By Julio Martinez
IN THE NEWS
- Once Upon A Canyon Night, Treepeople’s summer entertainment series at S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre in Coldwater Canyon Park (12601 Mulholland Drive) in Beverly Hills, concludes its 16th season with the following events: Family Fun Night: Dana Daniels & Michael Raymer (Aug 18); Comedy from Maz Jobrani & Friends (Aug 19); soulful classics from Billy Valentine (Aug 25); Movie Night: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Aug 26); eclectic music from La Hootenanny (Aug 26); L’équipe Tambora—In Concert (Sep 8 & 15); and Airplane! The Reading The Final Chapter!, with special guest Robert Forster, Airplane! co-creator David Zucker, and an acting ensemble.
- The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica inaugurates blackbox @ the edye on Sep. 7 with jazz musician/producer The Reverend Shawn Amos and up-and-coming jazz and blues artists. In addition to christening the house, the entire season is curated and hosted by Amos as he and his house band will perform at other shows during the season as well. Amos is followed by Sandra Booker singing Sarah Vaughan (Oct 5), Billy Valentine (Nov 2), Amy Keys (Dec 7), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance (Feb 1, 2019), Mudbug Brass Band (Mar 1, 2019), Jennifer Keith Quintet (Apr 5, 2019) and Gabrielito (May 3, 2019).
- Echo Theatre Company is offering the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize-finalist Gloria, a dark comedy about “ambition, office warfare and pecking orders in the declining, dog-eat-dog world of publishing,” by MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Features Echo company members Alana Dietze, Jessica Goldapple, Devere Rogers, Jenny Soo, Steven Strobel, and Michael Sturgis. Chris Fields directs. Opens Sep 15 at the Atwater Village Theatre.
- Australian Theatre Company and Skylight Theatre Company bring the West Coast premiere of Swansong, telling the story of Austin “Occi” Byrne, “abused and isolated, violent and vulnerable, flawed and searching for redemption” in 1960’s Ireland. Written by Conor McDermottroe; conceived by Greg Caroll, who directs, and André de Vanny, who stars. Opens Sep 8 at the Skylight Theatre in Hollywood.
- Rogue Machine Theatre presents the American premiere of Gunshot Medley: Part 1, a “lyrical and mystical new play, with live music, about the struggle against systemic racism,” by Dionna Michelle Daniel. Directed by Desean Kevin Terry, with musical direction by Calvin L. Blake III. Opens Sep 8 at the MET Theatre in Hollywood. It then moves for a two-week run at WLCAC Theatre on Central Ave, LA., beginning Oct 5. The play is double-cast, featuring Obie Award winner Cherise Boothe.
- Open Fist Theatre Company is premiering All Night Long, a “surreal sit-com about 18 hours in the life of an all-American nuclear family,” written by John O’Keefe and directed by Jan Munroe. Cast includes Phillip William Brock, Alina Phelan, John Patrick Daly, Caroline Klidonas, and Cat Davis. Opens Sep 14 in Atwater Village Theatre.
- East West Players has finalized the cast and creative team for the Los Angeles premiere of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, a modern twist on boy-meets-girl, featuring a ride across 1970s America with a soundtrack that serves up “hip-hop, sass, and revolution.” Directed by Jennifer Chang, composed by Arash Haile, with fight choreography by Thomas Isao Morinaka and Aaron Aoki. The ensemble includes Paul Yen, Sylvia Kwan, Jane Lui, Scott Ly, and Albert Park. Opens Oct 25 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts.
- Odalys Nanin, artistic director of Macha Theatre, will be holding a book-signing party for her play, Frida: Stroke of Passion, recently published and available on amazon.com. The event takes place Aug 19 (5-9 pm) in the Plunge Bar at the Broadwater Theatre in Hollywood. Features live music by Francisco Medina.
- South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa continues its 2018 season with Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Jessica Swale, directed by Casy Stangl. Opens Sep 8 at Segerstrom Stage.
- Actor/magician Albie Selznick’s Magic Monday presents 10×10, a fundraiser for Swing Left hosted by Selznik, featuring 10-minute acts performed by magicians Jon Armstrong, Lauro Castillo, David Cox, Andrew Goldenhersh, Rmax Goodwin, Christopher Hart, Pop Haydn, Dave Kovac, Nick Paul, and Arthur Trace. One night only, Sep 24 at Santa Monica Playhouse.
- Playwright and TV writer Dennis Danziger returns to live theater with the debut of Double Play, pairing Pennant Fever, Danziger’s original one-act written 30-plus years earlier, with his new act 2, Home Plate. Opens Oct 5 at the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Hollywood.
- Sleight-of-hand magician/comedian John Carney brings his Carney Magic to Sierra Madre Playhouse for three dates, Aug 17-19.
THE THING IS…
Director Michael Myers and creators Bill Robertson and Tom Page discuss the revival of PARADISE—A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy, opening Aug 17 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. Airs Fridays (2-2:30 pm) on KPFK (90.7FM).