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Archive for Theatre West

WINTER WISHES at Theatre West

Photo by Garry Kluger

Photo by Garry Kluger

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

A dozen skilled performers romp through some 30 holiday-themed and mostly traditional ditties in this seasonal cabaret, thoughtfully staged by Victoria Lavan Liberty. I have to admit to a certain squeamishness at hearing Richard Berent’s “A Kids Forever” and “Wihla Hutson and Alfred Burt’s “Some Children See Him.” The former is nicely crooned by Cody Kelepolo; the latter by Amanda Boutaud, Scottie Nevil, Zoe Miner and Alyssa Rupert: These are songs in which children commit to believing in Santa, despite evidence to the contrary. Not sure that in our era of QAnon, that celebrating — almost defiantly — fact-free realities is the best lesson, but that’s probably over-thinking things. Read more…

Through December 11

Confrontations with classics: THE INHERITANCE and PENELOPIAD

Adam Kantor, Bill Brochtrup, August Gray Gall and Juan Castano in The Inheritance Part 1. Photo by Jeff Lorch

Adam Kantor, Bill Brochtrup, August Gray Gall and Juan Castano in The Inheritance Part 1. Photo by Jeff Lorch

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Also: ’2:22,’ ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Rent,’ ‘Eisenhower’

When a narrative work of art attains “classic” stature, it often settles comfortably into collegiate required-reading lists — but loses its share of the current limelight.

So if E.M. Forster or Homer were alive today and sampling theater on the west side of Los Angeles County, would they be delighted that their creations are again being mentioned outside the classroom?Or would they be disturbed that their works are reference materials for playwrights with distinctively 21st-century perspectives — and that these writers are adapting the originals to reflect previously unrepresented points of view?

I’m talking about the West Coast premiere of Matthew López’s “The Inheritance” at Geffen Playhouse in Westwood and the professional LA premiere of Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad” at City Garage in Santa Monica. Read more…

EISENHOWER: THIS PIECE OF GROUND at Theatre West

John Rubinstein. Photo by Pierre Vuilleumier.

John Rubinstein. Photo by Pierre Vuilleumier.

Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

“I Like Ike” appeared on a political campaign button in 1952 as the decorated general and political neophyte Dwight D. Eisenhower ran for the office of President of the United States as the Republican candidate. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for the Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson, most of America really did like Ike. He won 39 of the then 48 states. Ike did even better in the 1956 rematch, taking 41 states while Stevenson only won 7, which were all in the deep South, then a Democratic stronghold. The box office attendant was wearing a facsimile button and they are being offered for sale at the Theatre West as the theatre, along with New LA Repertory Company, are presenting the World Premiere of Eisenhower: This Piece of Ground. Read more…

Through November 20

THE NIGHT FORLORN (OR, WAITIN’ ON GODSFORD) at Theatre West

Gary Kluger

Gary Kluger

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Steve Nevil’s “tumbleweed comedy” strives to be both a version of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot set in the American West in 1870, and homage to the film westerns of John Ford and Sam Peckinpah — and to a large extent it succeeds on both counts.
Read more…

Now running through April 22

 

THICKER THAN WATER at Theatre West

Photo by Charlie Mount

Photo by Charlie Mount

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

In suburban NYC, the Corelli family business — a construction company — is facing a dire threat. The firm, founded by paterfamilias Dominick (Vincent Palmieri) and henpecked Uncle Albert (David Mingrino), provides employment for Dominick’s elder son Carmine (Johnny Ferretti) and tough-talking butch daughter Marie (Heather Alyse Becker). But Albert’s rich, bossy and generally obnoxious wife Aunt Gertrude (Constance Mellors), has decided the company is lacking in get-up-and-go, and she can do better. She’s going to found a rival construction operation, and use her money and influence to ruin them by taking away their customers. Read more…

 

Now running through March 13  

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 at Theatre West

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Melinda Schupmann – Arts In LA

Playwright John Bishop, a longtime member of New York’s Circle Repertory Theatre, wrote a number of plays and screenplays, among them this comic spoof of manor house murder mysteries. It follows in the tradition of screwball comedies popular in the 1930s and ’40s.  Read more…

Now running through October 18.

VERDIGRIS at Theatre West

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Photo by Charlie Mount

Margaret Gray – LA Times

Theatre West has revived Jim Beaver’s play “Verdigris,” a hit for the company 30 years ago, about a young man’s absorption into an offbeat Oklahoma family in the summer of 1972. Read more…

Now running through April 19.

 

ON THE RAZZLE at Theatre West

Photo by Charlie Mount

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

The name Johan Nestroy looms large in German-language theatre, but it probably doesn’t mean much to American theatre-goers, though perhaps it should: One of his plays, Einen Jux will er sich machen (He Wants to Go on a Spree), provided the basic plot for Thornton Wilder’s The Merchant of Yonkers, later developed into the hit comedy The Matchmaker, and finally into the musical Hello, Dolly! (The character of the wily matchmaker Dolly Levi was lifted, with embellishments, from Moliere’s The Miser.) Read more…

Now running through November 2.

AGAINST THE WALL at Theatre West

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Photo by Charlie Mount

Theatre West’s “Writers in Rep” program provides a great opportunity for playwrights, giving two new plays a repertory slot in the season. These are coveted full productions that spotlight new works. Unfortunately, one of these plays, Charlie Mount’s Against The Wall, a comedy about comedians, doesn’t fulfill its humorous promise. I laughed only twice in two hours.

Read more…

Now running through June 22.

THE PETRIFIED FOREST at Theatre West

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Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

In Robert E. Sherwood’s 1934 play, The Petrified Forest, a world-weary writer, Alan Squier (skillfully etched by John DeMita), happens into a remote café in the Arizona desert, and in the space of a few short hours has stirred the eternal ardor of the café owner’s starry-eyed daughter, Gabby (Leona Britton) – or so she thinks. By the time the play wraps up, Gabby’s passion has been requited with an ultimate sacrifice.  Read more…

GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS at Theatre West

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

Suitable for the kindergarten set, writer Scott Martin’s benign adaptation of the classic children’s story features Caitlin Gallogly as a friendly and cherished little girl, whose mom (Bonnie Kalisher) just isn’t a good cook. Searching for adventure, the tyke stumbles upon the three bears’ habitat and, after sampling their food and furniture, makes off with the recipe for Mama Bear’s delicious porridge
Read more…

Goldilox

Photo by Thomas Mikusz

 

Now running through March 1.

A SHORT STAY AT CARRANOR at Theatre West

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Photo by Thomas Mikusz

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

At last, a play with two lead roles for actors able to pass for 70-year-olds. More particularly, those actors here look romantically attractive enough to sweep the audience into the love story of Irene and Chet, whose relationship has been thwarted since Irene was 16.
Read more…

Now running through September 29.