Non-Registered Critics: Sarah Spitz

Feb

"The Unseen Hand" and "Killer's Head"

While it’s a pretty weird and ultimately hysterical romp with some seriously tour-de-force monologues by Willie and The Kid, director Larson says the play is, in part, about versions of toxic masculinity.

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Feb

WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME

If you find yourself attending only one stage production this year, let this be the one.

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Dec

MATTHEW BOURNE'S SWAN LAKE

In Bourne’s adventurous Swan Lake, now in a return engagement at The Ahmanson Theatre, the story has been completely upended and made contemporary. And it is an astonishing spectacle to behold...

To say that this is a tour-de-force performance just isn’t strong enough praise...

If you see only one ballet this season or year, make it Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

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Sep

Witch

Playwright Jen Silverman’s “Witch” is very loosely based on a 1621 English play called “The Witch of Edmonton,” but wow, is the plot ever completely new. There’s an effective juxtaposition between contemporary language and ideas and the 17th century period costumes and setting; it’s witty, darkly, humorous and ultimately thought-provoking.

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Sep

The Gin Game

“The Gin Game” at Theatricum Botanicum’s smaller S. Mark Taper Pavilion in Topanga Canyon, and “Witch” at the Audrey Skirball Kenis black box theatre at Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, demonstrate the high quality of smaller-staged theatrical productions in L.A., brought to life by topnotch acting talent.

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Jun

Ready Steady Yeti Go

High energy, much comedy and with a message that doesn’t browbeat you, “Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go” by David Jacobi, mounted by Rogue Machine (one of LA’s finest small theatre companies), is excellent.

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Jun

Ready Steady Yeti Go

One hundred percent perfectly-imagined and beautifully produced theatre. High energy, much comedy… one of the most outstanding casts I’ve seen on stage in LA. Go see it.

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Apr

NATIVE SON

This is an intensely physical production, and every single performer gives it their all. It's non-stop action for 90-plus minutes and well worth your time.

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Apr

The Niceties

Two smart people, two progressives who battle till it becomes a zero-sum game, with remarkable dialogue and real emotion, that's what this ideological warfare between the two becomes. There is no solution.

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Apr

Faith Healer

As the monologues proceed we learn more about Frank, his demise, and his contradictions from these people, whose memories are not always reliable…let alone Frank's. Listen closely for the discrepancies, and your sympathies will take some whiplash turns. You will also be lulled by the poetic incantatory nature of the text.

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Mar

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole

The plot is somewhat confusing; what's real, what's imagined. The racism is real enough. But despite what's not always clear, the performances in this show are astounding.

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Feb

Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

Hats off to principal dancers Cordelia Braithwaite (Cinderella), Andrew Monaghan (Harry), Paris Fitzgerald (The Angel) and Anjali Mehra (Sybil, the stepmother). As plots go, this one thickens by the minute and is difficult to follow, if you're seeking to match it to the fairy tale. However, it does have a happy ending.

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Jun

Lysistrata Unbound

I applaud the effort but think that there is a naivete in such simple suggestions as male ego driving war. Timing wise, the “me-too” movement will find a corollary in “Lysistrata Unbound,” but patriarchy and male dominance are as potent today as they were then.

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Mar

Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny

There are only nine more scheduled performances through April 2; and Not Man Apart is putting in a heroic effort to stage this. It's a production that isn't getting enough attention and should, so check it out online and get a ticket as soon as you can.

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Feb

Beckett5

Beckett would have been proud. See this before it goes away;

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