GUYS AND DOLLS

The sets get a thumbs down from this reviewer, but everything else about the latest from Musical Theatre West is standing-ovation-worthy as a supremely talented cast, choreographer, and director make Frank Loesser’s seven-decade-old classic Guys And Dolls feel fresh and new down Long Beach way.
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PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT

Two-dozen disco-era hits provide the sing-along, dance-along soundtrack to the international smash Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, and if the latest from Celebration Theatre doesn’t lend itself to downsizing like The Boy From Oz and The Color Purple, this unexpected celebration of family and its three unlikely Australian hero(in)es provide more than enough reason to cheer.
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VIOLET

A physically scarred young woman takes a road trip towards healing and redemption in Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley’s New York Drama Critics’ Circle-winning 1997 off-Broadway musical Violet, streamlined for Broadway in 2014 and now opening Chance Theater’s 20th-anniversary 2018 season in an intimate staging that is as imaginatively directed as it is powerfully performed.
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KINKY BOOTS

The 2013 Tony–winning Best Musical Kinky Boots is back in town at Orange County’s Segerstrom Center For The Arts, crowd-pleasing, transformative, and packing enough emotional punch to bring even the hardest-hearted theatergoer to tears and cheers.
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SISTER ACT

The hills round Simi are alive with the sound of singing nuns as the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center treats audiences to the Broadway crowd-pleaser Sister Act, one of SVPAC’s best productions ever.
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DESSA ROSE

A black slave and her white mistress become the unlikeliest of allies in the pre-Civil War South in Chromolume Theatre’s impressively sung Los Angeles premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s gorgeously scored, problematically scripted Dessa Rose.
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PIRATES OF PENZANCE

Pasadena Playhouse is throwing a beach party and you’re invited to share the stage with the players as the audaciously talented young Chicago troupe known as The Hypocrites treat L.A. audiences to the fun-in-the-sun extravaganza that is their take on Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates Of Penzance.
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RAGTIME

Immigrants told to leave the U.S. and return to the “cesspools” from which they came. Blacks denied their basic civil rights. Wealthy whites still imagining an America in which neither of the aforementioned groups existed. If this sounds more like the stuff of today’s headlines than a twenty-year-old Broadway musical set over a hundred years in the past, all the more reason to celebrate the stirring big-stage revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Ragtime now earning standing ovations at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre.
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