Ellen Dostal is based in Los Angeles and currently writes a musical theatre blog called Musicals in LA http://musicalsinla.blogspot.com. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals for theatres across the country.
BWW Interviews: IONESCOPADE - On the Edge of Madness with Bill Castellino
May 20, 2013
Bill Castellino returns to the Odyssey Theatre this month to direct and choreograph IONESCOPADE, based on the work of playwright Eugene Ionesco (Rhinoceros, The Bald Soprano, Exit the King); a project that reunites him with his old pal, musical director Gerald Sternbach.
Hollywood Fringe Spotlight - Part 5: NATALIE PORTMAN and THE RUBY BESLER CABARET
May 19, 2013
The Hollywood Fringe Features continue with a look at a successful sketch comedy musical based on a popular contemporary movie star and a racy cabaret brought to you by a good ole' dame 1940's style. NATALIE PORTMAN, THE MUSICAL and THE RUBY BESLER CABARET.
Hollywood Fringe Spotlight - Part 4: THE TIME MACHINE MUSICAL and REAL HOUSEKEEPERS OF STUDIO CITY
May 16, 2013
More musical news from the Fringe as we travel through time with The Time Machine Musical and The Real Housekeepers of Studio City!
BWW Interviews: Hollywood Fringe Spotlight - Part 3: A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
May 15, 2013
Janet Miller is about to launch her new theatre company, aptly named the Good People Theater Company, with A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE at this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Hollywood Fringe Spotlight - Part 2: THE POKEMUSICAL and [title of show]
May 14, 2013
Hollywood Fringe coverage continues with a look at a musical satire based on the world of pocket monsters and a popular musical about four friends writing a new musical. And in big news, the brand new Hollywood Fringe Festival App is now available for free download.
Hollywood Fringe Spotlight - Part I: EXORCISTIC: THE ROCK MUSICAL PARODY EXPERIMENT and THE ROAD TO HIGH STREET
May 14, 2013
The third annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, Hollywood's fearless celebration of the emerging arts is back June 13 - 30, 2013, and over the next couple of weeks I'll be featuring some of the musical productions hoping to entice audiences to see their latest work. First up are Michael Shaw Fisher and Exorcistic: The Rock Musical Parody Experiment, and Andrew Potter's The Road to High Street.
BWW Reviews: Zombie Joe's RICHARD III - Young and Dark
May 12, 2013
All of its pieces add up to Shakespeare's Richard III but Zombie Joe's version directed by Denise Devin is certainly an oddball mix. Picture a thin, pale Duke of Gloucester (W. Lochridge O'Bryan) with hollow cheekbones and sunken eyes who looks to be barely out of his twenties, a Lady Anne (Anna Gillcrist) with the essence (and visual resemblance) of Julia Stiles, and a wild-eyed Margaret (Tina Preston) with the haunted look of the almost dead, and you get the idea.
Hollywood Fringe Festival To Feature Shakespeare Productions
May 10, 2013
The 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival, an 18 day-long explosion of theatrical events, will take over Hollywood June 13 - 30, 2013 and that means I'll be starting my Fringe coverage of what to see in some specialized areas. First up, it's a look at what you Shakespeare lovers will find at The Fringe.
BWW Reviews: The Porters of Hellsgate Plummet the Depths of TIMON OF ATHENS
May 10, 2013
"How this lord is followed!" exclaims a Painter in reference to Timon of Athens early in Act I of the play that bears his name. Director Charles Pasternak interprets the line quite literally by having his throng of greedy hangers-on trail behind Timon as he moves about the stage, billowing en masse like a bridal gown's train that sweeps and glides with every turn.
BWW Interviews: Denise Devin on Researching RICHARD III for Zombie Joe's Underground
May 4, 2013
Zombie Joe's Underground is getting ready to open RICHARD III on May 10 and what a wild ride it promises to be. The North Hollywood theatre company has become well-known for its action-packed, explosive adaptations of Shakespeare's classics and director Denise Devin is having a field day doing the research for this one.
BWW Reviews: The New Circle Artists' VENUS AND ADONIS
April 27, 2013
Misha Bouvion takes on Shakespeare's epic poem Venus and Adonis in a one-woman theatrical production presented by The New Circle Artists, Saturdays through May 11.
Joss Whedon's Hip B&W MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
April 17, 2013
Joss Whedon's hip, cool trailer for MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING has been making the rounds in advance of the film's release in theatres on June 7, 2013. Like a beautiful art piece, the black & white modern telling of Shakespeare's comedy is visually stunning; a smart, contemporary setting for the merry war between Beatrice and Benedick.
BWW Reviews: La Mirada's SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS is Handsome Entertainment
April 15, 2013
The freshest revival of a classic in years has opened at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and this one is most definitely not your grandmother's movie musical.
BWW Interviews: Brent Crayon Discusses the Life and Crazy Schedule of a Music Director
April 11, 2013
Ask Brent Crayon what it's like to music direct for composers such asJohn Bucchino and Stephen Schwartz and the answer may surprise you
BWW Reviews: THE BARGAIN & THE BUTTERFLY Spreads its Wings
April 2, 2013
Occasionally a play comes along that, no matter how hard I try, I can't stop thinking about. Such was my experience over the weekend with THE BARGAIN & THE BUTTERFLY, inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Artist of the Beautiful', conceived & directed by Katharine Noon for The Ghost Road Theatre Company.
BWW Reviews: Jefferson Mays and A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER
March 28, 2013
D'Ysquiths are dropping like flies in The Old Globe's world premiere musical, A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, and each time one dies, Monty Navarro moves one step closer to becoming the ninth Earl of Highhurst.
BWW Interviews: Gregory Nabours and Patrick Pearson Explore THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS
March 1, 2013
A look at the composer's journey and the director's vision of THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS.
Shakespeare Orange County Announces 2013 Season
February 9, 2013
Shakespeare Orange County has announced that their 22nd season will include TWELFTH NIGHT or WHAT YOU WILL and THE TRAGEDIE OF MACBETH. The award winning professional theatre company performs in the 550-seat Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove, CA.
LA Master Classes with Ryan Scott Oliver, Matthew Murphy, and Georgia Stitt
January 2, 2013
Get your game on in 2013 with musical theatre classes offered by Ryan Scott Oliver, Matthew Murphy, and Georgia Stitt.
BWW/LA's Shakespeare Spotlight: What to See in 2013
January 2, 2013
Top picks for 2013. Keep in mind that not all of the usual suspects have announced their seasons so I'll have more info to come, but for now, here's a look at some Southern California Shakespeare productions not to miss.
BWW Reviews: A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS - Pasadena Playhouse's New Holiday Tradition
December 17, 2012
Mirror, Mirror on the wall - whose is the loveliest Panto of them all? Well, in Pasadena it's the Playhouse, which has begun a new holiday tradition with this year's debut of Lythgoe Productions' A Snow White Christmas.
BWW Interviews: A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS with Kris and Bonnie Lythgoe
December 6, 2012
Beginning December 12th, Pasadena Playhouse will transform its courtyard into a Winter Wonderland as families gather to celebrate the joy of the holidays. Family members from 1 to 91 will then experience A Snow White Christmas, a traditional British Panto produced by Lythgoe Family Productions that debuts this month at the Playhouse. Filled with magic, comedy, music and audience participation, it's the kind of show that director Bonnie Lythgoe and her son, Kris (who wrote the show), grew up with in England.
BWW Reviews: THE TORTOISE & THE HARE MAKE A HOLIDAY WISH – A Limecat Family Adventure
December 4, 2012
Want to see another side of Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Company you might not expect? Take your kids to see THE TORTOISE & THE HARE MAKE A HOLIDAY WISH, brought to you by their companion theatre group, Limecat Family Theatre.
BWW Interviews: Denise Devin on the Evolution of a Limecat
November 29, 2012
How does a theater company that produces some of the best Horror productions in Los Angeles one day decide to present original children's shows? You might be surprised. Director and writer Denise Devin talks about the humble beginnings of the Limecat Family Theatre and gives us the scoop on their latest holiday production, THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE MAKE A HOLIDAY WISH, opening December 2nd.
Holiday Shows for Your Merry Entertainment
November 20, 2012
Looking for a way to get into the holiday spirit? Check out this list of options that will surely put you in a festive frame of mind.
BWW Reviews: A HAMLET for Today at The Broad
November 19, 2012
An 8-member troupe from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre brings HAMLET to the Broad Stage in a vivid rendering that capitalizes on the traditional limitation of touring.
BWW Reviews: DOMA Theatre Company Moves in to AVENUE Q
November 12, 2012
DOMA Theatre Company has struck gold with its final production of the 2012 season, a tightly crafted, well-played AVENUE Q directed by one of L.A.'s favorite local theatre directors, Richard Israel.
BWW Reviews: GODSPELL, JR. - A Joyful Celebration from CTGSC
November 9, 2012
The optimism of youth radiates from each of the enthusiastic performers who make up the cast of Godspell, Jr., the Stephen Schwartz musical that is taking the stage at Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood.
BWW Reviews: Theatre West's HANSEL AND GRETEL - A Magical Treat
November 5, 2012
Parents looking to introduce their little tykes to the joys of theater have a perfect opportunity with Theatre West's latest interactive Storybook Theatre musical, HANSEL AND GRETEL.
BWW Reviews: 'Tis a Madcap MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING for ZJU
October 31, 2012
Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING gets the Zombie Joe treatment in director Denise Devin's 70-minute quasi-Commedia dell'arte confection that looks at the foibles of love with a winking eye.
BWW Reviews: 44 PLAYS FOR 44 PRESIDENTS, A Presidential Song & Dance
October 29, 2012
Drive Theatre Company is doing its best to ensure that people are prepared to vote by presenting 44 PLAYS FOR 44 PRESIDENTS as part of the Plays for Presidents Festival 2012.
BWW Reviews: JULIUS CAESAR and Game of Thrones Cross Swords at Griot Theatre
October 27, 2012
Opening a new theater, like Griot Theatre Company, and mounting a first production - Shakespeare no less - is an undertaking that requires unwavering commitment to one's goals, fierce dedication to quality, and an abundance of positive energy to carry you through the bumps in the road.
BWW Reviews: How Many BAD APPLES Does It Take To Spoil The Whole Bunch
October 25, 2012
In its latest production, Circle X Theatre Co. examines the question of how such abuse could occur with a fictionalized look at the motivations of three soldiers based on those who were at the center of the real life Abu Ghraib scandal.
BWW Reviews: The Fairy Tale Journey of A Noise Within's CYMBELINE
October 15, 2012
The fairy tale journey that occurs between 'Once upon a time' and 'they all lived happily ever after' has never been as circuitous as in Shakespeare's CYMBELINE, now playing at A Noise Within.
An INsider's Preview of A Noise Within's CYMBELINE
August 31, 2012
The first session of A Noise Within's new INsiders program (formerly known as Scholar's Society) led by Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad, took place August 29. The topic of the evening - The Dark Fantasy of CYMBELINE, which happens to be the first play of A Noise Within's fall season.
BWW Reviews: International City Theatre's GHOST-WRITER
August 27, 2012
Is he or isn't he? That is the question of utmost importance in Michael Hollinger's GHOST-WRITER, especially since the "he" to whom the question refers is acclaimed novelist Franklin Woolsey (Leland Crooke) who happens to be dead.
BWW Reviews: SOC Puts on Undeniably Charming MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
August 23, 2012
Shakespeare Orange County closes out its summer season with a sparkling production of Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING that time travels its characters to Messina, Italy in the 1920's. There amid the sultry Mediterranean breeze, Jazz Age music, and stylish flapper frocks, Cupid and his henchmen and women conspire to ensure that love prevails using any tactics necessary. And therein lies the fun.
BWW Reviews: Coeurage Theatre's ASSASSINS Hits Its Mark
August 20, 2012
Coeurage Theatre Company's ASSASSINS is dark, funny, and often unsettling, but it hits its mark in surreal solidarity by meeting the demands of the provocative material head-on.
BWW Interviews: SOC's Tom Bradac 'Czechs' One Off His Bucket List
August 10, 2012
This summer, Shakespeare Orange County's Artistic Director, Tom Bradac gets to cross one item off his list that's been on it for a very long time - namely, to go to The Fringe. Little did he know that it would be in a very unique city (Prague, CZ) with a very unusual project (Shakespeare's rarely produced erotic poem Venus and Adonis).