Review: LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL Celebrates the Power of Family to Overcome Life's ChallengesReview: LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL Celebrates the Power of Family to Overcome Life's Challenges
by Shari Barrett - Mar 27, 2018

LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL with book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, is based on the beloved 1869 classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. It's a song-filled adaptation of the touching tale of young love, achieving dreams, and the power of family to overcome even the most difficult of life's challenges. No doubt almost every young woman read the novel at some point during their lives, devouring the tale of the March sisters adventures (budding author Jo, practical Meg, sweet Beth, and romantic Amy) who are coming of age during the Civil War under the care of their doting mother, whom they call Marmee, while their father is away fighting for the North. They gather together to read his too infrequent letters, each warmly cuddling together around their beloved mother like a safe cocoon in a world being torn apart by violence around them. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 3/20/2018Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 3/20/2018
by BWW - Mar 20, 2018

Upcoming Shows - Week of 3/20/2018 for Los Angeles (more...)

BWW Review: COMPANY Musically Examines the Benefits and Pitfalls of Marriage
by Shari Barrett - Mar 6, 2017

Over the years, I have seen many productions of COMPANY and am pleased to tell you the current production at the Morgan-Wixson in Santa Monica is by far the best one I have ever seen thanks to the brilliant direction and fabulous casting done by Kristin Towers-Rowles, herself a triple-threat performer who could no doubt shine in any of the musical's roles herself. The entire revival is perfect in all aspects including musical direction by Daniel Koh, the glorious 70s costumes designed by Michael Mullen, the fabulous multi-level New York-inspired set designed by William Wilday, evocative, attention-focusing lighting designed by Donny Jackson, and the fun choreography by Jaime Pierce, which all combine to make this the perfect introduction to Sondheim's body of work. (more...)

BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Guarantees a Fun-Filled Macabre Time for All
by Shari Barrett - Jun 27, 2016

Anne Gesling directs many shows, especially musicals, for the Morgan-Wixson. But this time she has outdone herself with the perfect casting of each actor in the entire THE ADDAMS FAMILY production, making the show a guaranteed hit. Along with her show producer Meredith Wright, musical director Daniel Koh and frequent collaborator, choreographer Lauren Blair, be prepared for a spectacular and gloriously fun time. Be sure to bring theatre lovers of all ages so you can celebrate the joy of laughter together. (more...)

BWW Review: ALL SHOOK UP Searches for Love with the Music of Elvis Presley
by Shari Barrett - Mar 7, 2016

The iconic music of Elvis Presley inspired writer Joe Dipietro to create ALL SHOOK UP, a musical set in 1955 utilizing the rock 'n roll star's songs. The bottom line with Elvis's music is that it makes a lot of people very happy, even 50 years after it was recorded. And Dipietro thought, what other type of entertainment form does that? And that's when he came up with the Shakespeare comedies, which are very much about love and finding your joy, marriage, passion, and all the good stuff of life. And of course, frequent cases of mistaken identity! (more...)

BWW Review: LEGALLY BLONDE Offers a Frolicking Good Time for Everyone!
by Shari Barrett - Jul 14, 2015

I have to admit I had never seen the 2001 MGM movie, Legally Blonde before seeing LEGALLY BLONDE The Musical at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. And I am happy to say it is great fun for all ages in every aspect from the effervescent musical numbers presented by the remarkably energetic cast to the over-the-top bright pink costumes designed by Kristie Rutledge. Director/Musical Director Anne Gesling and choreographer Lauren Blair surely spent hours on end putting together the many incredibly intricate musical numbers, including the momentous "What You Want," Elle's video essay to get into Harvard, which includes at least 3 set changes, several costume changes by dozens of cast members, and many types of dance from tap to jazz. That 12-minute number alone is worth the price of admission on its own! (more...)

FIRST LOOK: Kentwood Players Presents AN IDEAL HUSBAND by Oscar Wilde, Opening Tonight
by Shari Barrett - Jan 9, 2015

Kentwood Players kicks off its 65th Anniversary Year by presenting 'An Ideal Husband' by Oscar Wilde from tonight, January 9 to Saturday, February 14, 2015 for a six-week run todays and Saturdays at 8pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045. The production is directed by T. Samantha Barrios and produced by Melodie S. Rivers and Terry Delegeane. (more...)

FIRST LOOK: Kentwood Players Presents AN IDEAL HUSBAND by Oscar Wilde, Opening 1/9/15
by Shari Barrett - Dec 20, 2014

Kentwood Players kicks off its 65th Anniversary Year by presenting 'An Ideal Husband' by Oscar Wilde from Friday, January 9 to Saturday, February 14, 2015 for a six-week run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm with Sunday matinees at 2pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045. The production is directed by T. Samantha Barrios and produced by Melodie S. Rivers and Terry Delegeane. (more...)

First Look: INTO THE WOODS, Opening Tonight at the Westchester Playhouse
by Shari Barrett - Nov 14, 2014

Kentwood Players presents the Tony Award winning musical "Into the Woods" with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine, from Friday, November 14 to Saturday, December 20 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, with two Thursday night performances at 8pm on December 11 and 18 at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045. The production is directed by Shawn K. Summerer with musical direction by Catherine Rahm, produced by Lori Marple-Pereslete and Tony Pereslete by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. (more...)

BWW Interview: Two Stephen Sondheim Musicals Open in West Los Angeles This Week
by Shari Barrett - Nov 13, 2014

American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is known for his immense contributions to musical theatre for over 50 years. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Laurence Olivier Award. Sondheim fans are in for a treat this holiday season with two Sondheim shows playing within just a few miles of each other: Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse is presenting 'Into the Woods' and Chromolume at the Attic Theatre is presenting 'Putting it Together' with both productions opening on November 14, 2014. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look- Kentwood Players Presents INTO THE WOODS, Opening 11/14
by Shari Barrett - Oct 19, 2014

INTO THE WOODS is tied together by an original story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their dealings with a Witch who has placed a curse on them, and their interaction with other storybook characters during their journey. Join Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel, Jack the Giant Slayer, and many other famous storybook characters as they each venture into the foreboding woods in search of magical items, love, money, or simply a purpose in life. This classic mash-up of Grimm's fairy tales teaches all of us the true consequences of what it means to "get your wish." (more...)