This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez


  • Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, in danger of closing its doors due to financial hardship, was able to secure financial viability through the launching of its #Casa 350 fundraising campaign in January 2018. On Aug 1, 2018, the lease of Little CASA 0101 (founded in April 2000) was transferred to Teatro Luna West, an all women’s Latina Ensemble Theatre Company. This decreased the company’s monthly overhead, while maintaining the state-of-the-art 99-seat venue, CASA 0101 Theater, at 2102 E. First Street, which opened on September 9, 2011. With cautious optimism, Casa 0101 Theater Company announces is 2019 schedule: Jan 4-27: The premiere of Free Los Tres (with Stage of the Arts), written by Miguel Lopez Vigil, Carmelo Alvarez, Alberto  Ortiz, and Miguel Lopez; directed by Carmelo Alvarez. Feb 8-23: Frida, Stroke of Passion (with Macha Theatre), written, starring, and directed by Odalys Nanin, co-directed by Corky Dominguez. Mar 8-30: The premiere of Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme VII. Apr 12-May 19: Sister Act, The Musical (with TNH Productions-Teatro Nuevos Horizontes). Music by Alan Menken,  lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner; additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. Directed by Rigo Tejeda. Jun 7-Jul 7: The premiere of Brown and Out V Theater Festival. July 19-Aug 11: To Be Dali, written, starring, and directed by Salvador Benavides. Aug 30-Sep 22: The premiere of Always Running, based on the book by Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez,       adapted and directed by Hector Rodriguez. In addition, Producer Conrado Terrazas-Cross of TNH Productions has announced, CASA 0101 Theater, TNH Productions, and El Centro Del Pueblo will present the First Annual Brown & Out Theater Film Festival at the Highland Theater, 5604 N. Figueroa Street, on May 31-Jun 1. Additional details TBA.


  • Center Theatre Group has completed casting for the West Coast debut of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Linda Vista by Tracy Letts, focusing on the life of a troubled 50-year-old soul who must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be. The cast includes Ian Barford, Tim Hopper, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Chantal Thuy, Cora Vander Broek, and Troy West. Directed by Dexter Bullard. Opens Jan 16 at the Mark Taper Forum.
  • The Zephyr Theatre is hosting the L.A. premiere of The Empty Nesters, a comedy-drama about helicopter parents facing the question of what they want to be when their kids grow up. Written by Garret Jon Groenveld, directed by Richard Seyd. Opens Jan 20 at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood. Stars John Walker and Pamela Gaye Walker.


  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills will offer Stephen Daldry’s staging of National Theatre of Great Britain’s acclaimed production of the classic J.B. Priestley thriller,  An Inspector Calls. Cast members include Liam Brennan, Christine Kavanagh, Jeff Harmer, Andrew Macklin, Lianne Harve, Hamish Riddle, and Diana Payne-Myers. Jan 22-Feb 10.
  • After a sold-out run last fall, the recent Latinx revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, will return for a limited engagement with Stan Zimmerman continuing as director. The original cast includes Aris Alvarado, Keith Coogan, Tasha Dixon, David Gurrola, Heather Olt, Raquenel, Robert C. Raicch, Raymond Abel Tomas, Emiliano Torres, and Genesis Ochoa as Anne Frank. Opens Jan 11 in the Dorie Theatre @ The Complex in Hollywood.
  • Antaeus Theatre Company continues its season with The Cripple of Inishmaan, a darkly comic Irish yarn by Martin McDonagh, inspired by the real-life filming of the 1934 documentary, Man of Aran. Directed by Steven Robman, helming a partner-cast ensemble for a Jan 24-Jan 25 opening (one opening night for each cast) at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale.
  • Celebrating its 25th Silver Anniversary, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment are presenting the 1969 Tony-winning 1776, The Musical, directed by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Jeff Rizzo. The 24-member ensemble includes James Barbour, Peter Van Norden, and Teri Bibb. Opens Jan 11.
  • Pepperdine University’s Smothers Theatre in Malibu will host the touring show, On Broadway, a one-night-only revue of hit songs from Broadway shows, starring Ari Afsar, Alan H. Green, Jacob Haren, and Jessica Hendy. Jan. 29.


  • Chris Isaacson Presents is bringing actor/singer Erich Bergen’s show, An Early New Year’s Celebration, to Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood for two performances only, Dec 28-29. Michael Orland is musical director.
  • The Rubicon Theatre Company’s 2018-19 Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Concert Series continues with Tony Award-nominee Sharon McNight in her one-woman show, Red Hot Mama – the Sophie Tucker Songbook. This biographical concert, written by McNight, chronicles the life and career of the first lady of show business, whose career spanned six decades. Musical direction is by Richard Riccardi. Jan 19-20.
  • Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa presents three-time Tony-winner Bernadette Peters, performing an evening of Broadway songs, including selections by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and many more. One night only, Jan 26.


  • Theatre 68 in NoHo is presenting the premiere of Holiday Problems Anonymous, written and directed by Jason Kyle, set in “a safe space where people share their holiday-related problems without any fear of backlash or judgment…where all beings, either human or magical, are accepted.” Features a cast of 16. Opens Dec 21.


Actors Andrik Ochoa and Euriamis Losada discuss Wink, exploring the bonding of a homeless, gender-questioning teenager and a former A-list actor, both down on their luck in Los Angeles. Written by Neil Koenigsberg and directed by Michael Allen Angel. Running through Jan 11 at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, presenting a two-day Holiday Special on KPFK 90.7FM on Friday, Dec, 21 (2-2:30 pm) ad Tuesday, December 25 (10-11 am).

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.