This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez


  • Tony-nominated director/chorographer Robert Longbottom and musical director/ conductor Kevin Stites have been announced for the Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming production of the 1986 musical Into the Woods, with book by James Lapine, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, which will be the 20th annual LA Phil/Hollywood Bowl-produced, fully-staged summer Broadway musical at the historic venue. Casting will be announced at a later date. Plays July 26-28.
  • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon is offering Re-PETE Seeger Centennial Celebration 2019: Pete’s Legacy on the occasion of his centennial. Starring Geer family singers Peter Alsop, Ellen Geer, Melora Marshall and Marshall McDaniel, with special guests. Plays Apr 6.
  • Celebration Theatre, as part of its Celebrating New Works reading series, presents Orry, set at Forest Lawn Cemetery in February 1964. Jack L. Warner reads the eulogy for friend and legendary costume designer, Orry George Kelly, an unapologetically gay Australian, who offers a name-dropping revelation of his years in the Golden Age of Hollywood, by Nick Hardcastle and Wayne Harrison. The cast features Nick Hardcastle, Ash Bee, and Brad Griffith, directed by Wayne Harrison, performing one night only, Mar 19 at The West Hollywood City Chambers in West Hollywood.



  • 24th Street Theater is presenting the Los Angeles premiere of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted for the stage by Dwayne Hartford from the novel by Kate DiCamillo, a stylized story of Edward Tulane, a porcelain rabbit who must learn the meaning of love. The ensemble features Jennifer Hasty, Brady Richards and Rachel Weck in multiple roles, and Carlos Larkin as the voice of Edward, directed by Debbie Devine. The production is scored live by Bradley Brough and presented with Spanish supertitles. Opens Apr 6 at 24th Street’s converted carriage house on the edge of L.A.’s West Adams historic district.
  • Rent-free Records and Studio 106 are premiering Portrait of A Soul by Elisa Manzini, a site-specific sojourn of a young woman in a troubled marriage to another woman who goes to the workplace of  prominent artist who she has commissioned to do her portrait.  Stars Corryn Cummins, James Hal Hardy and Maxi Witrak, directed by Gloria Iseli.  Plays Mar 16 & 17 at Studio 106 in Santa Monica.
  • Catworks Productions presents the premiere of An Evening of One Acts, including playwright Bernadette Armstrong’s Joan, an imaginary tale of Joan Crawford’s journey through the Bardo, directed by Collette Rutherford; and What Did They Say?, a dramedy exploring gender and sexuality in an unconventional Los Angeles family, by playwright Wendy Winter, directed by Adam Matalon.  Opens Mar 22 at Theatre Unlimited.



  • La Mirada Theatre will be presenting actor/comedian Paul Reiser, bringing his view of  love, life and the unusual things about relationships. Opening for Reiser will be musician  Maggie McClure. One night only, Mar 16 at 8pm at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada.
  • The Group Rep is reviving a long-lost Agatha Christie play, The Secret of Chimneys, wherein a cosmopolitan adventurer on a mission discovers more than he bargained for when he arrives at an English country house. Directed by Jules Aaron, opening Mar 29 at Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.
  • Long Beach Playhouse kicks off its 29th annual New Works Festival, a national competition for unproduced plays submitted by novice and veteran playwrights. This season’s winners, Shruti Gupta Can Totally Deal by J. Stephen Brantley and The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer by Raegan Payne, are plays that examine cultural issues in America. Two staged readings will take place on Mar 29 and 30 in the Studio Theatre.
  • Laguna Playhouse is presenting Tapestry, The Carole King Songbook, starring Suzanne O. Davis and backup band, performing songs from the Grammy winning album of the same name, as well as King’s follow-up hits that continued throughout the 70’s. Six performances only, Apr 17-20.
  • The Loft Ensemble reviving James Baldwin’s 1964 play, Blues For Mister Charlie. The murder of a Black man scars both black and white members of the community who attempt to intervene. Inspired by the case of the murder of Emmett Till, directed by Tor Brown. Now open, runs through Apr 7.
  • Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice is extending the run of Smart Love, a contemporary comedy with a scientific twist, written by Brian Letscher, directed by Elina de Santos. Now running through Mar 31.



  • Debrianna Mansini discusses the return engagement of The Meatball Chronicles, directed by Tanya Taylor Rubenstein, performing Mar 22-Apr 14 at The Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood

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

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.