BWW Interview: Larry Raben of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star TheatricalsBWW Interview: Larry Raben of WEST SIDE STORY at 5-Star Theatricals
by Cary Ginell - Jul 17, 2019

An interview with director Larry Raben, who is utilizing new choreography (Karl Warden), ethnic-accurate casting, and a more athletic approach to the look of 'West Side Story' to bring it into the 21st century. 60 years after its debut, the Bernstein/Sondheim classic still packs relevant punch in today's gun and immigrant-conscious society. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at MAMMA MIA! at Laguna PlayhousePhoto Flash: First Look at MAMMA MIA! at Laguna Playhouse
by BWW News Desk - Jul 6, 2019

Due to overwhelming demand, LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is EXTENDING the first show of its 99th season, the perfect romantic comedy to kick off the Summer, ABBA's intoxicating MAMMA MIA!, music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and some songs with Stig Anderson, book by Catherine Johnson, originally conceived by Judy Craymer with musical direction by Ricky Pope and directed & choreographed by Karen Babcock Brassea. Comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard, "We start our 99th season with one of the all-time great feel-good musicals, MAMMA MIA!! Our subscribers and audiences are going to be dancing queens and kings all summer long with this irresistible and euphoric new production!" MAMMA MIA! begins previews on Friday, July 5; will open on Sunday, July 7 at 5:30pm and now perform through Sunday, August 4, 2019 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach. (more...)

BWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ruskin Group TheatreBWW Review: DEATH OF A SALESMAN at Ruskin Group Theatre
by Jonas Schwartz-Owen - Jun 26, 2019

DEATH OF A SALESMAN, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Arthur Miller, is the American Hamlet for actors of a certain age. Its protagonist is a complex, frighteningly bare role, that provides an acting challenge relished by the greats. Rob Morrow, best known for Robert Redford's QUIZ SHOW and the quirky TV dramedy NORTHERN EXPOSURE, pulls off the tricky role by adding an impish quality to the crumbling man, bringing a fresh light to the production at Ruskin Group Theatre. (more...)

BWW Review: FOREVER FABULOUS FLAMENCO at The Fountain TheatreBWW Review: FOREVER FABULOUS FLAMENCO at The Fountain Theatre
by Valerie-Jean Miller - Jun 5, 2019

Starring a most accomplished set of Flamenco dancers, singers and musicians. Each has their own style, rhythms, history and persona. I did not find out until later that these particular performers had never worked as a group together; they all came together for this one special evening to perform Forever Flamenco, May 26, 2019, at The Fountain Theatre. These are some of the most world-renown Flamenco artists performing today. We are talking authentic carriers of the Art of Flamenco, dedicated and absorbed by their culture and this Art. All stem from an early background of exposure to Flamenco in many forms. They are fascinating, exciting, exact, mesmerizing, intense, passionate, convicted and ignited during the performance. It was a visual treat to be sitting “ringside” and witnessing the thrill of being immersed in the performance. (more...)

Review: Three Door Farce A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES Inspires Lots of Laughter Inside Theatre 40Review: Three Door Farce A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES Inspires Lots of Laughter Inside Theatre 40
by Shari Barrett - Jun 5, 2019

Everything seems perfect at first for the famous actress Myra Marlowe (Diana Angelina) who has leased a fully-furnished "country living" style house so she can settle down to write her autobiography. But it's not so ideal for her long-time agent Tom Lamont (David Datz) who wants nothing more than to get the headstrong actress back to Hollywood to star in a new television series, even though both of them know how badly it is written. Myra waivers but sticks to her guns, fed up with the pressures and demands of her acting career and longing for some peace and quiet and well as a much simpler life. But dealing with her nosy, omnipresent neighbors is a different matter. (more...)

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents HARVEYPhoto Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents HARVEY
by BWW News Desk - May 30, 2019

LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is delighted to present French Stewart and Vanessa Claire Stewart starring in the wonderfully comic HARVEY, written by Mary Chase and directed by Andrew Barnicle.  Comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard, "We could not think of a better play to end our 98th season with than HARVEY, starring French and Vanessa Claire Stewart under the inspired direction of Andrew Barnicle. French Stewart will be the perfect Elwood, a role he has always wanted to play! Our subscribers and audiences are going to go crazy with laughter and believe in very tall rabbits once more!" (more...)

CASA 0101 Theater Will Present BROWN & OUT VCASA 0101 Theater Will Present BROWN & OUT V
by BWW News Desk - May 24, 2019

After a hugely successful sold out run last year, CASA 0101 Theater is proud to present the fifth season of BROWN & OUT FEST, A Festival of 11 World Premiere Short Plays and One Original Short Transgender Film Celebrating the LBGTQ LatinXperience. (more...)


by Shari Barrett - May 20, 2019

I cannot offer enough superlative-laden adjectives to describe the brilliance of the cast, beginning with Eric B. Anthony as Bronco Billy, who channels one of the most famous African American cowboys, Nathan 'Deadwood Dick' Lane, with his effervescent personality making me believe he could easily be one of the great, rodeo-winning cowboy's descendants! His partnership onstage with Amanda Leigh Jerry as Antoinette/Miss Lilly, is beautifully realistic and dreamlike at the same time as they tear up the stage singing catchy tunes while executing athletic choreography to perfection. (more...)

Review: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Adaptation for Three Actors Offers an Intense Psychological Why-Dun-ItReview: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Adaptation for Three Actors Offers an Intense Psychological Why-Dun-It
by Shari Barrett - May 14, 2019

For many students, it is a requirement to read CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoevsky. But, in my opinion, the much-too-long, repetitive text is difficult to follow as much of the action takes place within the mind of its protagonist, Raskolnikov, who admits he murdered two women and is trying to understand what lead him to do so. So, when I heard Working Barn Productions was presenting Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus's Jefferson Award-winning, three-person adaptation of the famous novel as a psychological inquiry into the troubled mind of a murderer, I thought perhaps this was the perfect way to re-visit the story. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Troubadour Theater Co's JULIUS WEEZERPhoto Flash: First Look at Troubadour Theater Co's JULIUS WEEZER
by BWW News Desk - May 9, 2019

Et Tu, Weezer? TROUBADOUR THEATER COMPANY opens its 25th Silver anniversary season (bringing Los Angeles audiences a quarter century of mayhem!), by taking a stab with their latest hilarious world premiere musical comedy event. (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Open Fist Theatre Company's ANNA IN THE TROPICSPhoto Flash: First Look at Open Fist Theatre Company's ANNA IN THE TROPICS
by BWW News Desk - May 9, 2019

Sultry heat and Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" combine to spark rich fantasies and broken dreams, passion and adultery. Open Fist Theatre Company presents Anna In The Tropics, the powerful, poignant and poetic play that garnered the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for then unknown Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz. Jon Lawrence Rivera directs, with performances continuing through June 8 at Atwater Village Theatre. (more...)

BWW Review: Blockbuster Broadway Musical HAIRSPRAY Blasts 1962 onto the Norris Theatre StageBWW Review: Blockbuster Broadway Musical HAIRSPRAY Blasts 1962 onto the Norris Theatre Stage
by Shari Barrett - May 8, 2019

Even if you have seen many productions of the totally entertaining Broadway musical-comedy HAIRSPRAY, do not miss the larger?than?life production, with its infectious music, show?stopping dance numbers and uplifting story, now at the Norris Theatre on the Palos Verdes Peninsula through May 12. With a talented cast of 28 local triple-threat performers, directed to perfection by Kari Hayter with some of the most demanding and athletic constant choreography by Christopher M. Albrecht, producer Chris Gilbert is to congratulated for bringing one of the best total packages to the stage! (more...)

BWW Review: ALL MY SONS at Wasatch Theatrical VenturesBWW Review: ALL MY SONS at Wasatch Theatrical Ventures
by Jeffrey Scott - Apr 10, 2019

'All My Sons' is the story of Joe Keller (played by the engaging Mark Belnick), a successful, middle-aged, self-made man who has done a terrible and tragic thing, by framing his business partner for a crime that caused the death of hundreds of servicemen from World War II, and engineering his own exoneration. Now, his son Chris (the charismatic Jack Tynan) is about to marry the partner's daughter (the solid Alexis Boozer Sterling), the incident is revisited, and his lie of a life is unraveled. (more...)

BWW Review: 5 Star Theatricals Creates Miraculous MATILDABWW Review: 5 Star Theatricals Creates Miraculous MATILDA
by Don Grigware - Mar 25, 2019

How often do you get the chance to see a musical engineered for the entire family...one that is both entertaining and illuminating? Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical is a sumptuous treat for the eyes, ears and mind. Imagination runs amok in choreography, staging and the casting of some amazingly talented children. To get a bevy of child actors to essay these little 'maggots' so incredibly well for two and a half hours is no minor feat. It's like the song claims: it's a 'miracle!' Currently in its regional theatre premiere at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Kavli Theatre through March 31 only, the show is a big winner for 5 Star Theatricals. (more...)

Photo Flash: 5-Star Theatricals Presents MATILDA THE MUSICALPhoto Flash: 5-Star Theatricals Presents MATILDA THE MUSICAL
by BWW News Desk - Mar 22, 2019

5-STAR THEATRICALS (formerly Cabrillo Music Theatre) continues its 2018-2019 season with the Thousand Oaks premiere of ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA, adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin (Groundhog Day), musical direction by Jennifer Lin, choreography by Heather Castillo and directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld.  ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA opens on Friday, March 22, 2019 and runs through Sunday, March 31, 2019 at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.   (more...)

Review: THE SOUND OF MURDER Echoes Within the Walls of Theatre 40Review: THE SOUND OF MURDER Echoes Within the Walls of Theatre 40
by Shari Barrett - Mar 22, 2019

THE SOUND OF MURDER by William Fairchild premiered in London in 1959, making the plot somewhat predictable now, given the abundance of murder mysteries written and being produced on local stages. But this one set play is exactly the kind of British murder mystery that Theatre 40 audiences enjoy, especially with the company's designers onboard who always create a visually stunning production. Skillfully directed by Adrian Cohen to keep the action interesting and a lot more than just a lot of talking heads with British accents, the cast of THE SOUND OF MURDER includes Roslyn Cohn, Gabriel Olivas, David Hunt Stafford, Peter Trencher, David Westbay and Kate Whitney. And why that title? There's some audio equipment involved that turns out to be a pivotal prop in the investigation! (more...)

DORIS AND ME Opens April 5 At Sierra Madre PlayhouseDORIS AND ME Opens April 5 At Sierra Madre Playhouse
by BWW News Desk - Mar 20, 2019

Doris and Me is subtitled One Man's Obsession with Doris Day. That man is Scott Dreier, the co-writer and star of this show. (more...)

Review: AMERICA ADJACENT Asks How Far Would You Go to Give Your Child a Better FutureReview: AMERICA ADJACENT Asks How Far Would You Go to Give Your Child a Better Future
by Shari Barrett - Feb 26, 2019

Discussions proliferate about immigration reform, whether it be the building of a wall to protect our border or deporting those who enter our country illegally to milk the system for everything they can get for free thanks to American taxpayer dollars. But while our focus seems to be on our Southern border, what about all of the other people from around the world that manage to come here illegally seeking a better life for themselves or, more importantly, their children? Is there really one correct answer or solution to the problem? Boni B. Alvarez, a Los Angeles-based writer-actor, addresses the question head-on in his world premiere play AMERICA ADJACENT. (more...)

Photo Flash: West Coast Premiere of HYPE MANPhoto Flash: West Coast Premiere of HYPE MAN
by BWW News Desk - Feb 22, 2019

The Fountain Theatre opens its 2019 season of fresh, funny and meaningful new work with the West Coast premiere of an award-winning "break beat play" by Idris Goodwin. Social injustice, racial identity, gender inequity, career ambition and friendship converge - and collide - in Hype Man, directed by Deena Selenow. Opening night is set for a Feb. 23, with performances continuing through April 14.  (more...)

Photo Flash: BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Laguna PlayhousePhoto Flash: BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Laguna Playhouse
by BWW News Desk - Feb 22, 2019

LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is excited to present the smash-hit, Wallis Annenberg Theatre production of BLUES IN THE NIGHT, with musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal and conceived & directed by Sheldon Epps. Comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard, 'We are delighted to have the opportunity to move the critically acclaimed Wallis Theatre production to the Laguna Playhouse. With Sheldon and Abdul leading our extraordinary cast and creative team, our subscribers and audiences should get ready to be knocked out by this roof-raising exciting new production!' (more...)

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