December 27, 1993 |
Whether by chance or by design, it would appear that the Los Angeles Times has adopted a policy of diminishing Theater in Los Angeles, at least in the case of productions presented in small and mid-size venues. With the odd rare exception, it seems as if the only theatrical works considered worthy of front (or near front) page coverage are the big ones, the imports from New York or from London. A case in point is "Ruthless!
August 14, 1996 |
Even though it may be on a stage, a cartoon is a cartoon. And there's nothing wrong with that. Playwrights have been writing cartoons since Aristophanes' "The Frogs." What's important is a director who knows the territory and how to bring it to life. In the Saddleback Civic Light Opera's production of "Ruthless!" at Saddleback College, director Jeff Paul shows he has the knack, as does musical director John Massey Jr., whose bright, energetic tempos are perfect.
October 29, 1992 |
Seeing "Annie Warbucks" for the second time in three months, as it swings back through Southern California on its way to greater fame and fortune, doesn't alter one's opinion of it as a hummable, untaxing, crowd-pleasing sequel to the 1977 hit "Annie." Au contraire . The show, seen Tuesday at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, has dropped some fat since its mid-August appearance in San Bernardino and is the fitter for it.
October 17, 1992 |
The success of the original 1977 "Annie" did not come just from the discovery of an adorable moppet who could sing and dance. The key was that when the industrialist Oliver Warbucks met Little Orphan Annie, a spark ignited between one of the richest of the rich and one of the poorest of the poor at the time when America was wracked by the Great Depression.
April 28, 1994 |
As screenwriter Larry Gelbart put it, "It's time for a love song, a celebration of the songs of Alan Jay Lerner." Gelbart's wife of 38 years, Pat Marshall, sang "My Love Is a Married Man" from the 1945 Lerner and Loewe show "The Day Before Spring," in which she had starred. She was one among a stellar cast Monday night--Michael Feinstein, who hosted the show; Lindsay Ridgeway, a veteran performer at 8, and Harold Nichols, still dancing like a youth in his 70s.
August 17, 1992 |
Never underestimate the persistence of Little Orphan Annie. Or her resourcefulness. The spunky redhead has returned in "Annie Warbucks," the sequel to the 1977 hit "Annie," making its California debut at the California Theatre of Performing Arts. Despite the show's checkered past as the disastrous "Annie II" (pulled from 1989 tryouts by its creative team), this kid doesn't take no for an answer.