Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Madre Playhouse’


One of theatergoing’s greatest pleasures is the discovery of “forgotten gems,” plays that may have hit it big when they debuted but for one reason or another have faded into obscurity in the intervening years. Such is the case with Bob Randall’s 1972 romantic comedy 6 Rms Riv Vu, now getting a sparkling Sierra Madre Playhouse revival under Sherrie Lofton’s pitch-perfect direction.
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Gorgeous voices fill the stage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse but that’s about all there is to recommend in Alison Eliel-Kalmus’s adaptation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. Though G&S fans may find the production more interest-piquing than this reviewer did, SMP’s follow-up to 2012’s Ruddigore could benefit from a tighter directorial hand, less “director’s concept,” and a stricter adherence to the operetta’s original book.
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Classical theater fans impatient for the start of A Noise Within’s Spring 2014 season need head a mere five minutes east of ANW’s Pasadena digs to catch Sierra Madre Playhouse’s 2014 opener, an impeccably staged and acted revival of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband.
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It’s a classic nighttime soap, that is if Dallas or Dynasty had been set in 12th-Century England. It’s a Shakespeare history, that is if you could understand every word the actors are saying. It’s a 1960s film classic that won Katharine Hepburn the third of her four Best Actress Oscars.

It’s Peter Goldman’s Broadway flop play-turned-Hollywood hit movie, and if (as Wikipedia puts it rather ungrammatically) “The Lion in Winter is fictional and none of the dialogue and actions is historical,” it still makes for one of modern American theater’s most entertaining dramas and offers actors some of the meatiest roles of their careers—proof of which is now onstage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
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The Sierra Madre Playhouse revives the world’s longest-running musical The Fantasticks in a production so perfectly cast, so beautifully performed, so imaginatively directed, and so gorgeous to look at that I finally understand why the Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt musical chalked up 17,162 performances over its 42-year off-Broadway run.

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