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Archive for October 2017

MATELUNA at REDCAT

Photo by Felipe Fredes

Photo by Felipe Fredes

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Few people sitting down at REDCAT this week for the U.S. premiere of Mateluna” will have heard of Jorge Mateluna. But after seeing this theatrical exploration of truth and deception in life and art, none likely will hear the Erasure song “A Little Respect” without thinking of him.
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THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS at Son of Semele Theatre

(Photo by Son of Semele Ensemble)

(Photo by Son of Semele Ensemble)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

German playwright Wolfram Lotz’s play (translated by Daniel Brunet) is a zany satire on racism, racial stereotyping, and colonial attitudes in a supposedly post-colonial world. A farcical version of Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, via Apocalypse Now, it follows German Sergeant Oliver Pellner on a secret mission into the heart of Afghanistan, accompanied by his faithful aide, Stefan Dorsch (Ashley Steed).
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Now running through November 12

IN THE HEIGHTS at Musical Theatre West

 

(Photo by In the Moment Photography)

(Photo by In the Moment Photography)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Lin-Manuel Miranda, that contemporary titan of musical theater, premiered his first show off-Broadway in 2007. In the ten intervening years, Miranda’s star rose: In the Heights won the Tony for Best Musical in 2008, and Miranda went on to write songs for Moana and create an obscure little musical you might have heard of called Hamilton.
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Now running through November 5

THIS LAND at Company of Angels

(Photo: Grettel Cortes Photography)

(Photo: Grettel Cortes Photography)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Early on in Evangeline Ordáz’s engaging and arrestingly mounted historical melodrama, an altercation ensues between Toya (Cheryl Umaña), a proud and angry Indian princess, and Enrique (Jeff Torres) the amiable son of a Mexican landowner. The year is 1843 and the issue is water……

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Now running through November 13

 

MASTER CLASS at the Garry Marshall Theatre

 (Photo by Chelsea Sutton)

(Photo by Chelsea Sutton)

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

Carolyn Hennesy gives a powerful and transcendent performance as Maria Callas in playwright Terrence McNally’s Master Class in the debut production of the inaugural season of the Garry Marshall Theatre. Hennesy seizes this role by the throat in a riveting display of emotions – both humor and pathos
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CAPTAIN GREEDY’S CARNIVAL at the Actors Gang

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

So, you buy tickets to “Captain Greedy’s Carnival.” You sit in the audience. A character calling himself Captain Greedy comes out and asks, “Who wants more money in their pocket?”
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Now running through November 11

 

TURN ME LOOSE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho)

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In his powerhouse performance as Dick Gregory, the stand-up comic who rose to fame in the 1960s, Joe Morton tells the following story: He was civil rights organizing in the South with his good friend Medgar Evers, when he received a call informing him that his infant son had died.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

On the first page of her script titled “Turn Me Loose,” Gretchen Law introduces the piece as “a full-length play for stage, from the life and works of Mr. Dick Gregory.” The play retains this purposeful yet respectful tone throughout. Quietly, cerebrally, it packs a punch.
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Now running through November 19

MICE – Ensemble Studio Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Youthana Yuos)

(Photo by Youthana Yuos)

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

If you have a fear/distaste for certain rodents, say mice or their bigger cousin–rats, Mice at Ensemble Studio Theatre might not be your piece of theatrical cheese.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Schaeffer Nelson’s Mice is a strange little play in which a man in a mouse costume kidnaps two pastors’ wives and holds them prisoner in his basement. It’s a creepy story and not for everyone.
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Now running through November 5

KAIDAN PROJECT: WALLS GROW THIN at East West Players

kaidan

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

High-end haunted houses seem to be more popular than ever these days. One can see the appeal—a bit more personal of a scare than simply watching a horror movie, a safe Halloween adventure. East West Players and Rogue Artists Ensemble have taken this trope and put their own unique spin on it with Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin….
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s part haunted house, part art installation, part performance-art piece: The Rogue Artist Ensemble and East West Players’ immersive “Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin” unfolds in an abandoned warehouse that has been reconfigured into settings for a series of nightmares spun out of Japanese folklore.
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Now running through November 5

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART…/COMB YOUR HAIR (OR YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A SLAVE) at the Arena Stage

(Photo by Doug Haverty)

(Photo by Doug Haverty)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Absence Makes the Heart… — written by Abley, and directed by Chrisanne Blankenship-Billings — is a modern take on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Red Shoes, which deals with a dancer driven to her death by the uncontrollable urge to dance.

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Now running through October 29

 

MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION at A Noise Within

(Photo by Craig Schwartz)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Though it was written in 1893, George Bernard Shaw’s play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, now playing at A Noise Within in Pasadena, feels surprisingly contemporary. While Shaw scripted these conversations 124 years ago, the basic arguments the characters engage in have changed little in the intervening years.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

It would be tough, in the English-speaking theatrical canon, to find any playwright more unromantic than George Bernard Shaw. His view of the social arrangements of adult life in late Victorian and early 20th century Britain were quite clear in the arguments his plays made (and continue to make) about the entire subject.       Read more…

Now running through November 18

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY at the Sacred Fools Theater Company

(Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography)

(Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

After the recent Equity nonsense, wherein said organization did whatever it could to destroy our beloved 99-seat theatres, there was a general sense that L.A.’s theatrical scene was going to stagger backwards and falter.
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Now running through November 18