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.


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


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

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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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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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

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.


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.


Here we go again! I sent it in, but something must have happened on the way. Carrie Ann (Laurie Okin), seems paralyzed by grief until she meets Jeffrey (Lea Coco), a “trend analyst,” destined to change her life. The characters are so equally weighted that one can be forgiven for pondering whose story carries the most heft. Director Michael Peretzian brilliantly executes this complex maze of a script. - Leigh Kennicott

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KING LEAR review

An affecting study of aging and hubris, King Lear depicts a monarch at the height of his powers who decides to pre-empt fortune and dispose of his kingdom himself. Instead of security, Lear (Geoff Elliott in the role of his lifetime) soon finds himself greatly diminished, homeless and fending for himself in the elements.

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In Building a Wall Gloria (Judith Morehead) dissects the motives of Rick (Bo Foxworth), who seems to be the fall-guy for the genocide of thousands of detainees on American soil. Foxworth triumphs in his portrayal of a little guy caught in the middle of powerful forces beyond his control. -Leigh Kennicott

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