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Archive for Neal Weaver

33 VARIATIONS at the Actors Co-op

33 VARIATIONS - 6

(Photo by Lindsay Schnebly )

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

33 Variations starring Jane Fonda appeared on Broadway in 2009 and played the Ahmanson Theatre in 2011. Now Actors Co-Op in Hollywood is offering the area’s first intimate production. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Moises Kaufman is an extraordinary piece of work — rich, multifaceted and multilayered, both disturbing and reassuring. Nominally, it’s about a piece of music: Beethoven’s 33 Diabelli Variations, which he wrote based on a waltz by Anton Diabelli. Read more…

Now running through March 26

KING HEDLEY II at the Matrix Theatre

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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

FUGU at the Pico Playhouse

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We don’t usually think of the Japanese as being on the side of the angels during the Holocaust. This play reveals how, when the Nazis began rounding up the Jews in Lithuania, the Japanese ambassador signed exit visas for 6,000 of them and sent them to Kobe, Japan to form a settlement. Read more…

Now running through March 19

 

BECKETT5 at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Photo by Ron Sossi

Photo by Ron Sossi

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The late playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett did not make things easy for his audiences. He was first of all an arch-minimalist, reducing his works to the barest possible form. He often eschewed plot, multiple characters, dialogue or hope, concentrating on people who somehow find a way to go on, even while facing the pointlessness and miseries of their lives.

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Just the name conjures a headache in some and bliss in others. Playwright Samuel Beckett is considered one of the most-influential 20th-century playwrights, certainly within Theatre of the Absurd style, his “Waiting for Godot” at the peak of those works.

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Now running through March 5

BRILLIANT TRACES AT The Underground Theatre

 

 (Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

(Photo by Daniel J. Sliwa)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Henry (Juan Lozano), a reclusive hermit, is asleep in his bed in a remote cabin in the wilds of Alaska during a white-out blizzard. The door bursts open and a young woman, Rosannah (Roxanna Kaye), enters, wearing a wedding gown complete with veil. Read more…

Now running through February 11

SANTASIA at the Whitefire Theatre

Photo by Michael Duisenberg

Photo by Michael Duisenberg

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

The creators of Santasia, Shaun and Brandon Loeser, have been serving up their particular brand of zany, snarky holiday cheer for 16 years —this year makes 17 — but time hasn’t mellowed them and they haven’t lost their edge. Read more…

Now running through December 25

A TELENOVA CHRISTMAS CAROL at Archway Studio Theatre

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(Photo by Adam Neubauer)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Ebenezer Scrooge becomes miserly tequila manufacturer Pedro Azucar in this Mexican-American variation on Charles Dickens’ durable (and sometimes inescapable) Christmas classic. The script is by Adam Neubauer and Sebastian Munoz, who directs the piece and also plays Pedro with exuberant and deliberate hamminess.    Read more…

Now running through December 18

A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS at The Lonny Chapman Theatre

(Photo by Doug Engalla)

(Photo by Doug Engalla)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Phil Olson seems to have been of two minds about what sort of play he wanted to write — a snarky comedy about a bickering dysfunctional family, or a sweet uplifting holiday tale. So he tried for both. Read more…

Now running through December 18

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

 

MACBETH at The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

Photo by Jenny Soo

Photo by Jenny Soo

Neal Weaver – Stage Raw

When Mrs. Patrick Campbell was rehearsing for her debut in the role of Hamlet’s Ophelia, her mentor, George Bernard Shaw, gave her a choice piece of advice: “In Shakespeare, the only justification for a pause is a fight or a procession.” It’s not a fundamental law, but it is a useful rule of thumb, and director Caitlin Hart might have been wise to heed it in this rendition of the Scottish play.Read more…

Now running through November 20

VICUÑA at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

 (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

(Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz has always tended to treat his subject matter obliquely and to view it from a slightly skewed vantage point. But here, he’s tackled his subject head-on, becoming downright confrontational. And since his subject is Donald Trump, the result is both volatile and controversial. If Baitz was not already on Trump’s enemies list, he probably will be now. Read more…

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Clothes make the man, and the play, in Jon Robin Baitz’s latest and timely “Vicuña.” It is largely about the run-up to this presidential election, which makes it tailor-made for this week and perhaps the next four years. Read more…

Now running through November 20

SPARKLES & THE BLACK WEEPING WOMAN at the McCadden Street Theatre

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(Photo by Ehrin Marlow)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Sparkles (Barkley Romero) is a 17-year-old Latina who lives with her mother, Lisa (Lena Marie), in a Highland Park house which tends to slide downhill whenever they miss a mortgage payment. (This is magic realism with a vengeance!)    Read more…

Now running through November 13