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.
Oct

Yankee Doodle Dandy

A best-ever In The Heights opened Musical Theatre West's 2017-2018 season with a bang almost equaled by the standing-ovation-worthy Guys And Dolls and the Gershwin entertainment bonanza that was Nice Work If You Can Get It. If only Yankee Doodle Dandy didn't end the season with a fizzle.

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Oct

BABY EYES

Playwright Donald Jolly takes us back to 1950s Baltimore via Ancient Greece in Baby Eyes, a Playwrights' Arena World Premiere that scores points for ambitious intentions if not for its campy mix of ancient myth, Greek tragedy, '50s melodrama, and men in drag.

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Oct

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD

Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead may always be a bit too much of a brain-teaser for my taste, but as any A Noise Within fan might easily have predicted, California's Home For The Classics delivers the Stoppardian goods in spades.

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Oct

REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES

Real women not only have curves, they join forces to bring audiences a female-fueled revival of Josefina López's Real Women Have Curves, a Garry Marshall Theatre crowd-pleaser if there ever was one.

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Oct

EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Even those who haven't done their Merchant Of Venice homework will find much to savor in Everything That Never Happened. Brush up on your Shakespeare and you'll appreciate it even more.

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Oct

American Hero

An auspicious season opener for one of L.A.'s premier membership theater companies in their new home upstairs at the Pasadena Playhouse, American Hero is IAMA at its hilarious, cutting-edge best.

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Oct

26 PEBBLES

Though no one play can provide an answer to the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our country, Theatre 40's provocative, perceptive 26 Pebbles continues the conversation to powerful, thought-provoking effect.

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Oct

The Gin Game

Rare is the play that offers actors of Social Security check-receiving age the chance to take center stage, and equally rare are performers capable of captivating an audience for nearly two hours without a hitch. The Gin Game, starring Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James, does both to indelible effect.

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Oct

ROPE

Following last year's play-it-safe season, Actors Co-op is back to the kind of risk-taking it did with Cat's Paw, 33 Variations, and Summer And Smoke. Rope is easily the riskiest bet of all, but one that pays off big time. It's one walloping doozy of a thriller.

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Oct

A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

Rare is the 99-seat theater production granted a big-stage transfer, and rarer still is one revived a dozen years after its World Premiere. Los Angeles theatergoers can count themselves fortunate indeed that Michael Michetti's audacious, intoxicating A Picture Of Dorian Gray is back.

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Sep

Showpony

World Premiere plays can be a tricky proposition often in need of further work-shopping. Not so Showpony, whose second act ties up Act One threads in the most unexpected and satisfying of ways. It will get you thinking. It will get you talking. It more than merits a visit to the Victory.

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Sep

SWANSONG

Connor McDermottroe's Swansong bears seeing if only to witness the extraordinary André de Vanny in action, but boy is it a tough one to watch.

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Sep

A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN

Janis up in rock-and-roll heaven might have plenty more secrets to tell, but something tells me she's joining in on the La Mirada hurrahs.

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Sep

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

Having already seen one Oscar-winning big-screen adaptation, an equally captivating BBC mini-series, and Paul Gordon's Broadway-ready musical version at the Old Globe a couple years back, no one could have been more primed for more Jane Austen enchantment than this reviewer. South Coast Repertory's Sense And Sensibility is a beguiling, bewitching, multi-hued charmer from start to finish.

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Sep

The Rescued

Abuse survivors living in a group home would seem unlikely to inspire a comedy as sweet and touching and funny as Julie Marie Myatt's The Rescued, but the Road Theatre Company's latest World Premiere proves an utterly charming if still-a-bit-in-need-of-a polish gem.

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Sep

She Loves Me

At 55 years of age, She Loves Me may be old enough for senior discounts (and its 1937 source material a year past its 80th birthday), but you'd never know it at the Morgan-Wixson. Not even the slightest bit dated, this early ‘60s Broadway gem continues to charm and delight.

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Sep

Gloria

Audiences will be talking about Branden Jacobs-Jenkin Gloria long after its final fadeout. A decidedly different look at a hot-button topic that must be kept mum in a review, it is Echo Theater Company at its most excitingly cutting-edge.

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Sep

The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona

Whatever prompted the Geffen to gamble on José Rivera's The Untranslatable Secrets Of Nikki Corona to open a season already sadly devoid of major West Coast/L.A. Premieres like the past twelve months' absolutely superb Ironbound, Significant Other, Skeleton Crew, and A Funny Thing Happened …, it's a big-time gamble that goes big-time bust.

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Sep

SCHOOL GIRLS

With School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play set to reopen at New York's Louise Lortel Theatre this fall, East Coasters are in for a return-engagement treat. Thankfully, Angelinos don't have to wait even an instant to cheer the mean—and not so mean—girls who've made Culver City their September home.

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Sep

Native Gardens

If good fences make good neighbors, then all Frank and Virginia and Pablo and Tania would seem to need is one good fence. Discovering whether or not they get it proves well worth a visit to the Pasadena Playhouse. In these increasingly fractured times, Native Gardens is just what the laugh doctor ordered.

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