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Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Theater Review: Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater starring Ethan Hawke and Anne-Marie Duff– a Must See Production

  Photography and text © 2013 Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark     By Leticia Marie Sanchez No gimmicks. No tricks. Just pure unadulterated Shakespeare. Jack O’Brien’s poetic interpretation of Macbeth at Lincoln Center Theater reveals the essence of Shakespere’s text. This is where the magic happens. The dark, sparse sets by Scott Pask enhanced the aura of mysticism provided by Mark Bennett’s musical score. The minimalist set design proved especially evocative when a single black vase of red roses graced the center stage during Duncan’s murder. The red underscored the passion between Macbeth and his wife, a lust that propelled bloody deeds. As Macbeth stabbed Duncan off-stage, the red petals floated to the floor one by one in poetic fashion, leaving a hauntingly empty vase in its wake. The costumes by Catherine Zuber reflected the timelessness

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Review- Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”

Noel Coward’s “Private Lives”– Just How Private? by Leticia Marie Sanchez In the International City Theater’s light-hearted production of “Private Lives,” divorced couple Elyot and Amanda cannot seem to live with-or without- each another. Caroline Kinsolving embodied the headstrong, alluring Amanda while Freddy Douglass portrayed the witty, brooding Elyot Chase. The glamorous costumes and music in the ICT production enhanced the accidental reunion of the jet-setting pair in Deauville, France. Elyot and Amanda go from loving each other one minute to throwing barbs (and records) at each other the next. Adam J. Smith‘s sensitive performance as Amanda’s caring second husband Victor infused a dose of integrity to the chaos; despite being ditched by the runaway bride, he returned to ensure her safety. Underneath the veneer of biting wit and tumultuous emotions, one could not help but feel that something was missing- not

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Review: Rooting for the villain- the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum

Rooting for the villain: the seductive powers of Richard III at Theatricum Botanicum By Leticia Marie Sanchez Nestled in a wooded glen, underneath the evening stars and accompanied by the hypnotic hum of crickets, Topanaga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum adds a dose of magic to Shakespeare. The outdoor Globe-like theater simultaneously infuses the Bard with reality and wonder. The march of Richard III’s army down dark, forest-like hills conveys a dimension of realism and immediacy that cannot be matched by an enclosed venue. Similarly, the towering loft used during the Tower of London murder scene enhanced the mysterious mood. The vast verdant set suspended the audience’s disbelief, as did the cast of talented actors in the Theatricum’s production of Richard III. On Saturday night’s performance, Melora Marshall starred as the protean protagonist, triumphantly suspending the audience’s disbelief that the Machiavellian king could

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Tennessee William’s final play “A House Not Meant to Stand” -extends- till May 22nd

Tennessee Williams’ final play, never before seen on the West Coast: A HOUSE NOT MEANT TO STAND extends at the Fountain-  till May 22 The Fountain Theatre. 5060 Fountain Ave. LA CA 90029 (Fountain at Normandie) For information on show times and tickets (323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com For a link to my review on this play, one of the best theatrical productions in LA this year, in my opinion, please see: Review: -Must See- Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater -Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Review: The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann

The Real Housewife of Düsseldorf County—Clara Schumann Israela Margalit’s “Trio,” currently playing at the Lounge 2 Theater in Hollywood, offers a window into the artistic triangle between Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Maragalit, a concert pianist, tied the play together with her own recorded compositions of Schumann, Brahms, and Beethoven. Photo: From Left- Bjørn Johnson, Meghan Maureen Mc Donough. Jeremy Shranko Meghan Maureen Mc Donough played the grim, subdued Clara Schumann, a once famous concert pianist repressed as a housewife cooking beans. Mc Donough’s Clara was a woman drained by years of belittlement by an insecure husband who would toss cruel jabs at her, including, “Those who can’t compose, play.”Her father, dynamically portrayed by Peter Colburn, bemoaned the wasting of Clara’s life. Bjørn Johnson, captured Robert Schumann’s madness with pathos, particularly when he called out in the asylum for his beloved

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Review: -Must See- Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater

Tennessee Williams puts the fun in dysfunctional at the Fountain Theater ©2011 by Leticia Marie Sanchez The Fountain Theatre’s “A House Not Meant To Stand” deserves a standing ovation.  The dynamic cast, its Gothic set spewing forth leaks, and the darkly wry barbs of Tennessee Williams added up to a riveting performance of Williams’ “spook Southern Gothic spook sonata.” From Virginia Newcomb’s rapturous ecstasies as born-again Christian Stacey to Lisa Richards’ slithering portrayal of Jessie Sykes to Daniel Billet’s sensitive portrayal of a protective son, the entire cast brought William’s last play to life. Most strikingly, Sandy Martin fully inhabited the character of Bella Mc Corkle: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Although the play brimmed with zesty zingers, Martin poignantly captured Bella’s confusion and maternal loss with unsettling realism. Martin grounded the play as a spiritual anchor during literal and figurative

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A Tennessee Williams play never before seen on West Coast

A House Not Meant To Stand– Running February 26 – April 17 This is Williams’ final play, never before seen on the West Coast. Williams called this tragicomedy about the dysfunctional McCorkle family—a “Southern Gothic spook sonata” Directed by Simon Levy.  Featuring Chip Bent, Daniel Billet, Robert Craighead, Alan Blumenfeld, Kevin High, Sandy Martin, Virginia Newcomb, Lisa Richards, Caroline Treadwell The Fountain Theatre. 5060 Fountain Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029 (Fountain at Normandie)  For more information on show times and tickets, please call (323) 663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com

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Theater Review-So Farce, So Good at the ICT

So Farce, So Good:  Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?” at the International City Theater, Long Beach     by Leticia Marie Sanchez        Mark Twain may be dead, but his work can still elicit quite a brouhaha. The hilarious West Coast premiere of “Is He Dead?” directed by Shashin Desai at the ICT proves that laughter remains the best medicine.  If it were not for the Shelley Fisher Fishkin, the mirth-filled play may not have seen the light of day. Dr. Fishkin, Professor of English and Director of the American Studies of program at Stanford University, discovered Twain’s manuscript in the archives of UC Berkley’s Bancroft Library in 2002. Never produced during Twain’s lifetime, the play debuted in New York in 2007 and this month in Long Beach. Upon entering the International City Theater, one sets eyes on

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