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.
Jul

The Blade of Jealousy

Sweet Karma, Henry Ong's 2013 look back at the life and death of Cambodian genocide-surviving Oscar-winner Dr. Haing S. Ngor, revealed its author's play-writing gifts to powerful effect. If only The Blade Of Jealousy did the same.

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Jul

Our Very Own Carlin McCullough

Edge-of-your-seat gripping from its instantly engrossing start to the poignancy of its stunningly unexpected finish, Our Very Own Carlin McCullough scores a grand slam for the Geffen, and coupled with the equally breathtaking Skeleton Crew at the adjoining Gil Cates Theater, makes for the most electrifying double bill in town.

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Jul

Mary Poppins

Proving that you don't need a multi-million-dollar budget to create theatrical magic, the Morgan-Wixson makes Santa Monica the place to be this summer for a jolly holiday with Disney's And Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins. Who said musical theater has to cost a fortune to make or to enjoy!

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Jun

Pump Boys and Dinettes

Just what the doctor ordered for the summertime blues, Pump Boys And Dinettes is guaranteed to put a mile-wide smile on your face and a heaping helping of songs in your heart.

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Jun

THE HUMANS

As its title might suggest, one need merely be human to recognize oneself at least somewhere among the characters of Stephen Karam's latest (and greatest) play. Funny, thought-provoking, heartbreaking, button-pushing, and unsettling, The Humans is an early-summer must-see.

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Jun

The 39 Steps

Like International City Theatre's Around The World In 80 Days and Shipwrecked before it, The 39 Steps demonstrates how much can be achieved with a few gifted actors, inspired direction, and ingenious design. Hollywood could easily spend over a hundred mil and not surpass the entertainment value of what's on stage at ICT.

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Jun

AS WE BABBLE ON

The most entertaining and promising original play I've seen at East West Players since Washer/Dryer debuted three years ago, As We Babble On concludes EWP's 52nd season with sizzle and sass. 52 years old has rarely seemed so young.

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Jun

Skeleton Crew

Sparked with moments of raw humor, despair, anger, and hope, Skeleton Crew will have you rooting for each and every one of its characters to come out a winner. Get ready to stand up and cheer.

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Jun

Mexican Day

Only a playwright as daring and talented as Tom Jacobson could imagine and achieve a project as mind-blowing as his fascinating, informative Ballad Of Bimini Baths trilogy. Mexican Day at Rogue Machine is the most accessibly crowd-pleasing of the bunch.

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Jun

Plunge by Tom Jacobson

As both stand-alone production and one certain to inspire interest in following Mexican-American immigrant Zenobio Remedios's journey from childhood to his thirties and forties in The Bimini Baths Trilogy's concluding chapters, Plunge will have you on the edge of your seat from its intriguing start to its heart-rending finish.

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Jun

CLYBOURNE PARK

More relevant than ever in Trump-era America, Clybourne Park entertains and electrifies in equal measure. It may make you squirm at times, but rarely has discomfort felt more exhilarating.

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Jun

AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL

A concept as inspired as its execution is accomplished, An Evening Of Betrayal does Pinter proud while making Shakespeare as innovatively cutting-edge as any contemporary playwright could hope for. An Evening Of Betrayal is An Evening Of Theater not to be missed.

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Jun

Newsies

Few musicals offer the excitement, romance, suspense, and heart of Disney's Newsies, and equally few are the theaters that can stage it as it should be staged, with star-quality leads and triple-threat newsboys to match Broadway's best. La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts and McCoy Rigby Entertainment prove themselves more than up to Newsies multiple challenges, bringing their 2017-2018 season to one rip-roaring, crowd-pleasing, standing ovation-earning finish.

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Jun

Red Speedo

Obie-winning Tony-nominated playwright Lucas Hnath (The Christians, A Doll's House, Part 2) takes on Sex, Drugs, and Olympic Sports in Red Speedo, the theatrical equivalent of a Raging Waters thrill ride now getting a gold-medal Southern California Premiere at the Road on Magnolia.

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Jun

Hostage

With the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis just a year away and the U.S.'s nuclear deal pull-out making today's headlines, the time could not be riper for Hostage to debut, a powerful tribute to a mother who would not take no for an answer.

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Jun

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

While immersive staging may not be the ideal way to experience One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest for maximum dramatic effect, it makes After Hours Theatre Company's one-of-a-kind production an absolute must see. This is Los Angeles theater at its most innovative and exciting.

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May

Sex

The sound you hear at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre is Mae West turning over in her grave at the travesty being made of Sex, the 1926 play that outraged critics but proved that season's biggest Broadway hit and put its one-of-a-kind playwright-star on the map.

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May

VIOLET

Director Richard Israel and a couldn't-be-better cast and design team get everything right in Actors Co-op's soul-reviving intimate staging of Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's New York Drama Critics' Circle-winning 1997 off-Broadway musical Violet.

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May

Cult of Love

There's no place like home for a dysfunctional family Christmas as playwright Leslye Headland makes abundantly clear in her gripping, talk-provoking, edge-of-your-seat hilarious Cult Of Love, the long-awaited final installment of her Seven Deadly Plays, the series of vice-based black comedies that put both Headland and IAMA Theatre Company on the map.

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May

Wood Boy Dog Fish

I was taken by Wood Boy Dog Fish at the Bootleg in 2015 and it is even more spectacular at the Garry Marshall. Count on WBDF 2.0 to be one of late spring 2018's hottest tickets.

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