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 LA Theatre

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by Julio Martinez

IN THE NEWS


  • The Hollywood Bowl has announced the cast and creative team for a benefit performance of Sondheim On Sondheim, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, originally conceived and directed on Broadway by James Lapine. Sarna Lapine directs, choreographed by Michele Lynch. With conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA). The cast: Lewis Cleale, Carmen Cusack, Claybourne Elder, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ruthie Ann Miles, Matthew Morrison, Solea Pfeiffer, Vanessa Williams, and additional cast members to be announced. Benefits YOLA and other LA Phil educational initiatives. One performance only, July 23.

THE BARD IN SUMMER


  • The California Arts Council will award $18,000 to Independent Shakespeare Co. as part of its Local Impact program fostering equity, access, and opportunity by providing project and partnership support for small arts organizations with operating budgets under $1 million. All projects extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations that have limited access to the arts. With support from the California Arts Council, Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) will present the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival 2017, June 24-Sep 3 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, featuring 49 performances of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and The Two Gentleman of Verona.
  • Shakespeare specialist Rob Clare directs a fully partnered cast in a production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Antaeus Theatre Company. Julia Davis and Sally Hughes share the role of Rosalind, with Desiree Mee Jung and Abigail Marks partnering as Celia. Opens July 27 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale.

PREMIERES


  • Now in its 4th month at Fountain Theatre in Hollywood, Pulitzer- and Tony-winner Robert Schenkkan’s premiere of Building the Wall continues through August 27, starring Bo Foxworth and Victoria Platt (replacing Judith Moreland), helmed by Michael Michetti.
  • Written and directed by Jeff Gould, The Marriage Zone—the fourth in a series of comedies exploring the dynamics of the relationships between men and women—is premiering at The Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. Opens July 8.
  • Satirist Paul Rudnick’s Big Nighta seriocomic play about family and fame, the personal and the political, and the drive to stand up and speak out—premieres at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. Directed by Walter Bobbie. Opens Sep 17.

TUNEFESTS


  • Eric Blau and Mort Shuman’s 1968 Off-Broadway musical, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, based on the music and commentary of Jacques Brel, is coming to the Odyssey Theatre in West LA. Helmed by Dan Fishbach; musical direction by Anthony Lucca. Ensemble includes Marc Francoeur, Susan Kohler, Miyuki Miyagi, and Michael Yapujian. Opens July 1.
  • Musical Theatre West brings a production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. Plays July 7-23 (includes an added final performance). Katharine McDonough stars as the “practically perfect” nanny. Directed and choreographed by Daniel Pelzig; musical direction by Ryan O’Connell.
  • Cabrillo Music Theatre presents the third and final show of its 2016-2017 season, Peter Pan, based on the J.M. Barrie classic, with music by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden and Adolph Green, musical direction by Dan Redfeld, choreography by Cheryl Baxter, and direction by Yvette Lawrence. Features Carly Bracco as Peter Pan and Gregory North as Mr. Darling/Captain Hook. Opens July 14, in the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

AROUND TOWN

  • A Steady Rain, Keith Huff’s 2009 Broadway two-character play set in a gray moral zone (two Chicago policemen, lifelong friends, misread a domestic disturbance and must deal with the shocking consequence) opens July 23 at Moments Playhouse in Silverlake. D.B. Levin directs; stars Zachary Ray Sherman and Scott Kuza.
  • Claudia DiMartino continues her 2017 SoloFest solo show, It’s Only Lipstick, a journey of survival—from the dysfunction of an Italian-American family in Brooklyn to the instability of a 22-year career as a marketing executive in the beauty industry. Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. Opens July 6 at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks.
  • I’m Not Famous, Barbara Minkus’ musical memoir of a long life in show business, features songs and anecdotes about the showbiz giants she’s worked with, from Tony Bennett to Jerry Lewis. Now running through July 22 at Santa Monica Playhouse.

THE THING IS…


Co-artistic director Liz Ross and producer Heather Robinson discuss EST/LA 2017 Playwrights Festival, taking place at Atwater Village Theatre, June 1-July 16