2016 Roundup

Below I’ve compiled a list of every play, concert, live event we saw this year. Because it was a record year for entertainment (for us), and I’d rather remember 2016 for that than, well…anything else (election *cough* the demise of the USA *cough*).

This year we saw 34 stage productions together: 
Spelling Bee (YAE Forever)
1984 (Broad Stage)
An Act of God (Ahmanson)
Empire (La Mirada)
Barcelona (The Geffen)
Magic Flute (LA Opera)
Madame Butterfly (LA Opera)
Tick Tick Boom (After Hours Theatre)
Stage Kiss (Geffen)
Office Hour (SCR)
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Ahmanson)
Amadeus (SCR)
Hairy Ape (Odyssey)
La Boheme (LA Opera)
Fringe: Voices, Adam Bomb(s), Porn Rock, All the Best Killers are Librarians
Gruesome Playground Injuries (Hudson)
Bad Jews (Theatre of Note)
Grey Gardens (Ahmanson)
All The Way (SCR)
Barbecue (Geffen)
District Merchants (SCR)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Taper)
A View from the Bridge (Ahmanson)
Macbeth (LA Opera)
Destiny of Desire (SCR)
Icebergs (Geffen)
Akhnaten (LA Opera)
Wonderful Town (LA Opera)
Beauty Queen of Leenane (Mark Taper)
Amelie (Ahmanson)
Home Alone (Rockwell)

Trevor saw a few shows on his own or with friends:
Disgraced (Mark Taper)
Little Mermaid (La Mirada)

I saw a few shows on my own or with friends:
Newsies (Segerstrom)
Figaro (Panic Productions)
Parade (Panic Productions)
Beautiful (Pantages)
A Chorus Line (Hollywood Bowl)
Westside Story (Hollywood Bowl)
Wizard of Oz (GTC)
Lend Me A Tenor (La Mirada)
Mutthouse the Musical staged reading (NoHo Arts Center)
I Love You Because (After Hours Theatre)
Funny Girl (Conundrum Theatre Company)
A co-worker’s daughter’s variety show
Fringe: Vintage Box, All Aboard the Marriage Hearse, Edges, Mmhmm: A Killer One Woman Show, Cold Tangerines, Power! Stokley Carmichael, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Sh!t, Bloody Beautiful, Qaddafi’s Cook – Living in Hell, Cooking for the Devil*, Take Another Look, #WhaleFail, Gilda: A Tribute to Beloved Comedienne Gilda Radner*, Aurora & Larry, Fairytales Against Humanity, Please Stand Clear The Doors Are Closing, Feast of Snacks, Strap-On, Seven Decembers, Suckin Injun
The Seven Guys You Date Before You Get Married (twice)
MI Comedy Theatre Lip Sync Battle
MI Teen Slasher Flick
No Limits Comedy Hour
Not to mention the countless MI and Max improv shows I attended

We also attended:
2 food festivals (LA Weekly’s Tacolandia and 626 Night Market)
2 Dodgers Games
1 Padres Game
1 Kings game (our first hockey game!)
1 Tony-viewing party
Grease live viewing party
Hairspray live viewing party
Hamilton documentary viewing party
1 Nerdology game show
Jeff Goldblum’s jazz show at the Rockwell (twice)
Leon Bridges concert
Max Amory concert
Steve Martin & Martin Short in concert
A pole dancing competition
Rhapsody en Dance concert
2 escape rooms
2 county fairs (LA & SD)
Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary special screening
Jazz shows: Baked Potato, Blue Whale, Lighthouse Cafe

Bye 2016! We won’t miss ya but thanks for the fun!




Home Alone (Rockwell Table & Stage)

Home Alone - CopyThe Rockwell is always a good time. Well, it is if you happen to score a seat in the overly crowded space that isn’t blocked by a column or the back of someone’s head, and you manage to dupe your server into not enforcing the 2 item minimum.

BUT, I do always enjoy watching my friend and ex-roommate Zach Zagoria KILL IT onstage. Zach has starred in a few Rockwell/UMPO shows, but in this one especially he gets to show off his guns 😉 He earned his keep, dashing around the stage and portraying multiple supporting characters.

Any lovers of the original movies will enjoy the not-so-hidden homages to those classic 90’s staples. I always appreciate the 90’s/early 2000’s soundtracks that are often the basis for UMPO’s shows, and I particularly liked that Kevin was played by an actress.

– Jerusha

Amelie (Ahmanson)

Amelie - CopyAmelie is going to Broadway, but if I was in New York I would probably skip it. I might be biased though because I am such a fan of the movie. The movie is French, and I feel like one of the main characters is France, with its beautiful scenery and unique individuals. The musical does not feel French at all. No one speaks with an accent and the show feels like it could be taking place anywhere.  The score in the movie is so iconic and you only hear bits of it in the musical. In fact, the music in the show sounded all the same to me except for one or two numbers – which is not a good sign for a new musical. Phillipa Soo is a Broadway star in the making, but even she could not save this production. I suggest seeing the movie instead. You will not regret it.


Beauty Queen of Leenane (Mark Taper)

Martin McDonagh’s Beauty Queen of Leenane is another hit for the Taper. McDonagh is such a master at dark comedy and it is played to perfection in the Druid’s production. Broad comedy is on display with Aaron Monaghan’s antsy brother and subtle comedy with Marie Mullen, Marty Rea and Aisling O’Sullivan’s nuanced line deliveries and guttural noises. Another quality of McDonagh’s work that is sometimes overlooked is his knack for dripping horror and suspense into his pieces. You know you’re seeing a great show when the audience gasps multiple times.

I thought the play was executed brilliantly minus one part where a certain character didn’t scream after getting tortured, but other than that – go see this tortured relationship between a mother and daughter. It will make you feel much better about your relationship with your parents, to say the least.


Wonderful Town (LA Opera)

374b4640-8a56-4e56-81a9-192f7fc49018 Jeans at the Opera! That’s what I saw Saturday night at a special-engagement semi-staged production of Wonderful Town at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The crowd was much more mixed and relaxed than what you typically see at the Opera – lots of “laymen”, you might say.

I LOVE Leonard Bernstein, and although not as popular as Westside Story and a much lighter piece, it definitely has that nostalgic Broadway feel, with catchy tunes and cheesy lines galore! What a treat it was to see Tony Award-winners Faith Prince and Nikki M. James star as two sisters trying to make it big in the Big Apple. Special shoutout to Roger Bart, a man of many hats (literally), in the role(s) of Narrator, Tour Guide, Speedy Valenti, Chick Clark, etc. Marc Kudisch’s Robert Baker had that dreamy George Clooney feel about him, and both Faith and Nikki were rockstars (although Faith was a bit old for the role, no?).

The special 3-night engagement is over by the time I’m writing this, so I’m not spoiling it for anyone by saying that my favorite parts were the appearance of the cast rising up out of the orchestra pit at the end of the overture, and the surprise dance bits with a troupe of male dancers (and Faith and Nikki too!). Wonderful Town was a real holiday treat!