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


  • The Fountain Theatre in Hollywood kicks off 2019 with its Fem Fest reading series, starting with a four-week run of staged readings of Lauren Gunderson’s Natural Shocks, based on Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy and featuring a woman waiting out an imminent tornado in her basement. Each week of the run will be spearheaded by a different theater company. In addition to the Fountain, there will be performances by Rogue Machine, Echo Theater Company, and Lower Depths Theatre Ensemble. All of the readings will be directed by Ebony Repertory Theatre Associate Artistic Director Andi Chapman. Jan. 12-Feb. 13.
  • Back for a 7th year, Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks presents Solofest 2019 (Jan 5-Mar 15), offering 50 shows in 60 days, presented by solo artists from around the world. January schedule: Forever Brooklyn, by Mark Curran, starring Danny DiTorrice (Jan 5, 12, 19, 26); Leaving Prince Charming, written and performed by Lara Repko (Jan 11); Dancing to the Edge of the Cliff, written and performed by Margaret Mendenhall (Jan 13); Motherhood, written and performed by Pam Levin (Jan 16); Trans-parent Love, written and performed by Maureen Muldoon (Jan 17); Chemo Barbie, written and performed by Heather Keller (Jan 18); Fairy Tales, written and performed by Theresa Puskar (Jan 20); Off, written and performed by Andre Jones (Jan 24); Vixen DeVille Revealed, written and performed by Cat LaCohie (Jan 25); Lemur Mom, written and performed by Megan Dolan (Jan 27); Who Are You Calling A Bitch?, written and performed by Sacha Elie (Jan 30); and Detour, written and performed by Diana Dinerman (Jan 31).

PREMIERES


  • Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice is offering the West Coast premiere of Smart Love, a contemporary comedy with a scientific twist, exploring how far humans will go in order to salvage love, written by Brian Letscher and directed by Elina de Santos. Cast includes Melissa Weber Bales, Scott Conte, Terry Davis, Michael Mantell, and Zachary Grant. Opens Jan 12.
  • Triptych Theatre Group presents the West Coast premiere of Stockholm, spotlighting the unraveling of a relationship, written by Bryony Lavery and directed by Kim Rubenstein, with choreography by Stephen Buescher. Stars Kimberly Alexander and Jamie Wollrab. Opens Jan 12 at The Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles.
  • The Sherry Theatre in NoHo is hosting the premiere of The P.O.W. and the Girl, focusing on a British college student who must deal with a grandfather still suffering from the effects of being a WWII POW, and her budding romance with a troubled young man. Written by Katrina Woodman and directed by Trace Oakley. Cast includes Natalia Bilbao, Adrian Burks, Samantha Mallory, Chas Mitchell, and Dylan Wittrock. Opens Jan 26.
  • Hudson Backstage Theatre is hosting the premiere comedy, Soul Crushing Disco Ball, the story of two boys stumbling toward adulthood, written and directed by Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens. Features Jae Head, John Brahan, and Malcolm Wise. Opens Jan 4.

AROUND TOWN


  • Theatre 40’s upcoming production of It Is Done, written by Alex Goldberg, focuses on three disparate souls at a roadside bar with nowhere to go. Featuring Kurtis Bedford, George Villas, and Kate Whitney; directed by Jeff G. Rack. Opens Jan 17 at the Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, in repertory with Rod Serling’s Stories from the Zone.
  • In this time of political unrest, the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center is hosting the up-to-the-minute political satire of The Capitol Steps: Make America Grin Again. Plays Jan 12.
  • Sierra Madre Playhouse will present Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, based on Albom’s best-selling memoir of his relationship with his beloved sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. Directed by L. Flint Esquerra. Stars Larry Eisenberg and Jackson Kendall. Opens Feb 23.

SOLO MOJO


  • Center Theatre Group will host Lackawanna Blues, a reminiscence of a man’s 1950s childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie, written, directed, and performed by Tony-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who plays more than 20 characters. Live blues music accompaniment performed by Obie-winning composer Bill Sims Jr. Opens Mar 13 at the Ahmanson Theatre.
  • Singer Mary Wilson, an original member of The Supremes, is going solo at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. Plays Jan 4-5.

THE THING IS…


Playwright Jami Brandli discusses Sisters Three, an off-center dramedy about family, social media, and fame that pays homage to the Brontë sisters and their brother Patrick. Directed by Annie McVey, starring Robyn Cohen, Dana DeRuyck and Kara Hume. Plays through Jan 20 at VS. Theatre on Pico Blvd.

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, airing Fridays (2-2:30 pm), on KPFK 90.7FM.

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