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Archive for November 2015

A GOOD FAMILY at the Lounge Theatre

AGF2967

Photo by Emilie Svensson.

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

“A Good Family,” playwright Marja-Lewis Ryan’s third new work to debut at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, following “Dysnomia” (2011) and “One in the Chamber” (2014), once again takes a look at an apparently idyllic American family rocked by sudden events that depict timely contemporary social issues. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

As with One in the Chamber, a drama which premiered to high praise in 2014, Marja-Lewis Ryan’s latest work revolves around a controversial social issue and its impact on a middle-class American family.   Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Marja-Lewis Ryan is taking a familiar approach with her storytelling in A Good Family. Once again, the playwright tackles a topical and emotionally charged subject and examines its affects on the family unit. Her previous play, One In the Chamber, focused on a family dealing with the aftermath of the accidental shooting of their 9-year-old son at the hands of his 10-year-old brother. This time the hot topic is campus rape.    Read more…

Now running through December 20.

INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL LAPRISE – WRITER & DIRECTOR OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S “KURIOS.” by Pauline Adamek

Michel Laprise

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

With his impish smile and boyish, childlike glee, artist Michel Laprise comes across as a fun and genial person with a vast imagination. But the creator (writer and director) of KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™ — the newest Cirque du Soleil extravaganza to come to Southern California — is evidently an extremely hard worker. His main objective with this stunning show, that premiered in Montreal around a year ago, was somehow to breathe new life force into the widely adored company. In particular, Laprise set out to reinvent the internationally renowned troupe with this dazzling touring show that they have now brought to Cali. 

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Cirque siamese

STRAIGHT WHITE MEN at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

SWM_CraigSchwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

As a theater critic, I find myself writing perhaps disproportionally about plays with race, gender and sexuality issues — those subjects being responsible for a disproportionate amount of the most meaningful work being created — for which I am arguably ill-equipped to discuss, falling back on the presumptive faith that art is still art.

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Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Three adult brothers gather at their Dad’s home for Christmas and goof around. When the youngest brother Drew (Frank Boyd) is overcome with emotion during their Christmas Eve takeout Chinese meal, the others struggle to understand what’s bothering him.

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Now running through December 20.

 

RIO HONDO at Theatre of NOTE

RIO HONDO - 1

Photo by Kevin Sharp

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

If you’re in need of a diversion in these terrible, wearisome times — and surely we all are — might I suggest Theatre of Note’s uproarious staging of Bill Robens’ western parody Rio Hondo, under the imaginative direction of Jaime Robledo. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Even a fan of classic Westerns would have to admit that occasionally they’re a bit dramatically overripe, full of unregenerate machismo and with views on race and sex that are best kept in their respective eras. Of course these themes have been parodied before, notably in Blazing Saddles, but theatre needed its turn, and Bill Robens has provided it with the witty and knowing Rio Hondo…… Read more…

Now running through December 20.

 

THE KILL-OR-DIES at the McCadden Place Theatre

Photo by Marjorie Salvaterra

Photo by Marjorie Salvaterra

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

From lights up, playwright Meghan Brown’s drops her audience right into the swirling midst of her drama. Read more…

Now running through December 13.

MIRAVEL at Sacred Fools Theatre

Photo by Jessica Sherman

Photo by Jessica Sherman

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Edmond Rostand meets Hermann Hesse at the Village Vanguard in “Miravel” at Sacred Fools.

Author-performer Jake Broder’s mash-up of Rostand’s deathless “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Hesse’s novel “Gertrude” has some post-larval quirks, yet a compelling undertow propels its jazz-centric romantic triangle.   Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright/composer Jake Broder, whose play Louie and Keely Live at the Sahara  went from Sacred Fools to the Geffen and then to regional theaters such as Chicago’s Royal George, returns here once again with another musical motif – this time the world of jazz. His latest opus is a magical amalgam of jazz music and gentle tinged-with-regret romantic drama.  Read more…

Now running through December 19.

WOMEN W/O WALLS at the Lounge Theatre 2

Photo by Alex Moy

Photo by Alex Moy

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Strong performances and imaginative direction are not enough to offset the weak and rather ponderously metaphysical meditation that is playwright Robin Rice’s clunky opus. It’s a play overlong at 70 minutes, and it feels like a re-cycled Twilight Zone but without Rod Serling’s twisty bite. em>Read more…

Now running through December 12.

@THESPEEDOFJAKE at the Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Blake Boyd

Photo by Blake Boyd

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Jennifer Maisel’s new play, premiering with this production, examines the way we deal with grief, loss, and death.

Clark (Ryan Yu) and Emily (Elizabeth Pan) were a happily married couple, devoted to their 10-year-old son Jake (whom we never see).  But when Jake is suddenly killed in a hideous bicycle accident, their marriage is severely stressed. Read more...

Now running through December 7.

OUTSIDE MULLIGAR at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

The committed theatergoer, confronted with the prospect of a play set in Ireland, may well inquire, “First of all, is it one of the light ones or one of the dark ones?” Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Outside Mullingar feels like a memory play of the distant past that is set in modern times. The farming territory of Killucan, Ireland, has a timeless aura. Into this delicate setting, Shanley beautifully tells a quiet tale of unrequited love, where the characters are not so much repressed, but gloomy about what they think they can’t have. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Bob Verini’s Stage Raw review of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar places the show squarely within its proper context, and though much of his take is unassailable, I regard the play with more susceptible affection — though in the Irish manner, all such sentiment and despair are to be doubted in equal measure.    Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Exit Reviews are a series of ‘vlogs’ or brief video reviews, giving first impressions of the show.   Read more…

Now running through December 20

 

AY, CARMELA! at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

Jessica Sherman Photography

Jessica Sherman Photography

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Frank Gehry’s set for “Ay, Carmela!” at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre may not make any lists of the architect’s most impressive designs. Read more…

Now running through December 13.

 

 

FRONT DOOR OPEN at Greenway Court Theatre

open-door-photo

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Eleanor (Joanna Miles) the agoraphobic senior citizen in Tom Baum’s family drama, is a paranoid lady. Not only is she afraid to leave her house: she’s also terrified that home invaders might come to do her ill. Read more…

Now running through December 13.

TIMESHARE at the Eclectic Company Theatre

Photo by Steve B. Green

Photo by Steve B. Green

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Steve B. Green’s black comedy Timeshare is set in the cutthroat world of high-pressure sales, and while some thematic similarities to Glengarry Glen Ross can be seen, don’t expect any David Mamet-style pyrotechnics. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

I am a professional salesman. I am a professional salesman.” So runs, with drolly insecure variations, the mantra of the woebegone hero of “Timeshare,” which has been extended at the Eclectic Company Theatre. Read more…

Now running through January 31