“If we offend, it is with our good will, that you should think, we come not to offend, but with good will.”

The prologue is straight out of Shakespeare, but after that, you know you’re in Troubies Land as the strains of “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive” fill the Falcon Theatre … and the Troubadour Theater Company’s latest crowd-pleaser A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream is off and running.
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Director-choreographer Valerie Rachelle makes a stellar Glendale Centre Theatre debut with as fine an in-the-round production of the legendary Rodgers & Hammerstein classic South Pacific as you will likely ever see, one that strips away the cobwebs to reveal just why the legendary team’s third Broadway smash remains one of the greatest musicals ever.
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The brief but artistically blessed life of legendary Broadway lyricist Lorenz Hart now serves as the inspiration for Falling For Make Believe, a Colony Theatre World Premiere musical that entertains, elucidates, and ends up this spring’s most unexpected treat.
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While it may be true that no musical is too big for Broadway, Spider Man being a case in point, it’s equally true that some musicals are simply too small, too intimate, too “chamber” to make it on the Great White Way, one more reason to celebrate Musical Theatre Guild for bringing these delicate gems back to life, if only for an evening or afternoon of musical theater bliss.

Such is the case with 2008’s A Catered Affair, which despite its pedigree (music and lyrics by John Bucchino and book by Harvey Fierstein, based on a screenplay by Gore Vidal and a teleplay Paddy Chayefsky) and a cast which included Tom Wopat, Faith Prinze, and Fierstein, closed on Broadway after a mere 143 performances and previews.
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Back in 1944, Hollywood’s “Hays Code” made it perfectly clear. If you wanted to make a movie, your film had better not show any of the following: “brutality and possible gruesomeness, technique of committing murder by whatever method, sympathy for criminals, …“ The list of no-nos went on and on.

So how, then, did Paramount Pictures manage in 1944 to make a movie out of James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, a film in which insurance salesman Fred MacMurray and housewife Barbara Stanwyck plot and execute the murder of her husband—and make it look like an accident so as to cash in on hubby’s insurance policy’s “double indemnity” clause, one which guarantees double the payout in case of accidental death?

Mike Bencivenga’s World Premiere play Billy & Ray not only explains how co-screenwriters Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler found ingenious ways to hoodwink Hays Code czar Joseph Breen into letting them include all of the abovementioned taboos in their movie, under Garry Marshall’s pitch-perfect direction, it does so in the most entertaining of ways.
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The Tony-winning Best Musical of 1992 has arrived at Glendale Centre Theatre in an in-the-round production so all-a-round terrific, you’d have to be crazy not to be crazy about Crazy For You. With its ever so talented pair of triple-threat leads, splendid supporting performances, a fabulous song-and-dance ensemble executing some of the most inventive choreography around, and costumes you’d expect to see on a Broadway stage, Crazy For You is is one of GCT’s best.
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Longtime friends reunite in New York City for the wedding of Taylor and Zac in Will Collyer & Pamela Eberhardt’s highly promising new musical Right Together, Left Together … if only an impending hurricane and the tiny matter of Zac’s possible same-sex leanings don’t get in the way.
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When was the last time you saw a production which featured 18 equestrians, 23 acrobats and aerialists, and 67 horses (22 stallions and 45 geldings) performing live under a 10-story-high big-top tent smack dab in the center of beautiful downtown Burbank?

Well, if you’re the editor of StageSceneLA, the answer to the above question is “Not until last night,” when the spectacularly one-of-a-kind Cavalia Odysséo opened to a standing-room-only audience dazzled again and again by its myriad of wonders.
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