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Deborah Klugman

Chris Rivera as Poins

Tom Hanks Brings Perfect, Outsized Humor to His L.A. Stage Debut in Henry IV

In his Los Angeles stage debut, Tom Hanks, as a bloviating Falstaff, becomes every inch the maddening outrageous clown that Shakespeare must have intended him to be in Henry IV.The funniest moment may be when, in battle, Falstaff collapses and pretends to die before his confused opponent ever touches him with his sword. (The parallel between this character’s gasbag behavior and that of our nation’s narcissistic Bloviator-in-Chief compounds the ironic humor.)...
French Stewart and Steve Apostolina play friends scheming to sell an edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass in Apostolina's Forever Bound.; Credit: Kathy Flynn

Forever Bound: Ultimately, a Face-off Between Good and Evil

Steve Apostolina’s dark and thoughtful dramedy, Forever Bound, starts out as two disparate narratives that come together in an intense disquieting way. Commencing as a wry comedy about a nebbish whose life is on the downturn, it culminates as a riveting face-off between good and evil, and highlights just how hard it can be to sever the formidable bonds that bind us to our past....
Jon Chaffin

Added Character Enhances Vitality of Antaeus' Excellent Native Son

The burden of being prejudged by others is at the core of both the novel and the play. But writer Nambi E. Kelley makes a singular change in her adaptation: She creates a new character, the Black Rat (Noel Arthur), an interior self, savvier and more articulate than the public Bigger (who tends to skulk and sulk), and the inner voice that keeps reminding him of his humiliating pariah status in society....
Arianna Ortiz

The Madres Takes on Still-Pertinent Story of los Desaparecidos

The play features strong female characters and a reminder of what can happen to ordinary people when democracy falls prey to ruthless, demoniacal villainy (really, you can’t repeat this message too often). But playwright Stephanie Alison Walker's setup is too convenient, and Guerrero’s orchestration of pacing and nuance underscores the shortcomings of the material....
Peter Mendoza

Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue Is Poetic But Not That Affecting

The first play in a three-part trilogy, Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue at the Kirk Douglas Theatre delves into the experience of war for three generations of soldiers in a Puerto Rican-American family. The language is poetic, but onstage, events and emotions transpire in a way that's mostly flat and not all that affecting....