Black Coffee at the Long Beach Playhouse

With a cast of 12 characters that includes a nuclear scientist, a disgruntled secretary, two Italians and a butler, Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee, continuing at the Long Beach Playhouse through Feb. 10, offers a potentially strong brew. Stir famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot into the mix and you’ve got a compelling cup of complicated mystery.…

Long Beach Playhouse, improv troupe team up for original comedy

One of the staples of Long Beach Playhouse’s Collaborative each year has been Held2gether, Improv for Life’s original sketch-comedy shows, and this year marks the fifth annual collaboration between the Long Beach entities. The original sketch compilation has added a Thursday preview night, running March 1 to March 3 in the Studio Theatre. The all-new…

Local officials, teachers to speak on arts education

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Sister Cities of Long Beach and the Arts Council for Long Beach will co-host an “Open Conversation: Art of Diplomacy” event on Jan. 22, inspired by the 2018 Sister Cities International’s Youth Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) theme “Art of Diplomacy.” The talk will take place at the Expo Arts…

Theatre review

Aladdin at the Pantages Theatre

It’s a whole new world! These lyrics to one of its more popular songs perfectly describe the touring Broadway production of Aladdin, at the Pantages Theatre through March 31. The show’s magical sets, colorful costumes, catchy new tunes, humor and high-energy choreography bring the animated Disney classic into 3D life. If you’re familiar with the…

A Christmas Carol at Long Beach Playhouse

In its sixth incarnation at the Long Beach Playhouse, now through Dec. 23, A Christmas Carol has become a seasonal staple. This year’s atmospheric production, adapted from Charles Dickens’s classic and directed by Chris Mertan, is quick-paced and eerily rather than cheerily captivating for children and adults alike. Set in 1850s London, with real fog…

Musical Theatre West’s White Christmas

What a festive way to start the season! Musical Theatre West’s production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas delivers everything you could want in a holiday musical– excellent singing, dancing, romance, humor– even snow! Continuing through this weekend, White Christmas is the rare holiday musical that also offers a compelling story. Based on the film White…

Theatre review

The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play at the Richard Goad Theatre

Though Helen Borgers, esteemed artistic director of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company (LBSC), has recently died after an extended hospital stay, the company is continuing production of the plays she had envisioned through 2018. First among them is the delightful Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play, a medieval Christmas pageant, directed by Borgers’s protégé Brandon Alexander Cutts…

Arsenic and Old Lace at Long Beach Playhouse

Arsenic and Old Lace is a throwback to a distinctly retro sensibility. It’s a classic comedy of manners, a dark farce laced with a morbid, chemical undercurrent. Screwball antics, sarcastic jabs and silly errors abound. The 1940s setting is a charming, quaint time capsule to a very different America. Thankfully, any ‘40s references are easy…

International City Theatre’s Home

Samm-Art Williams’s 1980 Tony Award-nominated play Home spans three decades in the life of Cephus Miles, recounting episodes in a rhythmically poetic way, through songs and spun yarns. In International City Theatre’s current production of Home, we glide through Cephus’s life on a magic carpet of words with three actors who brilliantly embody their characters.…

Musical Theatre West’s In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda is enjoying more than a moment right now with his musical Hamilton, for which tickets are notoriously hard to come by. Fortunately, Musical Theatre West is presenting In the Heights, Miranda’s earlier, Tony Award-winning musical, offering rap-inflected songs tinged with Spanish and energetic choreography that convey the dreams and disappointments of a close-knit…

Cabaret at Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theatre

Confidence! If you’re going to perform risqué numbers during the rise of Nazism in pre-WWII Germany, you need a lot of it. And confidence is exactly what the team of actors in Long Beach Playhouse Studio’s Cabaret exudes in spades, making the show both thrilling and chilling, especially given the rising prejudices of our own…

Dracula at Long Beach Playhouse

Horror stories reflect the societal fears of the time periods they were conceived in, and more often than not, are all too relevant generations later. For instance, worries about immigration, dangerous foreigners and social, scientific and technological change pervade society today just as they did in the Victorian Era in which Dracula, the play adaptation…

Artist’s work exemplifies hero’s journey

Menduina Schneider Gallery, 366 West 7th St. in San Pedro, will host a solo exhibit of work by artist Lauren Redding entitled Of Silver and Sword through the month of October. The gallery will host an opening reception on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 6pm. Jorge Schneider, who co-owns the gallery with his wife Alejandra, explained…