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  The $5 Shakespeare Company Reviews
The $5 Shakespeare Company
Theatre 68

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times- Recommended

"...Leavitt's script is sharp, with a fluid and nuanced plot. Details mentioned in passing come back around for satisfying punchlines later. The characters are piercingly vibrant, their connections to one another messy and tension-filled, so when the cast members of this play-within-a-play act out their "Midsummer" scenes, they deliver some of the biggest laughs of the night. Part farce, part tribute to the Bard, these scenes draw the audience fully into the world of "The $5 Shakespeare Company.""
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Nikki Munoz



Stage and Cinema- Not Recommended

"...In the performance reviewed, actor Joel Bryant, with 24-hours' notice, stepped into a role of Noel to replace an injured actor for what may or may not be a singular night. With book in-hand, he rarely used it. Even with Leavitt's dialog that, as Hamlet said, doesn't fall "trippingly on the tongue," he delivered one of the show's top performances. Maybe, ironically, The $5 Shakespeare Company got its message across after all."
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Marc Wheeler



LA Splash- Recommended

"...Written with love and exasperation by author Matthew Leavitt, THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY shares the fun and frustration of doing intimate theater in Los Angeles. With the 99-seater on the block, Leavitt weaves humor and compassion into the tale of a down-and-out Shakespeare acting company trying to make it in Hollywood - even when there are more people in the cast than in the theater. In a venue like Los Angeles - where film and television are king - these earnest young (and not so young) actors work for little-to-no-money just for the chance to get up on a stage and lose themselves in the joy of forming a creative cocoon for the audience to savor for a few hours."
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Elaine Mura



Stage Scene LA- Highly Recommended

"...Aficionados of L.A.'s intimate theater scene will find themselves in 99-seat heaven at The $5 Shakespeare Company, Matthew Leavitt's ever so clever, ever so delightful World Premiere backstage comedy gem."
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Steven Stanley



The Tolucan Times- Highly Recommended

"...The $5 Shakespeare Company lovingly satirizes the world of 99 seat theatre and the role of acting in its entertaining, high octane show."
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Mary Mallory



On Stage Los Angeles- Recommended

"...With moments of true pathos, this one is mostly for fun and succeeds."
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Stage Raw- Recommended

"...The play is a love letter to L.A. theatre, Shakespeare, and all the artists who put up with less-than-desirable circumstances out of their yearning to perform. The $5 Shakespeare Company shares that feeling of magic that comes with performing stories that have been around long before our time, and which will remain long after we are gone."
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Julia Stier



Haines His Way- Recommended

"...Leavitt has written some fun characters and the cast ably inhabits their roles under the assured direction of Joel Zwick. Besides painting a truer-than-life exhibit of the 99-seat theatre scene and its inhabitants (doing A Midsummer Night's Dream in Hawaiian shirts, muumuus, leis and flip flops) Leavitt also pokes some satiric jibes at Scientology. Cell phones on stage, oiled hunks causing their leading ladies to break out in hives, cheap props and cheesy costumes-they are all here. Leavitt has written too many heartfelt speeches and false endings in the final ten minutes and should do some judicious trimming. Until then sit back, relax, laugh, enjoy and hope that your 99-seat theatre experience is as much fun as it is for The $5 Shakespeare Company."
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Rob Stevens