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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

SHOWPONY at the Victory Theatre

Tim Sullens

Tim Sullens

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Like so many of our social and/or cultural environments, today’s workplace is radically different from what it was many decades ago when the centers of power were pretty much the sole province of white males. American women had their “stations,” and not too much concern was given over to things like equal rights, discrimination (in all its forms), sexual harassment and the troublesome issues of PC. But things have certainly changed — or have they? — which brings us to Judith Leora’s world premiere comedy about a group of working women today.       Read more…

Now running through December 16

CLEO THEO AND WU at Theatre of NOTE

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Commendable for its support of female empowerment and its flashes of wit, Cleo, Theo and Wu can be a frustrating experience if you’re a theatergoer who prefers a coherent story to a chaotic one.
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Now running through December 6

MEASURE FOR MEASURE at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin)

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Plays taken out of the context of their own times can be troublesome. For instance, modern theatres have struggled to deal with the racist portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, to the extent that a recent production, Everything That Never Happened, revised the play’s events to relay them from Shylock’s daughter’s point of view. In this era of #MeToo, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is a tricky proposition — relevant, on the one hand, for its depiction of men in power abusing women, but alarming on the other hand in its resolution of these issues.
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Now running through December 16

HUGHIE and KRAPP’S LAST TAPE at the Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

Brian Dennehy, who won one of his two Tony Awards as iconic Eugene O’Neill protagonist James Tyrone in a 2003 production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, returns to the author’s milieu with the one-act Hughie, another tale of addiction and emotional ghosts.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Hughie & Krapp’s Last Tape, by Eugene O’Neill and Samuel Beckett respectively, Brian Dennehy portrays solitary men struggling to come to terms with the desolation in their lives. Both plays are directed by Steven Robman at the Geffen Playhouse.
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Now running through December 16

FINKS at Rogue Machine

John Perrrin Flynn

John Perrrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The cost of integrity is never cheap, but it varies. Sometimes one can lose relationships with family or friends, lose a job or, in the direst circumstance, lose one’s life. In the early 1950s, the House Un-American Activities Committee wielded Cold War communist paranoia to attack people whose views they didn’t like, stripping them of their careers and reputations, or getting them to testify against their friends and colleagues.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The dictionary defines “fink” when used as a noun as “an unpleasant or contemptible person” while when used as a verb it can mean “inform on to the authorities”. Both definitions fit the characters who fink their friends to HUAC, the House Un-American Activities Committee in Joe Gildord’s play Finks…….Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Plays that explore the abuse of power or the unjust scapegoating of the powerless nearly always reel me in, and Finks, written by Joe Gilford and set against the backdrop of the HUAC hearings in 1950-53, unequivocally fits that description. Leavened with humor, with a strong intuitive performer in the pivotal role, it’s a harsh reminder of what can happen when unscrupulous people acquire control of the workings of government and words become instrumental in destroying innocent lives.
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Now running through December 30

 

 

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Geffen Playhouse

Chris Whitaker

Chris Whitaker

Jonas Schwartz -  TheaterMania

The world premiere of this new adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol draws out the chills and thrills of this ghostly tale while still conveying the joy inherent in the famous parable about goodwill toward all men.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Suppose you’re a veteran theater goer, one without children to entertain on the holidays. Why might you attend yet another staged production of A Christmas Carol, that inveterate seasonal favorite playing at countless venues throughout the country year in and year out. Adapted from Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, it’s stuffy and bathetic and you’ve doubtless seen it one too many times already. Bah, humbug, take a pass.
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Now running through December 16

BAYOU BLUES at the Bootleg Theatre

Lily Kravetz

Lily Kravetz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Bayou Blues, part of the 2018 Solo Queens Fest at Bootleg Theatre, writer/performer Shaina Lynn mixes storytelling and spoken word to relay her experience as a woman of color from New Orleans.
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Now running through November 18

BLISS – Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre

Mae Koo Photography

Mae Koo Photography

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Although Bliss (Or Emily Post is Dead!), is set in North Orange, New Jersey in the 1960s, a rudimentary knowledge of Greek mythology is helpful in fathoming the themes of Jami Brandli’s ambitious but muddled satire, directed by Darin Anthony.
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Now running through December 2

WINTER SOLSTICE at City Garage

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Margaret Gray – LA Times

There’s nothing scary, at first, about Rudolph, the elderly gentleman who shows up at Albert and Bettina’s house one Christmas Eve in “Winter Solstice,” a 2013 play by the German writer Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham, which is having its West Coast premiere at City Garage.
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Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

It is abundantly clear that Roland Schimmelpfenig, the playwright of Winter Solstice, currently making its West Coast debut at City Garage in Santa Monica, wishes he were a novelist, or perhaps an experimental filmmaker like the characters in the play.
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Now running through November 25

VIETGONE at East West Players

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Translating personal experiences or family history into theatre can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, simply recounting events as they happened doesn’t necessarily create fascinating drama. On the other hand, fictionalizing things too much may betray the truth of the story.
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Now running through November 18

CAL IN CAMO at VS Theatre

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

It could be said that Sam Shepard perfected the strain of poetic realism that runs in American playwriting, particularly in works such as True West and Buried Child. Symbols abound, from characters representing civilization and wilderness to bushels of corn growing from a dead field.
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Now running through November 9

 

ROPE at Actors Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Rope, Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 suspense thriller at Actors Co-op, commences with an electrifying moment — the sort of cleverly crafted theatrics one might expect from director Ken Sawyer. In a pitch-black theater, the soft strains of a popular love ballad (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) can be heard.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Leopold and Loeb killed Robert Franks in 1924 in what at the time was labeled “the crime of the century”. They committed the crime as a demonstration of their perceived intellectual superiority, citing the philosopher Nietzsche’s concept of Ubermenschen or supermen.
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Now running through October 28