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Archive for LA Weekly – Page 2

THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE: REVISITED at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Photo by Ken Sawyer

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It’s been a familiar gambit for some time for actors to take a famous play and turn it into a one-person show ‑ essaying all the roles to display his or her virtuosity — but I’d never heard of the reverse being done until now. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Gently but pointedly reminding all of us that we are strikingly alike in so many ways are the Los Angeles LGBT Center and its production of “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited.” Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Much but not all of Jane Wagner’s astute and witty take on modern American life circa the 1980s is preserved in this engaging multi-performer adaptation directed by Ken Sawyer at the L.A. LGBT Center. Read more…

Now running through December 11

 

SIAMESE SEX SHOW at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Siamese Sex Show is one of those offbeat musicals where it doesn’t seem to matter that one or two plot threads are a little hard to follow. The choreography by April Thomas is so exuberant, the costumes by Michael Mullen are so fanciful, and the story and spectacle so deliciously weird that a bit of confusion about the narrative can readily be dismissed as not all that significant. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Donald Trump has repeatedly been accused of vulgarizing our public discourse with his abusive attacks on women, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, the disabled, and anybody else who doesn’t share his high opinion of himself. And the charges are most certainly borne out by the facts. But there’s one thing Trump has remarked on which is all too true: he hasn’t said anything that hasn’t already been said by rappers and hip-hop artists. Read more…

Now running through November 13

CHARM at Celebration Theatre at The Lex

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Photo by Matthew Brian Denman

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Anyone who’s been a teacher or who’s been otherwise charged with supervising troubled adolescents will understand straight off the problems facing Mama Darlin (Lana Houston), the beguiling nub of Philip Dawkins’ compelling Charm. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

A charm school for transvestites? It sounds like an odd premise for a serious piece of theatre, conjuring up images of endless camp and in-jokes. But Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins is angling for bigger fish, and his efforts pay off in this provocative piece, based on real events that happened in the Windy City. Read more…

Now running through October 23

PLEASE DON’T ASK ABOUT BECKET at Sacred Fools Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

What is to be done with the prodigals and the fuckups, those we love in spite of logic, those who will likely never change but instead haunt us for the rest of our lives? Everybody knows someone like this, and it’s heartbreaking not knowing what to do. Wendy Graf’s Please Don’t Ask About Becket movingly depicts how a family deals with this situation over decades, showing how some tragedies never really end. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The prodigal child is a staple of family drama, in theater as in life. It’s a conflict that affects families at all income levels, although we probably hear more stories from the middle and upper classes (perhaps because they’re more ready or able to articulate their pain). Read more…

Now running through September 18

D DEB DEBBIE DEBORAH at Theatre of NOTE

Photo by Troy Blendell

Photo by Troy Blendell

Margaret Gray – LA Times

From the title of Jerry Lieblich’s play “D Deb Debbie Deborah,” I was ready for an exploration of the fluidity of identity, perhaps at different stages of a woman’s life. But in this West Coast premiere at Theatre of Note in Hollywood, the blurring of selfhood cuts a lot deeper than names. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Jerry Lieblich’s cryptic play D Deb Debbie Deborah, a young urbanite begins questioning both the nature of reality and her own sanity when the physical features of both her lover and her employer — their height, weight, hair color, the whole kit and caboodle — alter radically, again and again, over a short space of time. Read more…

Now running through September 17

BLUEPRINT FOR PARADISE at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

There was a time when gas was eleven cents a gallon, a new car might run you a thousand dollars, average wages were under two thousand dollars a year, and thousands of unsuspecting American citizens deemed unfit and undesirable were forcibly sterilized by the government…..Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Blueprint for Paradise is reminiscent of those 1940s anti-Nazi films in which a superficially charming man with a German accent plots to infiltrate America — but at the last minute is thwarted by brave noble citizens and/or the FBI. (I can’t put my finger on the exact name of the film or films, only that recollections of such linger from my childhood.) Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Laurel M. Wetzork’s intriguing and unusual idea for a play falters, largely but not exclusively because of flawed direction, in its world premiere at Hudson Mainstage in Hollywood. Read more…

Now running through September 4

AJAX IN IRAQ at Greenway Court Theatre

Photo by Sean Deckert

Photo by Sean Deckert

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Ellen McLaughlin’s Ajax in Iraq is a bruising play, an often painful-to-watch drama that serves as a reminder of the toll war takes on body, mind and spirit. Read more…

Now running through August 14

right left with heels at City Garage at Bergamot Station

Photo byy Paul Rubenstein

Photo by Paul Rubenstein

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In the fantastical right left with heels, Polish playwright Sebastian Majewski reflects on grim historical events as observed by a pair of shoes once owned by the wife of Joseph Goebbels. Black high-heel pumps with “attitude” they reek of tart sexuality and a sense of privilege. Read more…

Now running through August 14

BAD JEWS at Theatre of NOTE

SONY DSC

Photo by Caity Ware

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The relative from hell: Surely every family has one. It’s the person who talks nonstop, who has zero tolerance for other people’s points of view, who perceives her own needs as trumping every other problem on the horizon. Read more…

Now running through July 24

BLUE SKY at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The marital problems of an upper-middle-class couple (with particular focus on the vague discontent of an adulterous wife) are the stuff of soap opera.   Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Broadway director John Rando brings the witty comedy Big Sky to the Geffen with a talented cast and a script that plays on conventions of the 1980s, but reflects how times have not changed when it comes to American’s obsession with wealth above all. Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

A family faces a confluence of crises during an Aspen blizzard. Making its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse is playwright Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros’ dramedy Big Sky, directed by John Rando. It’s a lively work, full of relatable, if affluent (at least at first glance) white characters, who are definitely privileged.  Read more…

Now running through July 17

HEDDDA GABLER at the Antaeus Theatre Company

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Photo by Karianne Flaathen

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

If you’re someone who usually dismisses 19th-century theater classics as stuffy and stiff, you might want to reconsider and go see Hedda Gabler at Antaeus Theatre Company, where Jaimi Paige delivers a mesmerizing performance as the beautiful and manipulative title character. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Who is Hedda Gabler? Of course she’s the crux of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1891 play. But who is she, deep down? Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Heinrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler remains a titanic creation that still demarcates the theater’s passage into modernity. Its protagonist is the embodiment of contradiction, from the diamond-like clarity of her individuality to her ultimately inscrutable motives.    Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

When Ibsen’s thoroughly modern drama was first staged in Munich in 1891, the response from the critics was damning. They almost universally decried the play, declaring it was a presentation of a monster whereas the art of theater was supposed to elevate and refine. Read more…

Now running through July 17

THE ENGINE OF OUR RUIN at the Victory Theatre Center

Photo by Tim Sullens

Photo by Tim Sullens

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

There’s been no shortage of political satires on local stages, but all too many of them have been broad, obvious and stridently partisan. Jason Wells’ black farce, here receiving its world premiere production, is several cuts above the rest. It’s literate, sophisticated, hip, hilariously funny and relatively free of political bias. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

The Engine of Our Ruin, now having its world premiere at the Victory Theatre Center under the direction of Maria Gobetti, is a wildly uneven comedy. Written by Jason Wells, it runs the gamut from your basic physical farce (better-hide-in-the-closet-because-you’re-drunk-and-the-boss-is-coming sort of thing) to a thoughtful, if somewhat wordy, satiric take on international diplomacy. Read more…

Now running through June 26