Author: Leona Laurie

VIOLET at the Chance Theater: The Music Raises it Up

If you loved Kari Hayter‘s Parade at the Chance Theater last year, you need to make the effort to see her Violet. The story of Violet, playing now, is thus: Set in the Deep South during the early days of the civil rights movement, this powerful musical tells the touching story of a young woman accidentally scarred on the face as a child. Hoping that a TV evangelist can cure her, Violet embarks on a long bus ride from her sleepy North Carolina town through Memphis to Oklahoma. Along the way, she meets two young soldiers who teach her...

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THE BIG BANG THEORY Recap: (S11E15) The Novelization Correlation

The latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Novelization Correlation,” finds Leonard (Johnny Galecki) working on a novel and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) working on emotional maturity. Both good goals! Wil Wheaton’s (Wil Wheaton) tenure as “Professor Proton” has finally commenced, and Sheldon begrudgingly tunes in for the first episode with Amy (Mayim Bialik), only to be completely sucked in. After learning how to make a hovercraft at home (Wanna try it? See video below!), and enjoying a terrific science joke (Why can you not trust atoms? Because they make up everything!), Sheldon has been lulled into enjoying himself when astronaut Howard (Simon...

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Opening February 10 at the Chance Theater: VIOLET

The Chance Theater’s production of Parade last year was one of the best theater experiences of my life. I love the Chance Theater anyway, but Kari Hayter‘s production of a musical about a Jewish man being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting a child was a dismal subject that was transcendent in Hayter’s hands. As soon as I saw that she was the one directing Violet, the next show on Chance’s calendar, I was all in.  The Chance says of Violet: “The best Tony-nominated musical nobody’s ever heard of… Violet has wowed critics and audiences with its powerful story and...

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THE BIG BANG THEORY Recap: (S11E14) The Separation Triangulation

Despite the hopes “The Solo Oscillation” raised for the prospect of Penny (Kaley Cuoco) maybe getting pulled into Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) string theory work, The Big Bang Theory downshifted hard in “The Separation Triangulation,” A.K.A. “Walton Goggins wants to be on the show, so what can we do with him?” Sheldon’s recommitment to string theory has resulted in organized chaos all over his and Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) apartment, so he gets the idea that he can rent his old bedroom from Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny and work there instead. This leads to a new rental agreement that’s classic Sheldon, and despite a harmonious first...

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Opening January 19 at South Coast Repertory: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE

South Coast Repertory is one of 15 theaters around the United States staging productions of Shakespeare in Love this season, according to an American Theatre Magazine survey. SCR’s is likely to be one of the best.  The play is an adaptation of the 1998 movie, first staged in London in 2014. Not familiar with the movie? Here’s the gist: The story centers on young Will Shakespeare’s formative years, as the aspiring playwright has writer’s block and owes two demanding producers a new comedy—a half-baked mess titled “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter”. Enter his inspiration: the cross-dressing heroine Viola de Lesseps. Smart, beautiful...

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THE BIG BANG THEORY Recap: (S11E13) The Solo Oscillation

It was a big night for The Big Bang Theory. While Mayim Bialik was winning the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Amy on the CW, over on CBS “The Solo Oscillation” was airing. Amy and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) relived the greatest hits of their youth science fair and spelling bee days, Footprints on the Moon debuted a new song and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) solved string theory.    A post shared by mayim bialik (@missmayim) on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:23pm PST The heart of the episode is Sheldon (Jim Parsons) having a professional crisis. He kicks Amy...

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THE BIG BANG THEORY Recap: (S11E12) The Matrimonial Metric

Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) are working their way through all of the details of wedding planning on The Big Bang Theory, and in “The Matrimonial Metric” they turn their attention to selecting their Matron of Honor and Best Man– with science! Amy is torn. She wants to ask Penny (Kaley Cuoco) to be her Matron of Honor, but because she was Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch), she feels pulled towards her as well. Sheldon wants to ask Leonard (Johnny Galecki) to be his Best Man, but his mother wants him to ask his brother. Normally he’d refuse, but since he’s already rejected her...

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DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special Recap: (S11E0) Twice Upon a Time

At the end of the Season 10 finale of Doctor Who, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) was mortally wounded and Bill (Pearl Mackie) was escaping her fate as a Cyber Man by becoming one with the Universe with the help of “Pilot” Heather (Stephanie Hyam). When we left The Doctor, he was at the South Pole, determined to die instead of regenerating. Unbeknownst to him, The Original Doctor (David Bradley) was there for the same purpose.  We’d seen the two Doctors find each other at the end of that last episode, and we pick up in the same moment with an add-on:...

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THE BIG BANG THEORY Recap: (S11E11) The Celebration Reverbation

Sorry, Big Bang Theory. If you’re gonna keep running new episodes against geek-culture film openings, I’m gonna keep recapping late. Tonight I feel like you’re lucky I even watched “The Celebration Reverbration,” because STAR WARS. Come on, Chuck Lorre! If you can mention The Last Jedi in the script, you should be able to get CBS to delay a week.  Anyway, it’s Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) birthday. Instead of just getting her annual birthday coitus from Sheldon (Jim Parsons), he surprises her by making an authentic “Little House on the Prairie” meal from scratch. The ensuing food poisoning (temporarily) derails the coitus,...

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OVERWATCH’s Rachel Day Talks Gameplay, Cosplay & the Value of Extracurriculars

Long Beach native Rachel Day is one of a number of alumni of Orange County School of the Arts (formerly Orange County High School of the Arts) speaking to current students this week. The school might be best known for producing recognizable actors like Glee’s Matthew Morrison or OITNB’s Taryn Manning, but it also launches artists into careers behind the scenes—including more technical careers like becoming a Disney Imagineer… or a Senior FX Artist for Blizzard. When Rachel went to OCSA, she was there to dance. If she hadn’t been encouraged to try extracurriculars, she might never have found...

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