Registered Critic: Leo Buck

With both the aim and professional motto being to bring readers: "Broadway, Theater and Entertainment news you’re NOT going to find in the pages of 'People Magazine' or 'Entertainment Weekly'," Leo has been covering various aspects of the Entertainment industry for close to two decades now. From DVD, film and theater reviews, to celebrity interviews, to book and restaurant reviews, and events designed for more mainstream as well as alternative tastes, Leo's pretty much handled it all for such publications as "The O.C. Blade", "4-Front", "Rage", "Gay Chicago", and "Camp Magazine" (in Kansas City) and even "N.O.W. Magazine" in the UK, and "Gay News Amsterdam" in the Netherlands. In addition, he served as the on-camera "Entertainment Correspondent" for two years on "The Gay News" broadcast via the internet television service, "Village TV". Six years ago he discovered this thing called the internet, establishing his on-line review column, "Buck-ing Trends". Since then he's been pleased to return to his first love of live theater--particularly musicals--where, on top of keeping local theater-goers informed, his new goal has been to demonstrate to as wide an audience as possible that the local Southern California theater scene is just as vibrant, creative, traditional, alive, and (at times) down right eclectic as any other major metropolitan area--including that world-famous Boulevard in New York City.
Dec

Beauty and the Beast - Gem Theatre

This production benefits magnificently from the understanding that less is often more—relying less on special effects or stage gimmicks and more on stellar performances, always with an eye toward authenticity—despite how fantastic the situations. Why ‘seek adventure in the great wide somewhere’ when it’s right there at “The Gem Theatre”? Indeed, now’s the time to fill your holiday with enchantment with this thoroughly magical musical!

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

Neil Simon's Musical Fools

If you’re in the market for a good, old fashioned. “Forget your troubles” kind of musical you’ve hit the jackpot here—so what if it all adds up to lunacy, it’s lovable lunacy! Up in “Comedy Heaven” it’s a good bet ol’ Neil Simon is looking down and smiling—this amazing new ‘musicalization’ certainly gives him excellent reason to!

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

Once

Even with a decade of providing Southland theater enthusiasts with top-flight entertainment under their belts, this marks something of a distinguished achievement for 3-D Theatricals, as it’s categorically like nothing they’ve ever produced before! If you’re eager to find a theatrical experience comprised largely of softer, more intense–but 100% genuine and relatable moments, “Once” is definitely it!

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

Bright Star

If the goal of theater is to make one feel and be affected by what they’re seeing and experiencing, the gang at “One More Productions” have certainly succeeded in spades as “Bright Star” is sure to be counted among their grandest productions to date that can lay claim to exactly this phenomenon—this is what magnificent musicals are all about!

sweet - ...read full review

Sep

GRUMPY OLD MEN: THE MUSICAL

At turns hilarious, while at others startlingly affecting, many of the best lines or crucial plot-twists delightfully take you off guard, making their impact lingering and lasting…it’s unconventional but sincerely sweet, ensuring that by the curtain calls, odds are you’ll be challenged to elicit a smile large enough for what you’ve just experienced!

sweet - ...read full review

Jul

West Side Story

Helped tremendously by the more intimate size of the venue, this closer proximity to the action increases the visceral-level responses one gets concerning all the high-stakes emotions and their urgency, along with all the vitriol and the valor. Simply put, if you’ve never attended a show at “The Gem Theatre”, now’s an outstanding reason to—you honestly couldn’t choose better!

sweet - ...read full review

Jul

The Wedding Singer

Ms. Mattsson’s direction is lively, and free-flowing, with an inspiring trend toward finding the ‘realism’ in the outright farcical; this makes the characters, and what they’re doing so much easier to identify with. Yet, perhaps she and her creative team score their greatest accomplishments through their insightful use of subtlety in the props, costumes, and set concepts. It’s just these minute “did you catch that?” touches that make this production particularly invigorating–and unforgettable!

sweet - ...read full review

May

Bronco Billy - The Musical

Under his letter-perfect and agile direction, Bird and his cast and crew have concocted a big, bright, bubbly Valentine to hope-against-hope and the good old-fashioned value of having a dream. They’ve also successfully reminded us that going to the theater can be more kicks than a Hootenanny with a 100 proof ‘Still’ out back! (One thing is certain: “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke” were never this entertaining–nor as downright fun!)

sweet - ...read full review

May

Kentwood Players Presents Pippin

Schwartz’s cutting-edge score (his first for a major Broadway show) adeptly combines the best elements of ‘old school’ classic musicals from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s with the more ‘contemporary’ sound favored by such blockbusters of the day as “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Hair”. Ms. Boole’s direction prudently capitalizes on these melodic strengths, with her overall concept evoking a kind of “Laugh-In” meets “Barnum And Bailey” ambience.

sweet - ...read full review

May

THE SECRET GARDEN

3-D Theatricals' gives this one the treatment such a monumental, near-epic tale of this caliber fully deserves. Even if you've seen the show done before, you've NEVER seen it like this—and 3-D Theatricals' version is categorically THE version to see! So ‘Come to this Garden–nestled in' Cerritos Ca.!

sweet - ...read full review

May

Nine

A complex, highly-stylized musical dramedy, style is precisely what the folks at “One More Productions” have given it in spades. Yeston's songs are some of the smartest and very best written for the musical stage in decades–each couching some pithy statement on the human condition as reflected through these fascinating, if fallible characters.

sweet - ...read full review

Apr

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN

More a knowing ‘homage' to the 1952 cinematic mega-hit than an outright ‘reproduction' of it, Director-Choreographer Spencer Liff references just enough of the film, while re-envisioning other parts to keep this fresh–and in a few places, even nicely surprising! These ‘April Showers' bring a torrent of unparalleled entertainment!

sweet - ...read full review

Mar

Kentwood Players Presents Sunday In The Park With George

Admittedly, “Sunday In The Park With George” is not at all an easy or simple show to produce; Thrillingly however, the “Kentwood Players” rise to all technical and textual demands (and challenges) and mightily surmount all of them with this highly entertaining, always engrossing ‘Masterstroke' of a show!

sweet - ...read full review

Mar

Disaster! The Musical

Rudetsky and Plotnick's book winks at many of these Big-Screen exploits, but never out-and-out ‘steals' from any of them, resulting in an entirely—and an enthrallingly–new work that has the laughs coming one right after the other. So what if it sounds like a touch on the cheesy side?! It's all Grade-A Gourmet Cheese, and stands as ‘one more' magnificent “Milestone” for “One More Productions”!

sweet - ...read full review

Feb

Born To Win

Akin to what you'd get were “Honey Boo-Boo” to become a live stage-show (–only the absurd humor here is genuinely intended–) the truly hysterical script combines the best (and frequently most outlandish) subject matter from the likes of cult-cinema legend John Waters, ‘out and proud' Dramatist Del Shores, and a few “Bad Mother” films like “Mommy Dearest”, “Throw Momma From The Train” and “Precious”, along with such vintage ‘Redneck'/'Hillbilly' fare like “Hee-Haw”, “The Dukes Of Hazzard”, “Mamma's Family” or “The Real McCoys” (–all rolled into one!)

sweet - ...read full review

Jan

1776 THE MUSICAL

A thoroughly delightful “Semi-History” lesson through song, “1776” is most assuredly a brave and uncommon musical—but nonetheless entrancing (maybe for this very reason.) Not only does it put very human faces (along with some very human foibles) on to all those ‘august' and ‘esteemed' figures who fill the pages of our text books, they're down-right entertaining ones at that!

sweet - ...read full review

Dec

Jane Austen's EMMA

Featuring an intelligent and exceedingly witty score from Tony-nominated Composer Paul Gordon, (who also provided the book,) his lyrics are blithe, bubbly, astute and amusing while remaining 100% true to Austen's fundamental intent..in any case, few if any, previous versions capture the buoyant energy and unabashed fun as wonderfully as this new production now playing in Anaheim California!

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

BRIGHT STAR

What's in store is an authentic theatrical ‘discovery' waiting to be discovered–even better, this new production in Long Beach surely makes it worth discovering! Yes, it can be an emotional, ‘larger-than-life' rollercoaster ride at times, but it's one you'll be thrilled to be taken on.

sweet - ...read full review

Oct

The Producers

Co-Directed by “One More Productions” Co-Founders, Nicole Cassesso and Damien Lorton (who also Co-Stars as the hyper has-been Impresario, “Max Bialystock”) the choreography comes gratis Shauna Bradford, Heather Smith and Allan Collins. Staying true to the show's entire celebrated and storied reputation, their new production is, without a doubt, something to be totally enthralled by!

sweet - ...read full review

Sep

She Loves Me

Branda Lock's Direction plays toward the many laughs the script gives rise to—often by means of the downright clever way more than a few of the numbers are staged. By the same token, many of the most discerning “laughs” or ‘make you think” moments are left understated, which ironically gives them even greater impact; “It's Incandescent!” (–and like some adolescent) YOU'LL want to scrawl on every wall you see: You'll LOVE “She Loves Me”!

sweet - ...read full review

ADS
  • CHARLEY'S AUNT

Featured LemonAide