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: Ammo Theatre's FAIRY TALE THEATRE 18 & OVER: THE MUSICAL is Comedy with a KickFAIRY TALE THEATRE 18 & OVER: THE MUSICAL is Comedy with a Kick
Posted: Sep. 20, 2018


BWW Review: Color and Light Theatre Ensemble's LIZZIE is Rage Rock at its FinestBWW Review: LIZZIE is Rage Rock at its Finest
Posted: Sep. 18, 2018


BWW Review: A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Captures a Chilling Lifetime of DecayReview: A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Captures a Chilling Lifetime of Decay
Posted: Oct. 5, 2018


BWW Review: Unbound Productions Rouses the Dead with WICKED LIT: THE CHIMES AND THE CORPSEBWW Review: Unbound Productions Rouses the Dead with WICKED LIT: THE CHIMES AND THE CORPSE
Posted: Oct. 15, 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: Unbound Productions Rouses the Dead with WICKED LIT: THE CHIMES AND THE CORPSEBWW Review: Unbound Productions Rouses the Dead with WICKED LIT: THE CHIMES AND THE CORPSE
October 15, 2018

For eight of the last ten years, Wicked Lit has created theatre among the dead - quite literally - at Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena. Three stories adapted from classic literature have been the norm most recently, with a fourth story functioning as a framing device to connect the pieces and bring a sense of camaraderie to the crowd. The result is an exceedingly entertaining evening of indoor-outdoor theatre in one of the spookiest venues in Southern California.

BWW Review: A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Captures a Chilling Lifetime of DecayBWW Review: A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY Captures a Chilling Lifetime of Decay
October 5, 2018

They say a picture paints a thousand words. In director Michael Michetti's compelling stage adaptation of Oscar Wilde's A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, it does more than that. It captures a lifetime.

BWW Review: Ammo Theatre's FAIRY TALE THEATRE 18 & OVER: THE MUSICAL is Comedy with a KickBWW Review: Ammo Theatre's FAIRY TALE THEATRE 18 & OVER: THE MUSICAL is Comedy with a Kick
September 20, 2018

Ammunition Theatre Company ventures into the wacky world of fractured fairy tales for its latest production, FAIRY TALE THEATRE 18 & OVER: THE MUSICAL. Written and narrated by Michael J. Feldman, with original songs by Jason Currie, the show consists of four sketch comedy skits performed in 90 minutes, no intermission, by a group of energetic actors with mostly stand-up and television backgrounds.

BWW Review: Color and Light Theatre Ensemble's LIZZIE is Rage Rock at its FinestBWW Review: Color and Light Theatre Ensemble's LIZZIE is Rage Rock at its Finest
September 18, 2018

How much rage would a person need to feel to kill two people with 29 whacks of an axe? The short answer is, a lot. That's the number Andrew Borden and his second wife Abby actually sustained in 1892 - not the 81 immortalized in this haunting nursery rhyme.

Theatre in Historic Places: NIGHTWALK IN THE CHINESE GARDEN at The HuntingtonTheatre in Historic Places: NIGHTWALK IN THE CHINESE GARDEN at The Huntington
September 12, 2018

When writer/director Stan Lai has an idea for a new play, people take notice. He is the most celebrated Chinese language playwright and director in the world and his body of work - which to date includes 35 original plays - has redefined how we think about the art form itself. With such well-known works as Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, his epic, eight-hour A Dream Like a Dream, and That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk, he has continued to study the human condition with great thoughtfulness while inspiring countless theatremakers around the world to reach beyond the familiar.

BWW Review: THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND Kander and Ebb Style for Reprise 2.0BWW Review: THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND Kander and Ebb Style for Reprise 2.0
September 7, 2018

Somewhere between its opening of SWEET CHARITY in late June and the end of July, Reprise 2.0 postponed its second scheduled production of its inaugural season, VICTOR/VICTORIA. In its place, the company has mounted a revival of Kander & Ebb's musical revue, THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND, and, while it isn't a rarely revived book musical, which has always been Reprise's focus in the past, it does contain a score derived from some of the best songs in the classic Kander & Ebb catalogue (think CHICAGO and CABARET).

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.



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