Long-running musical epic takes L.A. by storm


It’s hard not to fall into the trap of playing the numbers game when discussing Les Misérables. The pride and joy of London’s West End has been translated into 21 different languages, has spawned 33 cast recordings and has seen productions staged in 291 cities in 42 countries. The show has played to more than […]

Recent production doesn’t quite capture spirit of the original


A Chorus Line set itself up for easy billboard praise the moment the lyric “one singular sensation” was included in its signature song, and when it opened on Broadway in 1975, that’s exactly what the musical deserved to be called. Picking up nearly every award that mattered, including a Pulitzer Prize and an embarrassment of […]

Females stand out in latest Chicago production


“Hello, suckers!” cries Terra C. MacLeod’s sultry Velma Kelly at the beginning of Chicago’s second act. She’s speaking, of course, to us, the audience, and we chuckle because we know she’s right. Chicago — in ways far slinkier and shadier than we might originally think or expect — makes suckers of us all, and it’s […]

Colorful musical theater at its most interactive


Theater is immersion. So when some chump a few rows over is making moment-killing noises during a show — whether that’s pneumonic coughs or ill-timed whoops of praise — standard protocol is to give them the stink eye. I have never known an exception to this rule. I like my theaters kept relatively silent, especially […]