TAGGED WITH THE COMPLEX

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Hey "Ethel" Lose the Mic

Gaby Rey has got some serious pipes, she also has some serious stage presence, what she doesn’t have in her one-person show Ethel Merman: Queen of Musical Comedy currently playing at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe festival, is some serious theater. But first let’s talk about Ms. Rey’s pipes. As mentioned, they are powerful and well-trained and can most definitely carry and deliver a tune, clearly exhibited by her ability to belt out some of Merman’s classic Broadway tunes in...
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Adam and Eve and the Meth-Lab Fire

Allegory is tough. Musicals are tough. And soft rock should burn in hell. So with The Songs of the Fall Ben Boquist is putting himself to a lot of trouble to show off a handful of musically interesting, lyrically simplistic songs that you’ll like if you liked 1990s show tunes that really wanted to be 1980s show tunes. There are complex progressions, surprising extensions, and idiosyncratic declensions (get it? The fall of the songs? No? Sorry). Unfortunately, few in this Holly...
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Undercooked "Apply Here" at first L.A. Theater Festival

The Los Angeles Theater Festival, in its inaugural season, has gathered 14 plays which are being presented in a repertory of original staged readings and small-stage productions at The Complex in Los Angeles. Among the offerings is a mildly futuristic look at regulated romance, “Apply Here,” written and directed by Nick Brovender. The concept contains an interesting hypothesis. One wishes it was fleshed out a bit more.In Brovender’s future, one must a...
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Critique of the Week (On a Monday)

Once again, Ern the Mick goes against the grain and absolutely lashes a show that’s been getting glowing reviews. Plus he manages to use the phrase “Elf’s farts” at least twice. Take a read. What was your experience of this play and whose reporting is more accurate, the 15 other critics or Mr. Kearney here?BLOOD...
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"The Big Snake" is Hard to Swallow

As ambitious as its title, The Big Snake or How I Got Eaten Alive on National Television and Lived to Tell About It! is writer/director Tom Cavanaugh’s attempt to sen...
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This Updated "Cyrano" Gets a Good Jump but Loses the Race by More than a Nose

It’s a play whose time has come: An updating of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac in which the educated but less-than-gorgeous Cyrano is transformed into a yo...