Registered Critic: Leigh Kennicott

Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog. As a director in Los Angeles, she directed a neo-realist "Romeo and Juliet" at the Secret Rose Theatre; a new play,“Charlotte Second Chance,” at DramaGarage; and “How I Learned to Drive,” “Nickel and Dimed” and “Top Girls” all at College of the Canyons. Presently, she teaches theatre topics at California State University, Northridge.
Feb

A Delicate Ship

Road Theatre's snazzy production of Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship dazzles even before the play begins. With incisive patterning of present with past, Zeigler interweaves a pivotal Christmas Eve into a braid of relationships suddenly gone awry. Sarah's (Paris Perrault) relationship with upright Sam (Philip Orazio) seems on track. But her long-time friend, Nate (Josh Zuckerman) arrives to throw a monkey wrench into their idyllic evening. A Delicate Ship keeps sailing through March 24th

sweet-sour

Feb

THE CHINESE WALL

Frisch's The Chinese Wall begins with the impulse to wall off a country from enemies, and concludes with the fear that grows as a result of such protectionism. Familiar? Director Larry Eisenberg has taken this allegorical play and literalized it by equating many of the characters with the Trump administration, beginning with the emperor portrayed as Trump himself.

sour

Jun

Animal Farm

Animal Farm, a fanciful tale by George Orwell, warns that idealistic systems of self-governance face usurpation by unscrupulous, power-grabbing oligarchs through clever manipulations of the truth (alternative facts, anyone?). Director Ellen Geer's cheerful production is anything but heavy-handed; it's a superb production with a lot of enthusiastic, young players. – Leigh Kennicott

sweet

Jun

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum 2017 Summer Season

Director Ellen Geer has never shied away from controversy, and this rendition of Merchant of Venice only serves to confirm that we have reverted, rather than advanced, to entrenched notions of entitlement in service to justice. Alan Blumenfeld as Shylock heads the cast and skilled Geer family actors feature in key roles: Willow Geer plays Portia, Susan Angelo, Nerissa, and Melora Marshall rollicks as the droll Launcelot.

sweet-sour

Jun

The Manor

Newcomers to LA will revel in the historical ambiance, the spectacular costuming and the stately pace of the action as three different audiences follow the “MacAlister” family from the 1920s wedding of young Sean (Shawn Savage) to Abby (Shelby Kocee), daughter of attorney Frank Parsons, well played by Martin Thompson.

sweet - ...read full review

Jun

Pie in the Sky

How to make a pie? It's almost a lost art these days. But one of the percs of Lawrence Thelan's heart-warming play about the bonds uniting a mother and her long-suffering daughter is the recipe we absorb by osmosis and at the end, a fresh-out-of-the-oven, warm piece of pie!

sweet - ...read full review

Jun

The Snow Geese

Under David Melville's careful direction, the inhabitants must face their loss of security, not to mention status, and in the process, expose deep fissures in each of their personalities. Beginning with mercurial Melissa Chalsma, the excellent cast assembled for White's meaningful play well orchestrates The Snow Geese's given circumstances. Although simply presented, authentic costuming by Ruoxuan Li, atmospheric lighting by Bosco Flannagan and appropriate sound created by director David Melville all lend an air of reality to the barn-like, dimensional stage.

sweet - ...read full review

Apr

The 39 Steps

For good solid fun, there's nothing like a cheeky satire of an otherwise serious espionage mystery, and 39 Steps, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 thriller, is just the ticket for our current political climate. Dean Productions, and founder/director Rebecca Lynne, brings her talented cast to Glendale for a FREE short run that I hope you'll catch.

sweet

Apr

Woody's Order!

Playing under the auspices of the EST/LA in the small, 50 seat Atwater Village Theatre, Ann Talman's play, Woody's Order!, is visual as well as aural, tightly written and well-rehearsed. Woody, who had cerebral palsy, needed continual attention from birth. With great specificity, Talman's story of her brother's care grows ever more heart-warming and instructive.

sweet

Apr

Woody's Order!

Playing under the auspices of the EST/LA in the small, 50 seat Atwater Village Theatre, Ann Talman's play, Woody's Order!, is visual as well as aural, tightly written and well-rehearsed. Woody, who had cerebral palsy, needed continual attention from birth. With great specificity, Talman's story of her brother's care grows ever more heart-warming and instructive.

sweet

Apr

Woody's Order!

Playing under the auspices of the EST/LA in the small, 50 seat Atwater Village Theatre, Ann Talman's play, Woody's Order!, is visual as well as aural, tightly written and well-rehearsed. Woody, who had cerebral palsy, needed continual attention from birth. With great specificity, Talman's story of her brother's care grows ever more heart-warming and instructive.

sweet

Apr

King Lear

An affecting study of aging and hubris, King Lear depicts a monarch at the height of his powers who decides to pre-empt fortune and dispose of his kingdom himself. Instead of security, Lear (Geoff Elliott in the role of his lifetime) soon finds himself greatly diminished, homeless and fending for himself in the elements.

sweet - ...read full review

Apr

Building the Wall

In Building a Wall Gloria (Judith Morehead) dissects the motives of Rick (Bo Foxworth), who seems to be the fall-guy for the genocide of thousands of detainees on American soil. Foxworth triumphs in his portrayal of a little guy caught in the middle of powerful forces beyond his control. -Leigh Kennicott

sweet - ...read full review

Mar

Still Life

Carrie Ann (Laurie Okin), seems paralyzed by grief until she meets Jeffrey (Lea Coco), a “trend analyst,” destined to change her life. They are so equally weighted that one can be forgiven for pondering whose story carries the most heft. But Director Michael Peretzian executes the complex maze of the sprawling script.

sweet-sour - ...read full review

Mar

Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops

Collective Rage does for “pussies” what Jong's Fear of Flying did for the zipless you-know-what. Because it puts so bluntly what women spent the better part of a century to reveal, though, I'm just not sure the fine folks in Pasadena are quite ready, even now, to confront this information. But if I have sold them short, they will find themselves charmed and cheered by Silverman's free-wheeling play.

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

FUGU

Fugu is a fascinating play that unfolds a surprising and little-known story of world alliances running up to World War II, written by Steven G. Simon and Howard Teichman who also directs. Stylishly realized, this little-known incident is suspenseful until the very end.

sweet - ...read full review

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