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


  • Celebration Theatre, under the artistic direction of Michael Matthews and Michael A. Shepperd, has announced its 2017-18 season of shows, beginning with the West Coast premiere of The View Upstairs,a new musical by Max Vernon (book, music, and lyrics) set inside the world of a historic 1970s New Orleans bar called The Upstairs Lounge. Opens Sep 22. Directed by Shepperd; musical direction by Jake Anthony, choreography by Cate Caplin. Next up, in Feb 2018: Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, based on the Latent Image/Specific Films Motion Picture, with book by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, helmed by Jessica Hanna. Opening May 2018: Cabaret, by Joe Masteroff (book), John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics). Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Matthews directs. All performances at Celebration @ The Lex in Hollywood.
  • Laguna Playhouse has announced that due to scheduling conflicts, the previously announced dates for The Graduate, starring Academy Award-nominee Melanie Griffith as Mrs. Robinson, will move to March 2018 and Twelve Angry Men, which was scheduled to open at that date will now run this year, October 4-22.


  • EST/LA is presenting the premiere of WET: A DACAmented Journey—the story of what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except on paper. Written and performed by Alex Alpharaoh. Developed at EST/LA, the production was originally workshopped through the Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles series Winterfest, True Story and Launchpad. Directed by Kevin Comartin. Opens Aug 4 at Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, located in the Atwater Village Theatre Complex.
  • Macha Theatre in West Hollywood is premiering Frida–Stroke of Passionexploring Frida Kahlo’s mental, emotional and physical condition during the last week of her life. Written by and starring Odalys Nanin as Frida. Co-directed by Nancy de Los Santos. Opens Sep 9.
  • L.A.’s Australian Theatre Company presents the premiere of Grey Nomad—a comedy spotlighting Australian retirees circumnavigating the world’s largest island in their caravans and RVs. Written by Australian playwright Dan Lee, the visiting production at the Skylight Theatre is directed by Iain Sinclair and stars David Ross Peterson, Ros Gentle, Paul Tassone, and Wendy Hammers. Opens on Monday, Sept. 11.
  • The Road Theatre Company opens its 2017-2018 season with the premiere of Stupid Kid—a gothic Western tale of a family isolated by shame, exploring power, guilt, and the limits of maternal love. By Sharr White; directed by Cameron Watson. Opens Sep 22 at The Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood.


  • Independent Shakespeare Co. continues its Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival season with a rock & roll production of the Bard’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Helmed by ISC’s managing director David Melville, the show opens Aug 5 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are free to the public.
  • DBA Studio will present David Harrower’s drama, Blackbird–Hollywood, involving two people meeting 15 years after an affair—when she was 12 and he was 40. A visiting production at The MET Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Don Bloomfield and starring Cali Fleming and Michael Connors. Opens Sep 8.
  • 24th Street Theatre opens its 2017-18 season with a revival of the 2011 LA Weekly “Production of the Year” winner, La Razón Blindada (Armored Reason), written and directed by Argentine playwright Arístides Vargas. Jesus Castaños Chima and Tony Durán will reprise their roles as political prisoners who are allowed to interact with one another for one hour a week, but must remain in their chairs and never stand. Opens Sep 9, presented in Spanish with English supertitles.


Gabriela Ortega discusses her 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival Best Solo Show winner, Las Garcia, directed by Alex Alpharaoh, opening in Asylum @ Studio C Artists, Aug 10.


Julio Martinez hosts 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). On Aug 4, the show hosts writer Patty Farmer, author of Playboy Laughs and actor Alex Alpharaoh from EST/LA’s WET: A DACAmented Journey in Atwater Village Theatre.