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.

This Week in L.A. Theatre

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  • Loft Ensemble has lost its space at 929 E. Second Street (the former home of the City Hearts arts outreach program) in downtown LA’s Arts District. Not to be deterred, the company has moved to the Valley, leasing the former home of LA Comedy Connection at 13442 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. Move-in date: May 1st. Loft plans to make its presence known at the upcoming Hollywood Fringe Fest 2016. But its first official production on Ventura will be King Lear, helmed by production manager Bree Pavey, starring Leon Russom. Opens July 9.
  • Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain (prominently featured in the 2015 Oscar-nominated The Big Short) is taking to the stage. On Nov 15, the eleven-city Anthony Bourdain On Tour will stop at Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, “featuring an unyielding, brutally honest monologue reflecting on diverse culture, street cuisine and his travels to lesser-known locations around the world.” An open Q&A will follow.
  • La Mirada Theatre will launch its 2016-17 season with the Disney film-inspired The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Peter Parnell (book), Alan Menken (music), and Stephen Schwartz (lyrics). Directed by Glenn Casale, it opens Sep 17, starring Tom Hewitt and Leslie Margherita. The season continues with Ken Ludwig’s farce, Lend Me a Tenor, directed by Art Manke (Oct 22); Jason Robert Brown’s 2002 intimate romantic tuner, The Last Five Years, helmed by Nick DeGruccio (Jan 21, 2017); the historic West Side Story, based on Jerome Robbins’ concept, created by Arthur Laurents (book), Leonard Bernstein (music), and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics); directed by Richard Israel (Apr 22, 2017); and Dale Wasserman’s Tony-winning Man of La Mancha, staged by Glenn Casale (June 3, 2017). As an added attraction, Vicki Lawrence stars in the one-woman show, Vicki Lawrence & Mama (May 20, 2017).


  • LA-based Chalk Theatre is debuting Ruth McKee’s In Case of Emergency, a site-specific exploration of the effort to prepare for the “Big One,” while dealing with disasters within one’s personal life. Directed by Deena Selenow, the production is set in the garage of an actual private home, located each weekend in a different neighborhood, from Atwater Village to Pasadena. Opens July 3 (addresses revealed upon ticket purchase).
  • Son of Semele Ensemble will present the LA premiere of That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play, Sheila Callaghan’s “raunchy subversion of our culture’s distorted—often downright violent—representations of women,” directed by Marya Mazor. Opens May 28 at downtown-adjacent Son of Semele Theater.


  • Antaeus Theatre Company ends its nine-year tenure in NoHo with a revival of Henrik Ibsen’s 1891 Victorian-Age shocker, Hedda Gabler, updated by Australian playwright Andrew Upton, and directed by Steven Robman. Opens June 2. In September, Antaeus embarks on a new phase as it relocates to a transformed retail building at 110 E. Broadway in Glendale (across from The Americana at Brand). Performance schedule TBA.
  • The New Short Fiction Series continues its 20th season with its 13th Annual Emerging Voices Group Show, featuring new works by Wendy All, Tony Kellam, Denise Osso, Richard A. Sanchez, Chelika Yapa and William Youngblood, voiced by spoken word maven Sally Shore and actors Nadine Bedrossian, Alex Blue Davis, Jesse Holcomb, Esther Williams and Wilson Wong.  Performs May 8 at The Federal Bar in NoHo.
  • Deemed the most-awarded magician in the history of Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle, John Carney brings his amalgam of sleight-of-hand and wit, Carney Magic, to Colony Theatre in Burbank, May 6-8.

THE THING IS: MY MEMORY OF STEVE JULIAN (July 4, 1958 – April 24, 2016)

Steve Julian
Steve Julian

“I had been listening to Steve Julian’s soothing, humor-tinged broadcasts of “Morning Edition” on KPCC (89.3FM) since he came on the air in 2000. It was my daily ritual as I drove my daughter and son each day from North Hollywood to the LA County High School for the Arts on the campus of Cal State L.A. No matter how dire the news (including the morning of 9/11), Steve’s gentle, unerringly precise reporting projected an aura of care and safety. Then, in 2010, Steve and I became colleagues, penning for LA STAGE Times, the online publication of LA STAGE Alliance. The first feature of Steve’s that I read spotlighted playwright L. Trey Wilson, whose new play, Something Happened, was about to open at Pacific Stages (4/7/10). Steve’s careful, revealing survey of this talented playwright’s intent and ambitions projected the same low-keyed, but enthusiastic and thorough attention to detail that permeated Steve’s radio broadcasts. I liked this guy, even though I had never met him. However, one Saturday that spring, Steve and his wife, Felicia, invited the staff of LA STAGE Times to brunch at their home. Within minutes, Steve and I were engaged in conversation about LA theater history. I felt like I had known him all my life. Good day to you sir.”

Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area—airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM). On Apr 29, Arts in Review spotlights Lawrence Stallings and Richard Azurdia, starring in the LA premiere of My Mañana Comes by Elizabeth Irwin, at the Fountain Theatre through June 26.

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