Monday, April 16, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: THE DOPPELGÄNGER (AN INTERNATIONAL FARCE) (Steppenwolf) by Lawrence Bommer

DOUBLE VISION, OR LOST IN THE LAFFS Can a forced farce make a theater audience howl with laughter, never realizing until the very end that the joke is on them? That’s almost a rhetorical …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:07PM
Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tour Theater Review: SOUL DOCTOR (Lyceum Theatre in San Diego) by Milo Shapiro

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: A JOYFUL MESSAGE There is an ancient Chinese proverb: “The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.” In the musical Sou…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:44PM

Opera Review: IL PIGMALIONE & RITA (Chicago Opera Theater at the Studebaker Theater) by Lawrence Bommer

MY FAIR SIGNORA, OR DONIZETTI, SOUP TO NUTS He didn’t just write Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale, L’Elisir d’Amore, Poliuto, The Daughter of the Regiment, Maria Stuarda, Robert Deve…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:11PM
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: LETTIE (Victory Gardens) by Lawrence Bommer

A CON IS NEVER “EX” The nickname Lettie comes from the Greek term “Letitia” or “joy.” That’s one of many bleak ironies that stalk the anti-heroine of Boo Killebrew’s surv…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 12:06PM
Friday, April 13, 2018

Los Angeles Theater Review: SIGNIFICANT OTHER (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

TOGETHER ALONE Keilly McQuail and Will Von Vogt are absolutely riveting in Significant Other, Joshua Harmon’s mostly funny, sometimes sad take on the pitfalls of being the GBF (gay best fr…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:06PM

Dance Review: GISELLE (Dada Masilo & The Dance Factory at The Wallis in Beverly Hills) by Tony Frankel

WILIES AT THE WALLIS First staged in 1841, Giselle is one of the oldest surviving ballets still in the international repertory, especially because the lead role is a showcase for the world…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:52PM
Saturday, April 7, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: GASLIGHT DISTRICT (The Second City e.t.c.’s 42nd Revue at Piper’s Alley) by Lawrence Bommer

SCATTERSHOT SATIRE AIMS AT MOVING TARGETS It’s easy to think that humor is subjective — until an entire audience’s spontaneous guffaw undermines any such abstraction. Often enough,…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:18PM

Theater Review: SAINT JOAN (Bedlam Theatre Company on tour at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica) by Tony Frankel

SAVING FAITH Even with a few blemishes, Bedlam’s revival of George Bernard Shaw’s 1923 masterpiece Saint Joan is an immersive and ultimately gratifying theatrical experience. The story…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:36PM
Thursday, April 5, 2018

San Francisco Theater Review: HEISENBERG (A.C.T.) by Patricia Schaefer

A PRINCIPLED PRODUCTION Director Hal Brooks delivers a remarkably authentic and poignant tale with A.C.T.’s production of Heisenberg, a short play based on a rather unremarkable human rela…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:02PM
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: THE GENTLEMAN CALLER (Raven Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

SWEET BIRD OF TRUTH The Gentleman Caller was the original name for a breakthrough “memory play” that, opening at Chicago’s Civic Theatre in late 1944, made Tom “Tennessee” William…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:56PM
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Theater Review: PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL (Pre-Broadway World Premiere) by Lawrence Bommer

PRETTY UNLIKELY WOMAN When worlds collide: A celluloid fantasy about an L.A. call girl suddenly thrust into affluence, the much-loved 1990 film Pretty Woman starred a suave, salt-and-peppe…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:31PM
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: HANG (Remy Bumppo) by Lawrence Bommer

A VICTIM’S IMPACT STATEMENT Critics always worry about giving away too much — in spoilers and such. And, yes, at first that fear seemed real with hang by U.K. playwright debbie tuc…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 12:26AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

San Diego Theater Review: KING CHARLES III (Coronado Playhouse) by Milo Shapiro

WOULD SHAKESPEARE BY ANY OTHER PLAYWRIGHT SMELL AS SWEET? If the title King Charles III sounds rather Shakespearean, yet you cannot recall a “Charles” among all his Henrys and …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:43AM
Sunday, March 25, 2018

Theater Review: ON YOUR FEET (National Tour) by Lawrence Bommer

DANCE DELIRIUM As jukebox musicals go, On Your Feet! really earns its exclamation point. No question, the music alone, which won 26 Grammy Awards, would justify this 2015 tribute to the fl…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:50AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (Goodman Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

CAGE-MATCH COMBAT: IBSEN VS. TRUMP Right now, the biggest prize fight in Chicago is at Randolph and Dearborn. More polemically urgent than psychologically penetrating, a new treatment of Hen…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:05PM
Monday, March 19, 2018

San Diego Theater Review: A JEWISH JOKE (The Roustabouts Theatre Co. at MOXIE Theatre) by Milo Shapiro

A JEWISH JOKE WAS NO LAUGHING MATTER IN THE 1950s When the nation went into Commie panic in the ‘40s and ‘50s, one of the first places to get hard hit was Hollywood. In 1947, Congress’…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:16AM
Sunday, March 18, 2018

San Diego Theater Review: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Cygnet Theatre Company) by Milo Shapiro

CYGNET DIDN’T SEND IN ANY CLOWNS ON THIS ONE Much like modern art, Steven Sondheim musicals aren’t for everyone.  They are purposefully discordant in places, often dark in tone,…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:24PM
Thursday, March 15, 2018

CD Review: THE BAND’S VISIT (Original Broadway Cast Recording on Ghostlight Records) by Tony Frankel

WELL WORTH A VISIT Perhaps composer/lyricist David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) was inspired by one of our best new playwrights, Itamar Moses, and his adaptation of the t…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:20PM

Los Angeles Theater Preview: 57 CHEVY (Highways) by Frank Arthur

57 CHEVY: THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT ANTIDOTE, OR HOW BROWN WAS MY VALLEY? There’s palpable excitement surrounding the upcoming West Los Angeles engagement of Cris Franco’s autobiographical come…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:11PM

Los Angeles Theater Feature: REPRISE RETURNS WITH NEW SEASON OF MUSICALS (Freud Playhouse) by Tony Frankel

REPRISE REPRISED It’s a strange sort of serendipity. Just when Musical Theatre Guild announced its final season after eight glorious years presenting rarely produced musicals, along co…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:01AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

San Diego Theater Review: THIS RANDOM WORLD (North Coast Rep) by Milo Shapiro

WELL-PLANNED IRONIES Facebook and LinkedIn have illuminated the error in the supposed six degrees of separation theory, which asserts that all living things and everything else in the world …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:47PM
Monday, March 12, 2018

Dance Review: ROMEO AND JULIET (Joffrey Ballet) by Tony Frankel

SUCH SWEET SORROW FOR THE WRONG REASONS It’s as if choreographer Krzysztof Pastor, director of the Polish National Ballet, gave Prokofiev the opportunity to protest Stalin’s tyranny that…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:36PM

Los Angeles Opera Review: ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE / ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE (LA Opera) by Tony Frankel

DON’T MYTH OUT, OR DANCING THAT’S ORPH THE CHARTS LA Opera’s gorgeous production of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice), featuring a we…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:59PM

Chicago Theater Review: THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (City Lit) by Lawrence Bommer

DIFFICULT TO PICTURE The Picture of Dorian Gray is its author’s self-portrait — perversely paradoxical, sardonically aesthetic, and (necessarily) obsessed with concealment. First pu…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 12:55PM
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: CYRANO (BoHo Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

WHO NOSE BEST? Edmond Rostand’s timeless love story celebrates the one-sided love between the famous 17th-century swordsman and poet — disfigured with a humongous schnoz — and …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:57PM
Saturday, March 10, 2018

Los Angeles Theater Review: SELL/BUY/DATE (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

SEX WORK/#METOO/FUTURE TENSE Sarah Jones is a prescient writer and an actor of rare gifts and remarkable range. It’s no wonder that an early patron and supporter was Meryl Streep, for like…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:22PM

Theater Interview: PAT KINEVANE (starring in three plays at The Odyssey Theatre) by Dale Reynolds

THE LUCK OF THE IRISH AMBASSADOR Pat Kinevane, 51, is a native of rural Ireland — specifically County Cork — now living and working in Dublin, the capitol of Eire. A qualified sp…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:18PM
Friday, March 9, 2018

CD Review: ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME (Original Cast Recording) by Tony Frankel

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST I’m actually happy I didn’t see this musical live on stage. It makes for a wonderful original cast recording, but what seems like a giant heart on this CD,…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:39AM
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Chicago Theater Review: TIME IS ON OUR SIDE (About Face Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

UNLOCKING WHAT WAS NEVER HIDDEN At least Time Is On Our Side is more sex-affirmative and upbeat than Significant Other, About Face Theatre’s last offering. A Midwest premiere devotedly …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:21PM
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

CD Review: WORKING: A MUSICAL (Original London Cast Recording on Ghostlight Records) by Tony Frankel

THE MUSICAL THAT KEEPS ON WORKING Was 2017 really the European premiere of this oft-produced musical? Yep. 40 years since the Broadway opening of Working, and we’re just getting the Or…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:51PM

Chicago Opera Review: FAUST (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

A FAUSTIAN BARGAIN OF SORTS Bold, eclectic and experimental, Lyric Opera’s new production (co-produced with Portland Opera) of Gounod’s Faust comes across as rather jumbled, a mishmash, …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:26AM

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