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Archive for Stage Raw

RUMORS at The Lonny Chapman Theatre

Doug Engalla

Doug Engalla

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Prolific playwright Neil Simon made his name with a long and successful series of character- driven comedies, including The Odd Couple, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Plaza Suite — but with this play he felt the need for a change of pace, and set out to produce a zany, plot- driven farce, concerned only with generating laughs.
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Now running through July 29

SLAUGHTER CITY at The Historic Lankershim Arts Center

John Klopping

John Klopping

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

The plight of the blue-collar worker and the struggle of union versus management is undeniably a worthy subject for drama. This is especially so now, when unions seem to be disappearing and blue-collar workers have watched their jobs become mechanized or shipped overseas. So a play about these topics should be most welcome.
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Now running through July 14

SWEET CHARITY at the Freud Playhouse

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At one point in the musical Sweet Charity, the main female characters sing “there’s gotta be something better than this.” While they are singing about their disappointing lives, this line also speaks directly to the extremely problematic messages this dated show perpetuates regarding sexual and gender politics.   Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

When Reprise! Broadway’s Best closed its doors in 2012, musical theatre lovers heaved a collective sigh. The resident company at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse had gained a reputation for producing outstanding performances of classic musicals featuring stars from the worlds of live theatre and television, similar to those done by Encores! in New York. Everyone felt the loss. Read more

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

If you didn’t know any better, it would be easy to forget that Sweet Charity, now playing at UCLA, is a musical from the 1960s.
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Now running through July 1

100 APRILS – Rogue Machine at The MET Theatre

Michelle Hanzelova

Michelle Hanzelova

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Leslie Ayvazian’s play about a dying man haunted by dreams of the Armenian genocide coalesces around an exemplary performance by John Perrin Flynn as the ebbing invalid. Read more…

Now running through July 16

TAR at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Los Angeles in 1939. Count Basie and his band are scheduled to play at the Palomar Ballroom — one of the first African-American groups to perform there. Next door, at Bimini Baths, two employees, African-American Amen (Noel Arthur) and Mexican-American Zenobio (Adrian Gonzalez) have been given the onerous job of cleaning up the tar-covered body of a drunken white man…….Read more…

Now running through

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

 Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell’s see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill wrote what is probably the most searing family portrait ever penned. It owes its extraordinary power to the fact that it is mercilessly autobiographical. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Eugene O’Neill won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his masterwork, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. O’Neill wrote the semi-autobiographical play about his family in 1941-42 but it was never produced until after his death. I’m sure it caused his parents to spin in their graves anyway. Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

LYSISTRATA UNBOUND at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado‘s LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way.
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Now running through August 4

HER PORTMANTEAU at Boston Court Pasadena

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Nigerian-American playwright Mfoniso Udofia is part of a projected cycle of nine plays about the lives of the Ufot family in Nigeria and America.
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Now running through June 30

RESA FANTASTISKT MYSTISK at the Broadwater Main Stage

Scott Golden

Scott Golden

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the pleasures of the Hollywood Fringe Festival is discovering something genuinely original amid the minefield of one-person shows. ’s revival of its 1999 production of Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk, written by obscure Swedish playwright Lars Mattsun, is one of these finds.
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Now running through June 22

CABARET at the Celebration Theatre

Matthew Brian Denman

Matthew Brian Denman

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

By now, Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical Cabaret is as much a part of the American musical theater canon as Oklahoma. While it’s much darker than most of its Rodgers and Hammerstein counterparts (save, perhaps, for Carousel), it now feels like an old standby, performed by regional theaters and colleges nationwide. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Christopher Isherwood’s 1945 novel Berlin Stories was turned into a Broadway play called I Am A Camera in 1951 and later filmed, both starring a young Julie Harris as the desperate to be decadent cabaret performer Sally Bowles in 1930s Berlin. Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Kander & Ebb’s political musical Cabaret captures a horrific period in history. Set in 1929-1930 as the Nazis were coming into power, it is an unsparingly direct window into the deterioration of a country systematically brainwashed by the lunacy of a madman. It could never happen here, right? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany, and it was the end of the world.” Read more…

Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Based on the play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten (itself based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel The Berlin Stories/Goodbye to Berlin), Cabaret is a legendary musical: both the eight-time Tony-winning 1966 Broadway production and the eight-time Oscar-winning 1972 film adaptation.
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Now running through August 17

 

PLUNGE at Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

James Joyce in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man famously wrote, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” That sentiment describes a lot of historical fiction, in which the sins of the past reverberate endlessly down decades or centuries into the present. Read more…

Now running through June 17

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE SUPER LAIR at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The world of super heroes can be fun to satirize, and Greg Kalleres’ Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair, directed by Jack Stehlin, is a potentially entertaining spoof, with enough irony and character-driven humor for an adept actor to play with. Read more…

Now running through June 23