Online Entertainment Magazine

October  2003

Theater Reviews




LOS ANGELES, CA -  For an unforgettable night of Passion, don't miss The East-West Players' new production of Stephen Sondheim's most demanding, yet satisfying musical.  Passion, a musical (or operetta) in one act, is an amazing creation by one of the finest composers in Broadway history.  Although the demands for sets and staging are minimal, the difficulty of the singing and acting is what stops most regional theaters from producing this show.  However, the cast of the East-West Player's production was phenomenal, allowing the audience to experience Passion as Sondheim no doubt conceived it.


Beginning with a "heated"  bedroom scene between Clara and Giorgio, the rich, lyrical, yet haunting tones create a colorful backdrop for this story of love, infatuation, passion and obsession.  Linda  Igarashi has a marvelous voice, perfect for the lovely Clara.  Looking  so beautiful in her stunning costumes, she is a stark contrast to  the plain, yet complex Fosca,  who her lover Giorgio (Michael Dalager) later befriends.  


The drama that unfolds between his character and Fosca is mesmerizing while at the same time disturbing.  Both Michael and Jacqueline Kim (playing Fosca) give superb performances in this drama that explores the complexities of the human heart.  


The supporting cast, which helps to underscore the main plot by actually repeating musical themes and motives of the main character, was exceptional.  Each actor gave an equal amount of "passion" to their performances, and when added to the whole production, made this an unforgettable, moving experience.  Both the director (Tim Dang) and musical director (Scott Nagatani), deserve an ovation for an excellent job. - M. Upward


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Theater Reviews (cont.)

 Fried Chicken &




BEVERLY HILLS, CA - This dynamic, touching and wildly funny "One Woman Experience," starring Rain Pryor, is a must see.  Rain, coming from a comedic family, namely her father, Richard Pryor, is in her own right a wonderful performer, singer and comedienne.  Starring in a one woman show is no easy task: there are no other cast members to rely on. Rain is captivating, keeping the energy alive with her comic caricatures of  people from her past as well as original songs accompanied by Gail Johnson, musical director/pianist.


Rain's characters and stories were once on scraps of paper lying around her apartment.  As the years went by, her show began to take form into what it is now, an entertaining, touching comedy about her life.  When Rain moved into one of her characters, it was easy to forget she was still on stage.  Her characters come to life.  From her best friend in school or her Jewish step mother to her Grandmother on the Pryor side, Rain keeps the audience laughing while exploring the meaning of life as viewed from two different, yet surprisingly similar ethnic groups.


Carl Reiner once said of Rain, "This girl can do anything.  She's magnetic and electric on stage.  I'm coming back.  The torch has been passed!"  Don't miss her show now playing at Canon Theater in Beverly Hills.  For more information about this show, or for future performances, visit www.rainpryor.com.  - M. Upward


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