This Week in L.A. Theatre

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IN THE NEWS


  • Madeline Puzo is stepping down from her position of dean of USC’s School of Dramatic Arts, as of June 30, planning to “recommit to her work as a prominent figure in the field of theatre.” David Bridel, director of USC’s Master of Fine Arts in Acting program, will serve as interim dean.
  • Venerable Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills is launching its six-play 50th Anniversary Season with a revival of James Reach’s corporate boardroom drama, Patterns, adapted from the 1955 Emmy-winning teleplay by Rod Serling, helmed by Jules Aaron, opening July 23.
  • Studio/Stage in Hollywood is hosting the LA premiere of the Jonathan Holloway adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables—resetting to 1936 Paris, where jazz is king, Valjean owns a night club and Fantine sings in a cabaret—helmed by Jed Alexander, opening July 3.
  • Looking ahead, Road Theatre Company in NoHo will debut its 2015-16 Season with the premiere of Lisa Loomer’s Homefree—“the flip side of the American dream”—helmed by Ovation-winner Michael Matthews, opening Sep 18 at Road on Magnolia.

PREMIERES


  • Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica is hosting the debut of Laureen Vonnegut’s new play, The Porcini Test—“about old friends with hidden truths, girlfriends with concealed weapons, and boyfriends who need to know their fungi,” opening July 17.
  • Chalk Repertory is premiering Tom Jacobson’s sight-specific Diet of Worms, helmed by Jennifer Chang—a comedic journey through St. John’s Cathedral in downtown LA, as five medieval German nuns resist Martin Luther’s Reformation—debuting June 4.
  • Matt DeNoto’s La Llorona—“a terrifying new take on a classic Latino myth”—starring Mexican stage star Martina Medina, premieres June 13 at Theatre of NOTE, in conjunction with Hollywood Fringe Fest.

AROUND TOWN


  • Long Beach Playhouse is staging Brit Michael Bartlett’s 2009 0livier Award-winning, Cock—perusing the many meandering ramifications that occur when relationships go awry. Gregory Cohen helms a comedic, jaundiced interpretation of the romantic triangle, opening June 13.
  • Australian Theatre Company has set up shop at West Hollywood’s Matrix Theatre, offering Stage to Screen—four staged readings of acclaimed Australian plays that have been made into films—June 3-24. Down Under wine is being served. Make your reservations via email.
  • For its Summer pre-season fare, Cabrillo Music Theatre is taking on landmark 1944 Pulitzer-winning tuner, Oklahoma, helmed by Lewis Wilkenfeld, opening July 17 at Thousand Oaks’ Kavli Theatre.
  • Encouraged by its successful 2014 premiere, Loft Ensemble is bringing Catalyst to Hollywood Fringe Fest—following six young women who embark on a journey to battle their eating disorders before it consumes them—scripted and helmed by April Morrow, opening June 5 at The Complex.
  • Writer/performer Stan Zimmerman returns to Hollywood Fringe with Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words—based on actual suicide notes, performed by Zimmerman, Olivia d’Abo, Peter Onorati and Brendan Robinson—opening June 19 at Theatre Asylum.
  • Star-studded My Child: Mothers of the War, scripted and helmed by Angeliki Giannakopoulos, extends through June 14 at Hudson Backstage Theatre, Sundays only.

THE THING IS


ERIN CARERE stars in the one-woman show, Standupera, opening June 5 at The Other Space, in conjunction with Hollywood Fringe Fest…

erin muir
Erin Carere

“When you can sing and have sung multiple genres but you’re not famous yet, people are very confused. I always like to point out that performers like Bette Midler, Linda Ronstadt, Barbra Streisand or now, even Lady Gaga, sing it all. I started singing at Church like many vocalists. The church music director heard me and asked if I really wanted to learn how to sing. She trained me classically, and one day this operatic voice just popped out of me. But when I attended music school at St. Olaf’s, I had a lot of problems with eating disorders, depression, and finally I was asked to leave. The school promised they would let me back in with all my scholarships if I would go to rehab. But once I went to rehab, I knew I would never go back to school. Instead, I joined a rock band. I loved it. It was as if Gwen Stefani and Sarah Brightman got together and started a band. And that opened the door for me singing a lot of different kinds of music. Eventually I developed a standup comedy act that dealt with all aspects of my life and I included some bits of opera, which eventually led to this show.”   LISTEN TO ERIN >>


Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review – celebrating the best in live theater and cabaret in Greater Los Angeles – airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).

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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.