Non-Registered Critics: Jordan Riefe

Sep

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

The fact that the new off-Broadway revival currently in previews has already been extended eight weeks suggests a durability to the show’s appeal. The new production at Pasadena Playhouse conclusively seals the deal.

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Sep

A PLAY IS A POEM

Clever dialogue and offbeat humor woven into thin plotting and scant thematic undertones make A Play Is a Poem a pleasant diversion, if little more.

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Sep

Witch

It's a powerful dose of medicine. And strong comedic performances buoyed by witty barbs serve as a spoonful of sugar to help it go down.

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May

Invisible Tango

Helder Guimarães does card tricks, and he does them better than anyone else. For audiences that demand the best in that field, look no further.

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Feb

Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

Bourne's ballet is an accessible amalgam that challenges and pleases the senses and will sweep even dance aesthetes off their feet.

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Nov

Finks

French and Vanessa Claire Stewart excel in the Los Angeles premiere of Joe Gilford's absorbing look at the Hollywood blacklist. When playwright Joe Gilford sat down to write Finks, he needed look no further than his own family for inspiration. His father and mother, Jack and Madeline Lee Gilford, were persecuted in the early 1950s, subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The episode derailed their acting careers. Their story...is at the heart of Joe's witty, warm and dramatic paean to his parents.

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Mar

Building the Wall

In his mesmerizing two-hander, the playwright illustrates the chilling speed at which fascistic tendencies can overtake ordinary Americans.

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Mar

ZOOT SUIT

But while Zoot Suit is rich in of-the-moment themes regarding identity and tolerance, it is richer in humor, heart and fleet-footed dancing.

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Mar

FUN HOME

Sam Gold's production arrives in Los Angeles with its strengths intact, thanks to a rock-solid cast.

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Dec

ICEBERGS

The backward structure employed by Kaufman and Hart turned a musical paradigm on its head — bright-eyed kids come to the big city, face impossible odds in showbiz and persevere to find fame and fortune. Here, the premise is the same, only they wind up miserable, which didn't work in 1981. And while the faithful insist there's a great show in there somewhere, pointing up the undeniable merits of the score, even with the current production, Merrily We Roll Along remains a conundrum waiting to be cracked.

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Nov

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE

Twenty years on, the play has aged like a bottle of fine Irish whiskey, with Hynes returning to the helm and Mullen again starring, this time as Maureen's mother Mag, in an outstanding production that's as witty as it is shocking.

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