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Archive for Geffen Playhouse

SKELETON CREW at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The mockery of the American dream lies at the heart of Skeleton Crew, where trade workers invest their lives in a company that easily turns its back on them. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Project trilogy, Skeleton Crew reflects a distant past……Read more…

Now running through July 8

SIGNIFICANT OTHER at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, now playing at the Geffen Playhouse, explores friendship as a buffer, a support system, and a crutch when navigating the precarious world of love. Often funny, the comedy will remind audiences of their own singlehood, past or present. Unfortunately….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What a lovely protagonist Jordan Berman is. Sure, he’s a little too chatty and perhaps a touch too insecure, but he’s honest, caring, bright and perceptive. And he has a delightful sense of humor.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” That seems to be the fate of nebbish-y Jordan Berman (Will Von Vogt) in Joshua Harmon’s very funny and intuitive play, Significant Other, being given a first-rate production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Watching Significant Other is something of a sadomasochistic experience for single people. I mean that in the best possible way. Joshua Harmon’s play achieves a singular sense of catharsis, which is no small feat.
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Now running through May 6

SELL/BUY/DATE at the Geffen Playhouse

a sell buy

Chris Whitaker

Margaret Gray – LA Times

The writer and actress Sarah Jones is gorgeous, about 8 feet tall (at least it seems that way) and rail thin, with a wide mane of hair. When she walks onstage at the Geffen Playhouse, where she is performing her one-woman show “Sell/Buy/Date” through April 15, it’s impossible to imagine her hiding in plain sight.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In her solo play, Sell/Buy/Date, Sarah Jones exposes the exploitation of women with 20/20 vision. By setting the play in the far future, where a professor looks back at the dystopian reality that our modern planet could be journeying toward, she allows the audience to see every perspective.
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Now running through April 15

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Darja, the lonely, unfulfilled antihero of Ironbound, at the Geffen Playhouse, grants actor Marin Ireland a showcase for her vast talents. In lesser hands, Darja, a woman who seems to live only to survive, is a character that could turn off audiences, but Ireland finds Darja’s unsinkable core and hooks us along with it.
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Now running through March 4

CHASING MEM’RIES at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The individual elements may be among the best, but that’s not always sufficient to construct a worthy piece of theater.

Take, for example, “Chasing Mem’ries,” subtitled “A Different Kind of Musical,” in its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse through Dec. 17. It boasts lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, whose astonishingly prodigious work, if you’re of a certain age, may have formed a soundtrack of your life.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Josh Ravetch’s Chasing Mem’ries, receiving its World Premiere at The Geffen Playhouse, is subtitled “A different kind of musical”. It definitely is different in that none of the three cast members actually sings a song—instead they talk sing their way through like Rex Harrison did in My Fair Lady.
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Now running through December 17

UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL at the Geffen Playhouse

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It seems Arye Gross hasn’t aged well. As the actor emerges onstage at the Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, he puffs and sweats and walks creakily.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The biggest mystery of Underneath the Lintel is how the unspectacular quest for the late fees of a 113-year-old past due library book could make for such a riveting evening. Playwright Glen Berger turns this minuscule task into a reflection of the human experience and the desperation to find meaning in an unfulfilled life.
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Now running through November 19

 

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY at the Geffen Playhouse

 

(© Chris Whitaker)

(© Chris Whitaker)

Jonas Schwartz –  TheaterMania

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City tosses around the word “funny” often. Besides landing in the title itself, the characters constantly tell others they are funny, declare that they themselves are funny, and attempt funny jokes….Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The title of the latest show at Westwood’s Geffen Playhouse is unwieldy and less than truthful. It sets the audience up for as much disappointment as its prime character, Karla, seems to have faced for much of her life. Read more…

Now running through September 30

LETTERS FROM A NUT at the Geffen Playhouse

 

(Photo by Chris Whitaker)

(Photo by Chris Whitaker)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

At the height of the Vietnam War, Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist,  a periodical with anarchist leanings, sent a copy of his notorious “Fuck Communism” poster to Senator Bob Dole. In response, he received a reply saying, “Thank you for your suggestion. You can be sure It will receive serious consideration.” This disconnect suggests the essence of writer/performer’s humor.      Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Remember The Jerky Boys, practical jokers who harassed unsuspecting dupes on the telephone in the 1990s? Stand-up comedian Ted Nancy (nom de plume of Barry Marder) has made a career of reviving that art. Now he has turned his life’s work into a performance-art piece.
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Now running through July 30

CONSTELLATIONS at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Constellations, the character piece by Nick Payne that is now playing in a new production at the Geffen Playhouse, requires a talented cast to succeed. The expansive themes of love in an ever-expanding cosmos, the jarring sequencing of the moments, and their repetition could turn audiences off quickly.    Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

She’s a quantum physicist, he’s a beekeeper. They meet at a barbecue. It’s a tale as old as time…but, what exactly is the meaning of time?
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

He was in “Downton Abbey,” she was on “Big Love” and “Once Upon a Time.” Now Ginnifer Goodwin and Allen Leech have taken to the stage, starring in English playwright Nick Payne’s “Constellations” at the Geffen Playhouse.Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This intriguing play by British playwright Nick Payne centers on an unlikely love affair between beekeeper Roland (Allen Leech) and quantum physicist Marianne (Gennifer Goodwin), but it doesn’t proceed in the expected ways.
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Now running through July 23

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

THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo  by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

It is one of the age-old theater questions: Can a performance rise the level of a so-so script, adding depth missing from the dialogue and characterizations? Broadway actor Matt McGrath proves the answer can be yes in The Legend of Georgia McBride, a comedy, now playing at the Geffen, about drag queens in a run-down bar in the Florida Panhandle. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The Legend of Georgia McBride is one of those rare charmers, a sweet story about nice people that manages to be neither syrupy nor cloying. Directed by Mike Donahue at the Geffen Playhouse, the production features a strong ensemble that brings heft and heart to a very amiable comedy. Read more…

 Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

They say clothes make the man. In “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” women’s clothes certainly turn a childlike lad into a maturing gentleman. Still, Matthew Lopez’s play, enjoying its West Coast premiere at Geffen Playhouse, reminds us that our true selves are who we are at heart, having nothing to do with our outer adornments. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Can an Elvis Impersonator reinvent himself as a drag queen? Better yet, can an impoverished married straight man with a child on the way become a successful star drag act? Upon this thin premise hangs Matthew Lopez’s hilariously outrageous The Legend of Georgia McBride at The Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Now running through May 31

 

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Photo by Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

Mary Tyrone is the female Hamlet. She’s a role that measures an actress’ stamina, talent, and resourcefulness. No wonder many top-echelon actresses such as Jessica Lange, Katharine Hepburn, and Vanessa Redgrave jump at the role. This time, it’s Jane Kaczmarek who takes on the challenge….Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

With a running time of three hours and 20 minutes, including an intermission, this theatrical experience really is a long haul. Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical four-act drama charts the dysfunction that permeates the Tyrone family— James and Mary and their sons Edmund and Jamie.  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

“I was so healthy before Edmund was born,” says matriarch Mary Tyrone in playwright Eugene O’Neill’s epic “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” considered a masterpiece of American theater of any era.   Read more…

Now running through March 18