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


  • Center Theatre Group is holding its free, third annual College & Career Fair for the Arts on March 17 (9:30 am to 4 pm) at the Music Center Annex, 1601 W. Temple St. in Downtown L.A. Among the more than 25 local colleges, universities, and community organizations in attendance will be USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, and Emerson College. The fair will feature opportunities for students to meet with working theatre professionals (playwrights, actors, designers, directors), receive one-on-one college counseling, and attend free workshops. Students are advised to RSVP in advance here for workshops and for a chance to have free headshots taken. Workshops available: “Applying for College” (10 am); “Paying for College: Student Workshop” and “College Financing for Parents of Artists” (both at 11 am); “Choosing an Audition Monologue” (1:30 pm); and “Mapping Your Goals, Visions and Dreams” (3 pm).
  • Registration is now open for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018, June 7-24. Complete the three steps of registration by April 1 to be included in this year’s printed guide. Guide ad sales close on April 15th and tickets go on sale on May 1st. For additional information, check out the support portal filled with advice, information, and reference.
  • IAMA Theatre Company has named Brooklyn-based playwright and activist Geraldine Inoa as the first recipient of the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission. The commission, created to support an underrepresented writer of color who has not had a play professionally produced, is sponsored by TV producer/writer Shonda Rhimes (Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy). Rhimes came on board in 2017 as the company’s first-ever “Patron of the Arts,” committing funds for the commission through her Rhimes Family Foundation.
  • The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (SCLA) returns to the Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles VA campus with a new production of Henry IV. Staged by Tony Award-winner Daniel Sullivan, the production features an all-star acting company that includes Tom Hanks (as Falstaff ), Rita Wilson, and additional cast members to be announced. SCLA has set aside 2,000 tickets for eligible veterans and active members of the military free of charge; they may enter their names to an email list found here.

PREMIERES


  • The Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood is hosting the premiere of Jeff Dinnell’s Wicked Pagan Gays, the life-challenged journey of Jeff and Gregg, “a duo thrust into a world of child stars, self-help gurus and baffling gay politics,” directed by Kiff Scholl, starring Jeff Dinnell and Nathan Tylutki. Opens Feb 23.
  • South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa is premiering Cambodian Rock Band, playwright Lauren Yee’s look at forgotten history, exploring 1970s Cambodia with its vibrant surf-rock music scene prior to the Khmer Rouge regime. Features songs by the Long Beach-based band Dengue Fever. Directed by Chay Yew. Opens Mar 10 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.
  • Son of Semele Ensemble opens its 2018 season with the West Coast premiere of Alexander Borinsky’s Of Government, directed by Kate Motzenbacker, presented as “a DIY pageant celebrating the often unsung ‘feminine’ labor that binds our communities together.” Opens Mar 10.

AROUND TOWN


  • Set in the UK in 1960, Hugh Whitemore’s Pack of Lies tells the true story of neighboring families who are best friends, set against one another by Scotland Yard. Directed by Sharyn Case. Opens Feb 24 at Long Beach Playhouse.
  • El Portal Theatre in NoHo is hosting the touring show, WaistWatchers The Musical, set in Cook’s Women’s Gym, a light-hearted look at four women dishing on food, diets, exercise, friendship, love and sex, by Alan Jacobson (book & lyrics) and Vince Di Mura (music). Directed by Matthew E. Silva. Opens Feb 28 on El Portal’s Debbie Reynolds Mainstage.
  • Actors Co-op Theatre Company is presenting the 1962 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, Robert Bolt’s A Man For All Seasons, directed by Thom Babbes. The historical drama offers a portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. Opens Mar 2 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.
  • Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group presents Stomach Contents, writer/director Sharon Yablon’s evening of three mini-plays, “portraying haunting and surreal stories of Angelenos who find themselves in the unique and primal world of the near-by desert…thriving by its own rules.” Opens Mar 3 at ZJU Theatre Group in NoHo.
  • Santa Monica Playhouse will serve up Roast Beef and Frogs Legs, a rotating lineup of seasoned international comics, hosted by Englishman Chris Martin and Frenchman Eric Lampaert. Held on the second Thursday of the month, starting March 8.

THE THING IS…


Writer Ian McRae, director Kent Thompson and actors Bobby Costanzo and Eileen Galindo discuss the premiere production of The Alamo, opening Feb 24 at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica.

 

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).