• 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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  • Melville Boys

    [gallery] By John Farrell The Melville Boys is Canadian playwright Norm Foster's second work. Since then he has written a few more plays, more than 50 others in all, and has had more than 150 plays produced every year for 20 years (including plays at the Torrance Theater recently and at the Long Beach Playhouse). H

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    Feb. 28 Top Dog/Underdog Cal State Dominguez Hills Theatre and Danced Department has produced a Topdog/Underdog, a character study of two black men, at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28, March 1, 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. March 2 and 9, at its Edison Theatre.

    Topdog/Underdog is a powerful play written by Af

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  • 39 Steps Turns Hitchcock’s Adventure into Comedy

    By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer Perhaps the first thing you need to know about The 39 Steps, is that Jeffrey Cannata, who plays the unflappable hero Richard Hannay, never has to change his costume, — not even once. The three other actors in the play hardly stay dressed the same for more than a few minutes at a

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  • Let’s Misbehave

    [gallery] By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer Some people just can't stop writing. Fifty years after his death Cole Porter, or someone writing for Porter, is still producing musicals in his name, with his delightful and witty lyrics and lively and memorable tunes. Let's Misbehave, which recently opened a three-week runs at

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