Monday, November 16, 2015

FRONT DOOR OPEN …in Hollywood

What happens to a family where the mother, a timid yet intelligent woman, lives in terror of ever leaving the safety of their home? In Tom Baum’s revelatory play the subject is agoraphobia and how a family, hoping to calm the fears of the matriarch, create terrors of their own through lies and equivocation. 

She lives with her ear cocked at all times for the sounds of invasion, while the domineering father thinks he’s being caring by helping her hide from life. 

When their only child returns home with her teenage daughter, family secrets start to be exposed. While the daughter, whose marriage and career have fallen apart, reaches for meditative help in this maelstrom of emotion, it is through the blunt words of a candid teenager that real life intrudes into this self-induced prison.
The superb cast are led by Joanna Miles, faultless as a woman trapped into society’s role of female helplessness and dependence. David Selby, is magnificent as the father, a raging bull with the heart of a child; Anna Nicholas is excellent as the impatient but responsible daughter, and Lizzy Rich is charming as a cheeky yet tender teen who has secrets of her own.

Sensitively directed by Asaad Kelada, with set and lighting by Tom Meleck, sound by Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski and costumes by Betty Pecha Madden. Produced by Laura Hill.

At Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N Fairfax, Hollywood, through Dec. 13. Tickets: 323-673-0544 or Photos by Ed Krieger.

Also reviewed in the December issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY

Friday, November 13, 2015


Everybody loves a magic show and the illusions that actor and super magician Albie Selznick demonstrates certainly amaze and delight. There is the levitating pretty lady, the live doves that appear and disappear, the swallowed razor blades, the Houdini escape trick, and card tricks to baffle us all. 

Also, Selznick has added the story of his childhood and explains how, after losing his father mysteriously at an early age, he started on a lifelong search, through illusion, for an invisible man. It’s a poignant story and, while it humanizes his dedication to magic, it sometimes puts a pall on the otherwise mischievous goings on.

There is one audience participation segment that seemed suspiciously contrived when a large white ball morphed into an all-knowing Oracle and interacted with a member of the audience. At this performance, the gal in the hot seat seemed to be a plant and the segment lacked the very magic it proposed to reveal. However, if you bring some young people maybe you, or one of them, will be selected to meet the Oracle and that episode will prove to be smoke and mirrors indeed.

Lively assistance is given by Joey Dworsky, Laurie Huff, Kyle Bryan Hall, Michael Heiman and Alix Koromazy. 

Directed by David Schweizer and produced by Michelle Grant.

At the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. through Dec. 20. Tickets: 310-477-2055 x2 or

Magic Monday! During the run of Smoke & Mirrors there will be a weekly cabaret show Monday evenings with a lineup of magicians every week. Info at: 310-450-2849 or check out
Photos by Lisa Bevis

Also reviewed in the December issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.

Monday, November 9, 2015


From over 100 submissions, GLO chose these five excellent plays, all written and directed by local theater women. Not to play favorites, here they are in the order performed.

THE PLAN by Katherine James. Two young gals, former best friends, face up to their reason for their split when each of them gave up their shared dream to pacify family demands. Zoƫ Lillian and Kyra Morling. Directed by Branda Lock.

ALL ABOUT HAROLD by Diane Grant. Three women share happy memories of the romantic peripatetic Harold who managed to be their dream-man before slipping away to other shores. Amy Stoch, Varda Appleton and hilarious Michelle Simek. Directed by Laura Steinroeder.

FIDDLIN’ ON THE MOUNTAINTOP by Robin Byrd. A poignant solo performance of a young country girl who, all alone, faces the loss of her beloved parent and survives through a love of music. Bravura performance by Shanel N. Moore. Directed by Julianne Homokay.

VITAL RECORDS by Alex Dilks Pandola. It’s a Kafkaesque comedy of trying to get service at some Legal Records Bureau where the attendants weirdly resemble each other while their attitudes are all to familiarly officious. Kate Torri with Gayla Johnson who is sublime in three gleeful roles. Directed by Miranda Stewart.

GENTLEMEN’S PACT by Karen Howes. How does a husband react when a family friend shows up wanting to marry his wife? In this comedy he gives it serious thought, until the wife shows up and gives her heated opinion. Eric Toms, Joni Allen and masterful Daniel Riordan. Directed by Michelle Joyner.

At Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd. S.M., through Nov 15. Tickets at:
Photos by Alex Dilks Pandola.