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Archive for March 2019

BLACK SUPER HERO MAGIC MAMA at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more painful life event than the death of a child — especially when that child is shot by police and the perpetrator goes free. That almost unbearable grief that a mother must feel is creatively addressed in Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Inda Craig-Galván’s latest play….
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Now running through April 14

HAMLET at the New American Theatre

 

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Shakespeare’s best plays are a rich source of complex, conflicted characters and readily lend themselves to creative, critical exploration or inspired adaptations. Of course, there are always risks when treading the path of the unconventional, but there are also creative successes. Director Matthew Leavitt’s updated take on the Bard’s famous tragedy, though far from perfect, offers some enjoyable quirks and surprises.
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Now running through March 31

THE WOLVES – ECHO THEATER COMPANY at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“We are the Wolves. We are the Wolves,” a group of teenage girls chants, each repetition of the phrase growing in both volume and urgency. The Wolves are a high school indoor soccer team, and the subject of Sarah DeLappe’s play of the same name currently in its west coast premiere at the Echo Theater Company.     Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It’s both remarkable and unnerving when a writer, director, and cast work in tandem so effectively that you leave the theater feeling like you know the characters personally. It’s a rare magic, currently happening in Atwater Village, where Echo Theater Company is staging Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.       Read more…

Now running through April 22

LACKAWANNA BLUES at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Lackawanna Blues, Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s autobiographical solo show, has been on quite a journey since it first premiered at the Public Theater in New York in 2001. After that first production, which won a special citation Obie Award, it played at multiple regional theaters across the United States before being adapted into an HBO movie in 2005.
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Now running through April 21

PHOTOGRAPH 51 AT South Coast Repertory

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Jordan Kubat/SCR

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Every once in a while we experience a flare-up of puzzlement about why so few women pursue careers in math and science — even now, despite progress in gender equality.
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Now running through March 24

THE GLASS MENAGERIE at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

If you had a perfectly happy childhood with ideal parents, good for you. Tennessee Williams did not, and this led to some of literature’s most-affecting, most-enduring plays.

Many in his audiences didn’t, either, and that’s why we keep coming back to his classics, particularly “The Glass Menagerie.” Indeed, its title refers to a collection of tiny toy animals on display but perhaps also to the glassiest of menageries: our families.
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Now running through April 26

 

PURE NATIVE at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry Museum of the American West

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatrically, Los Angeles is blessed in many ways, and one of them is the presence of Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works from Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights. Their shows are often specific and insightful in a way no other theatre company can be — yet at the same time the themes in their work have a universal resonance.
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Now running through March 24

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

Gina Long

Gina Long

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

In Mitch Albom’s memoir “Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson,” Albom details his mid-life reconnection with a favorite Brandeis sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz.
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Now running through March 31

CANYON at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

Dean Cechvala

Dean Cechvala

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ask any real estate agent: People love a view. We’ll go out of our way — and far above asking price — for an elevated perch with a sweeping panorama. A view makes us feel at peace and in control. Maybe it’s the same rush our forebears got when they surveyed their hard-won territory from the treetops.
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Now running through March 24

NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY at Waco Theater Center

LeReef Photography

LeReef Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Charles Gordone’s smoldering drama aptly encapsulates the protest, violence and tumultuous change seen in America’s urban cities in the 1960s. The play debuted off-Broadway in 1969, garnering Gordone a Pulitzer in 1970, the first win by an African-American playwright.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Charles Gordone’s 1969 No Place To Be Somebody has the distinction of being the first play written by an African-American playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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Now running through March 9

THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON at The Wallis-Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Parry

Kevin Parry

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Remember the joy of being a kid and spending hours upon hours acting out stories using whatever you could find? When two sticks stood in for a swordfight to save the day or a towel became the mantle of a king? That’s what it feels like watching PigPen Theatre Co. in THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON at The Wallis.
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Now running through March 17

LADCC To Honor Yvonne Bell with New Theater Angel Award

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) is delighted to announce its inaugural Theater Angel award, which will be presented to Yvonne Bell at the 2019 LADCC Awards Ceremony on April 8, 2019, at Pasadena Playhouse.

The LADCC was established in 1969 “to foster and reward merit in the American theater and encourage theater in Los Angeles,” according to an announcement in the Los Angeles Times on June 7 of that year. To commemorate its golden anniversary, the LADCC is planning a festive 50th Anniversary Awards Show.

In addition to presenting awards for the year 2018 (all nominees and Special Award winners were previously announced), the LADCC will take the opportunity to look back over the theatrical landscape of Los Angeles over the past half-century: highlights, low lights and degrees of luminosity in between.

Artists, producers and critics are essential to a flourishing theatrical ecosystem; but without sufficient funds, none of them can find a foothold. Sorting through memorabilia and re-encountering past productions has revealed to the Circle just how much the LA theater community owes to those who work behind the scenes to bring its visions to life. The LADCC’s Theater Angel award is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the generosity and advocacy of these often unsung benefactors.

In a long career devoted to fostering theater in Los Angeles, Yvonne Bell has led successful fundraising campaigns and helped open several cultural institutions, including The Museum of Contemporary Art and the California Science Center.

For the past 20 years, she has served as the Director of Development for Center Theatre Group and was promoted to Director of Institutional Advancement in 2017. Under her leadership, Center Theatre Group has almost tripled its annual fund from $4.4 million in 2000 to $12.5 million, opened the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2004 and successfully navigated the transition to a new artistic director.

Some of the theaters she has advised, directed contributions to or otherwise supported include Couerage Theatre Company, Echo Theater Company, the Fountain Theatre, Playwrights’ Arena, Critical Mass Performance Group, Celebration Theatre, IAMA Theatre Company, The Robey Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, The Blank Theatre, The Road Theatre Company and Antaeus Theatre Company.

It is the LADCC’s great honor to name Yvonne Bell its first Theater Angel. The award will be presented at the ceremony. A VIP pre-show reception will be held before the ceremony, at 6:30 p.m. in The Library, Pasadena Playhouse’s Member Lounge. VIP tickets, which include wine, champagne and appetizers at the reception, and VIP seating for the subsequent ceremony, cost $125 per person and can be purchased HERE.

Standard general admission tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased HERE (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available.

All purchased tickets will be held at Will Call. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception in the courtyard. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m. Nominees will receive instructions via email regarding how to claim complimentary tickets.
Inquiries to: criticsawards2019@gmail.com.

Click Here for a list of the 2019 LADCC award nominees

Click Here for a list of Special Award winners