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Archive for David C. Nichols – Page 2

SWARM CELL at the Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by Marjorie DeWit

Photo by Marjorie DeWit

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright Gabriel Rivas Gomez’s eccentric, uneven drama is loosely based on themes from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Filtered through a prism of modern corporate capitalism, it’s a tale of American kindness — or more accurately, about the lack of it as far as poor immigrants and our underclass are concerned. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Although “The Grapes of Wrath” has seen many adaptations, few have received a treatment quite like “Swarm Cell” at Greenway Court Theatre.

This sincerely intended, valiantly performed, still-gelling deconstruction applies a decidedly postmodern, proto-feminist spin to John Steinbeck’s classic Dust Bowl saga.    Read more…

Now running through February 28

LOUIS AND KEELY: ‘LIVE’ AT THE SAHARA at the Geffen Playhouse

Courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse

Courtesy of the Geffen Playhouse

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Vintage nightclub artistry ignites palpable frissons around the Geffen Playhouse, where “Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara” has sailed back in triumph. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

A hit at Sacred Fools back in 2008, Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara proved to have legs; it’s been picked up and revamped several times over prior to its current production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Now running through January 17.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at A Noise Within

 

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Christmas Carol” is upon us, and its winning A Noise Within production is a keeper.

Amid worthy area stagings of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas Eve journey to redemption, this deftly performed, meta-theatrical edition stands out for fidelity to text, witty stagecraft and heartfelt embrace of message. Read more…

MIRAVEL at Sacred Fools Theatre

Photo by Jessica Sherman

Photo by Jessica Sherman

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Edmond Rostand meets Hermann Hesse at the Village Vanguard in “Miravel” at Sacred Fools.

Author-performer Jake Broder’s mash-up of Rostand’s deathless “Cyrano de Bergerac” and Hesse’s novel “Gertrude” has some post-larval quirks, yet a compelling undertow propels its jazz-centric romantic triangle.   Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Playwright/composer Jake Broder, whose play Louie and Keely Live at the Sahara  went from Sacred Fools to the Geffen and then to regional theaters such as Chicago’s Royal George, returns here once again with another musical motif – this time the world of jazz. His latest opus is a magical amalgam of jazz music and gentle tinged-with-regret romantic drama.  Read more…

Now running through December 19.

TIMESHARE at the Eclectic Company Theatre

Photo by Steve B. Green

Photo by Steve B. Green

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Steve B. Green’s black comedy Timeshare is set in the cutthroat world of high-pressure sales, and while some thematic similarities to Glengarry Glen Ross can be seen, don’t expect any David Mamet-style pyrotechnics. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

I am a professional salesman. I am a professional salesman.” So runs, with drolly insecure variations, the mantra of the woebegone hero of “Timeshare,” which has been extended at the Eclectic Company Theatre. Read more…

Now running through January 31

CAGED at Theatre Banshee

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Photo by Michelle Young

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Dermot Davis’ dark comedy is set in the elevator of an urban hi-rise and performed on a proscenium 7-feet wide by 7-feet deep. That makes it unusually problematic to stage, though the challenge is ably met by director Tim Byron Owen and his game two-person ensemble.

Read more..

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Anyone who has ever wondered about being stuck in an elevator might be intrigued by “Caged” at Theatre Banshee, a guest offering by Mean Machine Productions and Georganne Aldrich Heller. Read more…

Now running through November 22. 

CARRIE THE KILLER MUSICAL EXPERIENCE at the Los Angeles Theatre

Photo by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

There’s a right way to deal with bullies. And then there’s Carrie’s way.

The 17-year-old high school senior, whose upbringing by her hyper-religious mother has guaranteed that she will be ridiculed by her classmates, has a supernatural power and bullying brings it out in force.  Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

What a difference a second look makes. When “Carrie: The Musical” hit La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in the spring, I found its immersive execution spectacular, its performances impressive and the material, well … Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Now playing at the Los Angeles Theatre is Carrie the Musical, an exciting musical production, packed with great songs, fantastic voices and performances, and a compelling storyline. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

 

THE BEST OF ENEMIES at the Colony Theatre

THE BEST OF ENEMIES - 2

Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Two weeks remain to catch “The Best of Enemies” in its West Coast premiere at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. The production is mandatory viewing for anyone who values the stage’s ability to provoke thought about serious social issues.

Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

C..P. Ellis was a local leader of the Ku Klux Klan when he was drafted to serve on a committee overseeing school desegregation in Durham, North Carolina in 1971.  His nemesis on the committee, Ann Atwater, was a militant African-American civil rights activist.  The two despised each other  – that is, until they began to understand that the issues they had in common were more numerous and pressing than the hatred which kept them apart.

Read more…

Now running through October 18.

ICU at the Atwater Village Theatre

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Photo by Jeff Galfer

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In “ICU,” playwright Fielding Edlow diagnoses dark humor in the most dysfunctional family this side of Eugene O’Neill’s Tyrone clan. Here, they’re upper-middle-class New York Jews, snarling and kvetching through the striking environmental staging by Circle X Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre.   Read more…

Now running through October 31.

WATCHING O.J. at the Atwater Village theatre

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Playwright David McMillan’s Watching O.J. cogently encapsulates the passions and perspectives surrounding the murder trial of ex-professional football star and actor O.J. Simpson – an event which captivated America and much of the Western world this month, 20 years ago. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Tomorrow you can be white again, Harold,” one of the central characters is told in “Watching O.J.,” the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles’ account of the day the O.J. Simpson verdict came down. The production has some new-play issues, but as that provocative line indicates, the pertinence of “Watching O.J.” is undeniable. Read more…

Now running through November 8.

HIT THE WALL at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

After well-received productions in Chicago and Off-Broadway, Hit the Wall delivers nothing less than a gut punch in its West Coast debut at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Playwright Ike Holter calls his absorbing treatment of the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots a “remix” of scholarship, oral history and legend…..Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

“No more watching.”

It’s Greenwich Village, circa 1969, and in the sweltering early hours of June 28 on Christopher Street, a Stonewall Inn police raid doesn’t go as usual, changing the course of history.   Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

The gay liberation movement started with a bang during the legendary clash between Greenwich Village police and rioting citizens in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn on New York’s Christopher Street. Ike Holter’s panoramic play Hit the Wall, an electrifying telling of the event as a feverish dream, becomes a brilliantly evocative and immersive experience under the assured hands of director Ken Sawyer.

Read more…
Now running through October 25.

FENCES at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

August Wilson’s plays are as much about the historical experience of African-Americans as they are about any one of his characters. This is certainly true of Fences, which begins in 1957, a year marked by federal troops on the ground in Arkansas and the forced desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

You’ve got to take the crookeds with the straights,” says the disillusioned protagonist of “Fences” at International City Theatre. That observation indicates the multiple conflicts running through the late, great August Wilson’s 1987 study of a former Negro League player turned garbage collector battling prejudice, regrets and mortality. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Press-Telegram

Fences can keep people out and fences can keep people in. Fences separate races and generations. But for Troy Maxson, they also represent goals not reached and, for as long as he can manage, a barrier to death. Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

If you’re a theater fan, you undoubtedly know that August Wilson, set out to write a 10-cycle play about the African-American experience — with one for each decade of the 20th Century.`Read more…

Now running through September 13.