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Yafit Josephson gives an accomplished performance in her solo show about a Jewish actress facing down Hollywood's cultural stereotypes. It's marred only by a poorly designed slideshow. Josephson slips easily into various personae, combining characters with caricatures to good comedic effect. The opening has her switching from a formidable military officer to her nervous young self on her first day of compulsory military training in the Israeli army. Highlights include a hilarious mime sequence where she uncomprehendingly attempts yoga and another scene where she gives a goofy impression of a macho guy in an Israeli nightclub. Josephson's tall, slender build, piercing eyes and chiseled face lend her a commanding presence, but it's her prominent proboscis that relegates her to the usual gamut of villainous roles, from terrorist to evil witch - "And no, they didn't have to use a fake nose," she jokes. Her adult journey takes her from the New World back to Israel, where she touches base with her culture, returning to Hollywood with newfound strength of character. Beneath the comedy lies a serious undercurrent stemming from the ongoing war in the Middle East: Land equals identity.
By Pauline Adamek
The Troubadour Theater Company, led by writer-director-star Matt Walker, is back at the Falcon Theatre for its annual Christmas show. This time, it's the nativity story set to 18 of Billy Joel's songs.
Black Coffee - Theatre 40
The Clean House - Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
Cousin Bette - The Antaeus Company
Fascinating Rhythms - Rubicon Theatre, Ventura
Los Angeles is a big city, with more than its share of funny people, shows and events. Huge and humorful though it may be, BULLSHOT CRUMMOND AND THE INVISIBLE BRIDE OF DEATH, currently playing at Noho’s Whitmore-Lindley Theatre, is the funniest show in town.
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The play is a sequel to the 1972 stage hit BULLSHOT CRUMMOND, which played for years in London, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and was later made into a film produced by ex-Beatle George Harrison. Ron House, who, along with writing partner Alan Shearman, created both the original and the follow-up, also developed the cult hit EL GRANDE DE COCA COLA, and has in recent years run the HiDesert Playhouse in Joshua Tree, CA.
In 1906, Upton Sinclair's muckraking novel The Jungle exposed the appalling and oppressive conditions workers faced in the unsanitary U.S. meatpacking industry, and the furor that followed led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act. William A. Reilly has devised a clever merging of this backdrop with Charles Dickens' story A Christmas Carol. With lyrics by Gary Lamb and directed by Brent Beerman, Reilly's musical transplants the familiar yuletide plotline from London to 1908 Chicago, where the stone-hearted, money-grubbing Scrooge (Lamb) is busy raising rents and turning people out on the street.
This is my fifth visit to Santasia, my first time seeing it @ the Whitefire, and I must admit within six years the show has gotten tighter and better, without losing a morsel of its unique comedic charm. Brothers Shaun and Brandon Loeser and four other actors: Andrew J. Hillis, James Elden, Lon Gowan, and Art Oden sing, dance, act and fool around as chums tend to do in a nonstop, side-splitting bevy of sketches not unlike those of Saturday Night Live, where good old silliness reigns supreme.
Musical theatre is America's gift to the world & WEST SIDE STORY is its best present, having thrilled audiences for over fifty years.
WEST SIDE STORY'S book, music, lyrics, and choreography remain timeless in the current tour offering at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. This production is modeled after the 2009 Broadway revival of the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical, directed by Arthur Laurents. This revival brings with it high energy and a fresh new approach of the re-telling of the ROMEO AND JULIET tragedy of star-crossed lovers, forbidden love, and gang conflict set against the backdrop of the mid-1950s New York's mean streets.