RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "tolucan times"

DON'T HUG ME, WE'RE MARRIED (GROUP REP): 94% - SWEET

DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE MARRIED (GROUP REP): 94% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET The production’s silliness (in high-octane overdrive) really starts to wear thin by Act 2, though the music and dance routines are a kick, courtesy of Paul Olson’s score, Phil Olson’s off-the-wall lyrics, and Stan Mazin’s snappy choreography. Doug Engalla directs. Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw SWEET DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE MARRIED is the […]

ON THE RAZZLE (THEATRE WEST): 67% - BITTERSWEET

ON THE RAZZLE (THEATRE WEST): 67% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET It’s hard to say why the play’s production at Theatre West doesn’t reach the level of comical lunacy that is so obviously required. Certainly, co-directors Pete Parkin and John Gallogly have assembled a cast of game and crisply well-prepared actors who go through their frenetic paces with nary a hitch. Perhaps it’s simply that […]

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (DOMA THEATRE): 97% - SWEET

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (DOMA THEATRE): 97% – SWEET

SWEET Through a magical, musical tour, with memorable song and dance numbers, sure to wow the audience, such as ‘Puttin’ On the Ritz,”and “Roll in the Hay,” the audience is sure to burst their seams and roll with laughter. Bonnie Priever – LA Examiner SWEET This is an EYE-POPPINGLY riotous, beautifully produced, directed, and performed […]

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? (L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER): 94% - SWEET

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? (L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER): 94% – SWEET

SWEET Every Los Angeles theatergoer should be so lucky as to see a show this ecstatic. Because all this work is in service of literature that evaluates the sexual morality, the emotional fidelity, the personal integrity we all would like to claim; and it asks of these things what they say about our natures. You […]

2 ACROSS (SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE): 83% - SWEET

2 ACROSS (SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE): 83% – SWEET

SWEET Josh (Kip Gilman) & Janet (Wendy Michaels), who come from seemingly different worlds, prove that the adage ‘opposites attract’ rings true. Each of these lost souls struggle to ultimately find the answer to the puzzle of their own life journey. Their chance meeting is rather a touch of fate, as they yearn to complete […]

BURIED CHILD (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 80% - SWEET

BURIED CHILD (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 80% – SWEET

SWEET In the end, this “Buried Child,” then, produced 35 years after the play won Shepard his only Pulitzer Prize, is the prolific playwright at his very best: naked, robust, and oh, so true. The Whitefire production is an ode to Shepard, ghosts and all, and a warning against sloth, envy and greed as only […]

THE WESTERN UNSCRIPTED (FALCON THEATRE): 95% - SWEET

THE WESTERN UNSCRIPTED (FALCON THEATRE): 95% – SWEET

SWEET It’s such a confident company that there are very few showboats. Long-form improvisation allows the inspiration of the moment – requires it – to drive the story; a couple months back I saw Fredrickson run wild upon a Sondheim UnScripted show with a series of intelligent, perceptive writing decisions and wildly successful character choices. […]

WITHOUT ANNETTE: 78% - SWEET

WITHOUT ANNETTE: 78% – SWEET

SWEET Improvisation is the ability to perform without preparation, about being in a moment of truth and bringing the audience with you. This connection creates a spontaneous reaction between performer and audience, resulting in anything from uproarious laughter to anguished tears – or any emotion in between. Anyone wishing to experience this sensation should get […]

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S THE TEMPEST (T.U. STUDIOS): 72% - BITTERSWEET

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE TEMPEST (T.U. STUDIOS): 72% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET And with all the asides to the audience, along with more contemporary language, those less familiar with Shakespeare may find this production a good introduction to the Bard. However, please be forewarned this is a very LOUD presentation in a very small space. From the title music to the ear-piercing shrieks of characters confronting […]

TURNING THIRTY: 100% - SWEET

TURNING THIRTY: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Veteran director/actor/playwright Chris DeCarlo directs this delightful cast in this very entertaining and humorous play. Carol Kaufman Segal – Stagehappenings SWEET This sweet froth, smoothly directed by Chris DeCarlo, contains performances that boast a nice amount of energy, sincerity, and warmth. And there’s certainly a place in the world for a cheerful, unassuming good-time […]

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (GROUP REP): 100% - SWEET

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (GROUP REP): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Now onstage at the group rep in NoHo, Streetcar may be a daring choice for this company, but under L. Flint Esquerra’s caring and detailed direction and with four actors perfectly cast in the lead roles, it is something to sing about. Don Grigware – BroadwayWorld SWEET The current production of Tennessee Williams’s classic […]

CAT FIGHT: 100% - SWEET

CAT FIGHT: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Cat Fight works, as only theatre can. It reaches into its subject, and into us, deeply. And it delivers so much of womanhood’s “infinite variety” that once you’ve seen it — whatever your sex or gender — I doubt you’ll ever see a woman, or be in the company of one, or encounter yourself […]

I'M NOT JUST A COMIC GENIUS: 100% - SWEET

I’M NOT JUST A COMIC GENIUS: 100% – SWEET

SWEET The show is worth seeing if you are in the mood for a light comedy. Daniel Faigin – Observations Along the Road SWEET It is hilarious, disturbing, superbly written and immediately engaging. Corina Roberts – La Canada Flintridge Patch SWEET Riotous comedy sequences, nice wordplay, and fine acting make I’m Not Just a Comic […]

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 […]

DORIAN'S DESCENT (DOMA): 38% - BITTER

DORIAN’S DESCENT (DOMA): 38% – BITTER

BITTER A quartet of stellar performers, a gifted composer/musical director, and L.A.’s costume designer du jour at his most over-the-top fabulous can’t, unfortunately, save the Oscar Wilde-based World Premiere musical Dorian’s Descent from descending into three hours’ worth of clichéd dialog and lyrics, jarring tonal shifts, and good intentions gone disastrously bad. Steven Stanley – […]

What is this?

What is this?

It can’t be a review. It just can’t. I don’t think it’s a preview. I’m pretty sure it’s not a press release. If it is it’s a really badly written one. Is it a feature of some sort? I just…I just don’t know what this is. I plead complete and total ignorance. It was in […]

THE GUARDSMAN (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 88% - SWEET

THE GUARDSMAN (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 88% – SWEET

SWEET But it is Molnar’s ability to turn larger-than-life circumstances and situations into everyday happenings that not only touch, but illuminate and inspire that makes this play the joy that it is. Radomir Vojtech Luza – NoHoArtsDistrict SWEET This ninety minute show is, simply, a pleasure. Michael Sheehan – OnStageLosAngeles SWEET The Guardsman, Ferenc Molnar’s […]

TARZAN, THE MUSICAL (EL PORTAL): 88% - SWEET

TARZAN, THE MUSICAL (EL PORTAL): 88% – SWEET

SWEET Fortunately, for those who can manage to control any W.C. Fields-worthy exasperation they might be feeling as Tarzan: The Musical reaches its dramatic, emotional climax, this Los Angeles premiere makes for a generally fine small-stage introduction to the many pleasures Disney’s Ape Man has to offer on the musical theater stage. Steven Stanley – […]

PRAY TO BALL: 94% - SWEET

PRAY TO BALL: 94% – SWEET

BITTERSWEET Abdullah hasn’t penned a polished play. The mercifully short appearance of a faux comical dreadlocked character named Leafy Green (Peete) is an outlandish, unnecessary distraction; and the long -winded script needs more heft — given the subject matter — not to be confused with verbiage. Act 2 particularly would benefit from some judicious editing. […]

BE A GOOD LITTLE WIDOW (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 71% - BITTERSWEET

BE A GOOD LITTLE WIDOW (NOHO ARTS CENTER): 71% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Director Sara Botsford elicits fine performances from her well-balanced cast. F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times SWEET Gracefully segueing from what initially seems like a breezy romantic comedy to a thoughtful and heart-wrenching portrait of grief, family dynamics, and life’s unpredictable twists and turns, Bekah Brunstetter’s 2011 Off-Off-Broadway play “Be a Good Little Widow” […]

DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN: 80% - SWEET

DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN: 80% – SWEET

BITTER Soon, even the murderous villain, Super-Nova (Jeff Alan-Lee), tosses in his similarly vague musings, the end result being a play that runs completely off of the rails after a thoroughly engaging start. A muddled, convenient ending delivers the coup de grace. Combining elements of noir and comic book fantasy is a clever idea, but […]

WILD SONGS AND NAKED SOULS: 75% - BITTERSWEET

WILD SONGS AND NAKED SOULS: 75% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET Director Gloria Gifford, with a cast of over twenty artists allowed each performance to be distinctive. At no time was there a moment when the attention was not exactly where she intended, nor was the pace lagging. Entrance and exits were flawless. A visionary, Gloria has brought classic writers and poets to North Hollywood […]

THE PETRIFIED FOREST (THEATRE WEST): 71% - BITTERSWEET

THE PETRIFIED FOREST (THEATRE WEST): 71% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET It is a solid example of the Modernist movement in literature, and of high-stakes drama that is surprisingly still relevant and as wildly entertaining today as it must have been in 1935 when it was written. Patrick Hurley – LifeInLA SWEET Is there a chance for Gabby’s and Alan’s romance? Will Duke and his […]

CLASSIC COUPLES COUNSELING: 57% - BITTERSWEET

CLASSIC COUPLES COUNSELING: 57% – BITTERSWEET

SWEET So…what if Lady MacBeth had been diagnosed with OCD, manifest through excessive hand washing? What if The Taming of the Shrew’s Petruchio was discovered to have been bipolar in his treatment, entreaties and then mistreatment towards Kate? What if Ophelia’s prime complaint towards her mate, was that she just thought Hamlet was “wishy washy” […]

BOEING BOEING (GROUP REP): 100% - SWEET

BOEING BOEING (GROUP REP): 100% – SWEET

SWEET Now in a new revival well paced by director Larry Eisenberg, Group rep’s actors don the international robes and dish out the divergent flavors with some style and flair. Don Grigware – BroadwayWorld SWEET Yes, this play is funny, especially as it picks-up steam in the second and third acts. But there is more, […]

DERBY DAY: 100% - SWEET

DERBY DAY: 100% – SWEET

SWEET Silberman, Madera and Foster are to be commended for their ability to share these men first as suited and somewhat upstanding citizens and then take us with them as they sink into the depths of depravity in their souls. Each actor was fully engaged in their characters, even as the many items were thrown […]

THE TRIP BACK DOWN (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 62% - BITTERSWEET

THE TRIP BACK DOWN (WHITEFIRE THEATRE): 62% – BITTERSWEET

BITTERSWEET A full-throttle Whitefire Theatre revival revs “The Trip Back Down” up for a new spin, but unfortunately doesn’t restore John Bishop’s dated 1975 NASCAR-themed drama to street-legal status. Philip Brandes – LA Times SWEET Taking us into the world of competitive racecar drivers in 1975 … from the bawdy “rough ‘n tumble” lifestyle, to […]

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 […]

BRIEF ENCOUNTER (THE WALLIS): 90% - SWEET

BRIEF ENCOUNTER (THE WALLIS): 90% – SWEET

SWEET It’s an absolutely beguiling production, psychologically simple but stylistically as rich as a tapestry. Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly SWEET If you love the movie (and what emotionally sentient human being doesn’t?), you’ll surely get a kick out of Kneehigh’s ingenious homage. Charles McNulty – LA Times SWEET While it’s all a bit […]

OBAMA SPY DRAMA: 90% - SWEET

OBAMA SPY DRAMA: 90% – SWEET

SWEET With quick-witted writing and a high-octane cast, OSD is the perfect nighttime outing for Angelenos in need of a comic escape. P.P. – LATF SWEET With the Winter Olympics upon us, and recent attempts to reign in NSA spying, the time is ripe for a musical comedy with a Russian accent. And that’s what […]