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Archive for Harker Jones

I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER at Two Roads Theater

Photo by David List

Photo by David List

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER is a moving meditation on aging, elder care, and the responsibility a grown child feels to both his parents and his own life. The hushed show set in 1965 Westchester, New York, aches with loneliness, regret, and melancholy as widower Gene (Shayne Anderson) struggles to marry his affection for his mother, Margaret (a congenial and relatable Becky Bonar), and his exasperated resentment toward his self-involved, prickly father, Tom (Dana Kelly Jr.). His sister, Alice (Mary Carrig), was banished years before for marrying a Jew, so Gene is essentially on his own as he works to come to peace with his past, his present, and his future. Read more…

Through October 23

THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE at the Mark Taper Forum

Cecily Strong. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Cecily Strong. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Katie Buenneke – Theatre Digest

Your opinion of this solo performance will likely be determined by your opinion of Cecily Strong. Personally, prior to seeing this show, I found her skilled, but not thrilling, and spending 96 minutes with her here reinforces that assessment. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

When THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE originally launched on Broadway in 1985, it was an immediate sensation. The one-woman show won star Lily Tomlin Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics’ Circle awards, and brought author Jane Wagner a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. In 1991, it was turned into a successful film, and now it has been relaunched and updated by Wagner, to mixed effect. Read more…

Through October 23

CLOWNFISH at Theatre of NOTE

Sean Michael Boozer, Susan Louise O’Connor, Mara Shuster-Lefkowitz and Omari Williams. Photo by Brad C. Light

Sean Michael Boozer, Susan Louise O’Connor, Mara Shuster-Lefkowitz and Omari Williams. Photo by Brad C. Light

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In comedy, silly plots are easily forgiven if the writing is witty or insightful, or if one or more performers is so engaging that other shortcomings can be overlooked. With Clownfish, Theatre of NOTE’s premiere production following the hiatus of the pandemic, none of this is so

Written by Amy Dellagiarino, the play takes place in an isolated cabin on the top of a mountain near Denver in the middle of winter. A wedding party has gathered to prepare for the wedding of Katie (Mara Shuster-Lefkowitz), a woman with a “wild” past, and Jake (Omari Williams), a conventional guy who has planned the event and who’s chosen this inauspicious locale because, well, it’s cheap. Outside the air is bitter cold, with snow drifts piling up, so you suspect from the start that Jake may come to regret his choice. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Theatre of NOTE returns after an enforced Covid break with a world premiere of a raucous ghost story. Six friends descend upon a Colorado mountain cabin in the middle of winter for a DIY wedding as a storm descends. Chaos and insanity ensue in addition to the eternal question: What is normal? Read more…

Now through August 6

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at Open Fist Theatre Company

Monazia Smith. Photo by Frank Ishman

Monazia Smith. Photo by Frank Ishman

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, originating in the 1500s and one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved and produced plays, has been adapted in countless ways over the past few centuries, including as films, musicals, ballets, operas, an animated Disney short, and even a disco-oriented off-Broadway takeoff called The Donkey Show, while having an impact felt in everything from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Dead Poets Society, and Woody Allen (A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy). Following all that, it is given a fresh spin by the Open Fist Theatre Company, changing the setting from Athens, Greece, to Athens, Georgia, in the antebellum South to mixed results. Leaving the original text intact, the comedy takes place on a plantation and focuses on both the wealthy family living there as well as their slaves, who are tasked with putting on a show for the gentry’s amusement. Hilarity ensues with magic, fairies, and shapeshifting. Read more…

Now through August 13

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL at the Dolby Theatre

Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Rebooting a classic is always dicey. If it’s an exact blueprint, what’s the point? But deviating from that blueprint can alienate its fans. And how to make it fresh yet still retain the magic that made it work in the first place?

The producers of PRETTY WOMAN the musical learned the hard way just how difficult it is to replicate the alchemy of the 1990 rom-com that established Julia Roberts as the leading female movie star of the last decade of the 20th century. The film oozed PG-13 charm and, having been sanitized from its original, gritty concept, the Disney-owned Touchstone picture was a smash, grossing $178 million (almost $400 million in today’s dollars) and even garnering an Oscar nom for Roberts. It was a sensation. It’s iconic. And it’s a hard act to follow. Read more…

Now through July 3

COME FROM AWAY at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Based on a true story of compassion in the face of horror, COME FROM AWAY dazzles with sheer exuberance, leading to a surprisingly moving conclusion. When terrorists took control of airplanes, using them as weapons and crashing them near the Pentagon and in New York City on September 11, 2001, the world came to a crashing halt. And that included the small town of Gander on the island of Newfoundland on the eastern end of Canada. Read more…

Now through June 12

AFTERGLOW at the Hudson Theatre

Photo by Mati Gelman

Photo by Mati Gelman

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Relationships are complicated. And whether it’s marriage, friendship, or with your cat, they become exponentially more complicated when there are more than two people involved, which is what gay married thirtysomethings Josh (Noah Bridgestock) and Alex (James Hayden Rodriguez) discover through their open relationship when Josh breaks the cardinal sin of polyamory… Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Have you ever been in a threesome? Or attempted a triad relationship? That is the gist of S. Asher Gelman’s three-hander one-act Afterglow, at Hollywood’s Hudson Mainstage thru July 24. Josh (Noah Bridgestock) is a New York theatre actor married to Alex (James Hayden Rodriguez) a chemist. After nine years together, they are successful enough to afford a kick-ass apartment and are contemplating having a child through surrogacy. As the action opens, Josh and Alex are amid some hot sex play with their latest pickup, Darius (Nathan Mohebbi). Read more…

Extended through October 9

TOOTSIE at the Dolby Theatre

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

The musical TOOTSIE, based on the 1982 film of the same name, is a contemporary take on an old trope: a man unconvincingly passes himself off as a woman, everyone in his world buys it, and hilarity tries to ensue. It’s been done countless times, going back past Shakespeare to the ancient Greeks. That doesn’t mean it always works, however, and TOOTSIE is a mixed bag. Read more…

Now running through May 15

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF at Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

Bitchiness, thy name is Albee. Has there ever been a play that reveled in so much in mean-spirited badinage as Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Sour wit courses through the blackened veins of this show like acidic blood, or more specifically like the booze the characters actively embalm themselves with.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

Edward Albee’s classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? exposes the crud hidden behind the closed doors of American households between Eisenhower’s cheery post-war tranquility and John F. Kennedy’s focus-on-the-future optimism. No couple performs an S&M act, even without whips and chains, as depraved as George and Martha. Reveling in the play’s bitterness and booze, Zachary Quinto and Calista Flockhart make a cruel twosome in this harrowing and darkly hilarious production at the Geffen Playhouse. Read more…

Peter Debruge – Variety

The trick of stage acting comes in playing the same thing every night as if it were happening for the first time, right there in front of the audience’s eyes. But once-controversial American classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” calls for something different. Edward Albee wrote a play in which we get to observe the latest round in a cruel and competitive game of escalating insults between career-stalled history professor George and Martha, the wife who makes vicious sport of her disappointment. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play about discontent and despair in 1960s academia is brought to blazing, blistering life by director Gordon Greenberg at The Geffen Playhouse, its themes and anxieties as relevant as ever on its 60th anniversary. Read more…

Now running through May 29

BRIGHT HALF LIFE at the Road Theatre on Magnolia

Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

Photo by Elizabeth Kimball

Terry Morgan  -  ArtsBeat LA

Plays that chart the course of a romantic relationship have long been a staple of theater. Stories told in a nonlinear way are less common but not unheard of. When you take the previous two structures and apply them to the topic of a lesbian interracial marriage, the result is a work that one doesn’t often see in American theater, which is refreshing. What’s better is that Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life is more than the sum of its diverse parts…. Read more…

Harker Jones – BroadwayWorld

Pulitzer Prize nominee Tanya Barfield‘s brilliant BRIGHT HALF LIFE is smartly and artfully realized by director Amy K. Harmon at the Road Theatre on Magnolia. With just two actors, the energy never flags, but it does fluctuate, veering as it does from high comedy to pathos to heart-rending drama… Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

BRIGHT HALF LIFE at The Road Theatre in North Hollywood is nothing less than exhilarating; genuine theater baddassery in your face – empathetic and very personal.  Sit up front… Read more…

Now running through May 8

 

DEATH HOUSE at The Road on Lankershim

 Brian M. Cole

Brian M. Cole

Lovell Estell III — Stage Raw

Few elements of the criminal justice system generate more discourse and lack of consensus than capital punishment. There are now some 3,000 men and women on death row in the United States, many of whom have been languishing there for decades. Read more…

Harker Jones – Arts In LA

The death penalty ignites emotions in everyone, whether pro or con. It’s a complicated and complex subject, just like Jason Karasev’s world-premiere play Death House, which tackles the topic from many angles with compassion, intelligence, and insight.
Read more…

Now running through March 10

SCISSORHANDS at Rockwell Table and Stage

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Harker Jones – Arts In LA

After showcasing cheeky musical adaptations of films as diverse as Bridesmaids, Jurassic Park, and Hocus Pocus, Rockwell Table & Stage is back with a seasonal story that has enchanted audiences for 28 years. Tim Burton’s 1990 film Edward Scissorhands is an enduring classic that all misfits identify with—and we’ve all felt like misfits.
Read more…

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Sometimes, a story originally told nearly thirty years ago manages to feel more timely than ever. Read more…

Now running through January 27