THE GIFT OF THE MAGI THE MUSICAL

NOT RECOMMENDED

The 2000-word classic The Gift Of The Magi might well make a charming twenty-minute one-act musical. Add to it over a dozen characters (none of whom would ever have entered O’Henry’s mind) and a dozen songs (only a couple of which might inspire a second listen), and despite the best efforts of director, choreographer, musical director, and cast, what you end up with is The Gift Of The Magi The Musical.

Rarely has this reviewer found two thirty-five minute acts so endless.
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posted in Musical, Not Recommended, Now Playing, Theater Review, Ventura County, World Premiere

TRAIN TO ZAKOPANÉ: A TRUE STORY OF HATE AND LOVE

NOT RECOMMENDED

The story Henry Jaglom has to tell is a compelling one and the lead actors who bring his star-crossed lovers to life do powerful work. Still, clunky dialog, uneven supporting performances, and problematic set and costume designs make Train To Zakopané: A True Story Of Hate And Love rather a tough go, even for those like this reviewer with a fascination for Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
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posted in Drama, Not Recommended, Now Playing, Theater Review, World Premiere

HELLCAB

When Jean-Paul Sartre wrote “L’enfer, c’est les autres,” the “others” he was referring to could easily have been the passengers who make a Chicago cab driver’s life a living enfer in Will Kern’s hilarious (or should that be “hellarious”) Hellcab, back at the Elephant Theatre for the first time since its smash 2005 run with its director and cab-driving star once again along for the ride.
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posted in Comedy, Hollywood/West Hollywood, Now Playing, Theater Review, WOW!

A SPIDER-MAN CHRISTMAS: A SATIRE

RECOMMENDED

Spider-Man meets It’s A Wonderful Life (with a bit of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol thrown in for good holiday measure) in Cameron Parker’s A Spider-Man Christmas: A Satire, and if this latest from Mosaic Lizard Theater is a bit rough around the edges and not all performances up to those of its more highly-trained and experienced cast members, it does one thing to perfection. It keeps its audiences in stitches throughout. (Make that red-blue-&-black stitches, to match Spidey’s superhero garb.)
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posted in Comedy, Now Playing, Recommended, San Gabriel Valley, Theater Review

THE SANTALAND DIARIES

Matt Crabtree returns as David, Crumpet, and a host of other colorful characters in The SantaLand Diaries, neither understudy nor across-the-country Elf this time round but the centerstage star of his very own, all-around splendid production of David Sedaris’s holiday one-man show.
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posted in Comedy, Hollywood/West Hollywood, Now Playing, Solo Performance, Theater Review, WOW!

KISS ME KATE

A couple dozen of Southern California’s most talented student triple-threats bring the Cole Porter classic Kiss Me Kate to vibrant, effervescent life down Orange County way, once again making it abundantly clear why Cal State Fullerton’s musical theater BFA program is among the country’s finest in turning out Broadway-bound talent.
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posted in Musical, Orange County, Theater Review, WOW!

The Snow QUEEN

It wouldn’t be December at the Falcon Theater without the Troubadour Theater Company’s latest holiday treat, and this year’s The Snow QUEEN is not only one of their most entertaining extravaganzas to date, it’s one of the most musical Troubies musicals in years.
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posted in Burbank/Glendale, Musical Spoof, Now Playing, Theater Review, WOW!

SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT

Lythgoe Family Productions returns to the Pasadena Playhouse for the third December in a row with Sleeping Beauty And Her Winter Knight, this year’s Panto proving every bit as delightful to 2014 SoCal audiences of all ages as the distinctively English form of musical entertainment has been doing for the past two or three centuries in Jolly Old England.
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posted in Musical Spoof, Now Playing, Pasadena, Theater Review, WOW!

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