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Archive for Rogue Machine

Troubies, Tanner, and a Top Tenth list

Matt Walker and Rick Batalla. Photo by Douglas Leadwell.

Matt Walker and Rick Batalla. Photo by Douglas Leadwell.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Annie,’ ‘Clyde’s,’ ‘Invincible,’ Sheldon Epps’ memoir.

Tis the season for Troubadour Theater’s annual holiday hoot. As usual, it’s a refreshing antidote to too many competing “Christmas Carol”s.

This year Troubies director Matt Walker takes aim at the 1988 shoot-’em-up film “Die Hard.” Its setting — a corporate holiday party in a Century City high-rise — is the excuse for the timing in December. The Troubie title is “Die Heart,” because the show includes melodies and riffs, if not the precise lyrics, of some of the songs from the rock group Heart. Read more…

LITTLE THEATRE at Rogue Machine

Zachary Grant, Jenny O’Hara, Ryan Brophy. Photo by Jeff Lorch.

Zachary Grant, Jenny O’Hara, Ryan Brophy. Photo by Jeff Lorch.

Martίn Hernández – Stage Raw

In the 1990s, playwright Justin Tanner was the wunderkind of small venue L.A. theatre. Tanner churned out hit after hit, like Pot Mom, Zombie Attack, and Teen Girl, for the now defunct Cast Theatre, where he was resident playwright. The Cast was also where artistic director Diana Gibson reigned supreme, raking in the bucks from Tanner’s prolific output while raking him over the coals over, in her esteemed opinion, his paltry writing skills. Read more…

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

Memory plays are a tricky proposition. Hew strictly to the truth and the story may not be dramatic enough; indulge in creative license and literal-minded people might object. The Glass Menagerie stands as a successful example of the form, whereas the unfinished novel Answered Prayers by Truman Capote so outraged its real-life subjects that it essentially ended his writing career. I’d like to say that Justin Tanner’s new play about his decade of working at the Cast Theatre during the 90s with artistic director Diana Gibson is as successful at capturing the past as Menagerie. Although I enjoyed the show’s humor and performances, it unfortunately feels more like the Capote work and comes off more as a venting of old grievances than a balanced play. Read more…

Patrick Chavis – LA Theatre Bites

Old People say the Darndest Things: World Premiere: Little Theatre @ Rogue Machine Theatre – Review. More…

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Playwright Justin Tanner was a mainstay of the Los Angeles 99-seat theatre scene in the 1990s. He was the resident playwright at The Cast theatre where productions of his plays—Bitter Women, Teen Girl, Coyote Woman, Pot Mom-all premiered. His play Zombie Attack, written with Andy Daley, played there for ten years. Thanks to founder Ted Schmitt, The Cast had a reputation for nurturing playwrights and presenting World Premiere productions. After his death, Diana Gibson took over the theatre and the mentoring. Tanner was her prize protégé although an LA Weekly cover story on Tanner labeled him “The Prisoner of El Centro Avenue”. Tanner’s association with Gibson and Gibson’s with The Cast ended in 1999. Read more…

Through January 8

A GREAT WILDERNESS by Rogue Machine at The Matrix Theatre

John-Perrin-Flynn and Jeffrey-Delfin in A Great Wilderness. Photo by Alex Neher.

John-Perrin-Flynn and Jeffrey-Delfin in A Great Wilderness. Photo by Alex Neher.

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

In my experience, ninety percent of the time that there’s an issue with a theatrical production, the problem is the play itself. It’s surprisingly rare for the main trouble to be with the acting or direction or design. And so it is with Samuel D. Hunter’s A Great Wilderness. I’ve enjoyed other works by Hunter, such as Pocatello or The Whale, but Wilderness has major structural issues that derail whatever impact it might have had. Rogue Machine’s Los Angeles premiere benefits from a strong lead performance by producing artistic director John Perrin Flynn and a handsome set but ultimately can’t transcend the unfocused writing. Read more…

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

One of the marks of playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s work is how skillfully he portrays people who lead lives in desperate isolation. In A Great Wilderness, produced by Rogue Machine at the Matrix Theatre, that scenario might apply to Walt (John Perrin Flynn), an elderly man, arguably in the first stages of dementia, who’s dedicated his life to the egregious practice of conversion therapy. Read more…

Through October 31

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, Rogue Machine at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s the late 90’s…and you’re hanging out in a boy’s basement bedroom, somewhere in suburban America with two teenagers as they stay up on a school night; chugging soda, watching MTV, and preparing for the future. As the morning approaches, their seemingly innocent sleepover reveals another purpose. Read more…

Terry Morgan – ArtsBeat LA

Mere days after the abomination of the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, discussing a play about toxic masculinity seems almost too topical. Cisgender white men are running amok waging wars, attempting coups and reversing civil rights, so what better time to examine the root of all this madness? Except that none of this is new. There has never been a time where men acting badly wasn’t the prime source of evil in the world. This subject has been explored in countless books, films and plays. Unfortunately Tim Venable’s The Beautiful People has little original insight to offer, although the world premiere production by Rogue Machine is otherwise first-rate. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

It’s the late 90’s…and you’re hanging out in a boy’s basement bedroom, somewhere in suburban America with two teenagers as they stay up on a school night; chugging soda, watching MTV, and preparing for the future. As the morning approaches, their seemingly innocent sleepover reveals another purpose. Read more…

Now through July 25

THIS WONDERFUL LIFE at the Matrix Theatre

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

It’s a Wonderful Life is now an undisputed holiday classic, but its road to perennial status was as long and difficult as its hero’s journey to happiness. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia on the Move

“It is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people…..” Read more…

Now running through January 3

 

READY, STEADY, YETI, GO at Rogue Machine at the Electric Lodge

John Perrin Flynn

John Perrin Flynn

Margaret Gray – LA Times

No folkloric Himalayan ape-men appear in David Jacobi’s play “Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go.” That may sound like a spoiler, but it’s a PSA: The friend who went with me to see Rogue Machine’s production was too disappointed by the lack of yetis to focus on what was happening onstage……
Read more…

Now running through July 29

CAPTAIN OF THE BIBLE QUIZ TEAM – Rogue Machine at Various Locations

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

In a tiny church, a battle wages. That battle has been nearly settled by American law, it seems to be settling in large urban areas. But in the hearts and minds of the congregation at Kandota Lutheran Church in Little Sauk, Minn., it’s still a stubbornly fought war.Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Directed by Michael Michetti, playwright Tom Jacobson’s compelling drama is a powerful meditation on faith and prejudice. It’s staged with a deceptive simplicity that belies layers of thought-provoking philosophy and emotion. Read more…

Now running through October 3

 

PASTA IN POCATELLO, ANYONE? by Don Shirley

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Don Shirley – L.A. Observed

Two plays named after cities: “Barcelona” at the Geffen Playhouse and Rogue Machine’s production of “Pocatello” (in case that doesn’t ring a bell, its namesake is the fifth largest city in Idaho.)

Which theatrical destination sounds more inviting?

Well, “Barcelona” isn’t bad. But “Pocatello” pops.   Read more…

 

POCATELLO – Rogue Machine at The Met

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

If you google the town of Pocatello in Southwest Idaho, you’ll get images of dusty hills and a downtown whose architecture might have served as nostalgic backdrop for The Last Picture Show. The place is changing though; look long enough and you’ll see a shot of a Ross store as well, and signs of a bland commercial culture metastasizing across the landscape. Read more…

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Everyone seems to be on the brink of crisis in Samuel D. Hunter’s drama Pocatello, now playing at Rogue Machine Theatre’s new home base theater in East LA. In Hunter’s one-act drama, numerous characters grapple with emotional and spiritual isolation in a remote Mid-western town.   Read more…

Now running through April 10

PAUL BIRCHALL’S GOT IT COVERED: FROM MONDAY NIGHTS AT ROGUE MACHINE TO AWAKE AND SING! TO JENNIE WEBB

From Monday Nights at Rogue Machine to Awake and Sing! to Jennie Webb

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

I Like Mondays

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What is nicer than a Monday night show? If I were a theater producer I would always slip a Monday night performance into the schedule, just on principle.

Awake-and-Sing-1994

For one thing, all the critics will come, as they really won’t have anything else to do that night, except perhaps tweaking their prose before the Tuesday deadline and maybe watching Antiques Roadshow. You may even get some of the ol’ parasites (read: awards voters) from the Ovations, LADCC, and Stage Raw, given the lack of distracting other attractions.  Read more…

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LUKAS ROOM – Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater,

luka_JohnPerrinFlynn

Photo by John Perrin Flynn

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Rob Mersola‘s dicey new comedy Luka’s Room benefits from the efforts of a splendid ensemble cast under the crisp direction of Joshua Bitton.  Read more…

Myron Meisel – Stage Raw

His father’s finances suddenly gone south (or perhaps merely hidden during the pendancy of his most recent divorce), 19 year old Luka Lupatelli (Nick Marini) must transfer from Arizona State to a San Fernando Valley community college and occupy the old paternal bedroom at addled Grandma Franca’s (Joanna Lipari) meager digs, across the hall from his ne’er-do-well Uncle Nick (Alex Fernandez), recently sprung from another short stint in County Jail. Read more…

Now running through Sept. 23

UPLOADED at Rogue Machine Theatre

Photo by John Flynn

Photo by John Flynn

Margaret Gray – LA Times

If you weren’t already worried about the future, “Uploaded,” L.R. Gordon’s new play premiering at Rogue Machine, will give you specific reasons to fear the rise of the millennial generation. Read more…

Now running through November 22.