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Archive for Deborah Klugman

THE DEVIL’S WIFE at the Skylight Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Premiering at the Skylight Theatre under Eric Hoff’s direction, Tom Jacobson’s latest play is a delectable little fable about free will, human folly and the encounter of a non-believer with God, Hell and the Devil.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

With his latest work, The Devil’s Wife, playwright Tom Jacobson has created a fun piece of fluff. Read more…

Now running through August 20

KING OF THE YEES at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Fans of the fourth wall — that imaginary wall separating performers from their audience — should steer clear of Lauren Yee’s new play King of the Yees, now playing at the Kirk Douglas in Culver City. But for more adventurous folks, those willing to throw caution (and conventional theatrical tradition) to the wind, the show proves a fun ride, full of twists and turns. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The many pleasures of King of the Yees, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody at the Mark Taper Forum, emerge not from playwright Lauren Yee’s rambling unfocused script but from the abundant talents of its versatile ensemble and the production’s colorful staging. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

There are intriguing themes considered in Lauren Yee’s comedy King of the Yees, currently running at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, particularly about the playwriting process and how artists begin with a preconceived notion only to broaden their scope as they discover the truth of these subjects.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There is a moment toward the end of a favorite documentary where people who grew up in the then-segregated African-American neighborhood around Central and Slauson in L.A. talked about the loss of that neighborhood with regret. Entrance into the mainstream was great, they say, but they lost those close-knit community ties. Read more…

Now running through August 6

HEISENBERG at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Hoyt Hilsman  -  Huffington Post

In the finest tradition of the theatrical two-hander, British playwright Simon Stephens (adapter of the Tony-award winning Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night) has imagined a random encounter between a forty-something eccentric woman and a very ordinary seventy-five year old butcher. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

British playwright Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg tracks the ups and downs in the relationship of an American woman in her 40s and an Irishman in his 70s. First produced at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2015 and later remounted on Broadway, the play shares its appellation with physicist and 1932 Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg.

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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The uncertainty principle of German scientist Werner Heisenberg states that the position and velocity of any object cannot both be measured exactly at the same time. In Simon Stephens’ much-celebrated play, “Heisenberg,” that theory is applied to people – two impressively dissimilar adults who meet awkwardly in a London train station…
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all seen plenty of “manic pixie dreamgirl” romantic comedies, and even enough of the subset of May/December relationship dramas — but these are sturdy tropes that will always be with us. The latest theatrical iteration of this genre is Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg……   Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Playwright Simon Stephens puts two characters onstage, captures them in conversation, and leaves us knowing no more about themselves our ourselves than we knew at the start of this 80-minute work.

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Now running through August 6

THE CAKE – Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

(Photo by Darrett Sanders)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Americans in the U.S. have struggled with a cultural divide for decades — right from the beginning, it can be argued. The Founding Fathers, deists and 18th century rationalists, made separation of Church and State a fundamental principle of our government and their lives, while more traditional classes of people, especially in the South and Midwest, built theirs around their Christian faith.

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when someone or something suddenly throws the belief system you have held your entire life into question? The Cake, a play by Bekah Brunstetter currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, is a thoughtful and heartfelt examination of conservative values in increasingly liberal times, all hinging around one wedding cake.

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

North Carolina bakery owner Della (Debra Jo Rupp) announces at Cake’s beginning that nothing is as gratifying as baking a perfect cake. It is the ultimate satisfaction. Frostings, fillings, she loves them all, and her enthusiasm for her craft has landed her a gig on one of those reality television bake-off shows.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In one of its last acts before adjourning for summer, in late June the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage even though the state had an anti-discrimination law in effect at the time. It was just days later that Atwater’s Echo Theater Company opened their World Premiere of playwright Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake. Read more…

Now running through August 6

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

LOVE IS A DIRTY WORD at the VS Theatre

(Photo by Aaron Epstein)

(Photo by Aaron Epstein)

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

There are many fine elements in Giovanni Adams’ autobiographical solo show, and it’s hard to decide which to mention first: the cadenced flow of his beautifully detailed 80-minute spoken word poem, the open and disarming manner of his delivery, or the production’s flawless pacing under Becca Wolff’s accomplished direction.   Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In the home where Giovanni Adams grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, sex was never a dirty word.

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Now running through July 15

THANKSGIVING at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Photo by Cali Bloomberg

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Holiday gatherings frequently serve as framework for plays about dysfunctional families, and Thanksgiving, written by Tiffany Cascio and directed by Kitty Lindsay, is one of them. Although not nearly as clever as it tries to be, it features several choice roles for women, a few good laugh lines and, in the case of this Hollywood Fringe premiere production, one outstanding performance.

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Everyone has probably had that family get together—a wedding, a funeral—or more likely a holiday dinner that they wish they could avoid. The saying goes we can choose our friends but we are stuck with the family we are given.

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Now running through June 23

ARCHIPELAGO at Son of Semele

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

(Photo by Mainak Dhar)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Archipelago, Caridad Svinch spins a love story about a man and a woman from two different cultures, and sets it against a backdrop of war and apocalyptic upheaval. Director Barbara Kallir oversees an attractive and imaginative staging, but the vagueness of the play’s dramatic events and the absence of detail in the characters’ accounts of themselves make for an enervating narrative. Read more…

Now running through June 18

LES BLANCS – Rogue Machine Theatre at the Met

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s kind of amazing that a major play by Lorraine Hansberry is just having its Los Angeles premiere now. Perhaps the tide of criticism that caused the play to close after one month on Broadway in 1970 tainted its reputation in some way, or its need for a 24-member cast scared producers off. Thankfully, Rogue Machine decided to rectify this situation, and its current production is a smart, exciting theatrical event. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lorraine Hansberry was the first black woman to write a play that was produced on Broadway when her classic A Raisin in the Sun opened in 1959. At the age of 29, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award becoming the youngest playwright to do so.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs is set in colonial Africa sometime in the mid–20th century, and while much has changed since then, the play’s moral dilemmas and the racism and hypocrisy that give rise to them remain with us. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry died of cancer in 1965 when she was only 34, leaving behind incomplete drafts of “Les Blancs” (“The Whites”), a play she had begun writing in 1960, soon after “A Raisin in the Sun” made her famous.Read more…

les-blancs-2

Now running through July 3

SPECIES NATIVE TO CALIFORNIA – IAMA Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Dean Cechvala

Photo by Dean Cechvala

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Every family has its secrets, and in an uncertain political climate, precarious situations and relationships that have held on by a thread for years can quickly become threatened.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Dorothy Fortenberry’s Species Native to California takes place in Northern California in 2016, prior to the election of Donald Trump, and revolves around a man and his daughters who own vast beautiful acreage that they are about to lose to the bank. Read more…

Now running through June 11

FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE – Ebony Rep at Nate Holden Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Five Guys Named Moe celebrates the music of pioneering jazz musician Louis Jordan, a crossover artist whose swinging soulful music was popular with both black and white audiences from the late 1930s to the early ‘50s.  Read more…

Now running through June 11

 

ACTUALLY at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

He said, she said. Then he said more, and then she said more. They both kept saying things. But no matter how much they said, it was impossible to determine what had actually happened between the two freshmen in the Princeton University dorm room when they were very drunk. Was it consensual sex or rape? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Um, actually.” These seemingly innocuous words are critical to the events of the aptly named Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a co-world premiere with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

We see the kiss twice: once at the play’s beginning and once at its end. Her hands express her uncertainty. They don’t push him away, but they don’t embrace him. Her left hand hovers near his shoulder, a question mark over the moment and certainly over the play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Anna Ziegler’s smart and penetrating play Actually, now premiering at the Geffen Playhouse, Tom (Jerry MacKinnon), a freshman at Princeton, recounts an incident in which his best buddy Sunil leans in and kisses him on the mouth. Read more…

Now running through June 11