THE LONESOME WEST
Director Stephanie Coltrin not only brings out the best in her all-around superb cast, she scores bonus points for one of the most inspired scene changes this reviewer has ever witnessed, one that not only avoids wasting precious minutes but adds even more impact to the most heartbreaking of monologues. As black as the darkest corners of of the Coleman brothers’ pitiful excuses for hearts and as exhilarating as a play and production can get, The Lonesome West makes a visit to L.A.’s South Bay a September must.- Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA
When facing evil, does silence become complicity? "Taking Sides" makes the question newly relevant... Director Stephanie Coltrin hits the right emotional notes in this charged dialectic.... - Philip Brandes, L.A. Times
Could Greg be going through a "male menopausal moment? Will Kate divorce Greg, on the grounds of adultery? Will she sue Sylvia for alienation of affections? These and other questions get answered at the Rubicon, where ace director Stephanie A. Coltrin's couldn't-be-better cast will have you laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. - Steven Stanley, Stage Scene L.A.
MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS
Veteran director Stephanie A. Coltrin fires up this terrific cast for an antic evening that flies by not in gusts not of wind but of laughter. - Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
At Ventura's Rubicon Theatre under Stephanie A. Coltrin's accomplished direction, emotionally rewarding performances showcase the compositional facility that has established Brown at the forefront of contemporary musical theatre. - Philip Brandes, L.A. Times
WOW! Los Angeles has been treating Rodgers And Hammerstein’s Oklahoma to quite a fabulous extended 65th Anniversary party these past two years, with three major productions already reviewed on these pages. It’s now Civic Light Opera Of South Bay Cities’ turn to work its musical magic on R&H’s very first collaboration, and given their illustrious track record, it’s no surprise that this Stephanie A. Coltrin-directed revival is an all-around winner, precisely the kind of production an Oklahoma!-caliber classic deserves.
Those who’ve studiously avoided Oklahoma! thinking it dated or dull are in for a very pleasant surprise should they be persuaded to see CLOSBC’s splendid revival. -Stage Scene LA
Stephanie A. Coltrin's assured direction makes the most of Lucky Cardwell's bold set design, a barrage of Communist red and gold, seamy neon signage and chain-link militarism. The production's stage pictures are delivered with vigor and craft by an ensemble of 30, dressed in Mela Hoyt-Heydon's vivid costumes. Civic Light Opera's excellent production delivers high-end spectacle with the company's characteristic energy and style.-L.A. Times
SHE LOVES ME
WOW! Under Stephanie A. Coltrin’s impeccable direction, the entire cast deliver pitch-perfect performances.
If She Loves Me is any indication, …company can expect a year filled with kudos … and droves of award nominations as well. She Loves Me is a gem of a musical, and in CLOSBC’s hands, there’s no more brightly polished one in town. -Stage Scene L.A.
WE LOVES IT! I still had my doubts as to what a Civic Light Opera could achieve, as they …. incorporate non-seasoned performers alongside professionals – with mixed results. Well, director Stephanie A. Coltrin and her crew quelled all qualms by presenting a delightful rendition at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. this is a must-see Valentine of a show that will leave you giddy with love, almost as if you gorged on sweet confections but magically had neither stomach ills nor toothache. Coltrin’s staging of “Twelve Days to Christmas” is positively spectacular. -Tony Frankel, Stage & Cinema
The show is smartly directed by Stephanie Coltrin with many clever touches that take maximum advantage of Aaron Jackson's excellent scene design. The opening shipwreck scene is terrific with choreographed motion conveying the turbulence of the storm.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Two years after presenting a powerful production of "Godspell," Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities tackles the "other" major musical based on the teachings and death of Jesus - Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar," at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. And, once again, the company comes through with a winner.
… this remarkable cast of "Superstar" newcomers and veterans, driven by Coltrin with passion and verve, exposes the work's emotional core. The blistering pace never wavers, so the two-hour journey seems to come and go in a flash.
Webber and Rice intended to show Jesus as a human being, and to provide a sympathetic side to Judas, both of which come through clearly. Coltrin provides subtle moments, such as Jesus hugging Judas at the last supper, to accent the concept that Judas is fulfilling a necessary, albeit vilified, role.
Coltrin also uses an apron during a few key songs, extending it in front of the orchestra to more closely connect to the audience.
CLOSBC’S “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR” is relevant and exhilarating. -Jeff Favre, Daily Breeze
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
Under Stephanie A. Coltrin’s expert direction, and featuring bravura lead performances by Matthew Brenher as George and Suzanne Dean as Martha, this is a production that more than holds its own against the Bill Irwin/Kathleen Turner Broadway revival which played the Ahmanson a few years back, or last season’s Ovation-nominated staging at the Rubicon.
Not just anyone can get the rights to stage Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, so the simple fact that Hermosa Beach Playhouse was granted them by the 81-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright himself augers well for the production. As anyone who’s caught their recent Sylvia, Blithe Spirit, or Come Back To The Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean knows, the Playhouse is easily the finest non-Equity theater in the L.A. area, their productions standing up quite nicely our most esteemed Equity houses. Coltrin directed all three above-mentioned productions, as well as the multiple Ovation-winning Miss Saigon, and with Virginia Woolf her all-time favorite play, this is a director who knows the material and knows how to bring out the best in it. Add to that South Bay Cities’ finest actress (Dean) and Brenher, her superb costar in Little Fish’s recent Betrayal, and you have can’t-miss, must-see theater. - Stage Scene L.A
Director Stephanie A. Coltrin - the CLOSBC artistic director - shows her versatility by following up a vibrant version of the musical “Oklahoma!” with a barely restrained version of this seminal play, where alcohol is the fuel for a virtual fireworks display where everyone gets burned.
Fireworks start early and Coltrin amps up the intensity to near breaking point, but always staying within the realm of reality. It’s no easy task, but the payoff is richly rewarding. -The Daily Breeze
Coward's comedy moves along at a good clip, which is one of director Stephanie Coltrin's many talents....- Bondo Wyszpolski, Easy Reader
BARK! the musical
Stephanie A. Coltrin’s direction is as always impeccable, as is Daniel Gary Busby’s musical direction of the show’s six-piece band. Karl Warden, the best Will Parker ever in CLOSBC’s Oklahoma!, does terrific work choreographing dance numbers in multiple genres that fit each song to a T. -Stage Scene L.A.
Stephanie Coltrin's meticulous fast-paced direction help it retain its tip-top place as an audience favorite.
Coltrin's direction is a joy. -Broadway World
COME BACK TO THE FIVE & DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN
The current production of "Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean," on stage at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse through Nov. 4, is a resounding success. The cast may not boast the star-power of Cher, Karen Black, Cathy Bates and Sandy Dennis, but under the adroit, emotionally resonant direction of Stephanie Coltrin, this production touches the heart, as well as the funny bone, in ways the film does not. It's a perfect example of an ensemble cast running on all cylinders. - -Jim Farber, Daily Breeze
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK
This production also proves to be another feather in the cap of director Stephanie Coltrin. She keeps her stage buzzing with pace and movement, and she directs with an ear well attuned to comedy. The 90-plus minutes of this play move along at such a merry clip that when the theater darkens at the show’s conclusion, the audience is left wanting more. -Beach Reporter
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Gorgeous to look at and sparklingly performed by a talented cast who make Elizabethan English sound refreshingly modern, this Stephanie A. Coltrin-directed Midsummer Night’s Dream enchants and tickles the funny bone in equal measure. Fortunately for all concerned, all’s well that ends well—with a trio of blissful couples united in the play’s romantic finale—all of this staged by Coltrin with her accustomed panache.