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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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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

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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

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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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JUBILIEE YEAR, AEA’S RESPONSE TO SUIT, FRENCH & VANESSA HOST THE OVATIONS, AND MORE by Paul Birchall

Paul Birchall – Stage Raw

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Howlround, the indispensable national sounding board for theatrical philosophy and policy, has announced the formation of something slightly creepy called “The Committee of the Jubilee.”

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LURING MILLENIALS TO ‘CARRIE AND ‘VIETGONE’ by Don Shirley, LA Observed

Photo by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

Don Shirley – LA Observed

How to attract young-adult audiences to LA’s professional theaters? Plenty of pondering about this subject occurs at theater conferences and in theater journals. I won’t address the logistics of marketing to millennials here. But I’m welcoming two new productions that seemingly target them yet also offer lively experiences to those of us who are definitely not active members of that demographic group.   Read more…

Photo  by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED – Teapot Tempest

 

Ghost-Light_4Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In a dramatic about-face, playwright Tommy Smith on Wednesday abruptly retracted allegations that Echo Theater Company had “stolen” his short play Ghost Light, which had starred Deborah Puette and opened August 5 to rave notices. The production was the playwright’s third collaboration with Echo artistic director Chris Fields, whose stagings of Smith’s Firemen in 2014 and last spring’s Fugue were likewise met with critical acclaim. Read more…

 

REAL WOMEN OF EAST LA ARE IN THE PALISADES AND PASADENA – Don Shirley, L.A. Observed

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Don Shirley – LA Observed

Center Theatre Group, which continues to call itself “L.A.’s Theatre Company,” also continues to demonstrate virtually no interest in LA stories.

When CTG recently announced the next Mark Taper Forum season, after previously revealing new seasons for the coming year at CTG’s Ahmanson and Kirk Douglas theaters, I began counting. So, how many of the 14 CTG productions at these three venues are set in or near LA?

None.

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PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED – SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

From an Aborted NYC Mikado to Bloomberg Foundation Largesse to the 20 Most Produced Playwrights of 2015-16

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 Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Also making news is the news that Brian Kite, producing artistic director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, is stepping down to take over the Department Chair at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Still quite a young artist, Kite has already had an illustrious career, with credits from the Actors Co-op to the French Woods Festival in New York (where he served as director of theater programs for more than seven years) to the Geffen, and he has certainly had played a strong leadership role at La Mirada – not to mention is position of board chair at Los Angeles Stage Alliance. Read more…

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PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED: FROM MONDAY NIGHTS AT ROGUE MACHINE TO AWAKE AND SING! TO JENNIE WEBB

From Monday Nights at Rogue Machine to Awake and Sing! to Jennie Webb

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I Like Mondays

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What is nicer than a Monday night show? If I were a theater producer I would always slip a Monday night performance into the schedule, just on principle.

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For one thing, all the critics will come, as they really won’t have anything else to do that night, except perhaps tweaking their prose before the Tuesday deadline and maybe watching Antiques Roadshow. You may even get some of the ol’ parasites (read: awards voters) from the Ovations, LADCC, and Stage Raw, given the lack of distracting other attractions.  Read more…

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PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED – September 2, 2015

From Paul Verdier to Dakin Matthews to A. Jeffrey Schoenberg to Stephen Sachs

Paul Verdier   (contributed by Steven Leigh Morris)

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

Yet another passing of another era was marked September 6, when actor-director-playwright-producer Paul Verdier died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease while under hospice care in West Hollywood.  Read more…

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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In an attempt to grasp control back over the way they are perceived, Actor’s Equity Association has launched a promo campaign to improve its much-tarnished image.  I suppose this was meant to dovetail with the Labor Day holiday, the national celebration of the many truly good things that the unions have done for workers.  If you’re a Union and you can’t get good press on Labor Day, well, something is wrong  Read more…

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THE ‘FENCES’ THAT LED TO “RIOT/REBELLION” IN WATTS

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Don Shirley – LA Observed

Watts Village Theater Company is observing the 50th anniversary of its community’s most famous historical moment with “Riot/Rebellion,” an ensemble-driven documentary-style production.em>Read more…