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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

TAR at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Photo courtesy of Playwrights’ Arena)

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It’s Los Angeles in 1939. Count Basie and his band are scheduled to play at the Palomar Ballroom — one of the first African-American groups to perform there. Next door, at Bimini Baths, two employees, African-American Amen (Noel Arthur) and Mexican-American Zenobio (Adrian Gonzalez) have been given the onerous job of cleaning up the tar-covered body of a drunken white man…….Read more…

Now running through

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

 Hugo Glendinning

Hugo Glendinning

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

Halfway through Act I of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT at the Wallis, I was looking at Rob Howell’s see-through set design when it dawned on me. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If only the Tyrones had gotten the memo.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In Long Day’s Journey into Night, Eugene O’Neill wrote what is probably the most searing family portrait ever penned. It owes its extraordinary power to the fact that it is mercilessly autobiographical. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Eugene O’Neill won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his masterwork, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. O’Neill wrote the semi-autobiographical play about his family in 1941-42 but it was never produced until after his death. I’m sure it caused his parents to spin in their graves anyway. Read more…

Now running through July 1

 

LYSISTRATA UNBOUND at the Odyssey Theatre

Enci Box

Enci Box

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

John Farmanesh-Bocca directs the world premiere of a bracing new version of Eduardo Machado‘s LYSISTRATA UNBOUND, starring Brenda Strong (Supergirl, 13 Reasons Why) as Lysistrata, in a collaboration between Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sinewy dance and visceral themes are among the hallmarks of Not Man Apart – Physical Theatre Ensemble, a company of performers that aims to bring dance and theater together and frequently succeeds in a brilliant way.
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Now running through August 4

HER PORTMANTEAU at Boston Court Pasadena

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play by Nigerian-American playwright Mfoniso Udofia is part of a projected cycle of nine plays about the lives of the Ufot family in Nigeria and America.
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Now running through June 30

RESA FANTASTISKT MYSTISK at the Broadwater Main Stage

Scott Golden

Scott Golden

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

One of the pleasures of the Hollywood Fringe Festival is discovering something genuinely original amid the minefield of one-person shows. ’s revival of its 1999 production of Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk, written by obscure Swedish playwright Lars Mattsun, is one of these finds.
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Now running through June 22

CABARET at the Celebration Theatre

Matthew Brian Denman

Matthew Brian Denman

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

By now, Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical Cabaret is as much a part of the American musical theater canon as Oklahoma. While it’s much darker than most of its Rodgers and Hammerstein counterparts (save, perhaps, for Carousel), it now feels like an old standby, performed by regional theaters and colleges nationwide. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Christopher Isherwood’s 1945 novel Berlin Stories was turned into a Broadway play called I Am A Camera in 1951 and later filmed, both starring a young Julie Harris as the desperate to be decadent cabaret performer Sally Bowles in 1930s Berlin. Read more…

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

Kander & Ebb’s political musical Cabaret captures a horrific period in history. Set in 1929-1930 as the Nazis were coming into power, it is an unsparingly direct window into the deterioration of a country systematically brainwashed by the lunacy of a madman. It could never happen here, right? Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

“There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany, and it was the end of the world.” Read more…

Harker Jones – Arts In LA

Based on the play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten (itself based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel The Berlin Stories/Goodbye to Berlin), Cabaret is a legendary musical: both the eight-time Tony-winning 1966 Broadway production and the eight-time Oscar-winning 1972 film adaptation.
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Now running through August 17

 

PLUNGE at Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Photo by Son of Semele

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

James Joyce in his A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man famously wrote, “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” That sentiment describes a lot of historical fiction, in which the sins of the past reverberate endlessly down decades or centuries into the present. Read more…

Now running through June 17

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE SUPER LAIR at The New American Theatre

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The world of super heroes can be fun to satirize, and Greg Kalleres’ Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair, directed by Jack Stehlin, is a potentially entertaining spoof, with enough irony and character-driven humor for an adept actor to play with. Read more…

Now running through June 23

RIPE FRENZY at Greenway Court Theatre

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

It’s hard to think of a timelier play than Jennifer Barclay’s Ripe Frenzy, about a shooting and mass murder that takes place in a high school in a small town in upstate New York. A rolling premiere from the National New Play Network, it opened here in Los Angeles the day after newspapers across the country reported the latest mind-blowing tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas……Read more…

Now running through June 17

THE TEMPEST at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center

Ted Ringeison

Ted Ringeison

Ellen Dostal – Broadway World

A gaunt Leon Russom conjures up more pathos than normal as the aged Prospero in the Porters of Hellsgate’s production of THE TEMPEST. Whether it is due to the fact that the actor has been battling pneumonia, which took him out of the show opening weekend mid-performance, or that his interpretation of the role centers on the last actions of a dying man, this is a Prospero we haven’t seen before.
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Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

It tends to raise a red flag when the management of a production thinks it’s necessary to include a synopsis of the play in the program, implying the audience won’t understand it without help. This suggests, among other things, that the director has failed to quite do his job in articulating the action.
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Now running through June 3

 

 

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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Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze 

Playwright Lucas Hnath has built some of his considerable reputation on positing ethical puzzles — tracing a single choice or event to the ramifications for others who must then also make choices, done while never signaling a single “rightness.”    Read more…

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