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Archive for Geffen Playhouse

THE CAKE at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

In this political climate, it is very easy to demonize those who think differently, particularly when their beliefs infringe on others’ rights. The right to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ community has become explosive, going all the way to the Supreme Court, where the issue has still not been resolved.
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Now running through October 21

THE UNTRANSLATABLE SECRETS OF NIKKI CORONA at the Geffen Playhouse

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Life and death have always been intertwined. People spend much of their life worrying when they will pass away, how their beliefs will protect them in the next realm, and if they’ll be able to share experiences with those who have already died.
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Now running through October 7

OUR VERY OWN CARLIN MCCULLOUGH at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Our Very Own Carlin McCullough is about a mother and a daughter and the tennis coach who comes into their lives and transforms them.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Parenting is a daunting task, one that comes with no rule book. Even when a parent, particularly a single one, desires the absolute best for a child, it’s possible to steer a kid off course. Cyn (Mamie Gummer), the harried mom raising a tennis prodigy daughter, finds herself at a crossroads in Amanda Peet’s provocative play…..
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

“Keep your heart open,” says Carlin McCullough’s tennis coach. “Be yourself.” That’s big advice for any coach to any student. But somehow this child internalizes those concepts, let alone plays like an adult.
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Now running through July 29

 

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…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Working-class men and women of color are rarely front and center in today’s media and, likewise, are presented all too occasionally on the American stage. So it’s buoying to see that trend bucked in playwright Dominique Morisseau’s percipient and well-crafted drama, Skeleton Crew. 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