This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez


  • Tracey Paleo, founder of Gia On The Move, will join special guests at the Los Angeles Better Lemon’s Meet The Critics II Panel in a discussion of theatre criticism, Oct 27, at Theatre West. Panelists will include several of LA’s theatre editors and critics, including Vanessa Cate (Editor-in-Chief for @THIS STAGE) and Ellen Dostal (Sr. Editor for Broadway World).


  • Rogue Machine presents the West Coast premiere of Drama Desk Award-nominated Finks, focusing on an actor on the verge of stardom who falls in love with an actress/activist, putting them at risk of being blacklisted for their political activities. Written by Joe Gilford; directed by Michael Pressman. Stars French Stewart and Vanessa Claire Stewart. Opens Nov 10 at Rogue Machine @ Electric Lodge in Venice.
  • El Portal Theatre in NoHo is hosting the premiere of In A Booth at Chasen’s, a musical chronicling the real-life romance of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. By Sam Bennett (book) and Al Kasha and Phil Swann (music and lyrics). Directed by Kay Cole, with music direction by Jonathan Tessero. Stars Kelley Dorney and Brent Schindele. Opens Nov 9.
  • Neo Ensemble Theatre will premiere A Night of S.M… it’s not what you think!, an evening of eight comedic short plays by Neo member Scott Mullen, directed by Valerie Gould, Starina Johnson, Joe Ochman, Richard Pierce, and Richard Tatum. Opens Nov 8 at the Ruby Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood.
  • “King Solomon confronts Asmodeus, The Demon of Wrath, while trying to solve a mystic puzzle,” in Skylight Theatre’s premiere of Bride Of Blood. Written and directed by Amit Itelman, with an original score by Graham Reynolds, arranged and performed by Randy Woltz. Opens Oct 25 at the Skylight in Hollywood.
  • The Year to Come, by Lindsey Ferrentino, will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse Dec 4 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre. Starring Jane Kaczmarek, this chronicle of a family New Year’s Eve gathering shows “how the promise of our future is shaped by the lens of our past”. Directed by Anne Kauffman.


  • The Color Collective, an hour-long variety show celebrating L.A.’s diversity, opens Oct 26 at Ruby Theatre in Complex Hollywood. Created and hosted by Royce Shockley; direction by Mirage Thrams.
  • The Advent Theatre returns with a brand new revision of Dion Boucicault’s 1841 Victorian farce, London Assurance, staged in the round by Lauren Alexandra Lewis, co-directed by Irene Arranga. Opens Nov 2 on the campus of First Christian Church in Studio City. All proceeds from the production go to the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry.
  • Actors Co-op Theatre Company presents the Tony-winning musical, She Loves Me, with book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, telling the story of two feuding shop clerks, unaware that they are the recipients of each other’s love letters. Based on the 1937 play, Perfumerie. Directed and choreographed by Cate Caplin. Opens Nov 2 at the David Schall Theatre, on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.
  • Long Beach Playhouse presents the 1813 Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice, adapted by Jon Jory and directed by Aurora Culver. Features a 14-member ensemble. Opens Nov 3.
  • Ruskin Group Theatre is extending the stay of the long-running musical, Paradise, A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy, by Cliff Wagner (music and book) and Bill Robertson & Tom Page (book and lyrics). Directed by Michael Myers. Now running through Nov 1.


  • Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is hosting Forever Brooklyn: A Kosher Musical Comedy, about Melvin Kaplofkis, a young man growing up during the 1950s who emerges in the 1960s as Mel King, The King of Brooklyn. Written and directed by Mark Wesley. Stars Danny DiTorrice. Opens Jan 5.


  • Sierra Madre Playhouse presents A Christmas Story, written by Philip Grecian, based on the 1983 screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on Shepherd’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Directed by Christian Lebano. Opens Nov 23.
  • Laguna Playhouse and Lythgoe Family Panto have cast their fourth holiday Panto production, Beauty And The Beast: A Christmas Rose, written by Kris Lythgoe and directed by Sheldon Epps, with choreography by Mandy Moore. Stars Ashley Argota, Thomas Hobson, Heath Calvert, Riley Costello, Ronald Rusinek, and David Engel. Opens Dec 7 at Laguna Playhouse.


Writer/performance artist John Fleck discusses Blacktop Highway, a gothic horror tale written and performed by Fleck, directed by Randee Trabitz. Opens Nov 9 at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A.

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.