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Archive for Rob Stevens – Page 2

HADESTOWN at the Ahmanson Theatre

Photo by T Charles Erickson

Photo by T Charles Erickson

Jonas Schwartz-Owen – Theatermania

There’s a gargantuan myth surrounding the opening of Hadestown at the Ahmanson Theatre. Not the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, which this musical does borrow, but the legend of the juggernaut Broadway production that opened in April 2019. Arriving with 14 Tony nominations and eight awards in tow, the production almost dares the audience to not be absorbed by the fandom and hype. Read more…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Even though Hadestown is mostly set in hell, it’s a lively and jazzy version of the fearsome place. Anais Mitchell has created an amazing piece of theatre with her book, music and lyrics and director Rachel Chavkin has put a special spin on the characters and action. It’s like two classic Greek love stories rolled into the biggest, rowdiest New Orleans Mardi Gras party ever. If hell is like this, I want to book my ticket now! The National Tour played the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles recently and will play the Orange County Performing Arts Center soon. Read more…

Now running through May 29

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…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

It has been over 30 years since Velina Hasu Houston’s play Tea first premiered. The recent production by Hero Theatre on the stage of the Rosenthal Theater at Inner City Arts proved her writing and characters are as fresh and relevant today as they originally were. Read more…

Now running through May 15

A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at International City Theatre

Photo by Kayte Deioma

Photo by Kayte Deioma

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 1879, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen shook up the theatrical world with his “feminist” play A Doll’s House. In 2017, up and coming young American playwright Lucas Hnath wrote a sequel, A Doll’s House, Part 2, that picked up the action 15 years later. Read more...

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

What is the point of writing and staging a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1894 world classic A Doll’s House – perhaps the earliest call to feminism in modern stage literature? Read more…

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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

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

 

MARRY ME A LITTLE at International City Theatre

Photo by Kayte Deioma Creative

Photo by Kayte Deioma Creative

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

In 1980, while appearing in the company of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd on Broadway, performer, and later playwright, Craig Lucas used his friendship with the composer to get him to open up his trunk of cut songs from his earlier musicals.
Read more…

Now running through February 27

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN at Sierra Madre Playhouse

Alexander Mashikian and Hamilton Davis Weaver

Alexander Mashikian and Hamilton Davis Weaver

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

For 50 years beginning in 1950, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz drew a daily comic strip entitled Peanuts which featured the mis-adventures of a young boy named Charlie Brown and his friends. Read more…

Now running through September 12

TAMING THE LION at Theatre 40

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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Actor William Haines started his film career in 1922 in bit parts as a contract player for Goldwyn Pictures. After his studio became part of Metro Goldwyn Mayer in 1924, the size of his roles increased as did his popularity in silent films.   Read more…

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A BODY OF WATER at Actors’ Co-op

Larry Sandez

Larry Sandez

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

A middle-aged couple wake up one morning naked in bed. The woman gently removes his hand from her breast, dons a handy silk robe and is off to the kitchen to make coffee. The man soon follows.
Read more…

Now running through March 15

THE $5 SHAKESPEARE COMPANY at Theatre 68

 Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

The 6th Act is currently presenting the World Premiere of co-artistic director Matthew Leavitt’s The $5 Shakespeare Company at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. The comedy is a self-professed “heartfelt love letter to all things 99-seat theatre”.
Read more…

Now running through March 8

THE FATHER at the Pasadena Playhouse

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham

Erin Conley – On Stage & Screen

Perspective is crucial to the understanding of both life and theater, and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of The Father, which opened this week, an intentionally disorienting point-of-view offers a dramatic and moving look at late-stage dementia. Written by Florian Zeller, the play premiered in 2014 and many consider it one of the most acclaimed of the recently concluded decade.
Read more…

Dana Martin– Stage Raw

Getting old is painfully difficult. Pasadena Playhouse’s newest production, The Father, is a fascinating yet frustratingly unclear story that examines a rapidly shifting dynamic between parent and child as the line between reality and delusion becomes increasingly blurred.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

As life expectancy continues to grow, so does the concern for the wellbeing of our aging population. It’s a subject that hits close to home for everyone—whether it is providing care for a parent or thinking about our own future as we reach retirement age and beyond.
Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

The specter of dementia touches us all, whether within our immediate family or not. It’s a particularly awful condition in which someone you once knew well might not even recognize you anymore or be able to do things they previously were expert at.
Read more…

Now running through March 1

 

THIS SIDE OF CRAZY at the Zephyr Theatre

Karianne Flaathen

Karianne Flaathen

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“Well, what family doesn’t have its ups and downs?” Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine famously opines after a particularly vicious family squabble in James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter. I’m sure Ditty Blaylock, the matriarch in Del Shores’ latest play This Side of Crazy would gladly exchange the trio of crown-hungry Plantagenet princes for her three ungrateful daughters every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Read more…

Now running through March 8