AMOUR

Whimsical French chamber musicals and Broadway rarely if ever mix, no matter how tuneful, no matter how many Tony nominations they score, witness the 2002 flop Amour. They do, however, make for magical concert staged readings, witness Musical Theatre West’s one-night-only reading of the Best Musical/Best Score-nominated Michel Legrand gem.
(read more)

THE SPITFIRE GRILL

With its compelling storyline, colorful cast of small-town characters, gorgeous folk-meets-Broadway score, and much-needed message of forgiveness and redemption, James Valcq and James Alley’s The Spitfire Grill gave Musical Theatre Guild audiences ample reason to stand up and cheer (and wipe away a few tears) at last night’s one-night-only concert staged reading at Glendale’s historic Alex Theatre.
(read more)

PROMISES, PROMISES

With songs by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, book by Neil Simon (based on a Billy Wilder cinematic classic), a 1281-performance Broadway run, and a recent B-way revival, you’d think 1968’s Promises, Promises would have merited at least one major L.A. staging in the last fifteen years. Grievously, it hasn’t, which is one big reason audiences were in for a treat at Musical Theatre Guild’s altogether groovy one-night-only concert staged reading .
(read more)

LI’L ABNER

They don’t write shows like Li’l Abner anymore, and not just because the 1956 musical adaptation of the Al Capp comic strip pretty much defines political incorrectness. With its Original Broadway Cast of fifty-four, only schools and community playhouses could possibly hope to produce this musical behemoth in 2016—which makes it a perfect choice for the theatrical genre known as the Concert Staged Reading, proof positive of which was evidenced at Musical Theatre West’s Daisy Maezing one-night-only Reiner Reading Series latest.
(read more)

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The dynamite performances delivered by Chris Warren Gilbert and Jill Van Velzer in Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Reading Series concert staged reading of the 1978 Tony winner On The Twentieth Century are just two of the many reasons for someone, anyone, to give the Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green gem the fully-staged SoCal revival it so richly deserves.
(read more)

A CLASS ACT

Tony winner Edward Kleban had been gone for thirteen years when Broadway finally gave the songwriter his due (albeit for a scant 135 performances, previews included) in the biomusical A Class Act, the latest one-night-only concert staged reading from Musical Theatre Guild, and one that could scarcely have been improved upon.
(read more)

PAL JOEY

Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Reading Series has once again done what it does best—treat Broadway buffs to a one-night-only almost fully-staged revival of a show unlikely to get an extended MTW run—in this case Rodgers & Hart’s Pal Joey, which despite the unsympathetic characters who populate John O’Hara’s often unengaging book proves a showcase for a couple of R&H’s best known song classics (and for the triple-threats who perform them and many more).
(read more)

DO I HEAR A WALTZ?

If ever there were an ideal show for Musical Theatre Guild to revive, it is Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents’ Do I Hear A Waltz? Terrific songs. A book based on a successful play and movie. A couldn’t-be-more-romantic setting. Mixed reviews. Only 200 performances on Broadway. In short, a show you’re unlikely to see revived in any major sort of way any time soon.

Fortunately, thanks to MTG, L.A. audiences got treated to its many delights last night at Glendale’s historic Alex Theatre.
(read more)

« Older Entries « Older Entries