BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now


So many productions are happening all over the city. Here's what made the "Hot List" - BUGABOO & THE SILENT ONE at The Lounge Theatre, THE HOTHOUSE at Antaeus, CABARET at La Mirada Theatre, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE at South Coast Repertory, PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Pasadena Playhouse, and Disney's ALADDIN at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre! Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal (LADCC) Go see a show!

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Jacqueline Toboni and Heidi Sulzman in Bugaboo and the Silent One.
Photo by Billy Baque


BUGABOO & THE SILENT ONE - The Lounge Theatre, through Feb. 24
Marja-Lewis Ryan's compelling female prison drama divulges its secrets slowly. Motor-mouthed Bugagoo (Heidi Sulzman) hasn't had a cellmate for 42 days and is eagerly awaiting the new girl (Jacqueline Toboni), arriving today. She's hell-bent on saving her soul but this one comes with baggage Bug didn't anticipate. She also doesn't speak. As their stories unfold, they begin to bond as only women who have faced unspeakable tragedy can. Ryan's insight into the female psyche makes this character study remarkably potent. Tickets: Batso.brownpapertickets.com

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Peter Van Norden and Rob Nagle in The Hothouuse.
Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography


THE HOTHOUSE - Antaeus Theatre Company, through March 11
The Hothouse may be one of Harold Pinter's lesser-known plays but it still comes packed with the playwright's signature wit and punch. Here, he examines the rampant abuse of power at an institution rife with moral ambiguity, through a Theatre of the Absurd lens. The dialogue-heavy language play exposes the complicated inner workings of human thought, which is often as poignant as it is ridiculous. All Antaeus productions are partner cast so check the website for dates if you want to see a specific group of actors. At this performance, "The Ducks" cast included Peter Van Norden, Graham Hamilton, JD Cullum, Rob Nagle, Paul Eiding, John Apicella, and Jocelyn Towne, a particularly seasoned ensemble that delivered the play's message with chilling intensity. I found it riveting...and ultimately horrifying. Tickets: Antaeus.org

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Zarah Mahler and dancers in Cabaret. Photo by Jason Niedle


CABARET - La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, through Feb. 11
Larry Carpenter's blistering production is a bombshell - rough, harsh, enticing, and never more than one beat away from abject terror. It's a musical for people who don't like musicals because it has something powerful to say and it says it loudly by awakening the rebellious streak in all of us. Bold, original performances, brash choreography, and a hot band turn this Kander & Ebb musical into a powerful statement for our time. Full review HERE. Tickets: LaMiradaTheatre.com

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Carmela Corbett and Amelia White in Shakespearee in Love.
Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR


SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE - South Coast Repertory, through Feb. 10
This gorgeously appointed adaptation of Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard's film finds Shakespeare once again at a loss for words, until he meets his muse, the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. Their romance is doomed from the start but the tale this band of players and roustabouts tells still touches the heart as any good love story must. Carmela Corbett is luminous as the object of the bard's affection. Tickets: www.scr.org

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
The cast of Pirates of Penzance. Photo by Jenny Graham


PIRATES OF PENZANCE - Pasadena Playhouse, through February 25
The Hypocrites transform traditional theatre into the kind of entertainment that appeals to those who would rather go to a party than sit in a theater, in this crazy Gilbert & Sullivan adaptation. Trimmed down to a tidy 80 minutes (plus a one minute intermission) the ensemble tells its pirate story of love and adventure amid a beach party setting, complete with tiki torches, a central winding boardwalk shared by actors and audience, and an island bar selling drinks throughout the show. The Playhouse has been completely reconfigured and the fun factor is high. If you opt for general admission tickets, you'll be part of the promenade experience, so be prepared to change seats frequently and expect the unexpected. Full review HERE. Tickets: PasadenaPlayhouse.org

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Michael James Scott in Aladdin. Photo by Deen Van Meer


ALADDIN - Hollywood Pantages Theatre, through March 31
The North American tour of Disney's Aladdin is the big, splashy colorful delight kids and musical theatre lovers want to see. Dressed in a dizzying array of dazzle and glitz, it offers a top-of-the-line audience experience for fans of the beloved and well-known tale anxious to be whisked away to a dreamy world where the underdog gets the girl, the villain loses, and the comic relief holds court every time he steps on stage. Michael James Scott turns "Friend Like Me" into a fabulously over-the-top Genie showstopper. Full review HERE. Tickets: HollywoodPantages.com


Coming up on the watch list:

The "Elliot Trilogy" by Quiara Alegría Hudes:
Pt. 1 Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Jan. 27 - Feb 25
Kirk Douglas Theatre Tickets and info

Pt. 2 Water by the Spoonful, Jan 31 - March 11
Mark Taper Forum Tickets and info

Pt. 3 The Happiest Song Plays Last, Feb 17 - March 19
Los Angeles Theatre Center TheLATC.org

Ironbound, Jan 30 - March 4
Geffen Playhouse, GeffenPlayhouse.org

A Streetcar Named Desire, Feb. 15 - March 25
Theatre @ Boston Court BostonCourt.com

Million Dollar Quartet, Feb. 9 - March 4
3-D Theatricals Tickets and info

Henry V, Feb. 4 - April 6
A Noise Within ANoiseWithin.org

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Feb 10 - March 25
Celebration Theatre www.celebrationtheatre.com

Jackie Unveiled, Feb 22 - March 11
The Wallis Tickets and info

Daddy Long Legs, Feb 21 - March 11
International City Theatre Tickets and info


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From This Author Ellen Dostal