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Archive for February 2018

DADDY LONG LEGS at International City Theatre

 

Tracey Roman

Tracey Roman

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

It can be a wonderful adventure to watch two people falling in love, particularly when they themselves don’t realize it’s happening. When the adventure takes place on stage – as in John Caird and Paul Gordon’s musical two-hander DADDY LONG LEGS – the audience has an advantage because they get to see the relationship develop from both points of view.
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Now running through March 11

BROWN & OUT IV at Casa 0101

Photo courtesy Casa 0101

Photo courtesy Casa 0101

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This is Casa 0101’s 4th collection of short plays exploring the LGBTQ+ scene from the Latinx point of view. The participating writers include Abel Alvarado, Corky Dominguez, Claudia Duran, Josefina Lopez, Jaime Mayorquin, Raymond Arturo Perez, Matthew Benjamin Ramos, Gilbert Salazar, Richard Billegas, Jr. and Patricia Zamorano.
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Now running through March 4

NICE FISH at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

fish4

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

“Think of the prose poem as the box, perhaps the lunch box dad brought home at night,” writes down-to-earth poet Louis Jenkins in the program notes to Nice Fish, a unique (and to my mind brilliant) collaborative work by Jenkins and renowned performer Mark Rylance.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What do we hope for when we head out to the theater? Even if it’s entertainment, or meaning, our deepest purpose is elusive.
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Now running through March 25

4PLAY: SEX IN A SERIES at the Actors Company

Kelsey Risher

Kelsey Risher

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

New York City’s trip. theatre ensemble brings their off-beat sex and romance saga to L.A., after a lengthy run in Chicago.
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Now running through March 17

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Caught in the Moment Photography

Caught in the Moment Photography

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

3-D Theatricals recreates a pivotal moment in rock and roll history in their latest production, Million Dollar Quartet. It’s the date (December 4, 1956) four legendary musicians – Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash – would all end up at Sun Records in Memphis on the same day and take part in one of the most famous jam sessions of all times.
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Now running through March 4

HENRY V at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

By the time Shakespeare gets to the last of his history plays concerning the Wars of the Roses*, HENRY V, the party boy who would be king has become a man. Gone are the indiscretions of youth seen in the earlier HENRY IV plays, which follow young Prince Hal on his escapades with Falstaff and the Eastcheap gang.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Of all Shakespeare’s history plays, the one which has always fascinated me most is “Henry V.”

From its prologue, which defines the very essence of live theater and the suspension of disbelief, through the humanity of its central figure wrestling with the understood demands of the crown and the lasting echoes of a misspent youth, it has an articulation of language and emotion which have always caught my imagination.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The idle, degenerate, boozing and whoring Prince Hal from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays grows up quickly when he ascends the throne and chooses to go to war with France in Henry V.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

A war pageant, Shakespeare’s Henry V portrays a king evolving into a formidable force. Codirectors Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott incorporate music, pomp, and studied performances to elevate the text and keep audiences engaged. Some directorial choices in this A Noise Within production, though, wound Act 1′s momentum. However, a triumphant Act 2 leaves audiences rousing for the English crown.
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Now running through April 6

 

A WALK IN THE WOODS at Actors Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

According to Lee Blessing’s 1987 A Walk in the Woods, the world’s problems might be resolved if only individuals were able to ignore their myopic and belligerent governments and approach each other with humor, patience and respect.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

When Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods was first produced in 1988, the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union were both still intact.
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Now running through March 18

 

EDWARD ALBEE’S OCCUPANT at the Garry Marshall Theatre

Chelsea Sutton

Chelsea Sutton

Harker Jones – Edge on the Net

By all accounts, sculptor Louise Nevelson was a real character with a larger-than-life persona and an existence to match. She was ahead of her time in terms of feminism, sexual liberation and her take on art. Unfortunately, Edward Albee’s play chronicling her trajectory arrives in its West Coast premiere lifeless and passive.
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Now running through March 4

TWO-FISTED LOVE at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

I have to admit that I’m confused. I don’t know why playwright David Sessions calls his play Two Fisted Love, and labels it a dark comedy. The comedy is in short supply, and most of the love seems to be in the past tense, or essentially destructive.

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Now running through March 11

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Though Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trio of plays is called the “Elliot trilogy,” Water by the Spoonful, isn’t really about Elliot.

The middle work in the triad, it’s a stark change from its predecessor, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, currently playing at the Kirk Douglas in Culver City. Here, Elliot (Sean Caravajal) is no longer pivotal; instead, he’s a supporting character who takes a backseat to the members of a Narcotics Anonymous online support group.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

A 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner, Water by the Spoonful is the second in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy revolving around Elliot, a young war veteran from a Puerto Rican family living in Philadelphia.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Water by the Spoonful,” which just opened at the Mark Taper Forum, continues the legacy of her “Elliott: A Soldier’s Fugue,” now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Elliot Trilogy, which focuses on a Puerto Rican family in Philadelphia and one son’s post-military trauma, has been mounted at three theaters concurrently in Los Angeles.
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Now running through March 11

RAGTIME at the Candlelight Pavillion

RAGTIME

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

By design or by accident, several local theater companies have offered seasons that include classic shows which address very, very current issues.

One such venue is the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater where, and not for the first time in this last calendar year, they are producing something powerfully relevant while also being impressively entertaining.
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Now running through February 24

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Darja, the lonely, unfulfilled antihero of Ironbound, at the Geffen Playhouse, grants actor Marin Ireland a showcase for her vast talents. In lesser hands, Darja, a woman who seems to live only to survive, is a character that could turn off audiences, but Ireland finds Darja’s unsinkable core and hooks us along with it.
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Now running through March 4