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Theater Reviews

‘Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood!’ delights

By Jean Lowerison | Theater Review

It’s likely that Sherwood Forest and its inhabitants were never as frantic, nor as goofy, as it seems in “Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood!” — now in its world premiere at The Old Globe.

But that’s OK, since the main character has never been conclusively traced to a real person anyway. And most importantly, Ludwig has preserved the devil-may-care swashbuckler’s change from hard-drinking youth to crusader for justice and compassion, giving the story some contemporary relevance.

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An amazing ‘Guys and Dolls’

By Jean Lowerison | Theater Review

Touts, burlesque dancers and mission dolls meet in Frank Loesser’s classic musical “Guys and Dolls,” getting a spectacular production through Aug. 13 at The Old Globe in Balboa Park.

Certainly among the top five American musicals of all time, The Globe joins with Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida for a magnificently dance-heavy production based on Damon Runyon’s inimitable stories about life on the lower rungs of Manhattan society in the 1950s. “Guys and Dolls” opened on Broadway in 1950, won five Tony Awards, and has been a staple in the repertoire ever since.

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‘Animal Crackers’ is bonkers!   

By Jean Lowerison | Theater Review

“The world would not be in such a snarl, had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.”  —Irving Berlin

Leave your critical and logical faculties at home when you head for Cygnet Theatre’s wild and woolly staging of the classic goofball Marx Brothers musical “Animal Crackers.” 

Most people know the 1930 film “Animal Crackers,” a truncated version that cut most of the songs. Now, Cygnet Theatre recreates the era and brings back the brothers in Henry Wishcamper’s stage adaptation of the original 1928 Broadway musical.

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‘Big Fish’ and tall tales  

By Jean Lowerison | Theater Review

I can identify with Edward Bloom. When he sings “We were born to wake each morn/Someplace we’ve never been,” that wanderlust gets to me too.

The difference is that I’m single and unencumbered. Edward is married, and son Will wishes his traveling salesman dad were around more, like for his soccer games.

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Another hit at Lamb’s Players

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

On the heels of its magnificent “Shadowlands,” Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado continues its string of extraordinary productions with the San Diego premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s “Silent Sky,” an absolutely delectable, mind-expanding examination of the early days of women in astronomy.

The most-produced living American playwright in 2016, Gunderson has several works seen or about to be seen in San Diego theaters, among them “Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet …” at New Village Arts last season, and “The Revolutionists” to be seen at Moxie Theatre in May.

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‘Skeleton Crew’ shines

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

In association with Moxie Theatre, The Old Globe presents the West Coast premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s suspenseful coffee/locker room play, “Skeleton Crew,” through May 7 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.

The work features a tight ensemble of four actors, possibly the best in regards to chemistry and balance that the Globe has assembled in many years.

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Idea is more intriguing than play

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review Theatregoers with knowledge of Ira Aldridge (1807-67) eagerly looked forward to The Old Globe’s opening of Lolita Chakrabarti’s 2012 London play “Red Velvet.” Aldridge, who has a San Diego theater company named for him, was a great African-American actor who in 1833 became the first to play Othello au naturel on the London stage.

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A life-changing road trip

By David Dixon Numerous theatrical adaptations of popular novels —“Frankenstein,” “War Horse” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” for example — were all successfully brought to the stage. In the same vein, a live interpretation of Luis Alberto Urrea’s 2009 book, “Into the Beautiful North,” is now playing at the San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Stage.

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‘Shadowlands’ is a ‘must-see’

By Charlene Baldridge | Theater Review

The time is right for Lamb’s Players Theatre to produce the San Diego professional premiere of William Nicholson’s “Shadowlands.”

The production — directed by longtime Lamb’s associate artist Kerry Meads — is a must-see for lovers of C.S. Lewis with fine acting and meaningful, affecting work. It continues through April 9 at the Coronado theater.

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