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WELCOME TO YOUR ALTERNATIVE REALITY – Open Fist Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Writer/directors Catherine Butterfield and Ron West have titled this collection of comedy sketches, presented by the Open Fist Theatre Company, Welcome to Your Alternative Reality — an apt reference to what millions of Americans experience each day as they digest news of our mangled government construct and its inept and puerile president. Read more…

Now running through August 12

SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR at Archway Studio Theatre

(Photo by Elias McCabe.)

(Photo by Elias McCabe.)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In this 1921 play, the Sicilian Nobel Prize-winning playwright Luigi Pirandello employed meta-theatrics to examine his favorite themes: the differences between perceptions and reality. Read more…

Now running through July 22

LOVE IS A DIRTY WORD at the VS Theatre

(Photo by Aaron Epstein)

(Photo by Aaron Epstein)

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

There are many fine elements in Giovanni Adams’ autobiographical solo show, and it’s hard to decide which to mention first: the cadenced flow of his beautifully detailed 80-minute spoken word poem, the open and disarming manner of his delivery, or the production’s flawless pacing under Becca Wolff’s accomplished direction.   Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In the home where Giovanni Adams grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, sex was never a dirty word.

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Now running through July 15

THANKSGIVING at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Holiday gatherings frequently serve as framework for plays about dysfunctional families, and Thanksgiving, written by Tiffany Cascio and directed by Kitty Lindsay, is one of them. Although not nearly as clever as it tries to be, it features several choice roles for women, a few good laugh lines and, in the case of this Hollywood Fringe premiere production, one outstanding performance.

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Everyone has probably had that family get together—a wedding, a funeral—or more likely a holiday dinner that they wish they could avoid. The saying goes we can choose our friends but we are stuck with the family we are given.

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Now running through June 23

THE CONDUCT OF LIFE at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles.

(Photo by Brandon Le)

(Photo by Brandon Le)

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

In days gone by, people made names for themselves by doing something useful for society. María Irene Fornés wrote plays that broke old rules, broke barriers and taught something, whether to other playwrights or to audiences.Read more…

Now running through June 25

THE PRIDE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Photo by Kevin Parry

Photo by Kevin Parry

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride juxtaposes homosexuality in both the repressed world of 1958 London and the more liberated 2008. Whether people are trapped by society’s morality or by their own self-sabotaging instincts, love proves to be a true test of wills. Though the script can be didactic and overlong, the new production at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts features a top-notch cast who bring humanity to the characters.Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

News of the Los Angeles premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride generated hopeful expectations of high quality, since the play won an Olivier Award and critical acclaim for its 2008 London premiere.   Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Whether or not you’re struggling with the current political configuration, one thing is clear: Most homosexuals are more widely accepted today than in the 1950s. The secrecy and repression of previous centuries, the unhappy marriages for “show,” the lives lived less than truthfully are no longer a universal way of life — at least for now.
Read more…

Now running through July 9

CONSTELLATIONS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Constellations, the character piece by Nick Payne that is now playing in a new production at the Geffen Playhouse, requires a talented cast to succeed. The expansive themes of love in an ever-expanding cosmos, the jarring sequencing of the moments, and their repetition could turn audiences off quickly.    Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

She’s a quantum physicist, he’s a beekeeper. They meet at a barbecue. It’s a tale as old as time…but, what exactly is the meaning of time?
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

He was in “Downton Abbey,” she was on “Big Love” and “Once Upon a Time.” Now Ginnifer Goodwin and Allen Leech have taken to the stage, starring in English playwright Nick Payne’s “Constellations” at the Geffen Playhouse.Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This intriguing play by British playwright Nick Payne centers on an unlikely love affair between beekeeper Roland (Allen Leech) and quantum physicist Marianne (Gennifer Goodwin), but it doesn’t proceed in the expected ways.
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Now running through July 23

NICKY – Coeurage Theatre Company at Greenway Court Theatre

(Photo by John Klepping)

(Photo by John Klepping)

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Boni B. Alvarez cunningly adapts Anton Chekhov’s 19th century drama “Ivanov,” shifting the setting from the Russian provinces to California’s own land of internal exile  (that is, if you’re a gay man of a certain age), Palm Springs.   Read more…

Now running through July 1

S/HE & ME at the Renberg Theatre at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza

(Photo by Alex Iseri)

(Photo by Alex Iseri)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

A few minutes into her autobiographical show, acclaimed transgender artist Alexandra Billings plops down on a stool center stage, and in an easy conversational tone tells her audience fifteen things about herself. Among these are that she has AIDS, is a recovering heroin addict, was a prostitute for six years, and that she used to hang out with a 72-year-old U.S. Senator who enjoyed dressing up in drag. Read more…

Now running through ]une 11

ARCHIPELAGO at Son of Semele

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Archipelago, Caridad Svinch spins a love story about a man and a woman from two different cultures, and sets it against a backdrop of war and apocalyptic upheaval. Director Barbara Kallir oversees an attractive and imaginative staging, but the vagueness of the play’s dramatic events and the absence of detail in the characters’ accounts of themselves make for an enervating narrative. Read more…

Now running through June 18

MAN OF LA MANCHA at La Mirada Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Director Glenn Casale helms a masterful production of one of Broadway’s greatest musicals. Man of La Mancha is a triumph of visuals and vocal talents. Sharing the stage with a gifted ensemble, Davis Gaines astonishes as the mad but pure Don Quixote.

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≈ [ALMOST EQUAL TO] at City Garage Theatre

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In addition to challenging the Stage Raw copy editing department with a title that uses one of those squiggly math signals, playwright Jonas Hassen Khemeri’s powerful drama embraces such a multitude of themes that it’s hard to adequately sum them up. One thing’s for sure, though: Donald Trump would hate the work’s incredibly scathing invective against capitalism.Read more…

Now running through July 2