Since creating StageSceneLA in 2007, Steven Stanley has reviewed over 2400 productions in and around Los Angeles and commemorated each year’s outstanding achievements with his annual StageSceneLA Scenies. As an actor, he has appeared on the stages of the Lillian Theatre, the Actor’s Group Theatre, the Stephanie Feurie Studio Theatre, the Gardner Stages, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, and the Whittier Center Theatre. By day he teaches ESL at Cal State L.A.

CARMEN DISRUPTION review

Prolific British playwright Simon Stephens goes avant-garde in Carmen Disruption, meaning that no matter how much you may have loved the edgy realism of Punk Rock or the captivating whimsy of Heisenberg or the utter magic of his stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, you may well find his artsy 2015 take on Bizet a good deal less engaging.

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GREY NOMAD review

All of this adds up to a play that feels both original and familiar, and with director Iain Sinclair eliciting four of the most delectable performances you’ll see any time soon, from Paterson’s stick-in-the-mud curmudgeon to Hammers’ unstoppable force of nature to Tassone’s life-devouring torso-flaunter and above all to the remarkable Gentle, whose transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is a joy to behold.

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OTHER DESERT CITIES review

f you’re anything like me, you’ll want to see Other Desert Cities more than once, the first time for the thrill of discovery, the second (and beyond) for the chance to rediscover Baitz’s compelling cast of characters in a whole new light. I’ve now seen five productions, and though Theatricum Botanicum’s will hopefully not be the last, it’s one of the absolute best.

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SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE review

I approached Somewhere in the Middle (or guess who’s coming for Passover) with some trepidation, if only for its rather unwieldy title. I need not have fretted. The latest from Crown City may not win a Pulitzer, but it’s a crowd-pleasing winner in its own sweet, funny, conversation-starting way.

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HONKY TONK LAUNDRY review

With its dynamic-duo stars, some of the liveliest country music you’ll hear this side of Nashville, and a female-empowering message snuck in for good measure, Honky Tonk Laundry adds up to yet another crowd-pleasing (and I’m guessing long-running) Roger Bean hit.

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WELCOME TO THE WHITE ROOM review

Welcome To The White Room will likely divide audiences among those who proclaim it brilliantly profound, those who leave the theater dazed and confused, and those like this reviewer who find themselves torn between the two extremes.

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AMERICAN HOME review

I really wanted to like American Home, if only for the light it shines on the millions upon millions of Americans largely forgotten in the cinematic rollercoaster ride that was The Big Short. There’s potential for a terrific play on the Fremont Centre Theatre stage, but that’s all.

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ARSENIC AND OLD LACE review

Joseph Kesselring may have but a single Broadway hit to be remembered by, but what a hit he has to his name. As the Odyssey Theatre Company’s latest makes abundantly clear, we should all have the Arsenic And Old Lace playwright’s luck!

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