the world goes 'round


"Audiences expecting more of the same from Actors Co-op’s intimate-stage The World Goes ‘Round can instead plan on being bowled away by director-choreographer Robert Marra’s brilliant reconception of the Kander & Ebb revue as a sung-through musical."

"It’s songs by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb tell the story, Marra’s stunningly conceived direction, his imaginative choreography, and the cast’s superb performances filling in the blanks between."

"If ever there was an Actors Co-op musical that deserved attention from outside the Co-op’s subscriber base, The World Goes ‘Round is that production, one which ought to have sold-out houses at every performance and “legs” that take it beyond the Co-op—to the Pasadena Playhouse? … to the Geffen? … to Off-Broadway even?"

"Knowing the talent involved in this production, I expected something first-rate from The World Goes ‘Round. I didn’t expect to be so completely blown away. Having now seen it, I expect that you too will be blown away by its brilliance."

- Steven Stanley, StageScene LA

"It’s difficult to imagine a more ingeniously crafted and flawlessly performed conceptualization of this Kander and Ebb homage than that which has sprung from the innovative mind of director Robert Marra."

"Marra has fashioned, seemingly from whole cloth, an utterly seamless take on this traditional revue while utilizing the show’s wide-ranging song list to create characters who exhibit backstories and plotlines galore."

"And as the show floats effortlessly towards Marra’s well-calculated conclusion, there is a renewed sense of hope. Hope, not only for the younger couple’s blossoming love but that these people, and perhaps the audience members as well, have been touched by something truly meaningful."

- Dink O’Neal, Arts In LA

"To kick off the Actors Co-op’s 21st season, director / choreographer Robert Marra has re-imagined the show and it’s a rousing success. In fact, it’s so successful that it’s hard to imagine it any other way. Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, and David Thompson may have conceived the show way-back-when, but Marra has elevated it to a whole new level."

"Mr. Marra has created a magical and mystical pastiche that is reminiscent of the feeling one gets when viewing Edward Hopper’s iconic painting Nighthawks. The audience is transfixed as they are invited to eavesdrop on the lives before them. Without the aid of the written word, he simply allows the music to tell the tale. Taken out of their original context, the songs are experienced in a new and revealing way unburdened by plot and allowed to soar. It brings new appreciation to the wit, wisdom, and brilliance that has made Kander and Ebb legendary."

- Tom Chaits, Stage and Cinema

"This is exceptional work from Marra for his concept, stellar direction and choreography, so alive in such a small space, and from the entire cast. I will not single out anyone in particular, as they all contribute so much to the continuity and emotional impact of the piece."

"This is an outstandingly fresh look at the old reliable The World Goes 'Round that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. You gotta love Kander and Ebb for their bold, one-of-a-kind music and now Robert Marra whose artistic vision is surely a match for their art."

- Don Grigware, Broadway World



"This tale of Cold War intrigue, complex romantic entanglements, and cutthroat chess competition is told engagingly and with musical splendor in director Robert Marra's invigorating revival"

"Marra's captivating staging imbue the piece with fluidity and grace, yielding an expansive theatrical experience"

- Les Spindle, Backstage West "Critic's Pick"

"Listen, if you want to read my review, here it is, but by the time you're done, you could have ordered tickets. Its stunning and brilliant with talent just oozing out of the theatre! Call the box office NOW."

"Director Robert Marra amazes with the fluidity of his team"

- Tony Frankel,

"Ive attended many concert and staged readings of musicals in Los Angeles and most tend to be simple presentations, on book at music stands, with little or no additional production elements. CHESS in Concert at Musical Theatre of Los Angeles has elevated the concert reading convention to new heights, with a lush 9-piece orchestra, spectacular lighting, and powerful staging. The production showcases 8 principle actors, 12 featured soloists and 4 dancers under the stellar direction of Robert Marra."

- Musicals in LA

"Make no mistake: this Chess In Concert is so out-and-out WOW!-worthy a production that tickets are likely to sell like proverbial hotcakes."

"Trust me, you wont see a Chess of this caliber with this many Equity cast members at MTLAs affordable prices anywhere else in the United States, and that includes Chicago and The Great White Way."

- Steven Stanley, StageScene LA

"This production at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles understands the elements that make this musical work: the music. It is a genuine attempt to present it as truthful and stirring as the score demands, because the music is one of the most lush and emotional of any of the best musicals out there. So much so that director Robert Marra should be commended for his deep understanding of this musical and for putting together this formidable casting to bring it to life."

"Fans of Chess have a chance to see one of the best productions of this musical ever mounted. If you haven't seen this musical or even familiar with it, this is a great opportunity to become a fan."

- Obed Medina, L.A. Live! (on stage)


"Sierra Madre has a summer hit with SPELLING BEE"

"Under Robert Marra's skilled, exuberant and fluid direction, this cast are miraculously focused and funny."

- Don Grigware, BroadwayWorld

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has set up shop at the Sierra Madre Playhouse for the next two months in a 99-seat production sure to delight both Bee newbies and veteran Bee buffs like this reviewer, who enjoyed Bee 14.0 every bit as much as his very first thanks to Robert Marra’s zesty direction/choreography and a cast to rival the best I’ve seen.

- Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA




"Well, the Sierra Madre Playhouse and director Robert Marra have hit the jackpot with its two leading ladies, Nikki D'Amico as Louise and Cori Cable Kidder as Cline. With the overabundant charm exuded by both stars and backed by a superb five-piece combo that includes terrific musical director Sean Paxton at the piano."

- Don Grigware, Broadway World

"Robert Marra directs with verve and visual flair.....easily one of the newly revitalized Playhouse’s best productions ever."

- Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA

"Patsy Cline couldn't be more fondly or accurately recalled than by Cori Cable Kidder in Robert Marra's production of Always...Patsy Cline."

- Tony Frankel, Stage and Cinema

"I have long known the Sierra Madre Playhouse to be a theatre that delivers, but frankly this show, "Always...Patsy Cline" delivers to an unexpected new level." "This was a rare night of pure magic and beauty."

- Ron Irwin,

"If you see only one show in Los Angeles this summer, I'm suggesting it be, no-insisting it be-this one!"

"Especially wonderful is the tour de force performance of Nikki D'Amico! She's phenomenal!!!"

- Karen Salkin,


"Throughout both of The Marvelous Wonderettes’ two crowd-pleasing acts, director Robert Marra not only elicits some of the most delicious performances you’ll see all summer, his clever choreography gives each Wonderette her own personalized dance steps to go with those song-specific arm movements that no ‘50s or ‘60s girl group could be without."

"A rocking, rollicking, romantic good time for audiences of all ages, The Marvelous Wonderettes makes a jaunt over to the Pasadena-adjacent Sierra Madre Playhouse a summertime must."

- Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA