Non-Registered Critics: Karen Salkin

Feb

ALL PERFORMANCES CANCELED BY CTG - THE BOOK OF MORMON

While all the actors are really excellent, (especially the two main missionaries, Jordan Matthew Brown and Liam Tobin, and another one who’s already in Uganda when they arrive, Andy Huntington Jones,) it’s the fabulous singing of Alyah Chanelle Scott that I appreciated the most. This is her first big gig, and I predict big things for this young lady, so get in on seeing her now!

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Jan

THE LAST SHIP

But, somehow, the musical does gain a bit of strength near the end. And I do remind you—you’re getting to see Sting in person at one of the classiest theatres in town! I totally recommend The Last Ship on that merit alone! Even if you’re not a big fan of his, it’s still a fascinating experience.

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Jan

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME

What The Constitution Means To Me is so well-written, so as to keep the audience’s attention while educating and motivating. When I saw the Tonys audience go nuts over just the mention of this play during last year’s awards, I could not imagine how someone made the study of the United States Constitution interesting and entertaining. But Heidi certainly accomplished that. With tons of humor, to boot.

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Dec

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE

...So my suggestion is–go see Love Actually Live for the holiday! (If you can even get tickets. It looked sold-out for the performance we saw, on what my mother would refer to as “a plain little Tuesday night.”)

I’m begging the Wallis to do it all again next year—I know it will once again be the only show Mr. X comes with me to willingly! So Happy Holidays to me!

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Dec

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)

I advise that when you see this show, (which you absolutely should,) get there early for the lovely holiday music that Sean entertains the audience with as they get settled.

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Dec

MATTHEW BOURNE'S SWAN LAKE

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is so magical that I feel like I still haven’t told you enough. I loved it so much that I have the urge to give Matthew my first born!

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Dec

Little Black Dress The Musical

I’m sure that absolutely every audience member can relate to something in this show. It gave me lots of feels from my own life, some good, one bad, but all interesting.

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Dec

Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room

Not to brag, but there are very many categories I can run on Jeopardy. But “US Presidents” is definitely not one of them. So I especially enjoy learning about them when I can, and this very interesting play by Colin Speer Crowley afforded me one such opportunity.

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Nov

Salvage

If you’re a fan of great music, especially country, and love seeing other people’s angst, Salvage is the show for you!

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Nov

The Great Leap

What a powerful play this is! I was blown away by it. And still am, a few days later.

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Oct

Red Thread by Siegfried Tieber

No matter what else is going on with the surroundings, the magic is the attraction here. And that is the reason to see Red Thread. It’s a rare opportunity to see a master magician so up-close and personal. I never once spaced-out or checked my watch; I was mesmerized the entire time...

So I promise you that Red Thread is a very worthwhile experience.

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Oct

The Music Man

The entire evening reminded me how much I love Fred Kavli Theatre. The seats have the best legroom around, and their concessions are literally one-third the price of the bigger theaters in town! And for those of you in Los Angeles proper, who think a trip to Thousand Oaks is a lengthy affair, let me assure that it is not. It doesn’t take long at all, even in Friday night traffic. And it’s a cute town, so you can always go early and have a bite to eat or just explore, as I always want to do.

So, for a lovely time at the theatre this Fall, I suggest getting out there to see The Music Man this coming week-end. Thousand Oaks may not be the real River City, but you will definitely be rewarded for your trouble!

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Oct

ANASTASIA

To sum-up the overall experience, I can honestly say that just about every presentation that the Pantages offers us is very worthwhile, and this one is no exception. While I’m not exactly sure that the true life saga of Anastasia makes for the best of musicals, I still highly recommend that, for all of the above reasons, you check it out while you have this opportunity. I’m confident that you will enjoy this journey to the past.

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Oct

Sisters In Law

Everything about this play is spot-on. The perfect combo of elements brings us this very important topic—playwright (and former lawyer) Jonathan Shapiro; actresses Stephanie Faracy and Tovah Feldshuh, (who look just like the justices they’re portraying!,); director Patricia McGregor; set designer Rachel Myers; projection designer Yee Eun Nam; The Wallis being the theatre presenting this production; and even the location of Beverly Hills. It all works like just about nothing I’ve ever seen before.

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Oct

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

This was truly the most fun opening all year! So I thank the Pasadena Playhouse for having the courage to try something so hip and modern. I think it will be appreciated by most people who enjoy being entertained.

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Sep

A PLAY IS A POEM

This is where I have to acknowledge that A Play is a Poem starts out so promisingly, but doesn’t stay so, with the nadir being the third act. It does have the prettiest set, though, featuring a charming gazebo; I just wanted to rush down to the stage and bask in its beauty. But the old man next to me slept through that entire episode, as did a young guy in the row in front of me. Then I started noticing that about every six people were dozing! Brad Pitt’s bodyguard even left his post during this one. I don’t know if it was actually uber-long or just felt that way. Perhaps this scene is Ethan Coen’s attempt at serious writing because there are very few laughs in it.

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Sep

THE CHINESE LADY

This play should be required viewing for everyone in this country!...

Afong’s words are fictionalized; unfortunately the actual storyline is all too real. It’s based on her true saga. But the play is the playwright’s own take on what her thoughts might have been in actuality. Lloyd Suh did a great job writing it; he keeps us laughing along the way, leaving most of the heavy lifting until near the end.

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Sep

The Joy Luck Club

all aspects of it are high quality, especially the acting, which sees every actor ably play either themselves at different ages or multiple characters. Or, in some cases, both. I’m especially impressed that many of the women let us know that they are now portraying themselves as children by just a flick of the head or a different smile. It’s quite impressive.

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Sep

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS

A more fun time in a classroom I cannot imagine. He incorporates just about every type of humor imaginable–stand-up, skit, blue, impressions, accents, ethnic, performance art, even musical. And the guy can dance!!! How can one person be so talented?!

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Aug

Saugerties

We Angelenos are privileged to have occasional opportunities to see accomplished and currently-working actors ply their trade up-close. And the two-character play, Saugerties, at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, affords us just such an opportunity. And this pair of thespians could not be better.

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