Registered Critic: Kathy Flynn

Kathy Flynn has been writing about the arts for many years, for publications as diverse as Loudwire, V Magazine, and Press Pass LA. She loves music, film, theater, and pop culture events, and is currently Associate Editor at Discover Hollywood.
Mar

Paradise

This compelling two-person play features beautifully-written, multi-dimensional characters who bloom through their connection with each other. The acting is top-notch, particularly Marlow, a veteran actor who fully commands the stage. Milani at times is a tad too intense, but once she relaxes, her portrayal is honest and extraordinarily moving. The actors have terrific chemistry so their eventual unlikely friendship feels real and earned.

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Mar

CATS

String lights extend out into the audience, and the cats venture down the aisles several times during the course of the evening, both of which help to bring the audience into the action, as does the breaking of the fourth wall when the cats notice they are being watched. The ensemble is comprised of vibrant, athletic dancers who bring their characters to life with bold physicality. Keep an eye on the background action during solo numbers for delightful bits where cats pounce and play and act very kittenish.

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Feb

Two Trains Running at Matrix

Under the adroit direction of Michele Shay, who herself was Tony-nominated for her performance in Wilson's Seven Guitars, Two Trains Running tackles race, relevancy, and self-worth in an exquisite dialogue-driven slice of life filed with lovely, nuanced performances from a flawless ensemble of skilled actors who will surely be remembered come award season.

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Feb

HELLO DOLLY

Betty Buckley, a Broadway icon in her own right, best known for her Tony-winning performance as Grizabella in Cats, and her scene-stealing turn as Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd, makes this role her own. It's a rich, boisterous, nimble performance full of life and personality, just like Dolly herself.

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Feb

Last Call

Last Call is a brilliant piece of theatre; honest, warm, and darkly comic with a wry edge . Each of the characters is fully-fleshed out, messy and complex, and the performances, each of which is pitch-perfect, bring these terrible, wonderful, complicated human beings to life.

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Jan

The Diary Of Anne Frank

For the most part, Genesis Ochoa dazzles in the role of Anne Frank, playing the insightful teen as a bouncy, enthusiastic young girl. Initially, her mile-a-minute dialogue was sometimes a bit too rapid to understand, but as the play moved on she relaxed into the role of a young girl on the brink of womanhood, doing her best to remain sunny in horrific circumstances. The weight of the entire play rests on her shoulders and she carries it off beautifully.

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Jan

A Misunderstanding

The ideas presented here are thought-provoking, and the dialogue is smart and intense, but quite honestly, two hours of watching old white men argue with each other is not particularly entertaining. And just like a family dinner table argument, the same points are made again and again, becoming dull with repetition.

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Nov

middle8

Middle 8 works best when it's a comedy. It's frequently hilarious and the musical numbers are just plain great, particularly the opening number with its three-part harmonies, and the boy band number that opens the second act, which is one of the funniest pieces of theatre I have seen this year. The male cast members are all members of The Four Postmen, and have obvious talent and musical chemistry.

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Oct

Sell/Buy/Date

The most impressive thing about Sell/Buy/Date may be that the performances and the story are equally fascinating. Jones has something very important to say, and an irresistible manner of storytelling in which to get the message across. This is theatre at its most vital and compelling.

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Oct

All Night Long

Alina Phelan's performance as Jill, the stereotypical sitcom mom, is layered and multifacted, turning on a dime to bring out something savage underneath. When she lashes out, it is cruel and wounding. And that's one of the biggest problems with All Night Long. While the cleverness of the dialogue was at times amusing, much of the humor was mean-spirited, full of long simmering resentment and achingly hard to watch.

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Oct

ROPE

The play tells the story of two "roommates", Wyndham Brandon (Burt Grinstead) and Charles Granillo (David Huynh) who commit the motiveless "perfect crime." The play starts with a cold open, throwing you immediately into the action. The opening scene, lit entirely by candlelight, is thrilling and deliciously disorienting.

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Sep

Gloria

The story moves from competitiveness to bitchiness, one-upmanship, and hysterically funny angry rants reminiscent of Sorkin in their rapid-fire brilliance...It lulls you with its biting, acerbic wit grounded in the reality of office life.

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Aug

Jews, Christians, and Screwing Stalin

From the seeds of heartbreak and anger comes a play brimming with love...and sarcasm. The play is based on playwright and director Mark Lonow's own Russian-Jewish socialist family and the characters Joseph and Caitlin are based on him and his wife of 49 years, co-writer Jo Anne Astrow. Because of this, there is an authenticity to the characters, particularly family matriarch Minka, who just wants to bring what's left of her family back together.

sweet

Aug

Famous

Famous is the play we need in the #metoo era, shining a bright light in the dark corners where horrible shadows lay undisturbed. The cost of fame is a frequently told tale, but the headlines from the past few years makes the story feel particularly relevant and timely. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bryan Singer, River Phoenix ...just a few of the names that flashed through my mind watching Famous.

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Aug

WAITRESS

Waitress is an uplifting good time, as sweet and delectable as Jenna's pies.

 

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Jul

Cry It Out

Cry It Out highlights the privilege that comes with both class and gender and the unbearably hard choices women often have to make. It's sweet and heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes all at the same. Both Chung and Ketch turn in pitch-perfect performances, as do the rest of the cast, but it's Ketch who shines the most as brassy Long Island housewife Lina, a fully-fleshed out performance that is hysterical and messy and utterly real.

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Jun

The Most Massive Woman Wins

Savannah Rutledge, Rachel Frost and Alexandra Fiallos all turn in strong performances, but the real standout here is Yridia Ayvar, who also produced and directed this play. She has a real presence and delivers her best lines with a fevered intensity.

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