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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

STOMACH CONTENTS at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

Sharon Yablon

Sharon Yablon

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

These three one-acts by Sharon Yablon are all set in the bleak Mojave Desert, and they share an equally bleak vision, albeit touched with fantasy and surrealism.
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Now running through March 25

 

THE ART COUPLE at the Broadwater Black Box

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh and Neil Simon: two icons of the brush and canvass, another of the written word and stage, are all cleverly brought together in this striking world premiere by playwright Brendan Hurt.
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Now running through March 17

ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

After nearly nine years, Allegiance has come home to Southern California. The co-production by East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center opened to a sold out crowd on Wednesday night, less than half a mile from the Japanese American National Museum where it had its first reading in 2009.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Produced by East West Players at the Japanese American Cultural Center, Allegiance features noted performer-activist George Takei, and draws inspiration from his personal experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There are two ways to look at the East West Players/Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s new production of the musical “Allegiance,” recently opened at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. Both have a validity, but the results of those two ways of examination may prove very different.

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In 21st century internet parlance, there’s a lot to unpack in East West Players’ production of Allegiance, now playing at Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. On the first, most obvious level, there’s the timeliness of telling a story about sending Americans off to internment camps — an event that no longer seems out of the realm of possibility given our current Administration.
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Now running through April 1

SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF A PLAY at the Celebration Theatre

Mat Hayes

Mat Hayes

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

There’s little that chills the blood of a theatre critic more than the three words “one-man show.” When these things are bad, they tend to be especially so, and unlike a usual play, there’s nothing else to distract one from the spectacle. On the other hand, when they’re good, they place the focus squarely on great writing and performance and can be very satisfying.
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Now running through March 25

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST at LATC

Gil Solis

Gil Solis

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

The Happiest Song Plays Last is, as the title implies, the last play in the Elliot trilogy, three works by Quiara Alegría Hudes playing concurrently in Los Angeles.

The first two plays, Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue and Review: Water by the Spoonful, stand more or less independent of each other, especially since Elliot is more of a supporting character in the latter. By contrast, The Happiest Song Plays Last requires you to be familiar with Water by the Spoonful. Nearly everything that happens to Elliot here is set up in the previous play.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Elliot Trilogy, which begins in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue and the Pulitzer Prize-winner Water by the Spoonful, concludes in The Happiest Song Plays Last, which made its California premiere this weekend at the Latino Theater Company.

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

The Happiest Song Plays Last ends happily for its pivotal characters —and also, perhaps, for discerning theatergoers, who can’t wait to flee this lemon of a production.

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Now running through March 19

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Boston Court Performing Arts Center

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Often, when classic plays are “updated” or “reimagined,” the implication is that the work needed such treatment to remain relevant to a modern audience. In my experience, this rarely is the case, and such reinventions are generally more of a way for a director to stamp his or her stylistic ideas on the show.
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Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Blanche may have always depended on the kindness of strangers, but there’s very little strange about director Michael Michetti’s masterful production of Tennessee Williams’ ferocious perennial.
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Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

When I was in high school and college, casting of the shows produced there was founded primarily in giving the best performers a chance at the best roles. This often meant that traditionally white characters were played by persons of color (though, it should be noted, rarely the other way around for understandable sensitivity reasons –….
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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Sometimes, a play may be outdated in its particulars, but what it says of human relationships is so truthful that the work remains moving and relevant.
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Now running through March 25

BROWN & OUT IV at Casa 0101

Photo courtesy Casa 0101

Photo courtesy Casa 0101

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This is Casa 0101’s 4th collection of short plays exploring the LGBTQ+ scene from the Latinx point of view. The participating writers include Abel Alvarado, Corky Dominguez, Claudia Duran, Josefina Lopez, Jaime Mayorquin, Raymond Arturo Perez, Matthew Benjamin Ramos, Gilbert Salazar, Richard Billegas, Jr. and Patricia Zamorano.
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Now running through March 4

4PLAY: SEX IN A SERIES at the Actors Company

Kelsey Risher

Kelsey Risher

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

New York City’s trip. theatre ensemble brings their off-beat sex and romance saga to L.A., after a lengthy run in Chicago.
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Now running through March 17

A WALK IN THE WOODS at Actors Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

According to Lee Blessing’s 1987 A Walk in the Woods, the world’s problems might be resolved if only individuals were able to ignore their myopic and belligerent governments and approach each other with humor, patience and respect.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

When Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods was first produced in 1988, the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union were both still intact.
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Now running through March 18

 

TWO-FISTED LOVE at the Odyssey Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

I have to admit that I’m confused. I don’t know why playwright David Sessions calls his play Two Fisted Love, and labels it a dark comedy. The comedy is in short supply, and most of the love seems to be in the past tense, or essentially destructive.

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Now running through March 11

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL at the Mark Taper Forum

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

Though Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trio of plays is called the “Elliot trilogy,” Water by the Spoonful, isn’t really about Elliot.

The middle work in the triad, it’s a stark change from its predecessor, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, currently playing at the Kirk Douglas in Culver City. Here, Elliot (Sean Caravajal) is no longer pivotal; instead, he’s a supporting character who takes a backseat to the members of a Narcotics Anonymous online support group.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

A 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner, Water by the Spoonful is the second in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ trilogy revolving around Elliot, a young war veteran from a Puerto Rican family living in Philadelphia.
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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Water by the Spoonful,” which just opened at the Mark Taper Forum, continues the legacy of her “Elliott: A Soldier’s Fugue,” now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Elliot Trilogy, which focuses on a Puerto Rican family in Philadelphia and one son’s post-military trauma, has been mounted at three theaters concurrently in Los Angeles.
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Now running through March 11

IRONBOUND at the Geffen Playhouse

Christ Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At what point in life must you be willing to sacrifice happiness for survival? Ironbound, a play by Martyna Majok currently in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, tells the story of Darja (Marin Ireland), a Polish immigrant struggling to build a life for herself in New Jersey.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In my experience, when a production is of mixed or bad quality, the acting is rarely to blame. Occasionally an ill-judged performance will mar a fine piece of writing, but it is much more common to watch a talented ensemble struggle with an undercooked play. So it is with Martyna Majok’s Ironbound….
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Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

We should empathize with Darja. She’s an immigrant struggling to wrap her mouth around English, both its syntax and pronunciation. She works two jobs, when they’re available. She constantly worries about her son, who needs a stay in rehab that she can’t afford, even if she could find him these days. Indeed, she can’t find any good man who will stay around and treasure her.
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Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

In American theater, as in life, not all voices receive equal airtime — one reason why Martyna Majok’s pitch-black dramedy about a Polish-born factory worker-slash-cleaning lady is so poignant and arresting.
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Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Darja, the lonely, unfulfilled antihero of Ironbound, at the Geffen Playhouse, grants actor Marin Ireland a showcase for her vast talents. In lesser hands, Darja, a woman who seems to live only to survive, is a character that could turn off audiences, but Ireland finds Darja’s unsinkable core and hooks us along with it.
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Now running through March 4