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Archive for Neal Weaver

THE BENCH, A HOMELESS LOVE STORY at Hudson Guild Theatre

Aidan Grant

Aidan Grant

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This solo performance is written and performed by Robert Galinsky. In addition to being a writer and actor, Galinsky is a lifelong social activist, volunteering with numerous organizations, including teaching classes for incarcerated youth at New York City’s Rikers Island Detention Center.
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Now running through November 9

OLD CLOWN WANTED at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Romanian-French experimental playwright Matei Visniec began his prolific writing career in Bucharest, but because of the strict censorship at the time, none of his plays could be produced. He sought political asylum in France and began writing in French.
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Now running through November 4

THE GIN GAME at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

Gina Long

Gina Long

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

When a play being produced locally has a long history of excellence, that can be both a blessing and a curse for a theater company, especially a comparatively small one.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We don’t usually think of friendly card games as battles to the death, or near it, except perhaps in the Wild West. But as playwright D.L. Coburn suggests in his Pulitzer Prize play, when it comes to super competitive men like Weller Martin (Alan Blumenfeld), anything can happen.
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Now running through October 7

BEETHOVEN at the Wallis Annenberg Center

Christopher Ash

Christopher Ash

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Actor/writer/musician/producer/designer/musicologist Hershey Felder is about as close as they come to a modern Renaissance man. He has racked up an impressive array of musical biographies — one-man shows in which he plays noted composers. Read more…

Now running through August 12

 

MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN at the Lounge Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Murray Mednick’s play, having its world premiere, is a tale of two suicides: that of the Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, who shot himself in the heart in 1930, and that of Nadezhda Alliluyeva (Nadya), the second wife of Joseph Stalin, who shot herself in her bedroom during a Communist Party gathering, supposedly in disgust at the way her husband’s brutal collectivist policies had produced mass famine.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

There are plays that tell a story and there are plays that ponder ideas. Murray Mednick’s latest world premiere MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN is the latter, an intellectual dissection of two Russian revolutionaries who were as integral to Eastern European history as beets are to borscht.   Read more…

Now running through August 19

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