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Archive for April 2016 – Page 2

BORROWED TIME at a Secret Location

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Borrowed Time,” a new magic act by Helder Guimarães, doesn’t quite defy description. Rather, it reminds its audience, with a conspiratorial wink, that description might spoil the fun for future audiences.     Read more…

Now running through May 29

GORGEOUS at the Let Live Theatre

Photo: Courtesy Fierce Backbone

Photo: Courtesy Fierce Backbone

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the exceptional American woman who doesn’t wrestle with image issues, the modern feminist movement notwithstanding. Years ago my own mother lectured my sister and me on the virtues of thinness, and her invocations pursue me to this day. Read more…

Now running through April 24

DRY LAND – Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land succeeds on multiple levels: first, as a dark comedy, second, as a graphic portrayal of the process of a self-administered abortion, and last and most particularly, as a sharp and illuminating character study. This West Coast premiere by the Echo Theatre Company is entertaining and assured and a lot funnier than the subject matter might suggest. Read more…

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

With the right to choose under fire nationwide, a play featuring a 17-year-old grappling with an unwanted pregnancy couldn’t be timelier. Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land, directed by Alana Dietz for the Echo Theater Company, fits that description.    Read more…

 

Now running through May 15

WEAPONS at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The shadow of Eugene O’Neill looms large over the plot and writing of playwright Chris Collins’ angry family drama. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, as Collins lays the sadness and rage on so thick that Long Day’s Journey almost seems like a situation comedy in comparison. Read more…

Now running through May 8

SCHOOL FOR WIVES at the Archway Studio Theatre

Photo by Elias McCabe

Photo by Elias McCabe

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Although it’s dangerous to impose our own political leanings on works of the past, Moliere’s 1662 sex farce could in many ways be considered a bona fide feminist tract. Read more…

Now running through May 7

RED VELVET at the Glendale Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1833, African-American actor Ira Aldridge became the first man of color ever to play Othello on the London stage, replacing the acclaimed English tragedian Edmund Kean after Kean became ill. This was, not-coincidentally, the same year that a momentous bill abolishing slavery was being debated in British Parliament; it would go into force the following year. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In its West Coast premiere at Atwater Playhouse, “Red Velvet,” Lolita Chakrabarti’s 2012 study of legendary actor Ira Aldridge, conveys the power of the stage and its lingering impact. Read more…

Now running through April 30

WAITING FOR JOHNNY DEPP at the Whitefire Theatre

Photo by Jessica Sterling

Photo by Jessica Sterling

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Janet Valdez Cole’s semi-autobiographical musical, co-written with solo performer Deedee O’Malley, is a fun romp that traces the trials and tribulations of an aspiring actress. Read more…

Now running through April 24

THE REVISIONIST at the Wallis- Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

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Photo by Kevin Parry

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

One might have expected that accomplished actor but novice playwright Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Batman v Superman) would be more adept at creating characters for The Revisionist than knowing what to do with them. Read more…

Now running through April 17

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TOLUCA LAKE: THE MUSICAL at the Falcon Theatre

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Photo by Sasha Venola

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

When critic Walter Kerr reviewed the musical Zorba, he observed that it was the only musical he’d ever seen where he actively hated the chorus. This show, with book, music and lyrics by Molly Bell, is an intimate musical so it has no chorus, but the characters are, if not hateful, decidedly unlovable.   Read more…

Now running through April 24

HISTORIA DE AMOR at REDCAT

Michael Owen Baker / For The Times

Michael Owen Baker / For The Times

David C. Nichols – LA Times

An extraordinary merger of cinematic and theatrical art suffuses “Historia de Amor,” which concludes its North American premiere engagement at REDCAT on Sunday.

This mordant, uncommonly arresting production from Chile’s acclaimed Teatrocinema troupe doesn’t just borrow film and animation elements — it absorbs them into live performance to create an entirely new form. Read more…

 

NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY at the Robey Theatre

Photo by Niketa Caleme Harris

Photo by Niketa Caleme Harris

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

In the pantheon of African-American playwrights, the name Charles Gordone isn’t as well-known as others like Lorraine Hansberry or August Wilson. But he was the first black playwright to receive a Pulitzer Prize, and this 1969 drama was the first off-Broadway play to receive the award. Read more…

Now running through May 11

STOPPING BY at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Brian Dillinger

Photo by Brian Dillinger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Writer/solo performer Barbara Tarbuck has titled her vibrant one-act Stopping By, a phrase that calls to mind Robert Frost’s iconic poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, with its meditation (as I interpret it anyway) on human mortality. Read more..

Now running through April 13