All stories by Deborah Vankin on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

'That '70s Show's' Debra Jo Rupp on her new 'Cake' and breaking the rules — in baking and in life by Deborah Vankin

Debra Jo Rupp has had more than 300 TV and film roles, and she’s still best known as doting mom Kitty Forman in “That ’70s Show.” But the actress is most at home onstage, she says, w…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Monday, June 12, 2017

Bette Midler wins her first acting Tony Award for 'Hello, Dolly!' by Deborah Vankin

“Well, hello, Tony!” That could have been Bette Midler’s mantra Sunday evening as she took the stage to accept her award for lead actress in a musical for “Hello, Dolly!” Throughou…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 12:00AM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman to revive 'Crazy for You' in L.A. by Deborah Vankin

You could say Susan Stroman is crazy for the musical. In 1992 Stroman launched her career by choreographing the original Broadway production of “Crazy for You,” a Wall Street-boy-meets-M…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Ford Theatres announces new collaborations for summer 2017 season by Deborah Vankin

The Ford Theatres, the 97-year-old outdoor amphitheatre nestled in the Hollywood Hills, has finally completed its $72.2-million renovation, and the facility is promising a spirit of collabor…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:00PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

For a giant like the L.A. Phil, how does NEA funding factor into the big picture? by Deborah Vankin

The Los Angeles Philharmonic is hardly a shoestring operation, with its $255-million endowment and an annual budget of $120 million for the 2015-16 season. The 106-member orchestra led by Gu…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 11:00AM
Friday, March 31, 2017

Clearing up confusion over 'Hamilton' tickets for L.A.: What you need to know by Deborah Vankin

“Hamilton” may celebrate inclusion, but the frenzied quest for tickets to the musical’s Los Angeles run has left some ticket hopefuls confused or worried they will be left out. Perform…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:30PM
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wait for it: 'Hamilton' announces on-sale date for single tickets in L.A. by Deborah Vankin

Los Angeles “Hamilton” fans, take note: 10 a.m. April 30. That’s when individual tickets for the musical’s run at the Hollywood Pantages will go on sale, the theater announced Tuesda…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney to step down by Deborah Vankin

Randall Arney is stepping down as artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, the company said Tuesday. After 17 years with the company, Arney will leave when his contract ends i…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:20PM

Hollywood Bowl's 2017 lineup: 'Harry Potter,' Misty Copeland, 'Mamma Mia!' and more by Deborah Vankin

When the Hollywood Bowl announces its 2017 summer season on Tuesday, the lineup will swing from the ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” to a Gustavo Dudamel-conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphon…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:00AM
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Al Pacino and the role that pulled him to the Pasadena Playhouse stage by Deborah Vankin

Al Pacino stumbles onstage during rehearsals at the Pasadena Playhouse, his rumpled suit too loose, his hair disheveled, his eyes buggy. The set of playwright Dotson Rader’s “God Looked …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:00AM
Friday, January 6, 2017

George Takei's Broadway musical 'Allegiance' breaks a theater-screening record by Deborah Vankin

If you missed George Takei’s Broadway musical, “Allegiance” — or the subsequent one-night-only screening of the live production in movie theaters nationwide — then fear not.   It…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 05:50PM
Thursday, December 22, 2016

The arts buzzword of 2016: 'immersive' by Deborah Vankin

If there was an arts buzzword for 2016, it was “immersive.” The word landed in our email boxes with invites to immersive theater events. It topped press releases announcing immersive …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:00AM
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Remember the Haunted Mansion stretching portraits at Disneyland? Now you can own one - for a price by Deborah Vankin

The portrait is tall and stately, its subject a distinguished gentleman who stands with chest puffed out, proudly. But here's the thing: He wears no pants. The man, it turns out, stands atop…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 11:00AM
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why a MacArthur Foundation grant for playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, 31, is no surprise at all by Deborah Vankin

Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty has written that we’re enjoying  “one of the most exciting periods in American playwriting in at least a generation,” one in which “…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 12:05AM
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Broad Foundation names insider as its new president by Deborah Vankin

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced Friday that it has named Gerun Riley as its new president. Riley has spent 13 years with the Broad Foundation, which provides grants in educatio…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:32PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Gay Men's Chorus of L.A. is losing its executive director to San Francisco by Deborah Vankin

Christopher Verdugo, executive director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, is engaged in something of an alphabet scramble: The leader of GMCLA is headed to the SFGMC - the San Francisc…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:50PM
Friday, April 1, 2016

CalArts' 'Shelter' gives voice to the Central American kids fleeing to the U.S. without their parents by Deborah Vankin

The stage is sparse but for seven plywood boxes, lined up like train cars and bathed in the golden light of dusk. One by one, the kids climb atop the boxes, which rumble and shake beneath th…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 10:42AM
Friday, January 22, 2016

Deaf West's 'Spring Awakening' is closing on Broadway, but national tour is planned by Deborah Vankin

Deaf West’s revival of the musical “Spring Awakening” is closing Sunday at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre after more than 130 performances on Broadway. “Spring Awakening” is based on …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 12:39PM
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ballerina Misty Copeland dances home to San Pedro by Deborah Vankin

The crowd of about 200 huddled in the parking lot of San Pedro City Ballet, ensconced in fog and drizzle. Restless and excited, they might have been awaiting the arrival of a rock legend. So…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 11:14AM
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

'Hit the Wall,' acclaimed play about Stonewall riots, adds more L.A. shows by Deborah Vankin

If you missed the L.A. run of “Hit the Wall,” the popular and well-reviewed play about the 1969 Stonewall riots, you have one last chance: Five performances have been added for January. …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 05:39PM
Monday, December 7, 2015

'Hamilton' to duel with 'Fun Home' for theater album Grammy by Deborah Vankin

Musical theater lovers weren’t hit with too many surprises Monday with the 2016 Grammy nominations in the theater album category. Of the five Broadway cast recordings recognized, four had …

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:27PM
Friday, November 20, 2015

Playwright Young Jean Lee asks, 'What do we want straight white men to do that they're not doing?' by Deborah Vankin

Playwright Young Jean Lee wants to brutalize you. She wants to get in your face and make you, the audience, squirm, so that you leave the theater questioning not just what you've seen but yo…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 06:52PM
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Deaf West Theatre's 'Spring Awakening' livestreamed from the White House today by Deborah Vankin

The cast of Deaf West Theatre's revival of the musical "Spring Awakening" will give a special performance of the show today at the White House -- nude scene and all –- and it will be live-…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 08:47AM
Saturday, November 7, 2015

At 85, choreographer Rudy Perez is still inspired by the rhythms of everyday life by Deborah Vankin

Choreographer Rudy Perez may be 85 and legally blind, but when he strolls along the sidewalks near Hollywood and Vine on a recent afternoon, his vision is crystal clear. Gripping his cane, t…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 07:10AM
Saturday, August 1, 2015

Photographer Ellie Davies plunges 'Into the Woods,' her eyes on the 'Stars' by Deborah Vankin

Growing up in England, fine art photographer Ellie Davies spent afternoons frolicking in the forest with her twin sister, Rebecca - they played hide-and-seek, got blissfully lost in the dimn…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 05:05PM
Saturday, July 25, 2015

'Bent' at Mark Taper lets defiant love shine amid the Holocaust by Deborah Vankin

The Mark Taper Forum is dark and still during a tense scene in a preview performance of "Bent," Martin Sherman's 1979 play about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 08:07AM
Monday, June 8, 2015

Tonys 2015: Larry David's curbed enthusiasm; Ruthie Ann Miles' 'King and iPhone' moment by Deborah Vankin

Like any of life's extreme events, awards shows bring out the best and worst in their players. Here are some of most memorable moments from the 69th Tony Awards:

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:24AM
Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tonys 2015: 'Fun Home' wins best musical by Deborah Vankin

"Fun Home" snagged the top honor at the Tonys on Sunday for best musical. The production, based on Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic memoir, earned 12 nods and was considered a front-runn…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 11:29PM

Tonys 2015: Alex Sharp wins best actor in a play by Deborah Vankin

Broadway first-timer Alex Sharp won the Tony Award for lead actor in a play Sunday night. The actor was considered a front-runner in the category for his role in “The Curious Incident of t…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 11:12PM
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kirk Douglas Theatre's 2015-2016 season: 'Straight White Men,' Courtney Love by Deborah Vankin

What’s the meaning of life? What’s the point of economic privilege if it comes with an even steeper cost? What’s life without salad?

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 09:38AM
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tony nominations 2015: Alison Bechdel on 'Fun Home's' moment by Deborah Vankin

Alison Bechdel’s graphic coming-of-age memoir, “Fun Home,” doesn’t exactly seem the stuff of Broadway musicals. The book -- which has become a touchstone of gender identity since its…

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times at 04:45PM