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

  • Reprise has returned. Reprise 2.0 will present a season of three classic American musicals at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse with Marcia Seligson serving as Producing Artistic Director, partnering with the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Department of Theater (UCLA TFT), chaired by Brian Kite. Seligson was the founder of Reprise! Broadway’s Best, which presented nearly 50 productions of classic musicals between 1997 and 2012. The inaugural 2018 season includes Sweet Charity, directed by three-time Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall (Jun 20-Jul 1); Victor/Victoria, directed by Richard Israel and choreographed by Peggy Hickey (Sep 5-16); and Grand Hotel – The Musical, directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman and choreographed by Kay Cole (Oct 24-Nov 4). All productions will be conducted by Reprise 2.0 musical director Gerald Sternbach.
  • Circle X Theatre Co. announced that Kate Jopson will become the new Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed theatre company effective May 1. She served previously as Associate Artistic Director. Tim Wright, the company’s Artistic Director for the past 14 years, will assist in the transition and will remain with Circle X as a board member and collaborator.
  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills will be offering Richard Eyre’s Bristol Old Vic production of Eugene O’Neill’s 1956 Tony-winning classic, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Oscar winner Jeremy Irons and Oscar nominee Lesley Manville, with Matthew Beard, Rory Keenan, and Jessica Regan. Opens June 8 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.
  • For the fifth year, 2Cents Theatre Group is presenting INK Fest 2018, featuring 22 female playwrights and their fully-produced plays. The Fest will take place March 9-11 at the Hudson Theatres in Hollywood. The lineup includes 19 short plays, each under 30 minutes, plus three feature-length one-acts.
  • L.A.’s Australian Theatre Company is inviting submissions of full-length plays that have not been previously produced in Los Angeles, to be presented by a professional director and cast as part of its 2018 Summer Reading Series—part of ATC’s development process for future productions—scheduled to take place this June at the Zephyr Theatre. The readings will take place every Monday in June at the Zephyr Theatre, presented by the Australian Consulate General of Los Angeles. To submit a play for consideration go here. Submissions close Mar 31.

PREMIERES


  • The Echo Theater Company & Circle X Theatre Co. present the premiere of An Undivided Heart by Yusuf Toropov, focusing on how far powerful men and institutions will go to keep their secrets and who pays the price when they do. Chris Fields directs a fifteen-member ensemble. Opens Mar 16 in the Atwater Village Theatre.
  • MdB Productions is presenting the premiere of Mulatto Math: Summing Up the Race Equation in America, featuring playwright/performer Monique DeBose in an exploration of race, family, and identity from her perspective as the child of a southern African American father and Irish upstate New York mother. Update: Denise Dowse will direct. Opens Mar 25 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.
  • Write Act Repertory is presenting the West Coast premiere of Elise Arndt’s one-woman show, Sing Bibi Sing! The Untold Tales of Bibi Osterwald, chronicling the story of veteran stage and screen actress Bibi Osterwald, who was a standby for seven years for Hello Dolly on Broadway. Christine O’Grady is directing. Opening Mar 30 at the Brickhouse Theatre, in NoHo.
  • Collaborative Artists Ensemble is premiering Don Nigro’s Waste Land, a look at T.S. Eliot and the creation of one of his most famous poems, infused with the tumultuous love between Eliot and his first wife and muse, Vivienne. Directed by Steve Jarrard. Opens Apr 6 at studio/stage in East Hollywood.

AROUND TOWN


  • The Geffen Playhouse is presenting Tony-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones’ Sell/Buy/Date, inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Jones stars. Directed by Carolyn Cantor. Opened on Mar 7 in the Geffen’s Skirball Kenis Theatre.
  • Real Art Daily Productions (RADProd) offers its kick-off production, Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 existentialist play, No Exit, wherein three strangers are locked together in a belligerently distasteful room for eternity. Directed by Ye’ela Rosenfeld. Opens Mar 16 at Chromolume Theatre in South LA.
  • The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is set to host Louis Felder’s thriller, Threat, the story of a psychotherapist who tries to control a brilliant and dangerous bipolar maniac in order to save innocent lives, but is finally forced to choose between honoring her oath and protecting others. Asaad Kelada directs. Opens Mar 29.
  • Dean productions will present Oscar Wilde’s 1895 farce, The Importance of Being Earnest, re-set in the 1920s by director Rebecca Lynne. Opens Apr 13 in a free-to-the-public outdoor presentation at Brand Park in Glendale.

THE THING IS…


Producer caryn desai and director Mary Jo DuPrey join actors Dino Nicandros and Ashley Ruth Jones in a discussion of the two-person musical, Daddy Long Legs, at International City Theatre through March 11.

Director Sara Guerrero and actress Arianna Ortiz discuss Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Madres, having its National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at Skylight Theatre in Hollywood, opening Mar 10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0hxDDVaB0&feature=youtu.be

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in live theatre and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, Fridays (2 to 2:30 pm) on KPFK 90.7FM. On Feb 9, actors Bobby Costanzo and Eileen Galindo discuss Ian Miller’s premiere of The Alamo, running through Mar 31 at Ruskin Group Theatre.