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Archive for Stage Raw

RED SPEEDO at the Road Theatre Company

Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

The legendary Vince Lombardi once declared that, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” (Actually the slogan was first voiced by UCLA Bruins football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders in 1950; Lombardi probably got it from him).
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Lucas Hnath made news in April, 2017 when his play A Doll’s House, Part II premiered locally at South Coast Repertory while also being staged on Broadway by a different director and with a different cast.
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Now running through July 1

 

SEX at the Hudson Mainstage

Rich Huthman

Rich Hutchman

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We don’t think of Mae West as a literary figure, but she wrote three plays — Sex, The Drag, and Pleasure Man. All were produced on Broadway, and all were closed by the police on grounds of obscenity.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Before she became one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars of the 1930s, the iconic Mae West was a playwright and a Broadway star.
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Now running through June 17

FOREVER BOUND at Atwater Village Theatre

Kathy Flynn

Kathy Flynn

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Steve Apostolina’s Forever Bound is an uncommon play that begins in one genre and ends in another. It’s always difficult to market something that doesn’t fit neatly into one category, so writers are often encouraged not to create anything like that. However, the results of such experiments are usually intriguing artistically. Such is the case with Forever Bound….     Read more…

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Steve Apostolina’s dark and thoughtful dramedy, Forever Bound, starts out as two disparate narratives that come together in an intense, disquieting way. Commencing as a wry comedy about a nebbish whose life is on the downturn, it culminates as a riveting face-off between good and evil, and highlights just how hard it can be to sever the formidable bonds that bind us to our past.
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Now running through June 16

NOISES OFF at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Farce is a science, a series of actions and reactions. People slam and swing open doors, they race up and down stairs, they misplace their clothing. If farce is a science, Noises Off deserves a Nobel Prize for physics.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

What has eight doors and revolves? Answer: Fred Kinney’s double-sided set for A Noise Within’s revival of Noises Off. This marks the company’s third revival of Michael Frayn’s farce in the past decade or so.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Arguably one of the funniest farces in the contemporary British canon, Michael Frayn’s 1982 play revolves around a touring company of actors attempting to stage a frolicsome sex comedy called “Nothing On.”
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Now running through May 26

DEATH BEFORE COCKTAILS at Theatre 68

(Photo by Alex Rotaru)

(Photo by Alex Rotaru)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Laureen Vonnegut’s dark comedy tackles a range of issues, from life and death to sexual identity, sexual confusion, and snarled emotional entanglements. It’s set in a Palm Springs cocktail lounge called, with heavy symbolism, The Last Stop.
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Now running through May 13

NATIVE SON at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Geoffrey Wade Photography

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

I wish one could say that Nambi E. Kelley’s incisive adaptation of novelist Richard Wright’s Native Son, brilliantly staged at Antaeus Theatre Ensemble under Andi Chapman’s direction, was testament to a 20th-century mindset we’ve long transcended. But as many of us are painfully aware, the stereotyping of minorities — and in this case black men in particular — persists like a grotesque contagion on our body politic.
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Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

When it was published in 1940, Richard Wright’s groundbreaking novel about the tragic undoing of Bigger Thomas caused an outburst of reaction and controversy. Native Son ‘s unsettling depiction of racism, poverty, and class conflict in America have been surpassed by few in impact and stature over the years.
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Now running through June 6

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN at Atwater Village Theatre

 

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

The air between the words is so thick you could cut it with a knife in Daniel Talbott‘s shadowy play about three siblings attempting to survive their dysfunctional family. Each is broken in his or her own way and, as the hairball unravels, the audience must piece together their fragmented story over a period of six years.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There are generally two types of ghost stories: those with haunted characters, and those in which it is the audience that becomes haunted — that is, where the tale lingers after the show like an unquiet memory.
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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Daniel Talbott’s What Happened When is a claustrophobic, intense, and harrowing familial drama in the guise of a horror story. Set in a bedroom with red-paint (or blood-) spattered walls, three siblings huddle on a bed in an old farmhouse.
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Now running through April 26

 

SIGNIFICANT OTHER at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, now playing at the Geffen Playhouse, explores friendship as a buffer, a support system, and a crutch when navigating the precarious world of love. Often funny, the comedy will remind audiences of their own singlehood, past or present. Unfortunately….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

What a lovely protagonist Jordan Berman is. Sure, he’s a little too chatty and perhaps a touch too insecure, but he’s honest, caring, bright and perceptive. And he has a delightful sense of humor.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” That seems to be the fate of nebbish-y Jordan Berman (Will Von Vogt) in Joshua Harmon’s very funny and intuitive play, Significant Other, being given a first-rate production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Watching Significant Other is something of a sadomasochistic experience for single people. I mean that in the best possible way. Joshua Harmon’s play achieves a singular sense of catharsis, which is no small feat.
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Now running through May 6

VOTE, PRAY, LOVE at Celebration Theater at the Lex

Bryan Carpender

Bryan Carpender

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Ryan O’Connor is a personable entertainer, and Vote, Pray, Love, directed by Marissa Jaret Winokur at the Celebration Theatre, is a personable play. A bit of a hodgepodge, it’s one of those shows whose rough edges are immaterial when measured against the generosity and charm of its writer and lead performer.
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Now running through April 16

SAINT JOAN at the Broad Stage

Photo by C. King Photography

Photo by C. King Photography

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

When New York-based theater troupe Bedlam first performed their four-person version of George Bernard Shaw’s 1923 play Saint Joan, they staged it in an off-Broadway theater, somewhat similar in size and scope to L.A.’s 99-seat houses. It’s a frenetic, full-of-energy work that would play well in a smaller space — but despite the best efforts of the cast and director, the show gets lost in the large auditorium setting of Santa Monica’s Broad Stage.
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Now running through April 15

THE NIGHT FORLORN (OR, WAITIN’ ON GODSFORD) at Theatre West

Gary Kluger

Gary Kluger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Steve Nevil’s “tumbleweed comedy” strives to be both a version of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot set in the American West in 1870, and homage to the film westerns of John Ford and Sam Peckinpah — and to a large extent it succeeds on both counts.
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Now running through April 22

 

THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE at the Road on Lankershim

Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Christmas Eve in 2011. The Keen family is haunted by the memories, and the ghost, of daughter Dana (Kara Hume), who was killed while working as a Navy corpsman in Afghanistan. Each member of the family reacts differently to the loss.
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Now running through May 13