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Archive for Matrix Theatre

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….
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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.)

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 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.

 

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…

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Now running through October 20.

We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia Formerly Known As South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by Jillian Armanente

Photo by Jillian Armanente

 

Bob Verini – ArtsInLA

 

If you revel in fine actors’ pushing the envelope of what performance can do, or have an interest in investigating important historical experience via theatrical means, this ungainly-named but unforgettable work is *the* production of the summer, just as Son of Semele’s recently closed Our Class was *the* production of the spring. In both, a splendidly unified ensemble, masterfully directed, shape-shifts among multiple roles to tackle, head-on, the 20th century’s legacy of dread.
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Terry Morgan – LAist

 

One of the truisms of theatre is that one doesn’t need a lot of money to do it right; you just require creativity and talent. The latest example of this is a new show with a very long title: We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About The Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From The German Sudwestafrika, Between The Years 1884-1915. The west coast premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play at the Matrix Theatre is a dazzling tour de force of brilliant writing, acting and direction, and, despite the serious subject matter, it’s frequently hilarious.
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