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Archive for Echo Theater Company

Remembering humbug hunter Dan Sullivan. ‘Search’ slackens. ‘Simone’ simmers.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Dan Sullivan at his desk. Photo provided by Ben Sullivan.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Desert Stories for Lost Girls” at LATC, ‘Babe’ and ‘To the Bone’ in Atwater.

Dan Sullivan, the former LA Times theater critic who ushered LA readers into the modern theatrical world, died last week at the age of 86. It’s time to remember him, before moving on to current fare such as “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” at the Mark Taper Forum and “Nina Simone: Four Women’ at South Coast Repertory.

During the ‘70s and ‘80s — two decades when theater in Greater LA was rapidly proliferating — Sullivan was its most important chronicler. And he helped expand public awareness of the region’s theater not only by bearing witness but by bringing a winning wit to that task. The often playful quality of his prose probably drew readers who weren’t all that interested in theater, as well as the fervent fans. Read more…

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces 2020-2021 Award Recipients

LADCC LogoThe Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle is proud to announce the award recipients for 2020 and 2021. Poor Clare (The Echo Theater Company) and The Father (Pasadena Playhouse) received the prestigious Production award, with additional honorees named in 18 other categories.

In total, 13 different productions were honored, celebrating a wide range of Los Angeles theater. Pasadena Playhouse’s The Father received the most awards for a single production and the most awards overall, with nine.

This year, out of an abundance of caution, the LADCC will once again forgo its annual event ceremony and will instead send the plaques to the honorees. Congratulations to all of the award recipients!

The complete list of award recipients for 2020 and 2021 is as follows:

Production:

  • Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

McCulloh Award for Revival

  • My Fair Lady, Dolby Theatre

Lead Performance

  • Jordan Hull, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • Alfred Molina, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

Featured Performance

  • Sue Cremin, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Ann Noble, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • Michael Sturgis, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company

Ensemble Performance

  • Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

Solo Performance

  • Jim Ortlieb, Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight, VS. Theatre Company & Circle X Theatre Co.

Writing

  • Chiara Atik, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • Florian Zeller (translation by Christopher Hampton), The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

Writing Adaptation

  • Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, An Octoroon, The Fountain Theatre

Musical Score

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Frozen, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit, Dolby Theatre

Music Direction

  • John Bell, My Fair Lady, Dolby Theatre
  • Andre Cerullo, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Adrian Ries, The Band’s Visit, Dolby Theatre
  • Ryan Whyman, Lizastrata, Troubadour Theater Company

Choreography

  • Jess Coffman, Suzanne Jolie, L.T. Martinez, Matt Walker, Lizastrata, Troubadour Theater Company
  • Christopher Gatelli, My Fair Lady, Dolby Theatre

Direction

  • Alana Dietze, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company
  • Jessica Kubzansky, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

Set Design

  • David Meyer, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Frederica Nascimento, An Octoroon, The Fountain Theatre

Lighting Design

  • Elizabeth Harper, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse
  • Natasha Katz, Frozen, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Azra King-Abadi, Poor Clare, The Echo Theater Company

Costume Design

  • Christopher Oram, Frozen, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Halei Parker, Lizastrata, Troubadour Theater Company
  • Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady, Dolby Theatre

Sound Design

  • John Zalewski, The Father, Pasadena Playhouse

CGI/Video

  • Kaitlyn Pietras, Jason H. Thompson, Revenge Song, Geffen Playhouse
  • Finn Ross, Frozen, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Streaming Design

  • Corwin Evans, Bree Pavey, UnRavelled, Global Brain Health Institute, based at the University of California, San Francisco; and Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland
  • Andrew Schmedake, The Ballad of Emmett Till, The Fountain Theatre

Specialty

  • Lily Bartenstein, Prop Design, Lizastrata, Troubadour Theater Company
  • Jeremy Chernick, Visual Effects, Frozen, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Joe Seely, Puppet Design, The ODDyssey, Troubadour Theater Company

Every effort has been made to ascertain proper credits for our award recipients. We regret any errors or omissions. Any that come to our attention will be corrected on our LADCC website and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award plaque.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

The 2020-2021 membership consisted of:
Lara J. Altunian, Stage Raw, L.A. Dance Chronicle
Katie Buenneke, Stage Raw, Theater Digest
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen
Peter DeBruge, Variety
Ellen Dostal, BroadwayWorld, Musicals in LA
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw, ArtsInLA.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Cultural Daily, Pasadena Now, Riot Material
Harker Jones, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, Capital and Main, Gia On The Move
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Dana Martin, Stage Raw
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, ArtsBeatLA.com, Stage Raw
Steven Leigh Morris, Stage Raw
Melinda Schupmann, Showmag.com, ArtsInLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, BroadwayWorld, ArtsInLA.com
Don Shirley, Angeles Stage
Rob Stevens, haineshisway.com

HANDJOB – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When the lights rise on Handjob, a play by Erik Patterson currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, we meet Keith (Steven Culp). Keith is a gay, white writer, and he has hired Eddie (Michael Rishawn), a younger black man, to provide a service that at first glance seems sexual in nature. But it turns out Keith has simply hired Eddie to clean his apartment—while shirtless.
Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Erik Patterson’s new play, Handjob, aims to be provocative, and it succeeds in its goal. While the show features the explicit depiction of a sexual act (I bet you can guess which one), the playwright is going after bigger themes than sex alone.
Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A gay writer hires a “shirtless cleaner” and thereby begins Eric Patterson’s World Premiere comedy Handjob at Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre.
Read more…

Now running through October 21

2018 Award Show Photos

It was a great night at the 50th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards at Pasadena Playhouse on Monday, April 8th. Congratulations to all of the award recipients and to everyone whose outstanding work received a nomination. We are proud to recognize your accomplishments. Thank you to everyone who attended the show and thanks to photographer Meredith Adelaide for capturing the excitement. For additional photos, visit our Facebook page.

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry, winner of the Gordon Davidson Award

Artists representing Celebration Theatre

Artists representing Celebration Theatre’s win for their revival of Cabaret

Jennifer Chang, winner for her direction of East West Player's VIetgone

Jennifer Chang, award winner for her direction of East West Players’ Vietgone

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance in Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Rep

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company's Margaret Harford Award

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company’s Margaret Harford Award

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in  Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

John Iacovelli

John Iacovelli, Set Design winner for Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Jeff Gardner

Jeff Gardner, Sound Design winner for Native Son at Antaeus Theatre Company

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Janet Roston, award winner for her choreography of Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Janet Roston, award winner for her outstanding choreography for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company production of The Little Foxes

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Echo Theater Company's Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith-Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Echo Theater Company’s Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks' award for Lead Performance

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks’ award for Lead Performance in Henry IV

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee's new play Cambodian Rock Band

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee and her new play Cambodian Rock Band

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within's revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within’s revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts'  BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts’ BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone, East West Players

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone at East West Players

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre's Cabaret

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre’s Cabaret

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

 

THE WOLVES – ECHO THEATER COMPANY at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“We are the Wolves. We are the Wolves,” a group of teenage girls chants, each repetition of the phrase growing in both volume and urgency. The Wolves are a high school indoor soccer team, and the subject of Sarah DeLappe’s play of the same name currently in its west coast premiere at the Echo Theater Company.     Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It’s both remarkable and unnerving when a writer, director, and cast work in tandem so effectively that you leave the theater feeling like you know the characters personally. It’s a rare magic, currently happening in Atwater Village, where Echo Theater Company is staging Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.       Read more…

Now running through April 22

GLORIA – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Although the publishing world serves as the framework for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ scathing dramedy, his story is less about the decimation of a once flourishing profession as it is about the impoverishment of our lives and our relationships with others, or lack thereof.
Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When Gloria, a Pulitzer Prize-finalist play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins currently in its west coast premiere at The Echo Theater Company, begins, it seems like a modern workplace comedy.
Read more…

Now running through October 21

 

AN UNDIVIDED HEART at Atwater Village Theater

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Chris Fields, Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, co-produced by the Echo Theater Company and the Circle X Theatre Co., is an aspiring work that aims to be deep but doesn’t get there.

Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Any play that starts with a kid standing next to a burning typewriter holding a knife in one hand and a dead cat in the other is off to a good start in the “well, I haven’t seen that before” department. Unfortunately, such unusual visual tableaux aren’t really representative of the bulk of Yusuf Toropov’s An Undivided Heart, a Circle X Theatre Co. and Echo Theater Company co-production.
Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Someone stands in front of you with a cat in one hand and a knife in the other, threatening to kill it. What do you say to save the cat? In An Undivided Heart, a co-production of Echo Theater Company and Circle X Theatre Company that opened this past weekend at the Atwater Village Theatre, this is but one puzzle its complicated characters must attempt to solve.
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

After all these centuries as a literate species, and with only seven basic plots in circulation (according to the late critic Arthur Quiller-Couch), human beings have developed a sense of where stories are likely to go — expectations that prompt us to complain when we can see an ending coming (“predictable”) and when we can’t (“what?”).
Read more…

Now running through April 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.
Read more…

Now running through October 22

FIREMEN at Atwater Village Theatre

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Photo by Jeff Galfer Photography

Bob Verini -   ArtsInLA

The Echo Theater Company has gone to some lengths to sidestep, in its pre-opening publicity, the subject matter of Tommy Smith’s remarkable new play titled Firemen. The world premiere drama is described as “a different kind of love story” that “explores an unthinkable love relationship,” though what proves unthinkable is discussing the work without giving away what’s at its heart: namely, the extended sexual intimacy between a 14-year-old middle schooler and his school’s main-office secretary.    Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Pyromaniacs, at ease: No firefighters actually appear in Tommy Smith’s new play “Firemen,” in a world premiere by the formerly nomadic Echo Theater Company in its new home, Atwater Village Theatre. There are a few references to an offstage character said to be a fireman, but otherwise the flames in this black comedy are all metaphorical. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – ArtsBeatLA

Firemen is one of those intense discomfiting plays that can have you squirming in your seat, wishing you’d opted to see something less painfully and graphically real. It’s also, despite the spot-on dialogue, drawn out: the individual scenes could be briefer and the story could be told more concisely.  Read more..

Hoyt Hilsman  -  The Huffington Post

Beginning with the trial and conviction of schoolteacher Mary Kay Letourneau for having an affair with an underage student, the national media have taken a predictably salacious view of affairs between female teachers and male students. But in his world premiere play, Firemen at the Echo Theater in Los Angeles, playwright Tommy Smith paints a more nuanced and penetrating portrait of the tragic dynamics of this illicit and illegal liaison. Read more…

Now running through March 16.