All stories by Daryl H. Miller on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Review: With ‘Julius Weezer,’ the Troubies conspire to wreak brainy mayhem by Daryl H. Miller

It’s 44 BC, a bit before the ides of March, and Roman citizens are in the streets singing a cheeky ode to life in the Seven Hills — to the tune of Weezer’s “Beverly Hills.” This ca…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 06:35PM

Review: ‘Secret Garden’ in Cerritos is bountiful but still gets lost in the weeds by Daryl H. Miller

Sniffles in the darkness. They’re a sign of success, right? Yes, but at productions of the 1991 Broadway musical “The Secret Garden,” they’re a backhanded indicator. They come only w…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 03:35PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

Review: In 'Hir,' Taylor Mac uses a family drama to depict a changing America by Daryl H. Miller

Taylor Mac knows how to throw down a challenge. Visiting L.A. last year with the music party/drag extravaganzas “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” and “Holiday Sauce,” the New Yo…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 10:29PM
Friday, April 26, 2019

New in L.A. theater: ‘The End of Sex,’ plus plays responding to #MeToo and homelessness by Daryl H. Miller

Notions of family figure into the shows in this week’s 99-Seat Beat up-close look at Los Angeles’ smaller theaters. Families of the traditional, nuclear kind find themselves plunged into…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Review: Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Amaluna’ puts women at the center of a super-theatrical show by Daryl H. Miller

You could call it Cirque du Soleil: The Theater Geek Edition. Known as a theatrical circus for its no-animals, acrobatics-forward, story-framing format, the French-Canadian company has been …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 01:30PM
Friday, April 19, 2019

Review: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ gets splash-happy in La Mirada by Daryl H. Miller

Squeaks of anticipation greet the opening strains of familiar songs at a local revival of the stage musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” adapted from the 1952 MGM movie that keeps Gene Kelly…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:30AM

Review: ‘Falsettos’ sings life’s frantic melodies at the Ahmanson by Daryl H. Miller

The first half of the musical “Falsettos” is set in 1979, the second in 1981 — years when Marvin, who leaves his wife and son for a man, was on the wrong side of sodomy laws in a numbe…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:30AM
Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ has interesting ingredients but blah taste by Daryl H. Miller

Imagine you’re holding a bar of Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight. The name alone promises deliciousness inside. A name’s a powerful thing, especially if it has delivered…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 10:00AM

Review: Jason sails through worlds of wonder in A Noise Within’s ‘Argonautika’ by Daryl H. Miller

Even the grandest stories, full of epic adventures, are built of everyday experiences. Mary Zimmerman creates theater magic in much the same way, bringing the world’s foundational tales al…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:30AM

L.A. theaters spotlight the power of community in Boyle Heights, skid row and beyond by Daryl H. Miller

Community is at the heart of several plays on the 99-Seat Beat, our weekly look at Los Angeles’ stages. Folks support one another through daily challenges in 1968 Boyle Heights, work shoul…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review: Love spins into free-fall in A Noise Within’s ‘Othello’ set in present day by Daryl H. Miller

“Othello” is an extended free-fall — a national hero’s plunge from widespread acclamation and joyful new marriage to legendary despair. In a gripping new staging for A Noise Within, …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:30AM
Friday, March 1, 2019

The 99-Seat Beat: ‘Mamma Mia!’ It’s Tolstoy, Nicky Silver and Miranda July by Daryl H. Miller

Call it navel-gazing or, if you’re feeling poetic, peering into the soul’s very depths. At L.A.’s small theaters this weekend, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina does it. So too, in her way, do…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Labor strikes, racial violence, class divides: 'Ragtime' in Pasadena feels ripped from today's headlines by Daryl H. Miller

As Pasadena Playhouse revives “Ragtime,” the theater’s leader wonders whether he’ll receive letters from viewers who believe the piece has been altered. The 1996 show is based on E.L…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Review: It's '1776' again, and independence is in the air by Daryl H. Miller

How quickly things change. In just four years, it’s become unimaginable that anyone would write a musical about our nation’s founders without giving them a hip-hop beat. But before “Ha…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 10:25PM
Friday, December 14, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: Santana Claus, a struggling radio station's 'Wonderful Life,' a 'Sisters' story by Daryl H. Miller

Santa Claus, George Bailey and the original winter solstice party boy, Dionysus, have a busy weekend ahead as they entertain L.A. audiences with the seasonal shows “The Year Without a Sant…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review: This musical 'Elf' spreads Christmas cheer despite baffling changes from the movie by Daryl H. Miller

Rule No. 1 of musical theater is to send ’em out the doors energized. For Musical Theatre West’s staging of “Elf: The Musical,” that means a finale packed with tap-dancing Santa’s …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Monday, November 5, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: History takes the stage with the HUAC era, the birth of diverse Boyle Heights and the makings of our fake-reality present by Daryl H. Miller

History figures prominently at Los Angeles’ smaller theaters this weekend: a slice of L.A.’s past in “Remembering Boyle Heights”; the heated days of the House Un-American Activities …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 02:55AM
Friday, October 12, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: Tim Robbins aids an injured soldier in 'Johnny Got His Gun'; a theater revisits a tale that inspired Hitchcock; and more by Daryl H. Miller

Think of them this weekend as mental gymnasiums. In Los Angeles’ smaller theaters you can work out with an injured soldier dreaming of social revolution in “Johnny Got His Gun,” a colo…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Friday, September 14, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: L.A.'s small theaters present a Neil Simon classic, an up-and-coming hit by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and more by Daryl H. Miller

Among the shows playing in Los Angeles’ bustling smaller theaters this week are two Pulitzer Prize drama finalists, one receiving its West Coast premiere, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ “Glor…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Friday, September 7, 2018

After revolutionizing West Coast theater, Bill Rauch takes his inclusive vision to New York by Daryl H. Miller

As theatergoers surge out the doors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s three theaters, the air hums with discussions about the just-seen shows. Next morning, conversations are still goin…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM

Review: Cabaret with ukuleles: Kander and Ebb classics keep spinning as 'The World Goes 'Round' by Daryl H. Miller

As its second presentation, the revived Reprise 2.0 is offering a John Kander-Fred Ebb cabaret. Not their “Cabaret,” mind you. Lowercase cabaret. The show is “The World Goes ‘Round,…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 08:00AM
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review: 'Waitress' national tour delivers a satisfying entree — life by Daryl H. Miller

Like the pie fillings dreamed up by its central character, the 2007 independent movie “Waitress” is made of ingredients that wouldn’t seem to belong together yet combine into something…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 05:25PM
Friday, August 3, 2018

Review: 'Side by Side by Sondheim' roots around in the mind of a musical theater master by Daryl H. Miller

Stephen Sondheim — writer of unhummable melodies and cynical lyrics? Or unerring saint of musical theater? In the mid-1970s, opinion often gravitated toward the former. Then “Side by Sid…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 10:00AM
Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: The sun is out. Annie and her pals visit the Hollywood Bowl to show us how a family gets along by Daryl H. Miller

A search for family propels “Annie,” the 1977 Broadway musical inspired by the Depression-era comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.” In a weekend staging at the Hollywood Bowl, that came…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 05:55PM
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: A life told in tall tales; 'Big Fish' at the Chance Theater by Daryl H. Miller

“Fish stories,” we call them — those times when truth gets embellished in a bid to make the ordinary seem more important or exciting. “Big Fish” — the 1998 novel, 2003 movie and …

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 02:25PM
Friday, June 29, 2018

With 'Broadway and the Bard,' Len Cariou helps us hear the music in Shakespeare by Daryl H. Miller

Shakespeare specialist, musical theater star, minor Broadway deity. These are just a few of the attributes we might ascribe to Len Cariou. These days, the 78-year-old, Canada-born actor is a…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 04:18PM
Friday, June 15, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: Come in. Aleichem and Churchill are waiting by Daryl H. Miller

Your attention probably has turned to the almost-summer outdoors, but L.A. theater is doing its best to get you off of the sand and into a seat. Consider: the Hollywood Fringe Festival at fu…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Actors Co-op production of 'Violet' might make you believe in miracles by Daryl H. Miller

Like its title character, the small-scale musical “Violet” wishes merely to be seen, whole and true. Set in September 1964, the story follows Violet — in her late 20s, her face disfigu…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 07:45PM
Friday, May 18, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: Social history comes alive in 'The Ballad of Bimini Baths,' 'Ripe Frenzy' and 'Antigone' by Daryl H. Miller

Racism, gun violence and rebellion are themes in the L.A. small-theater offerings "The Ballad of Bimini Baths," "Ripe Frenzy" and "Antigone, or We Are Rebels Asking for the Storm."

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Friday, April 20, 2018

The 99-Seat Beat: Social justice as taught by imprisoned women, 'Native Son,' 'The Immigrant' and Henry VIII by Daryl H. Miller

Social justice is a topic in L.A. smaller-theater productions of "Key Change" by Collective Studio: Los Angeles, "Native Son" by Antaeus, "The Immigrant" by Sierra Madre Playhouse and "Enriq…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM

The 99-Seat Beat: Social justice as taught by imprisoned women, 'Native Son,' 'The Immigrant' and Henry VIII by Daryl H. Miller

Most any week the theater provides a college seminar’s worth of social-justice studies, but the conversations are particularly prevalent now in L.A.’s smaller theaters. This week they lo…

Linked From Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM

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