RSSAll Entries in the "Top Rated" Category

A CARLIN HOME COMPANION (FALCON THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

A CARLIN HOME COMPANION (FALCON THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This show should not be missed. It is part of our collective history highlighting distinctive moments of a man who made us laugh and think. His incredibly fast and clever lyrics definitely beat the simple and angry language of any commercially successful rapper of today. What a lovely tribute by a talented daughter to […]

THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY (FOUR LARKS): 100% - SWEET

THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY (FOUR LARKS): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Forgive them their voice-over. Give in to their Temptation and let the rest of text wash over you as you enjoy this immersive gem. And buy tickets now, this is one that’s sure to sell out. Anthony Byrnes – KCRW SWEET It is remarkable. Magnificent to watch. Abel Horwitz – Abel Horwitz SWEET A […]

THE PRICE (MARK TAPER FORUM): 92% - SWEET

THE PRICE (MARK TAPER FORUM): 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Garry Hynes’ production, which opened Saturday at the Mark Taper Forum, is a shade too respectful. The Tony-winning Irish director treats the text as though it were a castle of poetry when it is a foursquare house made of prose. Exposition could have been judiciously cut, repetitions eliminated and some delaying tactics sped up. […]

LOCH NESS, A NEW MUSICAL (CHANCE THEATER): 100% - SWEET

LOCH NESS, A NEW MUSICAL (CHANCE THEATER): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Unlike much new musical theater, “Loch Ness” is a charming, pleasingly quirky, wholly original concept. Its fine staging at Chance shows that theaters taking a chance on a new, unproduced play can strike it rich. Eric Marchese – OC Register SWEET Whether Loch Ness is the show that launches Pailet into non-fringe territory is […]

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (DOMA THEATRE COMPANY): 100% - SWEET

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (DOMA THEATRE COMPANY): 100% – SWEET

SWEET What gets served up is, of course, somewhat thinner than the symphonic orchestration we all grew up with on the original concept album, but it manages to evoke those classic sounds while rocking and buzzing on its own, more intimate terms. Bob Verini – ArtsInLA SWEET But to bring in it all together the […]

FUGUE: 92% - SWEET

FUGUE: 92% – SWEET

SWEET The striking innovation here is in transposing the musical principles of fugue into narrative. Parallel elements of the three stories are underscored by impressively choreographed simultaneous delivery of words, phrases and, on occasion, orgasms. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET It is the movement, the timing and the brilliant staging of sex, suicide and […]

HELLMAN V. MCCARTHY (THEATRE 40): 100% - SWEET

HELLMAN V. MCCARTHY (THEATRE 40): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Except for some mis-staged lighting to allow Mr. Cavett to walk freely as is his obvious nature is as a renowned talk-show host, this play was surprisingly funny and yet really smart with a view into how this one-time incident that happened on Mr. Cavett’s show might have eventually affected our first amendment. I […]

GHOSTS OF THE UNDERGROUND: 100% - SWEET

GHOSTS OF THE UNDERGROUND: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Nevertheless, and in spite of the occasional sour note and shaky acting performance, Ghosts of the Underground racks up an impressive tally of theatrical coups, not the least of which is the sudden dawning that happens about three-quarters into the show of exactly which ancient tale Muñoz and Neubauer are so eloquently reinterpreting. To […]

PULP SHAKESPEARE (OR BARD FICTION) (THEATRE ASYLUM REVIVAL): 100% - SWEET

PULP SHAKESPEARE (OR BARD FICTION) (THEATRE ASYLUM REVIVAL): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The show is worth seeing, especially if you are fans of the original movie, “Pulp Fiction” Daniel Faigin – Observations Along the Road SWEET I saw this production last time it was in LA. It was good then, but I have to say this reincarnation blows it out of the water. Go buy tickets […]

TRISTAN & YSEULT (KNEEHIGH/SOUTH COAST REP): 94% - SWEET

TRISTAN & YSEULT (KNEEHIGH/SOUTH COAST REP): 94% – SWEET

SWEET This splendid cast and band run the gamut of comic and tragic emotions as well as delivering some exuberantly fun song and dance moments. Tristan & Yseult is a very unique theatrical experience that should not be missed. Rob Stevens – Haines His Way SWEET Cheeky, goofy and sassy, Tristan & Yseult at South […]

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (CANDLELIGHT PAVILION): 100% - SWEET

BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (CANDLELIGHT PAVILION): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Sometimes, it really is just about being entertained. Here, you will be. Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review SWEET February 3, 1959 may well have been, as Don McLean sang it, “the day the music died,” but the music of Buddy Holly lives on at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in the crowd-pleasing […]

CLEAN START: 71% - BITTERSWEET

CLEAN START: 71% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Ultimately it’s a tale about setting boundaries and what it really means to be a friend. It’s the human factor that wonderfully tops all in this show. People are people in our many forms, sharing happiness, joy, jealousy and pain, most of all love, for each other and ourselves. All of these characters “clean […]

TIMEPIECE: 100% - SWEET

TIMEPIECE: 100% – SWEET

SWEET This witty new absurdist comedy by playwright Duncombe helps laugh at our ultimately silly and illogical view of love, life, and death. Sarah A. Spitz – Santa Monica Daily Press SWEET If it can be a little sophomoric, the play betrays no discomfort with that whatever, capable of mocking its own preoccupations as much […]

DAME EDNA'S GLORIOUS GOODBYE: THE FAREWELL TOUR (AHMANSON): 92% - SWEET

DAME EDNA’S GLORIOUS GOODBYE: THE FAREWELL TOUR (AHMANSON): 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Almost the entire first half of the production, directed by Simon Phillips, is devoted to Edna’s exchanges with the audience. The spontaneity of Edna’s wit is dazzling — she can find levity in the humiliated mumbles of a theatergoer sinking lower and lower in her seat. But there is a law of diminishing returns. […]

EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS: A RECORD ALBUM INTERPRETATION (REDCAT/WOOSTER GROUP): 94% - SWEET

EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS: A RECORD ALBUM INTERPRETATION (REDCAT/WOOSTER GROUP): 94% – SWEET

SWEET With the addition of eerie harmonies and then, in the evening’s finale, reconstructed Shaker dances, Early Shaker Spirituals soars beyond a canny ethnomusicological evocation to become something more deeply poignant and wonderfully enchanting. Bill Raden – LA Weekly SWEET What a difference! I’d never actually seen such. Just woodcuts and illustrations. Now, in this […]

50 HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATRE FESTIVAL 2015 (ZOMBIE JOE'S UNDERGROUND): 100% - SWEET

50 HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATRE FESTIVAL 2015 (ZOMBIE JOE’S UNDERGROUND): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Overall, truly admired the creativity — this is a different type of theatre than what one sees when one goes for the known authors and known works, or even the new authors when their product is of the traditional style (90 minute-120 minutes, 1-2 acts). This is much more theatre on the edge, and […]

THE MEMORY OF WATER: 90% - SWEET

THE MEMORY OF WATER: 90% – SWEET

SWEET Winner of the “Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy,” this absorbingly entertaining play is full of dark humor and heart featuring three sisters – paranoid Mary, uptight Teresa, and strung out and bratty Catherine – who have returned home on the eve of their mother’s funeral after her battle with Alzheimer’s. Shari Barrett – […]

TIME STANDS STILL (SECRET ROSE THEATRE): 92% - SWEET

TIME STANDS STILL (SECRET ROSE THEATRE): 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Produced by lead performer Presciliana Esparolini and Christopher Amitrano in association with the Aquila Morong acting studio, the staging by Vicky Jenson successfully captures the script’s broad contours. Unfortunately, it underserves Margulies’ subtly interwoven personal and universal explorations of violence and its aftermath. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET Donald Margulies’ script is both […]

PROOF (MOTH THEATRE): 92% - SWEET

PROOF (MOTH THEATRE): 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Playwright David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama about love, grief, and higher mathematics gets a solid, if not prime (in the Gaussian sense) staging in director John Markland’s elegiac production. Markland’s production emphasizes subtext and psychology over blocking, with the result that the show seems more conversational than composed – a decision that gives […]

BILLY ELLIOT - THE MUSICAL (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 95% - SWEET

BILLY ELLIOT – THE MUSICAL (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 95% – SWEET

SWEET I couldn’t stand the cloying 2012 touring production at the Pantages, yet I was at times quite moved by Kite’s staging of a very strong ensemble at La Mirada, and by Dana Solimando’s original choreography — not to mention the superb pit orchestra (musical direction by John Glaudini). This is a new staging, contrasted […]

SILENT WITNESSES: 100% - SWEET

SILENT WITNESSES: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Satie, differentiating her characters by their various European accents and slightly exaggerated demeanors, doesn’t bring these women to life much beyond their childhood tales. But the respectful way she communicates what they lived through is perfectly measured. Sentimental flourishes are banished in Anita Khanzadian’s simple and direct staging. These witnesses are witnessed with quiet […]

VIRAL: 92% - SWEET

VIRAL: 92% – SWEET

SWEET What’s more shocking than the setup is that Viral largely pulls it off. Playwright Mac Rogers has an ear for the worlds he’s trafficking in and as bizarre as the premise seems you’re willing to go along for the ride. The world we find ourselves in isn’t that distant – especially in LA. The […]

BLONDE POISON: 95% - SWEET

BLONDE POISON: 95% – SWEET

SWEET Playwright Gail Louw’s masterpiece drama “Blonde Poison” has its American premiere at Beverly Hills Theatre 40. I was held captive for the entire ninety minutes. The story, based on the true story of Stella Goldschlag during the Holocaust, stars Salome Jens, who gives a brilliant performance under the superb direction of renowned director, Jules […]

THE SNOW QUEEN (TROUBADORS/FALCON THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

THE SNOW QUEEN (TROUBADORS/FALCON THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET It wouldn’t be December at the Falcon Theater without the Troubadour Theater Company’s latest holiday treat, and this year’s The Snow QUEEN is not only one of their most entertaining extravaganzas to date, it’s one of the most musical Troubies musicals in years. Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA SWEET Put all the pieces through the […]

SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 94% - SWEET

SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 94% – SWEET

SWEET Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, best known for her choreography and involvement in “So You Think You Can Dance,” she creates magic on the stage with actors of all ages who are all engulfed in their roles and having so much fun doing so. Musical director Michael Orland (“American Idol”) provides the music and his […]

HELLCAB (ELEPHANT STAGES): 90% - SWEET

HELLCAB (ELEPHANT STAGES): 90% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Fofi’s production would be much better if Lopes’s predominately muted, one-dimensional interaction with his colorful amalgam of riders was instilled with more emotion and greater subtlety. Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw SWEET The last scene is one the most poignant and fitting for a closure and the whole show whizzes by in a […]

MORRISON CHRISTMAS (ZOMBIE JOE'S UNDERGROUND): 100% - SWEET

MORRISON CHRISTMAS (ZOMBIE JOE’S UNDERGROUND): 100% – SWEET

SWEET And if Morrison Christmas sets out to recapitulate the death-rebirth cycle in its theatrical arc, its more profound achievement is to progressively remove the ironic quotation marks from its source material in what emerges as a rather touching and surprisingly sincere reaffirmation by the company of its venerable artistic roots. Bill Raden – Stage […]

ALMOST, MAINE (HUDSON MAINSTAGE): 100% - SWEET

ALMOST, MAINE (HUDSON MAINSTAGE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Director Papazian serves up a slick and delectable series of comic turns, and he has assembled a cast of 18 accomplished actors for the occasion. All of them acquit themselves with charm and style. Neal Weaver – Stage Raw SWEET Play don’t get any more magical, nor any more unabashedly romantic (with just enough […]

INTO THE WOODS (OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL/THE WALLIS): 92% - SWEET

INTO THE WOODS (OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL/THE WALLIS): 92% – SWEET

SWEET This OSF production at the Wallis may not have the star power of the screen version coming out on Christmas Day, but it has the buoyancy and complexity of feeling that have turned Sondheim and Lapine’s work into a modern classic. I can’t think of a better holiday treat than seeing this dark fantasy […]

LUNA GALE (KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

LUNA GALE (KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET But just as the critic Eric Bentley cautioned us when approaching Henrik Ibsen’s plays to “look for the ideas behind the ideas,” it’s important with Gilman to examine the deeper investigation lurking behind the more topical concerns of her dramas. This is especially the case with her latest work “Luna Gale,” which is currently […]