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Archive for Stage Raw

BLACK SUPER HERO MAGIC MAMA at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

It’s hard to imagine a more painful life event than the death of a child — especially when that child is shot by police and the perpetrator goes free. That almost unbearable grief that a mother must feel is creatively addressed in Black Super Hero Magic Mama, Inda Craig-Galván’s latest play….
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Now running through April 14

HAMLET at the New American Theatre

 

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Shakespeare’s best plays are a rich source of complex, conflicted characters and readily lend themselves to creative, critical exploration or inspired adaptations. Of course, there are always risks when treading the path of the unconventional, but there are also creative successes. Director Matthew Leavitt’s updated take on the Bard’s famous tragedy, though far from perfect, offers some enjoyable quirks and surprises.
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Now running through March 31

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

PURE NATIVE at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry Museum of the American West

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Theatrically, Los Angeles is blessed in many ways, and one of them is the presence of Native Voices at the Autry, the only Equity theatre company devoted exclusively to developing and producing new works from Native American, Alaska Native and First Nations playwrights. Their shows are often specific and insightful in a way no other theatre company can be — yet at the same time the themes in their work have a universal resonance.
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Now running through March 24

NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY at Waco Theater Center

LeReef Photography

LeReef Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Charles Gordone’s smoldering drama aptly encapsulates the protest, violence and tumultuous change seen in America’s urban cities in the 1960s. The play debuted off-Broadway in 1969, garnering Gordone a Pulitzer in 1970, the first win by an African-American playwright.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Charles Gordone’s 1969 No Place To Be Somebody has the distinction of being the first play written by an African-American playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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Now running through March 9

THE JUDAS KISS at Boston Court Pasadena

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The human desire for love is one of the main glues that holds the world together — along, of course, with greed, the lust for power and chocolate. Without love, there would be no rom-coms, no Valentine’s Day industry, and significantly less adorable tots bopping about.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

One of the tragic tales to come from the criminalization of homosexuality in Britain has always been the story of Oscar Wilde, the celebrated, flamboyant author and playwright whose great fame turned into great scandal, imprisonment, and self-imposed exile.
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Now running through March 24

THE JOY WHEEL at Ruskin Group Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Joy Wheel is an amiable situation comedy that deals with a crisis in the lives of an older married couple. Written by Ian McRae and directed by Jason Alexander, it’s one of those entertainment-minded vehicles that can come off as either a shallow on-stage sitcom, where garnering laughs is the performers’ main goal, or, if aptly directed, as an insightful comic portrayal of human fallibility.
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Now running through March 24

 

 

RAGTIME at the Pasadena Playhouse

Nick Agro

Nick Agro

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Ragtime has got to be up there with Oklahoma! as one of the most undeniably American musicals of all time, and it has finally come home to Southern California. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical made its U.S. premiere at the now-demolished Shubert Theatre in Century City in 1997, before opening on Broadway the following year.
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Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

How do you scale down an epic musical like RAGTIME for a smaller stage and a different time? When it opened at the Shubert Theatre in Century City in 1997, the cast numbered nearly fifty, the same as it would for its Broadway debut later that year. The stage was enormous and the production filled every inch of it.

For the revival at Pasadena Playhouse, director David Lee has a different spin.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“Make them hear you” is one of the most well-known refrains in Ragtime, and the current production at the Pasadena Playhouse is in fact demanding to be heard—and it is well worth listening to.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 1975, E.L. Doctorow published Ragtime, his work of historical fiction set in and around New York City during the early years of the 20th Century. He intermingled the stories of three distinct groups of people–upper Middle Class white Americans in New Rochelle, African Americans in Harlem and Eastern European immigrants in the slums of the lower East Side.
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Now running through March 3

ANNA KARENINA at the Actors Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Artistic ambition should always be encouraged. If artists never attempt greatness, if they never try working on a bigger canvas, we wouldn’t have works like Angels in America or The Iceman Cometh — plays that demonstrate how amazing theatre can be.
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Now running through March 17

ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST at the Actors Gang

Ashley Randall

Ashley Randall

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist premiered in Milan on December 5, 1970. Fo wrote this incendiary farce in response to the suspicious death a year earlier of an Italian railway worker in police custody — an anarchist named Pinelli under interrogation for his role in a bombing that he did not commit, nor have anything to do with.
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Now running through March 9

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at the Dorie Theatre/The Complex

Elvira Barjau

Elvira Barjau

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Some seventy plus years after it was first published, Anne Frank’s heartrending story still tugs irresistibly at the heart. Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of the original play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett has special significance for our highly contentious political climate.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

For her thirteenth birthday, Anne Frank received a book she had shown her father in a store window in Amsterdam. She immediately began to use it as a diary to record her thoughts. Read more…

Now running through February 24

AN INSPECTOR CALLS at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Mark Douet

Mark Douet

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls premiered in 1945, its vivid dissection of the British social class system in the guise of an Agatha Christie–style mystery was appreciated as a modern classic. Nonetheless, in the following decades its drawing-room play format fell out of favor amidst a tide of naturalism.
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Dany Margolies – The Daily News

With “An Inspector Calls,” director Stephen Daldry saddles up an old warhorse and turns it into a sleek, muscular triple-crown winner.
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Now running through February 10