By Julio Martinez
IN THE NEWS
- Newport Harbor High School will present three benefit performances of God Help Us, starring Ed Asner as God. Written by Samuel Warren Joseph and Phil Proctor, directed by Mitch Levine, the production also stars Stewart J. Zully and Pamela Guest. Supports Newport Harbor High School’s Drama program. At Newport Harbor High School, Robert S. Wentz Theatre, Feb 22-23.
- A Noise Within in Pasadena announced the launch of its new cultural initiative, Noise Now, presenting Lineage Performing Arts Center’s dance/theater piece, Ceiling In The Floor, on its main stage, along with the opening of the art exhibit, Cosmotarrayas, by Los Angeles artist Carolina Caycedo in ANW’s lobby. A Noise Within has hired Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx as the nonprofit arts organization’s first Director of Cultural Programming to lead the initiative. Ceiling In The Floor, with music and lyrics by Brandon Toh, directed by Marisa Echeverria and choreographed by LPAC Artistic Director Hilary Thomas, explores “the true story of a friendship bound up in art, music, and mental illness.” Opens Feb 26. Future Noise Now events include Keith Hamilton Cobb’s solo play, American Moor, shedding light on black identity in America, performed on the set of ANW’s production of Othello (Mar 27); a night of music and spoken word with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and Celebration Theatre (Apr 24); and a contemporary dance by Ate9 Dance Company (May 20).
- The Road Theatre Company presents readings and a book signing by Stewart J. Zully, the author of My Life In Yankee Stadium: 40 Years as a Vendor and other Tales of Growing Up Somewhat Sane in the Bronx, as a fundraiser for the company. Feb 17 at the Road On Magnolia.
- Geffen Playhouse will present the West Coast premiere of The Niceties, the story of a white professor and a black student who become involved in a polite clash of perspectives that quickly explodes into an urgent and dangerous debate. Written by Eleanor Burgess, directed by Kimberly Senior, and starring Lisa Banes and Jordan Boatman. (The production replaces Antigone on the Geffen Playhouse 2018/2019 season lineup.) Opens Apr 17 in the Gil Cates Theater.
- LA Opera Off Grand is offering the West Coast premiere of the loser, by composer David Lang. Based on the novel by Thomas Bernhard and starring baritone Rod Gilfry, the piece depicts two promising concert pianists who have the misfortune to attend a master class with the young Glenn Gould. Performances are Feb 22-23 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
- The Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank presents a reading of Kelly DiPucchio’s children’s book Gaston, illustrated by Christian Robinson, for the spring edition of the marshallARTS Family Series program, Storybook Pages, a free event on Mar 2 at 11 am. Gaston will be read aloud by actor/singer Connie Jackson and Robinson’s original illustrations will be projected on the big screen, all accompanied by an original soundscape built by sound designer Robert Arturo Ramirez (The CW’s Arrow). At this presentation of Storybook Pages, there will also be a sneak peek of the theatre’s upcoming musical, The Root Beer Bandits, with an appearance by composer Rachael Lawrence and lyricist Joseph Leo Bwarie. The Root Beer Bandits will run April 4-28.
- Celebrating its 40th season, Ensemble Theatre Company is presenting Arthur Miller’s 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winner, Death of a Salesman, starring Henry Woronicz and Gigi Bermingham, and directed by founding Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy. Opens Feb 9 at New Vic Theatre in Santa Barbara.
- City Garage will revive its L.A. Times “Critic’s Choice” staging of Molière’s classic comedy, The Bourgeois Gentleman, translated by Frédérique Michel and Charles Duncombe, directed by Michel, and re-imagined for contemporary audiences. Opens Feb 23 at City Garage in Santa Monica.
- Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage presents the revival of Ken Ludwig’s 1989 farce, Lend Me a Tenor, directed by Gregory Cohen. Features an eight-member ensemble. Opens Feb 23.
- Actress/writer Stephanie Satie brings an expanded version of her solo play, Coming to America, to The Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest on Feb 22.
THE THING IS…
Director J. Scott Lapp and composer Larry Grossman discuss the Musical Theater Guild’s production of Minnie’s Boys, a 1970 musical written by Arthur Marx about the early lives the Marx Brothers, opening Feb 10 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.
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. On Feb 8, Martinez welcomes writer Boni B. Alvarez as well as cast members Toni Katano and Samantha Valdellon from Skylight Theatre’s America Adjacent, opening Feb 16.