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Archive for May 2017

LES BLANCS – Rogue Machine Theatre at the Met

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s kind of amazing that a major play by Lorraine Hansberry is just having its Los Angeles premiere now. Perhaps the tide of criticism that caused the play to close after one month on Broadway in 1970 tainted its reputation in some way, or its need for a 24-member cast scared producers off. Thankfully, Rogue Machine decided to rectify this situation, and its current production is a smart, exciting theatrical event. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lorraine Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play that was produced on Broadway when her classic A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award becoming the youngest playwright to do so.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs is set in colonial Africa sometime in the mid–20th century, and while much has changed since then, the play’s moral dilemmas and the racism and hypocrisy that give rise to them remain with us. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer in 1965 when she was only 34, leaving behind incomplete drafts of “Les Blancs” (“The Whites”), a play she had begun writing in 1960, soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made her famous.Read more…

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Now running through July 3

NEXT TO NORMAL at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

East West Players wraps up its 51st season, dedicated to “the female perspective,” with a revival of “Next to Normal,” the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical about a suburban housewife’s struggle with mental illness and its effect on her family, played here by an Asian American cast. Read more…

Now running through June 11

SPECIES NATIVE TO CALIFORNIA – IAMA Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Dean Cechvala

Photo by Dean Cechvala

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Every family has its secrets, and in an uncertain political climate, precarious situations and relationships that have held on by a thread for years can quickly become threatened.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Dorothy Fortenberry’s Species Native to California takes place in Northern California in 2016, prior to the election of Donald Trump, and revolves around a man and his daughters who own vast beautiful acreage that they are about to lose to the bank. Read more…

Now running through June 11

OUR COLLEAGUE MADELEINE SHANER

Madeleine Shaner

With sadness and respect, the LADCC announces the death of longtime circle member Madeleine Shaner.

For decades she reviewed for Park LaBrea News/Beverly Press and for Back Stage. In some of those years she was known as “the broad in the hat,” a floppy-brimmed bit of wardrobe ornamented with a sunflower that became a steady presence in the front rows of Los Angeles’s 99-Seat theaters.

Her writing, knowledgeable of theater, usually included an interesting turn of phrase, much of which was attributable to her British education. In her later years on the circle, Madeleine was elected to emeritus status in recognition of her service to the organization and to the theatrical community. She hosted meetings in her home, where her beloved Samoyed named Pushkin would sit under the dining-room table and silently listen in.

The Circle offers condolences to her husband, John Herman Shaner, and their sons Michael and Daniel.

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FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE – Ebony Rep at Nate Holden Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Five Guys Named Moe celebrates the music of pioneering jazz musician Louis Jordan, a crossover artist whose swinging soulful music was popular with both black and white audiences from the late 1930s to the early ‘50s.  Read more…

Now running through June 11

 

DON’T YOU EVER CALL ME ANYTHING BUT MOTHER at Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Jen-Ann Kichmeier

(Photo by Jen-Ann Kichmeier

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

The second in a set of two one-person plays, John O’Keefe’s Don’t Ever Call Me Anything But Mother may be that unique monologue that is literally unlike anything you’ve witnessed before — though whether it will beguile or appall you really depends on your mood and ability to deal with creepy darkness. Read more…

Now running through May 30

SEPARATE TABLES at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA 

In the 1940s and 50s, British playwright Terrence Rattigan was considered an important playwright, scoring successes in both England and the U.S. with The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, and other works.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Loneliness is a terrible thing, don’t you agree.” That sentiment is expressed by one of the lonely characters in British playwright Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, a collection of two one-act plays set at the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth, England….Read more…

Now running through June 18

THE LYONS at The Road Theatre on Lankershim

Michele Young

Michele Young

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Nicky Silver has written over a dozen plays which have mostly been produced off-Broadway and at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. South Coast Repertory produced his Pterodactyls and Raised in Captivity in the early 1990s. Read more...

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Nicky Silver’s mordant comedy revisits the familiar generative terrain of the dysfunctional family coping with life’s difficulties — and themselves. Read more…

Now running through July 1

HELLO AGAIN at Chromolume Theatre at the Attic

(Photo by James Esposito)

(Photo by James Esposito)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This long one-act by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party) is a musical update of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play La Ronde which, shocking for its time, featured 10 interconnected sexual encounters. The structure and the characters’ names are Schnitzler’s, though the Young Thing has been transformed from female to male to embrace a broader sexual spectrum. Read more…

Now running through May 28

 

LUCKY STIFF at Actors Co-op

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more far-fetched plot than the one that animates this zany musical by Lynn Ahren (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucky Stiff is a 1988 musical farce with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It was the team’s first collaboration…..Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily News

In 1988, the fledgling duo of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty produced their first musical: “Lucky Stiff.” The show is a silly send-up of the mystery/suspense genre, and based loosely on the 1983 book “The Man Who Broke Monte Carlo.” Read more…

Now running through June 18

ACTUALLY at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He said, she said. Then he said more, and then she said more. They both kept saying things. But no matter how much they said, it was impossible to determine what had actually happened between the two freshmen in the Princeton University dorm room when they were very drunk. Was it consensual sex or rape? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Um, actually.” These seemingly innocuous words are critical to the events of the aptly named Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a co-world premiere with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

We see the kiss twice: once at the play’s beginning and once at its end. Her hands express her uncertainty. They don’t push him away, but they don’t embrace him. Her left hand hovers near his shoulder, a question mark over the moment and certainly over the play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Anna Ziegler’s smart and penetrating play Actually, now premiering at the Geffen Playhouse, Tom (Jerry MacKinnon), a freshman at Princeton, recounts an incident in which his best buddy Sunil leans in and kisses him on the mouth. Read more…

Now running through June 11

THE SWEETHEART DEAL at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Grettel Cortes Photography

Grettel Cortes Photography

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Written and directed by Diane Rodriguez, The Sweetheart Deal is an amiable blend of political agitprop and audience-pleasing melodrama that unfolds against the backdrop of the struggle to empower the United Farm Workers union. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In 1970, when Americans had causes to fight for, we literally took a stand, physically joining forces, moving into action for what we believed in. We didn’t merely tweet. Read more…

 

Now running through June 4