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YOHEN at East West Players

(Photo courtesy East West Players)

(Photo courtesy East West Players)

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Set in 1986, Philip Kan Gotanda’s Yohen depicts the unraveling of a 37-year marriage. Although it tumbles off-track in its final third, the play to that point is an astute portrayal of the dynamics of a failed intimacy.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The title of Philip Kan Gotanda’s play, Yohen, refers to the unpredictable changes that take place when pottery is placed in the kiln. The result may be disastrous, or it may create an unexpected treasure. His play refers to the disruptive changes which occur in a human relationship over the course of years.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Eighteen years ago, Danny Glover and the late Nobu McCarthy shared the stage of East West Players in Philip Kan Gotanda’s “Yohen,” about the struggles of an couple coming to terms with the husband’s retirement after 37 years in the military.
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Now running through November 19

CAUGHT at Think Tank Gallery

(Photo by Vincent Madero)

(Photo by Vincent Madero)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The subject of deception and the malleability of truth couldn’t be more timely. When the highest levels of government and entire media organizations such as Fox News are openly lying to the populace every day with few consequences, the very value of facts or being truthful comes into question.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Unfolding like a set of Russian nesting dolls, Christopher Chen’s intensely clever play points to our penchant for accepting whatever we’re told, and the equivocacy of what we commonly refer to as “the truth.”  CAUGHTScene2-2_preview
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Now running through December 10

THE WONG STREET JOURNAL at Bootleg Theatre

Kristina-Wong-photo-by-Lily-Kravets

Photo by Lily Kravetz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

American armchair activists receive a solid drubbing in The Wong Street Journal. Kristina Wong’s solo show is not only dynamic, clever and entertaining; it’s also a compelling reminder of the harsh conditions that exist outside the ken of most Americans.
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Now running through November 19

LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES at Antaeus Theatre Company

(Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography)

(Photo by Geoffrey Wade Photography)

Jenny Lower – Stage Raw

Antaeus announced Christopher Hampton’s 1987 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses as the debut of its current season all the way back in June. The director’s note in the program discusses how this pre-revolutionary tale of French aristocratic depravity speaks to our era of the one percent.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a story that would be best served with popcorn and red wine. Written by Christopher Hampton and based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s 1782 novel of the same name, Liaisons opened at the Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles this weekend in a sexy, provocative production that explores the despicable behavior of what we would now refer to as “the one percent” in a modern, stylized fashion.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Are Americans today better off than the aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France? Spandex has simplified couture, wigs no longer require powder and, thanks to social media and smartphones, epistolary romances can be conducted in real time.
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Now running through December 10 

AN ENEMY OF THE PUEBLO at Casa 0101

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In An Enemy of the Pueblo, playwright Josefina López appropriates the basic construct of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, tosses in a few large dollops of magical realism, and transforms the lead character from a 19th-century Norwegian doctor into a 21st-century Mexican curandera. The result is a stirring adaptation that features a luminous Zilah Mendoza as an earthy, compassionate, albeit flawed, woman of principle.
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Now running through November 12

 

THE RED DRESS – Argyle Road Productions at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Tania Wisbar is the daughter of a German father and a Jewish mother, both of whom were prominent members of the German film world in the 1930s. But when she was just six months old, her parents divorced, and she and her mother fled German to escape the growing Nazi threat.
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Now running through November 19

 

BRIGHT STAR at the Ahmanson theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“Bright Star” is a fairly new musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. It had a life on Broadway last year and has arrived at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theatre.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Bright Star has so many winning attributes that one can easily forget its shortcomings and simply enjoy the experience. The music by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell employs a lilting bluegrass sound, Walter Bobbie’s direction is stellar, and Carmen Cusack gives a performance you will remember for years to come.
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Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

Trouble and happiness often go hand in hand, and there is plenty of both to be found in Bright Star, the charming bluegrass musical that just launched its national tour at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles after a Broadway run last year.

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The opening lyrics of the opening song of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass/country western infused musical Bright Star, currently starting its National Tour at the Ahmanson Theatre, tell you what to expect.
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Now running through November 19

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL at the Geffen Playhouse

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It seems Arye Gross hasn’t aged well. As the actor emerges onstage at the Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, he puffs and sweats and walks creakily.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The biggest mystery of Underneath the Lintel is how the unspectacular quest for the late fees of a 113-year-old past due library book could make for such a riveting evening. Playwright Glen Berger turns this minuscule task into a reflection of the human experience and the desperation to find meaning in an unfulfilled life.
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Now running through November 19

 

MATELUNA at REDCAT

Photo by Felipe Fredes

Photo by Felipe Fredes

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Few people sitting down at REDCAT this week for the U.S. premiere of Mateluna” will have heard of Jorge Mateluna. But after seeing this theatrical exploration of truth and deception in life and art, none likely will hear the Erasure song “A Little Respect” without thinking of him.
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THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS at Son of Semele Theatre

(Photo by Son of Semele Ensemble)

(Photo by Son of Semele Ensemble)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

German playwright Wolfram Lotz’s play (translated by Daniel Brunet) is a zany satire on racism, racial stereotyping, and colonial attitudes in a supposedly post-colonial world. A farcical version of Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, via Apocalypse Now, it follows German Sergeant Oliver Pellner on a secret mission into the heart of Afghanistan, accompanied by his faithful aide, Stefan Dorsch (Ashley Steed).
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Now running through November 12

IN THE HEIGHTS at Musical Theatre West

 

(Photo by In the Moment Photography)

(Photo by In the Moment Photography)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Lin-Manuel Miranda, that contemporary titan of musical theater, premiered his first show off-Broadway in 2007. In the ten intervening years, Miranda’s star rose: In the Heights won the Tony for Best Musical in 2008, and Miranda went on to write songs for Moana and create an obscure little musical you might have heard of called Hamilton.
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Now running through November 5

THIS LAND at Company of Angels

(Photo: Grettel Cortes Photography)

(Photo: Grettel Cortes Photography)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Early on in Evangeline Ordáz’s engaging and arrestingly mounted historical melodrama, an altercation ensues between Toya (Cheryl Umaña), a proud and angry Indian princess, and Enrique (Jeff Torres) the amiable son of a Mexican landowner. The year is 1843 and the issue is water……

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Now running through November 13