Posts Tagged ‘Theatre 40’


No matter who your favorite TV soap villainess might be, she could learn a thing or two from the selfish, conniving, ruthless monster created way back in 1931 by Elizabeth McFadden for her suspense melodrama Double Door, now deliciously revived for a 21st-century audience at Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40.
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Topnotch lead performances and a “plus ça change” fascination make James Reach’s Patterns, the stage adaptation of a Rod Serling screenplay set in the dog-eat-dog world of 1950s American big business, worth a look-see at Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40 despite an overlong running time and a so-so supporting cast.

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Cupcakes offer a down-on-his-luck textbook editor a new lease on life in Lisa Dillman’s magical, whimsical American Wee-Pie, now getting its Los Angeles Premiere in one of my favorite Theatre 40 productions ever.
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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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Salome Jens gives an absolutely riveting performance as Stella Goldschlag, the Berliner whose collaboration with the Gestapo sent thousands of her fellow German Jews to the death camps, in the American Premiere of Gail Louw’s Blonde Poison, now playing at Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40.
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A dashing English WWII fighter pilot. A handsome Hollywood film star. The pilot’s actress wife who loves them both. Could any triangle be more ripe for romantic drama than the threesome at the heart of Terence Rattigan’s 1942 stage hit Flare Path, rescued from obscurity by a 2011 West End revival and now being given a spiffy, seven-decades-awaited Los Angeles Premiere by Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40?
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What’s an insomnia-plagued Manhattan matron to do when she catches sight of a dead body inside the abandoned building across the street from her elegant apartment but scream, scream, and scream some more … and then call the cops? And what’s a concerned husband to do when the police investigation turns up no corpse, no fingerprints, no sign of anyone’s having entered the neighboring flat but suggest that his apparently delusional wife seek psychiatric help? And what’s an audience to do while watching Lucille Fletcher’s Night Watch but sit back and enjoy this takeoff on Gaslight, one whose surprise twist ending I’m absolutely itching to reveal here … but won’t.
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An all-around splendid cast light up the Reuben Cordova stage as Beverly Hills’ venerable Theatre 40 serves up its topnotch revival of Light Up The Sky, Moss Hart’s affectionate skewering of the world of “The Theater.”
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