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Archive for March 2016 – Page 2

WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Is “Women Laughing Alone With Salad” the first play inspired by an Internet meme? In 2011 the feminist website the Hairpin published stock photographs of slender models appearing to exult over forkfuls of mixed greens. We’d all seen these images in advertisements, but we’d never really looked at them, or wondered what, exactly, was so hilarious about salad. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sheila Callaghan’s Women Laughing Alone With Salad isn’t quite the female-centric piece you expect it to be. As anticipated, it comments on women’s attitudes about their bodies, the pressures they face to conform to a certain image and their experience of womanhood within our culture in general. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

From Kate Crackernuts through Crumble (Lay me down, Justin Timberlake), Lascivious Something and Roadkill Confidential to her best work to date, the award-winning Everything You Touch, Sheila Callaghan has purveyed a consistently inventive theatrical vision, always identifiably hers, yet with a flair for ranging variations across a spectrum of anger to whimsy. Read more…

Now running through April 3

MINE at the Moth theatre

Photo by Chase Coarnahan

Photo by Chase Coarnahan

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Ryan Surratt’s three person chamber piece of need and greed strips motivation and morality down to their minimal essence.

Read more…

Now running through April 16

CLOUD 9 at the Antaeus Theatre Company

Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography

Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The Antaeus Theatre Company once again demonstrates its immense value to the Los Angeles theatre community, this time with a superb revival of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9. It’s an ambitious and tricky work, but under Casey Stangl’s thoughtful direction, an inspired ensemble does the play proud. As usual, Antaeus “partner-casts” its productions; this review is of “The Blighters” cast.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Noted playwright Caryl Churchill developed Cloud 9 in collaboration with a company of actors, who drew on their personal experience in helping create the work. A biting satirical farce that premiered in 1979, with cross-gender casting, it deals with conflicts engendered when people’s natural sexual predilections are out of line with society’s rigid expectations. Read more…

Now running through April 24

YOU NEVER CAN TELL at A Noise Within

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Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

George Bernard Shaw’s’s turn of the 20th century rom-com, had a rocky start. Set to debut in 1897, it failed to make it to the stage that year, as actors struggled with the material and one leading lady quit, complaining the comedy had neither enough laughs nor enough exits. Not until 8 years later, in 1905, after Shaw had had it published in an anthology, did the piece have its first full run. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

This family is no place for a father.” It’s an emphatic statement of the sober argument that lies at the larky heart of “You Never Can Tell” at A Noise Within theater in Pasadena.    Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In his early career, George Bernard Shaw wrote two sets of plays that he labeled Plays Unpleasant (Widower’s Houses, The Philanderer, Mrs. Warren’s Profession ) and Plays Pleasant (Arms and the Man, Candida, You Never Can Tell). Read more…

Now running through May 15

 

 

 

SPIES ARE FOREVER at the NoHo Arts Center

Photo by Katherine Leon

Photo by Katherine Leon

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This slick little musical is a spoof of the James Bond movies, with emphasis on their snazzy-jazzy opening credits. The book is by Tin Can Brothers, a team made up of director Corey Lubowich and ensemble members Joey Richter and Brian Rosenthal, with a score by Clark Baxstresser and Pierce Siebers. Read more…

Now running through April 13

 

SEX WITH STRANGERS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It could be the setup for a Harlequin romance: A beautiful novelist curls on a couch in a bed-and-breakfast in rural Michigan, proofreading a manuscript, completely alone. Heavy snow has deterred other guests, and even the proprietor has been called away on family business. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz –  Theatermania

Laura Eason’s exploration of egos, insecurities, and drowning in digital communication features a fiery performance by Stephen Louis Grush as a mysterious stranger who struggles to separate from a bad-boy persona in the Geffen Playhouse production of Sex With Strangers.

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The title “Sex With Strangers” may be the most exciting thing about this production. A flat script, uninspired direction and a robotic performance turn it to lead. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Premiering at Chicago’s Steppenwolf company in 2011 and having its New York bow in 2014, Laura Eason’s two-character play offers a seriocomic glimpse at fervent career ambitions and provocative romance in the internet age. Read more…

Now running through April 10

DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY at the Little Fish Theatre

Photo by Mickey Elliot

Photo by Mickey Elliot

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

As we reminisce over the decades, uptight manners seem to have been the hallmark of the 1950s. They’re parodied quite a bit in the theater, for example in playwright Rich Orloff’s look back from the 1990s, “Domestic Tranquility.” Read more…

Now running through April 2

A GAMBLER’S GUIDE TO DYING at the Ruskin Group Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

In just over an hour, Scottish playwright Gary McNair’s affectionate portrait of the rise and fall of an inveterate gambler manages to span 45 years, chart a grandson’s disillusionment and recovery of faith in his hero, mull the randomness of the universe, and probe the legacy of any human life. And at just over an hour, the Ruskin Group Theatre’s Los Angeles premiere of A Gambler’s Guide to Dying manages to feel a shade too long.    Read more…

Now running through April 29

THE MONGOOSE at The Road on Magnolia

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In the opening scene of Will Arbery’s dark, roundabout dramedy, a family lounges in the living room of their grungy Dallas domicile, munching food and watching TV. The clan consists of Cole, the dad (Dirk Etchison), and his three teenaged kids. Kay Bailey (Arielle Fodor), the serious-minded middle sibling (and, we learn, the only family member in firm touch with an external reality) inquires if they’ll be going to church. After a brief discussion, the consensus emerges as no. Read more…

Now running through April 17

THEY DON’T TALK BACK at the Wells Fargo Theatre at the Autry Museum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This world premiere of Frank Henry Kaash Katasse’s They Don’t Talk Back is produced by Native Voices at the Autry, a theatre company dedicated to developing new theatre works by Native American playwrights, and supporting the talents of Native American actors, writers, musicians, and directors. Read more…

Now running through March 20.

 

FATHER, SON AND HOLY COACH at the Odyssey Theatre

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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Writer/performer John Posey’s solo show is about the strained relationship between a driven football-crazed dad and his more laidback and thoughtful son. In the program, Posey notes that the story is not autobiographical, though it does contain elements of real life and is drawn from the stories of people he knew growing up in the Deep South.   Read more…

Now running through March 30

DUSK RINGS A BELL at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Randy Brafton

Photo by Randy Brafton

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

At the heart of Stephen Belber’s dramedy is that painful longing that arises from time to time in all of us to revisit a past time of possibility and happiness. Read more…

Now running through March 13