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Archive for October 2016

VONNEGUT USA at Atwater Village Theatre

Rob SmithPUB-left, Carryl Lynn-cen

Photo by Maia Peters

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Kurt Vonnegut was a prolific writer, perhaps best known for his anti-war Slaughterhouse Five and for Cat’s Cradle, a novel which plunged into a dystopian science fiction and urged defiance of religion and any other institution — science, the family, the state — promoted as an object of veneration. Read more…

Now running through November 20

SPARKLES & THE BLACK WEEPING WOMAN at the McCadden Street Theatre

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(Photo by Ehrin Marlow)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Sparkles (Barkley Romero) is a 17-year-old Latina who lives with her mother, Lisa (Lena Marie), in a Highland Park house which tends to slide downhill whenever they miss a mortgage payment. (This is magic realism with a vengeance!)    Read more…

Now running through November 13

THE MODEL APARTMENT at the Geffen Playhouse

Model Apt

(Photo by Jeff Lorch Photography)

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

The Geffen Playhouse has had a fruitful relationship with playwright Donald Margulies, resulting in memorable productions such as Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Dinner with Friends and Collected Stories. It’s only natural the theatre would want to continue this successful streak, which leads to the current revival of Margulies’ earlier work, The Model Apartment. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The story of an elderly couple and their efforts to elude the past, The Model Apartment — now running at the Geffen Playhouse — unfolds with subtlety and surprise. It’s one of those poignant dramas about “little” people that lingers after the final curtain. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Anchored by actress Marilyn Fox’s exquisite portrayal of a retiree trying to keep her family together, The Model Apartment is a stirring evening. The talented four-person ensemble draws the audience into this tragic and relatable drama at Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s impossible to share impressions about “The Model Apartment” without revealing its plot points. But the mood it creates and the feelings it stirs up can’t be spoiled by spoilers. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

In one of his early plays, Donald Margulies examines how one couple’s best laid plans for their twilight years become dismantled when they fail to reconcile properly with the past. Read more…

Now running through November 20

THE IMAGINARY INVALID at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

During its 25th anniversary season, A Noise Within revives Molière’s madcap play The Imaginary Invalid after first performing it in 2001, but this time with Constance Congdon’s 2007 adaptation. Zany as a Marx Brothers movie, the farce delves into hypochondria and the perversity of the patriarchy. Though some of the modern speech in Congdon’s text is too clever by half, this production captures Molière’s irreverent flavor. Read more…

 

FRIENDS IN TRANSIENT PLACES at Studio Stage Theatre

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In The Recommendation, playwright Jon Caren offered a searing take on class and privilege. In The Need to Know he examined how the behavior of an unconventional person might trigger suspicion and paranoia in others. Read more…

Now running throughOctober 30

THE STAND-IN at the Bootleg Theatre

 

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Sometimes a play can go up a little too early — and I am afraid that is the case with this drama co-written by Alicia Adams and Peter Monro. Its bones are in all the right places, but its narrative is slight and its tone is heavy and flat.Read more…

Now running through November 5

UNDERNEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Irish playwright-performer Pat Kinevane returns to the Odyssey Theater with a new piece that explores “life lived on the fringes of society.” Kinevane’s previous works, Forgotten and Silent, were performed at the Odyssey in 2011 and 2012, and with Underneath, the third piece in the trilogy, he brings us a very unconventional ghost story, cleverly directed by Jim Culleton, just in time for Halloween. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Underneath, a one-person show by Irish playwright/performer Pat Kinevane, should be seen for the poetry and poignancy of its story and the brilliant stagecraft that enhances it. Read more…

Now running through October 30

THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE: REVISITED at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s been a familiar gambit for some time for actors to take a famous play and turn it into a one-person show ‑ essaying all the roles to display his or her virtuosity — but I’d never heard of the reverse being done until now. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Gently but pointedly reminding all of us that we are strikingly alike in so many ways are the Los Angeles LGBT Center and its production of “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Much but not all of Jane Wagner’s astute and witty take on modern American life circa the 1980s is preserved in this engaging multi-performer adaptation directed by Ken Sawyer at the L.A. LGBT Center. Read more…

Now running through December 11

 

THE COUNTRY WIFE – Classical Theatre Lab at Kings Road Park

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

William Wycherley’s The Country Wife premiered in 1675. Charles II had then been on the throne for 15 years and his libertine court was in full swing. Wycherley’s play about a womanizing trickster who pretends to be a eunuch so he might go around seducing married women without provoking their husband’s suspicions fits neatly into the prevailing humor of the time. Read more…

Now running through October 23

GOING…..GOING….GONE! at the Hudson Theatre Guild

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Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

This lightweight comedy, largely about legacy, by TV veteran and former sportscaster Ken Levine revolves around the hopes and fears of four L.A. sportswriters who are covering a baseball game that’s gone into extra innings. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

The sitcom originated in the early days of radio, and it has become one of the most-reliable forms for writers as they spin out a storyline. Playwright Ken Levine, with credits from M*A*S*H and other notable television comedies and 25 years as a major league baseball broadcast journalist, has used this structure and set the play in a press box in a Los Angeles ballpark. Read more…

Now running through November 6

THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (AS TOLD BY WM. SHAKESPEARE) at the Skylight Theatre

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s a shame to reveal how “he Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)T” gets recounted, but it seems impossible to write about it without divulging the basis for this genius concept. Read more…

Now running through November 6

FOR THE RECORD – AMERICAN CRIME REQUIEM at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We’ve been besieged of late by a plethora of juke-box musicals, but the production company For the Record has put a new spin on it. They bring us a soundtrack musical, whose score is derived from the soundtracks of movies by major directors. In the past they’ve paid tribute to Quentin Tarantino, but now they’ve turned their attention to six films by Martin Scorsese: Read more…

Now running through October 16