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.
May

Forever Bound

Expect to be bound to the edge of your seat. Expect L.A. theater at its most original and unpredictable. Expect all this and more from Forever Bound.

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May

Bad Jews

If it takes chutzpah to title a play Bad Jews, it takes even more talent to write a play as remarkable as Bad Jews turns out to be. Joshua Harmon possesses both in equal measure, and Odyssey audiences can count themselves lucky that his Bad Jews is in good hands indeed.

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May

The Baby Dance: Mixed

Guaranteed to keep you riveted throughout and talking long after, The Baby Dance: Mixes more than merits a drive up north. It's one of Rubicon Theatre Company's best.

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May

Noises Off

Following the dramatic fireworks of A Raisin In The Sun and Henry V, Michael Frayn's Noises Off will have you laughing from lights up curtain calls and beyond. It's the perfect cure for the springtime blues.

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May

Blues in the Night

Blues In The Night guarantees audiences two hours of musical magic at The Wallis. To borrow a lyric from Broadway's Cry-Baby, misery, agony, helplessness, hopelessness, heartache and woe have never sounded so good.

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May

Cardboard Piano

Uganda may be over 9000 miles away and its people's lives every bit as distant from our own, but Cardboard Piano will have you reflecting on its characters, its themes, and the world in which it unfolds long after the lights have dimmed. This is L.A. theater at its compelling, thought-provoking best.

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May

42nd Street

Broadway's 42nd Street may be edging towards its 40th birthday (and the movie that inspired it now celebrating its 85th), but you'd never know it at Palos Verdes Performing Arts. Fresher than ever, it's the most taptastic show in town.

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Apr

Good People

Good People is that rarity among plays, one that not only surprises, entertains, and engrosses but gets even better when you go back knowing what you didn't suspect the first time round. Expect to be thinking and talking about the latest Chance Theater winner long after its final fade to black.

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Apr

BELLEVILLE

Young marrieds don't get much more appealing than Americans in Paris Abby and Zack, but don't let their Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks looks and charm fool you into thinking Amy Herzog's Belleville will be the next big romcom. What the Obie-winning Pulitzer Prize finalist has up her sleeve in Belleville is something considerably darker and more twisted, just one reason the latest from the Pasadena Playhouse is one of the season's must-see productions.

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Apr

Significant Other

Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews revealed a significant new voice in American comedy. A gay romcom whose time has come, Significant Other earns abundant laughter and cheers all its own.

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Apr

Native Son

Richard Wright's 20th-century classic Native Son is ill-served at Antaeus Theatre Company by Nambi E. Kelley's 21st-century stage adaptation's temporal zigzags, sledgehammer approach to issues of race, and the addition of a “character” not found in the original novel.

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Apr

What Happened When

The survivor of a horrific childhood is visited by ghosts of his dark and desolate past in Daniel Talbott's memory play What Happened When, now getting an exquisitely designed Echo Theater Company West Coast Premiere unfortunately made more cryptic than already written by one bad casting choice.

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Apr

Pigs and Chickens

With some plot-clarifying script revision and a bit less tech-nerd mumbo jumbo, Glinski's play could be an all-around winner. As is, Pigs And Chickens is still worth a barnyard visit.

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Apr

Laughter on the 23rd Floor

There wouldn't be Saturday Night Live if talents like “Max Prince” hadn't paved the way, and there wouldn't be 20th-century Broadway comedy without Neil Simon. Laughter On The 23rd Floor is the King Of One-Liners at his smart-and-snappy best.

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Apr

Through The Eye of a Needle

A dysfunctional family in mourning makes for unexpected holiday hilarity and heart in Jami Brandli's Through The Eye Of A Needle, a humdinger of a Road Theatre Company World Premiere. No matter what the season, Through The Eye Of A Needle is a tears-and-cheers-worthy holiday gift.

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Apr

Akuma-Shin

Terrific performances and an ingenious production design cannot salvage the perplexing jumble that is Kenley Smith's big-ideas sci-fi-parody-fantasy-thriller black comedy Akuma-Shin, a Sacred Fools Theater Company World Premiere, any more than its cast of characters—Dr. Joyce Brothers, William F. Buckley, Jr., Truman Capote, and Norman Mailer among them—are able to save Tokyo from Godzilla.

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Apr

The Madres

Las madres de Buenos Aires may have begun their weekly vigils in the 1970s, but like those who continue marching today in hopes of finding the children of the disappeared, Stephanie Alison Walker's The Madres remains as powerful and relevant in 2018 as it would have been when The Mothers first took to the streets.

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Mar

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Sir Thomas More's moral challenges may be five centuries old, but today more than ever, they offer lessons to be learned. Though A Man For All Seasons could stand a trim, it makes for yet another jewel in Actors Co-op's much-studded crown.

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Mar

Henry V

A Henry V for theatergoers who might balk at hearing every single stanza intact, A Noise Within's latest grabs you from the get-go and never releases its grasp. I give it two swords up.

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Mar

Little Women, the Musical

Santa Monica's venerable Morgan-Wixson Theatre once again blurs the lines between community and professional theater with the best performed of the more than half-dozen big-and-small-stage Little Women, The Musicals I've seen.

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