Erin developed a love for theater growing up in upstate New York, just a couple hours from Broadway. A resident of Los Angeles since 2011, she began reviewing theater in 2014 and founded On Stage & Screen. In addition, she is a Los Angeles critic for OnStage and a 2017 member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Love is a Dirty Word

You can tell how meaningful this piece is to Adams, and he delivers not only a fine piece of writing that is funny and heartbreaking all at the same time, but also a career-making performance that oozes with passion. Ultimately, Love is a Dirty Word is a smartly conceived, effective solo show that provides a familiar yet refreshing window to the soul of the artist behind it.

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HEISENBERG

Perhaps it’s because there is so much to love in this play and this production that I could not help but want more. The most jarring choice is the exaggerated and rather baffling accent Parker uses for her character, a lisping, almost drunken-sounding slur that makes Georgie seem, to put it mildly, ditzy.

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The Cake

On paper, the situation seems fairly black and white—I certainly believe, as I am sure the vast majority of the Los Angeles theatergoing audience does, in same-sex marriage and equal rights, and it would be easy to condemn Della’s choices and leave it at that. But thanks to nuanced writing and a brilliant performance from Rupp, it becomes a very layered, thought-out argument, one that doesn’t demonize religion or conservatism and instead explores what can happen if people on both sides of the sociopolitical spectrum take a moment to try to understand each other.

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The Pride

The comparison is poignant and powerful, as is everything about this very smart play. Arden’s modern, creative direction brings out its strongest notes, making this an important piece of theater to celebrate Pride month.

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DOGFIGHT

Despite the efforts of an incredibly talented cast, I find it a bit baffling that this outdated, sexist story that perpetuates a problematic message was adapted at all.

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JERSEY BOYS

While this jukebox musical is certainly not reinventing the musical theater wheel, it is pretty reliable entertainment, and it was unsurprising to see the opening night audience at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre eating up the famous tunes and lead performance by Mark Ballas of Dancing With the Stars fame.

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ACTUALLY

It is honestly a bit difficult to sort out exactly how I feel about this play. One thing that is not debatable is that both MacKinnon and Ressler are terrific, giving masterful, difficult, compelling performances. Actually was riveting throughout its 90 minutes, and its final tableau caught me off guard with just how powerful and poignant it was.

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Species Native to California

There is also an interesting mystical element to the story...although I wish more consistent rules were established. Ultimately, Species Native to California is a thoughtful, heartfelt exploration of family, prosperity, community, and how easily all three can change on a dime.

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ARCHDUKE

The comedy is very successful in a production expertly directed by Giovanna Sardelli. The cast of six is spot on, garnering near-constant laughs from the audience. Overall, Archduke is a highly entertaining, well-staged piece of theater, although it does have a few shortcomings.

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KISS

\"For the most part, I found the play to be quite effective in what it set out to do. At least up until the final ten minutes, which I found muddled and undermined the point and didn’t quite line up with the narrative “rules” established previously.\"

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West Side Story

It is almost difficult to pinpoint what exactly prevents this production from taking the step from adequate to excellent, but the magic is just not quite there.

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Rabbit Hole

Directed here by Eric Hunicutt, it is easy to see why Rabbit Hole won a Pulitzer. It is masterfully written and excels at mining ordinary conversations and moments to find deep emotion, all without being overly direct.

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