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Archive for June 2018

THE 39 STEPS at International City Theatre

Tracey Roman

Tracey Roman

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

When it comes to suspense, Alfred Hitchcock is the acknowledged master. In 1935 he directed The 39 Steps, an adaptation of John Buchan’s popular British spy novel. The hero of the book is Richard Hannay, an ordinary man on the run from the authorities because he is a suspect in a murder.
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Now running through July 8

SLAUGHTER CITY at The Historic Lankershim Arts Center

John Klopping

John Klopping

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The plight of the blue-collar worker and the struggle of union versus management is undeniably a worthy subject for drama. This is especially so now, when unions seem to be disappearing and blue-collar workers have watched their jobs become mechanized or shipped overseas. So a play about these topics should be most welcome.
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Now running through July 14

SWEET CHARITY at the Freud Playhouse

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At one point in the musical Sweet Charity, the main female characters sing “there’s gotta be something better than this.” While they are singing about their disappointing lives, this line also speaks directly to the extremely problematic messages this dated show perpetuates regarding sexual and gender politics.   Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

When Reprise! Broadway’s Best closed its doors in 2012, musical theatre lovers heaved a collective sigh. The resident company at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse had gained a reputation for producing outstanding performances of classic musicals featuring stars from the worlds of live theatre and television, similar to those done by Encores! in New York. Everyone felt the loss. Read more

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

If you didn’t know any better, it would be easy to forget that Sweet Charity, now playing at UCLA, is a musical from the 1960s.
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Now running through July 1

THE HUMANS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Lawrence K. Ho

Lawrence K. Ho

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Despite an impressive pedigree, there is little that’s flashy about The Humans, the 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Play that opened this week at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre. Written by Stephen Karam with the entire original Broadway cast reprising their roles, the one-act play unfolds over the course of Thanksgiving dinner with a multigenerational family……Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Ahmanson Theatre in the Los Angeles Music Center is a big house, usually home to touring musicals like the upcoming Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The neatest trick to accomplish, when writing an intimate play, is to find that spark which ties the issues and personalties of a few people to something inherently a part of everyone. That very concept centers Stephen Karam’s “The Humans,”……
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Something so small can feel so vast. A simple family dinner can stir up old haunts. Even if one listens closely to the mundane conversations, it’s what’s not said aloud or what’s unseen in the shadows that can sting the most. Read more…

Now running through July 29

100 APRILS – Rogue Machine at The MET Theatre

Michelle Hanzelova

Michelle Hanzelova

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Leslie Ayvazian’s play about a dying man haunted by dreams of the Armenian genocide coalesces around an exemplary performance by John Perrin Flynn as the ebbing invalid. Read more…

Now running through July 16

TAR at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Los Angeles in 1939. Count Basie and his band are scheduled to play at the Palomar Ballroom — one of the first African-American groups to perform there. Next door, at Bimini Baths, two employees, African-American Amen (Noel Arthur) and Mexican-American Zenobio (Adrian Gonzalez) have been given the onerous job of cleaning up the tar-covered body of a drunken white man…….Read more…

Now running through

AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL at Theatre 68

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Karianne Flaathen

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

As its inaugural production, new classical theatre company The 6th Act, led by co-artistic directors Matthew Leavitt and Liza Seneca, presents two playwrights united by a common theme in AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL. Act One is Harold Pinter’s BETRAYAL...Read more…

Now running through June 24

SKELETON CREW at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The mockery of the American dream lies at the heart of Skeleton Crew, where trade workers invest their lives in a company that easily turns its back on them. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Project trilogy, Skeleton Crew reflects a distant past……Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Working-class men and women of color are rarely front and center in today’s media and, likewise, are presented all too occasionally on the American stage. So it’s buoying to see that trend bucked in playwright Dominique Morisseau’s percipient and well-crafted drama, Skeleton Crew. Read more…

Now running through July 8

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

 Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell’s see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill wrote what is probably the most searing family portrait ever penned. It owes its extraordinary power to the fact that it is mercilessly autobiographical. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Eugene O’Neill won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his masterwork, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. O’Neill wrote the semi-autobiographical play about his family in 1941-42 but it was never produced until after his death. I’m sure it caused his parents to spin in their graves anyway. Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

LYSISTRATA UNBOUND at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado‘s LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way.
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Now running through August 4

HENRY IV at the Japanese Gardens on the West L.A. VA campus

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Tom Hanks as Falstaff, Joe Morton as King Henry IV and a solid supporting ensemble add up to half a dozen good reasons to see director Dan Sullivan’s staging of Henry IV,….Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Director Daniel Sullivan‘s adaptation of HENRY IV, Parts 1 & 2 may only be playing in the Japanese Garden on the VA campus for another three weeks but it is bound to rank as one of the summer’s most talked-about events. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

William Shakespeare’s Henry IV focus on growth and having history thrust upon oneself whether wanted or not. For The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, director Daniel Sullivan has culled and combined both plays into an evening of ribaldry, song, and pageantry. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Shakespeare’s duo of Henry IV plays are mainly about two subjects: the relationship between fathers and sons and the conflict between duty and selfishness. That these topics are placed in one of his “history plays” means little—audiences haven’t cared primarily about the history on display here for centuries. The appeal of these plays has ever been in its characters and humor and beautiful language….
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Now running through June 24

BORDERTOWN at the Pasadena Playhouse

 Philicia Endelman

Philicia Endelman

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Twenty years ago, Culture Clash presented Bordertown Now, which took a look at the percolating tension between the US government and undocumented Mexican immigrants crossing the border. Read more…

Now running through June 24