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Archive for East West Players

How did Angeles Stage mark its first birthday? Via UNCLE VANYA, DRIVE MY CAR

The cast of Uncle Vanya. Photo by Jeff Lorch

The cast of Uncle Vanya. Photo by Jeff Lorch

Plus a merry but muddled ‘Windsor’ at the Theatricum, ‘King James’ and two new musicals on opposite poles of the gender discussion.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Angeles Stage first appeared a year ago, as masked audiences were beginning to return to LA stages in person, after more than a year of mostly virtual-only activity. I urged “LA theater,” which meant audiences as well as creators, to “rise and shine.” A lot of productions arose within greater LA during the past year.

Pasadena Playhouse’s “Uncle Vanya” shines more brightly than any other currently-running production I’ve seen…If you don’t know Anton Chekhov’s “Vanya,” or the acclaimed Japanese film “Drive My Car” that was deeply inspired by “Vanya,” now is a great opportunity to combine them into a powerful one-two exploration of the all-too-human emotions that adults frequently face, at least during the last couple of centuries. Read more…

ASSASSINS at East West Players

Photo by Steven Lam

Photo by Steven Lam

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

The East West Players production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s brilliant, jagged pill of a musical Assassins is thought-provoking and harrowing. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The Stephen Sondheim one-act musical Assassins has gotten mixed reviews and heated pro and con reactions since it debuted in 1990. What else would you expect for a musical about a group of misfits who took their political gripes and desire for attention to the pinnacle of anarchy by choosing to assassinate (or at least attempt to) a president of the United States. Read more…

Now running through March 20

 

MAMMA MIA at East West Players

Steven Lam

Steven Lam

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

There is something soothing about the music of ABBA, the 70s Swedish pop group that brought the world such songs as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia!” No matter how out of control the world gets, there’s always ABBA music to ease the soul, and, for the past 20 or so years, there’s been this jukebox musical of their hits to placate the mind.
Read more…

Now running through June 16

 

2018 Award Show Photos

It was a great night at the 50th Annual Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards at Pasadena Playhouse on Monday, April 8th. Congratulations to all of the award recipients and to everyone whose outstanding work received a nomination. We are proud to recognize your accomplishments. Thank you to everyone who attended the show and thanks to photographer Meredith Adelaide for capturing the excitement. For additional photos, visit our Facebook page.

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Yvonne Bell, our inaugural Theater Angel Award winner

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Brian Kite, Cathy Rigby, Tom McCoy and B.T. McNicholl celebrate their Joel Hirschhorn Award

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry

Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz representing Native Voices at the Autry, winner of the Gordon Davidson Award

Artists representing Celebration Theatre

Artists representing Celebration Theatre’s win for their revival of Cabaret

Jennifer Chang, winner for her direction of East West Player's VIetgone

Jennifer Chang, award winner for her direction of East West Players’ Vietgone

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance

Daisuke Tsuji, outstanding Featured Performance in Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Rep

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company's Margaret Harford Award

Padraic Duffy, Aviva Pressman and Bruno Oliver celebrating Sacred Fools Theater Company’s Margaret Harford Award

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in  Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Jim Steinmeyer, winner for Illusions, Stagecraft, and Magic Carpet in Aladdin at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre

John Iacovelli

John Iacovelli, Set Design winner for Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Jeff Gardner

Jeff Gardner, Sound Design winner for Native Son at Antaeus Theatre Company

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret

Stephen Gifford, Set Design winner for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Thomas McCurdy, Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki, Fight Choreography winners for Vietgone, East West Players

Janet Roston, award winner for her choreography of Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Janet Roston, award winner for her outstanding choreography for Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Rob Nagle, award winner for his Featured Performance in The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre Company

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company production of The Little Foxes

Artists representing the winning ensemble of Antaeus Theatre Company’s The Little Foxes

Echo Theater Company's Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith-Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Echo Theater Company’s Chris Fields, Lindsay Allbaugh, Rachael Zambias and Molly Smith Metzler celebrate receiving the Polly Warfield Award

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks' award for Lead Performance

Jessica Hird from The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles accepts Tom Hanks’ award for Lead Performance in Henry IV

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee's new play Cambodian Rock Band

Rithy Hanh and Pita Huot accept the Ted Schmitt Award on behalf of Lauren Yee and her new play Cambodian Rock Band

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within's revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, Paul David Story, Geoff Elliott and Wesley Mann celebrate their award for A Noise Within’s revival of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre's Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts'  BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Allison Dillard, double winner for her Costume Designs for Celebration Theatre’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Moving Arts’ BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!)

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Alex Nee, award winner for his Lead Performance in Cabaret at Celebration Theatre

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone, East West Players

Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, CGI winners for their work in Vietgone at East West Players

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre's Cabaret

Anthony Zediker celebrates his award for Music Direction for Celebration Theatre’s Cabaret

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Molly Smith Metzler, Writing award winner for Cry It Out at Echo Theater Company

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Kasey Mahaffy, award winner for his Featured Performance in A Noise Within’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

 

VIETGONE at East West Players

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Terry Morgan  -  Stage Raw

Translating personal experiences or family history into theatre can be a tricky proposition. On the one hand, simply recounting events as they happened doesn’t necessarily create fascinating drama. On the other hand, fictionalizing things too much may betray the truth of the story.
Read more…

Now running through November 18

ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre

Michael Lamont

Michael Lamont

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in L.A.

After nearly nine years, Allegiance has come home to Southern California. The co-production by East West Players and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center opened to a sold out crowd on Wednesday night, less than half a mile from the Japanese American National Museum where it had its first reading in 2009.
Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Capital & Main

Produced by East West Players at the Japanese American Cultural Center, Allegiance features noted performer-activist George Takei, and draws inspiration from his personal experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II.

Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson – The Daily Breeze

There are two ways to look at the East West Players/Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s new production of the musical “Allegiance,” recently opened at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. Both have a validity, but the results of those two ways of examination may prove very different.

Katie Buenneke – Stage Raw

In 21st century internet parlance, there’s a lot to unpack in East West Players’ production of Allegiance, now playing at Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. On the first, most obvious level, there’s the timeliness of telling a story about sending Americans off to internment camps — an event that no longer seems out of the realm of possibility given our current Administration.
Read more…

Read more…

Now running through April 1

YOHEN at East West Players

(Photo courtesy East West Players)

(Photo courtesy East West Players)

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Set in 1986, Philip Kan Gotanda’s Yohen depicts the unraveling of a 37-year marriage. Although it tumbles off-track in its final third, the play to that point is an astute portrayal of the dynamics of a failed intimacy.
Read more…

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The title of Philip Kan Gotanda’s play, Yohen, refers to the unpredictable changes that take place when pottery is placed in the kiln. The result may be disastrous, or it may create an unexpected treasure. His play refers to the disruptive changes which occur in a human relationship over the course of years.
Read more…

Frances Baum Nicholson –The Stage Struck Review

Eighteen years ago, Danny Glover and the late Nobu McCarthy shared the stage of East West Players in Philip Kan Gotanda’s “Yohen,” about the struggles of an couple coming to terms with the husband’s retirement after 37 years in the military.
Read more…

Now running through November 19

KAIDAN PROJECT: WALLS GROW THIN at East West Players

kaidan

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

High-end haunted houses seem to be more popular than ever these days. One can see the appeal—a bit more personal of a scare than simply watching a horror movie, a safe Halloween adventure. East West Players and Rogue Artists Ensemble have taken this trope and put their own unique spin on it with Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin….
Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

It’s part haunted house, part art installation, part performance-art piece: The Rogue Artist Ensemble and East West Players’ immersive “Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin” unfolds in an abandoned warehouse that has been reconfigured into settings for a series of nightmares spun out of Japanese folklore.
Read more…

Now running through November 5

NEXT TO NORMAL at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

East West Players wraps up its 51st season, dedicated to “the female perspective,” with a revival of “Next to Normal,” the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical about a suburban housewife’s struggle with mental illness and its effect on her family, played here by an Asian American cast. Read more…

Now running through June 11

LA CAGES AU FOLLES at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The best of times are now at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, where East West Players concludes its 50th anniversary season with an idiosyncratically endearing revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” Read more…

Now running through June 26

CRIERS FOR HIRE at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Culture shock, like grief, progresses through distinct stages: There’s the honeymoon period, when an expatriate is enchanted by a new country. Bliss gives way to withdrawal and hostility, the adjustment and, ultimately, acceptance. This journey happens to have a pleasing narrative structure that works well onstage. Read more…

Now running through March 13.

 

WASHER/DRYER at East West Players

Photo by Michael Lamont

Photo by Michael Lamont

David C. Nichols – LA Times

The fluff and fold of old-school boulevard comedy typifies “Washer/Dryer” at East West Players. Indeed, playwright Nandita Shenoy’s study of intercultural newlyweds attempting to co-habit in a New York City co-op is an amiable throwback to the days when “Barefoot in the Park” played the Great White Way. Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

At its essence, Washer/Dryer is about a newlywed couple who need to clean up their lives. Playwright Nandita Shenoy gives us Sonya, of Indian extraction, and Michael, of Chinese. They apparently didn’t talk over their needs and goals thoroughly before marrying. Read more…