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Archive for Atwater Village Theatre

DO YOU FEEL ANGER? by Circle X Theatre Company

Napoleon Tavale, Paula Rebelo, and Rich Liccardo, Photo by Jeff Lorch.

Napoleon Tavale, Paula Rebelo, and Rich Liccardo, Photo by Jeff Lorch.

Patrick Chavis – LA Theatre Bites

Circle X Theatre Company’s West Coast premiere production of Do You Feel Anger? @ Atwater Village Theatre – 10 out of 10 – Masterpiece! LA THEATRE BITES RECOMMENDED. More…

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

There’s a Cowboy Junkies song from 1993 called “Hunted,” which is about the ever-present threat of male violence in women’s lives, the refrain of which is: “Do you know what it’s like to be hunted?” It’s a terrifying song, and unfortunately is no less resonant today than it was 30 years ago. Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s play, Do You Feel Anger?, explores the dark side of the war between the sexes with great humor and a bit of surrealism but clearly gets across outrage that women still have to deal with this situation. The new production by Circle X at the Atwater Village Theatre is superb, bolstered greatly by vivid performances. Read more…

 

Remembering humbug hunter Dan Sullivan. ‘Search’ slackens. ‘Simone’ simmers.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Desert Stories for Lost Girls” at LATC, ‘Babe’ and ‘To the Bone’ in Atwater.

Dan Sullivan, the former LA Times theater critic who ushered LA readers into the modern theatrical world, died last week at the age of 86. It’s time to remember him, before moving on to current fare such as “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” at the Mark Taper Forum and “Nina Simone: Four Women’ at South Coast Repertory.

During the ‘70s and ‘80s — two decades when theater in Greater LA was rapidly proliferating — Sullivan was its most important chronicler. And he helped expand public awareness of the region’s theater not only by bearing witness but by bringing a winning wit to that task. The often playful quality of his prose probably drew readers who weren’t all that interested in theater, as well as the fervent fans. Read more…

TO THE BONE by Open Fist Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre

Tisha Terrasini Banker, Jack David Sharp, and Amanda Weier. Photo by Frank Ishman.

Tisha Terrasini Banker, Jack David Sharp, and Amanda Weier. Photo by Frank Ishman.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Writer/director Catherine Butterfield’s women-centered dramedy is set in a working-class community south of Boston, where two sisters of Irish-Catholic extraction, Kelly (Tisha Terrasini-Banker) and Maureen (Amanda Weier), share a house once owned and occupied by their grandmother. The place is a throwback to a distant past, its walls replete with black and white family photos from generations back, as well as the requisite crucifix strategically displayed. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

If ever there was a dark comedy about “hard girls”…
… this one definitely sticks. More…

Through November 5

BABE, Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Sal Viscuso, Wylie Anderson and Julie Dretzin in Babe. Photo by Cooper Bates.

Sal Viscuso, Wylie Anderson and Julie Dretzin in Babe. Photo by Cooper Bates.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Babe, Jessica Goldberg’s incisive, skillfully wrought play about sexual harassment (and what should or should not be deemed politically correct), is so titled because, in the course of the narrative, it’s applied, rather casually, to Abigail (Julie Dretzin), one of the playwright’s four exceedingly well-drawn characters. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Theatre Digest

This is a strange play, because I feel like it has a lot of potential, but this world premiere staging feels unfinished. The performances felt more like rehearsal than opening night, the transitions were sluggish, and the script clocked in at a slow 70 minutes, ending in a way that could be interpreted as intermission if the cast hadn’t come out for bows. But there’s a lot of interesting, exciting groundwork laid out in the interplay between an old-school record exec (played by Sal Viscuso), who’s pretty much a walking microaggression (you know the type), his colleague Abigail (Julie Dretzin), who’s done more work than she’ll ever get credit for, and Kaitlyn (Wylie Anderson), a millennial who thinks her workplace should be less toxic. Read more…

Through October 24

Dream Weavers – Puck and The Sandman

Azeem Vecchio, Syanne Green, and Malik Bailey in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Frank Ishman

Azeem Vecchio, Syanne Green, and Malik Bailey in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Frank Ishman

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw, Notes From Arden

At the northern edge of LA County, in Santa Clarita, The Sandman (played by adult actor Jackson Caruso) is the title character in Dane Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, “Ole Lukøje,” (“The Sandman”), presented by Eclipse Theatre and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival. Phil Lantis’s play for kids (and performed with kids), adapted from Andersen’s story and directed by Nancy Lantis, tells of this Sandman’s ability to send children to sleep (sprinkling their eyes with fairy dust) and deliver them dreams — or not. If they’ve been well-behaved, they receive pleasant dreams. If they’ve been less than well-behaved, their punishment is to receive no dreams at all. There are worse punishments, as the German Brothers Grimm had imagined, slightly before Andersen (severed limbs, baked in a witch’s oven, etc.), but perhaps that’s the difference between the Danish temperament and the Teutonic one.

Meanwhile, in the center of LA County, in Atwater Village, Puck (Monazia Smith, sly, impish and, at times, pissed off) sprinkles fairy dust into the eyes of any number of White Athenians (as in Athens, Georgia) in Open Fist Theatre Company’s adaptation (by director James Fowler) of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which Fowler sets in the American antebellum South, circa 1855. Without giving away the plantation, Fowler’s strikingly cogent concept is to endow slaves with cosmic powers (which become comic powers) over their mortal Athenian overseers — not unlike the way in which the slaves outwit their masters in their quest for freedom, in the ancient Roman comedies of Plautus and Terence. Read more…

The Sandman – through July 30

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – through Aug 13

UNTITLED BABY PLAY at IAMA Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

Nina Braddock’s new work, Untitled Baby Play, is a whole pandemic in the making. The play seeks to address the question every reproductively abled person is confronted with: “Are you going to have a baby?”  IAMA Theatre Company’s world premiere production bravely confronts the subject of whether or not to reproduce, but too often circumvents the nuances of the conversation surrounding the subject of parenthood. Read more…

Now through June 27

LITTLE PARTS HUNTS A BABY-DADDY – Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Echo Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Echo Theatre Company

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

There are times when one’s not quite sure what a theater piece is about, but its presentation is so engaging that it doesn’t matter. Case in point: writer-performer Ann Noble’s solo work, in which the title character (Little Parts) is a pregnant clown conducting an internet search for a Baby-Daddy for her “maybe baby.” Read more…

Now running through April 10

 

RORSCHACH FEST, INKBLOT C at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In a Rorschach test, an individual is presented with a series of abstract images and asked what they see. Their answers are used by the administering psychiatrist or psychologist to gain insight into that person’s state of mind.

Open Fist Theater Company’s current production is titled Rorschach Fest. Presented as three separate programs, it’s a series of short plays by John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor and Caryl Churchill — four playwrights widely recognized for the distinctive style and/or content of their work.
Read more…

Now running through April 5

 

LAS MUJERES DEL MAR – Playwrights Arena at Atwater Village Theatre

Kelly Stuart

Kelly Stuart

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Part memory play, part social drama, Janine Salinas Schoenberg’s Las Mujeres Del Mar (Women of the Sea) tells the story of three generations of Mexican-American women who strive to love and support each other despite their past wounds and resentments.
Read more…

Now running through October 14

 

HANDJOB – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When the lights rise on Handjob, a play by Erik Patterson currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, we meet Keith (Steven Culp). Keith is a gay, white writer, and he has hired Eddie (Michael Rishawn), a younger black man, to provide a service that at first glance seems sexual in nature. But it turns out Keith has simply hired Eddie to clean his apartment—while shirtless.
Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Erik Patterson’s new play, Handjob, aims to be provocative, and it succeeds in its goal. While the show features the explicit depiction of a sexual act (I bet you can guess which one), the playwright is going after bigger themes than sex alone.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A gay writer hires a “shirtless cleaner” and thereby begins Eric Patterson’s World Premiere comedy Handjob at Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre.
Read more…

Now running through October 21

APPLE SEASON at Atwater Village Theatre

Benjamin Simpson

Benjamin Simpson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Perhaps most notable among the many prizes received by playwright E.M. Lewis is the Steinberg Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, garnered for Song of Extinction, produced in 2008 by the L.A. troupe Moving Arts. (That production also won both an LA Weekly award for Best Production and the LADCC award for Outstanding New Play.)
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Now running through August 5

THE END OF BEAUTY – Playwright’s Arena at Atwater Village Theatre

PressPhotoBeauty3

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In its world premiere, Cory Hinkle’s The End of Beauty runs about two hours, but it’s not until the last 10 minutes that it grips one’s attention. That’s when Silas Weir Mitchell, playing one of the story’s three characters, looks back on the past with acceptance, perplexity and regret.
Read more…

Now running through June 18