RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "dany margolies"

MARJORIE PRIME: 71% - BITTERSWEET

MARJORIE PRIME: 71% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER A terrible play, and depressing as well, playwright Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime is set in a not-too-distant future and imagines a world where sophisticated robots have been fashioned as human companions. Harrison’s one-act drama doesn’t really have a plot — it’s more of a character study. We see a series of scenes within which […]

ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER (EAST WEST PLAYERS): 85% - SWEET

ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER (EAST WEST PLAYERS): 85% – SWEET

SWEET Joseph captures the highs and lows of this unique three-way love affair, its laughter and tears, its joys and sorrows. He’s greatly aided by the sure-handed direction of Jennifer Chang and by the skilled acting of C.S. Lee, Tess Lina and Kapil Talkwalker (a student at USC!). Willard Manus – Total Theater SWEET It’s […]

EQUIVOCATION (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 89% - SWEET

EQUIVOCATION (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 89% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET And while Peebler and his muscular ensemble prove expert at seductively selling Cain’s quasi-historical premise, his audience-flattering allusions and lively turns of phrase, it does not take long for the troubling hollowness masked by such glibness to make itself felt. Perhaps the most problematic aspect of the entire enterprise is Cain’s primary suspense device […]

PERSIANS (GETTY VILLA): 78% - SWEET

PERSIANS (GETTY VILLA): 78% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Twice or three times in ninety minutes, arresting images are allowed to loiter unto dissipation. There is less of permanence in this production than of stasis. Perhaps its primary historical draw is the chance to experience what theater was like in Brooklyn in 1994. Jason Rohrer – Stage and Cinema BITTERSWEET In general, the […]

WE WILL ROCK YOU (AHMANSON THEATRE): 45% - BITTER

WE WILL ROCK YOU (AHMANSON THEATRE): 45% – BITTER

BITTER But it’s not the lame plot that’s the problem here. (Nobody else knows what “Bohemian Rhapsody” is about either.) Rather, “We Will Rock You,” with a script by Ben Elton, feels like such an affront because it embodies so many of the qualities that Queen renounced. It’s shallow. It’s cynical. And it’s dumb, dumb, […]

LEAR (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 95% - SWEET

LEAR (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 95% – SWEET

SWEET Given that this take on the original’s rigidly patriarchal universe is fundamentally bonkers, it’s impressive how well co-adapter/directors Ellen Geer and Melora Marshall succeed in illuminating subtext and broadening the scope of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET We think it’s extraordinary and perfect for a cozy evening of high-brow stimulation. […]

LUIGI: 53% - BITTERSWEET

LUIGI: 53% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET The Inkwell Theatre presents a talented cast in its world premiere of Louise Munson’s “Luigi,” a two-and-a-half-hour tale of a family’s (most likely last) get-together with their patriarch in the winter of his years. There seems to be no real story to be told here. (Warning: If not fluent in Italian, a percentage of […]

THE SEXUAL LIFE OF SAVAGES: 74% - BITTERSWEET

THE SEXUAL LIFE OF SAVAGES: 74% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Still, “Savages” is a ribald, intelligent and promising new work. Adventurous playgoers and/or fans of premium cable fare will likely embrace it. David C. Nichols – LA Times BITTERSWEET All in all, this is a play that wants to tell us to “relax, it’s just sex,” but seems to have forgotten to tell most […]

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (BROAD STAGE): 82% - SWEET

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (BROAD STAGE): 82% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Still, the production, by War Horse director Tom Morris, is surprisingly uninvolving. The main quartet of lovers and their foibles feel too separate from the puppet business, a big reason that the puppets’ theatricality doesn’t translate into emotional heft. Zachary Pincus-Roth – LA Weekly SWEET Nonetheless, this inventive production will send you home with […]

SLOWGIRL (GEFFEN): 85% - SWEET

SLOWGIRL (GEFFEN): 85% – SWEET

SWEET But Pierce has caught the rhythms of teenage girl-speak, and Gray, a credentialed actress and University of Chicago student (no relation to this reviewer) revels in them. Her wonderfully gravelly voice and quirky delivery make Becky thoroughly entertaining. And the characters’ developing bond despite their differences is touching and persuasive. Margaret Gray – LA […]

WHITE (THE WALLIS): 100% - SWEET

WHITE (THE WALLIS): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The space, and its cute set, is entirely white. Audience members perch on low, white, wooden benches and there are little mats on the floor for kids to lounge on. The show is only 30 or so minutes long—perfect for short attention spans. The little ones who attended the show were completely enchanted by […]

A STEADY RAIN: 100% - SWEET

A STEADY RAIN: 100% – SWEET

SWEET The Odyssey has done a terrific job with this production. Adam Flemming’s set, consisting simply of two chairs and three screens upon which evocative images are projected, places the focus on the intensity of the subject matter. It’s expertly directed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company co-founder Jeff Perry, and kudos must also go to the […]

VILLON: 70% - BITTERSWEET

VILLON: 70% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER A play about a murderous French poet, told by a troupe of vaudevillian-style actors, seems it would be enough to spark some interest in an audience, but unfortunately Murray Mednick’s “Villon” falls seriously flat in its execution. Savannah L. Barker – Neon Tommy SWEET Like Villon’s troupe, these actors make sturdy, faithful companions to […]

THE WHIPPING MAN (PICO PLAYHOUSE): 91% - SWEET

THE WHIPPING MAN (PICO PLAYHOUSE): 91% – SWEET

SWEET Buoyed by an excellent production design, particularly Bill Froggatt’s haunting sound, director Howard Teichman and a crackling cast render a near-optimum staging. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times SWEET This Matthew Lopez play would have made a fascinating two-hander. But the playwright added a third character and ratcheted up the intrigue, conflict, and shaping, […]

THE 39 STEPS (NORRIS CENTER): 100% - SWEET

THE 39 STEPS (NORRIS CENTER): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The Tony award-winning Broadway stage adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film, THE 39 STEPS, is being presented as a slapstick romp through film noir at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts for nine performances, January 24 – February 9, directed with skillful comedic insight by Ken Parks. Combining a suspenseful spy thriller with […]

SE LLAMA CRISTINA: 78% - SWEET

SE LLAMA CRISTINA: 78% – SWEET

BITTER The performers submit to the emotional demands of Solis’ relentlessly boisterous 80-minute script, but the sound and fury are more exhausting than edifying. The experience is akin to having a front row seat at the presentation of a stranger’s nonsensical bad dream. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET We humans are a mess, often […]

PASSION PLAY (ODYSSEY/EVIDENCE ROOM): 79% - SWEET

PASSION PLAY (ODYSSEY/EVIDENCE ROOM): 79% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET If, like me, you’re a fan of the Evidence Room, go to enjoy the familiar faces. Otherwise enjoy the small stuff and forgive the production for not tying everything up. Anthony Byrnes – KCRW BITTERSWEET Despite their many strengths, I found parts one and two curiously uninvolving. It wasn’t until Ruhl came closer to […]

BECKY'S NEW CAR (KENTWOOD PLAYERS): 100% - SWEET

BECKY’S NEW CAR (KENTWOOD PLAYERS): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The repartee is scintillating but down to earth and the story keeps us guessing. Ingrid Wilmot – Will Call SWEET Written by Steven Dietz, this mid-life crisis adult comedy is sure to have you laughing during the two-hour performance. Nadine Wright – LifeInLA SWEET Having met the Staadeckers at Becky’s Los Angeles premiere a […]

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD: 94% - SWEET

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD: 94% – SWEET

SWEET Carefully compiled references and biographical details whiz by in Matt August’s finely tuned staging, with superb performances illuminating the clashing personalities that drive three discordant takes on Christianity. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET Strong acting, design, and writing enliven NoHo Arts’ Center’s entertaining, thought-provoking world premiere production of The Gospel According to Thomas […]

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (WALLIS ANNENBERG CENTER): 100% - SWEET

JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (WALLIS ANNENBERG CENTER): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Visible Fictions obviously believes in trusting its youthful audience; it speaks up to kids, rather than down. Consequently, the sheer energy, intelligence and fun of Jason had all its onlookers responding with whoops of laughter and joy. Daniel Padden’s evocative musical score also helped set appropriate moods. Willard Manus – Total Theater SWEET Two […]

FOXFINDER: 85% - SWEET

FOXFINDER: 85% – SWEET

SWEET Picture the witch-hunting of “The Crucible” at the hands of a modern Orwellian state and you have the broad contours of Dawn King’s “Foxfinder,” which receives an atmospheric, take-no-prisoners co-production from Furious Theatre Company in association with Oregon-based Artists Repertory Theatre. Philip Brandes – LA Times BITTERSWEET Under Dámaso Rodriguez’s direction, when the inspector […]

WAIT UNTIL DARK (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 92% - SWEET

WAIT UNTIL DARK (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 92% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The dramatic premise, of a vulnerable woman discovering unexpected resources that allow her to turn the tables on her assailants, is still the main draw. The road to the goosepimply climax, even with Hatcher’s streamlining, is cumbersome, the dramaturgy as outdated as when the work was first written. But what a gripping finish. If […]

HENRY VIII (ENRIQUE VIII) (BROAD STAGE): 75% - BITTERSWEET

HENRY VIII (ENRIQUE VIII) (BROAD STAGE): 75% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Quality commitment begets quality work, and that is very evident here. Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld BITTERSWEET For those who do not speak said language, however, there are a few joys in sitting in on this two-hour conversation and not understanding a word. Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA BITTERSWEET In the “What Were They Thinking?” Department, […]

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (KENTWOOD PLAYERS): 100% - SWEET

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (KENTWOOD PLAYERS): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Kentwood Players provides rich soil for this musical, turning over the direction to Michael-Anthony Nozzi, who certainly shows a green thumb. With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken (based on the original film written by Charles Griffith, directed by Roger Corman), the storytelling is lively, fun, and very metaphoric. Dany […]

THE END OF IT: 86% - SWEET

THE END OF IT: 86% – SWEET

BITTER I just felt like I was in a group therapy session in 1965. The dialog was tedious; it got old after ten minutes. Rose Desena – The Los Angeles Post SWEET Coates is aided immeasurably by the sure-handed, inventive direction of Nick DeGruccio. He stages the overlapping couples fluidly, fully utilizing François-Pierre Couture’s wonderful, […]

IN MY CORNER: 72% - BITTERSWEET

IN MY CORNER: 72% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Although I am sure the steps are difficult, Orrach’s ease with his body and athletic movements make his work seem effortless and so engrossing I could have watched him dance all night! And major kudos go to his amazing band, Matthew Clark (piano), Ronnie Gutierrez (percussion), and Eugene Warren (bass), who keep the pace […]

COYOTE ON A FENCE (THEATRE ARTS): 100% - SWEET

COYOTE ON A FENCE (THEATRE ARTS): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Solid performances by Rob Nagle and Cody Kearsley as death-row inmates in side-by-side cells distinguish Theatre Arts’ production of Bruce Graham’s 2000 social-issue drama. Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly SWEET Director James Warwick cast well, and character work has laid a solid foundation for the unlikely friendship between John and Bobby. Dany Margolies […]

HAMLET (ODYSSEY THEATRE): 75% - BITTERSWEET

HAMLET (ODYSSEY THEATRE): 75% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company has given us one of the most exciting, sexually provocative and brilliantly acted productions of ‘Hamlet’ that (forgive my repetition) would make, William Shakespeare, proud. Joan Alperin-Schwartz – LA Examiner BITTERSWEET If this would be your first experience of Hamlet, I’m not sure I would recommend this version. […]

A SHORT STAY AT CARRANOR: 56% - BITTERSWEET

A SHORT STAY AT CARRANOR: 56% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER In a love story, the overly used device of having a character dying of a fatal disease has been done to death (no pun intended), and in order for any story to overcome such a barrier, it should include fresh, innovative, or at least satirical set of subplots to surround it. This play, however, […]

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (ACTOR'S GANG): 87% - SWEET

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (ACTOR’S GANG): 87% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The holiday humor of the play wears thin in the final stages of Robbins’ production, which could use a stronger shaping hand. The pacing stalls, and the scenes get a bit smudgy as the logistical challenges mount in a shoestring staging that requires many of its actors to take on multiple roles. Charles McNulty […]