LA Theater Scene April shows & reviews

Los Angeles area theaters have fabulous shows in full bloom this Spring.

Review: THE ROOT BEER BANDITS— A Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Musicale, at The Garry Marshall Theatre (formally known as The Falcon Theatre) from April 4 through April 28.

 Yee Haw! Welcome to the Old West where The Root Beer Bandits– A Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Musicale has been corralled at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank.

 Y’all have to love a town named Sarsaparilla. That’s where the wonderful Western tale unfolds about a plucky dreamer named Polly (the tremendously talented Grace Yoo), the only gal to ride for the Pony Express in 1860. Delivering a letter to Sarsaparilla’s Sheriff Bailey (the sweetly heroic Clayton Snyder), Polly discovers that a dastardly duo, ornery Copper Penny (the formidable Kelly Brandeburg), and her sidekick-in-crime, Zeke (scene-stealing cowpoke Josey Montana McCoy), are scheming to pilfer all the gold-flecked root beer in town. A trailblazing entrepreneur Sally Sue (first-rate highflautin’ honey Cloie Wayatt Taylor) gets hogtied but finally helps set things right, and rocks the hoop-skirt costume while doing it.

 There’s no shoot out, instead justice is served with a “sing out.” And the songs throughout are terrific, co-written by director Joseph Leo Bwarie who peppers the production with a super-fun fast-paced vaudeville comedy style.


This show has everything—comedic heroes and desperados, second chances, friendship, blossoming love, singing and dancing, a live “cowboy” band on stage, and a hoe-down finale that’s as wild as a bucking bronco with bees in his saddlebag.

 The behind the scenes buckaroos include book and lyrics by Joseph Leo Bwarie and Lori Marshall with music by Rachel Lawrence; choreography by Christine Larkin; costume designer Jessica Champagne-Hansen, with wigs by Heather Wright; properties designed by Benjamin Warren and Siena LaGambina; lighting by JM Montecalvo showing off the splendid Western scenic design by Tanya Orellana, and perfect casting by Elizabeth Ayoob.

 So skedaddle to the marshallARTS Family Series presenting The Root Beer Bandits, playing through Sunday, April 28 for all the big and lil’ buckaroos.

 For tickets call 818.955.8101 or visit The Garry Marshall Theatre located at 4252 W Riverside Dr. in Burbank.


Preview: BLACK BEAUTY— from April 26 to May 5, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

 Red Bridge Arts & Traverse Theatre Company’s BLACK BEAUTY gallops into The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater with a story of hope, friendship and courage from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, May 5, 2019. Created by Andy Manley, Andy Cannon and Shona Reppe, this re-telling blends storytelling, music and puppetry, offering fun and adventure for fans of the book, the UK’s classic TV show and those brand new to the tale. From the cozy horsebox they call home, Andy and Andy take the bit firmly between their teeth to weave the classic tale, as it has never been seen before. The production, which includes audience engagement, is recommended for families with kids ages 5 and older.

 Black Beauty is fun, joyful and touching, and The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes said, “We are fortunate to welcome back the talented Black Beauty team that delighted our audiences several years ago with White, their winner of three Edinburgh Fringe Festival awards. They are among Scotland’s most experienced makers of theater for young audiences, having produced highly regarded and internationally renowned work.”

 Tickets are $25, available at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills. For tickets and information call 310-746-4000 or visit

 For an up-to-date schedule of upcoming shows and events visit


Preview: TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS at the Pasadena Playhouse, April 10 through May 5.

Nia Vardalos reprises the role she originated in her stage adaptation of acclaimed author Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times Bestseller of the same name. Conceived by Vardalos (writer/star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Thomas Kail (Director of Hamilton) and Marshall Heyman (Journalist, Wall Street Journal), this uniquely uplifting New York Times Critics’ Pick is about reaching when you’re stuck, healing when you’re broken, and finding the courage to take on the questions which have no answers. The Playhouse brings you The Public Theater’s production of this touching new play. TINY BEAUTIFUL THING starring Nia Vardalos is playing at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA, April 10 through May 5. Go to


Preview: The Amazing Acrocats, Starring the Rock Cats plays April 18 -21 at the historic El Portal Theatre’s Debbie Reynolds MainStage in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood. And then some even cooler cats take center stage.

 The Troubadour Theater Company presents JULIUS WEEZER, from May 4 to 19.

Shakespeare’s story of Caesar, with the funk-rock riffs of the resurgent and ubiquitous band, weezer. This 90-minute hard-driving, heart pounding, adrenaline rush of a show will feature the Troubies in all their classical glory – speaking the speech, and strumming the power chords. The production will take advantage of the El Portal’s wonderfully theatricalized confines to create a bloody, bold, and resolute retelling of one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

 The historic El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the heart of North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District. For tickets and information call (818) 508-4200 or online at


Preview: Following the classic children’s story CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, at the Pantages Theatre, the beloved Broadway classic FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is presented from April 16 through May 5, at the Pantages Theatre. The heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love and laughter, the musical is rich with Broadway hits including “If I Were A Rich Man,” “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker,” and “Tradition.” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF plays April 14 to May 5 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood & Vine in Hollywood. For tickets go to the box office, phone 800-982-2787, or go to,


REVIEW: “Danny Elfman’s Eleven Eleven Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra” was presented at The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, affectionately known as The Soraya, located on the CSUN campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330. 

 The Los Angeles premiere of the new violin concerto by composer Danny Elfman was magnificent. “Eleven Eleven Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was ethereal and exciting, weaving a musical spell for the delighted Soraya audience.

 The program included Sibelius Symphony No. 7, Op. 105, C major Prokofiev Symphony No. 5, Op. 100, B-flat major, conducted by its music director Thomas Søndergård. Electrifying Violinist Sandy Cameron performed the solo, as she did for the world premiere and for its first recording with this orchestra. The album with Sandy Cameron on Sony Classical performed by the Royal Scottish Orchestra and conducted by John Mauceri, is now available.

Composer Danny Elfman, violinist Sandy Cameron, conductor Thomas Søndergård.

Enjoy the arts!

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 have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.