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Archive for June 2022 – Page 3

SIGNALS at Asylum @ Thymele Arts – Hollywood Fringe Festival

Photo by Nick Griffith

Photo by Nick Griffith

Dana Martin – Stage Raw

There’s something shady going on at The Foundation. The top-secret, seemingly organized corporate hierarchy has something sinister contained within its walls. Signals, the latest innovation from Last Call Theatre, is a delicious sci- fi, choose-your-own-adventure for theater nerds. Read more…

Now through June 26

A TERMINAL EVENT at Victory Theatre Center

Photo by Tim Sullens

Photo by Tim Sullens

Terry Morgan – Stage Raw

Playwright Richard Willett has interesting things to say about the current state of the medical industry, though the difficulty inherent in writing a “message play,” such as this one – a world premiere production at the Victory Theatre Center — is that of balance. Can an author’s polemic sustain as theater? Perhaps it can, when the characters are either convincingly real or otherwise engaging. Read more…

Now through July 10

DOG at The Broadwater – Hollywood Fringe Festival

Photo by Paul Holmes

Photo by Paul Holmes

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Ben Moroski won a Best of Fringe award in 2012 for The Vicious Minute and a Top of the Fringe award in 2014 for his solo performance of The Wake. This year he’s back at The Fringe with his latest solo piece, Dog— a downer of a tale nonetheless presented with the same singular, mesmerizing intensity he brought to his earlier ones.

This time his character —we never learn this character’s given name but his yesteryear buddies call him Dog — is a 30-something alcoholic, prone to blackout bouts of drinking and other diverse forms of destructive behavior.  “Dog” has recently been given the heave-ho by his girlfriend Diane after their small pet dog somehow fell — or leapt! — from their balcony to his death. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s been quite the decade for playwright and performer, Ben Moroski. Since his 2012 debut of his autobiographical one-man show, “This Vicious Minute”, Moroski has been a notable solo story creator in Los Angeles theater.

Delivering one deliciously bizarre narrative after another, his award-winning Hollywood Fringe hits like, “The Wake” (HFF14) and “TILT” (HFF16), and now a new solo play have all but proclaimed a rising trajectory that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. DOG, written and performed by himself and directed by Jordan Lane Shappell, confirms that Moroski’s inspiring genius has further evolved. His skills, edge, enthusiasm for storytelling, and intensity in the work have not wavered.
Read more…

Now through July 30

UNCLE VANYA at Pasadena Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Technology zooms forward, but human nature remains stubbornly persistent. Thus a play such as Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, which premiered in 1899, can still speak to us today, can still cause us to laugh or cry at its characters’ folly or heartbreak. The new production of Vanya at the Pasadena Playhouse, featuring a powerhouse lead performance from Hugo Armstrong, is a clear and entertaining demonstration that humanity is the same regardless of the century it’s in. Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw, Notes From Arden

Hugo Armstrong Transforms Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Having been largely weaned on the plays of Anton Chekhov, and his turn of the 20th century mingling of regret and humor while something, always something, is ending (Chekhov wrote as the Russian Revolution was brewing), I admit to a trepidation in seeing productions of plays by the Russian literary giant, because they so rarely rise to their complex occasion. They’re usually suffocated by affectation of some kind – such as an obsequious devotion to kitchen sink realism, and samovars and wicker furniture, or, in American or British hands, an effort to invent what it means to be Russian in 1899; that rarely turns out well. Read more…

Now through June 26

Put a ‘Tiger’ in your tank, LA Times

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Why didn’t the LA Times review the hilarious “Tiger Style!” or “Our Town” at South Coast Repertory? Plus thoughts on “Man of God,” “Metamorphoses,” and more. 

“Tiger Style!” deserves the exclamation point in its title. Mike Lew’s satire is the funniest new play I’ve seen since theaters started re-opening last year, after vaccinations began.

At first, “Tiger” is a no-holds-barred satire of two Chinese-American young-adult siblings with acute anxiety, stirred up by other Americans who seem to bar no holds in their treatment of these exemplars of the so-called “model minority.” Then it also finds a lot of laughs as these third-generational siblings belatedly blame their problems on their parents, who used “tiger style” child-rearing techniques.

 Read more…

MAN OF GOD at Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Peter Debruge – Variety

The lights come up on four Korean American teens crowded around a hotel bed. They’re members of a So Cal church group on a mission to Bangkok, Thailand — though the location only matters is the abstract. Audiences never leave the hotel room in “Man of God,” although director Maggie Burrows’ creative staging of this punchy feminist one-act from Anna Ouyang Moench has our imaginations working overtime. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

In, MAN OF GOD, playwright Anna Ouyang Moench quite deftly gets right to the point in the setup for this extremely comic drama about four Asian-American high school girls on a mission trip to Thailand with their Pastor. And it’s definitely not what anyone expects. Read more…

Now through June 19