SINNER’S LAUNDRY

No playwright could ask for a better cast or finer production design than IAMA Theatre Company has given John Lavelle’s Sinner’s Laundry. Audiences, on the other hand, may find themselves leaving the Lounge Theatre clueless to the message, meaning, or simple raison d’être of Lavelle’s World Premiere absurdist existentialist comedy. I certainly did.
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REDLINE

A decades-estranged father and son meet for the first time since a car crash ripped their family to shreds in Christian Durso’s gripping, emotionally-charged Redline, an IAMA Theatre Company World Premiere that held me in its grip from the bombshell revelation that sets it in motion to its life-and-death final seconds.
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9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL

A trio of resourceful secretaries put their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss in his place while serving up a heaping helping of Dolly Parton songs in the Broadway musical adaptation of the 1980 movie smash 9 To 5, the terrifically entertaining latest from Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre.
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LES LIAISONS DANGEUREUSES

Decadence and deception prove downright delicious in The Antaeus Theatre Company’s pitch-perfectly partner-cast Les Liaisons Dangeureuses, Christopher Hampton’s 1985 stage adaptation of the 18th-century French literary classic directed with supreme flair by Robin Larsen.
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GEM OF THE OCEAN

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson sheds informative, compelling light on early twentieth-century African-American life in Gem Of The Ocean, now being given an absolutely spectacular production at South Coast Repertory.
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HOME

Onetime Vietnam draft dodger Cephus Miles has an epic story to tell, and told in a more realistic, straightforward manner, I might have enjoyed it a good deal more than the hour-and-forty-minute theatrical poetry slam that is Samm-Art Williams’s Home, a play whose flowery language seldom engaged me despite impeccable staging and performances at Long Beach’s International City Theatre.
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IN THE HEIGHTS

Musical Theatre West gives In The Heights, the thrilling, entertaining, emotionally powerful Tony-winning Best Musical of 2008, not only its first major L.A. County staging since its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda played the Pantages, its MTW debut proves the most brilliant of the eight productions I’ve now seen since that 2010 First National Tour.
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BRIGHT STAR

There’s no brighter star lighting up L.A. stages this month and next than the dazzling Carmen Cusack, reprising her Tony-nominated star turn as Alice Murphy in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star, a musical so stunningly staged and gorgeous to the ear that it’s easy to go easy on its Stella Dallas/Imitation Of Life-style soap.
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