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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IN THE NEWS


  • Longtime theatrically inconsistent Ricardo Montalbán Theatre — which originally opened as the Beaux Arts in 1927, billed as “Hollywood’s first legitimate theater” — is finally launching an actual season of multi-media productions, including Swan Lake The Musical, wrought by Peter Seibert (composer & co-book) and Patrick Lundquist (lyrics & co-book), scheduled to perform at Ricardo Montalbán for one night only, Dec 17. The production will feature Andrew Lippa, The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and other guests, TBA. Other scheduled works at The Montalbán include Japanese dance troupe, enra, debuting its new show, Proxima (Oct 21, 22, 23); the World Choreography Awards (Oct 24); The Black List Live (Nov 12); Los Angeles Jazz Society Honoring Quincy Jones (Nov 17); and Raffi — 40 Years of Singable Songs (Jan 21, 2017). Spring Season is TBA.
  • The interactive Hollywood Premiere Party—a Hollywood-style experience mixing red carpet, “celebrity” antics, an immersive theater experience, dinner, and live music—written and directed by Kerry Logan, is making its LA debut at Manor on Vine. Opens Oct 7.
  • Beau and Ezekiel Bridges will be reading Beau’s stage adaptation of Dalton
Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, a special one-night-only season event. Plays Oct 22.

PREMIERES


  • The Blank Theatre is debuting The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)—the tale of the conspiracy to assassinate the 35th President of the United States and its aftermath, using Shakespearean text—conceived, adapted, and directed by Daniel Henning. Opens Oct 1 at Skylight Theatre in Hollywood.
  • The premiere outing of Adam Mervis’ The Portman Delusions—a romantic dramedy, one part Woody Allen, one part David Mamet, skewering the Hollywood writing process—opens Sep 30 at Raven Playhouse in NoHo. Thomas Burr directs.
  • American Coast Theatre Co. of Orange County is staging the West Coast premiere of Life Without Parole, by Warren Doody. The drama focuses on a woman fighting for her freedom after being jailed for killing her abusive husband. Directed by Susan K. Berkompas, this is a guest production at Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. Opens Oct 21.
  • The hip hop tuner, Siamese Sex Showa satirical romp of sex and intimacy in the dystopian future making its LA premiere at The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, opens Oct 8. Written by John Papageorge and helmed by Kiff Scholl, it features rap lyrics from Kool Keith, Mistah Fab, and J Diggs.

AROUND TOWN


  • A Noise Within in Pasadena offers the third production of its 25th anniversary season, Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid, about a hypochondriac who will go to any lengths to reduce his growing pile of medical bills, including marrying off his daughter to a doctor. Adapted by Constance Congdon, based on a new translation by Dan Smith, the production is directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott. Opens Oct 15.
  • New York City-based experimental theater company Theater Mitu brings Juárez: A Documentary Mythology to the Los Angeles Theatre Center as part of the Latino Theater Company’s 30th anniversary season. Led by Juárez born-and-raised artistic director Rubén Polendo, this theatrical multimedia event, opening Oct 27, explores the history, contradictions, and mythology of the ever-complicated landscape of the US/Mexico border.
  • Ovation-winning Actors Co-op presents The Turn Of The Screw by Jeffrey Hatcher, the second show in its 25th anniversary season. Adapted from the classic story by Henry James and directed by Robertson Dean, it stars Natalie Hope MacMillan and Isaac Wade. Opens Oct 14 at Actors Co-op’s Crossley Theatre, on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.
  • Next up for Independent Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, helmed by Managing Director David Melville. Opens Oct 21 at Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater Village.
  • A.R. Gurney’s 1995 comedy, Sylvia, starring Tanna Frederick as a bouncy, ultra friendly dog, first traveled from Sierra Madre Playhouse to an extended run at Edgemar Center in Santa Monica. It is on the move again, now set to run as a visiting production at Odyssey Theatre in West LA, directed by Frederick. Opens Oct 13.

THE THING IS…


Actress CAROLE WEYERS discusses her title role portrayal in My Girlfriend is an Alien! by Keith DeFacto, helmed by Guillermo Cienfuegos and playing at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice through Oct 2.

Keith Stevenson and Carole Weyers in “My Girlfriend is an Alien!" Photo by Justin Preston.
Keith Stevenson and Carole Weyers in “My Girlfriend is an Alien!” Photo by Justin Preston.

“How do you play an alien? That was my question when I got the script. It is very well-written, a character that is out of the norm. The first thing I discovered was her physical reality, which is different than mine. She is almost like a mannequin in some ways. She has a child-like wonder that she exudes and she has no sense of fear. She seems to see everything in pink and rainbow colors. The layers of the play are rather complicated. It is a play-within-a-play, kind of like Six Characters in Search of an Author. Basically, I, Carole, am playing an actor named Carol, who is playing an alien named Carol. She does have a superpower—the ability to connect with anyone. She has no fear and no sense of not being good enough in life and in her art. She does have a profound effect on this man. And if you want to know more, you’ll have to come see the play.”


Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the greaterLos Angeles area—airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM). On Friday, Sep 30, Sherry and Bob Jason, co-founders of City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, providing highest quality arts education to the most-at-risk children in economically distressed neighborhoods of Southern California.