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Archive for Neal Weaver

RUMORS at The Lonny Chapman Theatre

Doug Engalla

Doug Engalla

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Prolific playwright Neil Simon made his name with a long and successful series of character- driven comedies, including The Odd Couple, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Plaza Suite — but with this play he felt the need for a change of pace, and set out to produce a zany, plot- driven farce, concerned only with generating laughs.
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Now running through July 29

TAR at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Los Angeles in 1939. Count Basie and his band are scheduled to play at the Palomar Ballroom — one of the first African-American groups to perform there. Next door, at Bimini Baths, two employees, African-American Amen (Noel Arthur) and Mexican-American Zenobio (Adrian Gonzalez) have been given the onerous job of cleaning up the tar-covered body of a drunken white man…….Read more…

Now running through

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

 Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell’s see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill wrote what is probably the most searing family portrait ever penned. It owes its extraordinary power to the fact that it is mercilessly autobiographical. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Eugene O’Neill won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his masterwork, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. O’Neill wrote the semi-autobiographical play about his family in 1941-42 but it was never produced until after his death. I’m sure it caused his parents to spin in their graves anyway. Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

HER PORTMANTEAU at Boston Court Pasadena

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Nigerian-American playwright Mfoniso Udofia is part of a projected cycle of nine plays about the lives of the Ufot family in Nigeria and America.
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Now running through June 30

THE TEMPEST at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center

Ted Ringeison

Ted Ringeison

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

A gaunt Leon Russom conjures up more pathos than normal as the aged Prospero in the Porters of Hellsgate’s production of THE TEMPEST. Whether it is due to the fact that the actor has been battling pneumonia, which took him out of the show opening weekend mid-performance, or that his interpretation of the role centers on the last actions of a dying man, this is a Prospero we haven’t seen before.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It tends to raise a red flag when the management of a production thinks it’s necessary to include a synopsis of the play in the program, implying the audience won’t understand it without help. This suggests, among other things, that the director has failed to quite do his job in articulating the action.
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Now running through June 3

 

 

SEX at the Hudson Mainstage

Rich Huthman

Rich Hutchman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We don’t think of Mae West as a literary figure, but she wrote three plays — Sex, The Drag, and Pleasure Man. All were produced on Broadway, and all were closed by the police on grounds of obscenity.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Before she became one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars of the 1930s, the iconic Mae West was a playwright and a Broadway star.
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Now running through June 17

DEATH BEFORE COCKTAILS at Theatre 68

(Photo by Alex Rotaru)

(Photo by Alex Rotaru)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Laureen Vonnegut’s dark comedy tackles a range of issues, from life and death to sexual identity, sexual confusion, and snarled emotional entanglements. It’s set in a Palm Springs cocktail lounge called, with heavy symbolism, The Last Stop.
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Now running through May 13

THE NIGHT FORLORN (OR, WAITIN’ ON GODSFORD) at Theatre West

Gary Kluger

Gary Kluger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Steve Nevil’s “tumbleweed comedy” strives to be both a version of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot set in the American West in 1870, and homage to the film westerns of John Ford and Sam Peckinpah — and to a large extent it succeeds on both counts.
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Now running through April 22

 

THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE at the Road on Lankershim

Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Christmas Eve in 2011. The Keen family is haunted by the memories, and the ghost, of daughter Dana (Kara Hume), who was killed while working as a Navy corpsman in Afghanistan. Each member of the family reacts differently to the loss.
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Now running through May 13

PIGS AND CHICKENS at Atwater Village Theatre

Peter Carrier

Peter Carrier

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In the interests of full disclosure, let me say that I am not very knowledgeable about computers and programming, so much of the technical jargon and inside humor in Marek Glinski’s play went right over my head. Glinski’s play might be called a cyber-satire, or a madcap comedy for the cyber age. I could not always follow exactly what was happening, though the overall idea was clear enough.
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Now running through April 15

THE MADRES at the Skylight Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Stephanie Alison Walker’s stirring drama is set in Buenos Aires in the 1980s, when Argentina was ruled by a ruthless military junta. Anyone who spoke out against the regime could be taken into custody and “disappeared,” and even those who privately disagreed with the government and its policies were in danger and subject to constant scrutiny by an extensive network of spies and informers.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Among the 20th century’s catalog of atrocities is the chilling fate of Los Desaparecidos of Argentina — unknown thousands of that country’s citizens who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by right-wing death squads between 1976 and 1983.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Madres is a searing, devastating look at a movement that swept Argentina in the 1970s. Set in 1978, the play focuses on Josefina (Margarita Lamas, who trades off with Denise Blasor), a housewife who buries her head in the sand at the political upheaval surrounding her….
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Now running through April 29

STOMACH CONTENTS at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

Sharon Yablon

Sharon Yablon

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

These three one-acts by Sharon Yablon are all set in the bleak Mojave Desert, and they share an equally bleak vision, albeit touched with fantasy and surrealism.
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Now running through March 25