THEATER REVIEWS

THEATER REVIEWS

  • In 'Lysistrata Unbound,' the women go to war against war

    In 'Lysistrata Unbound,' the women go to war against war

    How much wartime loss does it take to transform acquiescence into resistance? The question’s relevance to the present prompted director and choreographer John Farmanesh-Bocca and playwright Eduardo Machado to look to the past for a way to frame the impassioned antiwar message of their new play,...

  • Armenian genocide fuels Rogue Machine's '100 Aprils'

    Armenian genocide fuels Rogue Machine's '100 Aprils'

    The lies that have increasingly flowed into our post-truth era are terrifying stuff, to be sure. Arguably as painful are the omissions of fact — those stubborn denials of the undeniable that echo through the generations. The refusal of the Turkish government to acknowledge the Armenian genocide...

  • The week ahead in SoCal theater: 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' and more

    The week ahead in SoCal theater: 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui' and more

    Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.), Charles McNulty (C.M.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.). Openings The Blade of Jealousy Henry Ong’s new modern-day adaptation of Spanish playwright Tirso de Molina’s classic comedy “La Celosa De Si Misma...

  • 'The Humans' at the Ahmanson: Quite possibly the best cast of actors you can see anywhere

    'The Humans' at the Ahmanson: Quite possibly the best cast of actors you can see anywhere

    If there’s a better acting ensemble working in America right now than the extraordinary cast of “The Humans,” which opened Wednesday at the Ahmanson Theatre with nearly the entire Broadway cast intact, I’m unaware of its existence. Stephen Karam’s drama, which won the 2016 Tony Award for best play,...

  • 'Skeleton Crew' at the Geffen Playhouse: The plight of the American worker, finally center stage

    'Skeleton Crew' at the Geffen Playhouse: The plight of the American worker, finally center stage

    The handwriting is on the wall for the workers at one of the last standing small auto plants in Detroit. They know management is planning to shut down the operation, but they don’t know when and, more existentially worrying, they don’t who they will be when their occupation is stolen from them....

  • 'The Ballad of Bimini Baths' plunges into L.A. history

    'The Ballad of Bimini Baths' plunges into L.A. history

    Water is a vivid metaphor in Los Angeles. We live in a desert beside an ocean, an existence of simultaneous want and plenitude. Another, lesser-known water source inspires “The Ballad of Bimini Baths,” a trio of plays by local playwright Tom Jacobson. Bimini was a popular swimming and spa complex...

  • Lesley Manville and Jeremy Irons fill 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' with sorrow and savagery

    Lesley Manville and Jeremy Irons fill 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' with sorrow and savagery

    There are two main reasons to once again undergo Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” which opened Sunday at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The first is Lesley Manville’s breathtaking performance as Mary Tyrone, who is played not as an excuse...

  • The world is ending, so come to the 'Cabaret'

    The world is ending, so come to the 'Cabaret'

    Slyly seductive and vigorously distracting, “Cabaret” keeps you enthralled while the world goes to hell. Set in 1929 and ’30, the show captures the jittery throb of Germany’s fragile, fractious but richly creative Weimar era as its brief existence got crushed in the Great Depression and indignant...

  • Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause

    Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater and a 'Henry IV' worthy of applause

    Tackling both parts of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” in an outdoor staging with a company of actors not primarily known as Elizabethan specialists is a recipe for a long and bumpy night. So it’s a credit to the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles for not only averting disaster but getting so much right....

  • 'Solo Must Die,' and so must this 'Star Wars' musical spoof

    'Solo Must Die,' and so must this 'Star Wars' musical spoof

    Youthful exuberance predominates onstage at the new “Solo Must Die: A Musical Parody.” Unfortunately, the mood is not infectious. This undeniably ambitious premiere at the Hudson Backstage Theatre opened on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), in advance of the Memorial Day weekend launch...

  • A revelatory Denzel Washington in 'The Iceman Cometh'

    A revelatory Denzel Washington in 'The Iceman Cometh'

    The prospect of another long wallow in the misery of Harry Hope’s saloon should give even the most intrepid theatergoer pause. “The Iceman Cometh,” Eugene O’Neill’s marathon drama set in 1912 before recovery became a national pastime, is an immersion in the world of sodden human wreckage. In this...

  • Jane Anderson gives her 'Baby Dance' some smart new steps

    Jane Anderson gives her 'Baby Dance' some smart new steps

    The character specificity that distinguished “The Baby Dance” ultimately convinced playwright Jane Anderson that adapting her 1989 drama for a racially diverse cast required more than a few editorial baby steps. Reteaming with Jenny Sullivan, the play’s original director, Anderson has created a...

  • 'School of Rock': When Axl Rose meets Andrew Lloyd Webber

    'School of Rock': When Axl Rose meets Andrew Lloyd Webber

    In one of the most entertaining numbers in the musical “School of Rock,” which opened Thursday at the Hollywood Pantages theater, a substitute teacher rallies his 10-year-old students to “stick it to the man” by ignoring their stuffy prep-school curriculum and forming a rock band. It’s fun to watch...

  • 'Noises Off' at A Noise Within: The laugh factory is open for business

    'Noises Off' at A Noise Within: The laugh factory is open for business

    That a play in which things go so horribly wrong can get things so hysterically right is the fundamental paradox at the screwball heart of “Noises Off,” Michael Frayn’s classic comedy that returns to A Noise Within for a fourth (and already extended) run. The enduring popularity of this production,...

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