Non-Registered Critics: Tracey Paleo

Feb

The Cripple of Inishmaan

Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Cripple of Inishmaan could be celebrated as ‘the most wonderful play of their season’. The silliest of expressions, but considering its ultimately delightful nature, it fits. – Recommended

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Feb

An Inspector Calls

As an inspection of conscience and morals, the play’s surface message, ‘We are all intertwined’ is voiced right from the mouth of Inspector Goole (Liam Brennan) himself. But it’s so much bigger than that. – Very Highly Recommended

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Feb

Paradise

Paradise is important in that it attempts to address the emotional, scientific and faith-based cultural complexities and prescient topical issues of our society, through connection and personal relationships. Something we all could probably use a little more of.

Recommended

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Feb

Definition of Man

Definition of Man is a powerful spectacle of human nature.

Very Highly Recommended

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Jan

Hir

It’s a hot mess, mess, totally disastrous and un-redemptively calamitous. So sad is their collective condition that, yes, it’s hilarious. Except it’s not.

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Jan

1776 THE MUSICAL

Definition of Man is a powerful spectacle of human nature. Very Highly Recommended.

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Dec

Special

The comedy lumbers, although surprisingly the show moves pretty quickly. And for as many truly funny bits, there are more times than not where you’d rather they just didn’t ‘do that’.

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Dec

Yes, Virginia

Directed by Zimmerman and produced by Stefani Nicole Von Huben and Pop-Up Playhouse, Yes, Virginia is delightful even in its verbosity, offering warm, soothing, real-time entertainment, smack in the middle of the holiday insanity.

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Nov

Finks

Finks in one of the most dauntless, ‘on point’ productions of the season – acute, relevant and filled with battering heartbreak. – Very Highly Recommended

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Nov

The Value of Moscow

Carrie Keranen makes her Sacred Fools mainstage directorial debut by organizing playwright Amy Dellagriarino’s fascinatingly simple, five-character play into a crisp, 65 minutes of beautifully, nonsensical hilarity. – RECOMMENDED

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Nov

My Date With Death – A Musical Romance

Altogether though, My Date With Death, playing at the Miles Memorial Playhouse, Santa Monica, is a highly moving and intimate experience.

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Nov

A BRONX TALE

Replete with goofy Sicilian nicknames, typically hilarious one-liners, hot-heads, fedoras, a leading man with a kickin’ smile, and plenty of attitude, A Bronx Tale, playing the Hollywood Pantages Theatre for its Los Angeles premiere and at the start of its North American tour, is an audience pleaser down to Sonny’s Sharkskin suit.

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Nov

Kings

Kings is ruthless, direct and exceeding smart as are the actors respectively in this play. There is no attempt to dress up or dress down political pomposity. The dialogs are crystal clear. None of these players is exactly unlikable all the time. They each have their human moments in their whirlwind lives that are enmeshed into a relentless balancing act of ‘what to say’ and ‘what to do’, which is most of the time on the extreme opposite spectrum. It keeps us absolutely riveted to the ugly, behind-closed-doors intimacies of power. – RECOMMENDED

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Nov

The Little Foxes

The combination of mano versus wo-mano here by both Puette and duly surprising, Kristen Couture as daughter Alexandra Giddens, who deals the absolute check-mate finale to Regina in the throes of her triumph, brings about a stunning, on-stage, never-thought-THAT-could-happen spontaneity that makes this production as delicious at it is delicately ferocious… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Oct

Radiant Vermin

Director Tim True’s stated intention for his company is to do plays that have a strong theatricality, in this he has certainly succeeded and Door Number 3 should prove to be a distinctive addition to LA’s theatrical landscape. Classy and well realized. Recommended

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Oct

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR

Aldridge directs The Boys Next Door with grace and high humor. And the cast really knocks this piece ‘out of the park’ in so many unexpected and ways. Each respectively brings incredible hilarity, honesty and beauty to their characters… Rounded out by a fantastic set design by James W. Thompson, light and sound design by Sam Judy and costume design by Linda Muggeridge. Truly sincere and absolutely sweet. Recommended

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Oct

The Marriage Zone

Beautifully and simply written, The Marriage Zone is directed at times (also by Gould) with a sort of bouncy, sitcom feeling that holds audience attention without drippy melodrama. Instead, we’re handed a downright honest exchange of ideas that most of us think about and act out all the time, but aren’t willing to fess up to. The Marriage Zone boast a stellar cast with a lot of chemistry, that keeps this play moving quite smoothly for a thrilling and fun ride. Recommended

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Oct

WOLF CUB

The rawness cuts right to the bone allowing us to take Maxine’s bass-ass journey as head-on and ‘woke’ as Maxine does and is, herself. It’s absolutely empowering. Highly Recommended.

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Sep

I AM CHARLIE

I Am Charlie plays out a bit on the softer side of a psychotic killer, with Manson characterized as an almost fun-loving trickster who just popped out of a Jack in the Box. The material is interesting and in depth, but there is so much to digest that the points occasionally get drowned out by the attempted cleverness of the script. Well cast physically and vocally, lead actor Joe Le Mieux keenly portrays Manson in all of his deluded, unaffected psychosis. The pace is a bit too slow though and it interrupts the possibility of going along for the imaginative ride with the material.

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Sep

SWANSONG

Swansong is a stunningly beautiful, muscular play that tears at the heart and pounds on the emotions. Very Highly Recommended.

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