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Archive for Odyssey Theatre

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

 

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

FARRAGUT NORTH at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What’s it like being a high-level presidential campaigner? You know, one of the folks who tell candidates what to say and how to say it. They ain’t no lilies of the field. The long hours are grueling, and oh do they spin.  Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Beau Willimon’s 2008 play Farragut North was loosely based on 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Howard Dean’s campaign.Read more…

Now running through May 21

PUNK ROCK at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo Credit: Enci Box

Photo Credit: Enci Box

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The set-up is a tale as old as time—seven gifted prep school seniors with the weight of the world on their shoulders spend a lot of time hanging out, stressing out, and making out in the library, their haunt of choice. Read more…

Now running through May 14

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

UNDERNEATH at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Photo by Patrick Redmond

Lovell Estell III – Stage Raw

Irish playwright-performer Pat Kinevane returns to the Odyssey Theater with a new piece that explores “life lived on the fringes of society.” Kinevane’s previous works, Forgotten and Silent, were performed at the Odyssey in 2011 and 2012, and with Underneath, the third piece in the trilogy, he brings us a very unconventional ghost story, cleverly directed by Jim Culleton, just in time for Halloween. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Underneath, a one-person show by Irish playwright/performer Pat Kinevane, should be seen for the poetry and poignancy of its story and the brilliant stagecraft that enhances it. Read more…

Now running through October 30

A TASTE OF HONEY at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In 1958, 18-year old Shelagh Delaney saw a production of Terrence Rattigan’s play Variations on a Theme, and was appalled by what she saw. The play had a reputation for boldness in tackling hot-button issues — it dealt with homosexuality, promiscuity, and bisexuality — but in Delaney’s view it was timid and genteel, and pussyfooted around its dangerous themes. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Kim Rubinstein, who directed a highly praised revival of “Anna Christie” at the Odyssey Theatre last year, is back with a revival of Shelagh Delaney’s once scandalous, now slightly quaint 1958 play “A Taste of Honey.” Read more…

Now running through November 27