This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez


  • Tony, Grammy, Emmy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/lyricist/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father, Luis A. Miranda Jr., founding president of the Hispanic Federation, will participate in a conversation regarding Puerto Rico’s progress towards long-term recovery from the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria, and Hamilton’s upcoming limited run in Puerto Rico. The event will take place Nov 16, 12-1 pm, in the Geffen Playhouse’s Gil Cates Theater. Tickets are available at All proceeds benefit the Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Fund and Geffen Playhouse’s education and community engagement programs.
  • Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre has revealed that London-based director Katharine Farmer will helm the company’s next two productions: a two-piano version of South Pacific (Dec 5-23), which concludes Rubicon’s 20th anniversary season and stars Ben Davis and Madison Claire Parks; and Heisenberg (Jan 30 – Feb 17), starring Faline England and Joe Spano, a co-production with Laguna Playhouse (where the show will run Mar 27-Apr 14). Farmer was appointed Rubicon’s Director of International Programming in 2016.
  • Musical Theatre West’s Broadway in Concert series returns with a lineup of Broadway stars, beginning with Sam Harris performing Let Me Sing: An Evening of Broadway, Ballads, and Blues (Nov 18). The series continues with performances by David Burnham and Tami Tappan Damiano in A Broadway Romance (Feb 3); and Teri Bibb in Once Upon a Song: A Tribute to the Ladies of the Silver Screen (Mar 24). All performances are at the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Long Beach.


  • Moving Arts presents the joint premiere of BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!), a farcical domestic tragicomedy wherein the classical Greek heroines, Clytemnestra and Medea, have been recast as pill-popping housewives, and Antigone is the lovelorn teenage girl next door. Written by Jami Brandli and directed by Darin Anthony. Presented 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.
  • Chalk Theatre is premiering Death and Cockroaches, an immersive journey with a troubled young man who is assisted in confronting his problems by an imaginary cockroach. Written by Eric Reyes Loo; directed by Jennifer Chang. Opens Nov 9.


  • A Mile in My Shoes, Kathryn Taylor Smith’s poetic, seriocomic look at homelessness and the power of “small change” to raise both awareness and funding for local charities—which premiered at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival—is coming back for a short run at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood prior to embarking on a national tour. Kathryn Taylor Smith stars. Directed by Zadia Ife. Sundays, Nov 4-Dec 9.
  • Amy Simon’s recurring She Is History, directed by Richard Kuhlman with Mark Travis, spotlights the women who pioneered the struggle for women’s political equality in the U.S., such as Alice Paul, Shirley Chisolm, and others. Nov 4 at Theatre West.
  • The Edgemar Center in Santa Monica is hosting From Her Eyes Only, a parody/homage told from the point of view of the female companion of the world’s greatest spy, written and directed by Derek Jeremiah Reid; based on the novels by Ian Fleming. Features a cast of 15. Opens Nov 9.
  • Theatre 40 will present William Inge’s 1955 American classic, Bus Stop, directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky. The cast includes Gary Ballard, Niko Boles, David Datz, Kaitlin Huwe, Shawn Savage, Jack Sundmacher, Theresa Tilly, and Mani Yarosh. Opens Nov 15 in the Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School.
  • Santa Monica Playhouse will host Store Productions’ SHINE: Harvest, a popular storytelling quarterly event that features storytellers coming together to share inspiring true stories. This month’s event, hosted by Kirsten Wasson, celebrates the Thanksgiving season. Plays Nov 15.
  • Cal State, Fullerton is presenting Mr. Burns: a Post-Electric Play, focusing on a group of survivors after the collapse of civilization. Written by Anne Washburn and directed by Kyle Cooper, with musical direction by Craig Shields and choreography by Angeline Mirenda. Opens Nov 9 in the Young Theatre on the campus.


  • Solo Queens Fest 2 at Bootleg Theater includes an expanded version of Best of Son Of Semele Theatre Company’s Solo Creation Festival 2017 production, The Animal Monologues, featuring the hopeful perspective of a young descendent of the last living 9/11 search-and-rescue dog, Bretagne. Written and performed by Amy Raasch. This new multimedia show, directed by LADCC winner Matthew McCray with animation by Tahnee Gehm, opened Oct 25 at Bootleg Theater. It runs through Nov 18.


  • The 59th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration will take place Dec 24 at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, featuring music ensembles, choirs, and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures of Los Angeles County. Admission is free, no reservations or tickets needed to attend the show.


Rogue Machine Theatre presents Oppenheimer, written by Tom Morton-Smith and featuring a 24-member ensemble. John Perrin Flynn directs. Playing through Dec 30 at Rogue Machine @ Electric Lodge in Venice.

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 Nov 2, Martinez welcomes cast members from the VS. Theatre & Red Dog Squadron West Coast premiere of Cal in Camo, running through Nov 9 at VS. Theatre.

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.