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Archive for Stage Raw

DEFENDERS at the Broadwater Black Box

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sander

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

On May 10, 1940, Iceland was invaded by the Royal Navy and Royal Marines because the British government feared the possible Nazi takeover of the country. A little over a year later, defense of the country was transferred to the United States. Against this backdrop, Cailin Maureen Harrison tells a story about three U.S. soldiers on a classified mission who are confronted by the powers of nature and myth.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Cailin Maureen Harrison’s Defenders is receiving its World Premiere at The Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood courtesy of Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company. Harrison attempts to blur the lines between myth and reality in her tale of three shipwrecked U.S. soldiers on the tiny island of Hrisey off the northern coast of Iceland.
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Now running through December 8

ELIJAH at The Victory Theatre Center

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Placing a disparate group of characters in a location they can’t leave and forcing them to deal with each other has been a tried and true source of dramatic conflict since Sartre’s No Exit. The claustrophobia and stress of interacting with new people ratchets up the tension swiftly. So it is with Judith Leora’s new play, Elijah, which is receiving its West Coast premiere at The Victory Theatre.
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Now running through December 15

KEY LARGO at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Key Largo was first a 1939 Broadway play, then a 1948 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and finally, it is now at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in a new world premiere adaptation. Adapted by Andy Garcia and Jeffrey Hatcher, this play shifts some of the focus to the character of Johnny Rocco (played by Garcia), a notorious gangster who takes the inhabitants of a Florida Keys hotel hostage during a hurricane.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Key Largo, a 1948 film classic, Humphrey Bogart played a disillusioned anti-hero, an ex-army officer in World War II who, despite his cynicism, musters up enough moral conviction to stand up to Edward G. Robinson’s sneering gangster, Johnny Rocco.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Batten down the hatches— a hurricane has come to the Geffen. Key Largo, the new adaptation of the 1948 John Huston film, creates thunder and lightning with visual effects that turn the theater into ground zero of a devastating storm. The technical team brilliantly crafts a mood of claustrophobia and despair.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Key Largo is one of the classic Warner Bros. gangster movies. The film was the fourth and final pairing of legendary screen couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It also featured the fifth screen pairing of tough guys Bogart and Edward G. Robinson.
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Now running through December 15

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

The version of Thanksgiving most of us were taught in school is certainly problematic. From outdated, disrespectful views of Native Americans and erasure of their role to the generous portrayals of the first white settlers on this continent, the narrative around the whole holiday is due for reexamination. This discussion sets the stage for The Thanksgiving Play, a satirical comedy by Larissa FastHorse currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays (not counting The Fourth of July), has long been shrouded in myth, perpetuated for decades by classroom images of earnest Pilgrims, helpful “Indians” and cheerful squawking turkeys. No longer, however, does it serve as an unsullied symbol of a generous, sharing national spirit.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In today’s world of seemingly absolute, complete, no excuses accepted political correctness, even the most holy of venerated saints would have a hard time saying, doing perhaps thinking anything the least bit outre without being shouted down by some fractional segment of the PC community. For example—how do you celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month while creating an elementary school pageant?
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse has written a rambunctious and edgy satire of wokeness, The Thanksgiving Play, now running at the Geffen, in which she satirizes America’s precarious relationship to racial issues and gives a Native American writer’s perspective on the so-called white man’s burden.
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Now running through December 6

THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEVING at the Skylight Theatre

Justin Harrison

Justin Harrison

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In the 24 years since it premiered in Brisbane, Australia, The 7 Stages of Grieving has evolved into a modern Australian classic. Written by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, both of Aboriginal extraction, it’s an hour-long one-woman show that speaks to the history and culture of Australia’s indigenous people — who, like Native Americans, African-Americans and Latinos in this country, historically have been disrespected, oppressed and the victims of genocide, both real and cultural.
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Now running through November 24

 

1984 at The Actors’ Gang

Ashley Randall

Ashley Randall

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

When George Orwell wrote 1984, he was responding to the totalitarian movements that swept Germany and Russia under Hitler and Stalin respectively. Published in 1949, the book was intended as a caution to those who mistakenly kept faith in the promise of Soviet communism.
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Now running through December 7

THE DOUBLE V at the Matrix Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

So entrenched was systemic racism in the U.S. in the early 1940s that patriotic African-Americans were turned away when they sought to fight for their country at the onset of World War II.

Directed by Michael Arabian at the Matrix Theater, Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s play dramatizes the historical effort to allow black men and women to serve in the U.S. military in time of war.
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Now running through November 24

BURIED CHILD at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching A Noise Within’s new production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, I was struck by how closely the first act resembles Pinter’s The Homecoming. A man who’s been away from his family for some time returns, accompanied by a woman whom he brings into a group of strange, violent men.
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Now running through November 16

 

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, which makes its Los Angeles debut at The Fountain Theatre, is a hard-hitting drama about wanderers, those unattached, ungrounded people who lack the support to make smart choices, but still deserve grace and hope. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015, the play features all that one expects from playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis:
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Stephen Adly Guirgis draws his characters — addicts, ex-cons and others who might generously be characterized as imperfect citizens — from the edges of polite society. Vivid communicators, often given to erratic behavior, they are inclined to be voluble and to express opinions colored with unconventional logic. Yet in their openness these folks are frequently guileless and sympathetic— traits which make the plays they inhabit engaging, entertaining and sometimes compelling.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen
What happens when your life has been gutted to the point where practically all that remains are your grudges? Between Riverside and Crazy, a play by Stephen Adly Guirgis currently in its Los Angeles premiere at the Fountain Theatre, is a dark comedy that explores serious issues of racism among police officers and the consequences of police shootings. But it is also a thoughtful exploration of family, forgiveness, and deciding what is important when life has not gone the way you imagined.
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Now running through December 15

THE ABUELAS at Antaeus Theater Company at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Abuelas is the second play by Stephanie Alison Walker to address the tragedy of Los Desaparecidos — Argentinian citizens who opposed the military junta that governed the country between 1976 and 1983 and who fell prey to the right-wing death squads that kidnapped, tortured and murdered thousands.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Stephanie Alison Walker’s “The Abuelas,” now at Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale, is the kind of play that makes staff dramaturgs earn their keep: so much history to contextualize.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In March 1976, a military junta took control of Argentina, ready to dispose of anyone who opposed them. In the years that followed, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 people disappeared as a result of the “Dirty War.” The “disappeareds” included many young pregnant women who gave birth in captivity before being murdered. Their babies were taken from them and illegally adopted out to families with connections to the military.
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Now running through November 25

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP – A PENNY DREADFUL at Actors Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In today’s parlous theatrical economy, more must be done with less, which explains the proliferation of one-person shows on some of our larger stages. This is understandable in a pecuniary sense, if regrettable in an aesthetic one — one misses the dramatic interplay between actors. A nice compromise is the “two-hander,” in which two performers make up the entire cast. Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep — A Penny Dreadful is an excellent example of this theatrical form.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Charles Ludlam wrote nearly 30 plays during his career, mostly performing in them at his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York’s Greenwich Village. A friend took me to see Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide during my first theatre trip to NYC in 1977.      Read more…

Now running through November 10

 

GEM OF THE OCEAN at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Gem of the Ocean, August Wilson’s play about sin, salvation and the power of the supernatural, takes place in 1904, a mere four decades following the end of the Civil War. Written near the close of his career (it was his next-to-the-last play, preceding his final work, Radio Golf), it serves as both framework and foundation for The Pittsburg Cycle, the playwright’s nine-part master chronicle of the African-American experience, in all its profound grief and joy.
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Now running through November 16