All stories by Leo Buck on BroadwayStars

Friday, December 6, 2019

Ever A Surprise: One More Productions Presents ‘Mystery, Romance—And A Happy Ending’ With Disney’s Enchanting “Beauty And The Beast” by Leo Buck

This production benefits magnificently from the understanding that less is often more—relying less on special effects or stage gimmicks and more on stellar performances, always with an eye…

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

There’s No TV Like “Golden” TV: V.A.I. Music’s Very ‘Mary’ DVD Release Of “Annie Get Your Gun” ‘Raitt’s” A Real ‘Live’ Winn by Leo Buck

Ms. Martin and Mr. Raitt’s talents match one another’s flawlessly, helping to make this a “Must See” for fans and aficionados of either (or both) of them; of rare television antiquit…

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Friday, October 25, 2019

Simply Simon: The “Open Fist Theatre Company’s” Debut Of “Musical Fools” Is The No Nonsense ‘Neil’ Deal! by Leo Buck

If you’re in the market for a good, old fashioned. “Forget your troubles” kind of musical you've hit the jackpot here—so what if it all adds up to lunacy, it’s lovable lunacy! Up i…

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Friday, October 18, 2019

No Two Ways About It: 3-D Theatricals’ “Once, The Musical” Is A ‘Roundly’ Stirring Love Story! by Leo Buck

Even with a decade of providing Southland theater enthusiasts with top-flight entertainment under their belts, this marks something of a distinguished achievement for 3-D Theatricals, as it�…

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Whoa Mama! One More Productions’ Astronomically Entertaining Bluegrass Musical “Bright Star” Shimmers With Hopes And Dreams And Fine Imaginings by Leo Buck

If the goal of theater is to make one feel and be affected by what they’re seeing and experiencing, the gang at “One More Productions” have certainly succeeded in spades as “Bright S…

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Everybody! ‘Grump’ For Joy: The La Mirada Theatre’s West Coast Debut Of “Grumpy Old Men—The Musical” Is A Clever Curmudgeonly Comedy by Leo Buck

At turns hilarious, while at others startlingly affecting, many of the best lines or crucial plot-twists delightfully take you off guard, making their impact lingering and’s u…

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

One ‘Roar’ Time: 3-D Theatricals’ ‘Ogre-hauled’ “Shrek, The Musical” Is A Happily Ever Entertaining Reprise To Please! by Leo Buck

Director Vaughn truly knows this show and possesses plenty of earnest affection for the material. Here his direction is fast paced and colorful—kind of like a frisky and forward-flowing wh…

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

When You’re A Hit, You’re A Hit All The Way: “One More Productions” Breezes It, Buzzes It, And Turns ‘On’ The Juice With Their ‘Pretty A by Leo Buck

Helped tremendously by the more intimate size of the venue, this closer proximity to the action increases the visceral-level responses one gets concerning all the high-stakes emotions and th…

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It’s A Bonanza And A Mad Extravaganza: The Best Of Times Really Are Now At “The Long Beach Playhouse” With Their Staging Of “La Cage Aux Folle by Leo Buck

This new production at “The Long Beach Playhouse” is a more intimate interpretation of this solid audience favorite, while still maintaining (and doing justice) to all the elements that …

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Totally ‘Engaging’ Musical: Santa Monica’s “Morgan-Wixson Theatre” Marries Old-School Hilarity To New-Wave Harmony With “The Wedding Sin by Leo Buck

Ms. Mattsson’s direction is lively, and free-flowing, with an inspiring trend toward finding the ‘realism’ in the outright farcical; this makes the characters, and what they’re doing…

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Monday, May 27, 2019

A Yippee-Yi-Yay To Remember: Sure As Shootin’ “The Skylight Theatre Company” Kicks Up Their Heels With The Wild, Western, And Wonderful World P by Leo Buck

Under his letter-perfect and agile direction, Bird and his cast and crew have concocted a big, bright, bubbly Valentine to hope-against-hope and the good old-fashioned value of having a drea…

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Show Them A Reason And They’ll Soon Show You A Rhyme: The Kentwood Players ‘Spread A Little Sunshine’ With Their ‘Glory! Glori-ous!’ Stagin by Leo Buck

Schwartz’s cutting-edge score (his first for a major Broadway show) adeptly combines the best elements of ‘old school’ classic musicals from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s with the more…

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Not Your ‘Garden Variety’ Musical: 3-D Theatricals Cultivates A Big, Bloomin’ Bouquet Of ‘Spirited’ Delight With “The Secret Garden” by Leo Buck

3-D Theatricals' gives this one the treatment such a monumental, near-epic tale of this caliber fully deserves. Even if you’ve seen the show done before, you’ve NEVER seen it like this�…

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cinema Italiano Vivi Sul Palco: One More Production’s Fellini-esque & Female-Filled “NINE” Scores A Solid TEN Out Of Ten! by Leo Buck

A complex, highly-stylized musical dramedy, style is precisely what the folks at “One More Productions” have given it in spades. Yeston’s songs are some of the smartest and very best w…

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

It’s Raining ‘Taps’ And ‘Clogs’: Stage Adaptation Of “Singin’ In The Rain” Makes A Big Entertaining Splash In La Mirada CA.! by Leo Buck

More a knowing ‘homage’ to the 1952 cinematic mega-hit than an outright ‘reproduction’ of it, Director-Choreographer Spencer Liff references just enough of the film, while re-envisio…

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dot By Dot, THIS Is The State Of The Art: The Kentwood Players’ Picturesque “Sunday In The Park With George” Is A ‘Masterful Piece’ Of Music by Leo Buck

Admittedly, “Sunday In The Park With George” is not at all an easy or simple show to produce; Thrillingly however, the “Kentwood Players” rise to all technical and textual demands (a…

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

A Show Of Entertaining Magnitude: The Gem Theatre’s Regional Debut Of “Disaster! The Musical” Will Have You Quaking With Laughter In Garden Grov by Leo Buck

Rudetsky and Plotnick’s book winks at many of these Big-Screen exploits, but never out-and-out ‘steals’ from any of them, resulting in an entirely—and an enthrallingly--new work that…

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Where There’s A ‘Wilkas’, There’s A Way (–A Droege Too!) “Born To Win” Is A ‘Can’t Lose’ Beauty Of A Comedy Debut At Hollywood’s by Leo Buck

Sort of akin to what you’d get were “Honey Boo-Boo” to become a live stage-show (--only the absurd humor here is genuinely intended--) the truly hysterical script combines the best (an…

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Six-Feet Under Wonder: 3-D Theatricals’ Regional Premiere Of “A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder” Is A Drop-Dead Gore-geous Musical To � by Leo Buck

Just about ALL the music heard in “Gentleman’s Guide” is a sumptuous repast for the ears as would befit any ‘Edwardian era’ Operetta, delivered by a coterie of absolutely magnifice…

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Here’s A Fine ‘Twist’: MTW’s “Oliver!” Is One ‘Dickens’ Of A Jolly Ol’ Pleasure Outing In Long Beach CA. by Leo Buck

Each principal figure we encounter in this ‘saga’ is time-tested and thoroughly unforgettable, and all those playing them do every one justice. So too, this production features an ensemb…

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Year They Went ‘MAGA-GA’ Over: The La Mirada Theatre Hatches A ‘Revolution’ In Brilliance With “1776: The Musical” by Leo Buck

A thoroughly delightful “Semi-History” lesson through song, “1776” is most assuredly a brave and uncommon musical—but nonetheless entrancing (maybe for this very reason.) Not only …

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Strong ‘Emma’-nations Worthy Of Ovations: The Chance Theater Goes Back On The ‘Jane Gang’ With Their Regional Premiere Of “Emma, The Musical by Leo Buck

Featuring an intelligent and exceedingly witty score from Tony-nominated Composer Paul Gordon, (who also provided the book,) his lyrics are blithe, bubbly, astute and amusing while remainin…

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Steve Mar-‘Tin Pan Alley’ Marvel: None Is Better Than Musical Theatre West’s ‘Stellar’ Regional Premiere Of “Bright Star” by Leo Buck

What’s in store is an authentic theatrical ‘discovery’ waiting to be discovered--even better, this new production in Long Beach surely makes it worth discovering! Yes, it can be an emo…

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Ghoul-Tide Tradition Returns: Knott’s ‘Scary’ Farm’s “Halloween Haunt 2018” Delivers The Shivers And Raises The Spirit Of Fright And Fun by Leo Buck

It’s always important to bear in mind that events of this nature always succeed best when giving us the opportunity to live out our most secret or heart-stopping fears (—no matter how un…

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ach Du Lieber, Und Oh Boy: One More Productions’ “The Producers” Is A Big, Bright “Bloom ’n’ Bialy”-Hoo In Garden Grove CA. by Leo Buck

Co-Directed by “One More Productions” Co-Founders, Nicole Cassesso and Damien Lorton (who also Co-Stars as the hyper has-been Impresario, “Max Bialystock”) the choreography comes gra…

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Stylish With A Quiet Dignity: The Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s “She Loves Me” Is A Show Definitely Worth Trying On In Santa Monica CA. by Leo Buck

Branda Lock’s Direction plays toward the many laughs the script gives rise to—often by means of the downright clever way more than a few of the numbers are staged. By the same token, man…

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Friday, August 10, 2018

THIS Winner Takes It All: They Can Dance, They Can Jive, As SoCal ‘Digs’ 3-D Theatricals’ Regional Theater Premiere Of “Mamma Mia!” by Leo Buck

3-D Theatricals' latest re-imagining takes clear advantage of all the geniality, appeal and undoubtedly many cherished memories connected with both these songs and the show itself, with each…

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Look At The Ol’ Girl Now, Fellas: With The Best Of Them, They Can Hold Their Head Up High As One More Productions Says “Hello Dolly!” by Leo Buck

Calling on the talents of twenty-nine supremely adept performers, their collective enterprise and abilities all aid immeasurably in making this “Hello, Dolly!” a genuinely blithe, boiste…

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

It’s A Gas That Frankie’s Landed! : Fullerton ’s “Maverick Theater” ‘Rose Tints Your World’ With Their “Thrilling, Chilling, Fulfillin by Leo Buck

Numerous elements cleverly reflect—but never wholly reconstruct or ‘copy’ the groundbreaking movie—so those who expect them to, as well as those who hope they don’t, are sure to be…

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Big ‘Pa-Rage’ Goes By: 3-D Theatricals’ Encore Production Puts A ‘Frank’ Miscarriage Of Justice On Full “PARADE”! by Leo Buck

“Unbiased" is one of this productions’ major assets. In fact, it could be argued that the true strength of Dawson’s direction is how, (unlike in several more recent productions of “P…

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

These “Newsies” On A Mission, Kill The Competition: Disney’s “Newsies” In La Mirada CA Is A Production That’s Rich And ‘Banner’ Headli by Leo Buck

Forget the movie! Fierstein’s book is exciting and even considerably moving at turns; Yet if there was one ‘take away” from this particular production (although in truth there are inde…

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