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Archive for LA Weekly – Page 2

ARCHDUKE at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – OnStage

Most people know about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the event historically seen as the inciting incident of World War I. But what do we really know about the assassins? In Archduke, a new play by Rajiv Joseph currently making its world premiere at Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, we look at the weeks leading up to the 1914 assassination and the unlikely path of a few young men who are recruited into terrorism at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

What drives a young person to commit an act of terror? Is he propelled by his own volition or are there other, more sinister individuals or forces pulling the strings?

Now running through June 4

 

KISS at the Odyssey Theatre

Kiss_8

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

I have always been a proponent of good political theatre, not agitprop theatre such as written by Italian playwright Dario Fo. I prefer political writing that is more balanced like the great teleplays that David E. Kelley wrote for L.A. Law…Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón sets his play in the apartment of a young woman named Hadeel (Kristin Couture), who is hosting a soap-opera watching party for her friends. Read more…

Photo by  Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Kiss, directed by Bart DeLorenzo at the Odyssey Theatre, Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón explores the gap (one might say chasm) in perspective between people who live in a war-free society (ourselves, at least for now), and those trapped in the horrors of war who are subject to atrocities committed by vile men, like Syria’s Assad. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Critics have been asked to not give away the plot of this play. Out of respect to the theater, the work’s playwright, and its director, most of us won’t. But good luck to anyone who tries to describe the work and the potent sensations it induces. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Both in theater and in life, things are often not what they seem to be. The power of perspective is a strong influence in Kiss, a play by Guillermo Calderón currently in its west coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre. Read more…

Now running through June 18

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

 

SUPPER at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by  Eric Neil Guttierez

Photo by Eric Neil Guttierez

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In the program notes for Supper, Phinneas Kiyomura remarks that his play about four right-wing billionaire brothers is not about the Koch brothers. But you could have fooled me. Read more…

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

The clan on display in Phinneas Kiyomura’s bleak comedy brings to mind that familiar adage of Tolstoy’s about unhappy families being unhappy in their own way. Read more…

Now running through May 20

ADAM AND EVIE at City Garage

Photo by Paul Rubenstein

Photo by Paul Rubenstein

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

While I’m not familiar with all — or even most — of Charles Mee’s work, it’s a safe bet that Adam and Evie, directed by Frédérique Michel at City Garage, is one of his gentler, sweeter plays. Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Love is madness, just as it is unique and self-contained. The way you fall in love with your beloved will be different from the way Joe Shmoe across the way falls in love. Playwright Charles L. Mee understands this, and so does his interpreter, director Frederique Michel, evidenced in this sweet, if tepidly involving production which strives to depict the nature and essence of romantic attachment.     Read more…

Now running through April 24

 

 

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Antaeus Theatre Company

Steven C. Kemp

Steven C. Kemp

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Antaeus Theatre Company inaugurates their lovely new Glendale performance space with this tremendously stylish production of Tennessee Williams’ family drama. The play tells the story of a desperate woman named Maggie (the “cat” of the title) her depressed alcoholic husband Brick, and the battle for the estate of Brick’s father, the intimidating Big Daddy. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?” While the cat’s case is less clear, there are many victories to be found in Antaeus Theatre Company’s take on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which marks the inaugural production at their beautiful new home….Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Tennessee Williams’ 1955 potboiler Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has more than one story to tell, and in the premiere performance I saw last week, directed by Cameron Watson at Antaeus Theatre Company’s new digs in Glendale, it was Big Daddy’s story that captivated my attention.   Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams are considered by most to be the three foremost American playwrights of the 20th Century. Of that trio, Mr. Williams has always been my particular favorite. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Like an abandoned lover, the double bed at the center of Brick and Maggie’s bedroom seems to writhe and cry out in loneliness, in Antaeus Theatre Company’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

The Antaeus Theatre Company production of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a handsome production and extremely well acted (this review is of The Buttered Biscuits cast), but unfortunately the play itself feels extremely dated. The characters are often one-note in their misery and the dialogue is tediously repetitive. Read more…

 

 

Now running through May 7

 

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

CA4

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

hed 2

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