Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: HEAD OF PASSES (Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum)

GOD THE FATHER AND THE MOTHER OF ALL GODS I will remember Phylicia Rashad’s performance in Head of Passes until the day I die. She is an emotional hurricane, often still, even funny—while in the eye of the storm—but then raging and howling with a pain rooted so deeply inside the love and bondage of […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: THE DANCE OF DEATH (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble)

MISERY LOVES COMPANY In referring to August Strindberg’s 1900 play The Dance of Death as a foreshadowing of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, director Ron Sossi is on firm ground. Strindberg’s mordant characters (Alice, a former actress, and Edgar, an artillery captain) are certainly waltzing to the same music as George and Martha. […]

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Post image for San Diego Theater Review: BENNY & JOON (The Old Globe’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage)

WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL ADAPTATION MADE EVEN BETTER BY BRYCE PINKHAM It’s tricky turning a movie into a play, given that without the auteur’s camera gimmicks and edits, it can be harder to convey mood and emotion. When adapting to a musical, however, songs can create an indelible emotional connection with a character. Not every tune […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Preview: STUPID KID (Road Theatre Company in North Hollywood)

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES The Road Theatre Company, one of L.A.’s most dependable companies for original material, amazing casting, steadfast directors, and terrific production values, presents the first show of its 2017-2018 season, Stupid Kid, which plays September 22 through November 12, 2017 at Road’s Magnolia Boulevard location. This world premiere, written by one of […]

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Post image for Theatre Review: THE TOAD KNEW (James Thiérrée’s La Compagnie du Hanneton at Chicago Shakespeare)

MORE PLAYS ON THE PIER Tuesday night’s “consecration of the house,” attended by Chicago’s Mayor Emmanuel, was a celebration that this care-ridden city badly needed. The big news is the grand opening of The Yard, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s state-of-the-arts third theater on Navy Pier. (Its magnificent make-believe replaces the underused, open-air Skyline Stage where Cirque Shanghai […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Goodman Theatre)

UNSTOPPABLE AND UNSPARING This week Goodman Theater’s season-opener, a landmark drama from 1955, exploded into relevance. A rarity worth a return, Arthur Miller’s original 120-minute, one-act Broadway version of an inevitable domestic tragedy focuses more on the family than the neighborhood (and shortchanges Beatrice’s anguish over her husband’s self-destructive passion for his niece). But the […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE REMBRANDT (Steppenwolf)

A PAINTING IS A PORTAL Art is never still, not just still lifes but landscapes, genre scenes, even abstract configurations and, especially, portraits. Every painting is a time capsule that absorbed everything that was going around it as it was created—and since too. Multifaceted Rohrshack tests of perception, intuition, associations and imagination, they paradoxically measure […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: LA RAZÓN BLINDADA (24th Street Theatre)

AN EXTRAORDINARY FIVE-COURSE MEAL Course One (Primer Plato): The Story. Two unnamed political prisoners, languishing in an Argentine maximum security prison, are allowed only one hour each Sunday to congregate: the inmates make use of storytelling, specifically Cervantes’ Don Quixote, as a means to find solace under great duress. This course feeds the spirit, for it […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: BIG NIGHT (Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City)

A STAR IS BORN Paul Rudnick’s bright new comedy takes place on Oscar night. Michael (Brian Hutchison) is a journeyman actor with a career and life-changing Best Supporting Actor nomination. After years of steady theater work and occasional television guest shots, he is on the verge of becoming a star. His trans nephew Eddie (Tom […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music Preview: 100: THE APOLLO THEATER CELEBRATES ELLA’S 100TH BIRTHDAY! (Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood)

OH, SWEET AND LOVELY Ella Fitzgerald’s history with Harlem’s Apollo Theater dates back to the fall of 1934, when she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. The teenager went to the Theater planning to dance, but when the Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. She performed her rendition of […]

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