Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog.
As a director in Los Angeles, she directed a neo-realist "Romeo and Juliet" at the Secret Rose Theatre; a new play,“Charlotte Second Chance,” at DramaGarage; and “How I Learned to Drive,” “Nickel and Dimed” and “Top Girls” all at College of the Canyons.
Presently, she teaches theatre topics at California State University, Northridge.

ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE review

100%

Personalized by a single Puerto Rican family, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue chronicles the three-generational silences that wash the wages of war in a false heroism. Hudes weaves together these interwoven tales --- alternating directly addressing the audience, then revealing moments in scenes ---through a musical metaphor of fugue. Director Shishir Kurup intertwines each story, utilizing every corner of the stage in a grid that privileges each story with its own space.

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A DELICATE SHIP review

50%

Road Theatre’s snazzy production of Anna Ziegler’s A Delicate Ship dazzles even before the play begins. With incisive patterning of present with past, Zeigler interweaves a pivotal Christmas Eve into a braid of relationships suddenly gone awry. Sarah’s (Paris Perrault) relationship with upright Sam (Philip Orazio) seems on track. But her long-time friend, Nate (Josh Zuckerman) arrives to throw a monkey wrench into their idyllic evening. A Delicate Ship keeps sailing through March 24th

THE CHINESE WALL review

0%

Frisch’s The Chinese Wall begins with the impulse to wall off a country from enemies, and concludes with the fear that grows as a result of such protectionism. Familiar? Director Larry Eisenberg has taken this allegorical play and literalized it by equating many of the characters with the Trump administration, beginning with the emperor portrayed as Trump himself.

ANIMAL FARM review

100%

Animal Farm, a fanciful tale by George Orwell, warns that idealistic systems of self-governance face usurpation by unscrupulous, power-grabbing oligarchs through clever manipulations of the truth (alternative facts, anyone?). Director Ellen Geer’s cheerful production is anything but heavy-handed; it's a superb production with a lot of enthusiastic, young players. – Leigh Kennicott

WILL GEER'S THEATRICUM BOTANICUM 2017 SUMMER SEASON review

50%

Director Ellen Geer has never shied away from controversy, and this rendition of Merchant of Venice only serves to confirm that we have reverted, rather than advanced, to entrenched notions of entitlement in service to justice. Alan Blumenfeld as Shylock heads the cast and skilled Geer family actors feature in key roles: Willow Geer plays Portia, Susan Angelo, Nerissa, and Melora Marshall rollicks as the droll Launcelot.

THE MANOR review

100%

Newcomers to LA will revel in the historical ambiance, the spectacular costuming and the stately pace of the action as three different audiences follow the “MacAlister” family from the 1920s wedding of young Sean (Shawn Savage) to Abby (Shelby Kocee), daughter of attorney Frank Parsons, well played by Martin Thompson.

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PIE IN THE SKY review

100%

How to make a pie? It’s almost a lost art these days. But one of the percs of Lawrence Thelan’s heart-warming play about the bonds uniting a mother and her long-suffering daughter is the recipe we absorb by osmosis and at the end, a fresh-out-of-the-oven, warm piece of pie!

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THE SNOW GEESE review

100%

Under David Melville’s careful direction, the inhabitants must face their loss of security, not to mention status, and in the process, expose deep fissures in each of their personalities. Beginning with mercurial Melissa Chalsma, the excellent cast assembled for White’s meaningful play well orchestrates The Snow Geese’s given circumstances. Although simply presented, authentic costuming by Ruoxuan Li, atmospheric lighting by Bosco Flannagan and appropriate sound created by director David Melville all lend an air of reality to the barn-like, dimensional stage.

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THE 39 STEPS review

100%

For good solid fun, there’s nothing like a cheeky satire of an otherwise serious espionage mystery, and 39 Steps, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 thriller, is just the ticket for our current political climate. Dean Productions, and founder/director Rebecca Lynne, brings her talented cast to Glendale for a FREE short run that I hope you’ll catch.

WOODY'S ORDER! review

100%

Playing under the auspices of the EST/LA in the small, 50 seat Atwater Village Theatre, Ann Talman’s play, Woody’s Order!, is visual as well as aural, tightly written and well-rehearsed. Woody, who had cerebral palsy, needed continual attention from birth. With great specificity, Talman’s story of her brother’s care grows ever more heart-warming and instructive.