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Archive for Odyssey Theatre

IN CIRCLES at the Odyssey Theatre

Michael C. Palma

Michael C. Palma

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Gertrude Stein was a poet, novelist, essayist and playwright who is generally regarded as one of the more influential female writers of the 20th century. Her style was anything but conventional, and we have her to thank for such pithy expressions as “a rose is a rose is a rose” and “there is no there there.”
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Now running through November 10

PARADISE at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Paradise, by Laura Maria Censabella, has a lot going for it. Drawn from the playwright’s experience as an artist-in-residence in the New York City school system, it builds around the relationship between Yasmeen (Medalion Rahimi), a 17-year-old Yemeni-American student, and her biology instructor, Dr. Royston (Jeff Marlow), who supports and encourages her new-found passion for learning and experiment.
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Now running through February 17

 

HIR at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The word “hir” is a gender-neutral, third-person pronoun that replaces “him” or “her.” It’s an appropriate title for Taylor Mac’s play, which examines gender definitions in the context of an American family drama. Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

What happens when you return home after time away only to find the home you remember has been rendered virtually unrecognizable? In Hir, a play by Taylor Mac currently in its Los Angeles premiere at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, the concept of a dysfunctional family is taken to another level.
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Now running through March 17

BLACKTOP HIGHWAY at the Odyssey Theatre

Steven A. Gunther

Steven A. Gunther

Jenny Lower Beckman – LA Times

When actor and performance artist John Fleck steps out of the shadows in the opening moments of “Blacktop Highway,” he could be telling a ghost story around a campfire.
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Now running through December  16

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

SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Apparently the songs of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim are not failsafe.

He’s the genius behind some of the last century’s and some of this one’s best musicals. Some of his early songs are showcased in the revue titled “Side by Side by Sondheim,” currently at the Odyssey in West Los Angeles.

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Now running through September 2

LYSISTRATA UNBOUND at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado‘s LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way.
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Now running through August 4

TWO-FISTED LOVE at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

I have to admit that I’m confused. I don’t know why playwright David Sessions calls his play Two Fisted Love, and labels it a dark comedy. The comedy is in short supply, and most of the love seems to be in the past tense, or essentially destructive.

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Now running through March 11

FREUD’S LAST SESSION at the Odyssey Theatre

(Photo by Enci Box)

(Photo by Enci Box)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

George Bernard Shaw once observed that it is useless to argue with a clergyman because his livelihood depends on his not changing his mind. But the remark could equally well be applied to anyone whose career depends on defending and maintaining a particular point of view —and that could be said of both the protagonists in Mark St. Germain’s play.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Dr. Sigmund Freud was born to Jewish parents in the Austrian Empire in the mid-19th Century. He came to regard the monotheistic God as an illusion based on the infantile emotional need for a powerful, supernatural pater familias. He believed that in modern times (early 20th Century) religion could be set aside in favor of reason and science.
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Philosophers, theologians, believers and nonbelievers from a broad spectrum of cultures and faiths have been arguing about God’s existence for centuries. In Freud’s Last Session, playwright Mark St. Germain crystallizes the essence of the debate, creating a fictional encounter between Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis and a famous skeptic, and Irish-born C.S.
Lewis, a scholar, novelist and devout Christian…
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Freud! Lewis! Rumble in the library!

More or less.

Mark St. Germain’s two-character play, “Freud’s Last Session,” at the Odyssey through March 4, doesn’t rise to fisticuffs. But his imagined debate between the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and author and newly converted Anglican, C.S. Lewis, is as contentious as a heavyweight fight.
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Now running through March 4

ASHES TO ASHES at the Odyssey Theatre

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

(Photo by Ed Krieger)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Debbie Bolsky set out to write a classic old-style madcap comedy, but what she produced is a singularly improbable farce.
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Now running through January 14

THE RED DRESS – Argyle Road Productions at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Tania Wisbar is the daughter of a German father and a Jewish mother, both of whom were prominent members of the German film world in the 1930s. But when she was just six months old, her parents divorced, and she and her mother fled German to escape the growing Nazi threat.
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Now running through November 19

 

THE DANCE OF DEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

(Photo by Enci Box)

(Photo by Enci Box)

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

August Strindberg’s 1900 tale about a monumentally unhappy marriage has been neatly touched up in this adaptation by Irish playwright Conor McPherson. As bleak as it is funny, it unfolds on an island fortress in Sweden that was once a prison (nicely rendered interior of gloomy faux brick, arched doorways and barred windows by designer Christopher Scott Murillo).

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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

At the turn of the last century, a husband and wife battle viciously, seemingly trapped in their marriage and in their prison-turned-home, in Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s new version of Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s 1900 landmark “The Dance of Death.”
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Now running through November 19