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Archive for On Stage and Screen – Page 2

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Set up as a play-within-a-play, the action of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, currently playing at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles, begins in the lobby.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One can see why Antaeus Theatre Company has decided to revive Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle now. It’s a play in which the rich are revealed to be monsters of ego and avarice — where one wealthy woman even chooses an array of fancy clothing over saving her infant child.

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Now running through

 

 

SCRAPS at the Matrix Theatre

I.C. Rapoport

I.C. Rapoport

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Geraldine Inoa’s incisive character-rich drama, directed by Stevie Walker-Webb at the Matrix Theatre, examines the impact of institutional racism on a group of young people in the aftermath of their friend’s murder by police. The off-beat title is a reference to the origin of African-American soul food, prepared by slaves from the scraps their “owners” left for them after they took all the good parts for themselves.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

We are sadly used to hearing high-profile stories about young, unarmed black men shot by white police officers, but what happens when the media attention fades and the victim’s family must find a way to continue living after their world has been shattered? This is what playwright Geraldine Inoa explores in Scraps, a play currently in its west coast premiere at the Matrix Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
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Now running through September 15

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at the Ahmanson Theatre

Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The tone for the farce that is The Play That Goes Wrong is set long before the curtain rises. Frazzled cast members wander the audience, asking questions such as if anyone has a dog they can borrow for the second act, as others attempt to fix the constantly malfunctioning set.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The Play That Goes Wrong, a British production at the Ahmanson by way of Broadway and, as the title would indicate, nearly everything goes wrong, as planned. The show is quite funny at times, with moments so hilarious you’ll laugh until you cry, but it’s too long, and loses the comedic momentum it builds for itself.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

The Play That Goes Wrong stabs you in the funny bone over and over. A mastery of pratfalls and a love letter to bad acting (cowritten by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields), the comedy is such an adrenalin rush, audiences at the Ahmanson Theatre will be panting heavier than the actors forced to contend with a collapsing set.
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Now running through August 11

INDECENT at the Ahmanson Theatre

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage and Screen

Those of us who frequent the theater do not need to be convinced of this art form’s importance. But there are some stories that really drive this home, emphasizing the true power of theater, particularly when the world wants to prevent a story from being told.
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Now running through July 7

THE LAST FIVE YEARS – After Hours Theatre Company at The Other Space at The Actor’s Company

 KJ Knies

KJ Knies

Erin Conley -  On Stage and Screen

After Hours Theatre Company made a name for themselves as innovators in Los Angeles theater with last year’s hit immersive production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where audience members donned hospital gowns and participated in pre-show activities, becoming a part of the asylum.
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Now running through July 14

DANA H at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

CCraig Schwartz

CCraig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When playwright Lucas Hnath (A Doll’s House, Part Two, The Christians) was in college, his mother, Dana Higginbotham, went through a traumatizing ordeal. Dana struggled to speak about this painful experience with her son, so he eventually had fellow theater creator and collaborator Steve Cosson interview her about it. Hnath then adapted these interviews to create Dana H., a play currently in its world premiere at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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Now running through June 23

DIANA OF DOBSON’S AT Antaeus Theatre Company’s Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

It is rare to see a play written in 1908 that can be described as feminist, but Diana of Dobson’s, currently playing at Los Angeles’s Antaeus Theatre Company in a rare production, is a delightful surprise.
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Now running through June 2

FALSETTOS at the Ahmanson Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people hear the term “falsetto” and think of the vocal technique used by male singers to sing notes above their natural range, often resulting in a sound that is strikingly high and, in a sense, untraditional. It is not very obvious why the musical Falsettos, which opened last night at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre as part of a national tour, has the title it does, but it is about an untraditional family.
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Jonas Schwartz – Arts In LA

Falsettos is a master class in acting modulation. The characters are self-involved, sometimes violent, energy vampires. An actor must be true to author William Finn’s vision of Marvin and his clan, revealing warts and all, but compel the audience to accept and forgive those who need eons of therapy.
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Now running through May 19

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT at the Edgemar Center for the Arts

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

If you find the page count or the dense subject matter of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment too intimidating, Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus’s award-winning stage adaptation might be more palatable. Clocking in at a cool 90 minutes and featuring only three actors, this version boils the classic tale down to the essentials, while still preserving the cat-and-mouse dynamic the source material is so known for.
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Now running through May 26

 

THE NICETIES at Geffen Playhouse

T. Charles Erickson

T. Charles Erickson

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Most people who went to college likely remember office hours as a phenomenon that you were glad existed, but rarely utilized. But in The Niceties, a play by Eleanor Burgess currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, office hours become a battleground between a professor and a student who see the world very differently.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In The Niceties, playwright Eleanor Burgess constructs a dialectic between a white liberal professor of history who believes in the ideal of America despite its failings, and an angry African-American student who bitterly challenges the bedrock of her teacher’s beliefs.
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Now running through May 12

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at the Pantages Theatre

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Believe it or not, the characters in the musical version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory do not actually enter the titular chocolate factory until the very end of act one. That’s right, over an hour in to this perplexing adaptation there is nary an Oompa Loompa in sight.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Over the years, not all casts of national tours that come through Southern California are stellar. “Why aren’t we seeing better performers?” we may have been muttering to ourselves. We’re not saying that during this national tour of “Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’”……..
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

British author Roald Dahl’s children’s books (Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and others) are known for their unsentimental, macabre and often darkly comic moods.
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Now running through April 14

THE WOLVES – ECHO THEATER COMPANY at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“We are the Wolves. We are the Wolves,” a group of teenage girls chants, each repetition of the phrase growing in both volume and urgency. The Wolves are a high school indoor soccer team, and the subject of Sarah DeLappe’s play of the same name currently in its west coast premiere at the Echo Theater Company.     Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It’s both remarkable and unnerving when a writer, director, and cast work in tandem so effectively that you leave the theater feeling like you know the characters personally. It’s a rare magic, currently happening in Atwater Village, where Echo Theater Company is staging Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves.       Read more…

Now running through April 22