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Archive for October 2015 – Page 2

GUARDS AT THE TAJ at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

It cannot be said that Rajiv Joseph’s West Coast premiere Guards at the Taj is entertaining. Neither is it cheering, inspiring nor pleasantly distracting. But it thoroughly provokes thoughts and emotions like few other “entertainments” do. Read more…

Now running through November 15.

 

UNCLE VANYA at the Antaeus Company

uncle-vanya-antaeus

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

Boredom is contagious in Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, now receiving an energetic revival at the Antaeus Company. The locus of the ennui is Yelena (Linda Park), the gorgeous, restless young wife of Serebryakov (Lawrence Pressman), an elderly professor who has retired to his family’s provincial estate.    Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

As a child, I couldn’t understand why anybody would attend a production of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”; surely not even the most pretentious adult would choose to watch gloomy Russians with interchangeable names hurt each other’s feelings and complain about having wasted their lives for as many as three hours at a stretch.

Read more…

Now running through December 6.

DAMN YANKEES – Cabrillo Music Theatre at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks

Lola & Boys II

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Having a dual passion for baseball and Broadway isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to enjoying the golden-age musical classic, “Damn Yankees,” but it certainly helps. This 1955 stage hit reteamed most of the illustrious creators of an earlier Broadway smash “The Pajama Game.” Read more…

Now running through October 25.

LURING MILLENIALS TO ‘CARRIE AND ‘VIETGONE’ by Don Shirley, LA Observed

Photo by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

Don Shirley – LA Observed

How to attract young-adult audiences to LA’s professional theaters? Plenty of pondering about this subject occurs at theater conferences and in theater journals. I won’t address the logistics of marketing to millennials here. But I’m welcoming two new productions that seemingly target them yet also offer lively experiences to those of us who are definitely not active members of that demographic group.   Read more…

Photo  by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

ALL MY SONS at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

As in Death of a Salesman, his 1949 Pulitzer Prize winner (and my personal favorite) Arthur Miller’s All My Sons looks at an American family in crisis and weaves their story into a broader vision of a morally bankrupt culture. Read more…

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Arthur Miller’s powerful 1947 family drama has aged surprisingly well, with its message of capitalist greed and personal hypocrisy ululating strongly through the many years since its first production.  There are different ways of watching the drama:  The first time you see All My Sons, you’ll probably follow the narrative in real time, as the horror unfolds and the sorrows escalate. Read more…

Now running through November 21.

TELL MR. POULUS at the Dorie Theatre at The Complex

Photo by Rick Ziegler

Photo by Rick Ziegler

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Donald Wollner’s comedy about a hapless little guy done in by the system and his own unmanageable urges isn’t exactly cutting edge satire.  But it is diverting enough to entertain. Read more…

Now running through October 25.

 

SEVEN SPOTS ON THE SUN at the Theatre at Boston Court

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Martín Zimmerman’s one-act drama Seven Spots on the Sun explores the impulse of revenge, and the notion of redemption, against the backdrop of a horrifying civil war. The lives of two couples in two separate (but nearby) South American villages are presented as mirror images.

Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

We often think of war in the abstract, as a force that periodically afflicts us, like a virus. But we, in fact, create war. We dream up its brutalities, and we are the ones who perpetrate them on one another.

Read more…

Now running through November 1.

 

WOMBAT MAN: THE CEREAL MURDERS at the Eclectic Company Theatre

Photo by Marni Troop

Photo by Marni Troop

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Writer-director-producer Chrisi Talyn Saje’s parody is a fluffy stage production with the intentional nutritional value of a bowl of sugary cereal. The sets and costumes zing with bright, comic book colors and the humor is broad and punny.

Read more..

Now running through October 18.

 

WE HAVE OTHERS at a private residence

Photo: Courtesy Hella Fresh Theatre Company

Photo: Courtesy Hella Fresh Theatre Company

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

My Uber driver was concerned for my safety when I told her where I was going for the play I was reviewing this week.  Of course I am used to going to some dodgy places to see plays. This time, however, I had been assigned to see a show in the kitchen of someone’s second floor apartment, in a building along a moonlit street in Culver City. 

Read more…

Now running through October 24.

 

GET. THAT. SNITCH. at Atwater Village Theatre

Pphoto: Courtesy Great Minds Creative Productions

Photo: Courtesy Great Minds Creative Productions

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Like most of the gangsters it features in its slick, style-obsessed production at the Atwater Village Theatre, Get. That. Snitch., the debut effort of Great Minds Creative Productions, talks a big game. But like the “very bad men” who one by one fall to their knees in a pool of their own gore, eliciting little more than a shrug from their colleagues, it proves surprisingly slight

Read more…

Now running through November 1.

HOMEFREE at the Road on Magnolia

Courtesy Road Theatre Company

Courtesy Road Theatre Company

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Lisa Loomer writes Issue Plays. She may not set out to do so quite so baldly, but there it is. Her works tend to be identifiable, and tend to last in the memory, as copiously researched treatments of specific ongoing problems in contemporary American life. And, by the way, she tends to be the only dramatist taking up those issues, which is to her everlasting credit.Read more…

Now running through November 7.

SOMETHING TRULY MONSTROUS at the Blank Theatre

Photo by Anne McGrath

Photo by Anne McGrath

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Rarely are the words zany and film noir in the same sentence. However, Something Truly Monstrous is a madcap send-up of 1940 murky melodramas like High Sierra, Johnny Eager, and The Maltese Falcon—taking a longstanding rumor and twisting the backstory to involve three Warner Bros. prestigious movie actors. Read more…

Now running through November 8.