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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

HANDJOB – Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

When the lights rise on Handjob, a play by Erik Patterson currently in its world premiere at the Echo Theater Company in Los Angeles, we meet Keith (Steven Culp). Keith is a gay, white writer, and he has hired Eddie (Michael Rishawn), a younger black man, to provide a service that at first glance seems sexual in nature. But it turns out Keith has simply hired Eddie to clean his apartment—while shirtless.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Erik Patterson’s new play, Handjob, aims to be provocative, and it succeeds in its goal. While the show features the explicit depiction of a sexual act (I bet you can guess which one), the playwright is going after bigger themes than sex alone.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A gay writer hires a “shirtless cleaner” and thereby begins Eric Patterson’s World Premiere comedy Handjob at Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre.
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Now running through October 21

DRIVING WILDE at Theatre of NOTE

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In The Picture of Dorian Grey, Oscar Wilde’s title character makes a Faustian pact to preserve his beauty at the price of his soul, transitioning, in the course of the narrative, from a naïve, guilt-free youth to a cruel and vicious narcissist. The book speaks to the vanity of vanity itself, the folly of prizing superficial appearances over stolid virtues like honesty and kindness.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

There have been many film and stage adaptations of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray since its publication in 1890. Theatre of NOTE is currently presenting the World Premiere of Jacqueline Wright’s Driving Wilde. The playwright explains the work in her Program Note as thus -
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Now running through September 21

WITCH at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

When The Witch of Edmonton (written by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford) premiered in 1621, its tale of a woman selling her soul to the devil to gain revenge on her neighbors was played as a tragic drama. Jen Silverman’s new version of the story, simply titled Witch, is very much a comedy, although tragedy is still present.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

At the beginning of Witch, a funny and insightful play by Jen Silverman now in its west coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, the titular character (Maura Tierney) addresses the audience, posing a bit of a warning.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

In “Witch,” Jen Silverman’s delightful recasting of the obscure 1621 tragicomedy “The Witch of Edmonton,” characters find themselves in Jacobean dress and Jacobean circumstances, but they speak like Americans today. Nary a “prithee” or “forsooth” to be heard.
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Jonas Schwartz – Theatermania

Witch, receiving its West Coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, explores sexual politics and humanity’s bloodlust for power. Loosely based on William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford’s 1621 play The Witch of Edmonton, this one-act battle of the sexes proves that little in human nature has changed since the 1600s.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

From Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost to Disney’s Fantasia and Broadway’s Damn Yankees, The Devil has been a popular character in books, music, film and stage works.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Witch, Jen Silverman’s incisive illuminating play directed by Marti Lyons at Geffen Playhouse, draws inspiration from The Witch of Edmonton, a Jacobean melodrama conceived around the real-life tragedy of an elderly woman named Elizabeth Sawyer, burned as a witch in the British community of Edmonton in 1621.
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Now running through September 29

 

EARLY BIRDS at Moving Arts

Benjamin Simpson

Benjamin Simpson

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

When it comes to buffets, it seems the early bird does catch the worm — or at least, the early bird gets to eat her food before anyone else touches it. This is the conclusion that Nora (Jean Gilpin) and Ivy (Jayne Taini) reach in Dana Schwartz’s Early Birds. Moving Arts presents this world premiere at the Atwater Village Theatre.
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Now running through September 7

FRANKENSTEIN at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Since the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein in 1818, it has been interpreted and adapted in many ways. In 2011, a stage adaptation by Nick Dear debuted at the National Theatre in London, and this weekend its California premiere opened at A Noise Within in Pasadena.
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Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

The California Premiere of Nick Dear’s adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN features a heartbreaking performance by Michael Manuel as a creature born innocent but ugly, taught to hate and rebel against humanity. Manuel carries the production on his hulking shoulders, which becomes crippling due to a confounding script and unusually lifeless direction from Los Angeles star director Michael Michetti.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

From a literary standpoint, Nick Dear’s stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is neither complicated nor opaque.
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Now running through September 8

 

ANDY WARHOL’S TOMATO at Pacific Resident Theatre

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Teak Piegdon-Brainin

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Back in the ’60s, Andy Warhol was quoted as saying, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” — but his own fame clearly outpaced that prediction. He’s been the subject of films and books, and now playwright Vince Melocchi has crafted a play about the artist before he was celebrated, titled Andy Warhol’s Tomato. The world premiere production at Pacific Resident Theatre is a well-acted and entertaining addition to Warhol lore.
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Now running through September 22

TRUE WEST at VS Theatre

Carlos R. Hernandez

Carlos R. Hernandez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Long before it disappeared, the Old West cast a spell on a certain kind of person — men (although a few were women) who savored the possibility of wide-open country and a better, freer life unshackled from the demands and hypocrisies of social convention.
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Now running through August 31

BAD HAMLET – Coin & Ghost at New American Theatre

Kendall Johnson

Kendall Johnson

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

When I first read that a theater company was asking random members of the public what they knew about Hamlet, then incorporating the answers into their performance, it sounded like a risky ploy — but one that might turn out to be interesting or amusing.
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Now running through August 24

 

100 PLANES

Steve Rogers

Steve Rogers

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Lila Rose Kaplan’s drama arrives in Los Angeles for its West Coast premiere courtesy of Austin’s Filigree Theatre Company. At just over 80 minutes, it blends romance and comedy by way of two mingled narratives that aren’t scripted artfully enough to make the show a success, despite good performances.
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Now running through August 4

APPLE SEASON at Atwater Village Theatre

Benjamin Simpson

Benjamin Simpson

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Perhaps most notable among the many prizes received by playwright E.M. Lewis is the Steinberg Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, garnered for Song of Extinction, produced in 2008 by the L.A. troupe Moving Arts. (That production also won both an LA Weekly award for Best Production and the LADCC award for Outstanding New Play.)
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Now running through August 5

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Set up as a play-within-a-play, the action of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle, currently playing at Antaeus Theatre Company in Los Angeles, begins in the lobby.
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Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One can see why Antaeus Theatre Company has decided to revive Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle now. It’s a play in which the rich are revealed to be monsters of ego and avarice — where one wealthy woman even chooses an array of fancy clothing over saving her infant child.

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Now running through

 

 

THE RUFFIAN ON THE STAIR, Hick Street Productions at the LGBT Center

Noah Torjesen

Noah Torjesen

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Joe Orton was only 34 when he was bludgeoned to death by Kennegth Halliwell, his jealous lover and one-time writing partner. Halliwell envied Orton’s newfound celebrity as an up-and-coming playwright, launched after the BBC aired The Ruffian on the Stair as a radio play in 1964.
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Now running through July 28