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 ...
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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 Hollywood Fringe Festival cast are read...
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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 apply to the government in order to fall in love....
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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?BLOODErnest Kearney – The TVolutionFrankly, I wasn’t planning on writing this review.I saw the show, and well….Robert Allen Ackerman has New York directing credits po...
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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 send-up Reality TV and those who not only participate in it but watch it as well. With 12 actors on a Fringe budget, this is an enormous undertaking.Meta-theatrical devices are nothing new, but they do seem to be cropping up more and more. In the vein of Brecht’s characters directly addressing viewers and Odets placing his strike-seeking union ...
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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 young gay man in West Hollywood who is navigating the waters of dating in our rapid technological age. The less cultured Christian, penned by Rostand in 1897 as Cyrano’s underling both socially and militarily, is here converted into Cyrano’s better-looking roommate and BFF.In the original play, Cyrano’s self-esteem about his looks ...