Katie started reviewing theater in 2008 and has been a theater critic in L.A. since 2012. She is a member of the L.A. Drama Critics Circle.

ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE review

50%

There are a few other stunning moments — but as good as they are, they can’t surmount the difficulties of the show’s presentation and structure. Hudes is telling an important, underrepresented story from America’s not-so-distant past, but the lessons are too easily lost in the show’s inconsistencies.

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PIRATES OF PENZANCE review

50%

The biggest trouble spot is clarity. Due to a combination of an inferior sound design and the cast’s poor enunciation, it’s hard to follow the wordy patter songs that speed by. When paired with the pared-down plot and the somewhat chaotic staging, it’s easy to lose track of the narrative. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had with the Hypocrites’ pirates. This version, which premiered seven years ago in Chicago (the company’s home) feels honed, comfortable and fun.

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ALADDIN review

0%

Disney, that behemoth that only grows larger as each day passes, earned itself some goodwill in the theatrical landscape with its last outing, Peter and the Starcatcher — a charming, innovative take on the Peter Pan legend. Disney’s latest stage offering, Aladdin, has some charm and innovation, but feels as bland and shiny as the cast’s mile-wide smiles.

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KING CHARLES III review

50%

Bartlett accurately predicted the futility of Charles’ gesture (suffice it to say things don’t quite work out for him as he would have liked them to). The problem is that the world has changed rapidly since the play first opened in 2014 in the U.K. and in 2015 on Broadway. While it’s a nice thought exercise to explore the hypothetical power of checks and balances when used as intended, it’s hard for the play to seem like more than idle conjecture in 2017.

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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM review

50%

The show itself hasn’t aged well, and it’s hard not to cringe at its depictions of women and sexual politics. [...] Thanks to the show’s messages, the musical feels like a product of a different era, and not in a good way. Perhaps the Forum might have benefitted from a dose of Sondheim’s trademark cynicism.

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RESOLVING HEDDA review

50%

The comedy is sharp, with contemporary references that (mostly) don’t feel like they’re trying too hard. Klein handles comedy and commentary best, which gives the play’s first 15 minutes an exhilarating feel. But as the show tries to address more of the original plot, it gets bogged down, and the second half of the first act moves slowly.

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BIG NIGHT review

0%

There are some truly funny moments in Big Night, and it’s commendable that the playwright is trying to tackle big issues — he just doesn’t tackle any of those issues particularly well. The play makes half-baked statements about gun control, base desires for revenge, and what it means to have a platform to speak out about important social issues. Ultimately, however, Rudnick does not use his own platform to say anything meaningful about anything.

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TROUBLE IN MIND review

50%

Under Ellen Geer’s direction, the cast handles the show’s comedy adeptly, and Childress’s play is brought to life with a self-aware sense of humor — as if to say, “look how little things have changed since the 50s.” The play effectively lets white audiences laugh at — and think that they’re superior to — the racist white characters, but the show’s later moments indicate the complicity of white audiences 60-odd years after the play was written.

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KING OF THE YEES review

100%

King of the Yees is an exciting new work that plays with the theatrical form in a fun and engaging way. It’s not a perfect play, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable, and Yee is a fresh voice worth listening to.

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