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Archive for Matrix Theatre

A GREAT WILDERNESS by Rogue Machine at The Matrix Theatre

John-Perrin-Flynn and Jeffrey-Delfin in A Great Wilderness. Photo by Alex Neher.

John-Perrin-Flynn and Jeffrey-Delfin in A Great Wilderness. Photo by Alex Neher.

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

In my experience, ninety percent of the time that there’s an issue with a theatrical production, the problem is the play itself. It’s surprisingly rare for the main trouble to be with the acting or direction or design. And so it is with Samuel D. Hunter’s A Great Wilderness. I’ve enjoyed other works by Hunter, such as Pocatello or The Whale, but Wilderness has major structural issues that derail whatever impact it might have had. Rogue Machine’s Los Angeles premiere benefits from a strong lead performance by producing artistic director John Perrin Flynn and a handsome set but ultimately can’t transcend the unfocused writing. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

One of the marks of playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s work is how skillfully he portrays people who lead lives in desperate isolation. In A Great Wilderness, produced by Rogue Machine at the Matrix Theatre, that scenario might apply to Walt (John Perrin Flynn), an elderly man, arguably in the first stages of dementia, who’s dedicated his life to the egregious practice of conversion therapy. Read more…

Through October 31

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, Rogue Machine at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s the late 90’s…and you’re hanging out in a boy’s basement bedroom, somewhere in suburban America with two teenagers as they stay up on a school night; chugging soda, watching MTV, and preparing for the future. As the morning approaches, their seemingly innocent sleepover reveals another purpose. Read more…

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

Mere days after the abomination of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, discussing a play about toxic masculinity seems almost too topical. Cisgender white men are running amok waging wars, attempting coups and reversing civil rights, so what better time to examine the root of all this madness? Except that none of this is new. There has never been a time where men acting badly wasn’t the prime source of evil in the world. This subject has been explored in countless books, films and plays. Unfortunately Tim Venable’s The Beautiful People has little original insight to offer, although the world premiere production by Rogue Machine is otherwise first-rate. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s the late 90’s…and you’re hanging out in a boy’s basement bedroom, somewhere in suburban America with two teenagers as they stay up on a school night; chugging soda, watching MTV, and preparing for the future. As the morning approaches, their seemingly innocent sleepover reveals another purpose. Read more…

Now through July 25

THIS WONDERFUL LIFE at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

It’s a Wonderful Life is now an undisputed holiday classic, but its road to perennial status was as long and difficult as its hero’s journey to happiness. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia on the Move

“It is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people…..” Read more…

Now running through January 3

 

THE DOUBLE V at the Matrix Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

So entrenched was systemic racism in the U.S. in the early 1940s that patriotic African-Americans were turned away when they sought to fight for their country at the onset of World War II.

Directed by Michael Arabian at the Matrix Theater, Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s play dramatizes the historical effort to allow black men and women to serve in the U.S. military in time of war.
Read more…

Now running through November 24

JEWS, CHRISTIANS AND SCREWING STALIN at the Matrix Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Holidays tend to bring out the drama in families, sometimes even to the point where one person ends up beating another with a thawed chicken. In Jews, Christians, and Screwing Stalin, a world premiere comedy by Mark Lonow and Jo Anne Astrow currently playing at the Matrix Theatre in Hollywood, it’s the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 1967 and a boarding house in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn is the site for a family showdown for the ages….
Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

The trick in writing a play highlighting the idiosyncrasies of a single cultural group is finding a way to celebrate those specific aspects while finding avenues toward the universal. This is the art of plays by the likes of Neil Simon, Lorraine Hansberry, or Joe DiPietro: they manage nostalgia, a ferocious sense of identity, and culturally specific humor……Read more…

Now running through September 23

 

WHEN JAZZ HAD THE BLUES at the Matrix Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Pianist/composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn (Frank Lawson) grew up in a family dominated by his alcoholic, abusive and homophobic father.  His first love was classical music, but he was gay and black, and in the 1930s and 40s gay was emphatically frowned upon, and the classical establishment was almost entirely white.   Read more…

Now running through December 18

 

THE MOUNTAINTOP at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by I. C. Rapoport

Photo by I. C. Rapoport

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Although Katori Hall’s play The Mountaintop is indeed more about Martin the man than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the historical figure, it still ends up as a worshipful hagiography. This is somewhat unfortunate, because although there is no lack of respectful examinations of the Civil Rights Movement icon, there are few that focus on the man. That being said, the current production at the Matrix is entertaining and — bolstered by strong performances — occasionally moving. Read more…

Now running through April 10

DED at the Matrix Theatre

DED (1)

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Images of skulls and skeletons are viewed as chilling or comic in our own culture, but they represent something else in Day of the Dead, the Latin American holiday in which people honor the memory of those they’ve loved and lost. Read more…

SERRANO THE MUSICAL at the Matrix Theatre

SERRANO - 5

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Serrano The Musical, book and lyrics writer Madeleine Sunshine plucks elements of Edmond Rostand’s iconic romance Cyrano de Bergerac and transposes them into a story set in New York City’s mob-infested Little Italy. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Serrano the Musical,” in its world premiere at the Matrix Theatre, relocates “Cyrano de Bergerac,” originally set in 1640 France, to New York’s Little Italy, around now.

Edmond Rostand’s classic tale, in which literary gifts prove more seductive than good looks, serves up pure wish-fulfillment to us nerds. As its long history of adaptations (including Steve Martin’s 1987 film, “Roxanne”) suggests, it resonates pretty much anywhere. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

If you thought Serrano sounded remarkably like Cyrano, you were on the right track. This musical, with book and lyrics by Madeline Sunshine and score by Robert Tepper, sets out to transpose Cyrano de Bergerac to NYC’s Little Italy, and combine it with The Sopranos. Read more…

Now running through March 29.

IN A DARK HOUSE at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

Is it sexual abuse when one of the participants experienced it as a love affair? Or does that merely make it more abusive? This is just one of the disturbing and provocative questions that emerge from Neil LaBute’s gripping three-character play. It is, as the playwright has observed, his most personal work, and a memory play in which the past is almost as important as the present.  Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Neil LaBute is considered one of the most controversial playwrights of our day. Not all of his plays are equally brilliant — why would they be? — but it’s evident that some of the New Yorker’s social commentary dramas are more satisfying to experience than others.  Read more...

Now playing through August 31.

 

HOLDING THE MAN at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Neal Weaver  – ArtsInLA

The newly formed Australian Theatre Company was launched April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday) by producers Nick Hardcastle and Nate Jones, with the intention of creating opportunities for Australian actors, directors, and writers living in LA, and introducing the work of Australian writers to American audiences. (The company is quick to add that non-Australians will also be welcome.)

Read more…

 Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

Aussies have descended upon Hollywood in a big way. At the Matrix Theatre, producers Nick Hardcastle, Nate Jones and Mike Abramson have launched the ambitious new Australian Theatre Company with the Los Angeles premiere of playwright Tommy Murphy’s Holding the Man, a simultaneously funny and heartbreaking 2006 stage adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s award-winning 1995 autobiographical novel of the same name. The beloved book has been an international hit, and the play has garnered success in Australian and British productions. Meanwhile, Murphy’s film adaptation is in the works. Read more…

Now running through June 29.

 

 

 

 

 

THE END OF IT at the Matrix Theatre

Neal Weaver – LA Weekly

Breaking up is hard to do, particularly if you’re embedded in a 20-year marriage. That’s the not terribly surprising message of Paul Coates’ play, illustrated by three couples: one straight (Kelly Coffield Park and playwright Coates), one gay (David Youse and William Franklin Barker) and one lesbian (Ferrell Marshall and Wendy Radford). Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

How much should theater resemble real life, and how much can it do so? Playwright Paul Coates hits a big nail on the head in this look at the human heart. His play clearly and cleverly reveals the universality of love and the pain of divorce. But it also spotlights the artificialities, albeit long-accepted ones, of theater. Read more...

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

At the beginning of Paul Coates‘ new play, The End of It, currently playing at the Matrix Theatre, a long-married heterosexual couple living in Los Angeles, Joanna and Drew (Kelly Coffield Park and Coates), are recovering from a party they’ve just thrown. As any number of sociologists and dramatists from Erving Goffman to Samuel Beckett will tell you, it’s not just sex or common interests that hold couples together. It’s the repartee.
Read more…

Now running through October 20.