THE MONSTER BUILDER

A topnotch cast attack The Monster Builder with gusto, but a rather creepy lead character and a bit too much of the quirky and bizarre make Amy Freed’s South Coast Repertory World Premiere satire of architectural pretention more miss than hit despite occasional forays into the weirdly hilarious.
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ARCHDUKE

Leave it to playwright Rajiv Joseph to turn the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, the event that led directly to the outbreak of the First World War, into Archduke, not only the year’s screwballsiest comedy but one with contemporary relevance in a world of suicide bombers and suicide voters.
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SYLVIA

There’s never been a romantic triangle quite like the one that propels A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, now getting a cheer-worthy Rubicon Theater revival with an irresistible Ashley Fox Linton as the canine homewrecker who gives this alternately hilarious and heartstrings-tugging romcom its name.
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HAROLD AND MAUDE

The strokes of inspiration that made last year’s Private Eyes one of Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s best are occasionally evident in Colin Higgins’ Harold And Maud, but this time around director Brandon Baer is hampered by casting missteps, pacing problems, and a stage too cavernous for the inventive look he and his design team have conceived.
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THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE

Two stars are born in the Geffen Playhouse West Coast Premiere of The Legend Of Georgia McBride. One is the Florida Panhandle drag queen whose reputation gives Matthew Lopez’s crowd-pleasing comedy its name. The other is Andrew Burnap, whose revelatory performance as an Elvis impersonator who discovers a whole new love of performing portends huge things ahead for the 2016 Yale School Of Drama MFA grad.
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THE SIEGEL

An out-of-the-blue wedding proposal a full two years after a couple’s breakup is hardly a conventional way to start off a romantic comedy, but the originality of this opening salvo is just one reason why Michael Mitnick’s The Siegel is such a South Coast Repertory treat.
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THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED)

Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor’s The Complete History Of Comedy (abridged) has arrived in beautiful downtown Toluca Lake, the latest from Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theatre, and if there aren’t nearly as many chuckles, giggles, titters, and guffaws as audiences might wish, more of its jokes hit the mark than fizzle.
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RULES OF SECONDS

With Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueling it out eight times a week on Broadway, the timing could not be more auspicious for John Pollono’s audacious, irreverent, wholly original Rules Of Seconds, now playing at DTLA’s Los Angeles Theatre Center.
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