Review: “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo” at Fountain Theatre with East West Players

Review: “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo” at Fountain Theatre with East West Players

Every family has a unique story to tell, and in “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo” it opens with Hannah’s grandmother (Jully Lee) jumping off the roof of the Sunrise Dewdrop Apartment City for Senior Living. Located on the border of North and South Korea, it’s close enough for the DMZ to shoot anyone within range. How’s that for an opening!

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Review: "Miss Saigon" - National Tour (Los Angeles)

Review: "Miss Saigon" - National Tour (Los Angeles)

Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway revival of “Miss Saigon” opened on Thursday, July 19 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. This version is especially poignant as Americans daily read and watch the political refugee crisis, as desperate people flee violence in Central America and other countries under our current administration.

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Review: "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the Ahmanson Theatre

Review: "The Play That Goes Wrong" at the Ahmanson Theatre

What I enjoyed about “The Play That Goes Wrong” by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre Company is that it’s a play within a play. We are sitting in the audience watching “The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society" perform their newest murder mystery “The Murder at Haversham Manor.”

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Review: "Invisible Tango" at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater

Review: "Invisible Tango" at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater

Go see the one man show “Invisible Tango” starring Portuguese storyteller and master card illusionist Helder Guimarães­ premiers at the Geffen Playhouse. Under the direction of Frank Marshall, the performer shares his personal perspective of experiencing serendipity through telling a story about the occurrence and development of events.

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Review: "The Scale of Dreams: The Music of Claude Debussy"

Review: "The Scale of Dreams: The Music of Claude Debussy"

Hershey Felder has brought to life everyone from Beethoven to Irving Berlin in his biographical musicals. Currently at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, he takes audiences on his own personal journey, while exploring the life and music of Impressionist composer Claude Debussy.

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Review: Spencer Liff-Directed "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" at La Mirada Rekindles That Glorious Feeling

Review: Spencer Liff-Directed "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" at La Mirada Rekindles That Glorious Feeling

When the house lights finally came back on after the entire cast treated the appreciative audience a peppy, rain-soaked reprise of the show's title song as an encore, I turned to my friend beaming and said "I could not stop smiling the whole time!"

It is probably a safe assumption—judging from the thunderous applause of its recent opening night performance—that my happy reaction to McCoy Rigby Entertainment's joyfully buoyant new production of "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN"—now on stage at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts through May 12, 2019—was not a solitary feeling I alone felt after that performance.

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Review: 'Falsettos' is Full of Love and Loss

Review: 'Falsettos' is Full of Love and Loss

There are a lot of things I liked about the Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos,” now at The Ahmanson Theatre. I fully understand why it was nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, however at almost three hours long, with 37 songs by composer/lyricist William Finn and playwright and director James Lapine it needs to be cut down to 120 minutes for this LA audience.

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Review: Renée Taylor sharing her 'MY LIFE ON A DIET'

Review: Renée Taylor sharing her 'MY LIFE ON A DIET'

Last night I laughed throughout the autobiographical comedy by Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning writer and actress Renée Taylor. Written by Taylor and her late husband Joseph Bologna, this one-woman show MY LIFE ON A DIET was originally directed by Bologna, and made its New York premiere in 2018. With such critical acclaim, Taylor’s show was extended to run Off-Broadway at the Theatre at St. Clements and now has embarked on a national tour. In November of last year, the show won the annual United Solo Special Award for their significant contributions to solo theater during the year. 

Currently in the intimate Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center, the set by Harry Feiner is decorated with muted animal skin rugs, a large projection screen, a fancy desk and chair where Ms. Taylor sits at during most of the show.

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Review: 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' is a Winner!

Review: 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' is a Winner!

There are so many winning elements to the hit Broadway touring musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, now at the Pantages Theatre. First the show’s music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Besides familiar toe-tapping songs "Pure Imagination," "The Candy Man," songs, new-to-Broadway includes “A Letter from Charlie Bucket.”

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Review: "Black Super Hero Magic Mama" Isn’t Perfect

Review: "Black Super Hero Magic Mama" Isn’t Perfect

The world premiere of the wildly theatrical Black Super Hero Magic Mama tackles real life social injustice with fantasy comic book super heroes. Playwright Ida Craig-Galvan tries to instill humor into a tragic event, yet it gets lost in its execution.

She wrote this piece during her second year in grad school about a grieving black mother after watching Tamir Rice’s mother on television. Seeing her sadness and helplessness, she wrote about a similar experience and how the mother goes into a magical fantasy world as a coping mechanism

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Review: 'Lacawanna Blues' is a Moving Musical Montage

Review: 'Lacawanna Blues' is a Moving Musical Montage

Taking my seat during the opening night of Lackawanna Blues, two women named Pam and Sally sat down next to me. They started talking about their friend, writer, performer and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson. They shared with me how Pam is Ruben’s publicist, and that the first reading of Lackawanna Blues was in the living room of Sally’s home. Later I discovered I was sitting next to actress Sally Struthers and her publicist and good friend Pam Sharp.

Ruben’s deeply personal musical montage began with a spotlight shining on Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist, composer, and performer Chris Thomas King. While strumming his guitar, another spot illuminates Ruben standing in front of a brick boarding house with the number 32 above the doorway.

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Review: "Canyon" at Los Angeles Theatre Center

Review: "Canyon" at Los Angeles Theatre Center

Walking into the intimate theatre at Los Angeles Theatre Center to see Jonathan Caren’s newest play ‘Canyon’, I admired the three-sided thrust stage allowing the audience greater intimacy to see and hear the actors onstage.

The majority of the show takes place on a raised wooden deck with potted plants, a bench, an outdoor table and chairs. Scenic designers Daniel Soule and Ryan Wilbat include a stairway leading up to the house of Jake (Adam Shapiro) and Beth (Christine Woods), a 30+ white couple living the American Dream. They recently bought their first home with the money left to Jake from his deceased father. Beth is newly pregnant and the bread winner, working as a doctor at County hospital. The time is during the 2016 Presidential elections, and Beth mentions donating to the Hillary campaign.

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