Registered Critic: Steven Stanley

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.
Jan

Paradise

Keeping suspense high while avoiding potential pitfalls every step of the way, Paradise is the kind of two-hander that deserves national attention. L.A. audiences can count themselves fortunate to be the first on the West Coast to reap its many rewards.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

LINDA VISTA

If Letts' Superior Donuts showcased the August: Osage County Pulitzer Prize winner in kinder, gentler mode, Linda Vista has the Steppenwolf legend resisting feel-good dramedy pretty much every step of the way. You may not like Wheeler, you may even celebrate his comeuppance, but like the proverbial train wreck, you'll be hard-pressed to look away.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

Pick of the Vine

Whether or not you find this year's Pick Of The Vine 2019 up to last year's standards, at the very least it offers playwrights both aspiring and established the chance to strut their latest short stuff. Besides, it's hard to imagine a better showcase for Little Fish Theatre ensemble members to demonstrate talent and versatility in spades.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Jan

The Cripple of Inishmaan

The residents of Inishmaan may seem a hard lot to love at first glance, but first impressions can be deceiving. Like Martin McDonagh's The Cripple Of Inishmaan itself, they end up a hard lot to resist.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

Death House

Death House probably won't change anyone's stance on capital punishment, but it may open more than a few hearts to the humanity of even the most seemingly unforgivable of life-takers. At least one thing is for certain. The Road Theatre Company's 2019 opener packs one hell of a punch.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

1776 THE MUSICAL

Comparisons to the truly revolutionary Hamilton (“Be in the room where it actually happened!”) may be stretching things more than a bit too far, but that doesn't make 1776 any less of a ground-breaker for its time. Broadway would be hard-pressed to match the caliber of this fiftieth-anniversary Los Angeles revival.

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

Jocasta: A Motherf**king Tragedy

Theatergoers who go for the avant-garde may find more to go for in Jocasta: A Motherf**King Tragedy than this reviewer. Those who prefer less experimental fare are advised to go elsewhere.

sour - ...read full review

Jan

Desert Rats

It isn't just aspiring kidnappers who owe it to themselves to check out Nate Rufus Edelman's Desert Rats for a primer on what NOT to do when abducting a high school cheerleader but anyone seeking L.A. theater at its entertainingly edgy best.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Wink

Casting a non-binary actor as a non-binary protagonist merits snaps, but the two-hour suspension of disbelief required of an audience by Neil Koenigsberg's Wink sinks whatever good intentions may have prompted its playwright to put fingertips to keyboard.

sour - ...read full review

Dec

The Wonderful Winter of Oz

Since the Lythgoe family first introduced Angelinos to panto back in 2010 with Cinderella, the genre has quickly become an American holiday staple, with three other pantos currently running in cities near and far. The Wonderful Winter Of Oz is sure to delight tweens and under, and even grown-ups may well find themselves hard-pressed to resist.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Scissorhands: A Musical

Life may have dealt Scissorhands a bad hand (or pair of them), but Scissorhands at Rockwell goes a long way towards making up for that raw deal. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll stand up and cheer this most unique and unexpected of holiday heroes.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Rope

Patrick Hamilton's Rope may be turning ninety next year, but you'd hardly know it at the Avery Schreiber. Whether played for thrills or laughs or a combination of both, Rope ropes you in and holds you tight for the duration.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

No matter how many times you've streamed Love Actually or gotten out that decade-old DVD for another annual holiday viewing, you won't want to miss Love Actually Live at the Wallis. It's the season's most spectacular holiday treat.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Sisters Three

A pair of quirky contemporary adult siblings bearing more than a passing resemblance to Anne and Emily Brontë generate dramatic sparks aplenty in Jami Brandli's Sisters Three, that is until Charlotte shows up near the end and the Inkwell Theater World Premiere turns from a mostly quite absorbing two-hander to a solo performance that goes off the deep end … way off.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Dec

A Christmas Story

Audiences who fell in love with Sierra Madre Playhouse's A Christmas Story last year will find even more to love in 2018, and those about to discover its many pleasures are in for a heartwarmingly nostalgic seasonal treat.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Yes, Virginia

Without trivializing the problems facing Denise and Virginia in their waning years, Stan Zimmerman and Christian Mclaughlin have managed to write an uplifting holiday dramedy. Expect to exit the theater with a smile on your face.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

A Harmony Boys Christmas – Live from Waikiki Beach!

For those grown sick and tired of the squeaky-clean Plaids of Plaid Tidings fame, A Harmony Boys Christmas: Live From Waikiki Beach proves the exhilaratingly astringent holiday-season antidote. Just be sure to leave all sense of decency and decorum at the door.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

SOUTH PACIFIC

Intimacy isn't a word normally associated with the Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, just one reason the 200-seat Rubicon Theatre Company's two-piano revival is a December must-see. Others are its superb quartet of lead performers, an all-around terrific supporting cast, direction by a gifted young Brit, refreshingly original choreography by a SoCal star, and a simply gorgeous production design, all of which more than do justice to a 20th-century American musical theater classic.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

BUS STOP

William Inge's characters may not be big-city sophisticates, but that doesn't mean they're any less deserving of an audience's attention, even sixty-three years after they made their Broadway debut, as Theatre 40's pitch-perfect Bus Stop makes abundantly clear.

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

ELF the Musical

fell in love with Elf The Musical when its 2016 National Tour stopped in SoCal a couple of Christmases back, and it's an honest-to-golly, holly-jolly holiday treat to see it again in Long Beach. Get ready for Buddy The Elf to steal your heart too.

sweet - ...read full review

ADS
  • La Vie En Rose with Julia Migenes
  • The Water Way - A New Musical by Brad Mendelson

Featured LemonAide