RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "david c. nichols"

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD-THE MUSICAL: 95% - SWEET

RECORDED IN HOLLYWOOD-THE MUSICAL: 95% – SWEET

SWEET Though not without new-show quirks, Matt Donnelly, Jamelle Dolphin and Andy Cooper’s fervent, thoughtful musical study of legendary record store Dolphin’s of Hollywood and its visionary founder is interesting, entertaining and frequently thrilling, perhaps the most promising new musical the 99-seat arena has produced since “The Behavior of Broadus,” if not “Louis and Keely: […]

OCCUPATION: 75% - BITTERSWEET

OCCUPATION: 75% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET But as with farce, the enemy of any black comedy is pathos, and director Ben Rock lays it on with a trowel in a weirdly melodramatic and grisly Act 2 that only succeeds in smothering the laughs along with whatever serious points Occupation is trying to make. Bill Raden – LA Weekly BITTERSWEET Director […]

NEWSIES (PANTAGES THEATRE): 88% - SWEET

NEWSIES (PANTAGES THEATRE): 88% – SWEET

SWEET In short, “Newsies” is a critic-proof, resolutely entertaining, slightly exhausting romp, with a strong company and no end of technical flash. If it’s more throwback than breakthrough, or if an air of the mechanical hovers around the entire enterprise, nothing this reviewer or anyone else says will matter an iota. Prepare to battle for […]

CARRIE, THE MUSICAL (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 92% - SWEET

CARRIE, THE MUSICAL (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 92% – SWEET

SWEET However, “Carrie” is a better musical than before, but it’s still not a great one. Gore’s tunes are pleasant but, barring Carrie and Mom’s songs, not very individuated, Pitchford’s lyrics are prosaic, at times prolix, and Cohen’s book doesn’t explore its All Teens Are Alienated theme beyond surface considerations. That will scarcely matter to […]

FIGARO (A NOISE WITHIN): 100% - SWEET

FIGARO (A NOISE WITHIN): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Joshua Wolf Coleman’s triple-role expertise and Natalie De Luna’s dizzy Fanchette complete an ensemble that knows just how far to push for laughs and gets them, resulting in a knee-slapping blast. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET Some may find Michael Michetti’s direction and this often frenetically paced two-acter to be witty, with […]

TREVOR: 97% - SWEET

TREVOR: 97% – SWEET

SWEET From that opening, the play’s grim trajectory becomes inevitable. That it also proves such a deliciously laugh-packed ride can finally be attributed to the split-second precision of an inspired ensemble (which includes Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Malcolm Barrett, Brenda Strong, Jim Ortlieb and Bob Clendenin) and director Stella Powell-Jones’ flawless production. Bill Raden – LA […]

DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA: 86% - SWEET

DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA: 86% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Unfortunately, the rest of the play tends towards the shallow, and is not as appealing. The script morphs into a melodrama, romance and coming-of age tale, with a bit of comic, dysfunctional black family melodrama tossed in. All the while Dontrell’s quest becomes a less-than-credible obsession — bordering on the absurd — which the […]

THE OTHER PLACE: 92% - SWEET

THE OTHER PLACE: 92% – SWEET

SWEET Solid stagecraft, tautly quirky writing and crackerjack acting distinguish this compelling Los Angeles premiere of playwright Sharr White’s celebrated 2013 study of a neurologist who may be descending into dementia. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET In the end, “The Other Place,” the second show of the 2014-15 season, works because of a […]

WASHER/DRYER: 60% - BITTERSWEET

WASHER/DRYER: 60% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET That said, at its heart the piece is a sincere, well-intended contrivance that gets its laughs like clockwork but isn’t exactly unfamiliar. Audiences with an appetite for light comedy may well enjoy it, yet this “Washer/Dryer” could use more realistic starch and less synthetic fabric softener. David C. Nichols – LA Times BITTERSWEET Directed […]

SONS OF THE PROPHET: 76% - SWEET

SONS OF THE PROPHET: 76% – SWEET

SWEET Director Matthews’ staging possesses an up close intimacy that leaves you almost feeling as though these guys are your own family. It’s almost a shame when the play ends, as the effect on the viewer is quite unusual: You feel as though you’ve just gotten one of those end-of-year Christmas letters from a distant […]

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 […]

SERRANO THE MUSICAL: 81% - SWEET

SERRANO THE MUSICAL: 81% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Running somewhere around two and three quarter hours (with intermission), this is an ambitious but uneven effort: perhaps worth a trip for the notable songs and some of the dancing and onstage talent, but badly in need of tidying, trimming and an upgrade on the book. Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly SWEET With all […]

SHE LOVES ME (CHANCE THEATER): 83% - SWEET

SHE LOVES ME (CHANCE THEATER): 83% – SWEET

SWEET Often called a “jewel from Broadway’s Golden Age”, “The Chance’s” inspired revival provides audiences with a sweet little yuletide tale that makes a delightful Valentine to this festive time of year! John Buck – Bucking Trends SWEET Under Sarah Figoten Wilson’s direction and Taylor Stephenson’s musical direction, Chance Theater’s staging of “She Loves Me” […]

THE PENIS CHRONICLES (COAST PLAYHOUSE): 83% - SWEET

THE PENIS CHRONICLES (COAST PLAYHOUSE): 83% – SWEET

SWEET Tom Yewell’s study of the male experience isn’t necessarily the counterpart to Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” that its obviated title suggests. Less political or variegated, this series of eight single-person accounts nonetheless reveals noteworthy writing ability and features solid, credible acting from a well-chosen cast. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET As such, […]

HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 84% - SWEET

HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN (GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE): 84% – SWEET

SWEET Indeed, the empathy, showmanship and craft on tap may just be the best match of historical figure and performing artist yet in this franchise, wholly attuned to a gratefully participating audience. Those who resist Felder or Berlin are advised to skip this one — it’ll just leave more tickets for the rest of us. […]

TAKARAZUKA!!!: 88% - SWEET

TAKARAZUKA!!!: 88% – SWEET

SWEET A high degree of skill and individuality accompanies “Takarazuka!!!” at East West Players. In its elegant West Coast premiere, Susan Soon He Stanton’s very promising albeit still-forming play with music uses the famed all-female troupe in the titular Japanese city as a backdrop to an intriguing study of gender roles, intergenerational schisms and the […]

BROOMSTICK: 94% - SWEET

BROOMSTICK: 94% – SWEET

SWEET Perfect for Halloween or for anyone who enjoys taking a journey into the deep dark woods, “Broomstick” offers a frightfully fun time at the theater that might be especially fun at night! Candyce Columbus – LA Examiner SWEET Playwright John Biguenet’s delightful Halloween Season monologue is a flat out delight. It’s like a children’s […]

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE): 83% - SWEET

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE): 83% – SWEET

SWEET Adding depth and dimension to Didion’s script are Juan Sanson’s subtle sound effects and spare, softly ethereal music and Francois-Pierre Couture’s scenic work and color washes, projected onto a latticed screen behind Purl. More fierce than sorrowful, “Magical Thinking” is a remarkable portrait of grief and devotion. Eric Marchese – OC Register SWEET Under […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Up

I have not been a fan of David St. Nichols work, if I’m being honest, I find that although he’s clearly a fine a writer and smart and knows theater, he holds back or hides behind the dynamics of his own prose, ultimately giving us nothing but froth, but here the froth seems to work […]

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (A NOISE WITHIN): 85% - SWEET

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (A NOISE WITHIN): 85% – SWEET

SWEET Overall, “The Importance of Being Earnest” was an absolute delight. The actors suited their respective characters, the scenery was quite beautiful in a simplistic way, and there were plenty of laughs. As over the top and extravagant Oscar Wilde wants you to believe his characters to be, you can still find a humble side […]

GOOD PEOPLE (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

GOOD PEOPLE (LA MIRADA THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET The dilemmas facing the life-battered protagonist of “Good People” are perhaps strategically manipulated, but that doesn’t make them any less relevant, humorous or dramatically engrossing. In fact, David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2011 comedy-drama of socioeconomic dynamics in South Boston is in some ways his finest construct to date, as its rock-solid rendering at La Mirada Theatre […]

Critique of the Week - Runner Runner Up

Critique of the Week – Runner Runner Up

Better from Count Obfuscate…and much more entertaining. If only he had this much fun with stuff he didn’t like instead of “representin’” all the time. THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS David C. Nichols – LA Times Controversial psychology and show-biz moxie commingle in “The Behavior of Broadus,” with triumphant results. As delightfully self-assured as it is […]

THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS: 100% - SWEET

THE BEHAVIOR OF BROADUS: 100% – SWEET

SWEET As delightfully self-assured as it is comically self-referential, made up of equal parts whimsy, wacky, profane and profound, this cracked experiment in satirical musical development is a wickedly entertaining watershed for Sacred Fools Theater Company, the Burglars of Hamm, Center Theatre Group and the general theatrical landscape. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET […]

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 […]

BIRD LIVES! (CHROMOLUME THEATRE): 81% - SWEET

BIRD LIVES! (CHROMOLUME THEATRE): 81% – SWEET

SWEET I saw one of the most powerful, raw, awesome and tragically-moving performances in memory. Oh, my, it really shook me up. Jay Weston – Huffington Post SWEET The effect is an emotionally exhausting but humanizing depiction of the bebop jazz pioneer. Even though Parker passed away much too soon, at age 34, for 70 […]

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND: 83% - SWEET

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND: 83% – SWEET

SWEET It’s full of dynamic characters going through interesting changes, and they say funny and moving things all the time; the emotional flow is well-ordered and effective. Exciting images, such as a spiritually bereft agnostic using John Lennon as an understandable face of God, populate a lively story. This premiere production by David Bickford, Jenny […]

Critique of the Week

Critique of the Week

What the hell is a “representative outing”? What does that mean? What am I supposed to glean from that phrase? Maybe you can sort it out, LemonHeads, but for me, this is yet again a “representative outing” from the Duke of Diplomacy, David St. Nichols, over at the LA Times, who seems to endlessly obfuscate […]

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 96% - SWEET

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (THEATRICUM BOTANICUM): 96% – SWEET

SWEET That we follow the largely unedited text through its dark moments and plot convolutions to an earned happy conclusion testifies to the curiosity factor and the clarity of storytelling at play. “All’s Well” may not be a flawless work, but it nonetheless ends well here. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET If you […]

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 […]

FLOWER DUET: 63% - BITTERSWEET

FLOWER DUET: 63% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER Undemanding playgoers may well find the proficient performances ample reason to go, but this “Duet” doesn’t exactly sing. David C. Nichols – LA Times SWEET Watching Flower Duet is like watching a well orchestrated dance, it draws you into a world that is foreign, yet so familiar. NoHo is fortunate to have this play […]