This Week in LA Theatre

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By Julio Martinez


  • The Road Theatre Company in NoHo, now in its 28th season, announces its 10th annual Summer Playwright’s Festival. Beginning on Jul 28 and continuing through Aug 4, SPF will mount 30-40 staged readings of new plays in eight days, the largest staged-reading festival in the nation. Readings will be held in both the Lankershim Arts Center Theater and the NoHo Senior Arts Colony. New and established playwrights are encouraged to submit. (Only electronic copy applications will be accepted.) Twenty-two plays from past SP Festivals have gone on to full productions on the Road’s main stages, including two in its current season. Detailed submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline is Mar 1.
  • Center Theatre Group, in celebration of local theatre artists who are working in Los Angeles at a catalytic moment in their careers, has bestowed this year’s Dorothy and Richard E. Sherwood Award of $10,000 to performance artist Kristina Wong. Finalists Bruce Lemon and Marike Splint will receive a $2,000 honorarium.


  • For its debut show of 2019, Neo Ensemble Theatre is premiering eight new original works as part of its series, Airport Encounters: Brace for Impact! This comedic anthology of interconnected vignettes, centered around a central hub, takes a hard look at human behaviors and the problems we face, all in real time as passengers pass through an airport and onto their next adventure. Written by Elayne Heilveil, Mark Harvey Levine, Scott Mullen, Beth Polsky, Jessica Rowe, and Rom Watson. Opens Feb 8 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.
  • Geffen Playhouse in Westwood will premiere Black Super Hero Magic Mama, written by Inda Craig-Galván, focusing on a grief-stricken mother, who retreats into a fantasy world of superheroes after her 14-year-old son is killed in a police shooting. Directed by Robert O’Hara, featuring an eight-member ensemble, the production opens Mar 13 at Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.
  • A celebrated actress at an emotional breaking point finds herself an unwelcome guest at her daughter’s summer home in the West Coast premiere of Nicky Silver’s Too Much Sun, a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A., presented by Indi Chi Productions. Directed by Bart Delorenzo. Stars Diane Cary, Bailey Edwards, Joe Gillette, Clint Jordan, Bryan Langlitz, and Autumn Reeser. Opens Mar 2.


  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents the return of The Reverend Shawn Amos in A Night in Harlem, an evening of songs and storytelling in celebration of African American History Month, featuring a nine-member ensemble. Plays Feb 1 in the blackbox @ the edye at The Broad Stage.
  • Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood is offering a revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance Of Being Earnest, directed by Michael J. Marchak and featuring an 11-member ensemble. Opens Feb 1.
  • The Actors’ Gang is offering a new production of Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, an absurdist indictment of police corruption, translated by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante. Directed by Will Thomas McFadden and featuring the artwork of Ralph Steadman. Opens Feb 2 at The Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City.
  • 5-Star Theatricals in Thousand Oaks presents Dreamgirls In Concert, a benefit event for one night only. Music by Henry Krieger, book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, musical direction by Patrick Gandy, and choreography by Lesia Kaye; directed by Robert Clater. Featuring a 13-member ensemble, the production stars Karla Mosley, Jenelle Randall, Grasan Kingsberry, Chante Carmel, and Eric B. Anthony. Feb 16 in the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. The season will continue with Matilda (spring 2019) and West Side Story (summer 2019).


  • Steven Friedman’s Phalaris’s Bull: Solving the Riddle of the Great Big World, part of the Santa Monica Playhouse’s Benefit Series, features Harvard-educated molecular biologist, visual artist, and “provocative visionary philosopher’ Steven Friedman with a solution to the world’s pain, based not on belief or faith but on logical rigor. Performs Feb 21.


Cast members of August Wilson’s Pulitzer-nominated Two Trains Running discuss the work, which is being revived at the Matrix Theatre in Hollywood in honor of Black History Month. Now in previews; opens Feb 2.

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. This week, director Steven Robman and cast members Mary-Pat Green and Abby Wilde discuss Antaeus Theatre Company’s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, running through March 11 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale.

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.