In Other News

Paul Robeson Theatre Festival celebrates the Harlem Renaissance and LA’s Central Avenue

By Michelle Mills|

‘Shout Sister Shout’ is not much to scream about at the Pasadena Playhouse

If you love classic rock ’n’ roll and have never heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, shame on you. Raised in gospel, this woman was a superstar in the 1930s and ’40s, playing the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall and inventing a ...

By Frances Baum Nicholson|

MOST RECENT STORIES

  • Theater

    We’re meeting the cast of Hamilton at the Pantages Theater. Here’s how to follow along live

    “And there’s a million things I haven’t done but just you wait, just you wait…” We did wait and the wait is finally over! “Hamilton” has finally landed in Los Angeles. The musical juggernaut will be opening its doors to hungry crowds on Friday, August 11. • Related: Hundreds brave LA...

    Maria Cavassuto Los Angeles Daily News|

  • Musical theater

    What made ‘Hamilton’ such a monster hit?

    “Hamilton” was nobody’s idea of a box-office bonanza. When you consider the elevator pitch, it’s lucky to have been staged at all: Imagine a musical based on a wordy biography about one of America’s less well-known founding fathers, an immigrant whose career high was serving as Treasury secretary. The score will include a lot of rap music, and performers of color will play most of the major roles. We’ll cover many arcane historical...

    By Paul Hodgins phodgins@scng.com @octheaterguy on Twitter|

  • Entertainment

    Funny ‘Rainbow Bridge’ doesn’t fully connect at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica

    When the audience enters Ruskin Group Theatre at Santa Monica Airport, onstage is an examining table bearing a Jack Russell terrier snuggled in a soft little towel. Oh, dear. Are we going to be laughing or crying? There’s cause for both throughout “The Rainbow Bridge” by Ron Nelson, who filled his play with funny lines — and there’s quite a bit of life’s truths in there. But the work needs a rethink. It can and should be...

    By Dany Margolies|

  • Entertainment

    Hip-hop to ‘Hamilton’: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cultural juggernaut lands in Los Angeles

    Do you have the “Hamilton” blues because you can’t get a ticket? Don’t worry, you’ll have time before the smash musical is turned into a movie. “Right now, I’m just trying to get as many people in the room as possible,” says Lin-Manuel Miranda who created the Broadway hit, which is making its Southern California debut at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. “I’m being selfish about keeping it a piece of...

    Rob Lowman
    |

  • Entertainment

    ‘Spamalot’ is all set for 3-D Theatricals productions in Redondo Beach and Cerritos

    No one is safe from this Broadway musical. It pokes fun at just about everything, especially other Broadway musicals. Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is cheeky, a bit disrespectful and maybe even rude, but it’s also a hilariously smart and surprisingly sophisticated show that became a Broadway sensation, earning 14 Tony Award nominations and winning three, including best new musical. So when 3-D Theatricals brings the musical comedy to

    Richard Guzman
    |

  • Entertainment

    Silence is golden in ‘Cigarettes & Chocolate,’ ‘Hang Up’ at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice

    In their West Coast premieres, two one-act radio plays by Anthony Minghella grace the smaller stage at Pacific Resident Theatre. Though the two are produced as radio plays, the actors speaking from music stands, Michael Peretzian directs with enough subtext and reactions to start the audience’s imagination moving and filling in any blanks. Minghella (writer-director of “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “The English Patient”) wrote “Hang Up” in...

    By Dany Margolies|

  • Entertainment

    ‘Sequence’ is a complex exploration of belief, science at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills

    Imagine writing a play in the hopes of creating as complex a double helix as a strand of DNA. That appears to be the intent of Arun Lakra, whose “Sequence” is at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. Complex it is, at least in volume though not necessarily in nuance. Still, the play proves artfully directed enough that the script’s overt nature is, to some extent, overcome. Essentially, two strands of story take place on the same stage at the same time. In one, a man...

    By Frances Baum Nicholson|

  • Entertainment

    There’s much that’s marvelous about these ‘Wonderettes’ at Sierra Madre Playhouse

    A musical format which has become extremely popular, particularly in smaller venues, involves taking popular music from a particular genre and a particular time period and building a storyline around what is essentially a nostalgic concert. If the storyline creates characters that entertain, and if the singing is up to the standard one expects when the music was first loved on a recording, the show can be a sure-fire hit with audiences. By and large, the success or failure of at...

    By Frances Baum Nicholson|

  • Musical theater

    How a gift store find led to the creation of ‘Shout Sister Shout!’ at Pasadena Playhouse

    Sister Rosetta Tharpe was fierce. A singer and guitarist, Tharpe blended her gospel roots with jazz, blues and R&B, creating her own style, and is credited with helping create rock ’n’ roll. Her hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train” and “Strange Things Happen Every Day,” and she influenced many musicians, including Elvis Presley,

    Michelle Mills
    |

  • Plays

    ‘King of the Yees’ reigns as a funny, insightful family history exploration at LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre

    There is a moment toward the end of a favorite documentary where people who grew up in the then-segregated African-American neighborhood around Central and Slauson in L.A. talked about the loss of that neighborhood with regret. Entrance into the mainstream was great, they say, but they lost those close-knit community ties. I could not help but think of this while watching Lauren Yee’s funny, insightful “King of the Yees” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

    By Frances Baum Nicholson|

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