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: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot This Month on L.A. StagesBWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot This Month on L.A. Stages
Posted: Mar. 28, 2018


BWW Review: Lois Robbins Makes Sense of Her Sexual History in L.O.V.E.RReview: Lois Robbins Makes Sense of Her Sexual History in L.O.V.E.R
Posted: Apr. 14, 2018


BWW Review: Independent Shakespeare Co. Opens New Studio with a Crowd-Pleasing ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELLReview: ISC's Crowd-Pleasing ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
Posted: Mar. 27, 2018


BWW Review: Nothing is as it seems in Echo Theater Company's WHAT HAPPENED WHENReview: Nothing is as it seems in WHAT HAPPENED WHEN
Posted: Apr. 16, 2018


BWW Review: MACBETH. His Story. Her Tragedy. Our Misfortune.BWW Review: MACBETH. His Story. Her Tragedy.
Posted: Apr. 12, 2018


BWW Interview: THE VERDI CHORUS, A Musical Family Related by the Love of OperaTHE VERDI CHORUS, A Musical Family Related by the Love of Opera
Posted: Apr. 18, 2018


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Review: Backstage Antics Abound in Indie Film OPENING NIGHTBWW Review: Backstage Antics Abound in Indie Film OPENING NIGHT
Posted: Jul. 30, 2017


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 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.

BWW Review: Nothing is as it seems in Echo Theater Company's WHAT HAPPENED WHENBWW Review: Nothing is as it seems in Echo Theater Company's WHAT HAPPENED WHEN
April 16, 2018

The air between the words is so thick you could cut it with a knife in Daniel Talbott's shadowy play about three siblings attempting to survive their dysfunctional family. Each is broken in his or her own way and, as the hairball unravels, the audience must piece together their fragmented story over a period of six years.

BWW Review: Lois Robbins Makes Sense of Her Sexual History in L.O.V.E.RBWW Review: Lois Robbins Makes Sense of Her Sexual History in L.O.V.E.R
April 14, 2018

Although the details of your own personal experience will be different, almost everyone can identify with Lois Robbins' humorous story of her sexual awakening. An early starter, Robbins began at the age of 3 when she realized that rubbing up against the hard edges of furniture would provide a feeling she couldn't get enough of. When she discovered the vibrating washing machine and dryer, suffice it to say, it changed her life for good.

BWW Review: MACBETH. His Story. Her Tragedy. Our Misfortune.BWW Review: MACBETH. His Story. Her Tragedy. Our Misfortune.
April 12, 2018

This adaptation of Shakespeare's classic tragedy has been reconceptualized to connect with the modern day #MeToo movement by offering an alternative explanation for one of its leading character's actions. It is built on the notion that all of the women are victims of sexual abuse - most specifically, Lady Macbeth - who, in this version, has been raped by King Duncan while her husband is off fighting the war.

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot This Month on L.A. StagesBWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot This Month on L.A. Stages
March 28, 2018

What made the Hot List? THE ART COUPLEfromSacred Fools Theatre Company at The Broadwater, SELL/BUY/DATE at Geffen Playhouse, and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at Independent Shakespeare Co.'s new studio theater.Check out the latest recommendations below and go see a show! Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal (LADCC).

BWW Review: Independent Shakespeare Co. Opens New Studio with a Crowd-Pleasing ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELLBWW Review: Independent Shakespeare Co. Opens New Studio with a Crowd-Pleasing ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
March 27, 2018

In The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a young hotel manager optimistically states, in the face of every disaster: 'In India we have a saying, 'Everything will be alright in the end. So if it's not alright, it is not yet the end.' ' It's the same idea Shakespeare's heroine touts in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL and, regardless of where it originated, it requires pluck.

BWW Review: UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS, a Predictable Romantic AdventureBWW Review: UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS, a Predictable Romantic Adventure
March 12, 2018

Playwright Wendy Graf is best known for her uniquely dramatic works such as PLEASE DON'T ASK ABOUT BECKET, ALL AMERICAN GIRL, and NO WORD IN GUYANESE FOR ME. But, in her latest world premiere, UNEMPLOYED ELEPHANTS - A LOVE STORY, she takes a lighter - and more formulaic - approach to her subject.

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage NowBWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
March 6, 2018

What made the Hot List? A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Theatre @ Boston Court, ALLEGIANCE by East West Players at the Aratani Theatre downtown, A WALK IN THE WOODS at Actors Co-op, and JACKIE UNVEILED at The Wallis. Check out the latest buzz below and go see a show! Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal (LADCC).

BWW Review: Saffron Burrows is Jackie Kennedy in JACKIE UNVEILEDBWW Review: Saffron Burrows is Jackie Kennedy in JACKIE UNVEILED
March 4, 2018

In Act 1 of JACKIE UNVEILED, Tom Dugan's new solo play about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she repeats a single phrase over and over. 'I'm no good alone.' The chain smoking, alcohol indulging former first lady has just learned that her brother-in-law (and secret lover) Bobby Kennedy has been assassinated. Now, in the wee hours of the morning, she is distraught.

BWW Review: Love Comes as a Surprise in DADDY LONG LEGSBWW Review: Love Comes as a Surprise in DADDY LONG LEGS
February 28, 2018

It can be a wonderful adventure to watch two people falling in love, particularly when they themselves don't realize it's happening. When the adventure takes place on stage - as in John Caird and Paul Gordon's musical two-hander DADDY LONG LEGS - the audience has an advantage because they get to see the relationship develop from both points of view. The misunderstandings are more poignant, the coincidences even more delightful. By the time it becomes apparent to the couple in question, we've already fallen in love with them and are cheering them on to their eventual conclusion. Add music and the whole emotional journey becomes a romantic dream come true no fairy tale could tell better.

BWW Review: A Noise Within's HENRY V Zeroes in on the Steely Aspects of WarBWW Review: A Noise Within's HENRY V Zeroes in on the Steely Aspects of War
February 16, 2018

By the time Shakespeare gets to the last of his history plays concerning the Wars of the Roses, HENRY V, the party boy who would be king has become a man. Gone are the indiscretions of youth seen in the earlier HENRY IV plays, which follow young Prince Hal on his escapades with Falstaff and the Eastcheap gang. When HENRY V opens, it is the responsibilities of a monarch that now weigh heavily on the new king's head, amid increasing tensions with France.

BWW Review: THE BRICK: A ONE MAN MUSICAL MetamorphosisBWW Review: THE BRICK: A ONE MAN MUSICAL Metamorphosis
February 5, 2018

In Bill Berry's solo show THE BRICK: A ONE MAN MUSICAL, Berry isn't addressing the audience in a theater. He's on a beach having a two-way conversation with his dead mother and we are the accidental eavesdroppers who witness their complicated relationship unfold piecemeal. The convention is more akin to a play than a typical solo performance, a smart decision that sidesteps many of the pitfalls solo artists often fall into. It isn't self-indulgent, doesn't require that the audience be his scene partner, and lets each person take the journey with him by not establishing a foregone conclusion.

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

So many productions are happening all over the city. Here's what made the Hot List: Bugaboo & the Silent One, The Hothouse, Cabaret, Pirates of Penzance, Shakespeare in Love, Disney's Aladdin. Go see a show!

BWW Review: The Hypocrites Turn Theatre into a Party for Pasadena Playhouse's PIRATES OF PENZANCEBWW Review: The Hypocrites Turn Theatre into a Party for Pasadena Playhouse's PIRATES OF PENZANCE
January 28, 2018

Say what you will, The Hypocrites have found a way to transform traditional theatre into a form of entertainment that appeals to folks who'd rather go to a party than sit in a theater. And they've done it using Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. No joke.

BWW Review: Whitchurch Examines Marriage in Shakespeare his wife and the dogBWW Review: Whitchurch Examines Marriage in Shakespeare his wife and the dog
January 21, 2018

It takes an awfully long time to get to the point in Philip Whitchurch's original one act play directed by Julia St. John. Set during a fictional night in the lives of William Shakespeare (played by Whitchurch) and his wife Anne (Sally Edwards) at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon, the story reveals a couple in their later years, bickering but still clearly in love, yet it takes nearly half the play and a frustratingly slow plod through its exposition to get there.

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
December 13, 2017

Here's a holiday gift Shakespeare fans will love Discount Tickets for SHAKESPEARE HIS WIFE AND THE DOG, coming to the Broad Stage January 18 28, 2018. This new comedy by Philip Whitchurch runs an hour and 3 minutes with no intermission and it looks terrific!

BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Proves Too Ambitious for CASA 0101BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Proves Too Ambitious for CASA 0101
December 12, 2017

Last year Casa 0101 produced a lovely dual language version of Disney's Aladdin, which was so popular it extended its run and eventually transferred to a larger venue. Hoping to repeat that success, they have set their sights on another Disney classic but, this time, the production proves too ambitious an undertaking for the company.

BWW Review: A Noise Within Rings in the Holidays with A CHRISTMAS CAROL's Cautionary TaleBWW Review: A Noise Within Rings in the Holidays with A CHRISTMAS CAROL's Cautionary Tale
December 6, 2017

Of all the holiday stories written, it would be hard to find one more well-known or popular than Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The redemption of a miser named Scrooge whose heart has forgotten the meaning of charity has been adapted, musicalized, spoofed, and dramatized in every medium imaginable, and, like all good cautionary tales, returns as a warning each December.

BWW Review: The Wallis Uncovers THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD for the HolidaysBWW Review: The Wallis Uncovers THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD for the Holidays
December 4, 2017

This year for the holidays, The Wallis has traded its typical musical theatre fare (Into the Woods/2014, Guys & Dolls/2015, Merrily We Roll Along/2016) for something a little less traditional but even more imaginative and fun Vesturport Theatre's THE HEART OF ROBIN HOOD by playwright David Farr.

BWW Review: HAMILTON Who? SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Kirk Douglas TheatreBWW Review: HAMILTON Who? SPAMILTON Reigns Supreme at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
November 16, 2017

For the last 25 years, Gerardo Alessandrini has paid homage to the Great American Musical in the best way he knows how, by skewering it relentlessly. It is an arena where nothing is off limits no diva, no composer, and no quirk of the genre, which is why his FORBIDDEN BROADWAY revues are as beloved as any book musical to grace the Great White Way. Now, the biggest game-changer since Rogers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, or Stephen Sondheim came on the scene, has given him fodder for a new installment in his popular franchise - Lin-Manuel Miranda and his multi-Tony Award-winning mega-hit, HAMILTON: An American Musical.



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