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Archive for September 2018 – Page 2

NATIVE GARDENS at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

There is a fine line between humor which skewers privilege and prejudice by making its claims sound as ridiculous as they are, and writing which pronounces the same beliefs and then does a kind of wink to indicate that, really, it was said to be funny.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The pursuit of happiness and property is embedded in the American dream. Thomas Jefferson even added it to the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right. Unfortunately, with property come neighbors and the frustration of sharing a fence with a stranger. Playwright Karen Zacarías’s comedy Native Gardens demonstrates what happens when you must battle your neighbor for your own land.    Read more…

Now running through September 30

 

CYMBELINE – The Porters of Hellsgate at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre

Mandi Moss Holmes

Mandi Moss Holmes

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s a reason that Shakespeare’s Cymbeline doesn’t get produced very often. It’s not that it’s bad per se, but that it’s familiar without being extraordinary.
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Now running through October 14

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY at South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat

Jordan Kubat

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a stage or screen adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, however well-intentioned, must be unfavorably compared to the original.
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Now running through September 30

NIGHTWALK IN THE CHINESE GARDEN at the Huntington Library’s Chinese Garden

Angel Origgi

Angel Origgi

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

When writer/director Stan Lai has an idea for a new play, people take notice………Now, he brings a breathtaking new play to the Huntington Library’s Chinese Garden, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, Liu Fang Yuan.
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 Now running through October 26

SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Colorism is a topic that may be unfamiliar to many white audiences, but it’s an issue Jocelyn Bioh examines beautifully in her new work School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, now making its Los Angeles debut at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Teenage girls worldwide struggle with a number of the same issues—body image, fitting in at school, planning for the future, dealing with societal and familial pressures. But while many of these issues are universal, there are also major differences depending on where in the world girls grow up.
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Now running through September 30

 

SWEAT at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat, now playing at the Mark Taper Forum, exposes the collapse of the American working class in the new millennium. When backed up against the wall and left with neither income nor hope, people sink into racism almost by reflex. The ramifications of humanity’s anger hangs over the play, yet Nottage hints at the power of forgiveness and redemption. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The Pulitzer Prize for drama is given, when it is given, for a piece of theater which reflects something elemental to understanding an aspect of American culture. Rarely has that seemed a more apt designation than the 2017 prize handed to playwright Lynn Nottage for “Sweat.” Read more…

Now running through October 7

 

THE WORLD GOES ROUND at the Freud Playhouse

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Somewhere between its opening of SWEET CHARITY in late June and the end of July, Reprise 2.0 postponed its second scheduled production of its inaugural season, VICTOR/VICTORIA. In its place, the company has mounted a revival of Kander & Ebb’s musical revue, THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND…….Read more…

Now running through September 16

A 60’S TRILOGY at The New American Theatre

Joel Daavid

Joel Daavid

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Presented by the USVAA Vets Repertory and Revenant Stage (formerly the Elephant Theatre), Tommy Carter’s trio of one-acts is capably directed by David Fofi. All of them evoke disquieting recollections of the America of the 1960’s, a period like no other in our nation’s history….
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Now running through September 23

HAITI at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

Ian Flanders

Ian Flanders

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Romance! Swordplay! History! All this plus a play that probably none of us has ever seen before.Reportedly giving this play its first-ever revival since its premiere in 1938, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum presents “Haiti,” written by William DuBois (just to be clear, not W.E.B. Du Bois).
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Federal Theatre Project was created by the government during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not as a cultural activity, but as a relief measure to employ artists, writers, directors and theatre workers.
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Now running through September 29

 

IS THERE COMEDY IN DEATH? PLAYWRIGHT JOSÉ RIVERA ON THE DARK TWISTS OF ‘NIKKI CORONA’

Lela  Edgar

Lela Edgar

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ask theater director Jo Bonney to describe playwright José Rivera’s new work — “The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona,” a world premiere that begins previews Tuesday at the Geffen Playhouse — and Bonney hesitates.

Is it comedy?

“Here’s the tricky thing,” Bonney says. “It’s about death, but that sounds so morbid. It’s more about who we are, how we face our final moment.”
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MARIAN, OR THE TRUE TALE OF ROBIN HOOD at Theatre of NOTE

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Male actors have always had a lock on the role of Robin of Locksley, whether on stage or screen, but now the provocative Kirsten Vangsness crashes the hallowed fraternity and dons the green feathered cap in this “gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic Robin Hood myth.”  The play, by Adam Szymkowicz, is imaginatively directed by Christopher Johnson.
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Now running through September 23