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Archive for Stage and Cinema

BLED FOR THE HOUSEHOLD TRUTH at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo ny John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Rogue Machine, one of the theatre companies in town I most admire, has been promoting its new show, Ruth Fowler’s bled for the household truth, as something important and shocking, and warning that easily offended people may walk out at intermission. In my experience, having specific expectations for a play or any work of art ahead of time often proves detrimental, and sadly that is the case here.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

A New York financier with a great apartment has advertised in the paper for a roommate — specifically a woman. Her rent and board will be free, but she has to be willing to walk around sometimes in her underwear, and she can’t entertain gentlemen friends there.
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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

Ambiguity and nuance are qualities in a play to be greatly desired and lauded – and yet, if you do not go “ick” at least four times while watching playwright Ruth Folwer’s increasingly disturbing drama, I’m not sure what can be done with you.
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Now running through December 18

 

WITH LOVE AND A MAJOR ORGAN at Boston Court Performing Arts Center

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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Some people go through life with their heart on their sleeve, while others are much more guarded, desperate to protect their hearts from being broken. In With Love and a Major Organ, a whimsical, poignant play by Julia Lederer currently in its west coast premiere at Boston Court Performing Arts Center, this concept is taken a step further. Read more…

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

Midway through playwright Julia Lederer’s feather-light, yet rather droning romantic comedy, a character literally reaches into her own chest and pulls out her heart, which thumps and pumps and leaks blood into the padded envelope she shoves it into. The lovesick woman then leaves it in a New York City subway station for the man she hopes to catch. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In playwright Julia Lederer’s With Love and A Major Organ, a West Coast premiere directed by Jessica Kubzansky at Boston Court, a warm spontaneous woman falls ardently in love with a stranger she meets on the subway.  The main idea — a quest for love requited —may be as old as the hills, but Lederer’s wit and poetical language, along with Kubzansky’s directorial finesse and state-of the-art staging, makes for a beguiling evening of theater. Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Recently, as part of an assignment at a nearby public high school, students experimented at a local mall to see what people their age would do if a stranger (also their age) came up to try to engage them in conversation. Over and over, the subjects of their experiment would look down at their phones – use their electronic social network to avoid talking to a real person. Interestingly, that was the expected result, according to the teens.
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Now running through November 5

THE BOY FROM OZ – Celebration Theatre at the Lex

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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

What makes this boisterous jukebox musical about the life of late music and stage legend Peter Allen (whose songs make up the show’s core) so winning, is the combination of larger-than-life excess and the piquant whiff of melancholy – all of which are frankly irresistible to a wide swath of showtune-loving patrons. Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We expect lots of glitz and glamor In The Boy From Oz, a musical based on the life and works of Australian songwriter and performer extraordinaire, Peter Allen. After all, it was a big splashy Broadway show, with a book by Martin Sherman (based on an original script by Nick Enright) and a huge cornucopia of songs by Allen himself. And we get plenty of both…….Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Celebration Theatre has landed a coup with the West Coast premiere of  “The Boy From Oz,” and what a festive party it’s throwing. Read more…

Now running through June 19

 

FINDING NICK at the Zephr Theatre

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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

In his solo show, playwright Nicholas Guest describes his life and travels around the world.  He’s accompanied by Hillary Smith on the cello and by Tony Carafone on the guitar (in the play, not his travels) – and they turn out to be a helpful pair, too, because Guest intersperses his anecdotes and stories with songs.    Read more..

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Nicholas Guest’s solo show seems like a live audition tape: it shows off his handsome appearance, his versatility, his knack for quick character sketches, his talent for dialects, and his easy-going, seemingly effortless way with a song. Only dramaturgy goes missing.

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Now running through March 27.

SONS OF THE PROPHET at the Blank Theatre

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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

In playwright Stephen Karam’s touching and funny drama, characters are frequently spotted quoting the great Lebanese poet-philosopher Khalil Gabran.  “All is well,” they say, often in the midst of the most odious adversity.  Of course, all is not well at all:  Indeed, all is rather, as the Yiddish expression goes, full of tsuris.  Or, as Samuel Becket might note, “I can’t go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on!”  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Shakespeare’s adage from Hamlet, “When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,” seems to course through Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize finalist play, Sons of the Prophet. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The inevitable pain of human existence receives an exhilarating shake-up in “Sons of the Prophet,” the Blank Theatre’s latest L.A. premiere and a fairly triumphant one.

Stephen Karam’s acclaimed 2011 comedy-drama about two gay Lebanese American brothers in Pennsylvania dealing with spiritual, economic and medical challenges in the wake of their father’s death was a Pulitzer finalist, and it’s easy to see why. Read more…

Now running through March 15. 

 

REBORNING at the Fountain Theatre

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Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

This fascinating drama by playwright Zayd Dohrn is set in the bizarre subculture of women who buy dolls that eerily resemble actual babies. Can this possibly be enough material here for a play? Read more…

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Roger Ebert once opined, “It’s not what a movie is about but how it is about it,” and the notion holds for plays as well. Read more...

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

A strange and disturbing play, Reborning by Zayd Dohrn introduces us to the world of one-of-a-kind, life-like baby dolls — aka ‘reborn’ dolls — and the people who desire them. But the story the playwright fashions around this premise is extremely questionable… Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

When Zayd Dohrn’s Reborning at the Fountain Theatre gets something right, it gets it so right that you may be left in a state of disorientation. That something is the gulf of incomprehension between Daizy and Kelly (Ryan Doucette and Joanna Strapp), an entrepreneurial couple not long out of art school, getting by in a Queens walk-up. Read more…

Now running through March 15.

MUTANT OLIVE at the Lounge Theatre

Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

After watching the roaring, sputtering, and cursing along with regretful descriptions of drug use and parental abuse back in the “bad old days,” I had to ask myself, “Wha’ kind of crazy fucking show is this?”  Read more…

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

“I was brought up by wolverines,” says the frenzied protagonist of “Mutant Olive,” and he’s not kidding.Read more…

Now running through February 28.