PIPE DREAM

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to discover a “brand new” Rodgers & Hammerstein musical happen about once in lifetime, which is why those who got to discover the almost-never-produced Pipe Dream this past Sunday, the first offering in the final season of Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Reading Series, can count themselves among the luckiest people in the world.
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SILENT SKY

Jennifer Cannon lights up the International City Theatre stage as groundbreaking astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, a hidden figure at long last given the recognition she deserves in Lauren Gunderson’s captivating Silent Sky.
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CRIMES OF THE HEART

The Mississippi Magrath sisters have set up housekeeping at Long Beach’s International City Theatre with all their quirks and charms and ups and downs intact in the best of the seven productions I’ve now seen of Beth Henley’s crowd-pleasing down-home comedy gem Crimes Of The Heart.
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DINNER WITH FRIENDS

“The thing is, you never know what couples are like when they’re alone; you never do.”

This bit of wisdom is just one reason why Donald Margulies’ Dinner With Friends still packs a punch at Little Fish Theatre seventeen years after it won its playwright the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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UNCANNY VALLEY

Hot topics don’t get much hotter than artificial intelligence, whether in headline news, or movies like Ex Machina, or Jimmy Fallon interviewing “Robot Sophia” on late-night TV, or in Thomas Gibbons’ fascinating, discussion-prompting, edge-of-your seat two-hander Uncanny Valley, now getting its Los Angeles Premiere at Long Beach’s International City Theatre.
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CAROUSEL

Anyone curious about why Time Magazine named Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel the 20th Century’s Best Musical need look no further than Musical Theatre West’s superb 21st-Century revival. Director Joe Langworth, choreographer Daniel Smith, and an all-around brilliant cast give us a Carousel still “fresh and alive and gay and young,” even at seventy-two years of age.
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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.
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EVITA

Refreshingly innovative direction, memorable lead performances, a sensational ensemble, fresh dance moves, and a stunning production design make Musical Theatre West’s revival of the international smash Evita by far the finest regional staging I’ve seen of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice classic.
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