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Archive for September 2015



Don Shirley – LA Observed

Center Theatre Group, which continues to call itself “L.A.’s Theatre Company,” also continues to demonstrate virtually no interest in LA stories.

When CTG recently announced the next Mark Taper Forum season, after previously revealing new seasons for the coming year at CTG’s Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas theaters, I began counting. So, how many of the 14 CTG productions at these three venues are set in or near LA?


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MARY POPPINS at the Palos Verdes Performing Arts at Norris Theatre


Photo by Ed Krieger

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

“Anything can happen,” sings Mary Poppins in the musical bearing her name. On its opening night at Norris Theatre, nearly everything did happen—good and bad.   Read more…

Now running through October 4.

DRUNK GIRL at Casa 0101

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Though sexual assault is never not timely, it’s been getting an extra-special dose of attention due to Bill Cosby and his 50-and-counting accusers, as well as the scrutiny directed at colleges before and after the discredited Rolling Stone account of campus assault and news generated by a White House rape-prevention initiative.  Read more…

Now running through October 18.

AWAKE AND SING at the Odyssey Theatre


Photo by Ron Sossi

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

When Awake and Sing! was produced in 1935, it was a transformative experience for theatergoers. Playwright Clifford Odets was an early member of the Group Theatre in New York, a lab for Stanislavski’s system of acting with a shared commitment among the collective for social change through theater. Read more…

Now running through November 29.


HIT THE WALL at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

After well-received productions in Chicago and Off-Broadway, Hit the Wall delivers nothing less than a gut punch in its West Coast debut at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Playwright Ike Holter calls his absorbing treatment of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots a “remix” of scholarship, oral history and legend…..Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

“No more watching.”

It’s Greenwich Village, circa 1969, and in the sweltering early hours of June 28 on Christopher Street, a Stonewall Inn police raid doesn’t go as usual, changing the course of history.   Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

The gay liberation movement started with a bang during the legendary clash between Greenwich Village police and rioting citizens in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn on New York’s Christopher Street. Ike Holter’s panoramic play Hit the Wall, an electrifying telling of the event as a feverish dream, becomes a brilliantly evocative and immersive experience under the assured hands of director Ken Sawyer.

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Now running through October 25.

ONE SLIGHT HITCH at the Torrance Theatre Company


Photo by Michelle Browning

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Lewis Black is the standup comedian who delivers prodding rants punctuated by his crooked and wriggling index fingers. He’s rather genius, assuming one agrees with his views.
He has written handfuls of plays, too, and his One Slight Hitch is in production at Torrance Theatre Company through Oct. 11. “If my name weren’t on it, nobody would know that I wrote this play,” he is quoted as saying. Read more…

Now running through October 11.

RAVENSCROFT – Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse

Photo by Shari Barrett

Photo by Shari Barrett

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

When is an English drawing-room murder mystery not an English drawing-room murder mystery? Or perhaps playwright Don Nigro’s Ravenscroft is not even a murder mystery.Read more…

Now running through October 17.

THE OBJECT LESSON at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

 Object Lesson, created and enacted by Geoff Sobelle, is a determinedly odd amalgam of performance art and clowning, an extended existential joke deploying self-aware empty gestures, obsessive materialism and well-established gags consciously stranded in the context of a litter-strewn vacuum. And yes, a desire to be loved. It’s as if a contemporary Emmett Kelly did an evening-long solo show, capped by the bottomless box trick. Read more…

Now running through October 4.

PEACE ON YOUR WINGS at the Aratani Theatre


Photo by Mark Orbito

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sadako Sasaki was two-years-old when the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. She survived the blast, only to be diagnosed with leukemia in 1954, one of the many unfortunate people who became ill as a result of exposure to radiation. She died the following year.  Read more…

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS – South Coast Repertory at Segerstrom Stage

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

 Influenced by the popular commedia dell’arte of the 16th century, Carlo Goldoni’s 18th century archetypal The Servant of Two Masters makes a perfect model for Richard Bean’s British update of a wily servant’s service to two bosses in 1963 Brighton. Populated by some of the stock characters of the form, it is two and a half hours of pratfalls, comic timing, and improbable situations designed for maximum laughs.  Read more

Photo courtesy of mellopix.comNow running through October 11.

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Richard Bean’s version of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters updates the action to the Swinging Sixties in England, complete with big hair and a skiffle band. As with most commedia, the humor is broad and the characters are archetypes, but it’s undeniably funny.   Read more…


From an Aborted NYC Mikado to Bloomberg Foundation Largesse to the 20 Most Produced Playwrights of 2015-16


 Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Also making news is the news that Brian Kite, producing artistic director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, is stepping down to take over the Department Chair at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Still quite a young artist, Kite has already had an illustrious career, with credits from the Actors Co-op to the French Woods Festival in New York (where he served as director of theater programs for more than seven years) to the Geffen, and he has certainly had played a strong leadership role at La Mirada – not to mention is position of board chair at Los Angeles Stage Alliance. Read more…


A FLEA IN HER EAR at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

 Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

… on to Georges Feydeau, a ubiquitous influence as the prime shaper of boulevard farce to the percussive opening and closing of doors, less often seen in actual performance stateside.   Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Farce is a tricky thing to sustain, especially sex farce. Too much lewdness risks vulgarity, over-restraint loses the fizz.

No such issues afflict “A Flea in Her Ear” at A Noise Within. In its Southern California regional premiere, playwright David Ives’ wittily risqué 1950s update of Georges Feydeau’s farcical classic, the grand-père of them all, strikes precisely the right notes.   Read more…

Now running in rep through November 22.