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


  • The Pasadena Playhouse has unveiled its 2018-2019 season, highlighted by four new works, beginning with the West Coast premiere of Native Gardens, the comedy by Karen Zacarias revolving around a friendly disagreement between neighbors that escalates into a backyard brawl. Directed by Jason Alexander (Sep 5-30). The season continues with The Woman in Black, the London thriller by Susan Hill, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, directed by Robin Herford (Oct 17-Nov 11); a new production of the 1998 Tony-nominated Ragtime: The Musical, by Terrence McNally, based on the book by E.L. Doctorow, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, directed by David Lee (Feb 6-Mar 3, 2019); and Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed, adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, and co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail, and Vardalos (spring 2019, TBA). Spring and summer 2018 productions include Culture Clash—Herbert Siguenza, Richard Montoya, and Ric Salinas— re-imagining their 1998 hit, Bordertown, in Bordertown Now, with new material by Montoya; directed by Diane Rodriguez (May 30-Jun 24); and Jungle Book, written and directed by Craig Francis and Rick Miller, adapted from the works of Rudyard Kipling. For all ages, 5 and up. (Jul 17-29).

PREMIERES


  • Beyond Baroque in Venice is hosting the premiere of Women of a Certain Age (“straight from the unfettered mouths and uninhibited minds of the most experienced people in comedy: the women that have seen it all”), created by Carole Montgomery, hosted by Eve Brandstein, starring Cathy Ladman, Ludo Vika, Felicia Michaels, and Kira Soltanovich. Opens Jun 2.
  • East West Players presents the premiere of As We Babble On, in association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, exploring the pursuit of success and its costs, written by Nathan Ramos, directed by Alison M. De La Cruz. The ensemble features Will Choi, Sachin Bhatt, Jiavani Linayo, Jaime Schwartz, and Bobby Foley. Opens Jun 6 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts in Little Tokyo.
  • Santa Monica Playhouse presents the premiere of Aleichem Sholom! The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem—the fifth offering in the Playhouse’s Sholom Aleichem catalog of musicals— part of the Jewish Heritage Project at Santa Monica Playhouse, written by and starring Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, directed by Arthur R. Thompkins. Now open, runs through Jun 25.
  • Odyssey Theatre is hosting the premiere of The Death and Life of Mary Jo Kopechne, the story of a real-life American tragedy from the point of view of the victim, written by Peter Lefcourt, directed by Terri Hanauer. The cast includes Blake Boyd, Cathryn Dylan, James Gleason, Thomas Piper, and Tim Redmond. Opens Jun 30.

AROUND TOWN


  • After Hours Theatre Company presents an audience-immersive One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, adapted by Dale Wasserman from the novel by Ken Kesey and directed by Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx. Stars Courtney Lloyd (Nurse Ratched) and Mick Torres (Randle P. McMurphy). Opens May 25 at SIX01 Studio in Burbank.
  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills offers a staging of Douglas Adams’ 1978 BBC radio satire, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, featuring a 10-member ensemble, directed by Madeleine Dahm. Opens Jun 14 in the Lovelace Studio Theater.
  • The Stage Raw Recommended production of Bad Jews, “a dark comedy about a family and what you choose to believe when you’re chosen,” has been extended through June 24 at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. Written by Joshua Harmon, directed by Dana Resnick, starring Jeanette Deutsch, Lila Hood, Noah James, and Austin Rogers.
  • International City Theatre in Long Beach presents The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie. Directed by Jamie Torcellini; stars Bo Foxworth, Louis Lotorto, Ashley Morton, and Eric Wentz. Opens Jun 22.

THE THING IS…


Director Jeff Liu (Mexican Day) and assistant director Samantha Kofford discuss The Ballad Of The Bimini Baths: Plunge, Tar, and Mexican Day, by Tom Jacobson. Opens at three local stages: May 26: Rogue Machine, Mexican Day; May 26: Son of Semele, Plunge; and Jun 9: Playwrights’ Arena, Tar.

Director Elina DeSantos, and cast members Tracie Lockwood and Satiar Pourvasei discuss Hostage, opening at Skylight Theatre in Hollywood on May 26.

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).