• Review: Long Beach Opera’s “An American Soldier’s Tale” + “A Fiddler’s Tale”

    Long Beach Opera does non-traditional opera. So what could be more non-traditional than staging a work devoid of singing? How about staging two on a single bill? That's exactly what LBO is up to with their double-bill based on Igor Stravinsky's neoclassical theatre piece L'Historie du soldat. There's music, dancing, and recitation, but

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  • Coffin in Egypt Review

    By John Farrell

    For more than 400 hundred years, the biggest driving force in opera has been mental illness.

    No, not mental illness of the megalomaniac kind that drives producers to spend millions, which they can't afford on productions that are less than glorious. (That's a book in

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  • The Gin Game: A Complex Tale Told Simply

    [gallery]   By John Farrell The Gin Game started in an equity-waiver theater in Hollywood in 1976. Since then, it has gone on to conquer Broadway, the United States and the world. The play, with just two actors, is a tour-de-force, a package that combines comedy and tragedy in a single, si

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  • RLn THEATER: April 28, 2014

    May 3 The Haumāna The Haumāna is showing, at 7 p.m. May 3, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro The Haumāna is an award-winning independent film by Keo Woolf

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  • Next to Normal Reprise

    [gallery ids="6773,6774,6775,6776,6777,6778,6779,6780,6781,6782,6783,6784,6785,6786,6787,6788,6789,6790"] By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer Rock operas frequently have heart, but it is unusual for one to have heart and speak literal truth as well — the genre is usually too high-strung for that. Cal Rep'

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  • Cats

    By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer Cats is a Broadway staple. More than 30 years after it opened in London, in 1981, and on the Great White Way, in 1982, millions have seen it and heard it songs, — particularly the standard Memories. In most performances it is huge in style and in substance. It can fill

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  • S’Wonderful Review

    By John Farrell

    There have never been enough George Gershwin musicals.

    In the past decades new ones have been nailed together from his great music with plots that sometimes are better forgotten.

    S'Wonderful, at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach under the auspices of Musical Theatre West, is the latest examp

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  • Cinematic Style Thrives at Art Theatre

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    For me, the 90s was a golden age. I discovered foreign films at the Art Theatre of Long Beach.

    The theater contained an odd charm. The seats were torn and the ceiling tiles had a habit of falling on your head. Frequently, there may have only been a handful of

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  • B. Franklin

    [gallery]     By John Farrell If he hadn't been 84 and afflicted by gout and kidney stones, Benjamin Franklin might well have been the first president of the United States. Oh yes, and if the people of the new nation could have forgiven his many dalliances with beautiful women, especially in Fran

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  • Much Ado

    [gallery] By John Farrell It's a triumph, a superb, over-the-top, triumph. Much Ado About Nothing, at the Long Beach Playhouse's Mainstage Theater, deserves every critical accolade it gets, and more. It is lively from start to finish, lovely to look at, with superb costumes and a great design, and the fun of its cha

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