This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez


  • The 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival is announcing that applications are now available to receive a Fringe Scholarship. Ten Fringe Scholarships will be awarded to first-time Hollywood Fringe producers “who contribute to the ethnic, cultural, racial, mentally or physically disabled, sexual orientation, or gender identity diversity of the Fringe community.” Full requirements and prize details, including financial support, can be seen here.
  • Rubicon Theatre in Ventura presents the 2018 Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Broadway Concert Series, beginning with Lesli Margherita in This Broad’s Way, written by and starring Margherita, directed and produced by Lauren Bass, featuring musical direction and arrangements by Brett Ryback. Nov. 17-18 at 2 p.m. The Series continues with Sharon McNight in Red Hot Mama: The Sophie Tucker Songbook, featuring more than two dozen songs made famous by Tucker (Jan 19-20, 2019); Kirsten and Stan Chandler and Kim Huber and Roger Befeler in Side by Side (Mar. 2-3); and Amanda McBroom in Lady Macbeth Sings the Blues (Jun 8-9).
  • The Road Theatre Company in NoHo announces that the L.A. premiere of Michael Perlman’s At The Table will conclude the 2018-19 season in May 2019. The previously announced season productions included The Rescued, which ran Sep 21-Nov 11; as well as the upcoming premieres of Death House, by Jason Karasev (Jan 2019); and Friends With Guns, by Stephanie Alison Walker (Mar 2019). Staged at The Road on Lankershim and the Road on Magnolia.


  • Theatre of Note in Hollywood is presenting a guest production premiere of Special, a new comedy by Andrew Osborne, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the worst variety show in television history—an imagined look at how The Star Wars Holiday Special came to be, directed by Kerr Lordygan. Opens Dec 14.
  • LA Opera Off Grand is presenting the premiere of p r i s m, a kaleidoscopic new opera exploring the issue of violence against women, by composer Ellen Reid and librettist Roxie Perkins, directed by James Darrah. Presented in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects, it is conducted by Julian Wachner and stars mezzo-soprano Rebecca Jo Loeb and soprano Anna Schubert, with a vocal ensemble from New York’s celebrated Choir of Trinity Wall Street. At REDCAT Nov 29-Dec 2.


  • New American Theatre in Hollywood is offering William Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure, set in Vienna, reflecting on religious and moral fanaticism, sexism, unbridled power, hypocrisy and “how people can become comfortable with new and previously unspeakable ‘normals.’” Directed by Jack Stehlin. Opens Nov 16.
  • The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank has extended the premiere run of Showpony, a new comedy by Judith Leora, focusing on unconscious racism at an ad agency that moves into overt racism and misogyny. Directed by Tom Ormeny. Runs through Dec 1.
  • Cupcake Theater in Pasadena will present the 1981 Tony-nominated Dreamgirls, created by Henry Krieger (music) and Tom Eyen (book and lyrics), and starring Shaunte Massard. Opens Nov 29 at The Rose in Pasadena.


  • Pacific Resident Theatre presents I Am Sophie, a journey of identity about a woman introducing her loved ones to “her authentic self” upon her return from living abroad. Written and performed by Corinne Shor, directed by Susan Angelo. Opens Nov 17.


  • Santa Monica Playhouse Benefit Series presents a “sneak peek” staged reading of  A Twisted Christmas Carol, Phil Olson’s new Texas spoof of Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol.  Nov 18 only. All proceeds support the Santa Monica Playhouse Benefit.
  • The Pasadena Playhouse is offering two holiday season productions: the mainstage holiday staging of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry, based on Frank Capra’s 1946 film, directed by Cameron Watson; and Bob Baker’s Nutcracker, featuring 100-plus handcrafted puppets and the music of Tchaikovsky, presented by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and the Pasadena Playhouse in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre. Opens Nov 24.
  • LA’s own Impro Theatre will also present a pair of holiday shows this season: 1966 Holiday Variety Extravaganza, performed in the comedy and music styles of 1960s holiday icons Andy Williams, Perry Como, and Judy Garland, at the Garry Marshall Theatre (Nov 30-Dec 9); and Jane Austen UnScripted at The Edye at The Broad Stage (Dec 14-22). Impro Theatre incorporates audience suggestions to create completely improvised, full-length shows in each style.


Writer Joe Gilford and director Michael Pressman discuss Finks, playing at Rogue Machine @ The 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 15, Arts in Review welcomes French Stewart and Vanessa Stewart, starring in Rogue Machine Theatre’s West Coast premiere of Joe Gilford’s Finks. (Postponed from last week.)

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.