boys and for his performance in the 2014 film, has performed three cabaret concerts at the Cafe Carlisle in New York since 2013. He felt it was high time to bring the act home to California, and so on Monday October 13 and Tuesday October 14, Young, backed by a dynamite five-piece band, presented An Evening for Friends at Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal. It was a sold-out engagement with screaming fans who had flown in from all over the world. It was my first time experiencing the talent of this young artist, and hopefully not my last. If you have never heard his angelic tenor voice that glides smoothly and effortlessly into high-octave falsetto, you are missing a rare treat. He has a one.of.a.kind style that sets him apart from every male singer on the music scene today with a quiet, personable charisma and stellar stage presence that keep you hanging on to every note, every phrase. At the end of the 60-minute set, he left us wanting more; true artist that he is, Young knows when it is time to finish. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SCR Presents Tony-winning VENUS IN FUR Review BWW Reviews: SCR Presents Tony-winning VENUS IN FUR
by Don Grigware - October 15, 2014

David Ives' fascinating two character play within a play Venus in Fur won a Best Actress Tony Award for Nina Arianda in 2012. It's no wonder as the role in theatrical size and scope is every actress's dream. Now onstage at SCR, Casey Stangl directs two first-rate actors in Ives' thoroughly engrossing, unpredictable story of degradation. (more...)


BWW Reviews: NO ACTORS ALLOWED - Tim Bagley's Hysterical Diary of an Actor Managing His Sanity! Review BWW Reviews: NO ACTORS ALLOWED - Tim Bagley's Hysterical Diary of an Actor Managing His Sanity!
by Gil Kaan - October 15, 2014

Tim Bagley weaves the hysterically sad and poignantly funny incidents of his working actor career into his quick, one-hour, entertaining creation No Actors Allowed (more...)


BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' Lush RAGTIME Graces Fullerton Stage Review BWW Reviews: 3-D Theatricals' Lush RAGTIME Graces Fullerton Stage
by Don Grigware - October 14, 2014

Since its creation in 1997, Ragtime has remained one of my favorite musicals for two reasons. Its simply gorgeous almost opera-like musical score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens moves me to the bone, and it has more meaningful historical content about America at the turn of the 20th century than just about any other show. Now by means of 3D Theatricals' new, freshly staged production, onstage in Fullerton through October 26, Ragtime continues its deeply moving effect on audiences. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Reinvented CABARET Sizzles at Crown Review BWW Reviews: Reinvented CABARET Sizzles at Crown
by Don Grigware - October 14, 2014

Perhaps Kander and Ebb's best musical, apart from Chicago, Cabaret has it all: a fine book, deliciously diverse characters, dynamite music and a subtext that will not quit. The subtext being: either compromise or get out if you value your life, the latter, to be sure, the wiser. This is Berlin, circa 1930, before Hitler, but just as Nazi pressure hits the fan. Crown City Theatre's new revival production, with a small ensemble of 11, has a completely new look with slick direction from Gary Lamb. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell Enchants with SIMPLY BROADWAY Concert Review BWW Reviews: Tony Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell Enchants with SIMPLY BROADWAY Concert
by Michael L. Quintos - October 14, 2014

For 90 solid minutes, Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Brian Stokes Mitchell---under the guise of a showtunes-centric cabaret concert themed around his most recent studio album Simply Broadway---provided his enthralled Costa Mesa audience a virtual master class in musical theater performance. Not only did he sing every selection beautifully (as expected), he performed the heck out of each song with electric, palpable passion. Instead of merely parking himself in front of a mic, the seasoned pro of film, television and the Broadway stage chose to actually disappear into each song's character with purposeful yet effortless ease. It's not difficult to be awed by Mitchell. (more...)


 
🔀LOS ANGELES SHOWS
CARRIE the musical in Los AngelesCARRIE the musical
(Runs 5/1 - 11/2)
Enrique��s Journey in Los AngelesEnrique��s Journey
(Runs 10/17 - 11/7)
The Addams Family
(Runs 9/18 - 11/9)
Jesus Christ Superstar in Los AngelesJesus Christ Superstar
(Runs 10/3 - 11/9)
Pippin in Los AngelesPippin
(Runs 10/21 - 11/9)
The Threepenny Opera in Los AngelesThe Threepenny Opera
(Runs 11/12 - 11/14)
Oklahoma! in Los AngelesOklahoma!
(Runs 8/22 - 11/16)

View All | Add Show | Auditions