In Other News

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

By Frances Baum Nicholson|

‘Hamilton’ brings the revolution to LA: Here’s our review

Anyone in the vicinity of the Pantages Theatre on Wednesday afternoon got the message, big time: the “Hamilton” juggernaut has hit Southern California. Hours before the monster-hit musical’s official local debut, its creator...

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

MOST RECENT STORIES

  • 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
    |

  • Musical theater

    ‘Sister Act’ offers nuns and fun in Torrance

    Don’t let the habits fool you. These disco divas are ready to get down. The Torrance Theatre Company continues its season with the Tony-nominated musical “Sister Act,” which brings music, laughs and a lesson about different worlds coming together to the James Armstrong Theatre. “It’s not a serious piece, but there is a really nice message about finding out what’s important in...

    Richard Guzman
    |

  • 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

    San Pedro’s Little Fish Theatre celebrates 15 years of Pick of the Vine

    San Pedro’s Little Fish Theatre is celebrating a milestone as its signature production, “Pick of the Vine,” turns 15 this year. The season-opening series is a collection of fewer than a dozen short plays chosen from hundreds of entries every year. It launched with the opening of the 65-seat theater in 2002 and to date more than 140 original short plays have been produced as part of the series. And 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

    Theater review: Triptych offers a noteworthy ‘Nocturne’ in LA

    Driving home from a summer job making sandwiches, in a grisly road accident, a 17-year-old killed his 9-year-old sister. Fifteen years later, he talks about it — the collision, his family’s reactions, coping — in playwright Adam Rapp’s “Nocturne.” It’s in production by Triptych Theatre through Aug. 13 at the tiny Vs. Theatre in West Los Angeles, where we listen, breathlessly, to a 90-minute monologue that takes us down that road...

    By Dany Margolies|

  • 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
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