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Archive for October 2015 – Page 3

A BRIGHT NEW BOISE – Chance Theater at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center

Photo by Doug Catiller

Photo by Doug Catille

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Some of us try to jury-rig meaningful lives using the disheartening fragments at our disposal; others dream of wiping the slate clean and starting anew. Both approaches prove painfully unsatisfying to the lonely characters in Samuel D. Hunter’s play “A Bright New Boise,” the 2011 Obie Award winner being revived at Chance Theater. Read more…

Now running through October 25.

WE ARE THE TIGERS at the Hudson Backstage

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Photo by Josh Rimmey

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Rebekah M. Allen’s musical about a loser squad of high school cheerleaders fighting their way up from the bottom of the heap sounds like it might be a satiric hoot. It isn’t. Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

If you are studying  Ancient Greek mythology, you will have heard of The Harpies, demonic creatures who appeared to avenge criminal wrongdoing.  They would shriek, rend the flesh from their victims’ bodies, and torment them until the wrongdoers repented or died.  American mythology may not have Harpies, but we do have cheerleaders…….Read more…

Now running through November 8.

 

PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED – Teapot Tempest

 

Ghost-Light_4Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

In a dramatic about-face, playwright Tommy Smith on Wednesday abruptly retracted allegations that Echo Theater Company had “stolen” his short play Ghost Light, which had starred Deborah Puette and opened August 5 to rave notices. The production was the playwright’s third collaboration with Echo artistic director Chris Fields, whose stagings of Smith’s Firemen in 2014 and last spring’s Fugue were likewise met with critical acclaim. Read more…

 

CARRIE THE KILLER MUSICAL EXPERIENCE at the Los Angeles Theatre

Photo by Jason Niedle

Photo by Jason Niedle

Dany Margolies – The Daily News

There’s a right way to deal with bullies. And then there’s Carrie’s way.

The 17-year-old high school senior, whose upbringing by her hyper-religious mother has guaranteed that she will be ridiculed by her classmates, has a supernatural power and bullying brings it out in force.  Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

What a difference a second look makes. When “Carrie: The Musical” hit La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in the spring, I found its immersive execution spectacular, its performances impressive and the material, well … Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

Now playing at the Los Angeles Theatre is Carrie the Musical, an exciting musical production, packed with great songs, fantastic voices and performances, and a compelling storyline. Read more…

Now running through November 22.

 

 

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 at Theatre West

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright John Bishop, a longtime member of New York’s Circle Repertory Theatre, wrote a number of plays and screenplays, among them this comic spoof of manor house murder mysteries. It follows in the tradition of screwball comedies popular in the 1930s and ’40s.  Read more…

Now running through October 18.

BREATHING ROOM at Greenway Court Theatre

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Photo by Ed Krieger

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

Greenway Court Theatre’s Breathing Room is a 70-minute metaphysical self-help session, scored to electric violin and synthesizer and incorporating quantum theory. It insists that people are debilitated by overwhelming technological change, and it recommends an extended time-out to develop a fresh perspective on the natural world.   Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

Most properly a performance piece rather than either a play or a musical composition, Breathing Room could be seen as both an extension and a contraction of the talents of Mary Lou Newmark, who if naught else pursues assiduously her own muse.

Read more…

Now running through October 25.

THE BEST OF ENEMIES at the Colony Theatre

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Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Two weeks remain to catch “The Best of Enemies” in its West Coast premiere at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. The production is mandatory viewing for anyone who values the stage’s ability to provoke thought about serious social issues.

Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

C..P. Ellis was a local leader of the Ku Klux Klan when he was drafted to serve on a committee overseeing school desegregation in Durham, North Carolina in 1971.  His nemesis on the committee, Ann Atwater, was a militant African-American civil rights activist.  The two despised each other  – that is, until they began to understand that the issues they had in common were more numerous and pressing than the hatred which kept them apart.

Read more…

Now running through October 18.

ICU at the Atwater Village Theatre

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Photo by Jeff Galfer

David C. Nichols – LA Times

In “ICU,” playwright Fielding Edlow diagnoses dark humor in the most dysfunctional family this side of Eugene O’Neill’s Tyrone clan. Here, they’re upper-middle-class New York Jews, snarling and kvetching through the striking environmental staging by Circle X Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre.   Read more…

Now running through October 31.

APPROPRIATE at the Mark Taper Forum

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Photo by Craig Schwartz

Les Spindle –  Edge on the Net

In “Appropriate,” the initial conventionality in introducing the characters and basic storyline elicits raucous and sardonic laughs, as the depth of resentments among the siblings and their family members gradually come to light. Yet, there’s far more than garden-variety family baggage afoot here, Read more…

Pauline Adamek  – ArtsBeatLA

In Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ domestic drama Appropriate, three siblings squabble over an inheritance, piling on the recriminations. It’s well-trodden terrain for many playwrights and screenwriters; smoldering dysfunction tends to explode when there’s money at stake. So, some of the bickering and accusations feel all too familiar, a key plot point’s progression all too predictable… But Jacobs-Jenkins adds a layer of tension ….. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins made an impressive L.A. debut a few years back with the Matrix production of his play Neighbors. It was intense, funny, confrontational and it sought to make its audience uncomfortable in interesting ways. His latest L.A. production, the west coast premiere of Appropriate at the Mark Taper Forum, is a different sort of play. It still has moments intended to be shocking, but overall this is a tamer beast. em>Read more…

Now running through November 1.

ANTIGONE at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Sschwartz

Photo by Craig Sschwartz

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

…it is piquantly paradoxical that such a determined ironist as Jean Anouilh (Becket, Waltz of the Toreadors, The Lark), the most commercially and critically successful French playwright internationally immediately following the Second World War, now can be seen to exemplify some of the pitfalls of logical colloquy. Read more…

Now running through November 20.

 

FIRST DATE at La Mirada Theatre

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Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

First Date, with songs by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner and book by Austin Winsberg, completed a modest 200-performance Broadway run in 2013, perhaps largely buoyed by the presence of a television star. Read more…

Now running through October 11.

WATCHING O.J. at the Atwater Village theatre

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Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Playwright David McMillan’s Watching O.J. cogently encapsulates the passions and perspectives surrounding the murder trial of ex-professional football star and actor O.J. Simpson – an event which captivated America and much of the Western world this month, 20 years ago. Read more…

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Tomorrow you can be white again, Harold,” one of the central characters is told in “Watching O.J.,” the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles’ account of the day the O.J. Simpson verdict came down. The production has some new-play issues, but as that provocative line indicates, the pertinence of “Watching O.J.” is undeniable. Read more…

Now running through November 8.