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


  • Building the Wall, a two-person play by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winner Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way), will open on Mar 18 at the 99-seat Fountain Theatre in Hollywood in the first of many “rolling world premieres,” directed by Michael Michetti and starring Bo Foxworth and Judith Moreland. According to Schenkkhan, “I wrote it pretty much straight out over a period of four or five days. I almost never work like that. The play is speculative fiction, set in the fall of 2019, two years into the Trump Presidency. I have five productions scheduled. We’ve had requests for over 115 productions and readings that we are just now beginning to sort through. We’ve had requests from France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Canada, Mexico City. There is just an extraordinary surge of interest, and we are trying to respond to this in what we think is the way in which theater artists of all stripes need to respond, which is immediately. We are licensing this play widely. If you want to do the play, you can. Just go to the website, put in your request and DPS is handling the licensing. Someone will contact you right back and make the arrangements. This is not the way theater works. And that’s a good thing. Because this is not business as usual anymore. We all live in that world. We have thrown the rule book out the window. Theater is art. And the art is going to be meaningful.”
  • The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF), under the umbrella title, Taking Flight, is marking 24 years of producing multicultural and multidisciplinary solo performers from around the globe. The longest-running annual solo festival for women in Los Angeles will hold its opening gala on March 23 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, with solo performances Mar 24-26 at Electric Lodge in Venice. The theme of the opening night program on March 23 is Standing On The Shoulders Of…. The evening will be directed by Adleane Hunter and hosted by Hattie Winston and Ted Lange, with the added talent of award-winning vocalist Eloise Laws. There will also be a performance by emerging vocalist Payton Aurora Jones.
  • The Macha Theatre in West Hollywood is holding its 10-Year Anniversary & Fundraiser to preserve this historical theater on Apr 22, emceed by Sandra Gutierrez. Performers include comedian Kiki Melendez. Also featured will be a sneak preview of producing artistic director/founder Odalys Nanin’s new play, Frida Kahlo.

PREMIERES


  • Spiegelworld’s Absinthe—an adult-themed conglomeration of handpicked international and underground acts dubbed by the New York Times “Cirque du Soleil as channeled through The Rocky Horror Picture Show”—is making its LA debut at Spiegelworld Tent at L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck in downtown LA. Opens Mar 22.
  • Gregory Harrison will star as Thomas Jefferson
 when L.A. Theatre Works presents the American premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s
 Jefferson’s Garden, offering a look at the elusive nature of freedom. Martin Jarvis helms five performances, Mar 23-26, at James Bridges Theatre at UCLA in Westwood. Other cast members include Rosalind Ayres, Ellis Greer, Lovensky Jean-Baptiste, Ifan Meredith, Darren Richardson, Emily Swallow, and Inger Tudor. The production will be recorded for future radio broadcast.

AROUND TOWN


  • The Frank Lloyd Wright landmark Hollyhock House, located in Barnsdall Park in Hollywood, presents a J.U.S.T. Toys Production of Fefu and Her Friends—eight women, one bunny…and a gun–written by María Irene Fornés in 1977. Directed by Kate Jopson, with choreography by Zsófi Nemes and musical composition by Daniel Szabo, the play is presented in association with Circle X Theatre Co. Cast includes Julia Ubrankovics, Tunde Skovran, Talia Davis, Christine Uhebe, Claudia Zielke, Guerin Piercy, Kacie Rogers, and Caro Zeller. Opens May 5, in celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday.
  • The Eli and Edy Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents the Theatergroep Kwatta production of Love That Dog — the moving, poetic, and inspiring diary of a boy who learns that words can be miraculous, based on the novel by Sharon Creech and directed by Josee Hussaarts. Opens Mar 25 in The Edye at The Broad Stage.
  • The Inventor and the Escort, a sexy one-act comedy written and directed by Matt Morillo, opens March 31 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. Stars Jessica Moreno and Jaret Sacrey.

THE THING IS


Director Kay Cole and actress Renée Marino discuss John Patrick Shanley’s one-act plays Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Poison, playing at NoHo’s Theatre 68 through Apr 2.


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).