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Archive for ArtsInLA – Page 4

THE BIG MEAL at Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy of Chance Theatre

Photo courtesy of Chance Theatre

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Love, marriage, birth, and death are fodder for Dan LeFranc’s fast-paced narrative spotlighting a couple who meet, marry, and produce several generations in the space of 90 minutes.Read more…

Now running through May 22

 

 

 

MAN OF LA MANCHA – Kentwood Players at Westchester Playhouse

Photo by Shari Barrett

Photo by Shari Barrett

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Although the musical “Man of La Mancha” premiered in 1964, in the current production by Kentwood Players at Westchester Playhouse it feels timeless and yet a balm for today. Read more…

Now running through April 16

YOU NEVER CAN TELL at A Noise Within

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Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

George Bernard Shaw’s’s turn of the 20th century rom-com, had a rocky start. Set to debut in 1897, it failed to make it to the stage that year, as actors struggled with the material and one leading lady quit, complaining the comedy had neither enough laughs nor enough exits. Not until 8 years later, in 1905, after Shaw had had it published in an anthology, did the piece have its first full run. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

This family is no place for a father.” It’s an emphatic statement of the sober argument that lies at the larky heart of “You Never Can Tell” at A Noise Within theater in Pasadena.    Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

In his early career, George Bernard Shaw wrote two sets of plays that he labeled Plays Unpleasant (Widower’s Houses, The Philanderer, Mrs. Warren’s Profession ) and Plays Pleasant (Arms and the Man, Candida, You Never Can Tell). Read more…

Now running through May 15

 

 

 

BARCELONA at the Geffen Playhouse

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Photo by Michael Lamont

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The clash of values in playwright Bess Wohl’s disputatious two-hander takes place between Irene (Betty Gilpin), a chattering blonde tourist from Denver, and Manuel (Carlos Leal), a handsome Spaniard who’s ferried her back to his loft in Barcelona for wild, mutually satisfying sex.  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

What’s notable about “Barcelona” is not so much what it says. One hopes, when a play has made it all the way to the Geffen Playhouse, it reveals something about the human condition. But at the Geffen, it’s interesting to observe how difficult this one’s messages are to take in. Read more…

Bob Verini  -  Arts In LA

Ever find yourself walking in a park in the morning, or through a mall in the afternoon, or down a main drag like Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard at night, enjoying the sights and sounds and people, and suddenly you say to yourself, “Holy crap, what if there should be an incident right now? What if somebody with a bomb or a gun is right around that corner?” Read more…

Pauline Adamek  -  ArtsBeatLA

Two opportunistic strangers hook up for a brief bout of sex. But what starts off as a drunken one-night stand turns into a soul-searching all-night discussion that goes until dawn.   Read more…

Now running through March 13

CANDIDE at the Long Beach Opera

Photo by Keith Ian Polakoff

Photo by Keith Ian Polakoff

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The concept framing Long Beach Opera’s Candide, of life as a first rehearsal, is apt. We’re given little stage direction and then blindly stumble through this world. So the title character—after discovering that life is tragic, cruel, and random—learns that the best one can do to survive is to find the simple joys in life. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

True to its theme, there will never be “the best of all possible” Candides. Leonard Bernstein’s almost perfectly imperfect musical theater piece straddles the realms of Broadway and the opera, not unlike Porgy and Bess (if “The Gershwins’ (sic)” tarted version hasn’t scotched its operatic identity for the foreseeable future). A signal failure in its original 1956 run, Candide returned in 1973 as a smash hit under Harold Prince’s tutelage and remained popular ever since. Read more…

Now running through January 30

ACT 3 at the Laguna Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

The U.S. premiering Act 3 is the story of a couple of a certain age who have been together for nearly 13 years without benefit of marriage. They have been married before, but not to each other. Things are getting monotonous and stale, so something needs to happen to liven up the action.   Read more…

Now running through January 30

 

CONEY ISLAND CHRISTMAS at the Torrance Theatre Company

Photo by Alex Madrid

Photo by Alex Madrid

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

It’s 1935, and Mrs. Abramowitz’s 12-year-old daughter has been cast as Jesus in her school’s Christmas pageant. Oy. So goes Coney Island Christmas, Torrance Theatre Company’s holiday season offering, written by Donald Margulies based on Grace Paley’s short story “The Loudest Voice.” Read more…

Now running through December 13.

 

 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY – 3–D Theatricals at Plummer Auditorium

Photo by Isaac James Creative

Photo by Isaac James Creative

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Originally characters in 1930s single-panel cartoons and then the basis of a 1960s television sitcom, the Addams family consists of the bizarrely gothic, macabre, but close-knit clan created by cartoonist Charles Addams. Read more…

Now running through October 26.

 

GUARDS AT THE TAJ at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

It cannot be said that Rajiv Joseph’s West Coast premiere Guards at the Taj is entertaining. Neither is it cheering, inspiring nor pleasantly distracting. But it thoroughly provokes thoughts and emotions like few other “entertainments” do. Read more…

Now running through November 15.

 

SOMETHING TRULY MONSTROUS at the Blank Theatre

Photo by Anne McGrath

Photo by Anne McGrath

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Rarely are the words zany and film noir in the same sentence. However, Something Truly Monstrous is a madcap send-up of 1940 murky melodramas like High Sierra, Johnny Eager, and The Maltese Falcon—taking a longstanding rumor and twisting the backstory to involve three Warner Bros. prestigious movie actors. Read more…

Now running through November 8.

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 at Theatre West

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright John Bishop, a longtime member of New York’s Circle Repertory Theatre, wrote a number of plays and screenplays, among them this comic spoof of manor house murder mysteries. It follows in the tradition of screwball comedies popular in the 1930s and ’40s.  Read more…

Now running through October 18.

BREATHING ROOM at Greenway Court Theatre

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Photo by Ed Krieger

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Greenway Court Theatre’s Breathing Room is a 70-minute metaphysical self-help session, scored to electric violin and synthesizer and incorporating quantum theory. It insists that people are debilitated by overwhelming technological change, and it recommends an extended time-out to develop a fresh perspective on the natural world.   Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Most properly a performance piece rather than either a play or a musical composition, Breathing Room could be seen as both an extension and a contraction of the talents of Mary Lou Newmark, who if naught else pursues assiduously her own muse.

Read more…

Now running through October 25.