Registered Critic: Steven Stanley

Since creating StageSceneLA in 2007, Steven Stanley has reviewed over 2400 productions in and around Los Angeles and commemorated each year’s outstanding achievements with his annual StageSceneLA Scenies. As an actor, he has appeared on the stages of the Lillian Theatre, the Actor’s Group Theatre, the Stephanie Feurie Studio Theatre, the Gardner Stages, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, and the Whittier Center Theatre. By day he teaches ESL at Cal State L.A.
Apr

Cry it Out

Wow!
One of the year's very best... Stay-at-home nursing moms rarely get a center-stage spotlight, which is just one reason to cheer the arrival of Molly Smith Metzler’s funny, compelling, deeply touching dramedy

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Feb

Striking 12

It’ll grab you from the get-go and set your heart ablaze with holiday warmth and cheer.

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Feb

Next To Normal

Chance Theater treasure Jocelyn A. Brown delivers one of the year’s most stunning performances as a woman battling bipolar disorder in Next To Normal, earning much-deserved tears and cheers in the Chance’s 2022 season opener...
Whether you’ve seen as many different productions of Next To Normal as I have (possible but unlikely), or whether somehow or other you’ve missed its multiple previous incarnations, you won’t see a finer N2N than Chance Theater’s. (And let’s hope we don’t have to wait another dozen years for Jocelyn A. Brown to make musical theater magic at the Chance.)

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Jul

Edges

...a terrific talent showcase for a quartet of upcoming musical theater stars and the long-awaited chance for audiences to rediscover the thrill of live, in-person performances at the Chance.

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Mar

CANCELLED - Alice in Wonderland

A Noise Within makes theatrical magic for audiences of all ages in their absolutely captivating revival of Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus’s 1933 Broadway adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.

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Mar

jackbenny: And on the 366th Day

When reviewing jackbenny back in July of 2018, I wrote, “I had a sensational time at my first jackbenny show and if my schedule permits, it won’t be the last.” Thanks to the added day we get gifted with every four years, on February 29, 2020 I got my chance.

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Mar

CANCELED - A BODY OF WATER

What is absolutely certain is that A Body Of Water takes audiences on a ride they’ll be thinking and talking about long after they’ve left Actors Co-op for home. That, and a trio of performances so memorable, even Moss and Avis could scarcely forget them.

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Feb

IN MY MIND'S EYE

Despite In My Mind’s Eye’s occasional missteps, The Group Rep’s revival of their 1984 hit is likely to resonate with anyone who’s ever suffered from “mother issues” as Patty and Trish’s shared journey towards adulthood offers more than its fair share of rewards.

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Feb

Canceled - Measure for Measure

Relatively uncomplicated of plot, surprisingly accessible despite its Elizabethan English, and given noteworthy contemporary significance by its directors, Measure For Measure adds up to one exciting evening of classical theater at Antaeus.

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Feb

West Adams

West Adams may have gotten more than a few rave reviews, but on a purely objective note, I’ve rarely heard such brief, muted applause at the end of a production where one might expect to hear cheers. Perhaps audience members’ lack of enthusiasm had to do with not wanting to reward West Adams’ repugnant characters with too much love. For this reviewer, at least, the reason was far more simple.

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Feb

The Andrews Brothers

The ideal show for anyone born pre-1950 and performed by a quartet of uber-talented millennials, The Andrews Brothers adds up to a trip down memory lane nostalgia fans might want to take.

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Feb

It Shoulda Been You

It Should Been You may not have been the hit that it shoulda been on Broadway, but with Josh Grisetti directing and Musical Theatre Guild members performing at the peak of their talents, its one-performance-only run at the Alex turned out to be a one-night-only smash.

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Feb

Postponed - Found

Audiences in search of something excitingly original where musical comedies are concerned need look no further than Found, the latest from IAMA Theatre Company, as original (and entertaining) a new musical as original new musicals get.

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Feb

Kinky Boots

Now that Kinky Boots has closed on Broadway after a whopping 2500+ performances and its 2nd National Tour has shut down shop, audiences can expect regional theaters to jump on the rights to this bona fide crowd-pleaser. First at the starting gate, 3-D Theatricals’ Kinky Boots gets everything right.

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Feb

ALL PERFORMANCES CANCELED BY CTG - THE BOOK OF MORMON

It’s taken eight years of touring the U.S. for The Book Of Mormon to pay its first visit to the Ahmanson, but the 2011 Best Musical Tony winner’s distinctive mix of raunch, romance, hilarity, and heart make it a show worth waiting for as it continues to pack them in NYC.

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Feb

Hamlet The Rock Musical

If producer (David) Carver’s wishes come true, Hamlet The Rock Musical’s El Portal debut could well be just the first stop in a 2020 World Tour. Whatever the future holds, L.A. audiences are guaranteed one humdinger of a show this week and next.

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Feb

The Father

As eye-opener of a play with as thrilling a lead performance as you’ll see any time soon, The Father will not only hold you on the edge of your seat. You’ll be talking about what you’ve witnessed long after its devastating final scene fades to black.

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Feb

Fun Home

Scaled down to intimate-theater perfection from the Broadway National Tour that played the 3000-seat Segerstrom Center a few years back, Chance Theater’s Fun Home is Orange County musical theater at its most powerful and transformative.

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Feb

THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Previous The 6th Act productions have showcased the company’s knack for innovative Shakespeare, and The $5 Shakespeare Company proves itself every bit the winner. Simply put, this love letter to zero-budget L.A. theater is as entertaining and invigorating as L.A. theater gets.

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Feb

Postponed - ROCK OF AGES

An eye-filling, eardrum-blasting look back at the days when synthesizers, drum machines, and a bold androgyny left their mark on the pop music scene for all time, Rock Of Ages Hollywood is easily L.A.’s ‘80s rock party of the year!

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