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Archive for Stage Raw

THE BALD SOPRANO AND THE LESSON at the Santa Monica Playhouse

(Photo by S. Dolinsky)

(Photo by S. Dolinsky)

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In troubled times like these, there should be something rewarding in unwinding with absurdism. After all, when the world doesn’t make sense, a dose of topsy-turvy comedy should be just what the doctor ordered. French playwright Eugene Ionesco was one of the masters of absurdist comedy….
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Now running through August 26

THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES at the Sierra Madre Playhouse

(Photo by Gina Long)

(Photo by Gina Long)

Frances Baum Nicholson – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

A musical format which has become extremely popular, particularly in smaller venues, involves taking popular music from a particular genre and a particular time period and building a storyline around what is essentially a nostalgic concert.   Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Directed by Robert Marra at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Roger Bean’s The Marvelous Wonderettes offers a sparkling showcase of pop songs from the 1950s and 60s.   Read more…

Now running through September 17

 

HONKY TONK LAUNDRY at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre

(Photo by Michael Lamont)

(Photo by Michael Lamont)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Roger Bean, who wrote and directed the hit musical The Marvelous Wonderettes and its various sequels, has done it again. He’s written another juke-box musical — but here the emphasis is on country and western songs.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way 

Bets Malone and Misty Cotton are two of the Southland’s best known and most talented musical theatre performers. They have known each other since they were children growing up in Northern San Diego County…Read more…

Now running through September 17

 

TILDA SWINTON ANSWERS AN AD ON CRAIGSLIST at the Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Photo courtesy of Celebration Theatre

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Byron Lane’s shtick-drenched comedy at the Celebration Theatre, a flamboyant figure claiming to be actress Tilda Swinton (Tom Lenk) shows up on the doorstep of a suicidal man named Walt (Lane) and inspires him to accept himself and get on with his life. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s a special subset of shows that parody or examine a particular celebrity, such as Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers’ Matt & Ben (about the titular Good Will Hunting creators), or Jonathan Tolins’ examination of life in Streisand’s home mall in Buyer and Cellar. Read more…

Now running through August 31

 

WET: A DACAmented Journey – Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA at Atwater Village Theatre

 (Photo by Youthana Yuos)

(Photo by Youthana Yuos)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

We have all heard horrendous tales of the hardships and uncertainties facing the undocumented struggling to cope with our fractured immigration system, but that knowledge is pretty abstract compared to the grueling realities of being there. Actor/writer/poet Alex Alpharaoh has been there, for thirty-odd maddening and painful years, and he shares the reality of that experience with gut-wrenching passion.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Like millions of other undocumented people, writer/performer Alex Alpharaoh was a child when he arrived in the United States. Read more…

Now running through August 27

BALL YARDS at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Chuck Faerber looks with a satiric, goofy and sometimes jaundiced eye at what he calls “the real American religion: sports.” In this series of comic sketches, he casts a wide net, examining the players, the coaches, the TV commentators and producers, the Ku Klux Klan —and Condoleezza Rice.

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Now running through August 27

THE LOST CHILD at the Skylight Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Jennifer W. Rowland’s The Lost Child, Addie Daddio plays Ann, a troubled woman whose daughter had been mysteriously abducted 7 years prior.
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Now running through September 3

 

TROUBLE IN MIND at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

 Photo by Ian Flanders

Photo by Ian Flanders

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

At times, it seems unbelievable that playwright Alice Childress wrote Trouble in Mind in 1955. The show, which features the tried and true dramatic structure of a play-within-a-play, examines racial politics with a razor-sharp wit.
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Now running through September 30

AS YOU LIKE IT at Antaeus Theatre Company

(Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography)

(Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography)

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the reasons for the continued popularity of Shakespeare’s work over the centuries is how unusually open it is to reinterpretation — directors or actors can use it as a lens with which to focus anew on some aspect of the world.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“All the world’s a stage…” William Shakespeare’s classic comedy As You Like It features some of his most famous monologues and a great deal of whimsy.
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Now running through September 10

SEQUENCE at Theatre 40

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In playwright Arun Lakra’s quick-witted, if perhaps overly cerebral piece, it isn’t a rabbit’s foot or a four-leaf clover that makes someone lucky — it’s genetic predisposition.  Or perhaps it’s an evolutionary adaptation that allows people to peer into the future, quantum physics-style, and somehow bring about their future happiness.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Imagine writing a play in the hopes of creating as complex a double helix as a strand of DNA. That appears to be the intent of Arun Lakra, whose “Sequence” is at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. Complex it is, at least in volume though not necessarily in nuance. Still, the play proves artfully directed enough that the script’s overt nature is, to some extent, overcome.
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Now running through August 20

 

 

SO LONG BOULDER CITY at Celebration Theatre at the Lex

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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This show is advertised as a one-woman show, but in this case the woman is a guy: Jimmy Fowlie (Go-Go Boy Interrupted), who modestly lists himself in the program as “Co-writer/Star.” The piece purports to be the one-woman show performed by Mia Dolan, the heroine of the movie Lala Land. (I haven’t seen the movie so some of the finer points of this piece may have been lost on me.)
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Now running through August 19

THE MARRIAGE ZONE at the Secret Rose Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Perhaps the two greatest dangers in producing an original work of theater is either directing your own performance or directing your own play. In either case, the absolutely necessary second opinion — the critique needed to make sure the thing is the best it can be — is lacking. Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

My favorite episodes of Doctor Who, that amazing TV series about a time traveling alien that’s run for about 40 years, are the ones in which the Doctor meets earlier versions of himself.  When the older character meets the younger character, there are always jokes about how the younger version hates how he turned out — while the older version always criticizes the younger version’s taste or intelligence or what have you. Read more…

Now running through August 27