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


  • Echo Theater Company will be bringing three premiere works by acclaimed playwrights to L.A. audiences in 2019. The season kicks off with the Los Angeles premiere of Sarah DeLappe’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Wolves, in which a girls’ indoor soccer team warms up, navigates big questions, and wages tiny battles “with all the vim and vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors.” Directed by Alana Dietze (Mar 16-Apr 21). Opening Jul 13 will be the West Coast premiere of Pass Over, Antoinette Nwandu’s mash-up of Waiting for Godot and the Exodus saga (Jul 13-Aug 18). Artistic Director Chris Fields will helm the premiere of Erik Patterson’s Handjob, a dark comedy exploring “the deepest sensitivities in our culture” (Sept. 7- Oct. 20). All performances take place at Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Center Theatre Group has selected participants for the 2018-2019 L.A. Writers’ Workshop, designed to “foster new voices, inspire playwrights to create their best work, encourage bold writing and build relationships among local playwrights.” Participants include Luis Alfaro, Aziza Barnes, Diana Burbano, Noah Haidle, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Brian Otaño and Ruby Rae Spiegel.

PREMIERES


  • The Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood is hosting the West Coast premiere of Wink, about a synchronistic meeting that connects a homeless, gender-questioning teenager and a former A-list actor, both down on their luck in L.A. Written by Neil Koenigsberg; directed by Michael Allen Angel. The ensemble includes Amy Argyle, Adam Cardon, Euriamis Losada, David Mingrino and Javen Marquise Smith. Opens Dec 8.
  • The Road Theatre Company presents the second show of its 2018-2019 season, the premiere of Death House, written by Jason Karasev, exploring “justice, redemption, and the possibility that we’re all more connected than we may want to admit.” Stars Sam Anderson, Verity Branco, and Chase Cargill, directed by Michael Peretzian. Opens Jan 18 at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood.

AROUND TOWN


  • Kris Andersson’s Drama Desk Award-nominated comedy, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, with Dixie Longate, “the fast-talking, gum-chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century,” returns to Los Angeles for a limited engagement at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (Nov 29-Dec 30).
  • Skylight Theatre Company presents Sandra Tsing Loh’s comic, much-traveled Sugar Plum Fairy, telling the story of a 12-year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker. Directed by Bart De Lorenzo. Opens Dec 1 at Skylight Theatre in Hollywood.

SOLO MOJO


  • Monica Piper’s one-woman autobiographical journey, Not That Jewish, is returning to L.A. after a successful off-Broadway run. Directed by Eve Brandstein, the production opens Dec 1 at The Braid Performance & Arts Space in Santa Monica.

‘TIS THE SEASON


  • Troubadour Theatre Company will be offering the farcical, salsa-tinged, A Year Without A Santana Claus, directed by Matt Walker. Opens Dec 8 at El Portal Theatre in Noho.
  • The 16th annual La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, starring mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman as the Virgin and featuring over 100 performers, will be presented Dec 7-8 at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown L.A. Adapted for the stage by Evelina Fernández, directed by José Luis Valenzuela, and choreographed by Urbanie Lucero, the production features original music by Alfredo Lopez and Martin Espino. Presented by Goya Foods.
  • There are dueling solo A Christmas Carol offerings this season. Independent Shakespeare Co. will present A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens, starring ISC co-founder David Melville as Dickens performing his own work, with musical accompaniment and dramatic interjections by Kalean Ung, Directed by co-founder Melissa Chalsma. Opens Dec 6 at Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex. Meanwhile, Jefferson Mays takes on nearly 50 roles in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a premiere adaptation by Mays, Susan Lyons, and Michael Arden. Extending through Dec 16 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.

THE THING IS…


Playwrights Joe Keyes and Rob Elk discuss the holiday season return of Bob’s Holiday Office Party, now in its 23rd year, performing at The Atwater Village Theatre (Dec 6-20).

A short scene from the play:

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). (This week, the show will be taking a holiday break.)