RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "neon tommy"

MUD BLUE SKY: 94% - SWEET

MUD BLUE SKY: 94% – SWEET

SWEET This is what life is all about. Carol Kaufman Segal – Reviewplays BITTERSWEET Director Mary Lou Belli keeps the play moving but there is not much she can do with the inert writing. If jokes about pot smoking, cable porn, Bravo’s Top Chef, Sprite and cognac mixers, big boobs, plastic forks in dishwashers and […]

THE POWER OF DUFF: 64% - BITTERSWEET

THE POWER OF DUFF: 64% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER The volume and interchangeability of plot developments suggest a story in search of something to say. The punchy gimmick — an anchorman who starts to pray — could conceivably be spun into a thought-provoking play, but it isn’t there yet. Margaret Gray – LA Times BITTERSWEET With this reworking of his play, Belber presumably […]

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 […]

CORKTOWN '57: 82% - SWEET

CORKTOWN ’57: 82% – SWEET

SWEET The play raises questions on the nature of radicalism and appeasement that are more allegorical than immediate. Still, it takes you to another place and another time with considerable grace and humor. Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly BITTERSWEET On one level, this all works as a perfectly fine well-made play, and follows a […]

CINDERELLA (AHMANSON THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

CINDERELLA (AHMANSON THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Mark Brokaw’s production, with its quick-assembly storybook set by Anna Louizos, hadn’t settled into the Ahmanson by Wednesday’s performance. Josh Rhodes’ choreography looked clumsy, and the actors seemed as though they were trying to figure out the dimensions of the house. But the story’s natural enchantment is greatly enhanced by the music of Richard […]

DUNSINANE: 80% - SWEET

DUNSINANE: 80% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET If Greig’s drama were more fully imagined, this idea might have a more powerful effect. “Dunsinane” is intelligently arranged, but the characters are more or less figures in a diagram that is drawn independent of them. Their motivations, conflicts and moments of ambivalence matter less than the play’s Big Point. Charles McNulty – LA […]

PYGMALION (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 66% - BITTERSWEET

PYGMALION (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 66% – BITTERSWEET

BITTER Traditions are meant to be reinvented, but a revival that is more interested in creating indoor fog effects than in uniting its cast can’t help but founder. McGarry’s Mrs. Higgins, though a touch wan, might have served as the model for the rest of the company in balancing humor with seriousness. Turk, an adroit […]

HENRY IV, PART ONE (ANTAEUS): 88% - SWEET

HENRY IV, PART ONE (ANTAEUS): 88% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET More problematic (especially for purists) is a sometimes loose directorial rein on the scansion; allowing actors to emote through shifting emphasis may further character insight, but it comes at a cost. Though following the meter seems a curse, the pauses in mid-verse are surely worse. ’Tis clearer — and less likely to offend — […]

NIAGARA FALLS: 100% - SWEET

NIAGARA FALLS: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Smart, quirky and always engaging, this seriocomic tour de force explores mysteries of love, existence and human connection with the best precision staging a finely tuned, 12-member professional ensemble can deliver in an intimate space. It is a poster child for the kind of daring, thrilling, affordable experience that would not be possible without […]

END OF THE RAINBOW (INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE): 79% - SWEET

END OF THE RAINBOW (INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE): 79% – SWEET

SWEET While Bermingham virtually inhabits the role – fearlessly so – throughout, Quilter’s script is the brilliantly penned blueprint of ICT’s staging. From it, director John Henry Davis builds a powerfully moving portrait of the great, tortured singer in the last few weeks of her life. Eric Marchese – OC Register SWEET End of the […]

99 Seat Thoughts from the Fringes of the Los Angeles Blogosphere

99 Seat Thoughts from the Fringes of the Los Angeles Blogosphere

We’ve highlighted many stories from the big boys like American Theatre and Backstage (and more Backstage) and the LA Times and the LADCC and TPLLA and The Hollywood Reporter and Playbill (Playbill?), and certainly more detailed and impassioned conversations are happening on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, but many of those outlying blogs and review sites that […]

AMERICAN BUFFALO (DEAF WEST): 94% - SWEET

AMERICAN BUFFALO (DEAF WEST): 94% – SWEET

SWEET Troy Kotsur, a deaf actor, plays Teacher, a fractious bully whose semi-coherent verbal harangues are the source of his catastrophic charisma. Under the direction of Stephen Rothman, Kotsur uses ASL to transform Mamet’s words into a visual symphony and this challenging character into a poignant figure of isolation. Margaret Gray – LA Times BITTERSWEET […]

CHAVEZ RAVINE, AN L.A. REVIVAL (KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE): 88% - SWEET

CHAVEZ RAVINE, AN L.A. REVIVAL (KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE): 88% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The staging is of such high caliber and the material has so much import that it would have been nice to see these artists put more faith in the sophistication of their audience — and their own ability as storytellers. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET It’s a marvelous evening, which won’t travel well […]

THE PRICE (MARK TAPER FORUM): 82% - SWEET

THE PRICE (MARK TAPER FORUM): 82% – 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. […]

THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL: 71% - BITTERSWEET

THE MISSING PAGES OF LEWIS CARROLL: 71% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Playwright Lily Blau receives a strong mounting of her world premiere The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll at the Theatre @ Boston Court. Director Abigail Deser glides her able cast through what Blau has imagined would be in the missing pages of author Lewis Carroll’s actual diaries. Gil Kaan – BroadwayWorld BITTERSWEET Cummins’ transit […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

UBU THE SH*T (FOUR CLOWNS/CSULB): 100% - SWEET

UBU THE SH*T (FOUR CLOWNS/CSULB): 100% – SWEET

SWEET This play is a must see though, especially if you’re in the mood for performing arts that breaks the stuffy dramatic mold. “Ubu the Sh*t” creates a casual atmosphere of laughs for a laid back audience. Amy Patton – The 49er SWEET This production is for mature audiences, and may not appeal to all […]

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW (MARK TAPER): 82% - SWEET

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW (MARK TAPER): 82% – SWEET

SWEET “What the Butler Saw” represents Orton at his most sophisticatedly silly. It’s a play bursting with references to other plays, including even one of the greatest tragedies ever written, Euripides’ “The Bacchae.” Sad as it is to reflect on what this author might have gone on to accomplish had he not been cut down […]

KINKY BOOTS (PANTAGES THEATRE/SEGERSTROM CENTER): 86% - SWEET

KINKY BOOTS (PANTAGES THEATRE/SEGERSTROM CENTER): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Although I tend to be skeptical about the power of any garment to effect lasting spiritual change, all those stilettos evidently tenderized me to a pulp: I drove home beaming, filled with affection for the characters and all but convinced that wearing thigh-high red leather boots is the manliest thing a guy can do. […]

HANDLE WITH CARE: 100% - SWEET

HANDLE WITH CARE: 100% – SWEET

SWEET In short: this piece is well performed and directed. Daniel Faigin – Observations Along the Road SWEET Through playwright Jason Odell Williams’ focus on comedy and director Karen Carpenter’s attention to high energy acting, “Handle With Care” is a wonderful piece of theater. Rachel Mathieu and Julia Stier – Neon Tommy SWEET Despite these […]

STOP KISS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 100% - SWEET

STOP KISS (PASADENA PLAYHOUSE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Don’t let the gay bashing that is the pivotal event of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss scare you away from its exciting Pasadena Playhouse debut. Under Seema Sueko’s nuanced direction and with a pair of star turns by Angela Lin and Sharon Leal, Son’s 1998 off-Broadway hit reveals itself at its heart to be the […]

SERIAL KILLER BARBIE (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 94% - SWEET

SERIAL KILLER BARBIE (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 94% – SWEET

SWEET In fact, this is a sweet and very funny coming-of-age tale, punctuated with sassy musical numbers and ferocious wit. And, yes, in the end there is a serial killing subplot, when a trio of vicious, villainous high school cheerleaders are dispatched with extreme prejudice. Paul Birchall – Stage Raw SWEET If you’re a fan […]

CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% - SWEET

CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (COEURAGE THEATRE): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Rarely is one able to see a musical that can thrill an audience not in spite of a low budget… but because of it. There can be such an expectation for spectacle when seeing a musical that not all productions are up to the task of innovation—of keeping an audience engaged simply with the […]

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (QUEER CLASSICS/LOUNGE THEATRE): 86% - SWEET

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (QUEER CLASSICS/LOUNGE THEATRE): 86% – SWEET

SWEET Queer Classics’ The Importance Of Being Earnest gives us a world that Oscar Wilde could scarcely have conceived of in his Wildest dreams, and in so doing, Casey Kringlen and company give Oscar the last laugh he so richly deserves. Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA (Lounge Review) BITTERSWEET On the other end of the spectrum […]

SCREAM! (ROCKWELL TABLE & STAGE): 88% - SWEET

SCREAM! (ROCKWELL TABLE & STAGE): 88% – SWEET

SWEET The world premiere of the unauthorized parody musical “Scream!” at the Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz includes a star studded cast and hilarious satirical humor, all to the background of the ultimate sing-a-long 90s playlist sung by a cast full of powerhouse vocalists. Sidne Phillips – Neon Tommy SWEET It’s all very […]

PIPPIN (PANTAGES/SEGERSTROM): 93% - SWEET

PIPPIN (PANTAGES/SEGERSTROM): 93% – SWEET

SWEET The promise of the show’s opening number “Magic to Do” was lived up to with Houdini-esque virtuosity. “Pippin” was a show that inspired teens from the 1970s to pursue the dream of singing and dancing on Broadway. This entrancing revival will no doubt inspire a new generation to do the same. Don’t miss it. […]