Post image for Theater Review: LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (The Wallis in Beverly Hills)

ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH Eugene O’Neill twice turned his troubled youth into all-absorbing drama. His family first appeared as a happy tangle of eccentric loved ones in Ah, Wilderness!, a halcyon 1933 comedy that revealed no greater family rifts than a generation gap and a father’s worry about his son’s preference for “decadent” poets. […]

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Post image for CD Review: TAKE ME TO THE WORLD (Sutton Foster)

TAKING US TO HER WORLD I’m a huge fan of Sutton Foster: Her work is stunning on Original Cast Albums like Violet, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Anything Goes (which I think is far superior to the Patti LuPone version). So it’s a shame that her latest CD is such a mixed effort; there’s an “A” […]

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Post image for Theater Review: CULT OF LOVE (IAMA Theatre Company in Atwater Village)

ON CONFORMING AND CHRIST Ah, what better fodder for drama is there than the dysfunctional American family? You know the ingredients: accusations hurled back and forth by the walking wounded; recriminations for offenses committed years before; and — for good measure — a reunion with plenty of alcohol and mental illness. With her Cult of Love, […]

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Post image for Theater Review: A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME (Hollywood Fringe Festival)

HALLUCINOGENS, MAN-WHORES & CHINA PEOPLE I’m not sure why Steve Chang chose to call his world premiere one-man show at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival A Complete Waste of Time. It isn’t. He isn’t. And his aim doesn’t seem to be anything as trivial as what the title suggests. Chang tells a number of stories […]

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Post image for Music Review: CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD (Ford Amphitheatre)

BREAKING DOWN FENCES An American requiem, an oratorio, and a choral masterpiece elegantly and movingly performed, Considering Matthew Shepard, which closes tonight at the Ford Amphitheatre, is not to be missed. The full-length work — containing hymns, Western music, spirituals, and other Copeland-esque evocations of American compositions — certainly mourns and honors Shepard, the twenty-year-old […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: SKELETON CREW (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood)

MOTHER COURAGE IN MOTOR CITY The marvel of scenic designer Rachel Meyers’ work greets you when you enter the theater at the Geffen Playhouse, and draws the audience into Skeleton Crew, the third and final installment in playwright Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning three-play cycle, The Detroit Project. Then Meyers’ set does an extraordinary thing: During onstage […]

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Post image for Theater Review: ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (After Hours Theatre Company in Burbank)

FLY TO THIS NEST Boy oh boy, if you like immersive theater, than check yourself into the madhouse over in Burbank. When the rebellious, charismatic and playful Randle McMurphy gets reassigned from penal labor on a prison farm to assessment as an asylum inmate, he gathers that the mental institution will be a more lenient […]

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Post image for CD Review: SING HAPPY (Audra McDonald and the New York Philharmonic)

GET HAPPY I had the privilege of seeing Audra McDonald’s Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, but it was her turn as Clara in Passion at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival that proved McDonald is, as Stephen Sondheim maintains, “one of the glories of the American theater.” Not only is she a refined singer with a golden soprano voice of purity and […]

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Post image for Theater Review: AS WE BABBLE ON (East West Players)

SORRY TO BURST YOUR BABBLE In this unfortunate world premiere, the winsome cast begins with angry pessimistic post-millennial Benji (Will Choi), an Asian-American comic book artist whose boss — not seeing a need for the twentysomething’s Asian Superhero — has given a well-deserved promotion to a white dude instead. Benji wants to self-publish his character […]

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Post image for Off-Broadway Theater Review: EVERYONE’S FINE WITH VIRGINIA WOOLF (Elevator Repair Service)

EVERYTHING’S FINE, BUT WHAT IF WE HAD ALSO BEEN AFRAID? Starting out as a parody of Edward Albee’s Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Kate Scelsa’s Everyone’s Fine with Virginia Woolf is a whimsical and witty feminist attack on what the play views as the failings of male dramatists. An abundance of quips, clever remarks, and […]

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