Registered Critic: Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive

Ed Rampell is an L.A.-based film historian/reviewer and co-author of “The Hawaii Movie and Television Book”.
Feb

FUGU

Fugu is not another retelling per se of [Chione] Sugihara's heroism - rather, it is a dramatization about what befell those 6,000 Jews from Lithuania he enabled to cross the USSR on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. What happened to them [after the Jews rescued from the Nazis went to Japan]?

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Feb

THE LAST FIVE YEARS

The Last Five Years is sort of La La Land set in Manhattan, instead of Hollywood, although this musical by multi-Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown actually opened Off-Broadway about 15 years before Damien Chazelle's movie was released.

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Jan

The Last Vig

As in 1989's Last Exit to Brooklyn, in Vig [Burt] Young plays a character named “Big Joe”, who's gory, glory wiseguy days are behind him. The aging mob boss' royal realm has been reduced to the backroom (or basement?) of General Li's Ho Ho Chinese Kitchen, a takeout joint operated by Paul Li (Clint Jung of the 2013 biopic Jobs and the Showtime series Ray Donovan) in Ozone Park, about a mile or two from where I grew up in Queens. The entire onstage action all takes place on the same day in this diminutive domain (realistically rendered by set designer Joel Daavid), where Young's would-be duke (or Duce) endeavors to preside over what may well be his final underworld transaction.

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Jan

The Manor

...what makes The Manor such an exceptional theatrical experience is that it does not take place in a playhouse per se , such as the Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School , where Theatre 40 offerings are usually presented. Rather , The Manor is quite realistically being staged at the Tudor Revival Greystone Mansion atop a Beverly Hills crest , where the sordid events that inspired this crime drama actually happened.

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Dec

AMÉLIE, A NEW MUSICAL

I just have one “cautionary” note for potential ticket buyers: You should only attend Amélie , A New Musical if you relish romance , laughter , bedazzlement and highly entertaining theatre. A truly splendid time is guaranteed to all - and in these fraught times , there's a lot to be said for that. So give yourself and your loved ones a great holiday gift: Tickets to the astoundingly amazingAmélie. What a lovely , philosophical treat playwright Craig Lucas and company have wrought for your viewing and listening pleasure.

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Dec

reviewed by Ed Rampell

This, arguably, is the stuff of great drama, redolent with  conflict (not to mention yuuuge Hollywood egos), and I urge theatergoers to experience the 90-ish minute one-acter, presented without intermission.

sweet - ...read full review

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