Reviews for North Hollywood Theatres, Burbank Theatres and shows Â now playing in Los Angeles and Hollywood theatres. Â Theatres include: Los Angeles Valley College, J.E.T. Studios, El Portal Theatre, Actors Forum Theatre, Madrid Theatre, ZJU, and many more.
“The Ministers Black Veil” is a touching adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s parable exploring righteousness and internal struggles. The World Premiere is presented at The Eclectic Company Theatre April 11 through May 2.
It is set in a small Massachusetts village circa1 710. Reverend Hooper struggles with internal demons. He confounds his parishioners by arriving to conduct worship, a funeral and wedding donning a black veil. The mystery surrounding the purpose of the veil initiates controversy, rumors and speculation. Over a 20 year span, a resolute, Reverend Hooper wears a black veil despite its internal and community impact.
This one hour play, adapted by Timothy Sprague, captures the complex essence of the original piece. Dialogue and song have been included which has enhanced the organic unfolding of this work.
Let’s face it adaptations are tricky. When it works, it’s exquisite. If not, it can be excruciating for all concerned. In my opinion this adaptation is exquisite.
Without exception the cast is strong. The use of old American English was meticulous.
Without exception this is a strong ensemble of professional actors. I single out Lucas Dixon, as the lead for his passionate portrayal of a tortured Reverend Hooper. The timbre of his voice and the carriage of his body told the story his face could not. Lucas poetically transcended the limitation of the black veil.
Transporting the audience to the 18th century, this one-hour, three-acts performance is cleverly staged. There are scenes that are almost cinematic in feel.
Director, Laura Lee Bahr, elegantly brought together a professional cast of fifteen men, women and children. Her talent is evidenced by her ability to manifest this brilliant art piece.
I would be thoughtless if I didn’t mention the scenery; lighting and staging these elements were fluid, and supportive of the story line. The sweet angelic voice of Vera Wheatley, singing A Cappella the final song, was a gift, for which I say thank you.
Placing value on a classic piece in the economy of our times is a brave and unselfish choice. The value of this work, from my prospective, is that it asks its audience to examine human foibles, character and convictions.
With its respect for the source material, and the pure magic of cast and crew “The Ministers Black Veil” is a compelling and poignant play for all to see.
When you come, bring someone with you and see this play. It is perfect platform for an interesting tête-à-tête afterwards.
1. Lucas Dixon, Heather Taylort.
2. Alyesha Uthappa (l.), Jacqueline Poplar, Lana Schwartz, Heather Taylor
3. Michelle Danyn (l.), Lucas Dixon, Marty Yu
Shannon Holt, Craig Robert Young
If you are interested in a play about infidelity, repressed homosexuality, nymphomania, drug abuse and oedipal angst, the Malibu Playhouse’s production of Noel Coward’s “The Vortex,” running through May 18th, is up your alley.
Powerful, provocative and thought provoking is how I will describe SOVERNEIGN BODY at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. This world premiere play is a reminder of why live theatre can not be replaced by film or TV. I won't describe the twists and turns of the story line but the play is about a wife and mother of two grown daughters welcoming an uninvited Thanksgiving dinner guest and the family's life is forever challenged. This is an epic story of a family's journey to healing.
Mindy Sterling and Usman Ally
If a play about present meeting past and love gained and lost sounds interesting then run don’t walk to the West Coast Premiere of “The Last Act of Lilka Kadison” presented by the Falcon Theatre, Abbie Phillips and Jan Kallish in association with the Lookingglass Theatre Company and written by Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips, Heidi Stillman and Andy White running through April 19 in Burbank.
Spring is in the air. So are dust particles and pollen, and people who don’t cover their nose when they sneeze. Rest assured that the one place you will be safe for an hour on Sundays is at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre. Face masks are not optional in this sterile black box.
Late nights are usually reserved for clandestine meetings, secret societies, hip clubs and falling asleep in bed. However, if you dare to venture out and see what’s in the neighborhood late at night, then head over to the production presented by Theater Unleashed. Maybe ‘Tales of an Unsettled City: Redemption’, is for you. Located upstairs from St. Matthew’s church on Camarillo Boulevard in NoHo, this is a wonderful intimate theater. I have to confess that all the times I have driven by, I didn’t notice it before. That has changed, and after seeing the opening night performances of several short vignettes, I will forever remember this place.
by Caryl Churchill
directed by Cameron Watson
Antaeus Theatre Company
through May 4
*The Ballbreakers Cast
Normally not my teacup, a play about women's liberation through the ages would not pique my interest, but Caryl Churchill's surprising setups, intense character examinations, fiercely dramatic confrontations and unexpected reactions make 1982's Top Girls a must see in my book. Antaeus' top-notch production has magnificent casting and superb direction from Cameron Watson, through May 4.
Moliere’s comedy of manners and morals, Tartuffe, has found a new home at NoHo’s Theatre Unleashed for the next month, and you don’t want to miss this rollicking revival that is as apropos in 2014 as it was when it debuted in 1664 at the Palace of Versailles.
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