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.
Mar

An Undivided Heart

Pedophile Catholic priests and toxic waste-dumping chemical plants form the backdrop of Yusuf Toropov's An Undivided Heart, a Circle X. Theatre Co./Echo Theater Company World Premiere that despite occasional tonal inconsistency and lack of clarity proves a powerful indictment of church-and-corporation-sanctioned abuse.

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Mar

Unemployed Elephants - A Love Story

All-American Girl and No Word In Guyanese For Me proved Wendy Graf's skill at politically themed solo shows. Without abandoning world events, Unemployed Elephants – A Love Story's lighter touch, particularly in the comedically gifted hands of its two ever so charismatic stars, exerts its own charms.

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Mar

El Nino

Sidelined for a number of years by his own bouts with Colleen's ills, Justin Tanner is at long last back on our L.A. stages. Not only that but, as El Niño makes hilariously clear, he is back with a vengeance.

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Mar

A Raisin in the Sun

Society may have progressed since A Raisin In The Sun's Broadway debut, but not nearly enough to make Lorraine Hansberry's crowning achievement any less relevant in 2018 than it was in 1959. For this reason, and countless more, A Noise Within's A Raisin In The Sun cries out to be seen.

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Mar

A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire undergoes a radical reinvention at The Theatre @ Boston Court where director Michael Michetti has transposed the seven-decade-old classic to 21st-century New Orleans to stunning effect.

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Mar

Jackie Unveiled

No matter what you've seen or read about Jackie Kennedy Onassis before, you've never had the chance to spend a one-on-one evening with her until now. With so personal an invite chez Jackie, you'd be foolish not to RSVP yes.

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Mar

ALLEGIANCE

As history lesson alone (one made sadly relevant by recent presidential demands for a Muslim registry), Allegiance merits attention. Though not the brilliant piece of musical theater its subject matter deserves, expect to be standing up cheering by evening's end.

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Feb

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

While Marc Chagall's paintings have transformed him into an art world legend, his wife's writings have made Bella considerably less of a literary name. The exquisite The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk gives both Chagalls the attention and acclaim they are due.

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Feb

A WALK IN THE WOODS

No longer just a nostalgic look back at a time when terms like “early warning” seemed things of the past, A Walk In The Woods is yet another Actors Co-op winner, and more relevant than ever.

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Feb

Six Characters In Search Of A Play

Guaranteed to have you falling out of your seat with laughter and wiping away a tear or two along the way, Del Shores' Six Characters In Search Of A Play adds up to just about the best way to spend a Monday or Tuesday evening in March.

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Feb

Ironbound

You may not take to Darja from the get-go, and she certainly doesn't make it easy to love her, but with Marin Ireland bringing her to unforgettable life on the Geffen stage, I defy anyone not to end up smitten.

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Feb

The Happiest Song Plays Last

A fitting (and as its title suggests) hopeful conclusion to Elliot Ortiz's journey as a soldier, a son, a Puerto Rican, an American, and a man, The Happiest Song Plays Last does Elliot Ruiz and his cousin Quiara proud.

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Feb

ELLIOT, A SOLDIER'S FUGUE

With two theater companies joining forces to offer L.A. audiences the rare opportunity to follow Elliot Ortiz's journey from fresh-out-of-high-school Marine recruit to adulthood, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Peter Mendoza set the bar high for both productions and Elliots to follow.

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Feb

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert

Even lacking the Broadway original's deservedly acclaimed spectacle and scale, with standout performances and songs to get your groove thing shaking from here to Down Under, the latest from Celebration Theatre engages, delights, energizes, and inspires.

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Feb

The Chosen

As gripping, edifying, and moving a production as any I've seen at the Fountain, The Chosen is a must-see for audiences of any age, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Even atheists may end up in tears

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Feb

Pirates of Penzance

Unlike just about anything I've ever seen, Pirates Of Penzance more than merits its visitor's spot on the Pasadena Playhouse lineup. Not only that, but since The Mikado and HMS Pinafore also form part of the Hypocrites' G&S repertoire, I for one would be more than happy to see them invited back next year and the one after for more madness, merriment, and music like they do it in The Chi.

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Feb

Violet

Over the past twenty years, the Chance's reputation as Orange County's finest intimate theater has remained unchallenged. The company's latest musical mini-masterpiece makes it abundantly clear just why.

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Jan

Nothing Is the Same

It's not just school children—10,000 and counting since Sierra Madre Playhouse initiated its Field Trip Series four seasons ago—who will find themselves both entertained and informed. Nothing Is The Same is the best kind of Theater For Young Audience, i.e. theater for audiences of all ages, not to mention races, religions, nationalities, ethnicities, and more.

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Jan

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

As a 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival entry, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons may have been provocative enough to escape the close scrutiny a longer professional run would inspire. Provocative it still is, and sensationally acted and designed, but a less muddled script is needed to turn these Lemons into lemonade.

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Jan

The Hothouse

It may be his more celebrated plays (The Birthday Party, Betrayal, and The Homecoming among them) or his equally acclaimed screenplays (The Servant, The Go-Between, Sleuth, and more) that brought Harold Pinter fame and fortune, but it's a little-known Pinter that makes a visit to Antaeus a must. Expect Hothouse tickets to be selling like hotcakes.

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