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


  • Humanitas announces that its 3rd Annual Play LA Festival, at CASA 0101 Theatre in Los Angeles, Sep 7-9, will include a new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Humanitas honoree, Robert Schenkkan, and works by Play LA award-winners Inda Craig-Galván, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Mildred Lewis, Jennifer Maisel, and Matthew Paul Olmos. (Play LA is run by playwright and screenwriter, Shem Bitterman. Award recipients receive a $1,500 grant and a full year of development under professional mentorship from industry professionals. The 2018 participating theaters, selected for their track record of producing new plays by area writers, are IAMA Theatre Company, Playwrights’ Arena, the Road Theatre Company, the Robey Theatre Co., Rogue Machine Theatre, and the Skylight Theatre.) All events are free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Info and tickets at https://playla2018.weebly.com.
  • Founded in Sydney Australia in 2002, the Short+Sweet Festival, dedicated to original short-form theatre, music, and dance, begins Sep 13 at Marilyn Monroe Theatre in WeHo. Under the directorship of Christian Rodrigo, Short+Sweet Hollywood will present five weeks of theatre. The first two weeks of the festival will be in English; the third and fourth weeks will focus on the Latino community with presentations in Spanish (and some that are bilingual). The fifth week will be devoted to dance.
  • Center Theatre Group is using a grant developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Los Angeles area. The program creates sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools. CTG will select five area public elementary schools for 2018-2019. Public elementary schools in LA County holding a Title 1 status are eligible. The deadline to apply is Sep 21. For more information or to apply, visit www.CTGLA.org/DisneyMusicalsInSchools or email Traci Kwon at tkwon@ctgla.org.

PREMIERES


  • Geffen Playhouse in Westwood has completed casting for its premiere of Obie Award-winning José Rivera’s The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona, a “journey through love, hope and the unknown,” directed by Obie Award-winner Jo Bonney, launching Matt Shakman’s inaugural season as artistic director. The cast features Cate Scott Campbell, Ricardo Chavira, Zilah Mendoza, Onahoua Rodriguez, and Juan Francisco Villa. Opens Sep 12 in the Geffen’s Gil Cates Theater.
  • Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA is premiering Tony Pasqualini’s Lost In Time, exploring the dilemma of an older man who wakes up one morning as his 23-year-old self. The ensemble includes Kevin Comartin, Tonya Cornelisse, Tarah Pollock, and Andy Shephard. Directed by Keith Szarabajka. Opens Sep 14 in the Atwater Village Theatre Complex.
  • Echo Theater Company is offering the West Coast premiere of Gloria, perusing the essence of “style, status—and selling out to the highest bidder,” written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; directed by Chris Fields. The cast: Alana Dietze, Jessica Goldapple, Nicole DuPort, Devere Roger, Jenny Soo, Steven Strobel, and Michael Sturgis. Opens Sep 15 in Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Echo is also premiering Zeitgeist, an evening of six premiere short works by acclaimed playwrights exploring “the prevailing social and political currents.” The works include Authority, by Dominic Finocchiaro, directed by Satya Bhabha; American Dream, by Dipika Guha, directed by Anna Lamadrid; Celine Song’s Party, directed by Charlotte Miller; All the Light, written and directed by Daniel Talbott; Wrightwood Hookup, by Wes Walker, directed by Riel Paley; and Allen’s Love, written and directed by Guy Zimmerman. Opens Sep 20 at the Atwater Village Theatre.

AROUND TOWN


  • The West Coast Jewish Theatre is reviving Neil Simon’s 1986 comedy, Broadway Bound, the third of Simon’s plays featuring the character of Eugene Jerome (loosely based on Simon himself), on Sep 15 at Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. Directed by Howard Teichman, the production features Shelly Kurtz, Matthew Nye, Josh Reiter, Jill Remez, Mark Sande, and Maria Spassoff.
  • The Ford Theatres and LA Opera Off Grand, in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects, present Soldier Songs, composer David T. Little and filmmaker Bill Morrison’s monodrama for baritone and chamber orchestra. Starring David Adam Moore, the multimedia piece combines elements of theatre, opera, rock-infused concert music, and film. Directed by Ashley Tara, with members of LA Opera Orchestra conducted by Alan Pierson. Plays Oct 13.

THE THING IS…


Playwright/director Che Walker and actor Devin McGregor Ketko discuss Wolf Cub, opening Sep 21 at McCadden Place Theatre in Hollywood.

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 90.7 (FM). On Sep 7, Julio hosts Valerie Perri and Larry Cedar from Reprise 2.0’s staging of the musical, The World Goes Round, playing through Sep 16 at The Freud Playhouse at UCLA.

Gender-Conscious Casting

Gender-conscious casting practices that revive the classics for a queer and trans community of artists. And though these casting practices directly represent LGBTQ+ artists and audiences, their impact reaches everyone.

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