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Archive for Deborah Klugman

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY at City Garage Theatre

Isaac Stackonis and Peggy Flood. Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Isaac Stackonis and Peggy Flood. Photo by Paul M. Rubenstein

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter’s first full length play, opened in London in May 1958. Reviews were grim. Most critics, accustomed to the kitchen sink realism of writers like Sillitoe, Braine and Osborne, were incensed and/or bewildered by the non-sequiturs, contradictions and pauses in Pinter’s language, along with the murkiness of the play’s narrative and the perceived illogic of its characters. Collectively, they savaged it. The Daily Telegraph reviewer, referring to Petey, a character employed as a deckchair attendant at the beach, wrote, “I can give him one word of cheer. He might have been a dramatic critic, condemned to sit through plays like this.” Read more…

Now through July 23

DOG at The Broadwater – Hollywood Fringe Festival

Photo by Paul Holmes

Photo by Paul Holmes

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Ben Moroski won a Best of Fringe award in 2012 for The Vicious Minute and a Top of the Fringe award in 2014 for his solo performance of The Wake. This year he’s back at The Fringe with his latest solo piece, Dog— a downer of a tale nonetheless presented with the same singular, mesmerizing intensity he brought to his earlier ones.

This time his character —we never learn this character’s given name but his yesteryear buddies call him Dog — is a 30-something alcoholic, prone to blackout bouts of drinking and other diverse forms of destructive behavior.  “Dog” has recently been given the heave-ho by his girlfriend Diane after their small pet dog somehow fell — or leapt! — from their balcony to his death. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s been quite the decade for playwright and performer, Ben Moroski. Since his 2012 debut of his autobiographical one-man show, “This Vicious Minute”, Moroski has been a notable solo story creator in Los Angeles theater.

Delivering one deliciously bizarre narrative after another, his award-winning Hollywood Fringe hits like, “The Wake” (HFF14) and “TILT” (HFF16), and now a new solo play have all but proclaimed a rising trajectory that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. DOG, written and performed by himself and directed by Jordan Lane Shappell, confirms that Moroski’s inspiring genius has further evolved. His skills, edge, enthusiasm for storytelling, and intensity in the work have not wavered.
Read more…

Now through June 25

SLEEP WITH THE ANGELS, Latino Theater Co. at The Los Angeles Theatre Center

Photo by Grettel Cortes

Photo by Grettel Cortes

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Sleep With the Angels, directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, playwright Evelina Fernandez portrays a fragmented family of Latinx extraction — but the truths she seeks to convey might resonate anywhere. Read more…

Now through June 26

BELOVED at The Road Theatre

Photo by Michele Young

Photo by Michele Young

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Beloved, a world premiere play by Canadian playwright Arthur Holden, opens in a waiting room outside a counsellor’s office at a posh school, where an affluent upper-middle-aged couple await news of their son. Thirty minutes have gone by since they’ve arrived, and no one has summoned them in, or explained why they’ve been called. Stephen (Sam Anderson), grown choleric and hostile, declares his intent to barge into the counsellor’s inner sanctum despite being asked not to enter. His wife Dorothy (Taylor Gilbert) cautions restraint, but she too is anxious and upset, and will become more so as the situation unfolds. Read more…

Now through June 19

TEA – Hero Theatre at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Tea, the final installment in Velina Hasu Houston’s trilogy of plays about Japanese war brides, takes place, geographically speaking, in Junction City, a small town in the northeast stretch of Kansas. That’s close to where Houston, the daughter of a Japanese woman and an American GI of African American and Native American descent, spent part of her childhood. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

Where there’s tea, there’s hope in playwright Velina Hasu Houston’s story about five Japanese war brides living in Kansas with their GI husbands in the 1960s.  A group of like women with no real “community”, Himiko Hamilton, Teruko MacKenzie, Atsuko Yamamoto, Setsuko Banks, and Chizuye Juarez are disconnected from each other and also from themselves. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

It has been over 30 years since Velina Hasu Houston’s play Tea first premiered. The recent production by Hero Theatre on the stage of the Rosenthal Theater at Inner City Arts proved her writing and characters are as fresh and relevant today as they originally were. Read more…

Now running through May 15

BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Dynamic performances by Nija Okoro and Greg Alverez Reid fuel Center Theatre Group’s new revival of Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky. Phylicia Rashad, who originated Okoro’s role in the play’s 1995 world premiere, returns to direct this humorous production that always simmers with devastation under the surface. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

“Harlem was supposed to be a place where Negroes could come together and really walk about, and for a red-hot minute, we did,” muses Guy (Greg Alverez Reid), a gay fashion designer and one of five aspirational figures in Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky. Read more…

Now running through May 8

RAPUNZEL ALONE at the 24th Street Theatre

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 2013, the 24th Street Theater produced a play by British playwright Mike Kenny, Walking the Tightrope. It was directed by Debbie Devine and starred adult performer Paige Lindsey White as a little girl who visits her grandparents at the seaside every year…Now comes Rapunzel Alone, another play by Kenny that was commissioned by this company in 2019, with the request that it embody the theme of isolation. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

The room was dark and bare. Not much to do or look at. There were no other children to play with. In fact, it wasn’t welcoming at all. Even the projections were like shadows stenciled in 3-D moving across the stage-wide screens. It was cold. I didn’t like it there. Just like Lettie, I felt very alone. Read more…

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ANNA IN THE TROPICS at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Imagine, if you can, members of the UAW or the United Mine Workers of America hiring a reader to read to them while they labor at their job. And not just any printed material — not a gossip rag or a bodice ripper or a third-rate paperback. No, we’re talking good books, well- respected tomes, like Tolstoy’s classic, Anna Karenina. That’s the novel the lector reads to the workers in a cigar factory in Anna in the Tropics, Nilo Cruz’s vital, vibrant 2003 Pulitzer prize-winning drama, now in pallid revival at A Noise Within. Read more…

Now running through April 17

 

A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

I have a rule about avant-garde theater: if an artist chooses to deliberately obscure his/her/their meaning via unusual methods or flirts dangerously with pretentiousness, the play had better validate those choices by demonstrating how they were necessary. Most experimental pieces, in my experience, fail that test, but when they succeed it’s thrilling. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucas Hnath is a young American playwright whose work (The Christians, Red Speedo, A Doll’s House, Part 2) I have found interesting and worth experiencing. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Broadway World

Lucas Hnath is an ambitious playwright. He turned his mother’s harrowing recollections of being abducted in the ’90s into a riveting, intimate one-woman tale, Dana H, where the actress lip-syncs to the recording that his mother had made. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

John Updike once called Mickey Mouse “the most persistent and pervasive figure of American popular culture in his century.” The mouse came into being in 1928, birthed by a young animator named Walt Disney. Read more…

Now running through May 1

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

 

THE PLAY YOU WANT at the Road on Magnolia

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Bernardo Cubría’s The Play You Want, directed by Michael John Garcés, Bernardo (Peter Pasco), the central character, is a Mexican-American playwright who writes experimental plays about clowns, whom he views as universal symbols of humanity. Little would please Bernardo more than to be acclaimed as the new Latino Samuel Beckett. But there’s a problem… Read more…

Now running through April 17

TRAYF at Geffen Playhouse

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Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Lindsay Joelle’s dramedy Trayf transports audiences to the structured world of the Hasidim, whose strict laws and customs may be outside the understanding of even some Jewish audience members. Director Maggie Burrows, with deft stage direction and sets, visually conveys the danger, heartbreak, and wonderment found in exploring the secular world outside. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The grass is always greener, they say.

In Trayf, Lindsay Joelle’s tender winning play about friendship, an 18-year-old Hasidic Jew longs to experience something of the outside world, while a non-Jewish acquaintance who works in a mid-Manhattan record store is drawn to a more rigid and circumscribed way of life. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Oxford Dictionary defines trayf as “food not satisfying the requirements of Jewish law”. Lindsay Joelle’s play Trayf, currently receiving its West Coast Premiere at The Geffen Playhouse, deals with a lot more than food, but provides plenty of food for thought. Read more…

Now running through April 10