Layout Image

Archive for November 2016

A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS at The Lonny Chapman Theatre

(Photo by Doug Engalla)

(Photo by Doug Engalla)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Phil Olson seems to have been of two minds about what sort of play he wanted to write — a snarky comedy about a bickering dysfunctional family, or a sweet uplifting holiday tale. So he tried for both. Read more…

Now running through December 18

IN THE BALANCE at Studio/Stage

(Photo by Riley Beckham)

(Photo by Riley Beckham)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright A. David Redish’s odd drama is a weird mix of Blithe Spirit and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. This pitch is likely to have you thinking that the show might be better than it is. So it gives no me pleasure to note that Steve Jarrard’s awkwardly executed production will leave you thinking you’ve seen a sloppy mess rather than anything mystical and quirky. Read more…

Now running through December 11

A VERY SPECIAL HOLIDAY SPECIAL at the Little Fish Theatre

lf

(Photo by Mickey Elliott)

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

If as of late you find yourself longing to laugh but not quite able to, Little Fish Theatre might coax you into smiling, snickering, chortling and more than a few times doubling over in hilarity. Read more…

Now running through December 17

 

 

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE at the Mark Taper Forum

(© Stephen Cummiskey)

(© Stephen Cummiskey)

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Marie Mullen won the best actress Tony for the original Broadway production of  The Beauty Queen of Leenane as a tortured daughter. Now she has returned almost 20 years later to play the tormentor — her cruel, selfish mother.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1998, The Druid Theatre Company’s production of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane won four Tonys, including the award for Best Direction to Garry Hynes (a first for a woman) and one for Best Featured Actress to Marie Mullen. As co-founders of Druid, Hynes and Mullen were the first to secure the rights to the play, premiering it in 1996 in County Galway, West Ireland, where the company is based, and where the story takes place. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

The Beauty Queen of Leenane launched British-born (of Irish descent) playwright Martin McDonagh onto the theater scene in 1996. His first play is a black comedy is about a tempestuous mother-daughter relationship and is set in rural Ireland during the early 90s…….Read more…

Now running through December 18

WHEN JAZZ HAD THE BLUES at the Matrix Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Pianist/composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn (Frank Lawson) grew up in a family dominated by his alcoholic, abusive and homophobic father.  His first love was classical music, but he was gay and black, and in the 1930s and 40s gay was emphatically frowned upon, and the classical establishment was almost entirely white.   Read more…

Now running through December 18

 

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN NOVEMBER ON THE BANKS OF THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT LAKES at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Troy Blendell

Photo by Troy Blendell

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Kate Benson’s A Beautiful Day in November On the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes takes place on Thanksgiving and revolves around a family’s collective preparation of the traditional holiday meal.  Read more…

Now running through December 11

THE SECOND WOMAN at the Bootleg Theatre

(Photo by Zb Images)

(Photo by Zb Images)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

A middle-aged actress obsesses over her fading youth in The Second Woman, a cryptic one-act written by Marissa Chibas and co-directed by Zoe Aja Moore and Fernando Belo.Read more…

Now running through December 11

 

ICEBERGS at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch Photography

Jeff Lorch Photography

Margaret Gray – LA Times

During Alena Smith’s play “Icebergs,” in its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, thirtysomething screenwriter Calder (Nate Corddry) sets up an air mattress in his Silver Lake living room for a visiting friend.     Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Isolation and tribalism, art and commerce, privacy and over-sharing, global warming and geological cycles, commitment and divorce, parental frustration and parental adoration, instability and inevitability. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

A screenwriter must choose between preserving the integrity of his story or changing it to please a box-office star. A career-minded actress must decide between having the baby she and her husband presumably long for or pursuing her profession. Read more…

Now running through December 18

THE SUPER VARIETY MATCH BONUS ROUND! – Rogue Machine at The Met Theatre

PUB Super

(Photo by John Perrin Flynn)

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Ernest and Margaret Eagleton (Mark L. Taylor, Bonnie Bailey-Reed), are small town Texas folks whose nondescript lives are transformed by a visitor, in this lively comedy by Deb Hiett. Read more…

Now running through December 19

A TOUCH OF THE POET at Pacific Resident Theatre

ATouchofthePoetVitorMartins

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Dramatically, antiheroes are more interesting to write about and portray than standard heroes because they combine the most compelling aspects of both hero and villain. Eugene O’Neill knew this well, and populated his plays with a parade of sympathetic ne’er-do-wells, from Jamie in Long Day’s Journey into Night to the entire cast of The Iceman Cometh. Read more…

Now running through December 18

EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN at American Legion Post 43

EIB_p378

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Some stories bear retelling no matter how many times we’ve heard them before, and Rebecca Stahl’s melodrama about an emotionally disturbed veteran of our recent wars in the Middle East falls into that niche. While the play could lose a couple of its contrivances, and the performances, under John DiFusco’s direction, need more dimension, the drama’s nuts-and-bolts remain worthy of attention.   Read more…

Now running through December 4

DESTINY OF DESIRE at South Coast Repertory (and other plays)

 

Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR.

Photo by ​Debora Robinson/SCR.

Don Shirley – LA Observed

The telenovela genre, that hotbed of steamy romance, becomes embroiled in a fervent embrace with the theater in “Destiny of Desire,” Karen Zacarias’ wildly funny play at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. Read more…

Now running through November 20