Review: “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole” at the Geffen Playhouse

Review: “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole” at the Geffen Playhouse

Velvety voice Dulé Hill portrays Nat “King Cole during the last night of his televised variety show in Lights Out: Nat “King Cole at the Geffen Playhouse.

Taking my seat before the show, I admired Clint Ramos and Ryan Howell’s 50s style television sound stage set with “applause” and “on-air” boxes high up. We feel as if we are part of a studio audience. Musicians David Witham (Conductor/Keyboards), Greg Poree (Guitar), Edwin Livingston (Bass) and Brian Miller (Drums/ Percussion/ Orchestra Conductor) warm up before the show begins.

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Review: Julia Sweeney is Older, Wider and Wonderful

Review: Julia Sweeney is Older, Wider and Wonderful

Opening night at the Geffen Playhouse of “Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider” I didn’t recognize the beloved 90s Saturday Night Live superstar, as she walked out onstage dressed in black pants, shirt and shoes.

The friendly comedian who created and brought the androgynous character “Pat” to life on SNL, is older.  Her hair has turned gray and she is a tad wider, however within two minutes, this raw and vulnerable woman sparkles onstage with joy and giddiness performing in the small and intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.

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Review: "The Cake" at the Geffen Playhouse

Review: "The Cake" at the Geffen Playhouse

Walking into the smaller Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater inside the Geffen Playhouse, I admired Peter Hickok’s set for The Cake. It was so detailed that I thought I was walking into a soundstage to watch a taping of the Cake Wars baking show. The Tiffany blue walls and bright pink bakery counter were pleasing to the eye, and the two bedrooms on either side of the bakery lent an air of intrigue.

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Review: "The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona" at the Geffen Playhouse

Review: "The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona" at the Geffen Playhouse

Screenwriter and playwright José Rivera (over 26 plays and an Academy Award nominated Motorcycle Diaries) wrote “The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona” with an interesting story line about death and communicating with loved ones in the afterlife. In the Playbill, Rivera was interviewed by Rachel Wiegardt-Egel about his inspiration for the play. About ten years ago, while looking through Harper’s Magazine, he noticed a company whose service was to connect people who are dying, with people who want to send a message to the other side. This fascinated him, and soon he began writing a creative play about exploring the afterlife where untranslatable secrets are told.

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Review: "Significant Other" at The Geffen Playhouse - Gil Cates Theater

Review: "Significant Other" at The Geffen Playhouse - Gil Cates Theater

Playwright Joshua Harmon explores how the dynamics of friendship changes when a significant other is introduced into the clique. It begins with the four lead characters getting liquored up at Kiki’s (Keilly McQuail, a gifted comedian) bachelorette party. McQuail’s lovable vapid, Valley Girl delivery is spot on. We learn Kiki was never looking for love, she just wanted someone to validate her. Kiki’s key in finding a husband was falling in love with herself, as she declares “I treat myself better than any man could treat me.” Splurging one evening at Jean-Georges restaurant, wah-lah she meets her husband-to-be Conrad (John Garet Stoker) and is the first of these college “besties” to get married.

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