LA Theater Scene April 2015

 

NEWSIES (photo credit Disney Theatrical Productions)

NEWSIES (photo credit Disney Theatrical Productions)

NEWSIES at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Read all about it– NEWSIES, Broadway’s exuberant headline-grabbing musical, is at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood (March 25 – April 19, 2015). The show celebrates the underdog, the downtrodden newsboys, with such joyful singing and especially its high-energy dancing, that it deserves to be called one of the best musicals of this generation.

The story is set at the turn of the 20th century, when youngsters stood on street corners selling papers to everyone who wanted to know what was going on in the world. The David vs. Goliath premise is based on actual events when the era’s greedy media moguls wanted to get richer while making the poor boys poorer. So the Newsies took a stand and went on strike against Joseph Pulitzer, and other wealthy newspaper owners. The relevance of nowadays the 1% putting the squeeze on the 99 is not lost. And the audience is left cheering.

The outstanding production features Dan DeLuca as the Newsies’ hero Jack Kelly, Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer, Stephanie Styles as Katherine, Angela Grovey, Jacob Kemp, Zachary Sayle, and Vincent Crocilla and Anthony Rosenthal alternating the role of little “Les.” Along with the ensemble, all are dazzling and masterful at musical theater under the direction of Jeff Calhoun. It’s a hit for all ages. Visit www.HollywoodPantages.com,

DUNSINANE at The Wallis 

Dunsinane is an ingenious idea of taking Shakespeare’s Macbeth further, exploring what might happen if Lady Macbeth was alive and unwilling to relinquish the throne. The drama with sharp wit and much to say about politics and power is at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills (March 27 – April 5).

The Royal Shakespeare Company commissioned David Greig to write a play that uses one of Shakespeare’s plays as a springboard for its story. The result is Dunsinane, presented by The National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed ferociously by Roxana Silbert. The stars of the show are Darrell D’Silva as Siward, Ewan Donald as Malcolm, Keith Fleming as Macduff, Alex Mann as Egham, and the fierce Siobhan Redmond as Gruach, the newly widowed Lady Macbeth.

The action starts as the English General Siward storms the Castle on Dunsinane Hill and assassinates Macbeth. He struggles to impose order on the warring Scottish clans as he finds himself drawn to the widow, and his mission quickly spins out of control. Think of it as a mix of Game of Thrones and House of Cards. Visit www.thewallis.org.

CLASS at The Falcon Theatre

Class is a show that puts the harsh realities of the acting profession center stage, while providing a riveting emotional journey for an acting teacher and his student. The two person show is a “homage to mentors everywhere,” according to inspired playwright Charles Evered, at the Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake (March 18 – April 19).

It begins with the acting teacher addressing his students (the audience) with a masterful monologue worthy of Shakespeare. He gives a litany of reasons why none of them will make a living acting. And yet he offers the tiniest glimmer of hope that one rare actor may come along and give a performance that may touch lives and possibly change the world.

Class stars Gildart Jackson as the esteemed teacher Elliot, and Callie Schuttera plays his “repulsively adorable” starlet-student Sarah. They show depth and layers that are remarkable. Both are exceptional at giving touching/explosive performances for the well-crafted show directed by Dimitri Toscas. Visit www.falcontheatre.com.

PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse

Pygmalion, the classic George Bernard Shaw play filled with fierce intelligence and wit, is playing at the Pasadena Playhouse (March 17 – April 12). It is a romantic comedy as well as a social satire, and the incredible cast brings to life the tale of Professor Henry Higgins and his “bet” to transform the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Paige Lindsey White), and pass her off as a proper Lady with flawless speech and manners.

The Shaw play (which was turned into the musical My Fair Lady) is a story about a man shaping a woman into his ideal. “That’s interesting especially when she emerges with her own sense of independence. That’s a powerful story along with the idea of unintended consequences,” reported to Jessica Kubzansky, director of the Pasadena Playhouse production starring Bruce Turk as Higgins and Paige Lindsey White as Eliza. Visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

THE POWER OF DUFF at the Geffen Playhouse

The Power of Duff has its West Coast premiere production at the Geffen Playhouse from April 15 through May 17. The story by Stephen Belber follows TV anchor Charlie Duff, who begins to sign-off each broadcast with a prayer. Believers become glued to their TV sets wondering when the prayers will be answered. But what the prayers do – and don’t do – to those closest to Duff, test the newsman’s own beliefs.

Belber’s sharp play puts the focus on the faith we have in one another. The cast features Tanner Buchanan (The Goldbergs, Bella and the Bulldogs), Brendan Griffin (Clybourne Park on Broadway, Person of Interest), Eric Ladin (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), Joe Paulik (The Good Wife), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange Is the New Black), Josh Stamberg (Parenthood), and Maurice Williams, directed by Peter DuBois. Visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.

SWEENEY TODD and PINKALICIOUS at NoHo’s El Portal Theatre

A variety of shows from Kelrik Productions are coming to the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. There are the family friendly matinee shows such as Pinkalicious, playing Saturday and Sundays from April 11 to May 17. And there are the acclaimed “after dark” shows for mature audiences looking for an exciting evening at the theater. Kelrik presents Sweeney Todd to kick off its new season, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, April 10 to May 10, at the El Portal’s Monroe Forum in North Hollywood. Visit www.elportaltheatre.com, and for more info go to www.kelrikproductions.org. #

 


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to be half of the husband and wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who have written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 30 years.

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