THE GRAPES OF WRATH (A NOISE WITHIN): 86% – SWEET

The cast of “The Grapes of Wrath” at A Noise Within. Credit: Craig Schwartz.

SWEET
A Noise Within’s stellar production of Frank Galati’s 1990 Tony Award–winning stage adaptation honors the novel’s messages, bringing the work to the stage in a way that is sincere, memorable, and deeply relevant.
Katherine Davis – Backstage

SWEET
A Noise Within’s production is agonizing but beautifully realized; it is an excellent example of how a classic text ought to be presented. They are indebted to Michael Michetti who weaves all the elements together in an exquisite fashion and serves Steinbeck’s celebrated work with a riveting immediacy and inventive flair that does indeed rip you to rags.
Jesse David Corti – Stage and Cinema

BITTERSWEET
Of late, A Noise Within has had a penchant for making their audiences endure overly long productions and this one is no exception. Had the lumbering set changes and monumental gaps as characters come and go been filled with energy, it might have been possible to come in in under two hours instead of the current two hours and forty minutes. Even a sad story needs the fundamental essence of good staging. Energy.
Michael Sheehan – OnStageLosAngeles

SWEET
In short, go see this powerful piece. Go early, if you can, to hear a live concert of folk songs and protest songs of the era, sung by the cast’s collection of musicians.
Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review

SWEET
For a textbook example of how to turn an epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a Tony-winning play, and then make it one of the most powerful—and breathtakingly theatrical—productions around town, head on over to Pasadena to catch the gritty magic that director Michael Michetti has conjured up at A Noise Within.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
With imaginative mise-en-scene, sets, props and an integrated use of live music, A Noise Within’s production brings the Homeric, heroic odyssey of the Joad family from Oklahoma to California vividly, memorably alive.
Ed Rampell – LA Progressive

SWEET
Frank Galati’s much-admired 1988 adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath is being presented by classical rep company A Noise Within, in a staging by Michael Michetti that’s so evocative, so enveloped in musicality (a quintet of live musicians wanders the stage) and acted with such tender restraint, Steinbeck’s empathy and wisdom provide both a cautionary tale and balm on the wounds of our current political folly.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

BITTERSWEET
Any condensed version of an epic novel runs the risk that the characters are boiled down to a few superficial strokes, and Galati’s script doesn’t entirely escape this quality. However, the actors fill in some of the details wordlessly.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

SWEET
The women steal the show in The Grapes of Wrath at A Noise Within in Pasadena. They deliver powerful performances that seem almost effortless and clearly emote the themes of tremendous loss, displacement, futility, and sacrifice that John Steinbeck intended in the novel.
Fanny Garcia – Playwriting in the City

SWEET
The show runs for approximately three hours so make sure you buckle up! You’re in for one heck of a ride, but in the end “The Grapes of Wrath” is definitely worth the trip.
Michelle Sandoval – EdgeLosAngeles

BITTERSWEET
Or it could, except that this revival, despite its visual beauty (a lovely spare set by Melissa Ficociello and breathtaking lighting by Elizabeth Harper) and Michael Michetti’s technically competent direction, has a curious emotional flatness.
Margaret Gray – LA Times

BITTERSWEET
ANW has given us a flawed but valid production to see and cherish for our own selfish reasons.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
For all its period quaintness, “The Grapes of Wrath” is a compelling story that has withstood the test of time. A Noise Within’s production does the Pultizer Prize-winning novel justice with its toe-tapping, good-time vibe seasoned with menacing undertones. The elegance of the venue is the cherry on top.
David Maurer – Culture Spot LA

SWEET
If you can bear remembering the pains of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, this production is well worth seeing during our own economic hard times. Perhaps it will inspire random acts of kindness.
Jana Monji – LA Examiner

THE GRAPES OF WRATH
A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
Feb. 23–May. 11, 2013 (in rep, call for schedule)
Tickets: $40-$52; (626) 356-3100
Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

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LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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