Non-Registered Critics: Marilyn Oliver

Aug

Dancing at Lughnasa

Director Barbara Schofield directs an able cast. David Shofner as Michael ties the story together through his narration. Lane Allison’s Maggie captures the character’s humor and humanity. Sandra Kate Burck delivers as the developmentally disabled Rose. Scott Roberts’ characterization of the vagabond salesman Gerry and Christopher Cappiello’s Father Jack add humorous notes.

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Jun

Anna in the Tropics

A production of Open Fist Theatre company, the play is filled with love, lust and dreams...

Director Jon Lawrence Rivera paces the action, building to a startling climax.

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May

Moving On: The One-Acts 2019

It's not often that one gets to see one-act plays, a format that allows theatergoers to enjoy tight storytelling in a short format of 10 to 15 minutes.

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Mar

Hype Man

Director Deena Selenow delineates the characters with sensitivity and understanding, allowing the audience to empathize with their humanity. Lighting design by Chu Hsuan Chang and sound by Malik Allen add to the drama, especially in the musical scenes. The effective set is designed by James Maloof.

Theater allows us to experience lifestyles that may be very different from our own. While I went to the play knowing little about the hip-hop scene, I came away with an appreciation for an art form that speaks to the identity of many young people today.

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Feb

Miss America's Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson & Me

Although the story could be a downer, Grant's clever writing elicits laughter from the audience, and the play enjoyed a sold-out run last summer at the Edye Stage at the Broad in Santa Monica.

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Feb

Forever Brooklyn

Forever Brooklyn will resonate with those who fondly recall their hometown roots.

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Dec

COME FROM AWAY

Although Come From Away is set during a time of tragedy for our country, it is basically a warmhearted story in which human goodness and generosity triumph over evil circumstances.

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Nov

Cost of Living

Although Cost of Living deals with the serious issues facing people who daily deal with physical disabilities, it comes with a healthy dose of humor.

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Sep

SWEAT

While riveting, the play is overly wordy and at times the action seems to drag, especially in the long first act. The strength is in the fine ensemble cast, ably directed by Lisa Peterson. Many of us have trouble getting into the mindset of people whose lives are so different from our own. Sweat helps us empathize with their humanity and come closer to feeling their pain.

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Aug

Arrival & Departure

While the 90-minute one act play captures a plethora of emotion and drama, there are a few gaps. The issue of fundamentalist religion seems out of place and remains unresolved, while Jule's teenage insecurities are a side story that could be developed further.

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May

The Intimacy Effect

This darkly humorous play explores the darker side of married life with wit and sensitivity. It is a smart, sophisticated commentary on marriage and family relationships suitable for an adult audience.

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Apr

The Chosen

Director Simon Levy deftly moves his characters across the stage set with a backdrop filled with books recreating the scholarly offices of the two fathers. All four actors were convincing, but I was particularly touched by Dor Gvirtsman's interpretation of Danny's search to find his own identity. I also found Jonathan Arkin's characterization of Reuven's father warm and convincing.

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Nov

deLEARious

Director and composer Ron West ably directs the large cast through fast paced antics and also appears in the cast himself. Music director Jan Roper holds the action together as she deftly accompanies the actors on the piano.

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Aug

Welcome to Your Alternative Reality

This series of skits are akin to what one might see on Saturday Night Live, but they are more sophisticated in concept and delivery.

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Jun

Species Native to California

The acting is strong. Especially memorable are Melissa Stephens idealistic Zo and Margeaux Susi's more strident characterization of her older sister Mara. Tonatiuh Elizarraraz is convincing as the young Victor. Eileen Galindo's monologue describing her perilous trip across the border is especially gripping.

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Feb

BAKERSFIELD MIST

...The resulting clash of personalities is hilarious. Lionel is condescending and Maude is crude—her dialog filled with unprintable words. Their repartee, though humorous, reveals their underlying insecurities.

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