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Archive for Feature article

‘SCANDAL’ ACTOR JOE MORTON ON CHARLOTTESVILLE, BIGOTRY AND REVIVING THE ACTIVISM OF DICK GREGORY

Photo by Mel Melcon for the LA Tmes

Photo by Mel Melcon for the LA Tmes

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Joe Morton, best known these days as Rowan “Papa” Pope, Olivia Pope’s fiercely protective father on the ABC series “Scandal,” is in the posh Founders Room of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. It’s where next month he will open “Turn Me Loose,” a play on the late comedian and civil-rights activist Dick Gregory.

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‘HAMILTON’ IN LA IN THE TIME OF TRUMP

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Don Shirley – LA Observed

“Hamilton” was one of the great cultural achievements of the Obama years. The president nurtured its growth by hosting a 2009 performance of the show’s titular song in the White House, before the rest of the musical was even written. Then, after “Hamilton” had opened to widespread acclaim in New York, where its story is set, Michelle Obama called it “the best piece of art that I have ever seen” at yet another White House event in 2016.

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REMOTE L.A. – Don Shirley, L.A. Observed

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Don Shirley – LA Observed

…..there should be an eager audience for “Remote L.A.,” Center Theatre Group’s engrossing headset-guided walk through parts of LA’s primary urban hub, in the vicinity of CTG’s own downtown headquarters.Read more…

ALL THE STREET’S A STAGE AND SACK LUNCH ‘FELLOWSHIP’ by Don Shirley

Photo by Brian Biery

Photo by Brian Biery

Don Shirley – LA Observed

January 21 was a great day for immersive theater in Los Angeles. I’m referring to one event you probably know about, the Women’s March. But I’m also writing about “fellowship” – which you probably don’t know about. The former attracted the masses; the latter has a maximum capacity of 42 for any single performance.

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The LADCC/Wallis Student Reporter Event enjoys a successful third outing

Photo by Kevin Parry for The Wallis.

Photo by Kevin Parry for The Wallis.

This past weekend several critics from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle collaborated the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for our third joint LADCC/Wallis Student Reporter Event. 

Approximately 12 students, ranging in age between 12-18, came to the Wallis this past weekend to participate in this special event.  Critics Dany Margolies, Katie Buenneke and Jonas Schwartz spent the afternoon with the students, working with them on developing their theater critique techniques.

The event began with a primer on the history of the flop musical Merrily We Roll Along, which is now playing at the Wallis until December 18, 2016.

The dozen students joined the critics for the weekend matinee performance of Merrily at the Wallis. Then everyone returned to the classroom to spent 90 minutes forming a review.

Observed Jonas Schwartz, “As with last time, when we took them to For The Record, the students were very insightful and had a clear understanding of what they saw and how to interpret.”

The critics and students discussed and compiled everyone’s critical input. The students are now tasked with composing and submitting their own critical reviews that will be published on the Wallis website in the coming week.

Everyone was pleased with another successful event.

Wallis ext

The Wallis and Cody Lassen production of

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

Runs through December 18, 2016

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Beverly Hills

More information and tickets can be found here and here.

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
book by George Furth
directed by Michael Arden
starring:
Whitney Bashor, Wayne Brady, Aaron Lazar, Saycon Sengbloh, Amir Talai, Donna Vivino
with Eric B. Anthony, Sandy Bainum, Melody Butiu, Doran Butler, Max Chucker, Sarah Daniels, Kevin Patrick Doherty,
Laura Dickinson, Rachael Ferrera, Jennifer Foster, Travis Leland, Lyle Colby Mackston, Brent Schindele, Maximus Brandon Verso.

 

 

 

HOT TOWN, SUMMER IN THE THEATER

Photo by Miriam Geer

Photo by Miriam Geer

Don Shirley – LA Observed

The end of summer approaches. Have you seen any alfresco theater this year?

Fortunately, the 299-seat Theatricum Botanicum keeps its expansive stage busy from the first week of June through the first weekend of October, in Topanga Canyon. That’s twice as long as the Old Globe’s outdoor season in San Diego.     Read more…

 

WHAT’S ON S.T.A.G.E.? at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Photo courtesy S.T.A.G.E.

Photo courtesy S.T.A.G.E.

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The Los Angeles theater community has not forgotten the battle against AIDS, and it continues to take the fight to the S.T.A.G.E. The Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.) has partnered with AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) for the last 32 years to raise money for AIDS education and prevention by presenting musical delights from some of Los Angeles’s biggest theater talents. This year’s concert, Sondheim No. 5, will take place at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for a matinee and an evening performance June 18.

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PASTA IN POCATELLO, ANYONE? by Don Shirley

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Don Shirley – L.A. Observed

Two plays named after cities: “Barcelona” at the Geffen Playhouse and Rogue Machine’s production of “Pocatello” (in case that doesn’t ring a bell, its namesake is the fifth largest city in Idaho.)

Which theatrical destination sounds more inviting?

Well, “Barcelona” isn’t bad. But “Pocatello” pops.   Read more…

 

INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL LAPRISE – WRITER & DIRECTOR OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S “KURIOS.” by Pauline Adamek

Michel Laprise

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

With his impish smile and boyish, childlike glee, artist Michel Laprise comes across as a fun and genial person with a vast imagination. But the creator (writer and director) of KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities™ — the newest Cirque du Soleil extravaganza to come to Southern California — is evidently an extremely hard worker. His main objective with this stunning show, that premiered in Montreal around a year ago, was somehow to breathe new life force into the widely adored company. In particular, Laprise set out to reinvent the internationally renowned troupe with this dazzling touring show that they have now brought to Cali. 

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Cirque siamese

OVATIONS AND UPWARD MOBILITY FOR LA THEATER – DON SHIRLEY, LA OBSERVED

2015 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards Ceremony

Don Shirley – LA Observed

LA theater has been embroiled in behind-the-scenes controversy for the past year. Many actors angrily challenged their own union over its decision to end the 99-Seat Theater Plan, which allows Equity members to work for only token fees in small LA theaters, at much less than the minimum wage. Read more…

SIGHTS PACIFIC: HOPSCOTCH AND STEEL HAMMER by Myron Meisel

steelhammer

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Since its founding in 2010, The Industry, under the daring leadership of artistic director Yuval Sharon, has pursued a new media makeover meant to shake up not merely the Los Angeles opera world but the world at large. Its extraordinary coup de theatre, 2013’s Invisible Cities, commandeered Union Station as singers and dancers and audience wandered about as alien invaders amongst the real-life travellers, apprehending the orchestral music through Sennheiser headphones. Read more…

FUNDING ARTS JOURNALISM: STAGE RAW’S SECOND SYMPOSIUM ON ARTS COVERAGE BY JENNY LOWER

newsreader

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

On Friday, ESPN announced the dismantling of its popular sports and culture site Grantland, eliciting shock and disappointment on the web. The move comes a few weeks after ESPN cut 300 jobs, reportedly to make up lost cable subscription revenue. It is, unfortunately, only the latest sobering development to challenge the financial viability of arts coverage.

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