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

Once

Whether you’ve seen it once, twice, or more times than you could possibly count, you won’t want to miss 3-D Theatricals’ Once, sure to be remembered as one of the year’s most magical, memorable musical theater triumphs.

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Oct

Something Rotten! presented by Musical Theatre West

There’s no more entertaining big-stage musical in town than Musical Theatre West’s regional premiere of Best Musical Tony nominee Something Rotten!, a musical theater buff’s dream come true and just as much fun for those who couldn’t put a last name to Chita, Patti, or Bernadette if their lives depended on it.

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Oct

The Music Man

Adam Pascal’s charismatic star turn as Harold Hill is the best of at least 76 reasons why 5-Star Theatricals’ The Music Man gives Broadway some pretty stiff competition.

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Oct

The Abuelas

Having been drawn into The Madres’ world of terror on the streets of Buenos Aires, my expectations for The Abuelas were high. Sad to say, they were not met.

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Oct

Little Women

I can only imagine how thrilling it must be for the students of California School of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley to be afforded the opportunity play with the pros in Louisa Alcott’s Little Women, an excitement clearly shared by their parents, family, and friends on Opening Night. Those not related to the cast may find themselves somewhat less thrilled.

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Oct

Neil Simon's Musical Fools

Regional theaters looking for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser to add to an upcoming season are hereby advised to take note of Neil Simon’s Musical Fools. In the meantime, L.A. audiences can count themselves fortunate indeed to get the country’s first professional look at this irresistible musical treat.

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Oct

Miss Lilly Gets Boned

Miss Lilly Gets Boned is the sixth Bekah Brunstetter play I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, and though not as perfect a work as her best, it captivated me from start to finish. Like her previous playwriting endeavors, I didn’t want to see it end.

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Oct

Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson

Gem Of The Ocean has been assembled with such loving, respectful care that I wish I could give it unqualified praise. At the very least, it sheds informative light on African-American life half-a-century before Rosa Parks said “No” to giving up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus.

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Oct

A Kid Like Jake

Following last spring’s head-bangingly theatrical Mama Metal, A Kid Like Jake showcases IAMA Theatre Company in more traditional but no less edgy mode. It had me riveted from start to finish.

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Oct

LAS MUJERES DEL MAR

Though it helps to be bilingual, or at the very least conversant in Spanish, to fully understand and appreciate Las Mujeres Del Mar, the story Schoenberg has to tell goes a long way towards transcending language barriers in her powerful, redemptive Women Of The Sea.

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Sep

The Vandal

It’s the “and then” that makes Hamish Linklater’s The Vandal a quirkily comedic, profoundly moving 80-minute wonder in its Chance Theater West Coast Premiere. Expect to be mesmerized.

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Sep

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Unlike Little Shop Of Horrors’ play-it-safe 2003 Broadway remake, Pasadena Playhouse’s 2019 L.A. revival isn’t afraid to take risks. Though not all of them pay off, for its fabulous cast alone, this is one Little Shop you won’t want to miss.

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Sep

GRUMPY OLD MEN: THE MUSICAL

No matter your mood upon arrival, expect to exit the La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts with the broadest of smiles on your face when you see the feel-good musical that’s been made from the Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau movie smash Grumpy Old Men.

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Sep

The Spanish Prayer Book

World Premiere plays are a gamble for theater companies and audiences alike. Sometimes the wager pays off, as it die for the Road in last season’s Friends With Guns, Death House, and The Rescued. Unfortunately, in the case of The Spanish Prayer Book, it does not.

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Sep

DRIVING WILDE

In addition to its two-dozen or so movie/TV adaptations, Oscar Wilde’s most notorious novel has inspired a couple of L.A. theater offerings, Michael Michetti’s brilliant A Picture Of Dorian Gray and the musical travesty that was Dorian’s Descent. Jacqueline Wright’s never-boring Driving Wilde falls somewhere between the two.

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Sep

Deadly

The Demon Doctor of West 63rd Street is bumping off victim after victim at the Broadwater Theatre in Vanessa Claire Stewart and Ryan Thomas Johnson's deliciously horrorific Deadly, or as I like to call it, Murder Castle, the H.H. Holmes Musical. It’s a great start for a show that could easily go on well beyond The Broadwater. It’s that murderously good.

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Sep

The Joy Luck Club

Imperfect as its stage adaptation may be, when Jing-Mei finally takes her mother’s place among her aunties as a member of the Joy Luck Club, even audiences who may have gotten lost in a plethora of plot lines past and present can expect to exit the Sierra Madre Playhouse moved by the emotional journey they have experienced.

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Sep

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS

Newly added references to the atrocities being perpetrated in detention centers across our southern border make Latin History For Morons as current as this morning’s headlines, and since it’s long past time for us morons to get ourselves educated, who better than human hurricane John Leguizamo to do the trick?

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Sep

Skintight

As laugh-and-star-power-packed a West Coast Premiere as any comedy lover could wish for, Skintight makes it three winners in a row for Joshua Harmon and the Geffen.

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Sep

The Solid Life of Sugar Water

Short and bittersweet and powerful as all get-out, Deaf West’s The Solid Life Of Sugar Water packs one shattering punch. Don’t be surprised if it ends up being one of the year’s most acclaimed, talked-about productions.

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  • The Water Way - A New Musical by Brad Mendelson
  • La Vie En Rose with Julia Migenes

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