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Archive for June 2014 – Page 2

LEAR at the Theatricum Botanicum

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Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

 Shakespeare’s King Lear has its potencies. Simply described, it follows the downfall of a once-powerful leader and the dysfunction of his family. Pondering his retirement, the monarch asks his three daughters to avow their love. The elder two, Goneril and Regan, lavish empty words on papa. The youngest, Cordelia, refuses to play that game, believing her actions of loyalty and respect will trump her sisters’ verbiage. Read more…

Now running through September 28.

OTHER DESERT CITIES at International City Theatre

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

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Photo by Suzanne Mapes

In one of the famous lines from The Godfather, Don Corleone tells his eldest son, “Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking again.” The don would have burst a gut if he had seen what Brooke Wyeth, the protagonist of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, has written about her family in her soon-to-be published memoirs. International City Theatre’s new production is a poignant, provocative rendering with a first-class cast. Read more…

Now running through June 29.

 

 

 

 

 

ZOMBIES FROM THE BEYOND at the Lex Theatre

ZOMBIES cast photo

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Zombies From The Beyond, which premiered off-Broadway in 1995, takes place in the Eisenhower Years, that era of dull certitude when the Soviet Union was America’s arch-enemy and the possibility of creatures from outer space invading the planet haunted American popular culture.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The Visceral Company has revived Zombie From the Beyond: a goofy, jaunty spoof of Grade-Z horror movies like Ed Wood’s Plan Nine From Outer Space and the Zsa Zsa Gabor epic Queen of Outer Space. Capturing the tone of those bombastic, overwritten scripts; dead-tone acting; and bargain basement sets and special effects, this musical comedy fosters nostalgia for those creaky flicks from The Late, Late…Late Show. Read more…

 

 

Now running through July 20.

THE FANTASTICKS at the Lillian Theatre

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Neal Weaver  – ArtsInLA

When this modest little musical, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, first opened Off-Broadway in 1960, no one could have predicted the astonishing success it would achieve. It ran for a grand 42 years, racking up an astronomical 17,162 performances, and has since been performed all over the world.   Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Last year, Good People Theater Company burst onto the L.A. theatre scene at the Hollywood Fringe Festival with an honest, beautiful production of A Man of No Importance, which reduced me, not just to tears, but to genuine shoulder-shaking sobs. For its return to the Fringe, Good People aims not so much for sobs, but sniffles, with a production of The Fantasticks.   Read more…

Now running through June 29.

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Daniel A. Swalec

Photo by Daniel A. Swalec

Bob Verini  -  Arts In LA

“So that’s where American Idol contestants go to die: non-Equity tours and Indian casinos.” So sniffed my companion as we approached the Pantages Theatre and its proud marquee announcement of Ace Young (seventh place, Season V) and Diana DeGarmo (second place, Season III) in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The skepticism was understandable. Doesn’t the whole idea of packaging reality competition runners-up in an old-warhorse musical seem…well…tacky? Read more…

Now running through June 22.

 

BRIGHT LIGHT CITY at L.A.T.C.

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Nate Rufus Edelman’s slick and funny comedy has an unexpected sting in its tail.

Larry (Leon Russom) and Wally (Garrett Michael Langston) are a pair of hit-men who’ve been sent to Las Vegas to commit a murder. Larry is earnest, disciplined, professional, and resolutely impersonal. But there must be a soft-spot in him somewhere, as he has recruited Wally, an all-around fuck-up to be his partner, and his replacement when he retires after the current job.

Read more…
Now running through June 22.

COLD TANGERINES: THE PLAY at Fremont Centre Theatre

Photo by Marmie Shelton Klein

Photo by Marmie Shelton Klein

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Playwright-performer Lynn Downey Braswell was apparently so taken by Shauna Niequist’s 2007 memoir/short story collection that she adapted it to become her stage vehicle. Portraying Shauna, the show’s narrator, Braswell’s frank, confessional and sometimes amusing style of performance serves the material well.

Read more…

Now running through June 29.

DATES AND NUTS at the Bootleg Theatre

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Gary Lennon’s regrettably overwritten comedy, directed by Wilson Milam, Elizabeth Regen plays Eve, a fierce and fiery drama queen searching desperately for love on the streets and in the bars of NYC’s Lower East Side. Read more…

Now running through July 12.Courtesy: Bootleg Theatre

Courtesy: Bootleg Theatre

NOBODY DOES IT LIKE ME – THE SONGS OF DOROTHY FIELDS at Sterling’s Upstairs

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Source:Courtesy of Michael Sterling

 

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

June was busting out all over on the first of the month at the popular Sterling’s Upstairs supper club at the Federal bar and restaurant in North Hollywood. In fact, the “busting out” included some earthquake tremors right in the middle the show, but the devoted performers carried on without a hitch. Read more…

BACKYARD at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Jeff Galter Photography

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Backyard wrestling – the emulation of the aggressive antics of professional wrestlers by ordinary folk – serves as the point of departure for Mickey Birnbaum’s funny, frenzied, probing play, Backyard.   Read more…

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

Mickey Birnbaum, one of LA’s most gifted playwrights, returns with the stunningly brilliant and hilarious tale of teenage backyard wrestling in the wasteland of San Diego’s border suburbs. Birnbaum’s gift for dialogue and unsentimental character portrayal is on full display here, as he dissects with great humor and insight the lives of a family of lost souls. Read more…

Now running through July 13.

DORIAN’S DESCENT at the MET Theatre

Photo by Silvia Spross

Photo by Silvia Spross

Neal Weaver  – ArtsInLA

Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has exerted a powerful fascination for both the general public and later generations of artists, ever since it was written in 1890. Its publication was controversial, and, even in a heavily censored version, it was widely condemned on moral grounds. But scandal has never been an impediment to success. Read more…

Sharon Perlmutter  -  Talkin’ Broadway

I have seen several attempts to put The Picture of Dorian Gray on stage. Be it play, musical, or dance, people keep trying to dramatize the piece, sensing its inherent theatricality. And while each of these attempts has had something to recommend it, none of them have ever actually gotten it right, and the productions have had no further life. Regrettably, DOMA Theatre Company’s Dorian’s Descent is another such flawed attempt, which will, I expect, similarly live on only in memory.

Read more…

 

Now running through June 23.