Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal is a Senior Editor and longtime writer for BroadwayWorld's Los Angeles region. She publishes two popular Southern California theatre blogs – Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA – and has covered the performing arts community, jazz, and classical music for KJazz 88.1 FM and K-Mozart 1260 AM. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Iowa. She is also the LA Show writer for TheThreeTomatoes.com (The Insider’s Guide for women who aren’t kids). Ellen joined the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle in 2017.



BWW Interview: A Conversation with Matt Walker and Beth Kennedy, the King and Queen of Troubie LandA Conversation with Matt Walker and Beth Kennedy, the King and Queen of Troubie Land
Posted: May. 2, 2019

BWW Review: The CATS Phenomenon Continues at the Hollywood PantagesBWW Review: The CATS Phenomenon Continues at the Hollywood Pantages
Posted: Mar. 2, 2019

BWW Interview: Julie Makerov and the Fine Art of Balancing Music and LifeBWW Interview: Julie Makerov and the Fine Art of Balancing Music and Life
Posted: Nov. 5, 2018

Audition Master Class with WICKED's Jackie Burns and Chandra Lee Schwartz Comes to LA
September 5, 2019

Want to know what it takes to make it on Broadway? Jackie Burns and Chandra Lee Schwartz, stars of the long-running hit musical WICKED, have announced that they will host an audition master class on Sunday, September 22nd in Los Angeles. This is your chance to learn from the pros! The class will take place at Screenland Studios (10501 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601) from 1:00-4:00 pm and is open to all ages.

VIDEO: FRANKENSTEIN Electrifies Audiences at A Noise Within
August 22, 2019

The California premiere of Nick Dear's FRANKENSTEIN, directed by Michael Michetti and adapted from the original novel by Mary Shelley, is currently running as a stand-alone production through September 8th at A Noise Within. This electrifying tale of a creature cast away by his creator into a hostile worlda?"only to wind his way back in a dangerous game of destructiona?"has captivated audiences for over 200 years. The gothic story comes to life with Nick Dear's adaptation of the chilling fable by Mary Shelley, animating the themes of social rejection, intellectual hubris, and the nascency of good and evil.

PHOTO FLASH: Independent Shakespeare Co. Presents PERICLES at the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival
August 1, 2019

Love is lost and found again in PERICLES, one of Shakespeare's most spellbinding plays. The young Pericles sets out for adventure, but gets more than he bargains for. Twenty-five years later, it's his daughter's turn to sail the high seas as she seeks to unravel the mystery of her birth. 

BWW Feature: RICHARD II to close Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's Summer Season
July 15, 2019

For the first time in its history, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company will present Shakespeare's RICHARD II with the company's associate artistic director Brett Elliott in the title role and Los Angeles-based actor Hannah Tamminen playing Richard's cousin and adversary, Bolingbroke. Women will also take on many of the traditional male roles such as politicians and soldiers.

BWW Feature: Summer Shakespeare Spotlight. What to See Now!
July 12, 2019

Summer is the best time of year to get out and see a Shakespeare play, especially in Southern California. Whether it's under the stars, staged in a unique performance space, or revived in a traditional theater, you can't go wrong when it comes to the world's greatest writer. Here's what we've currently got on our radar. Go see a show!

BWW Review: A Shakespeare Classic Gets the Rocker Treatment in Troubadour Theater Company's JULIUS WEEZER
May 13, 2019

In JULIUS WEEZER, Troubadour Theater Company uses its signature wit to turn a Shakespeare classic into a blissfully-alive rocker version of its ancient self, and the result is divine madness. You don't need to be a Bard lover to have a great time but, if you are, you'll be impressed by the level of classical talent on stage and the company's ability to "speak the speech" while tickling your funny bone.

BWW Review: Two Stars and a Scintillating Score Make This SECRET GARDEN Glow
May 8, 2019

When 3-D Theatricals artistic director T.J. Dawson tells you during the curtain speech to read his program note before THE SECRET GARDEN begins, take him at his word. It will go a long way toward helping you understand the feverish dream sequence that lays the foundation for Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman's dark, but ultimately uplifting, musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1911 classic novel.

BWW Interview: A Conversation with Matt Walker and Beth Kennedy, the King and Queen of Troubie Land
May 2, 2019

When it comes to developing a loyal fan base, Troubadour Theater Company has found the secret: do outstanding work, stay true to your aesthetic, and give the people what they want - a great time at the theater. Artistic Director Matt Walker started the troupe and, with the help of longtime friend and foil, Beth Kennedy, continues to lead his merry band into the great theatrical unknown. Next up for the company is JULIUS WEEZER, which combines Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR and the music of Weezer to tell its tale of political intrigue Troubie style. Today, they talk about what it's like putting together a new show and why they keep on coming back for more.

BWW Review: ARGONAUTIKA Brings Gods, Monsters, Mortals, and Kings to Life at A Noise Within
April 16, 2019

The best way to characterize Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of the mythical tale of Jason and the Argonauts is as a playground for adults in which theatre artists use every storytelling trick in the book to bring gods, monsters, mortals, and kings to life. Puppets, masks, stilts and aerial silks trade stage time with original music, dashing fight scenes, and flights of fancy in Jason's epic adventure to find the Golden Fleece.

BWW Review: Independent Shakespeare Co.'s JULIUS CAESAR, a Political Crime Story Ripped from the Headlines
April 15, 2019

Taking its cue from Orson Welles' 1937 Mercury Theatre production of JULIUS CAESAR, Independent Shakespeare Co. exercises its exceptional ability to adapt one of Shakespeare's massive works for an intimate indoor setting without giving up any of the play's scope or impact. 

BWW Review: THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON Takes an Epic Journey at The Wallis
March 6, 2019

Remember the joy of being a kid and spending hours upon hours acting out stories using whatever you could find? When two sticks stood in for a swordfight to save the day or a towel became the mantle of a king? That's what it feels like watching PigPen Theatre Co. in THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON at The Wallis. 

BWW Review: The CATS Phenomenon Continues at the Hollywood Pantages
March 2, 2019

Without a doubt, Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical CATS is of an era. Based on one of Lloyd Webber's favorite books as a child, T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, it was a perfect vehicle for the tastes of theatre lovers in the eighties, the decade of excess. The large-scale production, which opened on Broadway in 1982, was a highly theatrical concept featuring an elaborate light show, impressive dance numbers, and an intoxicating score, exactly what the public had come to expect from the composer of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and EVITA.

BWW Review: A Modern Day OTHELLO Finds Humor Amid the Horror of Revenge
February 21, 2019

Never has the relationship between Iago and Roderigo in Shakespeare's OTHELLO stolen the show like it does in the current A Noise Within production, directed by Jessica Kubzansky. With an outwardly nonchalant Michael Manuel as the revenge seeking villain, and Jeremy Rabb, an actor who knows comedy like the back of his hand, as his unsuspecting lackey, the situational humor in Shakespeare's tragedy comes front and center. That's right, humor.

BWW Review: RAGTIME Revival Couldn't Come at a Better Time
February 15, 2019

How do you scale down an epic musical like RAGTIME for a smaller stage and a different time? When it opened at the Shubert Theatre in Century City in 1997, the cast numbered nearly fifty, the same as it would for its Broadway debut later that year. The stage was enormous and the production filled every inch of it. I still remember how the sheer volume of the choral numbers gave me chills.

BWW Review: WITNESS UGANDA, Changing the World One Life at a Time
February 13, 2019

The need for human connection runs deep in WITNESS UGANDA, a musical by Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould based on Matthews' real-life experiences in Uganda. At its center is the idea that we are all part of a global family - one world, one heart - connected by an invisible thread that never lets go.

BWW Review: Troubies to the Rescue in THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTANA CLAUS
December 20, 2018

What would Christmas in LA be without the Troubies? A lot less funny. Happily, artistic director, writer, and head jokester Matt "Mashup" Walker and his coterie of clowns aren't about to let anyone down. Not only are they back with their seventeenth annual holiday show, they're proving just how smart they really are when it comes to delivering a performance that has its finger on the pulse of what's happening now.

BWW Review: Love is Everywhere in LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE at The Wallis
December 16, 2018

The countdown to Christmas begins and ends with an all-out love blitz this year in For the Record's latest world premiere, LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE, a hybrid entertainment that blends scenes from Richard Curtis' 2003 film Love Actually with live performances of the movie's soundtrack. Co-produced by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, it is a celebration of love in all its messy, complicated, wonderful glory in a Las Vegas-style vision designed to impress.

BWW Interview: Julie Makerov and the Fine Art of Balancing Music and Life
November 5, 2018

How does a busy soprano balance career, family, motherhood, and art? If that soprano is Julie Makerov, it's all about scheduling and planning ahead of time. Makerov, who will be appearing as one of four soloists with LA's Verdi Chorus this weekend at First United Methodist Church in Santa Monica, says that's the key to managing all of her commitments.

BWW Review: SKYPILOT One-Acts Explore Contemporary Issues from a New Perspective
November 4, 2018

New work is the lifeblood of the theatre and it is also the sole focus of LA-based SkyPilot Theatre Company. Going one step further, SkyPilot's niche is 'producing only original plays, created by LA playwrights,' which they have done consistently since 2010.

Theatre West and Artist Levi Ponce Celebrate Judy Garland in New Mural
October 29, 2018

On Sunday, October 27th, Theatre West presented a beautiful new addition to the urban art landscape in Los Angeles with the unveiling of local artist Levi Ponce's latest mural featuring Judy Garland. Painted in full color and pictured with the Emerald City behind her, the portrait immortalizes one of the most beloved singers of all time in her signature role - Dorothy Gale from the classic 1939 MGM musical, THE WIZARD OF OZ.