Julio Martinez

Julio Martinez

Julio pens the weekly LA STAGE Insider column for @ This Stage Magazine, as well as the monthly LA STAGE History column. He is a recurring contributor to Written By (the monthly publication of the Writer’s Guild of America) and is the TeleVision columnist for Latin Heat Entertainment. On air, he hosts the weekly Arts in Review program for KPFK 90.7 FM. An active journalist for over 30 years, Julio’s articles and reviews have appeared in Los Angeles Times Magazine, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, L.A. Weekly, Stage Raw, Backstage West, Westways Magazine, and Drama-Logue Magazine, among others.

LA STAGE INSIDER

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Jillian Armenante
Jillian Armenante

PREMIERES… The premiere of Henry Ong’s Sweet Karma — a fictionalized, surrealistic sojourn within the life and death of Cambodian refugee-turned Oscar-winning actor Haing S. Ngor — scheduled to open tomorrow at GTC Burbank, helmed by artistic director Kevin Cochran — has been postponed until June 22, due to cast changes… Joseph Stern and Matrix Theatre Company are presenting the West Coast premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 — a dramatization of the first genocide of the 20th century, helmed by Jillian Armenante, featuring Daniel Bess, Julanne Chidi Hill, Joe Holt, Phil LaMarr, Rebecca Mozo and John Sloan, opening June 8. This is the first production under Matrix’s new mandate to produce only one play each year…Downtown LA-based Loft Ensemble is fracturing the modern fairy tale genre with the premiere of The Princes’ Charming — two princes scramble through speed dating, arranged marriages, and random encounters in the woods, hoping to avoid a mysterious curse, scripted and helmed by Mitch Rosander, opening May 25…As an entrant in Hollywood Fringe Festival 2013, Rodeo Town, a surrealistic vision of a dying way of life, scripted by Graham Bowlin, helmed by Cameron Strittmatter, premieres June 7 at East Theatre @ The Complex…Also premiering under the umbrella of Hollywood Fringe is The Ruby Besler Cabaret, wrought by Anastasia Barnes (script, music), Gere Fennelly (music, music direction), Jim Senti (additional dialogue) and Flame Cyndars (choreography), helmed by Doug Oliphant, opening June 11 at Elephant Stage

OPEN AIR FARE… Resolving the status of its artistic leadership following the departure of former artistic director Guillermo Avilés-Rodríguez, Watts Village Theater Company is launching its annual environmentally interactive Meet Me @ Metro IV: Bringing it Home to Watts under the guidance of co-founder/artistic director/dramaturg Lynn Manning, introducing two works, May 25 & 26.  Scattered Joy, helmed by Jameelah Nuriddin performs at 103rd Street Station, while Under The 105, helmed by Ryan Vincent Anderson performs at Rosa Parks Station…Fountain Theatre in Hollywood is taking its recurring Forever Flamenco series outdoors to a larger arena.  Celebrating founder Deborah Lawlor’s 20-year dedication to producing, nurturing and broadening the art form in LA, Forever Flamenco! at the Ford — under the artistic direction of internationally renowned flamenco dancer Maria Bermudez, featuring an international lineup of flamenco artists — returns to Ford Amphitheater in the Cahuenga Pass, one night only, June 15…

Emma Degerstedt
Emma Degerstedt

AROUND TOWN…Coeurage Theatre Company is reviving Irish playwright Brian Friel’s 1980 play Translations, “about language and cultural imperialism,” helmed by Ryan Wagner, opening May 25 at Lost Studio in Hollywood…Cabrillo Music Theatre is producing the 2007 Broadway tuner Legally Blonde: The Musical, wrought by Laurence O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin (music and lyrics) and Heather Hach (book), helmed by Tiffany Engen, starring Emma Degerstedtat Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza’s Kavli Theatre, opening July 19…Long Beach Playhouse is closing its 2012 – 2013 mainstage season with the 1982 rock tuner perennial, Little Shop of Horrors by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, helmed by producing artistic director  Andrew Vonderschmitt, opening May 25…..Finally, distilling the 37 stageworks of the Bard is the goal of  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), scripted by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, helmed by Sarah Gurfield, opening June 7 at Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica…

EXTENDING...The debut outing of Years to the Day, a dark comedy by Allen Barton, helmed by Joel Polis, is extending through June 2 at Beverly Hills Playhouse…In Santa Monica, Edgemar Center’s staging of the N. Richard Nash perennial The Rainmaker, helmed by Jack Heller, starring Tanna Frederick and Robert Standley, extends through May 26…Back in Hollywood, Actors Co-op’s production of William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, helmed by Thom Babbes, is also reaching out until May 26…Over in Burbank, Colony Theatre’s tuneful Falling For Make Believe — music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, helmed by Jim Fall — is not extending beyond May 19 but is adding a Sunday, May 12 performance at 7 pm…

Corey Allen
Corey Allen

INSIDE LA STAGE HISTORY…Born in Cleveland , Ohio on June 29, 1934, actor/director/educator Corey Allen blossoms into an accomplished thesp when his family moves to Los Angeles in the late ’40s. A 1954 graduate of the UCLA theater department, where he wins a best actor award, Allen receives his big tinseltown break when he is cast as the arrogant but doomed teen gang leader Buzz Gunderson in Rebel Without a Cause, opposite James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. Although Allen finds steady acting work in film and TV, he is drawn into directing, eventually earning an Emmy for helming an episode ofˆHill Street Blues  (1984) and guiding the two-hour pilot episode of  Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). Along the way, Allen never loses contact with his first love — live theater. In 1959, Allen becomes a partner in a touring theater operation called Freeway Circuit Inc., which tours California for six seasons. LA STAGE Times editor emeritus Lee Melville recalls, “In 1961, Corey Allen’s Freeway Circuit brought its touring production of (Jerome) Lawrence and (Robert Edwin) Lee’s Only in America into the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood. It starred Herschel Bernardi as the Jewish humorist/journalist Harry Golden. The Ivar was operated then by partners Zev Bufman and Stan Seiden. We had a successful four-month run there. It was my first Equity job as assistant stage manager and I played a small role. There were many well-known actors in the 20+ member cast. Harold Gould was Herschel’s understudy and got his Equity card from the show. I remember Lawrence & Lee did some rewrites from the original play which had flopped on Broadway.”  Following Freeway Circuit, Allen co-founds a small repertory theater called Actors Theater in 1965. As the demands of his television directorial work become more time-consuming, Allen segues into teaching, which is less time-intensive than running a theater. Allen teaches stage performance, including three years at the Actors Workshop.  For nine years, he conducts cold reading workshops at the Margie Haber Studio. Later, Allen is presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Columbia College-Hollywood for his work in helping to create the acting and directing curricula. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease the last 20 years of his life, Corey Allen dies on June 27, 2010 at age 75…

— The Julio Martinez produced and hosted ARTS IN REVIEW, showcasing the best in live theater and cabaret in the greater Los Angeles area, broadcasts weekly on KPFK 90.7fm, Fridays at 2 pm.  On May 10, the spotlight is on actor/singer Teri Ralston, who is co-starring with Stephanie Zimbalist in the Laguna Playhouse staging of Steel Magnolias

What is ‘Devised Theatre’? 

“Devised theatre can be exceptional at highlighting underrepresented narratives in the world. Since everyone’s voice from the group is an integral component in the process, more perspectives get sifted through while collaborating.”

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