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Archive for September 2015 – Page 2

FIRST DATE at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts

 Photo by Jason Niedle


Photo by Jason Niedle

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Experiencing theater—or any form of entertainment—is similar to the sensation of a blind date. Apprehension, as past disasters or boring evenings flood the mind, mix with exhilaration of a history of joyous surprises. In the opening moments, one can sense confidence in the conversation or a desperation to be adored.

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Now running through October 11.

TARTUFFE BY MOLIERE: A REALITY SHOW at City Garage

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

City Garage’s creative duo of Frédérique Michel and Charles A. Duncombe are long-established dab hands with Molière, so abundantly so that despite their reliable pedigree, I feared that Tartuffe by Moliere: A Reality Show would perhaps be too much yet again of the same thing. Yes, but no.

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Now running through November 1.

THESE PAPER BULLETS! at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

About the best way to communicate my absolute, unalloyed pleasure in These Paper Bullets!, Rolin Jones’s Much Ado About Nothing adaptation at the Geffen, is to report that the smile that came over my face in the first five minutes stayed with me through the intermission, which I couldn’t wait to have end so that I could return for Act Two, and hung on back to my car and beyond.

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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing revolves around lies, exaggerated love, and the ramifications of gossip. What other modern group faces these issues on such an international public stage as much as celebrities do?

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Dany Margolies – ShowMag

Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of enjoying this play?

At least subtitling this work “a modish ripoff” gives fair warning about playwright Rolin Jones’s script. It’s a rip-off, indeed, of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, in which the thirtysomething former flames Beatrice and Benedick forswear love, while the younger Hero and Claudio’s emotions catch fire before our eyes.

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Now running through October 18.

 

CANDIDE at Sacred Fools Theatre

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Photo courtesy of Sacred Fools

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Jon Jory’s adaptation of Voltaire’s novella Candide is, to cynically paraphrase the satire’s implacable optimist, Professor Pangloss,  work that is the best of all possible worlds. Which is to say that it is all right-ish, if not especially powerful or inspired.

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Now running through Oct. 17.

WHEN STARS ALIGN at the Odyssey Theatre

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Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

There’s a hint of Gone With the Wind and a touch of vintage nighttime soap opera, merged with appealing musical interludes, in this ambitious stage adaptation of Carole Eglash-Kosoff‘s sprawling historical novel.

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Now running through Oct. 4.

THE PRINCES OF KINGS ROAD at the Neutra Institute and Museum of Silver Lake

Photo courtesy of EST/LA

Photo courtesy of EST/LA

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Los Angeles can be careless with its history, unsentimentally bulldozing the past to make room for the future. Unlike certain cities I could mention — Athens, say, or Rome — Los Angeles could never be accused of hoarding. Read more…

Now running through Oct. 4.

 

 

AMERICAN FALLS at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Playwright Miki Johnson’s discerning but uneven one act takes place in small-town America and calls to mind Thoreau’s phrase “lives of quiet desperation.”  Read more…

Now running through Oct. 11.

PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED: FROM MONDAY NIGHTS AT ROGUE MACHINE TO AWAKE AND SING! TO JENNIE WEBB

From Monday Nights at Rogue Machine to Awake and Sing! to Jennie Webb

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I Like Mondays

LockwoodByrdMochel-HiCap

What is nicer than a Monday night show? If I were a theater producer I would always slip a Monday night performance into the schedule, just on principle.

Awake-and-Sing-1994

For one thing, all the critics will come, as they really won’t have anything else to do that night, except perhaps tweaking their prose before the Tuesday deadline and maybe watching Antiques Roadshow. You may even get some of the ol’ parasites (read: awards voters) from the Ovations, LADCC, and Stage Raw, given the lack of distracting other attractions.  Read more…

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REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES at the Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Philicia Endelman

Photo by Philicia Endelman

Margaret Gray – LA Times

No Prince Charming — or any other man, for that matter — appears onstage in the revival of “Real Women Have Curves” at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Nevertheless Josefina López’s crowd-pleasing play is a Cinderella story, with a touchingly pure faith in the power of a makeover.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Real Women Have Curves, Josefina López’s reflection on the plight of garment workers in Los Angeles, began its life in 1990 at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco. Based on Lopez’s experiences becoming a legal U.S. resident, the play was adapted into a Sundance Award-winning film in 2002. Now, to mark its 25th anniversary, López has updated her original play for modern times at Pasadena Playhouse.  Read more..    

Now running through Oct 4.

BLACK VIRGINS ARE NOT FOR HIPSTERS at the Marsh, San Francisco

Photo by Alex Keenan

Photo by Alex Keenan

The Marsh, in San Francisco, is the Bay Area’s answer to Son of Semele’s Solo Creation Festival in L.A. The San Francisco venue, however, is a year-round breeding ground of solo performances.

Echo Brown’s Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters was supposed to run through August, and has been extended through October, understandably so given the blend of Brown’s infectiously bubbly personality with her sometimes satirical, sometimes melodramatic insights into gender and racial politics.Read more…

Now running through Oct. 29.

MOJADA: A MEDEA IN LOS ANGELES at the Getty Villa

Photo b y Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Each year for the past decade, the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades has commissioned a Los Angeles theater company to adapt an Ancient Greek play for the Getty’s outdoor amphitheater. This year, the Pasadena-based Theatre @ Boston Court sets the Euripides tragedy “Medea” in modern-day Boyle Heights. Enter “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles” — and the results are spellbinding.  Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

One of the more striking elements in playwright Luis Alfaro’s work is his ability to successfully transpose Greek tragedy into stories about Mexican-Americans and Latino immigrants. Myths that may not feel relevant to many of us suddenly become germane as we watch Alfaro’s dramas about ordinary people who have extraordinary passions, much like the classical characters of old.   Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

In Luis Alfaro’s new adaptation, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Medea (Sabina Zuniga Varela), an undocumented fugitive and a topnotch seamstress obsessively doing piecework while never leaving her home, explains that the basis for the quality of a well-crafted dress depends upon the fabric “… and the stitching.” Read more…

 

Now running through Oct. 3.

BROADWAY BOUND at the Pierson Playhouse

Photo by Joy Daunis

Photo by Joy Daunis

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Theatergoers are rarely able to observe characters growing up over the course of several plays. Shakespeare’s Prince Hal provides one notable exception. Playwright Neil Simon offers another. In his Brighton Beach Memoirs, we met Eugene Jerome, the hilariously genial youngster in 1940s New York, torn between becoming a professional baseball player and becoming a famous writer.Read more…

Now  running through Oct. 11.