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Archive for July 2019

APPLE SEASON at Atwater Village Theatre

Benjamin Simpson

Benjamin Simpson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Perhaps most notable among the many prizes received by playwright E.M. Lewis is the Steinberg Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, garnered for Song of Extinction, produced in 2008 by the L.A. troupe Moving Arts. (That production also won both an LA Weekly award for Best Production and the LADCC award for Outstanding New Play.)
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Now running through August 5

FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Benjamin Skigen

Benjamin Skigen

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Fans of the TV show Friends who want a night off from watching reruns on Netflix might be tempted to check out FRIENDS! The Musical Parody, currently in its Los Angeles premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, where it opened Wednesday in a guest production after successful runs Off-Broadway and around the country. But ultimately, this parody is about as uneven and frustrating as season nine, with weak music and lyrics sucking the potential fun out of a solid concept.
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Now running through August 4

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Set up as a play-within-a-play, the action of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, currently playing at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles, begins in the lobby.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One can see why Antaeus Theatre Company has decided to revive Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle now. It’s a play in which the rich are revealed to be monsters of ego and avarice — where one wealthy woman even chooses an array of fancy clothing over saving her infant child.

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Now running through

 

 

THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR, Hick Street Productions at the LGBT Center

Noah Torjesen

Noah Torjesen

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Joe Orton was only 34 when he was bludgeoned to death by Kennegth Halliwell, his jealous lover and one-time writing partner. Halliwell envied Orton’s newfound celebrity as an up-and-coming playwright, launched after the BBC aired The Ruffian on the Stair as a radio play in 1964.
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Now running through July 28

SCRAPS at the Matrix Theatre

I.C. Rapoport

I.C. Rapoport

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Geraldine Inoa’s incisive character-rich drama, directed by Stevie Walker-Webb at the Matrix Theatre, examines the impact of institutional racism on a group of young people in the aftermath of their friend’s murder by police. The off-beat title is a reference to the origin of African-American soul food, prepared by slaves from the scraps their “owners” left for them after they took all the good parts for themselves.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

We are sadly used to hearing high-profile stories about young, unarmed black men shot by white police officers, but what happens when the media attention fades and the victim’s family must find a way to continue living after their world has been shattered? This is what playwright Geraldine Inoa explores in Scraps, a play currently in its west coast premiere at the Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
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Now running through September 15

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at the Ahmanson Theatre

Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The tone for the farce that is The Play That Goes Wrong is set long before the curtain rises. Frazzled cast members wander the audience, asking questions such as if anyone has a dog they can borrow for the second act, as others attempt to fix the constantly malfunctioning set.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The Play That Goes Wrong, a British production at the Ahmanson by way of Broadway and, as the title would indicate, nearly everything goes wrong, as planned. The show is quite funny at times, with moments so hilarious you’ll laugh until you cry, but it’s too long, and loses the comedic momentum it builds for itself.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

The Play That Goes Wrong stabs you in the funny bone over and over. A mastery of pratfalls and a love letter to bad acting (cowritten by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields), the comedy is such an adrenalin rush, audiences at the Ahmanson Theatre will be panting heavier than the actors forced to contend with a collapsing set.
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Now running through August 11

2018 Award Show Video

If you weren’t able to attend our 50th Anniversary Award Ceremony on April 8th at Pasadena Playhouse, you can watch the show on our YouTube Channel.

CLICK HERE to view the video

Thank you to Andrew Messer, our videographer for the evening.
We hope to see you next year!

THE PRODUCERS at Celebration Theatre

Matthew Brian Denman

Matthew Brian Denman

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

I’ve always admired Celebration Theatre for its expert staging of technically demanding plays in tiny venues. The company’s musical productions — last year’s Cabaret, the Boy from Oz (2016)and Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (2010) — have been especially impressive.

Now comes The Producers, Mel Brooks’s wacky stereotype-laden show about an unethical Broadway producer…
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Now running through August 12

 

WAIT UNTIL DARK at the Loft Ensemble

Victoria Anne Greenwood

Victoria Anne Greenwood

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Frederick Knott’s edgy thriller was first performed on Broadway back in 1966 and ran for 373 performances. It’s had many stage revivals, not to mention the well-touted film version that starred the talented Audrey Hepburn, along with Alan Arkin and Richard Crenna. In short, this “slow-burn” thriller has been around the block a few times — but it can still translate to gripping entertainment. This production, however, which is the Loft Ensemble’s first in their new space, isn’t quite there yet.
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Now running through July 28

 

GOOD BOYS at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When, in 2008,  premiered Good Men and True, his tale of privileged young prep school students acting badly, it certainly wasn’t new or surprising — this sort of pernicious behavior has gone on for generations. But the obnoxious, beer-relishing example of Brett Kavanaugh brought entitled, smug white men back into the spotlight again, so Aguirre-Sacasa revised his play, under the new title of Good Boys.
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Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The great Frederick Douglass wrote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (RIVERDALE) must have been thinking of something similar when he wrote GOOD BOYS, the new piercing drama at The Pasadena Playhouse. Though Aguirre-Sacasa’s play debuted in 2008, it focuses on issues that have risen to the top of the country’s consciousness with the #metoo movement.
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Now running through July 21