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Archive for David C. Nichols

AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND at The Ruby Theatre at THE COMPLEX

Michael Helms Photography

Michael Helms Photography

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Most Americans have limited knowledge of the history and hardships of ethnic groups and nationalities outside their own (despite the best efforts of progressive educators in some of our urban schools to have it otherwise). With As Straw Before the Wind, Filipino-American playwright Felix Racelis aims to fill some of the gaps that audiences may have when it comes to the Filipino experience. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

It is difficult to revere the creators’ intentions for the Ruby Theater’s world-premiere production of As Straw Before the Wind at the Ruby Theatre at the Complex, because the story is so muddled. Both of its subjects — post-traumatic stress disorder and the plight of the elderly — deserve to be under the microscope, but this pedantic and draggy play gives neither topic its due. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In “As Straw Before the Wind,” playwright Felix Racelis attempts to draw attention to two topics sorely underrepresented in the theater: the Filipino American experience during and after World War II, and the challenges facing senior citizens.     Read more…

Now running through September 4

SPACE at the Stella Adler Mainstage

Photo by Bryan Wiggle

Photo by Bryan Wiggle

David C. Nichols – LA Times

You are all amazing. You all have vast untapped potential. You all have a future.”

With that mantra, so begins “Space” at Hollywood’s Stella Adler Theatre. Stefan Marks’ promising look at a man returning home from 30 years in a mental institution is still forming, but then, so is its fascinating protagonist. Read more…

Now running through August 20

 

ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE at Pacific Resident Theatre

Photo by Vitor Martins

Photo by Vitor Martins

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Eccentricities of a Nightingale was Tennessee Williams’ 1951 rewrite of his earlier Summer and Smoke. It was supposedly his preferred version of the story, and one can see why. The main character of Alma is more clearly delineated, and the drama springs more from her choices than from fate. The current production at Pacific Resident Theater benefits from Dana Jackson’s sensitive direction and a knockout lead performance. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

With “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” Tennessee Williams’ 1951 revision of his earlier play “Summer and Smoke,” Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice ends its 30th anniversary season on a quietly remarkable note. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Tennessee Williams’ play, “The Eccentricities of a Nightingale,” has been said to be about good and evil, illusion and reality.    Read more…

Now running through August 14

THE TOXIC AVENGER at Sacred Fools Theatre

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Photo by Rich Clark

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Radioactive laughter courses through Good People Theater Company’s “The Toxic Avenger,” wreaking sublimely silly havoc at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.    Read more…

Now running through June 26

LA CAGES AU FOLLES at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The best of times are now at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, where East West Players concludes its 50th anniversary season with an idiosyncratically endearing revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” Read more…

Now running through June 26

RED VELVET at the Glendale Playhouse

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 1833, African-American actor Ira Aldridge became the first man of color ever to play Othello on the London stage, replacing the acclaimed English tragedian Edmund Kean after Kean became ill. This was, not-coincidentally, the same year that a momentous bill abolishing slavery was being debated in British Parliament; it would go into force the following year. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In its West Coast premiere at Atwater Playhouse, “Red Velvet,” Lolita Chakrabarti’s 2012 study of legendary actor Ira Aldridge, conveys the power of the stage and its lingering impact. Read more…

Now running through April 30

HISTORIA DE AMOR at REDCAT

Michael Owen Baker / For The Times

Michael Owen Baker / For The Times

David C. Nichols – LA Times

An extraordinary merger of cinematic and theatrical art suffuses “Historia de Amor,” which concludes its North American premiere engagement at REDCAT on Sunday.

This mordant, uncommonly arresting production from Chile’s acclaimed Teatrocinema troupe doesn’t just borrow film and animation elements — it absorbs them into live performance to create an entirely new form. Read more…

 

SUMMER AND SMOKE at the Actors Co-op

Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

Photo by Lindsay Schnebly

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Summer and Smoke” may stand a little higher in the Tennessee Williams canon after you see an exceptional Actors Co-op revival of the 1947 drama, one of the best offerings in the company’s storied history.   Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Tennessee Williams’ sultry and thought-provoking 1947 drama, strongly associated with Geraldine Page’s unforgettable lead performances on stage and screen, is also known as Eccentricities of a Nightingale, the author’s 1964 revision.

Read more..

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Tennessee Williams was always an intensely personal writer, verging on the obsessive in his preoccupation with certain themes, locales, and character types. But earlier in his career, his obsessions were kept in control, and he had a real desire to make his work accessible to the larger audience. Read more…

Now running through April 17

 

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

 

 

 

PAST TIME – Sacred Fools at the Elephant Asylum Complex

Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography

Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Padraic Duffy’s rather sweet romantic comedy — the premiere offering at Sacred Fools’ new home at the former Elephant Asylum complex — is a good workmanlike calling card to introduce the company’s style and tone to its new neighborhood. If the play ultimately strikes one as slight, it’s salvaged by just enough quirk to make it appealing, along with winsome performances from some of the company’s stalwart mainstays. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Just because something is imaginary doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

So goes “Past Time,” Sacred Fools Theater Company’s inaugural production in its new home at the Lillian Theatre, a felicitous match-up.Read more…

Now running through March 26

LEAR at City Garage

Lear Web-8530

Photo by Paul Rubenstein

David C. Nichols – LA Times

At the outset of “Lear,” now receiving an austerely lunatic West Coast premiere at City Garage, a projected PBS-style host drolly relates the narrative of William Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, up to Lear’s banishment and Gloucester’s blinding. Read more…

Now running through March 13

 

VIEUX CARRE at the Historic Noho Arts Center

Vieux Carre Image

(Photo by Nardeep Khurmi)

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

In the vast scheme of Tennessee Williams’ long career, the 1978 Vieux Carré stands as one of his lesser plays, derivative and ill-shaped. Among the works of his final two decades, however, it’s one which can still credibly command a stage if given a vigorous and mature production.   Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The singular theatrical voice of Tennessee Williams pulsates through “Vieux Carré” at the Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood.

Although this resourceful Coeurage Theatre Company production of Williams’ kaleidoscopic memory play doesn’t resolve the property’s liabilities, it’s a noble and inventively executed effort. Read more…

Now running through March 12