LUCKY STIFF

“Something Funny’s Going On” this month and next as Actors Co-op treats audiences to the delightful musical comedy bonbon that is Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Lucky Stiff.
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JERSEY BOYS

Mark Ballas shows off Frankie Valli vocals to match his Dancing With The Stars footwork as Jersey Boys, the 12th-longest-running show in Broadway history, arrives at the Ahmanson Theatre to dazzle audiences with its true-life story of pop legends The Four Seasons (plus a few dozen Top Forty smashes thrown in for zing).
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NEXT TO NORMAL

Deedee Magno Hall gives a beautifully nuanced performance as bipolar wife-and-mother Diana Goodman opposite her real-life spouse Cliffton Hall’s powerful Dan Goodman in Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s Next To Normal, and though the East West Players season closer doesn’t deliver on all fronts, it provides the Halls with a pair of dream roles and audiences with a moving musical look at the effects of mental illness on an all-American family.
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HELLO AGAIN

Sex × 10 + book, music, & lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa’s = Hello Again, LaChiusa’s edgy, seductive, unapologetically unhummable chamber musical adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 classic La Ronde, the stellarly cast, terrifically performed, audience-challenging latest from Chromolume Theatre.
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THE MUSIC MAN

Palos Verdes Performing Arts scores a musical comedy bulls-eye with their big-stage, up-close-and-personal revival of Meredith Willson’s 1957 classic The Music Man, the all-around best of the half-dozen Music Men I’ve seen so far.
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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

There’s been more than one “new (i.e. jukebox) Gershwin musical” before An American In Paris’s 2015 Broadway debut, but there’s never been one as gloriously song-and-dance-packed (emphasis on dance) as the gorgeously choreographed and designed quadruple Tony winner, a veritable feast of color and light and ballet and tap and more.
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WEST SIDE STORY

It takes brilliance and balls to pull off the reinvention of a musical theater classic, particularly one as renowned for its iconic choreography as for its book, music, and lyrics, but this is precisely what director Richard Israel and choreographer John Todd have accomplished in the brilliant, ballsy West Side Story they have mounted for The La Mirada Theatre and McCoy Rigby Entertainment.
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SISTER ACT

A triumphant Daebreon Poiema and a sublime Debbie Prutsman head a terrifically talented, bigger-than-Broadway cast of nearly three-dozen in Cabrillo Music Theatre’s Sister Act, as tuneful and crowd-pleasing a musical comedy treat as I’ve seen up Ventura County ways in many a moon.
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