Tired of looking through my Review of Reviews posts to find my sum-ups of each show? I decided to do a full list of brief critical summaries about everything that's currently running. If I missed any show that's been reviewed by more than one outlet, let me know (though some shows may count it a blessing that I haven't rehashed their notices here).
They're ranked in a roughly scientific order, but I'm open to suggestions. Consider it a guide to must-see theatre, consider it an ungodly mushing-together of several woefully subjective opinions, or consider it not at all.
But here it is.
EXITS AND ENTRANCES at the Fountain Theatre through Dec. 18. Four rave reviews (and probably more) for Athol Fugard’s memory play.
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at the Ahmanson Theatre through Dec. 25.
Four raves, one mixed-positive, and one mixed-negative review. “A whompin’ American hymn: half gospel, half davening, an ode to despair and a prayer for deliverance.”
A VERY MERRY UNAUTHORIZED CHILDREN’S SCIENTOLOGY PAGEANT at the Powerhouse Theatre through Dec. 19. Four raves, one mixed-negative review. "A provocative mix of Christmas-pageant sincerity, Christopher Durang-like irony, and unexpected rage.”
LIKE A DOG ON LINOLEUM at the Elephant Asylum Theatre through Dec. 12. Three rave reviews for Leslie Jordan’s solo show. "House-shaking hilarity and heart-tugging candor.”
OUROBOROS at the Road Theatre through Dec. 18. Three rave reviews for Tom Jacobson’s play about couples on a spiritual quest in Italy. ”An enchanting metaphysical etude.”
A FLEA IN HER EAR at A Noise Within through Dec. 11. Two rave reviews and one mixed-positive for this production of Feydeau’s farce. “Dense with details and zipping along at an ever-accelerating pace.”
LETTING GO OF GOD at the Hudson Backstage through Dec. 19. Two raves and one mixed-positive review for Julia Sweeney’s solo show about losing her religion. “Brave, hilarious, and ultimately moving.”
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at A Noise Within through Dec. 3. Two raves and one mixed-positive review. ““A sumptuous, visually arresting production."
THE CIDER HOUSE RULES at Long Beach’s Edison Theatre through Dec. 11. Two rave reviews of the two-part epic. “Eminently stageworthy, even more so than at the much larger Taper.”
A CONSTANT STAR at the Laguna Playhouse through Dec. 4. One rave and two mixed-positive reviews for Tazewell Thompson play about activist Ida B. Wells. “Culturally enriching and… beautifully performed.”
THE LESSON at City Garage through Dec. 12. Three strongly positive reviews. “If you've never seen any Ionesco, this serves as a great introduction.”
MODERN DANCE FOR BEGINNERS at the Little Victory, indefinite run. Two strongly positive reviews for Sarah Phelps’ sex comedy. “An abbreviated La Ronde, with more laughs.”
BASIC TRAINING at THE 2nd Stage Theatre. Two strongly positive reviews and two mixed-positive reviews. ”Nonstop energy and world-class humor.”
DEALING WITH CLAIR at the Matrix Theatre through Dec. 19. Two strongly positive reviews and one mixed-positive review for Martin Crimp's mysterious drama. "A production that shames us, shakes us... makes us think.”
FOUR GUYS NAMED JOSE… AND UNA MUJER NAMED MARIA at International City Theatre through Nov. 28. Two strongly positive reviews and one mixed review for the Latin music revue. “An utterly alive medley of Latin-tinged songs”.
ROGER AND VANESSA at the Actors’ Gang El Centro space in Hollywood through Nov. 28. Two strongly positive reviews for Brett C. Leonard’s one-act about a bickering New York couple. “Crackles with bleak humor.”
THREE at Electric Lodge through Dec. 4. One rave and one positive review for Patricia Cotter’s new play about relationships. ”A fresh and tender comedy.”
LYDIE BREEZE at the Open Fist Theatre through Dec. 4. One rave, one mixed-positive review, and one negative review for John Guare’s period drama. ”A thick New England chowder of determinism and dysfunction.”
BOLD GIRLS at the Matrix Theatre through Dec. 17. One rave, one mixed-positive review, and one all-around mixed revie for Rona Munro's play about women in Belfast. “Artfully mingles the pedestrian and the profound… alternately wrenchingly funny and just plain wrenching.”
THE CONQUEST OF THE SOUTH POLE at the Odyssey Theatre through Dec. 12. Two strongly positive reviews and one mixed-positive review for Manfred Karge’s epic play. “Simultaneously whimsical and gut-wrenching”
DOGEATERS at SIPA Performance Space in Filipinotown through Dec. 12. One strongly positive and two mixed-positive reviews for Jessica Hagedorn’s play. "Almost a historical circus… more Dos Passos than Brecht.”
THE CIRCLE at the Stella Adler Theatre through Dec. 18. One strongly positive review, one mixed-positive, and one mixed-negative for Shem Bitterman’s anguished post-Columbine drama. “A huge, almost unbearable concept… daring in execution, fierce in intention.”
AS VISHNU DREAMS at East West Players trhough Dec. 5. Three positive reviews and two mixed reviews. “A gripping interpretation… thoughtful, funny, and finally poignant dimensions.”
A PERFECT WEDDING at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
Three mixed-positive reviews, one mixed-negative, one negative, and one rave for Chuck Mee’s new play. “Anarchy on autopilot”… “Alternately playful and ponderous.”
LIGHT at Theatre @ Boston Court. Three mixed-positive reviews for Jean Claude Van Itallie’s intellectual love triangle. “Engaging and evocative, if somewhat overwritten.”
MACHINAL at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Center through Dec. 11. Two mixed-positive reviews for Sophie Treadwell’s symbolic drama. “A strange and wonderful piece of Expressionistic theater that seems of-the-moment all over again.”
HYENAS, OR THE MONOLOGUE OF THEODORE-FREDERIC BENOIT at Stages Theatre Center. One mixed-positive review and two mixed reviews. A fascinating existential showpiece, though not without some discrepancies.”
2 ACROSS at the Santa Monica Playhouse through Dec. 19. One mixed-positive and one mixed-negative review. "Comically well-timed staging and two undemonstrative yet heartfelt performances.”
ANGEL STREET at Actors’ Co-op through Dec. 12. One mixed-positive review and two negative reviews for Patrick’s Hamilton’s thriller. “Doesn’t brake for subtleties.”