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Archive for Capital and Main

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Now running through March 4

LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS at the Hudson Guild Theatre

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw
Sam Steiner’s wildly eccentric two-hander follows the relationship of Bernadette (Brynn Alexander) and Oliver (Philip Asta) as they struggle to exist in an Orwellian world on steroids, where the government limits the number of words citizens can use daily. It’s an engaging premise with abundant potential, yet the playwright fails to explore it with commanding artfulness or coherency.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Sam Steiner’s 85-minute two-hander, comes packaged with an intriguing premise and the technical expertise of two of the L.A. theater community’s most established artists. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to compensate for an opaque, meandering script and uneven performances by actors understandably at sea with the flummoxing dialogue.
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Now running through February 11

 

MAGIC FRUIT – Cornerstone Theater Company at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Magic Fruit is the latest (and last) offering in the Cornerstone Theater Company’s Hunger Cycle of nine plays exploring “hunger, justice and food equity issues.” It opens with sisters Tami (Cristina Frias) and Kiko (Rachael Portillo), frantic and bedraggled, stumbling through a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles in search of refuge from a shadowy serpentine monster — hunger itself.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Mozart’s final opera, “The Magic Flute,” is not only one of the most frequently revived and crowd-pleasing of his works, but also possibly the most difficult to summarize. Read more…

Now running through December 10

YERMA IN THE DESERT at Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by Luis Kelly-Duarte

Photo by Luis Kelly-Duarte

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In Yerma in the Desert, the desert is less an external place than the state of mind of the title character. Written by Oliver Mayer, the play is inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1934 classic Yerma, whose central character, the wife of a shepherd, is childless and unhappy.
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Now running through December 16

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

 

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

 

TURN ME LOOSE at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho)

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In his powerhouse performance as Dick Gregory, the stand-up comic who rose to fame in the 1960s, Joe Morton tells the following story: He was civil rights organizing in the South with his good friend Medgar Evers, when he received a call informing him that his infant son had died.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

On the first page of her script titled “Turn Me Loose,” Gretchen Law introduces the piece as “a full-length play for stage, from the life and works of Mr. Dick Gregory.” The play retains this purposeful yet respectful tone throughout. Quietly, cerebrally, it packs a punch.
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Now running through November 19

TIME ALONE at L.A.T.C.

 (Photo by David Morrison)

(Photo by David Morrison)

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

This powerful drama by Alessandro Camon delves into the minds of two extraordinarily isolated people: a convict serving a life sentence for a murder he committed as a juvenile, and the mother of a police officer whose only son was shot and killed in the line of duty.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Alessandro Camon, an Oscar nominee for his screenplay for The Messenger, is deeply interested in the soul-destroying practice of solitary confinement, and in the experiences of crime survivors — people who lost loved ones to murder. He deals powerfully with both issues in this two-person play.
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Now running through October 22

FIXED – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Ball culture — the subject of the 1991 documentary Paris Is Burning and the backdrop for Filipino-American playwright Boni B. Alvarez’s new play, Fixed — developed out of Harlem in the 1960s.
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Now running through October 22

RUNAWAY HOME at the Fountain Theatre

 (Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Jeremy J. Kamps’ play “Runaway Home,” now premiering at the Fountain Theatre, is set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward three years after Hurricane Katrina. The waters may have long receded, but the residents still wander like ghosts through the wreckage of their lives.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Two years after Hurricane Katrina, playwright Jeremy J. Kamps went to New Orleans as a volunteer, “gutting and mucking” waterlogged, mold-ridden and decaying houses. He was able to observe firsthand the endless problems that plagued local residents in their efforts to rebuild and restore their destroyed communities: government assistance that came too late or not at all, displaced people unable to find lost friends and relatives, racism, red-tape and sometimes deliberate obstruction.

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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Shirley Jo Finney, Jeremy J. Camps ‘ Runaway Home takes place in New Orleans in 2008 and revolves around a troubled 14-year-old runaway learning to survive on her own after a physical altercation with her mother prompts her to leave home.

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Now running through November 5

 

 

 

AMERICAN HOME at Fremont Center Theatre

Photo by Melissa Blue

Photo by Melissa Blue

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

The 2007-08 financial crisis and the collapse of the housing bubble created lots of heartache for lots of people. Playwright Stephanie Alison Walker was among the one in 54 homeowners nationwide to receive a foreclosure notice in 2008. The experience prompted her to write American Home….

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Now running through September 24

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