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Archive for Deborah Klugman

TEA – Hero Theatre at the Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Tea, the final installment in Velina Hasu Houston’s trilogy of plays about Japanese war brides, takes place, geographically speaking, in Junction City, a small town in the northeast stretch of Kansas. That’s close to where Houston, the daughter of a Japanese woman and an American GI of African American and Native American descent, spent part of her childhood. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

Where there’s tea, there’s hope in playwright Velina Hasu Houston’s story about five Japanese war brides living in Kansas with their GI husbands in the 1960s.  A group of like women with no real “community”, Himiko Hamilton, Teruko MacKenzie, Atsuko Yamamoto, Setsuko Banks, and Chizuye Juarez are disconnected from each other and also from themselves. Read more…

Now running through May 15

BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY at the Mark Taper Forum

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Dynamic performances by Nija Okoro and Greg Alverez Reid fuel Center Theatre Group’s new revival of Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky. Phylicia Rashad, who originated Okoro’s role in the play’s 1995 world premiere, returns to direct this humorous production that always simmers with devastation under the surface. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

“Harlem was supposed to be a place where Negroes could come together and really walk about, and for a red-hot minute, we did,” muses Guy (Greg Alverez Reid), a gay fashion designer and one of five aspirational figures in Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky. Read more…

Now running through May 8

RAPUNZEL ALONE at the 24th Street Theatre

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Photo by Jesús Castaños–Chima

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In 2013, the 24th Street Theater produced a play by British playwright Mike Kenny, Walking the Tightrope. It was directed by Debbie Devine and starred adult performer Paige Lindsey White as a little girl who visits her grandparents at the seaside every year…Now comes Rapunzel Alone, another play by Kenny that was commissioned by this company in 2019, with the request that it embody the theme of isolation. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – BroadwayWorld

The room was dark and bare. Not much to do or look at. There were no other children to play with. In fact, it wasn’t welcoming at all. Even the projections were like shadows stenciled in 3-D moving across the stage-wide screens. It was cold. I didn’t like it there. Just like Lettie, I felt very alone. Read more…

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ANNA IN THE TROPICS at A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Photo by Craig Schwartz

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Imagine, if you can, members of the UAW or the United Mine Workers of America hiring a reader to read to them while they labor at their job. And not just any printed material — not a gossip rag or a bodice ripper or a third-rate paperback. No, we’re talking good books, well- respected tomes, like Tolstoy’s classic, Anna Karenina. That’s the novel the lector reads to the workers in a cigar factory in Anna in the Tropics, Nilo Cruz’s vital, vibrant 2003 Pulitzer prize-winning drama, now in pallid revival at A Noise Within. Read more…

Now running through April 17

 

A PUBLIC READING OF AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY ABOUT THE DEATH OF WALT DISNEY at the Odyssey Theatre

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

I have a rule about avant-garde theater: if an artist chooses to deliberately obscure his/her/their meaning via unusual methods or flirts dangerously with pretentiousness, the play had better validate those choices by demonstrating how they were necessary. Most experimental pieces, in my experience, fail that test, but when they succeed it’s thrilling. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Lucas Hnath is a young American playwright whose work (The Christians, Red Speedo, A Doll’s House, Part 2) I have found interesting and worth experiencing. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Broadway World

Lucas Hnath is an ambitious playwright. He turned his mother’s harrowing recollections of being abducted in the ’90s into a riveting, intimate one-woman tale, Dana H, where the actress lip-syncs to the recording that his mother had made. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

John Updike once called Mickey Mouse “the most persistent and pervasive figure of American popular culture in his century.” The mouse came into being in 1928, birthed by a young animator named Walt Disney. Read more…

Now running through May 1

LITTLE PARTS HUNTS A BABY-DADDY – Echo Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre

Photo courtesy of Echo Theatre Company

Photo courtesy of Echo Theatre Company

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

There are times when one’s not quite sure what a theater piece is about, but its presentation is so engaging that it doesn’t matter. Case in point: writer-performer Ann Noble’s solo work, in which the title character (Little Parts) is a pregnant clown conducting an internet search for a Baby-Daddy for her “maybe baby.” Read more…

Now running through April 10

 

THE PLAY YOU WANT at the Road on Magnolia

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Bernardo Cubría’s The Play You Want, directed by Michael John Garcés, Bernardo (Peter Pasco), the central character, is a Mexican-American playwright who writes experimental plays about clowns, whom he views as universal symbols of humanity. Little would please Bernardo more than to be acclaimed as the new Latino Samuel Beckett. But there’s a problem… Read more…

Now running through April 17

TRAYF at Geffen Playhouse

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Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Lindsay Joelle’s dramedy Trayf transports audiences to the structured world of the Hasidim, whose strict laws and customs may be outside the understanding of even some Jewish audience members. Director Maggie Burrows, with deft stage direction and sets, visually conveys the danger, heartbreak, and wonderment found in exploring the secular world outside. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

The grass is always greener, they say.

In Trayf, Lindsay Joelle’s tender winning play about friendship, an 18-year-old Hasidic Jew longs to experience something of the outside world, while a non-Jewish acquaintance who works in a mid-Manhattan record store is drawn to a more rigid and circumscribed way of life. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Oxford Dictionary defines trayf as “food not satisfying the requirements of Jewish law”. Lindsay Joelle’s play Trayf, currently receiving its West Coast Premiere at The Geffen Playhouse, deals with a lot more than food, but provides plenty of food for thought. Read more…

Now running through April 10

ON THE OTHER HAND, WE’RE HAPPY -Rogue Machine Theatre at the Matrix

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Welsh playwright Daf James’s On the Other Hand, We’re Happy tells the story of a couple’s efforts to adopt a child and the subsequent doubts and fears that plague both the prospective parents and the birth mother. Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

Some theater locations seem to be blessed, and in Los Angeles, one of those lucky places is The Matrix Theatre on Melrose. It’s been producing and presenting high-quality shows for more than forty years, either under the auspices of Joe Stern and The Matrix Theatre Company or as a rental space. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia on the Move

Impeccably directed by Cameron Watson, James has written a refreshing, un-hyperbolized story about a young couple in the process of adoption.  The presentation is exceptionally beautiful, rendering Rogue Machine’s first officially mounted production at its new location on Melrose, an absolute coup. Read more…

Now running through April 17

POWER OF SAIL at Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

One of the core American principles is the right to free speech. However, this glorious principle runs into trouble when truly evil groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or Nazis wish to spread their poisonous propaganda. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In a society that celebrates diversity and free speech, how tolerant should open-minded people be when the voice being given a platform is one of hate? Playwright Paul Grellong lays out the arguments on both sides in this somewhat wordy but ultimately trenchant drama featuring Bryan Cranston in a superbly crafted pivotal performance. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – TheaterMania

A timely tragedy plays out in Paul Grellong’s Power of Sail, indicting educators for placing discussion of hate — and the First Amendment — above safety and decency. Though the script loses focus, the cast assembled at the Geffen Playhouse by director Weyni Mengesha, led by Emmy- and- Tony-winner Bryan Cranston, invests in their characters to make a stirring, if chaotic, theatrical experience. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In Power of Sail, his play currently receiving a stellar production in its West Coast Premiere at the Geffen Theatre in Westwood, playwright Paul Grellong examines the constitutional right to free speech in America, the growing threat of White Supremacy and the masks people wear to cover their true feelings and actions even in the hallowed halls of Academia. Read more…

Now running through March 20

 

RORSCHACH FEST, INKBLOT C at Atwater Village Theatre

Darrett Sanders

Darrett Sanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In a Rorschach test, an individual is presented with a series of abstract images and asked what they see. Their answers are used by the administering psychiatrist or psychologist to gain insight into that person’s state of mind.

Open Fist Theater Company’s current production is titled Rorschach Fest. Presented as three separate programs, it’s a series of short plays by John O’Keefe, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor and Caryl Churchill — four playwrights widely recognized for the distinctive style and/or content of their work.
Read more…

Now running through April 5

 

REVENGE SONG at Geffen Playhouse

Jeff Lorch

Jeff Lorch

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Born around 1673, Julie D’Aubigny was an extraordinary women who defied the gender expectations of her time to live entirely on her own terms. D’Aubigny’s unconventional life is the basis for Revenge Song, a play by Qui Nguyen, familiar to local audiences for his compelling award-winning play Vietgone and its sequel Poor Yella Rednecks, both based on the immigrant experience of his Vietnamese parents.
Read more…

Now running through March 8