ANNOUNCING THE 2013-2014 SCENIES

ANNOUNCING THE 2013-2014 SCENIES

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COCK

It’s time for John to stop letting M down (and standing him up and cheating and lying and failing and generally cocking things up), or so the 20something gay Brit’s lover informs him upon learning of his younger partner’s serious fling with a member of the opposite sex in Mike Bartlett’s provocative (and provocatively titled) dramatic comedy Cock, now getting an imaginatively directed, thrillingly acted West Coast Premiere at Rogue Machine.
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posted in Comedy-Drama, Los Angeles, Now Playing, Theater Review, WOW!

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS

There’s nothing at all sweet about the sleazy, smarmy, downright despicable protagonist of Sweet Smell Of Success, the Broadway musical adaptation of the 1957 Burt Lancaster/Tony Curtis pic, which may well be the main reason the 2002 John Lithgow-starrer flopped, the last of its mere 109 performances (plus 18 previews) less than two weeks after Lithgow won a Best Actor Tony.
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posted in Concert Staged Reading, Theater Review, West Side/Beverly HIlls, WOW!

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Moonlight Stages closes its Summer 2014 season with the Southern California Regional Premiere of Catch Me If You Can, and if the musical adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s popular 2002 biopic “underperformed” during its less than half-a-year on Broadway, you’d be hard-pressed to figure out why it wasn’t a humungous smash from the sensational goings-on down in Vista under the inspired direction of Larry Raben.
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posted in Musical, Now Playing, San Diego County, Theater Review, WOW!

EQUIVOCATION

Imagine that you, as the foremost writer of your time, have been ordered by your country’s leader upon pain of imprisonment, torture, and death to come up with a play that would dramatize a supposed plot against your government, solidify its legitimacy, and demonize many of your fellow citizens simply because of your words. What would you do?

This is the conundrum faced by Shag (aka William Shakespeare) in Bill Cain’s extraordinary Equivocation, back in L.A. for the first time since its 2009 pre-off-Broadway engagement at the Geffen in an absolutely superb production at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, one that tops its predecessor if only for the clarity that director Mike Peebler (doing outstanding work) and his all-around sensational cast bring to Cain’s labyrinthine tale.
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WHAT I LEARNED IN PARIS

The 1973 election of Maynard Jackson as Atlanta’s first African-American mayor is merely the backdrop for Pearl Cleage’s What I Learned In Paris, a romantic roundelay Noël Coward could have confectioned, its made-for-each-other exes J.P. and Evie giving Private Lives’ Elliot and Amanda a run for their money, albeit with a good deal more soul.

Following its 2012 World Premiere at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, Cleage’s entertaining if overlong comedy now arrives at Burbank’s Colony Theatre with some sparkling performances and an often fascinating look back at the heady changes wrought by the previous two decades’ Civil Rights crusade and the then burgeoning Feminist Movement.
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posted in Burbank/Glendale, Comedy, Now Playing, Theater Review, WOW!

ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER

A woman who has become a virtual recluse in the months since the breakup of her marriage and the disappearance of a cherished pet. A high school calculus teacher who’s been keeping a written record of his life’s every blessing since the age of twelve. The teacher’s star student, an Indian-American math nerd who fancies himself a black rapper.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph weaves these three ordinary lives into something quite extraordinary in his 2008 dramedy Animals Out Of Paper, now being given a pitch-perfect Los Angeles Premiere as the opening salvo in East West Players’ two-year-long celebration of its 50th season of offering Angelinos of every ethnicity the finest in Asian-American theater.
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posted in Comedy-Drama, Los Angeles, Now Playing, Theater Review, WOW!

THE TEMPEST

Illusions so mystifying that you’ll give up even trying to figure out “how they did that.” Original songs by a Rock-&-Roll Hall of Famer performed by a live R&B/Alternative Pop band. Direction that makes adjectives like “imaginative” or “ingenious” or “inspired” seem tame. Performances and production design to match. All of these combine to make Aaron Posner and Teller’s touring adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest a must-see even for those might never wish to sit through another The Tempest again.
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posted in Drama, Now Playing, Orange County, Theater Review, WOW!

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