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Archive for International City Theatre

UNCANNY VALLEY at International City Theatre

Photo by Steven Georges

Photo by Steven Georges

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright Thomas Gibbons says the title of this play refers to the feeling that people have when they’re confronted with a very realistic robot: a feeling of fascination. He adds, “But the more realistic the robot becomes, at some point that fascination turns to a kind of revulsion. They’re creeped out, and that effect is called the ‘uncanny valley.’” Read more…

Now running through May 7

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at International City Theatre.

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Three great characters of classic dramatic literature don’t exactly appear in Christopher Durang’s tender comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” But they inspire the personalities and circumstances of the play, and show us what’s in a name, in this production from Long Beach’s International City Theatre. Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Stage Happenings

Any theater aficionado can tell you that Anton Chekhov was one of the world’s leading playwrights. Born in Russia in the last half of the 19th-Century, he lived in poverty with an abusive father–in a, controlling country with a rigid class structure–until he put himself though medical school and became a doctor. With a  humanitarian outlook on life, Chekhov helped those in need during the day; and wrote his impressions of life as he knew it at night. Read more…

Now running through July 3

CLOSER THAN EVER at International City Theatre

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

The musical revue “Closer Than Ever” makes a lovely evening for folks who don’t want to be asked to dig into the meaning of songs, who prefer messages told simply. The music, too, though it has more than a few tinges of dissonance, doesn’t tax the listener.

Read more…

Now running through March 6

FENCES at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

August Wilson’s plays are as much about the historical experience of African-Americans as they are about any one of his characters. This is certainly true of Fences, which begins in 1957, a year marked by federal troops on the ground in Arkansas and the forced desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

You’ve got to take the crookeds with the straights,” says the disillusioned protagonist of “Fences” at International City Theatre. That observation indicates the multiple conflicts running through the late, great August Wilson’s 1987 study of a former Negro League player turned garbage collector battling prejudice, regrets and mortality. Read more…

Dany Margolies – Press-Telegram

Fences can keep people out and fences can keep people in. Fences separate races and generations. But for Troy Maxson, they also represent goals not reached and, for as long as he can manage, a barrier to death. Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

If you’re a theater fan, you undoubtedly know that August Wilson, set out to write a 10-cycle play about the African-American experience — with one for each decade of the 20th Century.`Read more…

Now running through September 13.

 

THE HEIR APPARENT at International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center

Photo by Susan Mapes

Photo by Susan Mapes

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Struggles over inheritance are always painful — unless, of course, they take place in a French farce, in which case they are endlessly prankish and ribald. Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

David Ives’s“translaptation” of Jean-Francois Regnard’s 1708 farce The Heir Apparent (Le Legataire Universel), at International City Theatre, also involves a gathering to squabble over inheritance, only this time the corpse-to-be remains very much alive….Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Most people have never heard of French playwright Jean-Francois Regnard. Yet in his day, his work was compared to (and as popular as) the legendary comedies of Moliere — whose name is synonymous with the genre. Read more…

Now running through July 12.

END OF THE RAINBOW at International City Theatre

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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Some years before Judy Garland’s death, she appeared at a star-studded benefit for the Actors Studio in New York, alongside Carole Channing, Ava Gardner, Shelley Winters and Josephine Premice — and Judy’s children, including Liza Minelli. Judy wore a black satin evening suit, which emphasized her matchstick legs, the result of years of abuse of drugs and alcohol. Read more…

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Great talent is often accompanied by great torment. Judy Garland’s life was filled with frequent affairs, failed marriages, suicide attempts, and professional struggles even as she was declared by many to be the world’s greatest entertainer. Read more…

Now playing through March 15.

TRYING at International City Theatre

TRY

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

A theatrical reminiscence by Joanna McClelland Glass about a time when she served as secretary to Judge Francis Biddle gets a standout production at International City Theatre. Its casting choices—Tony Abatemarco playing Biddle, Paige Lindsey White as his assistant Sarah “with an h”—make the very literate and demanding script a thoughtful and intimate view of two people whose lives are changing. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

In “Trying,” now in a beautifully acted revival at Long Beach’s International City Theatre, the playwright Joanna McClelland Glass dramatizes the year she spent as secretary to Judge Francis Biddle in 1967-68. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In 1967, when she was just 24 years old, playwright Joanna McClelland Glass took a job as secretary to Judge Francis Biddle, who was nearing the end of a long and illustrious career. He was one of “the Philadelphia Biddles,” whose ancestors arrived in America in 1681. Read more…

Now running through Sept 14.

OTHER DESERT CITIES at International City Theatre

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

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Photo by Suzanne Mapes

In one of the famous lines from The Godfather, Don Corleone tells his eldest son, “Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking again.” The don would have burst a gut if he had seen what Brooke Wyeth, the protagonist of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, has written about her family in her soon-to-be published memoirs. International City Theatre’s new production is a poignant, provocative rendering with a first-class cast. Read more…

Now running through June 29.

 

 

 

 

 

LET’S MISBEHAVE at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Jonas Schwartz – ArtsInLA

Let’s Misbehave culls many of Cole Porter’s hits and some of his rarities to create a surprisingly touching love triangle. A winning cast of three takes what could have just been a revue of hit-parade songs and makes the audience believe these songs are originating from the characters’ hearts.  Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

If you’ve ever left a Cole Porter musical feeling that you haven’t heard quite enough Cole Porter songs, then Long Beach’s International City Theatre may have the antidote: “Let’s Misbehave: A New Cole Porter Musical,” in its lushly executed California premiere.

That subtitle is coy: The songs are old, and Karin Bowersock’s book, about a love triangle among three friends, is a not so much a musical as a sequence of clever pretexts for working in those songs: 34 in all, newly arranged by Patrick Young.  Read more…

Now running through February 16.

DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER at International City Theatre

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

For all the purported sexual sophistication attributed to the French, Marc Camoletti’s cheeky farce about a married couple’s “liaisons dangereuses” at a French country house is less daring and more conventional than one might expect. Still, its romantic machinations make for amusing moments.
Read more…

Now running through November 3.

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Photo by Suzanne Mapes

 

RED at International City Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Red

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

It might be deduced, knowing painter Mark Rothko’s iconoclastic nature, that he might not applaud the news that a recent Christie’s auction of paintings included one by him that sold for $86.9 million. Considered one of the great postwar modern artists, in the latter years of his life he grew increasingly disturbed by the collector who wanted his work as a conquest, acquiring it as a trophy rather than for what meaning might be gleaned from it.
Read more…

Now running through September 15.

 

 

 

 

 

Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

John Logan’s Tony-winning play looks at the life and work of abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, a soldier in the art wars of the 20th century who helped to kill cubism and surrealism. In the play’s now, circa 1958-59, Rothko (Tony Abatemarco) is feeling threatened by the new generation of Pop artists, including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, who seem bent on killing abstract expressionism.
Read more…

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

Like almost everyone at opening-night, we were captivated by International City Theatre’s production of “Red” from the very beginning. So please forgive my use of the titular “we,” as I relate some personal history that’s relevant to this award-winning work before I start my review.
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Dead Man’s Cell Phone at International City Theatre

 Melinda Schupman – ArtsInLA

Sarah Ruhl’s slightly daffy but contemplative play takes a shot at our cell phone culture while examining human connections and the nature of love. Jean (Alina Phelan) is sitting in a cafe, ostensibly working on something, when a cell phone at the next table rings over and over, interrupting her concentration. Finally, she rises to encourage the man at the table to answer it. The problem is, he’s dead, and, in Ruhl’s world, a phone demands to be answered.
Read more…

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

International City Theatre opened “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” last Friday, and it’s a winner across the board. Written by Sarah Ruhl in 2007, it walked away with the Helen Hayes Award for the Best New Play, and with Richard Isreal’s astute direction, it’s easy to see why.
Read more…