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Archive for LA Weekly

GOOD GRIEF at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Ngozi Anyanwu stars in the first play she wrote herself, “Good Grief,” in its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. She plays Nkechi, a medical-school dropout who has returned to her childhood home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, after the accidental death of a friend plunges her into intense mourning that, family and friends suggest, is becoming self-indulgent. Read more…

Erin Conley – OnStage

“Tell me a story. Something that’s true, something that’s false, something that seems familiar. Something that sounds like it could be true.” This line really encapsulates the simultaneously realistic and dreamlike feeling of Good Grief, a world premiere play written by and starring Ngozi Anyanwu, now playing at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In the preface to her extraordinarily eloquent play Good Grief, Ngozi Anyanwu tells us that it takes place between 1992 and 2005 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania — and also “at the beginning of time … and the future.”  Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Our pasts cannot be changed. We can try to relive them, but in reality all we store in our memories is our reactions to them. These ideas thread through “Good Grief,” …… Read more…

Now running through March 26

 

CANNIBALS ALONE at The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown

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Photo by Lonni Silverman

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Steph Deferie’s Cannibals Alone bears the surface markings of a timely dystopian drama, with an all-female cast of tough characters you wouldn’t want to mess with. The feminist angle is commendable; otherwise, the play lacks cogency and reeks of bad TV melodrama of the sci-fi variety. Read more…

Now running through March 5

 

KING HEDLEY II at the Matrix Theatre

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Photo by Oliver Bokelberg

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

August Wilson’s King Hedley II takes place in the 1980s when Reaganomics, and the notion that wealth trickles down from the rich to the poor, was the hypothetical order of the day. The reality, of course, is that no such trickling took place; the poor, black and white, grew poorer than ever, a circumstance we see in the struggle of Wilson’s title character to earn a living for himself and his family, and to garner, against odds, some measure of self-respect.    Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by the late August Wilson is part of his 10-play series about the black experience in each of the decades of the 20th century. This one is set in the 1980s. The title character, King Hedley II (Esau Pritchett), is a proud but thwarted black man, whose face is bisected by a livid scar, the result of a razor attack.   Read more…

Now running through February 12

THE FOUND DOG RIVER DANCE at the Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In the opening scene of The Found Dog Ribbon Dance, a world premiere play by Dominic Finocchiaro currently being presented by the Echo Theater Company, a man wearing a Lucha mask uses a webcam to record himself dancing, with ribbons, of course, to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

This production of Dominic Finocchiaro’s The Found Dog River Dance wants to be wry and whimsical and deeply revelatory, but succeeds only fractionally, especially with the revelatory part.

Read more…

Now running through February 26

THE LAST VIG at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The Last Vig is billed as a show starring Burt Young, the Academy Award-nominated actor who played Paulie in the Rocky series. Unfortunately, Young’s performance is one of many big problems in the show, which plays through February 19 at the Zephyr Theatre. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Mobsters, especially Italian ones, are as much a part of American folklore as cowboys. Writer/director David Varriale capitalizes on our fascination with them in this character-driven dramedy:    Read more…

Now running through February 19

THE KING AND I at the Pantages Theatre

Photo by Matthhew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

The production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King & I that won four Tony Awards, including Best Revival, in 2015 has made its way to Los Angeles just in time for the holidays.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The King and I was the fifth collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II, following their classics Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and their flop Allegro.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The national tour of director Bartlett Sher’s revival of The King and I, now making a stop at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, is scrumptiously produced, a visual feast worthy of the exotic musical. Read more…

F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times

Twentieth-century French literary maven François Mauriac once observed, “If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Anna and the King of Siam first emerged in popular culture in 1944 as a novel by Margaret Langdon, which she based on the memoirs (now considered suspect) of Anna Harriette Leonowens, a British widow who taught English in the court of the King of Siam between 1862 and 1867. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In mid-Victorian days, a Siamese king and an English activist-educator came together in a clash of cultures. That pairing inspired memoirs, then a novel, then films and stage musicals. Read more…

Now running through January 21

THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Loft Ensemble Theatre

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Photo by Shane Tometich

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Writers and directors are famously at odds, and there is perhaps no more celebrated example than the clash between Anton Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski over The Cherry Orchard…… Read more…

Now running through January 15

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN NOVEMBER ON THE BANKS OF THE GREATEST OF THE GREAT LAKES at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Troy Blendell

Photo by Troy Blendell

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Kate Benson’s A Beautiful Day in November On the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes takes place on Thanksgiving and revolves around a family’s collective preparation of the traditional holiday meal.  Read more…

Now running through December 11

ICEBERGS at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch Photography

Jeff Lorch Photography

Margaret Gray – LA Times

During Alena Smith’s play “Icebergs,” in its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, thirtysomething screenwriter Calder (Nate Corddry) sets up an air mattress in his Silver Lake living room for a visiting friend.     Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Isolation and tribalism, art and commerce, privacy and over-sharing, global warming and geological cycles, commitment and divorce, parental frustration and parental adoration, instability and inevitability. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

A screenwriter must choose between preserving the integrity of his story or changing it to please a box-office star. A career-minded actress must decide between having the baby she and her husband presumably long for or pursuing her profession. Read more…

Now running through December 18

URINETOWN at the Historic Lankershim Arts Center

Photo by Nardeep Khurmi

Photo by Nardeep Khurmi

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

It is a terrible thing for a theater critic to admit, but I’d never seen this scabrously funny Tony Award-winning musical, about the price put on the most fundamental of bodily functions, before attending the Coeurage Theatre Company’s fresh and sprightly production.    Read more…

Now running through February 25

THE MODEL APARTMENT at the Geffen Playhouse

Model Apt

(Photo by Jeff Lorch Photography)

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

The Geffen Playhouse has had a fruitful relationship with playwright Donald Margulies, resulting in memorable productions such as Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Dinner with Friends and Collected Stories. It’s only natural the theatre would want to continue this successful streak, which leads to the current revival of Margulies’ earlier work, The Model Apartment. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The story of an elderly couple and their efforts to elude the past, The Model Apartment — now running at the Geffen Playhouse — unfolds with subtlety and surprise. It’s one of those poignant dramas about “little” people that lingers after the final curtain. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz – TheaterMania

Anchored by actress Marilyn Fox’s exquisite portrayal of a retiree trying to keep her family together, The Model Apartment is a stirring evening. The talented four-person ensemble draws the audience into this tragic and relatable drama at Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

It’s impossible to share impressions about “The Model Apartment” without revealing its plot points. But the mood it creates and the feelings it stirs up can’t be spoiled by spoilers. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

In one of his early plays, Donald Margulies examines how one couple’s best laid plans for their twilight years become dismantled when they fail to reconcile properly with the past. Read more…

Now running through November 20

UNDERNEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Irish playwright-performer Pat Kinevane returns to the Odyssey Theater with a new piece that explores “life lived on the fringes of society.” Kinevane’s previous works, Forgotten and Silent, were performed at the Odyssey in 2011 and 2012, and with Underneath, the third piece in the trilogy, he brings us a very unconventional ghost story, cleverly directed by Jim Culleton, just in time for Halloween. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Underneath, a one-person show by Irish playwright/performer Pat Kinevane, should be seen for the poetry and poignancy of its story and the brilliant stagecraft that enhances it. Read more…

Now running through October 30