Ellen Dostal (BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA, Shakespeare in LA: Ellen Dostal is a Senior Editor and longtime writer for BroadwayWorld's Los Angeles region. A self-professed musical theatre geek, she also publishes two popular Southern California theatre blogs – Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA – and has covered the performing arts community, jazz, and classical music for KJazz 88.1 FM and K-Mozart 1260 AM. She is also the LA Show writer for TheThreeTomatoes.com, the Insider’s Guide for women who aren’t kids.

Ellen graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and is also an award-winning morning show host of the now-defunct radio station KRKI in Estes Park, CO. As a founding member of New Musicals Inc.’s repertory company, she has developed roles in countless new works, many of which have been produced regionally and in New York.

HENRY V review

50%

So, does it work? It depends on whether you're won over by this particular king. Reinventing Shakespeare's plays to make their messages relevant for today or finding smart and imaginative ways to tell the stories are what it's all about. I'm not a stickler when it comes to tradition but this version of the tale, striking as it is, left me (dare I say it) cold.

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PIRATES OF PENZANCE review

100%

Say what you will, The Hypocrites have found a way to transform traditional theatre into a form of entertainment that appeals to folks who'd rather go to a party than sit in a theater. And they've done it using Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. No joke.

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CABARET review

100%

Everything about director Larry Carpenter’s blistering production of Cabaret is volatile in a way you’ve not seen before. An androgynous Emcee in face paint and a dress is familiar, but a tough guy Emcee in combat boots and a dress literally stalking the audience with every pounding step? That’s original.

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ALADDIN review

100%

As Disney stage musicals go, the North American tour of Aladdin that just opened at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre is the big, splashy colorful delight kids and musical theatre lovers want to see. Dressed in a dizzying array of dazzle and glitz, it offers a top-of-the-line audience experience for fans of the beloved and well-known tale anxious to be whisked away to a dreamy world where the underdog gets the girl, the villain loses, and the comic relief holds court every time he steps on stage.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST review

0%

Last year Casa 0101 produced a lovely dual language version of Disney's Aladdin, which was so popular it extended its run and eventually transferred to a larger venue. Hoping to repeat that success, they have set their sights on another Disney classic but, this time, the production proves too ambitious an undertaking for the company.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL review

50%

These are looks that make a statement in a production that unabashedly prides itself on its colorful pageantry. But you can't act the costumes. Without a deeper dive into the soul of the characters you end up with a perfectly nice, generally adequate telling of the story; layers and layers of fluff but nothing underneath. To be unmoved by A CHRISTMAS CAROL is disappointing indeed.

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CHASING MEM'RIES: A DIFFERENT KIND OF MUSICAL review

50%

[Tyne] Daly’s consummate skill as an actress is, of course, the reason to see this production and she doesn’t disappoint. She wrings every ounce of nuance possible out of the opinionated, wise-cracking widow’s dialogue but the play still can’t shake its own sentimental death grip...For those who have lost a loved one, Chasing Mem’ries may conjure up memories of their own, making Victoria’s journey a cathartic one. Without that connection, the play is nothing more than an old-fashioned love letter to days gone by.

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SPAMILTON review

100%

SPAMILTON was tailor-made for the trivial pursuit-inclined musical theatre lover and for HAMILTON fans who can't get enough. If you fit into either of these categories, this is your show. If you don't, the cast is so likeable and entertaining you won't even care if you miss a few jokes. It's a roller coaster ride with a ticket you can afford and a guaranteed good time to go with it.

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DELEARIOUS review

50%

The production contains three storylines in three different time periods twisted together in a fast-paced, boisterous style that was an award-winning hit for the company in 2008. Nine years later, it still packs in more story than you can possibly keep straight but it also offers up plenty of laughs to go along with it….The jokes are hit-and-miss, as are the performances, but the cast plows through with so much enthusiasm that the fun is infectious regardless of the show's shortcomings.

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KAIDAN review

100%

…an immersive theatrical ghost story as artistically beautiful and complex as it is otherworldly…Everything about it is unpredictable, from the design of the space, and how you move through it, to the way they have adapted an ancient Japanese form of storytelling and turned it into a fascinating adventure into the unknown.

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