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FINKS at Rogue Machine

John Perrrin Flynn

John Perrrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The cost of integrity is never cheap, but it varies. Sometimes one can lose relationships with family or friends, lose a job or, in the direst circumstance, lose one’s life. In the early 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee wielded Cold War communist paranoia to attack people whose views they didn’t like, stripping them of their careers and reputations, or getting them to testify against their friends and colleagues.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The dictionary defines “fink” when used as a noun as “an unpleasant or contemptible person” while when used as a verb it can mean “inform on to the authorities”. Both definitions fit the characters who fink their friends to HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee in Joe Gildord’s play Finks…….Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Plays that explore the abuse of power or the unjust scapegoating of the powerless nearly always reel me in, and Finks, written by Joe Gilford and set against the backdrop of the HUAC hearings in 1950-53, unequivocally fits that description. Leavened with humor, with a strong intuitive performer in the pivotal role, it’s a harsh reminder of what can happen when unscrupulous people acquire control of the workings of government and words become instrumental in destroying innocent lives.
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Now running through December 30

 

 

CHARLES DICKENS’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The world premiere of this new adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol draws out the chills and thrills of this ghostly tale while still conveying the joy inherent in the famous parable about goodwill toward all men.
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Now running through December 16

A BRONX TALE at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices you make will shape your life forever.” A Bronx Tale, a musical based on the play of the same name, opened at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles this week after a nearly two year run on Broadway.
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Now running through November 25

BAYOU BLUES at the Bootleg Theatre

Lily Kravetz

Lily Kravetz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Bayou Blues, part of the 2018 Solo Queens Fest at Bootleg Theatre, writer/performer Shaina Lynn mixes storytelling and spoken word to relay her experience as a woman of color from New Orleans.
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Now running through November 18

BLISS – Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre

Mae Koo Photography

Mae Koo Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Although Bliss (Or Emily Post is Dead!), is set in North Orange, New Jersey in the 1960s, a rudimentary knowledge of Greek mythology is helpful in fathoming the themes of Jami Brandli’s ambitious but muddled satire, directed by Darin Anthony.
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Now running through December 2

VALLEY OF THE HEART at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Two immigrant families, one Mexican and one Japanese-American, have lived peacefully as neighbors on a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley for years, working together in the fields. The oldest children from each family have even fallen in love with each other—and then Pearl Harbor happens, and soon World War II, and their lives will never be the same.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Sweet, timely and picturesque, “Valley of the Heart” tells of an earlier chapter in in American history when our nation behaved badly. From writer-director Luis Valdez comes this tale of two immigrant families — one Japanese and one Mexican — living in the then-agricultural town of Cupertino during World War II.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

As someone who has taught history for a few decades, there is no doubt that the ugliness of the Japanese Internment is one of the several inexcusable black marks on our American story.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The image of innocents trapped behind the barbed-wire fences of American internment camps still burns in the minds of anyone absorbed in current affairs. Luis Valdez’s Valley of the Heart reminds audiences that the latest drama taking place at our Mexican borders reflects a shameful period during World War II…….
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Now running through December 16

COST OF LIVING at the Fountain Theatre

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The actual “cost of living” can take on many forms—physical, emotional, financial. In Cost of Living, Martyna Majok’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning play now in its west coast premiere at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, two very different relationships between people with disabilities and their caregivers are examined through a universal lens of privilege, loneliness, and how both affect us all.
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Now running through

ONE ACT FESTIVAL at SkyPilot Theatre Company

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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

New work is the lifeblood of the theatre and it is also the sole focus of LA-based SkyPilot Theatre Company. Going one step further, SkyPilot’s niche is “producing only original plays, created by LA playwrights,” which they have done consistently since 2010.
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Now running through November 18

THE WOMAN WHO WENT TO SPACE AS A MAN at Son of Semele

Mauricio Gomez

Mauricio Gomez

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Maureen Huskey’s new one act play with music takes place wholly in the moment before death. Conceived as a 90 minute suspension of time in which Alice B. Sheldon (Betsy Moore) watches her life pass before her eyes, it blends music, movement, sound, and text to create as enigmatic a piece as the life of its central character. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Alice B. Sheldon was a Chicago debutante who was never completely comfortable in her body or her life.
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Now running through November 18

 

THE LITTLE FOXES at Antaeus Theatre Company

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes, family can bring out the worst in us—especially if your relatives would do anything to get to the top.
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Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Sometimes a play simply works within its own era, and exists later simply as an accurate representation of that time. But other times a play is prescient, and seems as if it was written directly to comment on today. Although Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes is a period piece, its portrait of dreadful people doing awful things in the pursuit of money and power feels particularly pointed now…Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Say your husband, whom you had never liked, suffered from an ill-defined but dangerous heart condition. And say he happened to mention — in not a very nice way — that he was about to take a step that would scuttle all your hopes and dreams and leave you penniless. And imagine that at that very moment, overexcited by triumph, he reached for his medicine bottle and found it empty.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lillian Hellman was a playwright, screenwriter, memoirist whose most famous piece of writing may well be the letter she wrote in 1952 to the House Un-American Activities Committee stating “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions..”
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Now running through December 1o

WINTER SOLSTICE at City Garage

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

There’s nothing scary, at first, about Rudolph, the elderly gentleman who shows up at Albert and Bettina’s house one Christmas Eve in “Winter Solstice,” a 2013 play by the German writer Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham, which is having its West Coast premiere at City Garage.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It is abundantly clear that Roland Schimmelpfenig, the playwright of Winter Solstice, currently making its West Coast debut at City Garage in Santa Monica, wishes he were a novelist, or perhaps an experimental filmmaker like the characters in the play.
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Now running through November 25

VIETGONE at East West Players

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Translating personal experiences or family history into theatre can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, simply recounting events as they happened doesn’t necessarily create fascinating drama. On the other hand, fictionalizing things too much may betray the truth of the story.
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Now running through November 18