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Archive for Stage Raw – Page 2

1984 at The Actors’ Gang

Ashley Randall

Ashley Randall

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

When George Orwell wrote 1984, he was responding to the totalitarian movements that swept Germany and Russia under Hitler and Stalin respectively. Published in 1949, the book was intended as a caution to those who mistakenly kept faith in the promise of Soviet communism.
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Now running through December 7

THE DOUBLE V at the Matrix Theatre

Ed Krieger

Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

So entrenched was systemic racism in the U.S. in the early 1940s that patriotic African-Americans were turned away when they sought to fight for their country at the onset of World War II.

Directed by Michael Arabian at the Matrix Theater, Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s play dramatizes the historical effort to allow black men and women to serve in the U.S. military in time of war.
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Now running through November 24

BURIED CHILD at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Watching A Noise Within’s new production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, I was struck by how closely the first act resembles Pinter’s The Homecoming. A man who’s been away from his family for some time returns, accompanied by a woman whom he brings into a group of strange, violent men.
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Now running through November 16

 

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Jonas Schwartz – Broadway World

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, which makes its Los Angeles debut at The Fountain Theatre, is a hard-hitting drama about wanderers, those unattached, ungrounded people who lack the support to make smart choices, but still deserve grace and hope. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015, the play features all that one expects from playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis:
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Stephen Adly Guirgis draws his characters — addicts, ex-cons and others who might generously be characterized as imperfect citizens — from the edges of polite society. Vivid communicators, often given to erratic behavior, they are inclined to be voluble and to express opinions colored with unconventional logic. Yet in their openness these folks are frequently guileless and sympathetic— traits which make the plays they inhabit engaging, entertaining and sometimes compelling.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen
What happens when your life has been gutted to the point where practically all that remains are your grudges? Between Riverside and Crazy, a play by Stephen Adly Guirgis currently in its Los Angeles premiere at the Fountain Theatre, is a dark comedy that explores serious issues of racism among police officers and the consequences of police shootings. But it is also a thoughtful exploration of family, forgiveness, and deciding what is important when life has not gone the way you imagined.
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Now running through December 15

THE ABUELAS at Antaeus Theater Company at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The Abuelas is the second play by Stephanie Alison Walker to address the tragedy of Los Desaparecidos — Argentinian citizens who opposed the military junta that governed the country between 1976 and 1983 and who fell prey to the right-wing death squads that kidnapped, tortured and murdered thousands.
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Margaret Gray – LA Times

Stephanie Alison Walker’s “The Abuelas,” now at Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale, is the kind of play that makes staff dramaturgs earn their keep: so much history to contextualize.
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Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

In March 1976, a military junta took control of Argentina, ready to dispose of anyone who opposed them. In the years that followed, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 people disappeared as a result of the “Dirty War.” The “disappeareds” included many young pregnant women who gave birth in captivity before being murdered. Their babies were taken from them and illegally adopted out to families with connections to the military.
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Now running through November 25

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP – A PENNY DREADFUL at Actors Co-op

Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

In today’s parlous theatrical economy, more must be done with less, which explains the proliferation of one-person shows on some of our larger stages. This is understandable in a pecuniary sense, if regrettable in an aesthetic one — one misses the dramatic interplay between actors. A nice compromise is the “two-hander,” in which two performers make up the entire cast. Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep — A Penny Dreadful is an excellent example of this theatrical form.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Charles Ludlam wrote nearly 30 plays during his career, mostly performing in them at his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company in New York’s Greenwich Village. A friend took me to see Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide during my first theatre trip to NYC in 1977.      Read more…

Now running through November 10

 

GEM OF THE OCEAN at A Noise Within

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Gem of the Ocean, August Wilson’s play about sin, salvation and the power of the supernatural, takes place in 1904, a mere four decades following the end of the Civil War. Written near the close of his career (it was his next-to-the-last play, preceding his final work, Radio Golf), it serves as both framework and foundation for The Pittsburg Cycle, the playwright’s nine-part master chronicle of the African-American experience, in all its profound grief and joy.
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Now running through November 16

 

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN at Boston Court Pasadena

Craig Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Americans live in a culture which values the new, the shiny, the unimpaired. If a plate or cup chips, most of us throw it away.

In Japan, it’s a different story. A Japanese philosophy, wabi-sab, teaches that worn or imperfect objects may have great value.Kintsugi, the repairing of broken pottery, is a kindred art form that views imperfections in an object as part of their history and integral to their worth. Rather than discard the object, kintsugi instructs that it be cared for and treasured.
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Now running through October 27

 

LAS MUJERES DEL MAR – Playwrights Arena at Atwater Village Theatre

Kelly Stuart

Kelly Stuart

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Part memory play, part social drama, Janine Salinas Schoenberg’s Las Mujeres Del Mar (Women of the Sea) tells the story of three generations of Mexican-American women who strive to love and support each other despite their past wounds and resentments.
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Now running through October 14

 

A PLAY IS A POEM at The Mark Taper Forum

Craig  Schwartz

Craig Schwartz

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Ethan Coen is one of the greatest screenwriters of the past 50 years, with some of his works — Miller’s CrossingFargo and The Big Lebowski — standing as masterworks of the form. He’s also an accomplished short story author and poet, as attested to by Gates of Eden and The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way, respectively. So, it’s disappointing to report that his new show at the Taper, A Play Is a Poem, is at best a mildly amusing collection of four short plays, with an implacably bad, tough-to-endure one-act positioned right at the center.
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Now running through October 13

 

IN CIRCLES at the Odyssey Theatre

Michael C. Palma

Michael C. Palma

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Gertrude Stein was a poet, novelist, essayist and playwright who is generally regarded as one of the more influential female writers of the 20th century. Her style was anything but conventional, and we have her to thank for such pithy expressions as “a rose is a rose is a rose” and “there is no there there.”
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Now running through November 10

DEADLY at Sacred Fools Theater Company

Jessica Sherman

Jessica Sherman

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Herman Webster Mudgett AKA Dr. Henry Howard Holmes AKA H.H. Holmes is a name little known today. Holmes was one of the first and most prolific serial killers in American history.
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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Numerous books have been written about H. H. Holmes, a 19thcentury serial killer and con man who was ultimately executed for the murder of his accomplice,Benjamin Pitezel, in 1896. Interrogated by police, Holmes claimed to have killed 27 people, including three of Pitezel’s five children, whom he did away with so he could claim their insurance money.
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Now running through November 2