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


  • Edward Machado and Darrell Larson present a marathon reading of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, Feb 14.  Among the large cast: Larson, Machado, Tony Abatemarco, John Fleck, Jan Munroe, Michael Kearns, Arye Gross, Lisa Bishop, Jessie Jacobson, and Sonja Brenna.
  • V-DAY Santa Monica—a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls—will be hosting an all-star benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The cast includes Jane Fonda, Dylan McDermott, Frances Fisher, Rosario Dawson, Wanda Sykes, Wendie Malick, Deborah Kagan, Cheri Oteri, Mindy Sterling, and many more. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Peace Over Violence. The event takes Feb 17.
  • Artistic Director Josefina López has announced a fundraising campaign to save Casa O101 in Boyle Heights, the theatre she founded 15 years ago, from being closed down. Campaign information can be found here. To creatively support the effort, CASA 0101 Theater will present Brown & Out IV, a festival of 10 world premiere short plays celebrating the Latinx LGBTQ+ experience (Feb 9-Mar 4); a photo exhibition by Rolando Rodriguez, entitled ropa sucia” (dirty laundry), curated by Jimmy Centeno; a Ten Year 2008–2018 Retrospective celebrating CASA 0101 Theater’s commitment to presenting and supporting Latinx LGBTQ+ themed plays and playwrights, curated by Corky Dominguez; Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme VI (Mar 16-Apr 15); a remount of the company’s critically acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, The Broadway Musical, produced with TNH Productions (May 4 – 27); and the world premiere of Josefina López’s Remembering Boyle Heights, opening June 8.
  • Odalys Nanin, another Latina theater innovator,  is also in danger of losing her space of ten years, Macha Theatre in West Hollywood, formerly the landmark Globe Playhouse. A developer has bought the property. Nanin has taken up residence at Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. She is directing a free reading of Elissa Eaton’s Tits & Tombstones there on Feb 26.

PREMIERES


  • The Latino Theater Company presents The Happiest Song Plays Last, written by Quiara Alegría Hudes and featuring traditional Puerto Rican folk music. This California premiere spans a year in the life of two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world. Directed by Edward Torres; stars Vaneh Assadourian, Elisa Bocanegra, Kamal Marayati, Peter Pasco, Al Rodrigo, and John Seda-Pitre. Opens Feb 22 at Los Angeles Theatre Center.
  • The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank is premiering Unemployed Elephants – A Love Story, playwright Wendy Graf’s chronicle of a chance meeting in an airport lounge that leads to a Burmese odyssey and a search for a missing monk… and maybe love. Directed by Maria Gobetti; starring Brea Bee and Marshall McCabe. Opens Mar 9.
  • Skylight Theatre Company is offering two premiere plays by LA-based female playwrights, revealing the strength and resilience of women in the darkest of circumstances: The Madres by Stephanie Alison Walker, directed by Sara Guerrero, opening Mar 10; and Hostage by Michelle Kholos Brooks, based on the 1979 American hostage crisis in Tehran; directed by Elina de Santos, opening May 19. The Madres, focusing on The Mothers of Los Desaparecidos de Argentina, is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, beginning in Los Angeles as the first city to offer a professional production.
  • Celebration Theatre, in association with Beard/Collins/Shores Productions, presents the West Coast premiere of Sordid Lives creator Del Shores’ new one-man show, Six Characters In Search Of A Play. Inspired by the Pirandello classic, Shores brings to life six one-of-a-kind characters he has met in real life who haven’t quite made it into one of his plays, films or TV shows. Directed by Emerson Collins. Opens Feb 26 at Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Hollywood.

AROUND TOWN


  • Bull and Bearer Theatre Company’s inaugural production, The Understudy, Theresa Rebeck’s comedic look at the inner-workings of the theatre, examines the beauty and futility of the theatre artist. Directed by Dana Martin; cast includes Sean Cowhig, Andria Kozica, and Justin Michael Terry. Opens Feb 10 at The Art of Acting Studio in Hollywood.
  • Library Girl presents If Not For You—a pre-Valentine’s Day tribute to Bob Dylan in words & music, hosted by Susan Hayden, featuring writers Cory Cofer (aka Besskepp), James Cushing, Celeste Goyer, Jessie Jacobson, Chris Morris, and more. Music by Lisa Finnie w/Dylan Thomas, John McDuffie, Mason Summit and others. Feb 11 at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica.
  • Mad World Productions is presenting Slices D’Amor: Valentine’s Tales of love and Woe, an evening of scenes, monologues, songs and dance, in celebration of this weekend of love, written by monologists, playwrights and screenwriters, conceived and produced by Joelle Arqueros (Sex, Relationships, and Sometimes… Love); directed by Mitch Levine. With Nicolas Read, David Stanbra, Tessa Spencer, Casey Cameron Killian, Mia Danelle and more. Opens Feb 16 in the Ruby Theatre @ The Complex Theatre in Hollywood.

THE THING IS…


Writer/director Graham Brown discusses 4Play: Sex In A Series. A West Coast premiere, the production opens on Valentine’s Day, Wed, Feb. 14, at the West Hollywood-adjacent Actors Company, continuing through March 17.