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Archive for Fountain Theatre

RUNAWAY HOME at the Fountain Theatre

 (Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Jeremy J. Kamps’ play “Runaway Home,” now premiering at the Fountain Theatre, is set in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward three years after Hurricane Katrina. The waters may have long receded, but the residents still wander like ghosts through the wreckage of their lives.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Two years after Hurricane Katrina, playwright Jeremy J. Kamps went to New Orleans as a volunteer, “gutting and mucking” waterlogged, mold-ridden and decaying houses. He was able to observe firsthand the endless problems that plagued local residents in their efforts to rebuild and restore their destroyed communities: government assistance that came too late or not at all, displaced people unable to find lost friends and relatives, racism, red-tape and sometimes deliberate obstruction.

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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Directed by Shirley Jo Finney, Jeremy J. Camps ‘ Runaway Home takes place in New Orleans in 2008 and revolves around a troubled 14-year-old runaway learning to survive on her own after a physical altercation with her mother prompts her to leave home.

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Now running through November 5

 

 

 

BUILDING THE WALL at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Robert Schenkkan’s play, set in 2019, is a dystopian vision of what life in Trump-land might be like two years hence.

In a prison meeting room, a black woman, Gloria (Judith Moreland) is interviewing Rick (Bo Foxworth), a white prisoner. She offers him a chance to tell his side of the story. But the two are wary of each other. At first, he refuses to cooperate with her, but when she prepares to leave, he relents. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Prolific playwright Robert Schenkkan won a 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his series of one-acts, The Kentucky Cycle, and a 2014 Tony Award for Best Play for All the Way, about the efforts of Lyndon Baines Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He wrote Building the Wall in response to the election of Donald Trump. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Unlike other plays that are about a real-life person but speak metaphorically or use a pseudonym, “Building the Wall” refers to Donald Trump by name and by policy. Read more…

Now running through May 21

MY MAÑANA COMES at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Immigration issues are bandied about in political discourse in the media every day, but the lives of kitchen workers and janitors and fruit pickers are rarely brought to the stage. Kudos to New York-based playwright Elizabeth Irwin for doing just that. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The workplace, where so many of us spend so much time, offers a rich trove of subjects for playwrights eager to move away from the dysfunctional family. As “The Office” suggested on TV, even the most pedestrian employee breakroom can roil with enough intrigue and folly to make the House of Borgia look tame. Read more…

Now running through June 26

DREAM CATCHER at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In concept, Stephen Sachs’ Dream Catcher at the Fountain Theatre is a timely play. Directed by Cameron Watson, it details a clash between a young engineer involved in designing a solar-energy plant that would help combat global warming, and a poorly educated Native American woman who objects to the project because it violates the sacred lands of her people. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Contemporary headlines about global warming, a hot-button political controversy, merge with matters of social conscience and human history in the world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ challenging two-person drama. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Spending any extended time in a desert like our own Mojave inevitably becomes a transformative experience, gradually and continually altering one’s perceptions of our place in a natural environment. It’s eerie the way one’s sensibility adjusts to the desert’s variety and pulse as our awareness continues to fine-tune. Read more…

Now running through March 21

CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Citizen: An American Lyric by poet Claudia Rankine, was published to great acclaim last year, winning the National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry. In this theatrical realization, it represents an uniquely valuable tool not merely for a keener awareness of the ubiquity of everyday racism but for the precious need of every human being for self-examination, if any of us is ever truly to become whomever we truly are. Read more…

Now running through September 14.

REBORNING at the Fountain Theatre

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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

This fascinating drama by playwright Zayd Dohrn is set in the bizarre subculture of women who buy dolls that eerily resemble actual babies. Can this possibly be enough material here for a play? Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Roger Ebert once opined, “It’s not what a movie is about but how it is about it,” and the notion holds for plays as well. Read more...

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

A strange and disturbing play, Reborning by Zayd Dohrn introduces us to the world of one-of-a-kind, life-like baby dolls — aka ‘reborn’ dolls — and the people who desire them. But the story the playwright fashions around this premise is extremely questionable… Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

When Zayd Dohrn’s Reborning at the Fountain Theatre gets something right, it gets it so right that you may be left in a state of disorientation. That something is the gulf of incomprehension between Daizy and Kelly (Ryan Doucette and Joanna Strapp), an entrepreneurial couple not long out of art school, getting by in a Queens walk-up. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

BROOMSTICK at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

“Things aren’t always what they seem” is the main theme of John Biguenet’s play about a strange old woman with magical powers. It’s a piece you want to praise, given how much and how cruelly old women with (or without) magical powers have been maligned over the centuries. Read more…

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

Playwright John Biguenet’s engaging solo piece takes what looks like a light-weight premise and turns it into something rich and strange. Read more…

 David C. Nichols – LA Times

New Orleans playwright John Biguenet’s ripely poetic tale of an Appalachian crone who may or may not be a witch receives a striking West Coast premiere starring the redoubtable Jenny O’Hara. Read more…

Now playing through November 30.

THE BROTHERS SIZE at the Fountain Theatre and DROP DEAD at NoHo Arts Center

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Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s tender, poetical drama The Brothers Size (Fountain Theatre) and Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore’s meta-theatrical farce Drop Dead! (presented by Theatre 68, at North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts Center) share one salient commonality: Each production has moments when the actors recite stage directions about their own characters. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s tender, poetical drama The Brothers Size (Fountain Theatre) and Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore’s meta-theatrical farce Drop Dead! (presented by Theatre 68, at North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts Center) share one salient commonality: Each production has moments when the actors recite stage directions about their own characters. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney boasts a rare talent: an utterly distinctive voice. He sounds like no one else, his cadences hearty and beautiful. I am in love with his voice, and in all likelihood you will feel the same way. For better, and sometimes less so, so be he. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The Fountain Theatre follows up its award-winning 2012 production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “In the Red and Brown Water” with a vibrant incarnation of “The Brothers Size,” the second installment in McCraney’s acclaimed trilogy.      Read more…

 

Now running through July 27.

THE NORMAL HEART at the Fountain Theatre

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Photo by Ed Krieger

 

Les Spindle – Edge on the Net

In chronicling the beginning of a momentous chapter in the history of gay culture, namely the initial outbreak of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, Larry Kramer’s watershed play “The Normal Heart” offers a deeply moving snapshot of an era, while imparting timeless truths.
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Bob Verini – ArtsInLA

Almost 30 years after its premiere, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart still packs a wallop, though it’s a different kind of wallop from that which first stunned audiences in the record-breaking long run at New York’s Public Theater. Back then, the fury over governmental, institutional, and (to a large extent) public indifference to the “gay plague” …..
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Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

When the AIDS plague emerged in 1981, writer-activist Larry Kramer was devastated to learn that the larger society wasn’t remotely concerned that gay men were dying by the thousands, and the gay community was refusing to admit its own responsibility. He set out to call the world to account, and tell unpopular truths to power. Driven by his own passionate concern, he launched ham-fisted attacks in all directions, making himself hated and resented.
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Terry Morgan  -  LAist

When Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart premiered in 1985, its urgent message about the AIDS crisis somewhat (and understandably) overshadowed its success as a brilliant piece of theatre. While that message of caution is still timely as people have mistakenly begun to believe that AIDS is a thing of the past, the primary joy of the Fountain Theatre’s current revival of the show is the demonstration of what a strong, smart, character-driven play it is. The production is excellent on all levels, from Simon Levy’s dynamic direction to the outstanding ensemble, with Tim Cummings delivering an electrifying, career-best lead performance. Read more…

Now running through November 3.

HEART SONG at the Fountain Theatre

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

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…..Stephen SachsHeart Song, which just opened at the Fountain Theatre, also looks at the capacities of art to overcome the seeming finality of death.  Act One is as literal — with explanations about the purpose of art that border on the tendentious — as A Fried Octopus is abstract. Act Two, however, becomes a different play from Act One, and a better one. Read more…

Now running through August 25.

In the Red and Brown Water, Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger.

 

In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

 

Bob Verini – ArtsInLA.com

It’s about time Tarell Alvin McCraney’s work was able to be seen in Los Angeles. The Brother/Sister Plays, his trilogy about indigenous backwoods Louisiana folk operating under strange and magical Yoruba and Caribbean influences, has been garnering raves on both sides of the Atlantic (he has served as a house playwright for the RSC), whether performed as a unit or, as here, one at a time with the debut of In the Red and Brown Water at the Fountain Theater. McCraney is black and gay, but his work occupies no narrow niche; it’s for and about everyone.  Read more…

 

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s poetic drama In the Red and Brown Water, now playing at The Fountain Theatre, has been extended for an additional eight weeks through to the end of February in honor of Black History Month. This play is the second part of a trilogy entitled ‘The Brother/Sister Plays.’ In this two-acter McCraney draws on West African mythology and transplants it to an urban contemporary setting to tell the tale of Oya (Diarra Kilpatrick) a young woman with vast potential as a long-distance runner. But the high-school track star puts her college dreams on hold to care for her aged and sickly mother Mama Mojo (Peggy A. Blow) – a decision that sows the seeds of disappointment throughout the rest of her life.  Read more…

 

The Blue Iris, Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger.

 

The Blue Iris by Athol Fugard.

 

David C. Nichols - Backstage

In The Blue Iris, prolific South African playwright Athol Fugard treads delicately yet resolutely through the landscape of the heart. In doing so, the venerable 80-year-old dramatist cannot help clutching at ours, as this riveting U.S. premiere demonstrates.  Read more…

 

Sharon Perlmutter - TalkinBroadway.com

It’s hard to know exactly what to make of The Blue Iris, Athol Fugard’s latest play to have its U.S. premiere at the Fountain. It’s a small, intimate piece—much more about people than South Africa. To be sure, the play’s setting, the semi-desert of the Karoo, is the play’s catalyst, if not its actual antagonist. But the play features only South Africa as an inhospitable climate, not South Africa as a sociopolitical entity. It is a household who lives here—or, more accurately, lived here—that is the focus of The Blue Iris.   Read more…

 

Bob Verini - Variety

Athol Fugard’s “The Blue Iris” is deceptively simple: A desert farmhouse, just destroyed by lightning, is picked over for its treasures and memories. But secrets lurk in the ashes, too, and in just over an hour the South African master takes us on a journey of loss with the potential to move anyone who’s ever sifted through his or her life and feared what would be dug up. This little gem gets an exemplary American premiere mounting from helmer Stephen Sachs at Fugard’s self-described artistic home out west, Hollywood’s Fountain.  Read more…

 

Terry Morgan - LAist.com

One mixed blessing about being successful is that people can no longer tell you what to do, and if they try, it’s easy to ignore them. On the one hand, pure artistic freedom is a wonderful thing, but on the other hand, sometimes people need editors and sometimes plays need rewrites. I have no way of knowing what Athol Fugard’s artistic process is these days, but his latest work, The Blue Iris, (currently in its U.S. premiere in a solid production at the Fountain Theatre) is intermittently compelling but ultimately seems undercooked.   Read more…