This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez

IN THE NEWS


  • The 5th annual Cabaret is Alive and Well and Living in Los Angeles, in support of The Actors Fund, will take place over three nights, featuring three shows at three venues. Conceived and directed by David Galligan. The schedule includes: Together At Last for the Fifth Time, featuring Carole Cook, Charlo Crossley, Jane A. Johnston, Pat Marshall, Barbara Minkus, Lisa Passero, Pat Whiteman, Sharon McKnight, and Ruth Williamson, with music director/host Gerald Sternbach, at Tom Rolla’s Gardenia in Hollywood (Oct 12); It Takes Two, starring Eydie Alyson & Brad Ellis, Roger Befeler & Kim Huber, Karen Benjamin & Alan Chapman, Doug Carfrae & Kevin McMahon, Kirsten & Stan Chandler, Jeff Cohn & Dianne Fraser, Carole Cook & Tom Troupe, Tricia Fisher & Byron Thames, Ilene Graff & Ben Lanzarone, with music director Tom Griep, hosted by Peter Marc Jacobson at Upstairs at Vitello’s (Oct 13); and Come Hear the Music Play, featuring Keith David, Joshua Finkel, Joely Fisher, Davis Gaines, Maria Elena Infantino, Jean Louisa Kelly, Dale Kristien, Benny Lipson, Jack Lipson, Todd Murray, Joanne O’Brien, Valerie Perri, Reed & Coughlin & Alexander, Roz Ryan, Del Shores, Robyn Spangler, and Nita Whitaker, with music director Nelson Kole, hosted by Jai Rodriguez and Bruce Vilanch at Catalina Jazz Club (Oct 14).
  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills announced that its Jan 2019 schedule will include a three-week run of the National Theatre of Great Britain’s Tony-award winning, 1992 production of J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller, An Inspector Calls, directed by Stephen Daldry in the Bram Goldsmith Theatre, Jan 22-Feb 10, 2019.

PREMIERES


  • Chalk Repertory Theatre is offering the premiere of Death and Cockroaches, irreverently scrutinizing the “power of family, grief and the walls that keep closing in,” written by Chalk Rep Artistic Circle member Eric Reyes Loo, directed by Chalk Rep Founding Member Jennifer Chang. Opens Nov 9 at Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Rogue Machine is presenting the American premiere of Oppenheimer, focusing on the human side of the man “uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history, the Manhattan Project and the creation of the Atomic bomb.” Written by Tom Morton-Smith; directed by John Perrin Flynn. Opens Oct 6 in Rogue Machine @ Electric Lodge in Venice.
  • Moving Arts Theatre presents the Los Angeles production of Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead!), written by Jami Brandli. The farcical, domestic tragicomedy focuses on the classical Greek heroines, Clytemnestra and Medea, recast as pill-popping housewives, and Antigone as the lovelorn, teenage girl next door. Directed by Darin Anthony; a joint premiere presented by Moving Arts, in association with Moxie Theatre of San Diego and Promethean Theatre of Chicago. The ensemble features Ann Noble, Jacqueline Misaye, Becca Gordon, Jasmine St. Clair, and Andrew Carter. Opens Nov 3 at Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village.

AROUND TOWN


  • Santa Monica Playhouse is reprising Aleichem Sholom, a journey through the man’s life and the controversy surrounding his stories and plays, written by and starring Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with songs by Emery Bernauer, Rudie, and Sholom Aleichem himself. Directed by Arthur R. Tompkins. Opens Oct 6.
  • Cal State Fullerton’s 2018-2019 theatre season opens with Bee-luther-hatchee by Thomas Gibbons, focusing on a complex confrontation between an African-American editor and a reclusive 72-year-old black woman named Libby Price, whose biography the editor is about to publish. Directed by Saundra McClain. Opens Oct 5­ in the Hallberg Theatre on campus.
  • The Sacred Fools Theater Company kicks off its 22nd season with Burglars of Hamm’s remount of Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk, the story of Philip, a struggling painter who goes on a fantastical journey to reclaim his right to be an artist. Written by Lars Mattsun (1842-1912), adapted and directed by Todd Merrill, it was produced at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, winning Top of the Fringe honors. Opens Friday, Oct 5 in the Main Stage Theater of the Broadwater Theater Complex in Hollywood.
  • Ford Theatres presents the multi-disciplinary Obie Award-winner, The Secret City, directed by Chris Wells, featuring storytelling, a live band, performance, food, meditation, The Secret City Singers and community interaction. In addition to seats in the house, a limited number of seats are available on the Ford stage. Plays Oct 14.
  • The 6th Act presents William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “a multi-cultural look at one of the great literary characters of all time,” directed by Matthew Leavitt and featuring June Carryl, Desirée Mee Jung, Luke McClure, Matt Orduña, and Jonathan Slavin— all as the Prince of Denmark. Opens Oct 26 as a guest production at Theatre 68 in NoHo.

SOLO MOJO


  • Bootleg Theater presents its Second Annual Solo Queens Fest, “celebrating female-identifying solo performers & creators,” curated by Jessica Hanna, Ammy Ontiveros, and Kristina Wong, featuring three mainstage shows and four “Wild Card” nights. Mainstage shows include Amy Raasch’s The Animal Monologues, Bri Pruett’s Stellar, and Shaina Lynn’s Bayou Blues. The four-day festival begins Oct. 25.

THE THING IS…


Natalia Lazarus (Artistic Director), Tom Waters (director) and actor Joe Le Mieux (Charlie Manson ) discuss I Am Charlie, playing at Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica through Oct 21.

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).

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.