BR’ER COTTON

An angry, rebellious African-American teen finds himself at loggerheads with his hard-working single mom, his tradition-bound granddad, and the racist world he confronts on a daily basis in Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton, a dialog-provoking gripper of a play that I’d like even better if it stayed in the very real present instead of detouring into magical realism territory and the Civil War past.
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posted in Drama, Los Angeles, Now Playing, Theater Review

OUR TOWN

Deaf West Theatre and Thornton Wilder prove a match made in heaven as Pasadena Playhouse debuts an exquisite seventy-ninth anniversary revival of Wilder’s classic bit of Americana, Our Town, as it has quite literally never been staged before.
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posted in Drama, Pasadena, Theater Review, WOW!

TRIBES

A young man who cannot hear, parents and siblings who will not listen, and an outsider who disrupts the ties that bind populate Nina Raine’s powerful, discussion-provoking Tribes, now getting a memorable Orange County Premiere at Anaheim’s Chance Theater.
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posted in Comedy-Drama, Orange County, Theater Review, WOW!

FIXED

A sexually confused Filipino-American “ladyboy,” the drag princess’s sexually confused Mexican-American sort-of boyfriend, and the sort-of boyfriend’s just plain confused sort-of girlfriend, all three of them in massive states of denial, play out a centuries-old game of love and death in contemporary L.A. in Boni B. Alvarez’s Fixed, a Filipino-Latino telenovela come deliciously to life on the Atwater Village Echo Theater stage.
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posted in Comedy-Drama, Los Angeles, Theater Review, World Premiere, WOW!

THE VIEW UPSTAIRS

The thirty-four gay bar patrons who lost their lives in the 1973 arson attack on New Orleans’ UpStairs Lounge deserve far better than Max Vernon’s corny, clichéd The View UpStairs, now getting its West Coast Premiere at Celebration Theatre, and so do its crème-de-la-crème cast and creative team.
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posted in Hollywood/West Hollywood, Musical, Now Playing, Theater Review

FREDDY

Cate Caplin’s exciting, eclectic choreography and some terrific dance performances from students enrolled in LACC’s Theatre Academy make Deborah Lawlor’s 55-minute look back at largely forgotten mid-20th-century dance icon Freddy Herko worth checking out despite stilted dialog that would challenge even the most accomplished cast.
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posted in Dance, Los Angeles, Theater Review

BILLY BOY

An unexpected sexual encounter with a former high school girlfriend sends a 60ish gay man and a pair of long-dead ghosts on a trip down memory lane in Nick Salamone’s Billy Boy, a Playwrights Arena World Premiere that starts out promisingly enough before veering off into the Twilight Zone.
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posted in Drama, Los Angeles, Theater Review

SUGAR

Characters made famous in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot, songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill of Funny Girl fame, a couple of men in drag, all-around terrific performances, and one particularly inspired bit of casting turned Sunday’s concert staged reading of the 1972 Broadway hit Sugar into another one-performance-only Musical Theatre Guild concert staged reading delight.
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posted in Burbank/Glendale, Concert Staged Reading, Theater Review, WOW!

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