RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD: THE MUSICAL

When you think about history-making 20th-century African-American music impresarios, Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones and perhaps two or three other names probably top the list. A less likely name to spring to mind is that of John Grayton Dolphin, an omission that Recorded In Hollywood: The (World Premiere) Musical sets out to rectify … and does so so crowd-pleasingly under Denise Dowse’s pizzazzy direction that it could easily end up giving the Broadway smash Memphis a run for its money.
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LES MISÉRABLES

A twenty-year wait for the rights to the international phenomenon that is Boublil And Schönberg’s Les Misérables pays off at long last for Musical Theatre West in an absolutely spectacular big-stage, big-cast, big-budget production that gives Broadway a run for its money.
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SWEENEY TODD

A cast of eighteen, ten of them members of Actors’ Equity, bring Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street to thrilling life on the intimate stage of North Hollywood’s Monroe Forum Theatre, a powerful reminder that should Equity’s 99-seat plan bite the dust per AEA’s wishes, productions of this size, scope, and caliber may soon be a much-mourned memory of our Los Angeles theater past.
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FIGARO

The very first West Coast staging of a 2012 World Premiere may not be what folks expect from A Noise Within given the company’s usual slate of Shakespeare, Shaw, Racine, Moliere, and other long-deceased playwrights, but that is precisely what California’s Home For The Classics now offers its audiences in Charles Moray’s Figaro, the frothiest, funniest, most farcical romp I’ve yet seen at ANW.
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OF GOOD STOCK

“Sisters. Sisters. There were never such devoted sisters,” warbles one of the three female siblings created by playwright Melissa Ross in her crowd-pleasing new comedy Of Good Stock, though considering the squabbling going on in their Cape Cod family home at this weekend’s summer family reunion, “devoted” might not be the first word that comes to mind when describing the oh-so dysfunctionally bound Jess, Amy, and Celia.
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WOLVES

Little Red Riding Hood’s Big Bad Wolf was a mere puppy dog compared to the wolves that roam wild in the big city where ex-lovers/still-roommates Ben and Jack make their home in Steve Yockey’s Wolves, now getting its Orange County Premiere at Theatre Out, and though assorted Grimms’ Contes De Fées may be its inspiration, Yockey’s dark, sexy fairy tale for adults is about the farthest thing from grim.
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MINE EYES HATH SEEN

Theatre Banshee commemorates the sesquicentennial of end of the bloodiest war in our nation’s history in their tenth-anniversary revival of Mine Eyes Hath Seen, Sean Branney and Leslie Baldwin’s theatrical montage of Civil War tales told “in their own words,” and powerfully so, under Branney’s imaginative direction.
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A DOG’S HOUSE

The webs we weave when first we practice to deceive don’t get any more tangled than the latticework of lies one couple tells another in Micah Schraft’s A Dog’s House, the latest IAMA Theatre Company World Premiere, and every bit the hilariously edgy, high-impact experience IAMA has been offering L.A. audiences for the past eight years.
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