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Archive for Stage Raw

FINKS at Rogue Machine

John Perrrin Flynn

John Perrrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The cost of integrity is never cheap, but it varies. Sometimes one can lose relationships with family or friends, lose a job or, in the direst circumstance, lose one’s life. In the early 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee wielded Cold War communist paranoia to attack people whose views they didn’t like, stripping them of their careers and reputations, or getting them to testify against their friends and colleagues.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The dictionary defines “fink” when used as a noun as “an unpleasant or contemptible person” while when used as a verb it can mean “inform on to the authorities”. Both definitions fit the characters who fink their friends to HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee in Joe Gildord’s play Finks…….Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Plays that explore the abuse of power or the unjust scapegoating of the powerless nearly always reel me in, and Finks, written by Joe Gilford and set against the backdrop of the HUAC hearings in 1950-53, unequivocally fits that description. Leavened with humor, with a strong intuitive performer in the pivotal role, it’s a harsh reminder of what can happen when unscrupulous people acquire control of the workings of government and words become instrumental in destroying innocent lives.
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Now running through December 30

 

 

BAYOU BLUES at the Bootleg Theatre

Lily Kravetz

Lily Kravetz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Bayou Blues, part of the 2018 Solo Queens Fest at Bootleg Theatre, writer/performer Shaina Lynn mixes storytelling and spoken word to relay her experience as a woman of color from New Orleans.
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Now running through November 18

BLISS – Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre

Mae Koo Photography

Mae Koo Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Although Bliss (Or Emily Post is Dead!), is set in North Orange, New Jersey in the 1960s, a rudimentary knowledge of Greek mythology is helpful in fathoming the themes of Jami Brandli’s ambitious but muddled satire, directed by Darin Anthony.
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Now running through December 2

WINTER SOLSTICE at City Garage

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

There’s nothing scary, at first, about Rudolph, the elderly gentleman who shows up at Albert and Bettina’s house one Christmas Eve in “Winter Solstice,” a 2013 play by the German writer Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham, which is having its West Coast premiere at City Garage.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It is abundantly clear that Roland Schimmelpfenig, the playwright of Winter Solstice, currently making its West Coast debut at City Garage in Santa Monica, wishes he were a novelist, or perhaps an experimental filmmaker like the characters in the play.
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Now running through November 25

VIETGONE at East West Players

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Translating personal experiences or family history into theatre can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, simply recounting events as they happened doesn’t necessarily create fascinating drama. On the other hand, fictionalizing things too much may betray the truth of the story.
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Now running through November 18

CAL IN CAMO at VS Theatre

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It could be said that Sam Shepard perfected the strain of poetic realism that runs in American playwriting, particularly in works such as True West and Buried Child. Symbols abound, from characters representing civilization and wilderness to bushels of corn growing from a dead field.
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Now running through November 9

 

ROPE at Actors Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Rope, Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 suspense thriller at Actors Co-op, commences with an electrifying moment — the sort of cleverly crafted theatrics one might expect from director Ken Sawyer. In a pitch-black theater, the soft strains of a popular love ballad (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) can be heard.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Leopold and Loeb killed Robert Franks in 1924 in what at the time was labeled “the crime of the century”. They committed the crime as a demonstration of their perceived intellectual superiority, citing the philosopher Nietzsche’s concept of Ubermenschen or supermen.
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Now running through October 28

 

DEAR EVAN HANSEN at the Ahmanson Theatre

Matthew Murphy

Matthew Murphy

Frances Baum Nicholson – Stage Struck Review

When news the Tony-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” was headed for L.A. on its first national tour, a dash for tickets seeming mildly reminiscent of the “Hamilton” frenzy began.
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Erin Conley -  On Stage and Screen

There have been plenty of musicals about complicated, grieving families over the years, but until now, there has not been one tailor-made for the social media era. Enter Dear Evan Hansen, the 2017 Tony winner for Best Musical that opened last night at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

If you have seen the musical Dear Evan Hansen and are a fan, you might not want to read any further because I will be challenging most things that you hold dear about the show.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

First things first: if you didn’t get the chance to see Dear Evan Hansen in New York, don’t worry. The first national tour of the show, currently playing at the Ahmanson, is nearly identical to the New York incarnation.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Young Evan Hansen has broken his arm. Before the Tony winning musical Dear Evan Hansen ends, the titular character will also have broken many hearts in this poignant, topical drama about isolation in high school and how social media takes an already stressful situation and heightens it by exposing and recording all of life’s foibles small and large.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

Evan Hansen struggles with social interaction, prefers to isolate himself and fears being judged by others. To varying degrees, so do we all, whether for a moment, a day or constantly.
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Now running through November 25

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

OPPENHEIMER – Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Although Rogue Machine is a small theatre company, it’s always punching above its weight class and generally achieving whatever artistic challenges it sets for itself. This year the group had a particularly difficult task — it had to find a new home, a misfortune that sometimes sinks otherwise stable organizations.
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Now running through December 30

 

EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED at Boston Court Pasadena

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Boston Court Pasadena’s Co-Artistic Director Jessica Kubzansky loves Shakespeare. That I know. She has directed insightful productions of the Bard’s work at several venues, and in her “RII” at BC she  pared one play down to great effect, allowing more focus on essential and timeless themes in a comparatively obscure history play. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sarah B. Mantell’s poignant play begins with a young couple capering playfully across the spare, unembellished set. Their first words are tentative; they’re the sort uttered, pretty much ubiquitously, between would-be lovers who do not know each other well. For a couple of minutes, you wonder if you’re in for a fancified rom-com about the rocky shoals coursed over by true love.
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Now running through November 4

RAG HEAD at The Complex

Toky Photography

Toky Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In August 2012, white supremacist named Wade Michael Page entered a Gurdwara, or Sikh temple, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and shot and killed six people —another of the all too frequent hate crimes that continually debase our nation. Here in Los Angeles, Sikh writer/performer Sundeep Morrison became alarmed….
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Now running through October 14