Tuesday, February 28, 2017

946:  The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Carol Kaufman Segal
            946:  The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips is an energetic musical based on the popular book by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.  The play is an adaptation by Morpurgo and Emma Rice based on true events that occurred during World War II.  It is a presentation by Kneehigh (a theatrical company in England) in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Berkley Repertory Theatre playing at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
            The play begins in the present with the death of Grandpa, after which Grandma Lily brings out her diary to relate her story to her Grandson Boowie (Adam Sopp).  In a flashback, it then takes place in a small British town where a spoiled 12-year-old Lily (Katy Owen) lives with her mother and grandfather while her father is away fighting in the war against the Germans. 
            The war has created a lot of changes in the town.  There are new people there who have fled other areas due to the war such as Madame Bounine (Emma Darlow), the new teacher who arrived after fleeing France following the Nazi invasion.   Some have lost family members such as Barry (Adam Soppm), whose father was killed at Dunkirk.
            However, nothing seems to have changed for Lily.  She keeps occupied with Tips (a very realistic puppet (made by Lyndie Wright and Sarah Wright), her much-loved cat.  That is, when she is not causing trouble somewhere.  However, things change considerably when allied soldiers arrive in town to conduct secret exercises to prepare for D-Day, (the first day of the Normandy Invasion).  The residents are made to move inland, and in the process, Lily is unable to find Tips.
             When she realizes that Tips is missing, Lily commandeers two African American soldiers, Adi (Ncuti Gatwa) and Harry (Nandi Shebhe) to aid in the search for the feline, and their friendship is formed.   Before the invasion is to occur, a D-day rehearsal known as Operation Tiger, is scheduled and unfortunately, the rehearsal erupts into a tragedy in which 946 service men are killed.  The effect of this disaster has a profound effect on Lily as well as Adi and Harry.
            Playwright Emma Rice directs this very unusual production that features an astounding set, a plane on which a real live swing band rests on a platform on top (set and costumes by Lez Brotherston).  Music (some well-known, some new by Stu Barker) and dance (choreographed by Emma Rice and Etta Murfitt) are integrated throughout the play. The marvelously talented company members play every which role.  I could scarcely believe that 12-year old Lily was, in fact, played by a 32-yer old actress!
            The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Art is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills.  946:  The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, continues Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 7 PM, and the final Sunday, March 5, at 2 PM and 7 PM.  Tickets are available online at TheWallis.org, by phone at (310) 746-4000, or at the theatre box office.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

FAMILY ONLY by Carol Kaufman Segal
            The world premiere of Family Only, playing at Theatre West, was written by Daniel Vinyard who is a member of Theatre West, and a prolific playwright.   This is another play about a dysfunctional family, but one that can really get “under one’s skin.”  With all of their “kvetching” (complaining), I almost wanted to walk up on the stage and chastise some of the members of this outrages family!  But fortunately, this is a comedy/drama and is not to be taken seriously.
            Will (Frank Gangarossa) and Nicole (Riley Rae Baker) are a young couple who have worked hard and are proud and happy to have purchased their first home in an upscale neighborhood south of Ventura Blvd., in Sherman Oaks.  So what if it is a fixer-upper?  It boasts three bedrooms and a beautiful backyard with a lovely swimming pool (great looking backyard, set by Jeff G. Rack).
            Wanting to share their happiness, and for a chance to show them their new home, Will and Nicole invited family members to a housewarming party.  The arrivals included Will’s dad Walter (Roger Kent Cruz).  Walter is a fantasist, not the most devoted worker, and always looking for ways to get rich quick and still looking;  Brenda (Sheila Shaw), Will’s stepmother who understands Walter  and puts up with a lot from him, but loves him nevertheless; Will’s half-sister Andrea (Ann Leyden) recently divorced and about to be evicted from her home, and her young, spoiled daughter Chloe (never seen on stage); and last but not least is Will’s grandmother Amanda (Dianne Travis), a woman who brusquely speaks her mind.
            As the day wears on, instead of showing pride for the accomplishments that Will has made with his job and his life, these family members show more concern for their own roblems and expect him to grant them help to solve them.  Dad looks for money to back one of his fly-by-night ideas.  Andrea doesn’t know why Will can’t offer her a place to stay with Chloe since he has a three bedroom home and he and Nicky have no children of their own.  Before the day is over, no one gets along with anyone, and one by one, they decide to leave.  Will this be the end of a family relationship?

            Arden Teresa Lewis directs the well-honed cast in Family Only playing Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM, through March 19, at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Los Angeles.  Tickets are available online at www.theatrewest.org, or by phone at (323) 851-7977.       


Monday, February 20, 2017

            Eugene O’Neil won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his play, Long Day’s Journey into Night, based on his own dysfunctional family.  Like most of O’Neil’s plays, it is morose and tragic.  However, it is a classic, and though it runs for more than three hours, the drama is enticing, especially when it is presented with a sterling cast which you will find at the Geffen Playhouse.
            The time is a day in August, 1912, the place, the Tyrone Family’s summer home in New London, Connecticut (lovely set by Tom Buderwitz).  The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and takes place throughout a single day until around midnight.  James (three-time Tony nominee Alfred Molina) has just brought his wife, Mary (seven-time Emmy nominee Jane Kaczmarek), home from a hospital stay.  His concern for her mental state is apparent.  She appears in a happy frame of mind.    
            As the hours progress, their two sons, James, Jr. (Stephen Louis Grush) and Edmund (Colin Woodell), arrive home.  At times, the love of each of them for one another protrudes through the moments, but there is a bitterness that prevails between them all due to each of their individual demons. James drinks heavily to forget his fate in life (he had wanted to be an actor), Mary continues her pill-popping.  (She claims she needs her pills for her arthritic hands!)  James, Jr. has a problem with alcohol and women, but obviously, loves Edmund and is deeply concerned for his health.  Edmund, poor Edmund is suffering from serious consumption and James, who is a penny-pincher, wants to put him in a state hospital, while James, Jr. tries to convince his father to send him to a private facility.
            The play is heavy, but with such captivating performances, the time goes quickly.  There is a moment of comic relief when the family maid, Cathleen (Angela Goethals), comes back from taking Mary for a ride to pick up her “pain pills.”   Cathleen, we discover, likes to imbibe a bit herself and she and Mary share a bottle in a scene in which they both become inebriated.
            Jeanie Hackett does a great job directing an outstanding cast.  Kaczmarek unravels as the day passes, and it is amazing to see the slow downward change in her character.  Molina’s nature changes from moment to moment.  At first he appears to be a loving husband and father, but again, he can become belligerent.  He seems to vacillate.  Could it be the alcohol?   Edmund is the only reasonable person in the family, no demons, but a serious illness which Woodell creates very convincingly.
            Long Day’s Journey into Night plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 7 PM, Saturdays at      1 PM and 7 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM, through March 18, at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles.  Tickets are available online at www.geffenplayhouse.org, by phone at (310) 208-5454, or at the Geffen Playhouse Box Office.



Friday, February 17, 2017

CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus by Carol Kaufman Segal
            Wow!   I kept saying that word throughout the entire performance of this great circus show at the Pantages Theatre.   This is truly a circus spectacular with a huge cast from all over the world performing unique, skillful, and dangerous acts joined by two of the most beautiful elephants, a mother and her baby.
            This is a circus set in 1903 and is presented in two acts.  The scenic design by Todd Ivins is set in an unusual decadent circus tent.  Act 1 represents the front of the circus with trucks, props and rigging.  Act 2 features the tent with flagpoles and rigging being raised into the roof of the theater.
            The timely costumes, designed by Angela Aaron, are re-creations from the 1903 era, styles that were studied by the designer through photographs from the time, historic museum pieces, and from experts in the field.  The exciting soundtrack, played throughout the show, captures the time and coincides with the anxiety of each act.  The music is composed by Evan Jolly.
            Every act is breathtaking.  There are amazing acrobats, unbelievable contortionists, high wire acts, balancing acts, a juggler, and high flying acts that can keep you on the edge of your seat.   Willy Whipsnade (David Williamson), is a charming and delightful Ringmaster.  He adds a lot of fun and makes it a real family show by integrating children from the audience to participate.
            I can’t let you think that you will see two real elephants on the stage of the Pantages.  But you will love the life-like puppets created by the winning team of puppeteers who created the National Theatre’s War Horse.  They appear sporadically throughout the show while the mother teaches her baby!
            Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus, produced by Simon Painter, Tom Lawson and MagicSpace Entertainment, plays only through Sunday, Feb 19, at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.  Hope you can make it in time.

FOR PIANO AND HARPO by Carol Kaufman Segal
            For Piano and Harpo, written by and starring Dan Castellaneta, is a play making its world premiere at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.  Levant was a multi-talented pianist, composer, actor, and comedian who appeared in films, on television, and stage.  He studied piano with Arnold Schoenberg and was a close friend to George Gershwin.  He had a sharp sense of humor, but at the same time, he was a troubled man.
The play centers on a time when Oscar (Dan Castellaneta) finds himself in a psychiatric ward at Mount Sinai Hospital, most likely due to his addiction to prescription drugs and his struggles with his demons.  While his mind transforms from past to present, his thoughts go back to a time when he left home to stay with his closest friend, Harpo Marx (JD Cullum).  He relives encounters with his father (Phil Proctor) and mother (Gail Matthius), Hollywood celebrities like Jack Paar (Jonathan Stark), Fanny Brice (Gail Matthius), and, George Gershwin (Jonathan Stark), people who had an effect on his past. 
As Levant struggles with his problems, it is obvious that he is a genius haunted by his past.  But he is also an obstinate man who refuses to accept the fact that he is where he is in order to be helped if he wants to be released.  When at last, he has no other option but to cooperate with the medical staff, eventually he is redeemed.
Castellaneta brings Oscar Levant to life supported by a wonderful cast, each performing  multiple roles.  They include Deb Lacusta (June Levant/Barbara), Gail Matthius (Shirley, Oscar’s Mother, Fanny Brice), (Phil Proctor (Sidney, Butler, Oscar’s Father), Jonathan Stark (Dr. Grenleigh, Jack Paar, George Gershwin).  J. D. Cullum plays the role of Charlie, but his real asset to the production is his wonderful performance as Harpo. Pianist David O and Harpist Julian Risigari-Gai add the musical attraction to the production, all under the perceptive direction of Stefan Novinski.
For Piano and Harpo plays Wednesday through Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 4 PM, at the Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside in Burbank, through March 5.  Tickets are available online at www.falcontheatre.com, or by calling (818), 955-8101.


Monday, February 13, 2017

 DEBUSSY:  His Letters and His Music by Carol Kaufman Segal
            Illustrious soprano, Julia Migenes, is performing in a world premiere of her latest musical portrait of the renowned French composer, Claude Debussy, at the Odyssey Theatre.  Debussy (b. 1862) and his younger contemporary, Maurice Ravel (b. 1875), are considered the creators of the musical style of impressionism.
            Claude Debussy was born in France to a poor family.  He was the eldest of five children.  When he was 11 years old, he began studying piano at the Paris Conservatory, where he was recognized as a child prodigy.   He began to study composition when he was 18 years old, and at the age of 22, he won the important Prix de Rome.  He flourished in every field of music including opera. 
            Julia Migenes grew up in New York.  She was chosen to sing in Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts when she was a teenager.  She then starred as Hodel in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.  She has performed in many operas here and throughout Europe, and has recorded over 30 CDs and DVDs.  She is the recipient of many awards for her outstanding work.
As Migenes reads from his letters, it is obvious that Debussy was a scoundrel when it came to women.  He had numerous affairs, some with married women.  He finally married, but unfortunately, his first wife, Lilly Texier, attempted suicide when he abandoned her for a married woman, singer Emma Bardac.   He eventually married Bardac and they had a daughter.  Unfortunately, Debussy died of colon cancer at the early age of 55.
             Migenes strolls around the stage, lounges on the piano, and sometimes relaxes on a settee as she reads letters written by Debussy, interposing them with information regarding his life.  She barely allows herself to sing during the performance, and had she done more, I believe it would have made her performance more enlightening.  I kept hoping to hear more of her beautiful singing voice.
The high point of the production is the wonderful piano accompaniment provided by Manuel Arellano who performs music by Debussy, Rossini, Cesar Franck, Johann Sebation Bach, Frederic Chopin, Richard Wagner, and Carl Czerny as background music throughout the performance.

Debussy:  His Letters and His Music is directed by Peter Medak.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, through March 25, at the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.  For reservations, call (310) 477-2055, or go online at www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

            The documentary about the life of choreographer Ohad Naharin is alluring in every way.  Born and raised on a kibbutz in Israel, he was ordained to become a dancer though he did not pursue studying the art until the age of 22 after serving in the Israeli army with an entertainment company.  While visiting Israel, Martha Graham saw him and invited him to join her company in New York.  This was his entry into the United States.
            He did not stay too long with Martha Graham and ended up one season with Maurice Bejart.  Not feeling fulfilled, he started to develop works of his own and began his career as a choreographer.  Naharin was (and is) a task master, and his early years were contentious.  Sometimes dancers would walk out of rehearsals, but they always seemed to return.  Though he was hard on his dancers, they respected him and believed in his work.  While in New York, he met and married Mari Kajiwara, a lead dancer with Alvin Ailey, who left the company to join Naharin.
            Naharin returned to Israel with Kajiwara when he was offered the position to run the Batsheva Dance Company.  That is where he flourished and developed his unique dance form that he named Gaga.  Watching his style of choreography is not only exhilarating, but a wonder to watch.  It takes a special skill to develop, and definitely a special body to perform. 
His is “a true story of love and dance”.  Naharin’s love and passion for dance is obvious throughout the film.  His love for Mari was strong, and unfortunately, after she passed away from cancer at the age of 50, his love of dance helped him to survive her loss.
            I especially found my interest in the dance rehearsals and how they were tackled, and finally and particularly, the dance creations themselves.  It has to take a task master like Ohad Naharin, Mr. Gaga himself, to create such beauty. Directed by Tomer Heymann.
            Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino
            Playhouse 7, Pasadena
            Monica Film Center, Santa Monica
            Regal University Town Center, Irvine

Running time, 100 minutes

Sunday, February 5, 2017

THE DAUGHTER by Carol Kaufman Segal
            The Daughter, a modern adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, is a powerful film by Australian writer and director Simon Stone that he originally wrote for the stage.  It centers around two families in a small town in Australia that relies on its timber mill for its existence,’
The owner of the timber mill, wealthy Henry Neilson (Geoffrey Rush), announces that he is closing the mill that has been in existence for more than 100 years.  No worries for Henry, but a catastrophe for the town and its people. 
Henry, whose wife committed suicide some years ago, is getting married to his former housekeeper, Anna (Anna Torv) a woman much younger than he.  Henry’s son Christian (Paul Schneider), who has lived for years in America, returns home to attend his father’s wedding.    Strapped with trouble in his own marriage and fighting an alcoholic problem, Christian does not appear happy until he runs into his long-time friend, Oliver (Ewen Leslie).
Christian finds himself spending most of his time with Oliver and his family, his wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), their teen-age daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young), and Oliver’s father, Walter (Sam Neill), who once had a close relationship with Henry.  Christian sees his friend in a happy environment with a loving and devoted wife, a close relationship with a teenage daughter, and a very caring father. Walter even keeps a small refuge for wounded animals on the property, and, after discovering a wild duck that Henry shot and wounded, he adds it to the refuge.
In calls to his wife in America, Christian’s situation goes downhill, and he begins to imbibe more heavily.  He is resentful of his father’s marriage, and he becomes resentful of Oliver’s happiness.  The moments are tense as he seems destined to make trouble for everyone involved in his life.  Are his emotions bad enough to cause him to finally break down and reveal long held family secrets that he, unexpectedly, discovered, secrets that will affect the lives of both families?
The Daughter is an exceptional film that keeps one’s interest throughout its 96 minutes.  All of the actors give stirring performance, each giving reality to the production (including Wilson Moore as Hedvig’s boyfriend Adam).  Stone’s writing and direction are well-honed. 
The Daughter is playing at Laemmle’s Royal in West Los Angeles.  Not rated.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

MOTOWN The Musical by Carol Kaufman Segal
Motown The Musical has returned to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre with all of the wonderful cast of stars portraying the real characters who gained musical star status through the indomitable Berry Gordy.   This is his story as well as theirs, the history of Motown.
Motown The Musical is written by Gordy, based on his book To Be Loved, The Music, The Magic, The Memories, and stars Chester Gregory as the inimitable man.  Charles Randolph-Wright directs this lavish production that overflows with music (I counted 31 songs in the program) from the Motown era as well as songs written for the production by Barry Gordy and Michael Lovesmith.
The story tells of the 25 successful years Gordy had in building Motown,  how he made successful musical stars of Diana Ross (Allison Semmes) and The Supremes, Smokey Robinson  (David Kaverman) and The Miracles, Marvin Gaye (Jarran Muse), Stevie Wonder (/Elijah Ahmad Lewis), and The Jackson Five, only to lose it all.  Many cast members perform various roles of people who helped build Motown from its beginning until its end. The entire cast is realistic and extremely talented in their roles.  Raymond Davis Jr. and CJ Wright, who alternate in the roles of Young Gordy, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, almost steal the show!
Terrific dance numbers performed by marvelous dancers enhance the production (choreographed by Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams, Associated Choreographer, Brian Brooks).  Music supervision and arrangements are by Ethan Popp.  The outstanding scenic design is by David Korins, and all of the fabulous costumes are by Emilio Sosa.
Opening night at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre was an exceptional evening with an appreciative crowd that filled the theater to capacity.  After the finale, the audience was enthralled by the appearance on stage of Berry Gordy himself along with Smokey Robinson.

Motown The Musical plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM, and 8 PM, and Sundays at 1 PM and 6:30 PM, through February 12.  The Hollywood Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.  Tickets are available online at www.HollywoodPantages.com, or www.Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 982-2787, or at the theatre box office which opens daily at 10 AM.


FUGU by Carol Kaufman Segal
            Fugu is a Japanese word for blowfish  What it has to do with this play will be told in this review of the captivating story based on true events that took place in Japan prior to the United States’ involvement in World War II.  Written by Steven G. Simon and Howard Teichman, this world premiere production is being presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles.
The time is November, 1941.  While it was no longer safe for Jews to live in countries taken over by Germany, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara gave visas to 6,000 Lithuanian Jews and relocated them in Kobe, Japan.  Colonel Nohiro Yasue (Ryan Moriarty), Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stationed in Kobe, was put in charge of the Jews who settled in and established a community there.
            Yasue is of the belief that President Roosevelt is Jewish, and he devises a plan to avert a war between Japan and the United States with the help of some of the leaders of the Jewish community.  The secret name of his plan is Fugu!  He invites Dr. Avram Kaufman (Warren Davis), his daughter Sarah (Rosie Moss), and Rabbi Shlomo Shapira (Peter Altshuler) to dinner, along with his Aide, Setsuzo Kotsuji (Scott Keiji Takeda) and Captain Yosuke Matsuoka (Marcel Licera) in order to reveal his plan. 
Yasue’s plan entails sending Dr, Kaufman to America to make contact with all of his “Jewish friends” in Hollywood, Washington, and Wall Street to persuade them to support peace between the two countries.  Dr. Kaufman is aghast at the proposal and tries to explain to Yasue that he knows no one, nor has he any clout with anyone in the United States. 
            Germany becomes aware of the escape of the Jews to Japan, and sends Gestapo’s Colonel Joseph Meisinger (David Preston), a,k,a, The Butcher of Warsaw, to make certain that none of them escape alive.  He reminds Yasue of Japan’s treaty with Germany and Italy and demands that he follow his orders.  But Yasue has sworn to protect the Jews, and as a man of honor, he refuses, even if it means his death,
            More complications arise when Yasue’s handsome young Aide and Dr. Kaufman’s beautiful daughter fall in love.  Customs from both sides forbid such a union.  However, Mrs. Dovitch (Bryna Weiss) tries to intervene.  She is the comic relief in this often tense drama.
            When the play first begins, it opens with a Japanese Dancer, Kiori (Kaz Matamura) and Chasidic Dancer, Max Kaminsky (Matt Gottlieb).  It ends with their returning, followed by each of the characters coming on stage to reveal what befell them, thus giving closure to the plot.
            I cannot express enough what a marvelous production this is due to a wonderfully written play about an extremely interesting happening in our history, an exceptionally outstanding cast, and superb direction by Howard Teichman (who is also the Artistic Director and Producing Manager of the West Coast Jewish Theatre). 
Fugu plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 PM, through March 19.  The Pico Playhouse is located at 10508 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.  Reservations are available by calling (323) 821-2449.  Online tickets are available at www.wcjt.org.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

            Agatha Christie (1890-1972) was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright.  Guiness World Record lists her as the best-selling novelist of all time.   Many of her works have been adapted to film and television. 
Witness for the Prosecution is one of her plays that premiered at the Winter Garden Theatre in London on October 28, 1953, and in December, 1954, it opened at the Henry Miller Theatre in New York where it enjoyed a successful run.  In 1957 it was made into a film directed by Billy Wilder and starred Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton, and Marlene Dietrich.
            The Group Rep is presenting this extremely well-written play in a top-notch production at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.  Because the play is regarding a crime, I am bound to review the play by simply telling you the plot, and why I highly recommend it, without revealing its ending.
            The play takes place in 20th Century London.  One day Leonard Vole (Patrick Skelton) gave aid to  a woman who turned out to be Emily French, a wealthy widow.  Because of his kindness, she invited him to her home.  Leonard visited Mrs. French often after that, and they became close in a friendly manner.  Unfortunately, when Mrs. French was found murdered in her home, Leonard was accused of the crime and put on trial based on circumstantial evidence.  Shortly before she was killed, Mrs. French had changed her will leaving Leonard the heir to her fortune.    
            Leonard insists that he is innocent, that he had no idea that Mrs. French had left him her fortune, and seeks the help of well-known lawyer, Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Larry Eisenberg),   He convinces Sir Wilfrid that he was nowhere near her place at the time of the murder, that his wife Romaine (Salome Jens) can vouch for him being at home at that time and that he was dumbfounded to hear that Mrs. French had changed her will in his favor.  Believing in his innocence, Sir Wilfrid agrees to defend him.
            The main action of the play takes place in the courtroom. where we are stunned (as well as is Sir Wilfrid) to discover that Romaine becomes a witness for the prosecution.  She relates a totally different story than Sir Wilfrid expected while he and Romaine battle it out.  But she is counting on a plan that she devised in hopes of getting her husband acquitted.
            You must see this play for the fact that it is superbly written with an ending that will be a big shocker, and because the cast is tops under well-known Director, Jules Aaron.  As a guest artist of the Group Rep, veteran Broadway actress Salome Jens, is calculating in her role as Romaine.  Talented Larry Eisenberg always gives a great performance, but as Sir Wilfrid, he is absolutely mesmerizing.  Patrick Skelton’s angst during the entire trial is very compelling. 
The rest of the strong cast includes Lloyd Pedersen (Justice Wainwright) Bruce Nehlsen (Inspector Hearne), Chris Winfield (Myers, prosecuting attorney), Roslyn Cohn, Sherry Michaels, Michele Schultz, Mikel Parraga-Wills, Todd Andrew Ball, and Nathalie Cadenas.  The impressive scenic design is by J. Kent Inasy, makeup, hair, and wig designs by Judi Lewin.
            Performances are presented Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 2 PM, through March 26, at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood.  Tickets are available at wwwthegrouprep.com, or info@thegrouprep.com. For further information, call (818) 763-5990.