You may have noticed I haven’t posted any theatre reviews since August. Perhaps you’re thinking that I’ve given up going to the theatre. For the record, we’re still going to a lot of theatre. I just haven’t had the urge (or the time) to do the reviews. Each review typically takes on the order of 3 hours, by the time I work up the graphics, investigate all the links, and do the research. Often, they are for tours that really aren’t impacted in any way by a little seen review. Additionally, I’ve had a lot of other stuff going on, so often by the time I can get to the review, the show has closed and moved on, and I’ve forgotten a lot of the specifics.
I may go back to writing reviews for shows that I have strong feelings about, or are particularly noteworthy. But in the absence, here’s what I’ve seen between the last review and now, and some basic thoughts. Through the end of 2023, we’re still working under the temporary rule that we’re going to shows that are part of our subscriptions, unless there is something strongly noteworthy that we want to see, and we won’t do more than more than one show on a weekend. That will likely change in 2024.
- October 2022
- The Addams Family (5-Star Theatricals): This is always a fun show, and 5-Star did a great job.
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Broadway in Hollywood): This was an excellent production, and Richard Thomas was really strong as the lead. Very timely.
- November 2022
- 2:22 A Ghost Story (Ahmanson Theatre): Really good, with some unexpected twists.
- January 2023
- Mean Girls (Broadway in Hollywood): A fun show that appeals to a particular demographic. No particularly memorable songs. A few good gags. Not sure this needed musicalization.
- March 2023
- Sunday in the Park With George (Pasadena Playhouse). I haven’t seen this in ages, and it was a wonderful production of the show.
- The Human Comedy (Actors Co-Op). I was familiar with the musical version (although I had never seen it). Although long, this was a really good production and we both enjoyed it.
- The Secret Garden (Ahmanson Theatre). A very moving production, minimally staged. The adaptations for this new version were interesting.
- Ragtime (5-Star Theatricals). I just love the music from this show, and this was a sumptuous production.
- April 2023
- Yaacobi & Leidental (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble). This was a strange show. You can tell the author did not like women, and it gave an off-taste to the overall piece. In the absurdist realm.
- Tornado (Actors Co-Op). Still Running until 5/28. A really strong show, about the aftermath of an Oklahoma tornado. I liked it more than I expected I would.
- 1776 (Ahmanson Theatre). This is the new all-female adaptation of the 1969 musical. I really liked it. It made you look at things a bit differently, and it allows many to see themselves as part of the ongoing revolution. I loved the new orchestrations, and wish they had done a cast album.
- A Little Night Music (Pasadena Playhouse). Still Running until 5/28. I had never seen this before, although I knew some of the songs. A really wonderful and sumptuous production with strong performances. Go see it.
- May 2023
- Hairspray (Broadway in Hollywood). Still Running until 5/21. This is the non-equity tour, with Nina West as Edna. We really enjoyed this. Lots of energy in a familiar “feel good” show.
- Six (Broadway in Hollywood). Still Running until 6/10. This was last week’s show, and was a load of fun. Don’t expect a plot — think of it like a rock concert.
Tonight we’re seeing A New Brain from Celebration Theatre at the LGBT Center; next week is A Soldiers Play at the Ahmanson; and we’re seeing Bernadette Peters in Concert three weeks from now. We have no plans to do the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year: that’s primarily due to Karen still having mobility issues and our weekends being full. You should.
Will I go back to reviewing? Possibly. All it takes is a show that makes me want to tell the world about it.