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Archive for FrontiersLA – Page 2

GOD’S MAN IN TEXAS at 2nd Stage

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Media exposure to the tumult in evangelical mega-churches brought about by the clash of money, power, and ego makes David Rambo’s 1999 cautionary tale a familiar story to modern audiences. The examination of faith, conscience, and ambition is great fodder for drama.  Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Writer-director David Rambo‘s seriocomic 1999 play is about men of the cloth who experience personal soul-searching amid institutional power struggles, and this production surpasses the Geffen Playhouse’s 2002 L.A.-premiere rendition.  Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The ensconced veteran reluctant to give up the spotlight. The impatient successor nipping at his heels. This scenario has launched plots from “Paradise Lost” to “The Late Shift.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Power can be a heady drug – and when mixed with religion even headier still.   For example, can a man who perceives himself as a conduit for God’s grace easily relinquish that identity? Maybe not. Read more…

Now running through September 5.

SNEAKY OLE TIME at the Ruskin Group Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

I listen to a lot of country music (Charlie Louvin on the turntable at the moment), though for the most part I cannot abide what plays under that pretense on the radio. Most of that seems irretrievably suburban, though one imagines that’s what become of most of the actual countryside over the past half century.

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

There’s lots of flirtin’ and fussin’ and Country/Western twangin’—plus 10 characters in search of a credible plot—in this sitcom-level world-premiere musical, written byStephen Mazur. Developer-director Michael Myers’ production shoehorns in 24 existing songs by Grammy-winning tunesmith Paul Overstreet, primarily dealing with the battle of the sexes. em>Read more…

Read more.

Through September 19

LUKAS ROOM – Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater,

luka_JohnPerrinFlynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Rob Mersola‘s dicey new comedy Luka’s Room benefits from the efforts of a splendid ensemble cast under the crisp direction of Joshua Bitton.  Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

His father’s finances suddenly gone south (or perhaps merely hidden during the pendancy of his most recent divorce), 19 year old Luka Lupatelli (Nick Marini) must transfer from Arizona State to a San Fernando Valley community college and occupy the old paternal bedroom at addled Grandma Franca’s (Joanna Lipari) meager digs, across the hall from his ne’er-do-well Uncle Nick (Alex Fernandez), recently sprung from another short stint in County Jail. Read more…

Now running through Sept. 23

BENT at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Bent, playwright Martin Sherman’s revelatory 1979 play about the gay experience in Nazi concentration camps, receives an arresting production at the Mark Taper Forum. Moisés Kaufman’s direction and his stellar cast will leave audiences breathless. Read more…

Jenny Lower – LA Weekly

It’s difficult and rare to come across stories that can illuminate the Holocaust in unfamiliar ways. Bentis such a play, and at the Mark Taper Forum it’s getting its first major revival since its 1979 Broadway debut. Read more…

Bob Verini  -   Stage Raw

Martin Sherman’s Bent is one of those plays whose revival isn’t just welcome but necessary. As much as popular culture, literature and scholarship keep revisiting the causes, crimes and legacy of the Nazi era, somehow or other it seems as if interest keeps drying up in the dismal story of Germany’s appalling treatment of homosexuals. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

In this electrifying revival, Martin Sherman‘s brilliant, Tony-nominated 1979 drama, which originally starred Richard Gere, has lost none of its pertinence.

em>Read more…

Now running through August 23.

MISERABLE WITH AN OCEAN VIEW at the Whitefire Theatre

STAGE_MiserableOcean

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Howard Skora’s zany dark comedy, directed by Jim Fall, stars veteran actress Patty McCormack (who is well-remembered as an 11-year-old Oscar nominee, playing a murderous moppet in the classic 1956 thriller The Bad Seed). Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Howard Skora’s black farce is constructed like a TV sitcom, but it’s snarkier, darker, gayer, zanier, more surreal, more outrageous — and certainly funnier — than most television fare. Read more…

Now running through July 18.

ENRON at the Lex Theatre

Photo by Joanna Strapp

Photo by Joanna Strapp

 Bob Verini – Stage Raw

Most people’s command of international finance and investment, I think it’s fair to say, probably cuts not much deeper than the “Money makes the world go around” lyrics from Cabaret. Yet in telling the sorry true-life saga of the titular Houston energy giant and its catastrophic demise, Lucy Prebble’s Enron coolly takes for granted our ability to take in, not just the gist of what went down in October 2001, but its intricate details as well.  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Near the conclusion of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, a docudrama animated with puppets and choreography about the fabled demise of the $111 billion Houston energy trading company (trumpeted by Forbes for six consecutive years as a model of corporate ingenuity), the firm’s now-convicted president, Jeffrey Skilling (Skip Pipo), defiantly rationalizes his actions. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Life is somewhat of a cabaret as well as a smoking cauldron of corporate greed and fiscal catastrophe in Lucy Prebble’s sardonic 2010 British play, now in its L.A. premiere.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The political satire Enron spells out how one of the largest energy companies in the world toppled in 2001 due to accounting fraud. Employing musical comedy techniques and puppets, writer Lucy Prebble and director August Viverito mix a spoonful of sugar into repulsive subject matter. Read more…

 Now running through June 28.

SIGHT UNSEEN at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The most interesting scene in this production of Donald Margulies’s 1992 play involves an encounter between Jonathan (Jason Weiss), a successful Jewish-American painter having a much-touted exhibition in London, and Grete (Casey McKinnon), an art journalist of German extraction who is interviewing him. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

The career of accomplished playwright Donald Margulies (Dinner with Friends, Collected Stories) first kicked into high gear with this 1992 Obie-winning dramedy, which explores pretensions of the arts world alongside the specter of anti-Semitism. This revisit to the vintage work, directed by Nicole Dominguez, seems less focused than one might hope, despite capable efforts from the four-member cast. em>Read more…

Now running through April 26.

THE OTHER PLACE at The Road on Magnolia

Photo by Michelle Young

Photo by Michelle Young

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Like many plays that deal with our mortality, those about dementia can be extraordinarily affecting. They speak to a loss of self nearly as complete and devastating as our physical demise. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The first glimmer of it comes on a Friday. They’ve flown me to St. Thomas, some private golf resort, I pretend I’m giving a lecture but really it’s another sales pitch, I used to be enthralled by my new life, but the blush has come off the rose.”

Now running through April 11.

 

LUCY LAWLESS PLAYS EVIL IN NEW PANTO PRODUCTION OF ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’

Photo by Michael Rozman

Photo by Michael Rozman

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Gifted New Zealand-based actress Lucy Lawless, known for her larger-than-life television roles, steps into yet another this December, courtesy of the Pasadena Playhouse. In the theater’s annual holiday season panto extravaganza, Sleeping Beauty and Her Winter Knight, the gay-favorite actress—who triumphed locally as ball-busting prison matron Mama Morton in the Hollywood Bowl’s Chicago last year—is playing the evil fairy Carabosse. Read more…

THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? AT THE LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Ann Noble gives a magnificent performance in Edward Albee’s absurd drama The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?, now playing at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre.

Ostensibly a study of the irreparable destruction of a perfect marriage, Albee softens us up with his dry humor and jokey lines swirling around a premise, and then charts the disintegration.

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Though “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is generally considered Edward Albee’s masterpiece, his 2002 scorcher “The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?” is a galvanizing work of timeless resonance. In a taut 90 minutes, Albee’s pitch-black comedy explores taboos of sexuality to challenge our notions of morality and social acceptance.

There’s sharp relevance to gay social issues, alongside far more expansive implications. A seemingly idyllic yuppie household implodes when architect Martin (Paul Witten) admits he is having a most unusual extramarital affair, sending his sophisticated and upbeat wife, Stevie (Ann Noble), and gay teenage son (Spencer Morrissey) into emotional tailspins.
Meanwhile his meddlesome best friend, Ross (Matt Kirkwood), is flabbergasted. Noble’s explosive performance is shattering, and Witten matches her brilliance with his multi-shaded portrayal while Morrissey and Kirkwood offer excellent support. The design effort is exemplary. The LGBT Center’s mesmerizing rendition, astutely produced by Jon Imparato, shimmers with intelligence, daring and artistry.

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Edward Albee meant it literally when he subtitled The Goat or, Who is Sylvia as “notes towards a definition of tragedy.”

Tragedy, in Greek, means goat story. Scholars aren’t sure how the word and the animal came to be linked: whether goats were the prize given at the annual playwriting contest held in ancient Athens, or whether the creature was part of an attendant sacrificial ceremony for Dionysus. Or something else. Read more…

Now running through Nov. 23.

MICHAEL URIE: FUNNY GIRL MEETS FUNNY GUY IN BUYER AND CELLAR at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Joan Marcus

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Michael Urie, beloved for his smartly nuanced portrayal of Marc St. James, the conniving assistant to diva magazine editor Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams) in the hit sitcom Ugly Betty, is bringing his latest career breakthrough vehicle to L.A. this month. There’s a heaping helping of Barbra Streisand-aimed satire amid an evening’s worth of solo Urie in the hit off-Broadway comedy Buyer and Cellar. Read more…

Now playing through August 17.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at the Let Live Theatre

Earnest 6

Photo By Teena Pugliese

 

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

A new theatre company called Queer Classics lives up to its name with its unabashedly gay adaptation of the classic Oscar Wilde farce The Importance of Being Earnest, premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. As with most of Wilde’s plays, there is something intrinsically queer about the sensibility of the original 1895 script, even though the characters were heterosexual. Read more…