The Tallest Tree in the Forest, LA

Paul Robeson sang the soundtrack of my childhood. I wore out two copies of his 78-rpm album, "Ballad for Americans," yet continued to play it, scratches and all. When I was about 8 years old I met him after a  ...

Ruth Draper’s Monologues, LA

Ruth Draper is not a household word for you? Well, you are forgiven. She was born in 1884 and performed monologues through the early 1950s. The grayest of the gray-haired in the audience may recall a moment or two of  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor, LA Opera

For a fully satisfying combination of classical music and contemporary theater, the current LA Opera production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" is not to be missed. I shamelessly like my opera grand with voices to die for, singers who can act,  ...

My Name is Ashher Lev

Asher Lev (Jason Karasev) is the son of an Hasidic couple, Rivheh (Anna Khaja) and Aryeh (Joel Polis). How you feel about "my Name is Asher Lev" may have as much to do with how you feel about proselytizing, ultra  ...

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, LA

      It is not possible to write a review of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" without invoking the ghost of Anton Chekhov. Lest one be tempted, within the program playwright Christopher Durang provides  ...

Stomp (on tour)

Warning to all you parents of teenage boys, take them to see "Stomp" at your peril. No broom, trash can, or paint can, no piece of wooden furniture, no household object capable of emitting a sound by being hit, scraped,  ...

The Steward of Christendom

Heads up, serious theatergoers who are not looking for something frothy and easy for the holiday season. "The Steward of Christendom" at the Taper has plenty to sink your teeth into. There is nothing easy about it: Start with its being about  ...

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

Traditionalists, you probably will not be overjoyed at Matthew Bourne’s reworking of the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The rest of us, however, are in for a real treat. From interpretation to technique, Act I and Act II are about as good  ...

Parfumerie

'Tis the season so let us start with good tidings. For anyone who has not heard, the Wallis is the jewel of the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and a welcome addition to the  ...

Peter and the Starcatcher

What can I say? New York loved you, "Peter and the Starcatcher." Ben Brantley could not find enough superlatives to gush over you; and you had five Tony Awards thrown your way for best performance by a feature actor in  ...