Shakespeare Orange County’s The Tempest

The Tempest is considered William Shakespeare’s final play. Its protagonist, Prospero, is a lot like a playwright, orchestrating events on his island with the help of his sorcerer’s book and staff. The other characters are at the mercy of his powerful whim, including his teenaged daughter Miranda, native inhabitant and slave Caliban, and even a…

America in Words and Music at the Richard Goad Theatre

America in Words and Music: A Vaudeville Revue, at the Richard Goad Theatre through July 29, is an entertaining tribute to America’s musical and literary heritage, appropriate for our country’s birthday month. In one hour, four members of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company (LBSC) sing, dance and recite American classics, ranging from Mark Twain to…

Musical Theatre West’s Mary Poppins– Theatre review

Like its title character, Musical Theatre West’s Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way, from transporting sets to lively performances. If you are a fan of the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins (and who isn’t?), you’ll be pleased that this production, ably directed by Daniel Pelzig, follows the essential storyline. But it also offers…

Long Beach Playhouse’s Guys and Dolls– Theatre view

Guys and Dolls is ostensibly about the battles of the sexes in the tradition of Hollywood’s screwball comedies– men and women outwitting and outwooing each other with a dose of emasculation. Its vaguely 1930s setting is a mythologized, exaggerated vision of New York City where people sincerely use words like “crooks” and “dolls,” gangsters scheme…

Constellations at Geffen Playhouse

Theatre review

Have you ever wondered, “What if?” In Nick Payne’s intriguing play Constellations, at the Geffen Playhouse through July 16, a multiverse that allows the existence of every option we choose, or don’t choose, is deftly portrayed by two actors who keep shifting into different realities, showing us possibilities created by their decisions and indecisions. On…

Long Beach Opera’s Frida

Theatre review

Frida Kahlo is a pop-culture icon. It’s easy to see the appeal– the effortless cool in her photographed portraits, the engaging unease in her self-portrait paintings. Long Beach Opera (LBO) avoids the superficial trappings of mass-market (think: Che on a shirt) appeal in their production of Frida. They beautifully place Kahlo’s political and social radicalism,…

Crimes of the Heart at ICT

Theatre review

Crimes of the Heart, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Beth Henley, was originally produced in 1979. The current revival at International City Theatre, continuing through June 25, captures well the mid-1970s mood for a trio of sisters in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, as they cling together against their circumstances, especially one being accused of shooting her husband.…

Julius Caesar at the Richard Goad Theatre

Theatre review

Et tu, Brute? Very few last words better convey shocked disbelief and utter disappointment as these by the dying Caesar. Such is the depth of tragedy and loss in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, continuing at the Richard Goad Theatre through June 17. With superb direction by Helen Borgers and excellent acting, Long Beach Shakespeare Company…

Open-studio tour to feature 15 local artists

Fifteen Long Beach visual artists will open their studios to the public during the 8th Biennial Mid-City Studio Tour on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 from 11am to 4pm. The tour is free and made possible through a microgrant from the Arts Council for Long Beach. Artworks include paintings, mixed-media constructions, handmade artist…

In Kings & Fools at The Garage Theatre – Theatre review

By: Anita W. Harris Culture Writer What could be more explosive than a holiday family gathering? In Kings & Fools, a Panndora Productions drama having its world premiere at The Garage Theatre through May 28, places you in the Alman family’s typical American back yard to experience the poignant and riveting answer. Ably directed by…

Long Beach Opera’s As One – Theatre review

By: Adam Buchsbaum Culture Writer Opera conjures up images of flamboyant costumes, star-crossed lovers and romance languages, but opera is a mode of theatrical music, not just an exotic fantasy– and there’s plenty of room for it in the modern era. As One’s composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed imagine opera…

SH gallery exhibit to explore wilderness

Greenly Art Space in Signal Hill will host an opening reception Saturday, May 20 for Within the Wilderness, a fundraising art show aimed at supporting the nonprofit gallery, as well as Bolsa Chica Land Trust, a local organization involved with environmental restoration. In the exhibit, each art piece explores the artist’s personal interpretation of the…