Registered Critic: Valerie-Jean Miller

Valerie-Jean Miller has been a dancer since the age of three, inspired by her father who was a dancer in vaudeville. Dance has always been her grand passion in life and now she is pleased to bring attention to all the great dance productions in the greater Los Angeles area.    The highlight of her professional dancing career, which began at age 15, was working for Bob Fosse from 1978-1981 in the Broadway Tony Award-winning musical "Dancin'."  After performing in the show at the Broadhurst Theatre for the first year it was on Broadway, Valerie-Jean went on to be the Dance Captain and Featured Performer for the 1st National Tour for two years, including playing the Ahmanson for 3 ½ months in the summer of '79, as well as in cities all over the country.  And for those who remember the golden age of television, starting at the age of 18, Valerie-Jean performed as a June Taylor Dancer on the Jackie Gleason show, toured with notable dancer Juliet Prowse, Ray Anthony, Ann Jillian, Flip Wilson and the Osmonds as well as being cast in countless movies, stage productions, dance companies, television series and TV specials, six Academy Awards Shows and various nightclub acts, revues and Industrials. Although her focus has always been on dance, Valerie-Jean is also an actress and singer who enjoys watching other artists at work and looks forward to seeing and sharing with Broadway World readers that extra something the makes a wonderful show something glorious!
Nov

Champ & His Four Women

This story takes place within a few weeks' time, about an affable guy who happens to be grieving a devastating loss. "Champ," a nickname Richard's beloved wife dubbed him, is all stressed out. It has been a year since his wife has passed away, and he has settled into his lonely but nonetheless new pattern of going to the gym every day, then the Sandwich shop where he always gets the exact same order, brings it home and eats it as he talks to his dead wife.

Susie, or as he dubbed her, "Princess," who is not among the living anymore, although all her photos and belongings are laid out prominently in the living room, wanders about (we, the audience can actually see her) reacting silently to his dialogue.

Billed as a Dramedy, the play is cleverly written and produced by Art Shulman ("I Got Troubles;" " The Rabbi's Mission;" "Old Broads Can't Dunk;" God, Bring Me A Miracle;" "Boxcar & Eugenia,") and many more, and Directed quite proficiently by Stan Mazin(As Director: "Doubting Thomas;" "God, Bring Me A Miracle;"" The Prisoner of Second Ave.;" "Give 'Em Hell Harry;" "Stepping Out;" As choreographer: "Bells Are Ringing;" "Anything Goes;" "Festival;" "Chicago;" "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat;" "Pippin;" "Dames at Sea;" "Superstar," et al. Stan also appeared as a dancer/actor on the Carol Burnett show for a decade and his autobiography, "A Dancer in Depth," is available on Amazon.com and BN.com).

sweet - ...read full review

Nov

Orwell's 1984

Based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, "1984" is the story of Winston Smith, who has come to the attention of the state of Oceania, the authoritarian state. Initially written in 1949, meaning that it was projecting 35 years into the future at that time, it is uncanny, that, 35 years later, it is being presented yet once again, and, terrifyingly, it is probably more relevant than ever before. With the brutal soul-searching, diary-exposing help of four Party Members of "The Ministry of Truth," and a maiming stun gun, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen questioner, and the audience (surrounding the square stage on all four sides; it's almost as if they are secretly witnesses and jury) is up close and personal witnessing the torture and depredation being dealt to Mr. Smith.

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Jul

Dames at Sea

I have a special appreciation for artists who really learn their craft; that surround their entire lives dedicated to observation, listening, learning, searching then discovering, creating, improving, perfecting and twerking it a bit to make it organic and unique.
When you have experienced performers who have done it all in their careers in key roles putting together a musical production of this type, it is quite apparent in the outcome. With the esteemed team that is at the "helm" of this production, Director Joshua Finkel, Choreographer Jeffrey Scott Parsons, Costumes Designed by Shon LeBlanc, Lighting Design by Derek Jones, Artistic Director of the Sierra Madre Theatre Christian Lebano, and Live One-Man-Orchestra Sean Paxton; (Google all!) it is full tilt ahead and all aboard for an evening of superb and satisfying entertainment.

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Jul

Rewind - A New 80s Musical

Winner of the 2019 Encore! Producers' Award, Rewind is a Musical Tale about Love, Redemption and the Magic of Second Chances.

A powerful producer derails a young girl's promising music career and she spends the next 50 years waiting tables. When the producer skydives out of a plane, he is met with an untimely end and is barred from Heaven. To gain entrance he must, with a little help from the Universe, rewind Time and help her reclaim her destiny.

He's given a year's time limit.

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Jul

The Producers

It's RuPaul meets Mel Brooks in this delicious rendition of a show that's been recreated a gazillion times, but I assure you, never quite like this!
From top to bottom, the entire production was first class, perfectly cast with triple-threaters, going all out in production values as well.

The original book, by Mel Brooks, Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman, Music by Thomas Meehan and Lyrics by Mel Brooks has been united with the Artistic Direction of Michael A. Shepperd, Produced by Andrew Carlberg and Rebecca Eisenberg, Michael Matthews, Director, Musical Direction by Anthony Zediker and fabulous Choreography by Janet Roston. And What a Team!

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Jun

Tapping My Way To The Nuthouse

From the beginning she persevered through sheer will to please and appease everyone around her, and goes through a most interesting life that she portrays by tap dancing over to another part of the stage and becoming another character thus giving us glimpses of incidents that formed and impacted her life.

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Jun

Tap Dancing My Way To The Nuthouse

Lynne Jassem, a tiny, diminutive but feisty woman, tells and taps out the story of her life as a child performer, overly-smothered and pushed relentlessly by a stage-mom, who was once a Rockette, that led her into much turmoil in her following years. She re-enacts her childhood dance classes, portraying both herself as a scared little girl and all of the elders she comes in contact with, the first being her dance teacher, Charlie, who has a gruff voice while spouting commands at her to perform overtly, which upsets her greatly, crying, singing, tap dancing and shaking her way through "Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown," as her mother watches critically from the corner.

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May

The Long Gravel Road

bbott Alexander has created a very unique piece of theatre that is engaging, captivating, witty, uninhibited, entertaining, and thought-provoking. He re-enacts and mimes moments that flash into his mind from his past; a stream of consciousness rant, history lesson, inner conversation. Delusive, suggestive, connective, yet scattered; using quotes, phrases, name-dropping, references to all sorts of random topics and a lot of miming and physicality to illustrate his words; letting out humor, anger, astonishment, rage, annoyance, adoration, remorse, pride, goofiness, delight, admiration, astonishment, regret, humiliation... and I think you get the idea.

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May

JULIUS WEEZER

JULIUS WEEZER ROCKS THE ROMAN EMPIRE RAMBUNCTIOUSLY!
At the El Portal Theatre

Slapstick, vaudeville, burlesque, crazy Roman attire, out-of-the-box outlandish premises, impersonations, general tomfoolery, yes, there's Comedy Tonight!!

The Troubadour Theatre Company, or The Troubies present a Roman escapade, Directed, Choreographed and Adapted by Matt Walker, who is also the Artistic Director of the Company,
that occurs both in Ancient Rome and Current No Ho (North Hollywood, to all you foreigners...)

It's everything in one: part three-ring circus, part rock concert, part Shakespeare and part hilarious improvisation.

A terrific ensemble of actors pull this off without a hitch, which, given the absurdness of the plot and the continual ad libs and asides, is darn-right applaudable! Standing out, as Cassius, Matt Walker is most flamboyant and dastardly, Victoria Hoffman as Portia has duality of emotions going for her, Matt Merchant, as Marcus Antonius has a powerful, booming voice and embodies the image of the character, Joseph Leo Bwarie as Octavius Caesar/Augustus who blasts through the walls with his energy, haughtiness and savviness, and my favorite character(s) Lucius/Decius, both hysterically played to perfection by Rick Batalla.

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Mar

Matthew Bourne's 'Cinderella'

Wickedly creative is the choreography, the sets, the costumes, lighting and sound, not to mention the score by Prokofiev. Cinderella Opus 87 is such a melodious wonderland for a choreographer and his artistic team to work with. There is such power, intensity and magic in this lively piece. In Sir Matthew Bourne's hands, and feet, it is a fabulous, imaginative display of artistry and brilliance.

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Dec

Gene Kelly: The Legacy

GENE KELLY ~ THE LEGACY ~ AN ENDEARING EVENING WITH PATRICIA WARD KELLY ~ LOVINGLY SHARING MEMOIRS OF A BRILLIANT AND LEGENDARY ICON OF DANCE @ The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Everyone knows who Gene Kelly is, but after seeing this wonderful tribute to the many sides of him, you can't help but feel love in your heart for what he accomplished, how he felt about life, love and happiness, work, and for the amazing gifts he gave to all of us.

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May

42nd Street

All of the production numbers are flashy, joyous and fill the stage with such high energy, and even though the tempos are bright, their tapping is very clean and precise. There are delightful songs and dances, such as the "Shadow Waltz," "Go Into Your Dance," "Dames," "You're In the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," and the title song, belted out and delivered by our fabulous Julian Marsh, the Dream of a Show Producer, wrapping it up neatly, with a bang!

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