Rob Stevens began reviewing in 1973for the monthly community theatre magazine, Showcase, covering the professional theatres in Los Angeles. He served as editor/co-publisher of It’s Showtime in 1996-98. He has also been a reviewer/interviewer for Dimension, Data-Boy Magazine, The Civic Star, Frontiers, Frontiers After Dark, Drama-Logue, Backstage West, L.A. Reader, Santa Barbara Independent and a few others. In 1988 he began writing the column West Coast Stages in the national publication Backstage. In recent years he has written for the websites Showmag.com, Theatremania.com, and StageHappenings.com. He is the founder of The Robby Awards which began as a listing in Showcase magazine in 1975 and has since grown into an annual awards show. The 30th Robby Awards were presented in February, 2016. He is a member of the LA Drama Critics Circle.

DRIVING MISS DAISY review

It’s most like dinner theatre without the dinner. Get a famous name from film or TV and build a production around them. It’s not that it’s bad and it’s not that it’s good; it just is. Director Heather Provost served mostly as a traffic cop moving her actors through Genetra Tull’s bare bones scenic design.

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SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE JERSEY LILY review

Forgette’s work may also have worked better as a novel; as a play it is a bit cumbersome and unexciting on stage. No matter how hard director Jules Aaron and his competent cast try, they just can’t infuse enough menace and thrills into Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily at Theatre 40.

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DELEARIOUS review

I must admit I was getting a bit delirious watching deLEARious, “a madcap musical” (their words not mine), at Open Fist Theatre Company because I thought it would never end. This interminable attempt to outdo Mel Brooks and Spamalot fell on its own sword, repeatedly... Oh to be Gloucester and have mine eyes plucked out. But only if they would also seal my ears. See deLEARious at your own risk.

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THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER review

Actors Co-Op in Hollywood is presenting their stylish production during the current holiday season. It may not be the perfect incarnation, but it is fun hearing an intelligent, witty and well-constructed play that is almost 80 years old...The play seems dated with a litany of famous names circa 1939 (that are the butt of jokes) that go mostly unrecognized by today’s audiences and written for a comic sensibility most modern actors don’t seem to know how to enact. Director Linda Kerns attempts to inject a period comic vibe to the often slapstick moments, but she is mostly defeated by her leading man.

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LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES review

For all the passion in the words and deeds of Hampton’s characters, director Robin Larsen’s production is very sterile, frigid and barren...The cast contains fine actors but the spark that should ignite the audience into gasps is missing. Aylesworth nails La Marquise perfectly but she seems to be playing in a vacuum or just playing without exciting playmates.

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BASH BY NEIL LABUTE review

It was a harrowing experience that featured some brilliant writing and stellar acting. The capacity audience sat in hushed silence as a quartet of actors delivered their stories that explored the complexity of evil in everyday life...The first two acts were mesmerizing, the performances well-polished by the cast and director Karson. As for her own performance, Karson seemed to need another eye to sharpen its focus.

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BRIGHT STAR review

The opening lyrics of the opening song of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass/country western infused musical Bright Star, currently starting its National Tour at the Ahmanson Theatre, tell you what to expect. “If you knew my story you’d have a hard time Believing me, you’d think I was lying.” What follows is a backwoods story, a sort of Appalachian fairy tale, not exactly one peopled by witch boys like The Dark of the Moon or body-less robbers like The Robber Bridegroom’s Big Harp, but you do have to possess an eagerness to entertain fanciful storytelling.

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MICE review

Playwright Schaeffer Nelson grew up in an Evangelical ministry family in Kansas and the play is his attempt to break up with his ex, God.

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RESOLVING HEDDA review

Director Maria Gobetti skillfully directs her cast as if they were playing the most serious drama and most outrageous farce at the same time...If you really want to have a laugh-out-loud evening in the theatre, Resolving Hedda is the show for you. I am sure even Ibsen would be chuckling.

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STUPID KID review

White’s writing slowly pulls you into the orbit of this extremely dysfunctional family, keeping you off balance in your expectations until finally hitting you with a powerful emotional catharsis. Cameron Watson’s laser focused direction keeps his cast solidly in their characters and moves the action along through the quiet and the tempestuous moments.

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