Superb performances, a brilliant production design, plenty of chuckles (with a few gasps thrown in for good measure), and characters as weirdly idiosyncratic as any I’ve seen onstage spark the Geffen Playhouse’s West Coast Premiere of Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive. As to whether the play itself is worthy of the unqualified superlatives that out-of-town critics have showered upon McPherson’s oh-so quirky comedy, well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
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Hell hath no fury like a best-selling author dissed, or so Lillian “The Little Foxes” Hellman made abundantly clear when she sued fellow writer Mary McCarthy for disparaging words uttered during a 1980 TV interview with PBS talk show host Dick Cavett.

Playwright Brian Richard Mori returns to the scene of the alleged slander with none other than 78-year-old Dick Cavett playing a 40something Dick in Mori’s terrifically entertaining comedy-drama Hellman v. McCarthy, now getting its West Coast Premiere at Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40.
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Cathy Rigby soars again, both literally and figuratively, alongside some of Dr. Seuss’s most iconic characters in 3-D Theatricals’ crowd-captivating revival of Ahrens & Flaherty’s Seussical The Musical, a delightfully nostalgic, infectiously tuneful treat for audiences of all ages.
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Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice has rarely if ever been more deliciously, delightfully entertaining than Actors Co-op’s irresistible new staging of Helen Jerome’s 1936 adaptation of Miss Austen’s two-centuries-old classic.
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LOCH NESS, a new musical

A young English girl and the Loch Ness Monster become the most improbable of life-changing friends in Chance Theater’s World Premiere production of Marshall Pailet and A.D. Penedo’s irresistibly entertaining, utterly magical new musical Loch Ness, a new musical. (The lower-case addendum is part of its title, not a case of reviewer redundancy.)
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On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House, at long last ending what is still the deadliest war in United States history. Five days later, President Abraham Lincoln was dead, the victim of an assassin’s bullet. Coincidentally, during this fateful week in our country’s history, Jews in both North and South observed Pesach, the festival of Passover, celebrating the freeing of the Israelites from centuries of slavery in Egypt.

Inspired by this bit of historical happenstance, and armed with the knowledge that there were indeed Jewish slaveholders (and Jewish slaves) in the pre-Civil War Deep South, playwright Matthew Lopez sat down to write The Whipping Man, a gripping, eye-opening look at three Jews—two black, one white—in the days just following Appomattox, a play now brought to compelling life in a spectacular new production just transferred from South Coast Rep to the Pasadena Playhouse.
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Playwright Lily Blau speculates on one of the most controversial real-life relationships in literary history—that of the then 31-year-old Charles Dotson, better known as Lewis Carroll, and Alice Liddell, the 11-year-old inspiration for Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland—in her provocative new play The Missing Pages Of Lewis Carroll, now getting a superbly acted and directed (and gorgeous-to-look-at) World Premiere at Pasadena’s The Theater @ Boston Court.
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The Fountain Theatre gives Zayd Dohrn’s powerful personal drama Reborning a Los Angeles Premiere that easily rivals those productions that have scored the Fountain more Ovation Award nominations and wins than any other intimate L.A. theater.
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