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 Road Theatre Company presents its Ninth Annual Summer Playwrights Festival—”8 Days! 30+ Plays!”—with new works by Wendy MacLeod, Craig Pospisil, Jim Geoghan, Bekah Brunstetter, and many more. This year’s festival will include a 50/50 mix of male and female playwrights and will feature such noted directors as Taylor Nichols, April Webster, Ron Lagomarsino, Michael John Garces, and Road company members and other members of the Los Angeles theater community. Most of the playwrights featured will participate in post-show discussions with the audiences and casts. Bands and musicians featured this year include Mleo, Stage 11, and Irish band sensation Whiskey Sunday. Runs Jul 29-Aug 5 at the Road on Lankershim in the Historic Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood.
  • She L.A. Arts announces the 2018 She L.A. Arts Summer Theater Festival (Jul 25-29) at the Zephyr Theater. This inaugural bi-coastal festival of full-length plays by women features four original works (two plays and two musicals) and includes the following shows: Arabesque No 1, by Cambria Denim, directed by Natalie Griffith Robichaux; The Legend of Bonny Anne, by Chandler Patton, composed by Stephens James Schmidt and directed by Andrew Ceglio; The Door to America, by Carol Weiss, directed by Wendy Rosoff; and Starry, by Kelly D’Angelo and Matt Dahan, directed by Michelle Kallman.
  • Rogue Artists Ensemble is launching Rogue Lab New Works Incubator for Hyper-Theater Plays, for playwrights based in Los Angeles who dream of creating boundary-stretching plays that can include “immersive experiences, interactive design, puppet plays, and genre-bending pieces that fit within the Rogues’ Hyper-theater aesthetic.” The Rogue Lab is a 9-month, bi-weekly meeting of 5-6 playwrights, facilitated by ensemble members Lisa Dring and Chelsea Sutton and culminating in a public reading series. Each playwright will be paired with a designer, composer, or choreographer who will collaborate with the writer “to work through theatrical magic and styles and incorporate the knowledge of those elements into the DNA of the new play.” Calls for playwrights and designer collaborators are currently being accepted now through Jul 15. For information and the application: https://www.rogueartists.org/rogue-lab

PREMIERES


  • The Fountain Theatre is offering the premiere of Arrival & Departure, written and directed by Stephen Sachs (inspired by the Noel Coward screenplay for Brief Encounter), starring Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur, featuring Jessica Jade Andres, Adam Burch, Brian Robert Burns, Shon Fuller, Kyra Kotsur, Aurelia Myers and ·Stasha Surdyke. Opens Jul 14.
  • The Echo Theater Company presents the West Coast premiere of Cry It Out, taking “an honest look at the absurdities of new motherhood, the dilemma of returning to work versus staying at home, and how economic class impacts parenthood and friendship.” Written by Molly Smith Metzler, starring Jackie Chung, Brian Henderson, Megan Ketch and Emily Swallow, directed by Lindsay Allbaugh. Opens Jul 4 in Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum presents the first-ever revival of William DuBois’ Haiti, a historical melodrama about the Haitian revolution that graced the stage at New York’s Lafayette Theatre in Harlem in 1938 as part of the Federal Theatre Project. Haiti will join Theatricum’s summer repertory season beginning Jul 28. Performances continue in repertory at Theatricum’s outdoor venue in Topanga through Sep 29.

PICK OF THE FRINGE


  • Winner of a Hollywood Fringe 2018 Encore Producers Award, The Study, set in a college lecture halltakes place during a psychological clinical test of the flight-or-fight response. The audience’s reactions and answers determine the outcome of each performance. Created and directed by Jared Tyrel Pixler and David Evan Stolworthy, with fight choreography by Matt Franta and Brandon Pugmire. Plays Jul 6-7 ay The Complex (Flight Theatre).
  • Sam Shaber: Life, Death & Duran Duran, co-written and directed by Lynn Ferguson, has won Pick of the Fringe and an Encore Producers Award at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe, which means it will play two extras dates, Jul 7 and Jul 13 at The Complex Hollywood in the Ruby Theatre.
  • The premiere of Hamid Janguard’s Benevolence, an Encore Producers Award winner at the Fringe, directed by Andres Palencia, has been extended for a Jul 12 performance at The Actors Company Other Space Theater in West Hollywood.

THE THING IS…


Director Michael Van Duzer discusses the premiere of The Man Who Saved Everything, written by Benjamin Scuglia, starring James J. Cox, David Mingrino, Ashley Victoria Robinson, Alan Schack, and Julia Silverman. Opens Aug 24 at Theatre West.

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area. Airs Fridays (2-2:30 pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).