Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal is a Senior Editor and longtime writer for BroadwayWorld's Los Angeles region. A self-professed musical theatre geek, she also publishes two popular Southern California theatre blogs – Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA – and has covered jazz and classical events for the KJazz 88.1 FM and K-Mozart 1260 AM Arts and Music Blogs. She is also the LA Show writer for TheThreeTomatoes.com (The Insider's Guide for women who aren't kids). As a founding member of New Musicals Inc’s repertory company, she has developed roles in countless new works, many of which have been produced regionally and in New York. By day she works to raise money for children in need at Variety - the Children's Charity of Southern California.




MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: Hopeful Hearts Take a Complicated Journey in ARRIVAL & DEPARTUREHopeful Hearts Take a Complicated Journey in ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Posted: Jul. 22, 2018


BWW Review: PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Will Win You Over Hook, Line, and SinkerPUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Will Win You Over Hook, Line, and Sinker
Posted: Jul. 25, 2018


BWW Review: WAITRESS Bakes Up Slices of Life in a Pie Tin and Changes Lives in the ProcessBWW Review: WAITRESS Bakes Up Slices of Life in a Pie Tin and Changes Lives in the Process
Posted: Aug. 6, 2018


BWW Review: Revenge is Never Sweet in Independent Shakespeare Co.'s TITUS ANDRONICUSBWW Review: Revenge is Never Sweet in ISC's TITUS ANDRONICUS
Posted: Aug. 8, 2018


BWW Review: Murray Mednick Probes History in MAYAKOVSKY AND STALINBWW Review: Murray Mednick Probes History in MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN
Posted: Aug. 1, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

A Shakespeare Gift for the Holidays: SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG at The Broad StageA Shakespeare Gift for the Holidays: SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG at The Broad Stage
Posted: Dec. 13, 2017


BWW Review: HAMILTON Who? SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Kirk Douglas TheatreReview: SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Douglas
Posted: Nov. 16, 2017


BWW Review: Revenge is Never Sweet in Independent Shakespeare Co.'s TITUS ANDRONICUSBWW Review: Revenge is Never Sweet in Independent Shakespeare Co.'s TITUS ANDRONICUS
August 8, 2018

TITUS ANDRONICUS is one of Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedies. Characters are stabbed, beheaded, mutilated, raped, baked in a pie, and one is even buried up to his neck and left to die. At first glance it may not sound like an obvious choice for families who attend the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, and it definitely isn't one for 'the youngest audience members' as the website says. But the play's extreme violence does present a unique opportunity for parents to talk to their teens about revenge and the futility of starting down its destructive path.

BWW Review: WAITRESS Bakes Up Slices of Life in a Pie Tin and Changes Lives in the ProcessBWW Review: WAITRESS Bakes Up Slices of Life in a Pie Tin and Changes Lives in the Process
August 6, 2018

Can eating a pie be a religious experience? It can if it was made by Jenna, the diner waitress in the Broadway musical WAITRESS, who turns ordinary ingredients like butter, sugar, and flour into mouthwatering slices of life in a pie tin.

BWW Review: Murray Mednick Probes History in MAYAKOVSKY AND STALINBWW Review: Murray Mednick Probes History in MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN
August 1, 2018

There are plays that tell a story and there are plays that ponder ideas. Murray Mednick's latest world premiere MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN is the latter, an intellectual dissection of two Russian revolutionaries who were as integral to Eastern European history as beets are to borscht. But in Mednick's drama it is their thoughts that are under the microscope, or what he imagines their thoughts to be, rather than their actions. For, as his Chorus (Max Faugno) reminds us, "We know next to nothing of the past."

BWW Review: PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Will Win You Over Hook, Line, and SinkerBWW Review: PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Will Win You Over Hook, Line, and Sinker
July 25, 2018

One thing's for sure country musicals are an awful lot of fun. There aren't very many of them and, if you can name one at all, it's most likely THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS or THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM. But there is another rarely produced gem that is just as enjoyable PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES the fun-loving retro revue written by its original cast (John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann).

BWW Review: Hopeful Hearts Take a Complicated Journey in ARRIVAL & DEPARTUREBWW Review: Hopeful Hearts Take a Complicated Journey in ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
July 22, 2018

For Laura, in Noel Coward's beautiful pre-World War II black & white film, Brief Encounter, it is an unexpected meeting at a train station that leads to a secret romance with a friendly stranger named Alec. In ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE, the stage play inspired by Coward's film, written and directed by Stephen Sachs, it is a moment in a modern day New York subway station that thrusts Emily (Deanne Bray) into a similar romantic conundrum with another stranger, Sam (Troy Kotsur).

BWW Review: Kingsmen's TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Proves Honor Has Value and Chivalry isn't DeadBWW Review: Kingsmen's TWO NOBLE KINSMEN Proves Honor Has Value and Chivalry isn't Dead
July 6, 2018

It contains possibly the last words William Shakespeare ever wrote and chances are you've never seen a production of it. THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN was written around 1613 but not published until 1634, and is attributed to both Shakespeare and John Fletcher, the man who would succeed him as resident playwright for the King's Men (named for the company's benefactor, King James I). Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's production is the perfect opportunity to see it for the first time.

BWW Review: Pinter Plus Shakespeare Equals AN EVENING OF BETRAYALBWW Review: Pinter Plus Shakespeare Equals AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL
June 19, 2018

As its inaugural production, new classical theatre company The 6th Act, led by co-artistic directors Matthew Leavitt and Liza Seneca, presents two playwrights united by a common theme in AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL. Act One is Harold Pinter's BETRAYAL, which tells its story of marital infidelity from end to beginning, and a condensed version of William Shakespeare's OTHELLO, also told in reverse, makes up Act Two

BWW Review: LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT - The Tragedy of a Family's Downward SpiralBWW Review: LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT - The Tragedy of a Family's Downward Spiral
June 12, 2018

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O'Neill's LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell's see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.

BWW Review: An Irresistible Tom Hanks Goes for the Gusto as Falstaff in HENRY IVBWW Review: An Irresistible Tom Hanks Goes for the Gusto as Falstaff in HENRY IV
June 11, 2018

Director Daniel Sullivan's adaptation of HENRY IV, Parts 1 & 2 may only be playing in the Japanese Garden on the VA campus for another three weeks but it is bound to rank as one of the summer's most talked-about events. Why? Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles has saved up a secret weapon for the production, one few can resist.

BWW Review: Brenda Strong Stands Tall in LYSISTRATA UNBOUNDBWW Review: Brenda Strong Stands Tall in LYSISTRATA UNBOUND
June 11, 2018

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado's LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart - Physical Theatre Ensemble. First presented at the Getty Villa as part of its 2013 Lab Series, it was inspired by American anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's efforts for peace following the death of her son in Iraq. With unflinching intensity, it examines the insurmountable cost of war and one woman's epiphany in the face of personal tragedy.

BWW Review: Politics and Power Clash in Theatricum Botanicum's CORIOLANUSBWW Review: Politics and Power Clash in Theatricum Botanicum's CORIOLANUS
June 7, 2018

Theatricum Botanicum takes on Shakespeare's stinging drama CORIOLANUS this summer on its outdoor stage in Topanga Canyon and offers an intriguing look at the cynicism of politics and power. The work includes a massive cast of 45. Some are seasoned veterans and many are young actors in the early stages of their careers, including a sweet Geer granddaughter (Quinnlyn Scheppner). Together they bring forth the early days of Rome when democracy was in its infancy and mob mentality could turn the tide in the blink of an eye.

BWW Review: THE COLOR PURPLE Sounds the Clarion Call to ArmsBWW Review: THE COLOR PURPLE Sounds the Clarion Call to Arms
May 31, 2018

That joyful noise you hear coming from the Hollywood Pantages Theatre this month is the thrilling sound of female empowerment, and it is reverberating like thunder from the heavens in the dynamically robust national tour of THE COLOR PURPLE. Director John Doyle's Tony Award-winning reinvention of the musical - which took Broadway by storm in 2015 - rings like a clarion call to arms for every woman who's ever been violated, abused, or otherwise kept down by a man, and, on opening night, the powerful women leading the cast proved themselves more than capable of leading the charge.

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage NowBWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
May 30, 2018

What made the Hot List? Check out these productions for a look at the vast creativity of theatre makers in action in Los Angeles: FOREVER BOUND at Atwater Village Theatre, PLUNGE: Part 1of The Ballad of Bimini Baths Trilogy at Son of Semele,SOFT POWER downtown at the Ahmanson, VIOLET at Actors Co-op, THE GIANT VOID IN MY SOUL from Ammunition Theatre Company, WOOD BOY DOG FISH at Garry Marshall Theatre, and Antaeus Theatre Company's NATIVE SON in Glendale. Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal, LADCC.

BWW Review: WOOD BOY DOG FISH, a Rogue Retelling of a Fairy Tale Gone WrongBWW Review: WOOD BOY DOG FISH, a Rogue Retelling of a Fairy Tale Gone Wrong
May 22, 2018

Puppets and monsters and freaks, oh my. Shoreside has an abundance of them in WOOD BOY DOG FISH and they don't play well together at all. This fictional seaside town, home to the terrifying Dogfish Adventure Ride, is a miserable place. Populated with morally repugnant characters and a darkness that seeps into your very soul, it sets the stage for a somber night out at the usually sunny Garry Marshall Theatre.

BWW Review: The Porters Take Flight with a TEMPEST On The FlyBWW Review: The Porters Take Flight with a TEMPEST On The Fly
May 15, 2018

A gaunt Leon Russom conjures up more pathos than normal as the aged Prospero in the Porters of Hellsgate's production of THE TEMPEST. Whether it is due to the fact that the actor has been battling pneumonia, which took him out of the show opening weekend mid-performance, or that his interpretation of the role centers on the last actions of a dying man, this is a Prospero we haven't seen before.

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage NowBWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
May 7, 2018

What made the Hot List? BLUES IN THE NIGHTat Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, ICE at 24th STreet Theatre, LOST IN THE LIGHT by CRE Outrach at The Blue Door in Culver City, SCHOOL OF ROCK at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE at The Road Theatre Company on Lankershim, and SOUTH PACIFIC at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Check out the latest buzz below and go see a show! Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal (LADCC).

BWW Review: Three Cheers for the Talented Kids in SCHOOL OF ROCKBWW Review: Three Cheers for the Talented Kids in SCHOOL OF ROCK
May 5, 2018

As kid musicals go, SCHOOL OF ROCK isn't half bad. It falls somewhere between ANNIE and MATILDA on the Richter scale of stories about downtrodden kids overcoming obstacles to win in the end. It's got enough emotional oomph to tug on your heartstrings and it gives you plenty of reasons to happily cheer the underdogs on. It's also making stars out of its young cast members, right and left.

BWW Review: BLUES IN THE NIGHT, a Spectacular Showcase for Three Incredible WomenBWW Review: BLUES IN THE NIGHT, a Spectacular Showcase for Three Incredible Women
May 4, 2018

Somewhere in a cheap hotel in Chicago, circa late 1930s, three women are singing the blues. Two have been around the block and seen it all. One is woefully wise beyond her years. All have been burned by the flames of desire and lovers who have done them wrong. This is the set-up for BLUES IN THE NIGHT, the musical revue conceived and directed by Sheldon Epps, playing through May 20th in the Lovelace Studio Theater at The Wallis.

BWW Review: The American Dream is only a Taco Away in ICE at 24th STreet TheatreBWW Review: The American Dream is only a Taco Away in ICE at 24th STreet Theatre
May 2, 2018

Seduced by the notion that, in America, winning is everything, an immigrant loses sight of what is really important in Leon Martell's world premiere play, ICE. Commissioned by 24th STreet Theatre to commemorate its 20th anniversary, the 65-minute one act highlights the plight of every hopeful soul diligently trying to attain the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness promised by our founding fathers.

BWW Interview: THE VERDI CHORUS, A Musical Family Related by the Love of OperaBWW Interview: THE VERDI CHORUS, A Musical Family Related by the Love of Opera
April 18, 2018

For the past 35 years, members of The Verdi Chorus have celebrated their shared love of music, and their ability to raise those goosebumps, by lifting their voices in song. This spring, they will mark their milestone anniversary with two special concerts on April 28th and 29th at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica. On the program: nothing less than four passion-filled scenes by Verdi from La Forza del Destino, Nabucco, and La Traviata, plus a big finish from Johann Strauss' effervescent operetta, Die Fledermaus.



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