Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse) OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • LA TIMES

  • VARIETY

  • TALKIN' BWAY

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
February 15, 2011
Closing:
March 27, 2011

Theater: La Jolla Playhouse / 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, CA, 92039

Synopsis: 

The Hoover family has seen better days. Richard, the father, is a floundering motivational speaker, Grandpa's been kicked out of his retirement home for doing drugs, and Uncle Frank's been dumped by his boyfriend. Moody teenager Dwayne has taken a vow of silence and overextended mom Sheryl can do little more than slap on a smile. But when the youngest Hoover--energetic, indomitable Olive--enters a regional children's beauty pageant, the family thinks their luck could change and embarks on a cross-country trek chasing the coveted title of Little Miss Sunshine. With a rollicking pace and moments of joyful abandon, Little Miss Sunshine is an outrageously funny and surprisingly touching new musical.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse)

    Taking Dysfunction on a Road Trip, by Van, to California

    Charles Isherwood

    March 8, 2011: Life brings no calamity that cannot be succored or at least sweetened by song in the new musical “Little Miss Sunshine,” adapted from the popular indie movie of 2006 written by Michael Arndt. Marital dissatisfaction, attempted suicide, teenage malaise and the trials of being young and plump are among the road bumps faced by a fractious family in this premiere production, at the La Jolla Playhouse through March 27.

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  • LA TIMES REVIEW OF Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse)

    'Little Miss Sunshine' at La Jolla Playhouse

    Charles McNulty

    March 6, 2011: Theater people, if you’re going to borrow a story, make sure it’s a good one. The ancient tragedians looked to Homer; Shakespeare, more omnivorous, would regularly dip into Ovid and English history. Contemporary musical theater artists, on the other hand, keep turning to lightweight movies for inspiration or, more cynically, box-office juice.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse)

    Little Miss Sunshine

    Bob Verini

    March 6, 2011: The sun shines throughout "Little Miss Sunshine," but the necessary darkness is absent. La Jolla's musicalization of the 2006 movie, launching a hoped-for eastward road trip, boasts David Korins' brightly cartoony designs and a typically tinkly William Finn score. Yet no one seems to have noticed how Michael Arndt's Oscar-winning saga of a young girl's odyssey to pageant immortality is fueled by anger, its family dysfunction the product of devastating disappointments. Unless and until librettist-helmer James Lapine raises both stakes and heat, this tuner will remain a limp retread of robust source material.

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  • TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW OF Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse)

    Little Miss Sunshine

    Bill Eadie

    March 10, 2011: Falsettoland meets Spelling Bee. Think of the possibilities. Can't? Cat got your tongue? Then you might have some idea of the unmitigated disaster that is Little Miss Sunshine, playing through March 27 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre on the La Jolla Playhouse campus.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla Playhouse)

    Little Miss Sunshine

    Les Spindle

    March 7, 2011: Sometimes ideas that sounded quite promising prove less so in execution. So goes this musical adaptation of the 2006 comedy road-trip film "Little Miss Sunshine," which never quite stalls but often sputters along the way.

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