This Week in L.A. Theatre

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  • Bootleg Theater announces its 10th Anniversary Mardi Gras Grand Bal Masque. Hosted by comedian Al Madrigal, Bootleg’s Mardi Gras party features the talents of chanteur Philip Littell, poet Rachel Kann, monologuist Brian Allman, writer/actor Roger Guenveur Smith, the music of the New Orleans Jazz Band and the Holy Crow Jazz Band, and DJ Patrick Belton. The event takes place Feb 28 at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.
  • Theatre students from Pepperdine University garnered a pair of awards at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in addition to scoring a series of coveted four and five-star reviews. Their play, The Interference—a fast-paced drama about a campus rape survivor’s struggle for justice, written by Glasgow-based playwright Lynda Radley—will have its U.S. premiere April 5-8 at Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. Directed by Cathy Thomas-Grant, Divisional Dean of Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division.


  • The Theatre @ Boston Court is offering the West Coast premiere of Collective Rage: A Play In 5 Boops—five different Bettys collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and “thea-tah”—written by Jen Silverman and helmed by Lindsay Allbaugh. The play opened Feb 9 and will run through Mar 19 on the Main Stage at Boston Court in Pasadena. Cast includes Karen Anzoategui, Anna Lamadrid, Tracey Leigh, Elyse Mirto, and Courtney Rackley.
  • Write Act Repertory is presenting the premiere musical, Lili Marlene—an original musical love story about Rosie Penn, the famous cabaret singer, and Count Hans Wilhelm van Kleister Graff, set in the last year of the Weimar German Republic and the beginning of the Third Reich. Written by Michael Antin; directed and choreographed by Mark Blowers. A limited engagement of Write Act Rep’s Composer’s Lab. Opens Mar 19 at Write Act Repertory in NoHo.
  • DVO Productions offers the premiere of Malicious Bunnyabout a man who tells his unhappily married wife that he’ll do anything for her, with possibly murderous results. Written by Matthew A. Sprosty, directed by Bryan Fox. Opens Mar 17 at The Actors Company Let Live Theater, 916 North Formosa Ave., in Los Angeles.
  • The Actors’ Gang’s new musical staging of Harlequino: On to Freedom will have its U.S. premiere on Mar 18 at The Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City, as part of the theater’s 2017 “Spring Season of Justice.” Written and helmed by Tim Robbins, the new musical combines commedia dell’Arte, Shakespearean tragedy, live music and sophisticated comedy to produce a dialectic on the meaning of freedom. The musical had its European premiere at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and it subsequently toured to Shanghai and Beijing where it was censored by government officials.


  • Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre Company celebrates Black History Month with The Devil’s Music: The Life And Blues Of Bessie Smith, starring singer and actress Miche Braden of the original 2014 Off-Broadway production, conceived and directed by Joe Brancato, written by Angelo Parra. In 1937 Memphis, Bessie and her musicians are turned away from performing at a “Whites-Only” theatre and find a hospitable gin joint where Bessie recounts her incredible journey from an impoverished childhood in Chattanooga to her fortuitous rise as a show-stopping singer. Braden is joined by musicians Gerard Gibbs (piano), Anthony Nelson Jr. (sax), and James Hankins (bass). Opens Feb 25.
  • Also opening on Feb 25, Long Beach Playhouse is offering Neil Simon’s 1988 upper-class New York farce, Rumors, directed by James Rice and featuring a ten-member ensemble.
  • Panic! Productions, in association with Theatre 68, presents John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, directed by Ronnie Marmo and featuring Renee Marino and J. Bailey Burcham. Also on the bill: the premiere of Shanley’s newly revised one-act play, Poison, directed by Kay Cole, starring Nicola Tombacco, Kelsey Flynn, and Katie Zeiner. Opens Mar 9 at Theatre 68 in NoHo.
  • Casa 0101 Theater and TNH Productions, in association with Councilmember Gilbert A. Cedillio, announce the extension of the hit musical, Disney’s Aladdin, Dual Language Edition, Edición De Lenguaje Dual at CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, now through Mar 5.


Playwright ALBERT JAMES KALLIS discusses the premiere of A Delusional Affair, directed by Chris DeCarlo, opening Feb 25 at Santa Monica Playhouse.

Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the greater Los Angeles area, Fridays (2-2:30 pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).

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.