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


  • Josefina López, founding artistic director of CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, announced that the theater has secured 134 financial donors of the 350 donors they are seeking to keep the theater’s doors open and ensure its financial stability. In conjunction with its fundraising, the theater will be presenting Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme VI: Stand Up! Speak Out!, a festival of 12 world premiere, 10-minute plays written and directed by Latinas, to be presented during Women’s History Month, Mar 16–Apr 15.
  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills announces the cast for its upcoming production of Sheldon Epps’ musical, Blues in the Night, featuring songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer and more that reflect the experiences of three women with the “lying, cheating, snake of a man” who represents the men who do them wrong. Conceived and directed by Epps; stars Yvette Cason, Bryce Charles, Paulette and Chester Gregory. Apr 27-May 20 in the Lovelace Studio Theater.
  • At the Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater, BritWeek and the Wallis are hosting A Shakespeare Jubilee!, directed by Louis Fantasia, featuring co-hosts Joely Fisher and Ioan Gruffudd in a star-studded cast that includes Eric Braeden, Jane Carr, Suzan Crowley, Karen David, Mira Furlan, Michele Greene, Harry Hamlin, Isabella Hofmann, Finola Hughes, Lisa Locicero, Brian Lohman, Nigel Lythgoe, David Melville, Joe Spano, Joan Van Ark, Sabra Williams, Sherry Williams, Madeline Wu, Michael York, Luke Youngblood, and more to be announced. April 28 only.

PREMIERES


  • The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood will present the West Coast premiere of The Intimacy Effect, written by Jeff Tabnick, focusing on a proposed celebratory family dinner turned into a fractious confrontation. Directed by Eric Hunicutt. Features Toni Christopher, Jordana Oberman, Robert Bella, Tim Fannon, and Cassidy Schlitz. Opens Apr 13.
  • Skora Productions premieres Damaged Furniture, a comedy following the travails of an LA actor who is forced to work in his dysfunctional family’s business in Brooklyn following an accident, and learns what led him to become an actor in the first place. Written by Howard Skora; directed by Jim Fall. Opens Mar 24 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.
  • Capitalism intersects with Islamic fanaticism in a race against time in the Southern California premiere of The Invisible Hand, written by Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) and directed by Jonathan Fox. The fourth show of the Ensemble Theatre Company’s 2017-2018 season, the play is co-produced with The English Theatre Frankfurt. Opens Apr 12 at the New Vic in Santa Barbara and runs through Apr 29, prior to transferring to The English Theatre Frankfurt on May 9.

AROUND TOWN


  • The intrepid (Her)storian Amy Simon’s one-woman show, She’s History, celebrates Women’s History Month at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood for one night only, Mar 18.
  • The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles will present a staged reading of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in Los Angeles City Hall, Board of Public Works, Room #350. The all-star ensemble, directed by Louis Fantasia, will feature Joe Spano, Mira Furlan, Tony Amendola, and Jamison Jones, with special appearances by Los Angeles civic leaders to be confirmed. Mar 18 only.
  • Anaheim native Eden Espinosa—who has performed on Broadway in Wicked, Rent, and Brooklyn—is returning home for an intimate evening of Broadway and contemporary favorites as part of Musical Theatre West’s Broadway in Concert series on Mar 31 at the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Long Beach.
  • Boston Court Performing Arts Center has extended its “reimagined” modern take on Tennessee Williams’ iconic 1947 drama, A Streetcar Named Desire, through Apr 1. Michael Michetti directs.

THE THING IS…


Cast members discuss Marek Glinski’s workplace comedy, Pigs and Chickens, focusing on the perils of individuals coexisting with technology, directed by Kevin Comartin. Premieres Mar 16 at Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA in the Atwater Village Theatre Complex.

Cast members and crew discuss Musical Theatre Guild’s fundraiser, Hollywood Revisited, a musical revue featuring Broadway and Hollywood performers singing and dancing while wearing the original Hollywood movie costumes worn by the legendary stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Directed by Joshua Finkel, the one-night-only event takes place Mar 26 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in live theatre and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, airing Fridays (2 to 2:30 pm) on KPFK 90.7FM. On Apr 16, playwright Justin Tanner and cast members discuss the premiere run of El Niño at Rogue Machine @ The Met Theatre in Hollywood.