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ANDY WARHOL’S TOMATO at Pacific Resident Theatre

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Back in the ’60s, Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” — but his own fame clearly outpaced that prediction. He’s been the subject of films and books, and now playwright Vince Melocchi has crafted a play about the artist before he was celebrated, titled Andy Warhol’s Tomato. The world premiere production at Pacific Resident Theatre is a well-acted and entertaining addition to Warhol lore.
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Now running through September 22

THE UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN at Rockwell Table & Stage

Bryan Carpender

Bryan Carpender

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

There’s no crying in baseball, or at Rockwell Table & Stage, where the Unauthorized Musical Parody of A League of Their Own is currently hitting a homerun.
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Now running through September 29

TRUE WEST at VS Theatre

Carlos R. Hernandez

Carlos R. Hernandez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Long before it disappeared, the Old West cast a spell on a certain kind of person — men (although a few were women) who savored the possibility of wide-open country and a better, freer life unshackled from the demands and hypocrisies of social convention.
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Now running through August 31

BAD HAMLET – Coin & Ghost at New American Theatre

Kendall Johnson

Kendall Johnson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When I first read that a theater company was asking random members of the public what they knew about Hamlet, then incorporating the answers into their performance, it sounded like a risky ploy — but one that might turn out to be interesting or amusing.
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Now running through August 24

 

INTO THE WOODS at the Hollywood Bowl

Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging

Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging

Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Dreams can come true. The Hollywood Bowl, under the auspices of Broadway director Robert Longbottom, has collected remarkable talent to present the classic Into the Woods. The actors invest in their roles and treat this vast arena as an intimate space, providing almost 16,000 audience members a giant thrill.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

There is always something special about seeing Into the Woods performed outside, and there is plenty of magic to be found in the all-star production at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.
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MISS SAIGON at the Pantages Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Miss Saigon, the musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr., opened this week at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood following a successful Broadway revival in 2017 and 2018. Based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, it takes place in 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War and tells the story of a South Vietnamese woman and a United States Marine who fall in love.    Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

“I’m an American. How can I fail to do good?”

That’s the rhetorical question sung by the ex-G.I. Chris in the musical “Miss Saigon,” which opened last week at the Hollywood Pantages — one that resonates differently now than it would have in 1978, when the scene is set, and in 1991, when the musical premiered on Broadway.     Read more…

Now running through August 11

 

100 PLANES

Steve Rogers

Steve Rogers

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Lila Rose Kaplan’s drama arrives in Los Angeles for its West Coast premiere courtesy of Austin’s Filigree Theatre Company. At just over 80 minutes, it blends romance and comedy by way of two mingled narratives that aren’t scripted artfully enough to make the show a success, despite good performances.
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Now running through August 4

APPLE SEASON at Atwater Village Theatre

Benjamin Simpson

Benjamin Simpson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Perhaps most notable among the many prizes received by playwright E.M. Lewis is the Steinberg Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, garnered for Song of Extinction, produced in 2008 by the L.A. troupe Moving Arts. (That production also won both an LA Weekly award for Best Production and the LADCC award for Outstanding New Play.)
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Now running through August 5

FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Benjamin Skigen

Benjamin Skigen

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Fans of the TV show Friends who want a night off from watching reruns on Netflix might be tempted to check out FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, currently in its Los Angeles premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, where it opened Wednesday in a guest production after successful runs Off-Broadway and around the country. But ultimately, this parody is about as uneven and frustrating as season nine, with weak music and lyrics sucking the potential fun out of a solid concept.
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Now running through August 4

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Set up as a play-within-a-play, the action of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, currently playing at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles, begins in the lobby.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One can see why Antaeus Theatre Company has decided to revive Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle now. It’s a play in which the rich are revealed to be monsters of ego and avarice — where one wealthy woman even chooses an array of fancy clothing over saving her infant child.

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Now running through

 

 

THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR, Hick Street Productions at the LGBT Center

Noah Torjesen

Noah Torjesen

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Joe Orton was only 34 when he was bludgeoned to death by Kennegth Halliwell, his jealous lover and one-time writing partner. Halliwell envied Orton’s newfound celebrity as an up-and-coming playwright, launched after the BBC aired The Ruffian on the Stair as a radio play in 1964.
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Now running through July 28

SCRAPS at the Matrix Theatre

I.C. Rapoport

I.C. Rapoport

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Geraldine Inoa’s incisive character-rich drama, directed by Stevie Walker-Webb at the Matrix Theatre, examines the impact of institutional racism on a group of young people in the aftermath of their friend’s murder by police. The off-beat title is a reference to the origin of African-American soul food, prepared by slaves from the scraps their “owners” left for them after they took all the good parts for themselves.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

We are sadly used to hearing high-profile stories about young, unarmed black men shot by white police officers, but what happens when the media attention fades and the victim’s family must find a way to continue living after their world has been shattered? This is what playwright Geraldine Inoa explores in Scraps, a play currently in its west coast premiere at the Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
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Now running through September 15