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Archive for October 2013 – Page 2

THE CREDITORS at the Odyssey Theatre

Creditors

Photo by Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

It’s a good week for new adaptations of classic plays in L.A. On the east side, Antaeus has their terrific production of Corneille’s The Liar, while on the west side we’re treated to the L.A. premiere of David Greig’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s Creditors. With its combination of wit and cruelty and theme of how badly people treat each other, this 1888 play feels like something freshly written by Neil LaBute. The new co-production by the New American Theatre and the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is superb, a razor-sharp drama highlighted by Jack Stehlin’s devilishly entertaining performance.
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Pauline Adamek  – LA Weekly

A despondent young artist, Adolf (Burt Grinstead), laments his problematic marriage, pouring his heart out to a new acquaintance, Gustav (Jack Stehlin), at a Swedish seaside resort. But as Gustav pries secrets from the weak-willed husband, smoothly poisoning him against his divorcée wife, Tekla (Heather Anne Prete), we observe tantalizing clues, revealing that this friendly fellow somehow knows too much.  Read more…

Now running through December 15.

The Homosexuals and Celebration Arrive in Atwater Village

Photo by Sean Lambert

Photo by Sean Lambert

Les Spindle – LA Stage Times

The show must go on for the currently homeless 31-year-old Celebration Theatre, and it will.

Celebration’s season is opening belatedly, as the veteran GLBT-focused group is offering the West Coast premiere of Philip Dawkins’ ensemble drama The Homosexuals at Atwater Village Theatre.   Read more…

LOVECRAFT: NIGHTMARE SUITE at the Lex Theater

LOVECRAFTTerry Morgan  -  LAist

 Scary plays are a rarity in the American theatrical landscape, but thankfully Los Angeles has several theatre companies that offer something macabre for horror aficionados. Zombie Joe’s Underground in North Hollywood delivers year-long delightful strangeness, Wicked Lit stages literary adaptations in nighttime graveyards and the Grand Guignolers create their own mix of classic French gory Grand Guignol and stylish modern humor. Finally, there is the Visceral Company…. Read more…

Now playing through November 3.

 

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON at the Whitefire Theatre

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Daniel Keyes’ now classic sci-fi story about a mentally challenged man whose IQ skyrockets after a surgical procedure tackles not only how we treat disabled individuals but how ephemeral are those intangible values — love, life, respect — that we cherish.

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Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

There are two plays going on in Deaf West’s production of Flowers for Algernon. First, there’s the play you expect, the story of intellectually disabled Charlie, who undergoes a surgical procedure which increases his intelligence and, ultimately, following some intensive therapy and education, renders him a genius. The play follows Charlie’s successes and struggles. We see how Charlie realizes that his workmates, who he thought were his friends, had mocked him when he was less intelligent than they were, and feared him when he became more intelligent. Read more…

Now playing through November 3.

Algernon

THE SUNSHINE BOYS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Legendary comedy writer Neil Simon’s 1972 play The Sunshine Boys has an excellent premise: two old vaudevillian stars who worked together for over 40 years, but who haven’t spoken in over a decade, are reunited for a TV spot. (In fact, it was a good enough premise for Fellini to copy for Ginger e Fred for his comedy/drama in 1986.  Read more…

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

The pleasures of The Sunshine Boys stem from the interplay of phlegmatic Judd Hirsch and volcanic Danny DeVito, one-time Taxi stars now interpreting the fictional legendary vaudeville team of (respectively) Lewis and Clark. As rendered by author Neil Simon, these so-called comedy giants are pretty tame, their alleged gifts hardly in evidence in the weak sketch they’re called upon to perform.   Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

The Sunshine Boys, written in 1972 and now in a revival at the Ahmanson, isn’t just about an odd couple. It’s as much about the theater and its legacy. A washed-up vaudeville team, Al Lewis and Willie Clark (Justin Hirsch and Danny DeVito), can’t seem to live with or without each other. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Center Theatre Group’s import of British director Thea Sharrock’s 2012 London revival of Neil Simon’s 1972 comedy The Sunshine Boys offers an appealing mix of raucous humor and nostalgia.
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Now running through November 3.

THE END OF IT at the Matrix Theatre

Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

Breaking up is hard to do, particularly if you’re embedded in a 20-year marriage. That’s the not terribly surprising message of Paul Coates’ play, illustrated by three couples: one straight (Kelly Coffield Park and playwright Coates), one gay (David Youse and William Franklin Barker) and one lesbian (Ferrell Marshall and Wendy Radford). Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How much should theater resemble real life, and how much can it do so? Playwright Paul Coates hits a big nail on the head in this look at the human heart. His play clearly and cleverly reveals the universality of love and the pain of divorce. But it also spotlights the artificialities, albeit long-accepted ones, of theater. Read more...

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

At the beginning of Paul Coates‘ new play, The End of It, currently playing at the Matrix Theatre, a long-married heterosexual couple living in Los Angeles, Joanna and Drew (Kelly Coffield Park and Coates), are recovering from a party they’ve just thrown. As any number of sociologists and dramatists from Erving Goffman to Samuel Beckett will tell you, it’s not just sex or common interests that hold couples together. It’s the repartee.
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Now running through October 20.

 

KIN at Theatre 40

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The tenacious human need for connection forms the heart of “Kin” at Theatre 40.  Bathsheba Doran’s elliptical 2011 comedy-drama about how familial and personal relationships inform each other in this fragmented world receives a proficient albeit over-attenuated West Coast premiere. Read more…

Now running through October 27.

kin

Photo by Ed Krieger

 

 

 

LAKE ANNE at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Marthe Rachel Gold’s lumbering melodrama is a concoction of dramatic setups that never develops into an interesting or credible narrative. Widowed Anne (Laurie O’Brien), a former ballerina, lives with her grown mentally and physically disabled son, Will (Alex Smith), in a house that’s been owned by her family for generations. Although it’s about to be auctioned off, Anne refuses to sell it when someone makes her a generous direct offer. Read more…

Now running through November 9.

GALLERY SECRETS at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Neal Weaver  – LA Weekly

Four one-acts, performed by the Chalk Repertory and set in the exhibition halls of the Natural History Museum, deal, directly or indirectly, with the museum’s history. Tom Jacobson’s A Vast Hoard, directed by Janet Hayatshahi, set in 1913 and played in the Rotunda, deals with the efforts of two officials (Joseph Gilbert and Amy Ellenberger) to persuade wealthy Harris Newmark (Rod Menzies) to donate his family portraits to the museum. Read more…

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Now running through October 13.