Layout Image

Archive for January 2014

PASSION PLAY at the Odyssey Theatre


Photo by Michael Gend

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

A quartet of Big Idea plays has opened over the past two weeks, exploring the intersections of art, psychology and history. Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, co-presented by the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room, has been around since at least 2005, with productions at Arena Stage in Washington, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Yale Rep. No worries that it took so long to get here: A theological fantasia about a medieval passion play performed in a 1575 English village, then in 1934 Germany, and finally in South Dakota of the late 1960s isn’t going to age quickly. Read more…

Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

…. At the other end of the spectrum, Bart DeLorenzo and Evidence Room are introducing Ruhl’s intricate Passion Play to LA at the 99-seat Odyssey, which is co-producing it.

I recently wrote that Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the vibrator play was her masterpiece of her plays that I had seen, although I noted that I hadn’t yet seen Passion Play.  Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Evidence Room has long been one of Los Angeles’ best and most ambitious theatre companies. The group has never been afraid to take on artistic challenges, from huge shows such as Pentecost or Berlin Circle to more intimate pieces such as Annapurna, not to mention a stylistic tour de force such as Margo Veil. It then makes perfect sense that the company would choose to do a play by Sarah Ruhl, one of the most adventurous modern American playwrights. Her work Passion Play examines how three groups of people in three different time periods (from 1575 to current day) are affected by performing the “passion play” detailing the arrest, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

With its three acts set in 1575 Lancashire, 1934 Oberammergau in Nazi Germany, and from 1969-1984 in Spearpoint, South Dakota, the epically ambitious Passion Play presents the millennium-long tradition of local amateur stagings of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus as a kaleidoscopic metaphor for the aspirations of the individual and the community of faith in tension with the power of the State. Its amplitude marks an interestingly dogged departure from the more familiar allusive lyricism and incisive comedy of Sarah Ruhl’s other work (The Clean House, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eurydice). Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Doesn’t it gently smack of hubris when people play Christ and the Virgin Mary, whether onstage in the safety of a theater, or in communally staged Passion plays, or in the re-enactments the fervently religious attempt? Because, as Sarah Ruhl repeatedly shows in her Passion Play, most of us are deeply flawed. Read more…

Now running through March 16.

LET’S MISBEHAVE at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Jonas Schwartz – ArtsInLA

Let’s Misbehave culls many of Cole Porter’s hits and some of his rarities to create a surprisingly touching love triangle. A winning cast of three takes what could have just been a revue of hit-parade songs and makes the audience believe these songs are originating from the characters’ hearts.  Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

If you’ve ever left a Cole Porter musical feeling that you haven’t heard quite enough Cole Porter songs, then Long Beach’s International City Theatre may have the antidote: “Let’s Misbehave: A New Cole Porter Musical,” in its lushly executed California premiere.

That subtitle is coy: The songs are old, and Karin Bowersock’s book, about a love triangle among three friends, is a not so much a musical as a sequence of clever pretexts for working in those songs: 34 in all, newly arranged by Patrick Young.  Read more…

Now running through February 16.

SE LLAMA CRISTINA at The Theatre @ Boston Court


Photo by Ed Krieger

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA

At its start, this Octavio Solis play is not easy to watch. The couple at its center is a mess: drugged, abused, irresponsible. The storytelling is unhelpful, as the characters seem not to know who they are. Then, too, the production, directed by Robert Castro, taxes the eyes if not the patience of the audience. Is it ultimately worth experiencing? Read more…

Now running through February 23.

FUNNY MONEY at the Torrance Theatre Company


Photo by Brad LaVerne

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

For those who like protracted-lie farces, British playwright Ray Cooney is a master, and this one is a classic. In it, an average Joe weaves a tangled web, which gets unwound some two hours later, minus the intermission. The action is set in 1982 London, where Henry Perkins (Tom Juarez) arrives home from work on the evening of his birthday. In his hand is a briefcase he mistakenly grabbed instead of his own. It contains £735,000 (well over $1 million). Read more…

Now running through February 15.

A WORD OR TWO at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

An exuberant celebration of language is the most apt description for actor Christopher Plummer’s self-created one-man show. A Word or Two is playing through February 9, 2014 at the Ahmanson Theatre, downtown LA. Early on in the show, Plummer selects a book from a heap and begins to read from a lectern. But this is no ordinary stack of books—the stage is dominated by a massive and elegant sculpture made from a twisting pile of books, piled on top of each other in a stack that curves upwards to resemble a spiral staircase and magically suspended in mid air. The whimsical and slightly surreal scenic design is beautifully realized by Robert Brill. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Few enticements can feel as comforting as an invitation into the inner life of the protean Christopher Plummer. Through the blandishments of his seductive voice, he shares a lifetime of escape into the world of literature. As a solitary and painfully shy boy, books provided a world in which he could safely seek adventure and find guidance for living.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

As a child in Canada, the legendary actor Christopher Plummer spent his childhood devouring the fictional worlds created by books. He imbibed on the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. As he got older, the works of Shakespeare shaped his talent as an actor. Now that he has reached his later years, he traces his past and accepts his future through the teachings of his favorite authors. He shares the joy of how the written world formed his life by celebrating the books and poems that enriched it in his solo show A Word or Two. .
Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

The demise of language is the big idea at the Ahmanson, where Christopher Plummer performs A Word or Two, a one-man rumination on the books that shaped him. As directed by Des McAnuff, this is a genial, candid, amusing and bemusing soliloquy of recollections and recitations by an elderly gent who fears that our culture is discarding the sanctity of words. Read more…
Now running through February 9.

LADCC Awards

Looking for Information about the Upcoming LADCC Awards?  You’ve come to the right place!

Want to see the list of nominees and special award recipients?  Click here.

Want to buy tickets (or find out how you can win a pair of tickets)?  Click here.

Nominated for an award and want additional info?  Click here.

Want to buy a program ad?  Click here.

Want to see all the cool items we’ve added to our silent auction (and find out about how you can add more)?  Click here.

Want to learn more about our nominees?  Check out our facebook page, where LADCC Vice President and Secretary Bob Verini is highlighting a different nominee every day!


JDT - 1

Photo by Michael Lamont

Deborah Klugman – ArtsBeatLA

What do Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Leo Tolstoy have in common? In Scott Carter’s intellectually upscale comedy, all three are smug anthropomorphic spirits, trapped in a single chamber purgatory and forced to communicate despite their disdain for any view contradicting their own.  Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

History’s great minds might agree on some things. But that wouldn’t make a very interesting play, and they probably wouldn’t agree on much. In this world premiere script, playwright Scott Carter postulates a meeting among—as his title indicates—our Constitution’s main framer, 19th-century England’s most-celebrated male novelist, and Russia’s perhaps greatest novelist ever. Heady stuff, right?  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

So three guys walk into a room, and one of them says …

This is the premise of Scott Carter’s The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, presented by a trio of production companies at NoHo Arts Center.  Read more…
Now running through February  23.

JDT - 4

DAY TRADER at the Bootleg Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In “Day Trader” at Bootleg Theater, a wannabe screenwriter in midlife crisis concocts an elaborate scheme to circumvent his rich wife’s pre-nup without sacrificing his cushy lifestyle or rebounding libido.

Further plot description would entail spoilers, because Eric Rudnick’s intriguing albeit quirky dark comic spin on the eternal clash between integrity and ambition in Hollywood has more twists than a Carmageddon reroute.  Read more…

Deborah Klugman – ArtsBeatLA

Plays or films about middle-aged men in midlife crisis are pretty common, which doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more, provided the writing is sharp, the plot details fresh and the characters interesting.  Day Trader, by Eric Rudnick, is about a struggling screenwriter named Ron (Danton Stone) looking desperately to escape an unhappy marriage with something more than the shirt on his back. Read more…

Now running through February 16.


Pauline Adamek  – Time Out

We’re pretty lucky here in Southern California—there’s certainly no lack of high-class entertainment. Fine theater productions happen all across LA, from Hollywood to the Valley, to Pasadena and Boyle Heights. The region’s vibrant stage companies satiate the appetites of theater lovers with ongoing rosters of new plays, old standards, classic works and culturally relevant fare. You may not even need to leave your ‘hood to get to a major performing arts centers—and great storefront theater is probably happening around the corner wherever you live. 2014 feels full of promise, with some of the finest companies in the city offering a slate of thrilling theater and dance (we couldn’t resist including one of LA’s most exciting and theatrical dance companies).

Keep an eye out for these eight LA companies this year: Read more…


Photo by Geoffrey Wade, courtesy of The Antaeus Company

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart at the Broad Stage


Photo by Drew Farrell

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

The smaller room at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica has been repurposed as a tavern with the audience seated at the bar or small round tables throughout the room. A quintet of rambunctiously versatile performers begin playing traditional melodies on the auld instruments on a postage stamp stage befitting a rustic pub, but all the world’s a stage for The National Theatre of Scotland as they present David Greig’s knowing appropriation of “Border Ballads,” Robert Burns and all manner of Gaelic culture, Highland and low. Audience participation will be demanded throughout, beginning with tearing up napkins to make “snow” for a blizzard to frequent interaction with the players, call-and-response and sing-a-longs.
Read more…

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

Theatricality, that broad and vague but unmistakable quality, comes in many forms. When it’s embraced, and when the devices are wholly appropriate to the material at hand, it can offer excitement like almost no other entertainment source.
The National Theater of Scotland, which blew everyone’s socks off during its 2007 tour of Black Watch, is back with The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, currently occupying the smaller space at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Though the two productions are very different, both are marked by the same components of theatrical magic: that is, they delight us by putting to use the full range of technical means at their disposal; and they drive human actors to their vocal, physical, and emotional limits in order to get a story told. Read more…

Now running through February 8.

An ILIAD at the Broad Stage

Review: A poet embedded among troops lives to tell ‘An Iliad’

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

If war and conflict must be begrudgingly considered the natural condition of Mankind, then The Iliad of Homer, voiced and written some 2,800 years ago, remains the most profound exploration of these primal drives to domination and destruction. The act of combat has never been more piercingly described (not even by Tolstoy or Mailer, let alone Lone Survivor), nor its qualities of rage, savagery and comradeship more intensely conveyed.
Read more…

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

An Iliad, at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage, is a staggering theatrical event, and if you’re reading this you doubtless have an interest in such things and should purchase a ticket without delay. Actor Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story; True Blood; Broadway’s Take Me Out) and director Lisa Peterson (The Geffen’s The Escort and CTG’s Water & Power) have distilled a crackerjack 100-minute narrative out of Homer’s epic, one which yields potent commentary on war and the men who fight wars, even as it just plain enthralls.   Read more...
Now running through February 2.

BECKYS NEW CAR at the Westchester Playhouse

Dany Margolies – Arts In LA


Photo by Shari Barrett

The audience plays an active part in Becky’s New Car, and Becky is very much the hostess of this evening of theater. She greets us immediately, hospitably offers a beverage, and shows us around her world. She also asks for our help, but if her ethics are not our own, our help may be hard to come by. Steven Dietz has penned this play about our need to peek around for greener pastures. Read more…

Now running through February 15.