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


  • Chance Theater, the official resident theatre of Anaheim, announces its 20th anniversary season, with productions on both the Cripe and Fyda-Mar stages in the company’s home at the Bette Aitken theater arts Center. The season opener is the Tony-nominated musical, Violet, based on The Ugliest Pilgrim, a short story by Doris Betts, with book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, music by Jeanine Tesori. direction and choreography by Kari Hayter, and musical direction by Robyn Manion (Feb 2). Up next: the young audience classic, James and the Giant Peach, based on the Roald Dahl classic, by Timothy Allen McDonald (book), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (music and lyrics), directed by Darryl B. Hovis. (Feb 16). The season continues with Pulitzer-winner David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, directed by Jocelyn A. Brown (Apr 20); the West Coast premiere of Elevada by Sheila Callaghan, directed by Nicholas C. Avila (May 4); the musical Big Fish, with book by John August (adapted from Daniel Wallace’s novel and the Tim Burton film), music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, directed by Oanh Nguyen, choreographed by Kelly Todd, musical direction by Robyn Manion (June 29); The Other Place by Sharr White, directed by Matthew McCray (Sep 22); Fancy Nancy, The Musical, with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo, music by Danny Abosch (based on the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor), directed by Alex Bueno, musical direction by Robyn Manion (Oct 5); and Jane Austen’s Emma–The Musical, with book, lyrics, and music by Paul Gordon (based on the Austen classic), directed by Casey Long (Nov 23).
  • Boston Court Performing Arts Center is presenting a radical re-envisioning of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, helmed by Michael Michetti, with a multicultural cast and modern setting. Featuring Jaimi Paige (Blanche), Desean Kevin Terry (Stanley), Maya Lynne Robinson (Stella), and Leandro Cano (Mitch). Opens Feb 24 in the Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena.


  • Road Theatre Company launches 2018 with the West Coast premiere of Anna Ziegler’s A Delicate Ship, about an unexpected chain of events triggered by a love triangle. Directed by Andre Barron; featuring Philip Orazio, Paris Perrault, and Josh Zuckerman. Opens Jan 19 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia, located in the NoHo Senior Arts Colony.
  • Center Theatre Group is presenting Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue by Pulitzer Prize-winning Quiara Alegría Hudes, revolving around a young wounded soldier from a family of soldiers, who yearns for a truer connection with his father. Features Rubén Garfias, Peter Mendoza, Jason Manuel Olazábal and Caro Zeller. Directed by Shishir Kurup. Opens Feb 3 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.


  • The Ovation-recommended show, The Second Coming Of Klaus Kinski, written and performed by Andrew Perez, opens Jan 25 at Studio C in Hollywood, focusing on a formerly demonized great actor, resurrected to  “shake your souls with one last command performance.” Eric G. Johnson directs.
  • Write Act Rep announces Prez, a solo show by playwright Willard Manus, in celebration of Black History Month, returning to LA as part of the Three By Will In Rep series at Write Act’s Brickhouse Theatre in NoHo. Featuring Leslie A. Jones, Prez chronicles the life of jazzman Lester Young. Directed by Daniel E. Keough. (The series will also include two world premieres.) Opens Feb 4.
  • Antaeus Theatre Company is reviving Harold Pinter’s seldom seen, 1958 dark comedy, The Hothouse, set within a government-run mental institution in which the wardens may be madder than the inmates. Directed by Nike Doukas. Opens Jan 25 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale.
  • Pop Up Theater, Inc. is offering the second play in its 2017-2018 season, Pizza Man, a site-specific meeting of two revenge-driven women and an unsuspecting pizza delivery man, written by Darlene Craviotto and directed by Jamie Lou. Opens Feb 24 at The Loft in Hollywood.
  • IAMA Theatre Company presents the January Reading Series, staged readings of four new plays presented over the course of one weekend in Atwater Village Theatre. The works include Absolution by Brooke Berman, directed by Jamie Salka (Jan 18); Opportunities of Extinction by Samantha Chanse, directed by Murielle Zuker (Jan 19); Tin by Josh Lawson, directed by Jennifer Chambers (Jan 20); and Marvel-ous Monica by Sarah Tuft, directed by Thomas Sadoski (Jan. 21).


Actor Benjamin Burdick discusses the premiere production of Ruth Fowler’s bled for the household truth, returning to Rogue Machine, opening Jan 13.

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 Jan 12, Julio’s guests will be Library Girl host Susan Hayden, writer-director Guy Zimmerman, and actor Darrell Larson, discussing a Sam Shepard tribute that will be featured on Library Girl’s 100th show anniversary, Jan 14 at The Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica.