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Archive for Neal Weaver

DOGFIGHT at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

DOGFIGHT - 6

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The composing team of Benji Pasek and Justin Paul are very hot right now having just won an Academy Award for their song in the film La La Land. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This new musical, with book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by the team that produced La La Land, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, is based on the movie Dogfight, from a script by Bob Comfort. Superficially, it resembles the 1944 musical On the Town…. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

These days, it seems like nearly every musical was adapted from a movie. Some of my favorite stage musicals began their lives as films—OnceLegally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie come to mind. Sometimes, however, you can’t help but wonder—why that movie? Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Dogfight the musical (music and lyrics by La La Land creators Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, book by Peter Duchan) is one of those period pieces that make the good old days appear not so good after all — kind of like the musical itself. Read more…

Now running through June 25

SEPARATE TABLES at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Arts In LA 

In the 1940s and 50s, British playwright Terrence Rattigan was considered an important playwright, scoring successes in both England and the U.S. with The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, and other works.     Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Loneliness is a terrible thing, don’t you agree.” That sentiment is expressed by one of the lonely characters in British playwright Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables, a collection of two one-act plays set at the Beauregard Hotel in Bournemouth, England….Read more…

Now running through June 18

HELLO AGAIN at Chromolume Theatre at the Attic

(Photo by James Esposito)

(Photo by James Esposito)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This long one-act by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party) is a musical update of Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play La Ronde which, shocking for its time, featured 10 interconnected sexual encounters. The structure and the characters’ names are Schnitzler’s, though the Young Thing has been transformed from female to male to embrace a broader sexual spectrum. Read more…

Now running through May 28

 

LUCKY STIFF at Actors Co-op

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more far-fetched plot than the one that animates this zany musical by Lynn Ahren (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), based on The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth.    Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucky Stiff is a 1988 musical farce with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It was the team’s first collaboration…..Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily News

In 1988, the fledgling duo of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty produced their first musical: “Lucky Stiff.” The show is a silly send-up of the mystery/suspense genre, and based loosely on the 1983 book “The Man Who Broke Monte Carlo.” Read more…

Now running through June 18

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

LONE STAR at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Elephant Stageworks)

Photo by Elephant Stageworks)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In James McClure’s one-act comedy, three men hang out in the parking lot at Angel’s Bar in Maynard Texas in 1981. Roy (Christopher Jordan) is a Vietnam vet. Before he went off to war, he was a kind of local hero, famous for his 1959 pink convertible Thunderbird and his way with women. Read more…

Now running through May 7

MARTHA at the Whitefire Theatre

(Photo by Charles Dougherty)

(Photo by Charles Dougherty)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham has become an almost mythical figure. She was remarkably prolific, creating 181 dances over the course of her career and dancing into her 70s (though sometimes she lurched a bit during her later years). Read more…

Now running through May 28

LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD’S HOME FOR UNWED MOTHERS at the Skylight Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This is not the first play to deal with the Catholic Church’s former barbarous and hypocritical treatment of unwed mothers, but playwright Louisa Hill gives the subject urgent and harrowing reality. Read more…

Now running through May 14

THE INVENTOR AND THE ESCORT at the Lounge Theatre

Photo by Keenan Henson

Photo by Keenan Henson

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Jeffrey (Jaret Sacrey) is an eccentric but moderately successful inventor of exotic and improbable sex-toys who, though he operates on the fringe of the sex industry, freely admits he’s got no game. Read more…

Now running through April 23

CAT’S PAW at Actors’ Co-op

Photo by Lindsay Schnebley

Photo by Lindsay Schnebley

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

An obscure warehouse in Washington, D.C. is the headquarters of a shadowy organization that claims to be devoted to the preservation of the planet. The leader and mastermind of the group is the flamboyant and self-dramatizing Victor (Sean McHugh). Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright William Mastrosimone is best known for his 1982 off-Broadway play Extremities about a rape victim and her vendetta of revenge against her rapist. Read more…

 

Now running through April 30

 

BUILDING THE WALL at the Fountain Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Robert Schenkkan’s play, set in 2019, is a dystopian vision of what life in Trump-land might be like two years hence.

In a prison meeting room, a black woman, Gloria (Judith Moreland) is interviewing Rick (Bo Foxworth), a white prisoner. She offers him a chance to tell his side of the story. But the two are wary of each other. At first, he refuses to cooperate with her, but when she prepares to leave, he relents. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Prolific playwright Robert Schenkkan won a 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his series of one-acts, The Kentucky Cycle, and a 2014 Tony Award for Best Play for All the Way, about the efforts of Lyndon Baines Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He wrote Building the Wall in response to the election of Donald Trump. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Unlike other plays that are about a real-life person but speak metaphorically or use a pseudonym, “Building the Wall” refers to Donald Trump by name and by policy. Read more…

Now running through May 21

AT HOME AT THE ZOO at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Zoo Story

Photo by Kevin Parry

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

As the story goes, someone — a friend, a roommate or a lover — said to Mr. Albee, “Edward, you will be thirty years old tomorrow, and you don’t have a damn thing to show for it.” Stung by this comment, Albee sat down and, overnight, wrote a long one-act about a volatile encounter between two men — a complacent middle class guy named Peter, and an impoverished eccentric named Jerry, on a bench in Central Park. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Do you want to know what happened at the zoo?” If you do, make your way to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, home to the new Deaf West production of Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo—although be warned, the actual answer to that question is far from the point of the piece. Read more…

Now running through April 2