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Archive for January 2017

WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION at the Lonny Chapman Theatre

Photo by Troy Whitaker

Photo by Troy Whitaker

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Agatha Christie has sold more books than anyone except for the Bible and William Shakespeare. Her play The Mousetrap has been running continuously in London since opening in 1952. In 1953 she adapted one of her early short stories, Traitor Hands, into the play Witness for the Prosecution…. Read more…

Now running through March 12

ROSE AND THE RIME at Sacred Fools

Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography

Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The fairy tale is an effective form of storytelling for many reasons, but the primary one is that everybody is already familiar with it from childhood. A lot can be done with this format — as in Lapine and Sondheim’s Into the Woods, where the self-reflective analysis of the characters follows the “happily ever after” curtain of Act 1. The current production at Sacred Fools, Rose and the Rime, tells a simple story with creative flair, but in the end it might be too simplistic to be memorable. Read more…

Now running through February 19

ADLER & GIBB at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Something is strangely fascinating about “Adler & Gibb,” the latest from the strangely fascinating theatermaker Tim Crouch. Read more…

PLASTICITY at the Hudson Guild Theatre

Photo by Jessica SHerman

Photo by Jessica SHerman

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The human brain is a powerful and fascinating thing. In Plasticity, a world premiere play written by Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill, a man in a coma struggles to become conscious again, all while his family and friends are forced to make difficult decisions regarding his life and future.     Read more…

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

The title of this play refers to the brain’s ability to rewire or reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life, especially in response to disease or injury. Read more…

Now running through March 13

ZANNA DON’T! at Chromolume Theatre at the Attic

Photo by Tyler Vess

Photo by Tyler Vess

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

There’s a lot of singing about love in Tim Acito’s musical fantasy, Zanna, Don’t! which is set in a high school in the Midwest (Heartsville High), where homosexuality is the norm and being hetero prompts wrinkled noses and grossed-out looks. Read more…

Now running through February 5

BECKETT5 at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Photo by Ron Sossi

Photo by Ron Sossi

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The late playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett did not make things easy for his audiences. He was first of all an arch-minimalist, reducing his works to the barest possible form. He often eschewed plot, multiple characters, dialogue or hope, concentrating on people who somehow find a way to go on, even while facing the pointlessness and miseries of their lives.

Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Just the name conjures a headache in some and bliss in others. Playwright Samuel Beckett is considered one of the most-influential 20th-century playwrights, certainly within Theatre of the Absurd style, his “Waiting for Godot” at the peak of those works.

Read more…

Now running through March 5

ALL THE STREET’S A STAGE AND SACK LUNCH ‘FELLOWSHIP’ by Don Shirley

Photo by Brian Biery

Photo by Brian Biery

Don Shirley – LA Observed

January 21 was a great day for immersive theater in Los Angeles. I’m referring to one event you probably know about, the Women’s March. But I’m also writing about “fellowship” – which you probably don’t know about. The former attracted the masses; the latter has a maximum capacity of 42 for any single performance.

  Read more…

NICE IRANIAN GIRL at the Whitefire Theatre

Photo by Merik Tadros)

Photo by Merik Tadros

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Nice Iranian Girl, Layla Rumi (a.k.a. Layla Kaleigh)’s one-woman show at the Whitefire Theatre, feels half-baked. The 50-minute monologue, which plays weekly in Sherman Oaks as part of Whitefire’s Solofest, follows Rumi from her early years growing up in Tehran to 2009, when her daughter was born in Los Angeles. Read more…

Now running through February  11

 

GRIMLY HANDSOME at City Garage

(Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I am taking an online class from my old college about comparative fairy tales – not the cutesy Disney stuff, but the darker, more horrifying tales of little children falling into wells and drowning, or witches being shoved into ovens and roasted alive. So perhaps it was no surprise that, as I was watching playwright Julia Jarcho’s dark kaleidoscopic tale of danger and menace, I suddenly realized, “Oh my goodness – this is just Little Red Riding Hood!” Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Everyone involved in bringing “Grimly Handsome” to life at Santa Monica’s City Garage has done all the necessary work. Still, the play will feel like a farrago, unless the audience is willing to patiently dig in to sort out the threads. Read more…

Now running through February 26

 

THE FOUND DOG RIVER DANCE at the Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In the opening scene of The Found Dog Ribbon Dance, a world premiere play by Dominic Finocchiaro currently being presented by the Echo Theater Company, a man wearing a Lucha mask uses a webcam to record himself dancing, with ribbons, of course, to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

This production of Dominic Finocchiaro’s The Found Dog River Dance wants to be wry and whimsical and deeply revelatory, but succeeds only fractionally, especially with the revelatory part.

Read more…

Now running through February 26

BEE-LUTHER-HATCHEE at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

Photo by Gina Long

Photo by Gina Long

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1985 police dropped a bomb on a predominantly black middle-class neighborhood in Philadelphia. They were targeting MOVE, a strange radical group known for staging vociferous profanity-laden demonstrations against the Establishment. Read more…

Now running through February 18

13 THINGS ABOUT ED CARPOLOTTI at the Broad Stage

 

Meghan Moore

Meghan Moore

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

finds Virginia (Penny Fuller) alone in her home for the first time after her husband, Ed (they were childhood sweethearts), passes away. Worse, she discovers that Ed’s business has been failing for years. As president of the company now, Virginia finds herself on the hook for almost $2 million...Read more…

Now running through January 29