This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez


  • Center Theatre Group has named local high school students Dejean Deterville (South Carolina Virtual Charter School), Mylah Eaton (CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts) and Daniel Velez (Ramón C. Cortines High School of Visual and Performing Arts) as the top performers of the August Wilson Monologue Competition Regional Finals held at the Mark Taper Forum on Mar 1. Deterville and Eaton, who earned  $500 and $400 scholarships, respectively, will go on to represent Los Angeles in the national finals on May 6. Deterville and Eaton will each receive a paid trip to New York City to perform on the stage of the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. They will compete in a semi-final round with 22 other students from cities around the country. Fifteen of those students will be selected for the national finals while the other nine will be part of a performance montage. Velez will serve as the Los Angeles alternate.
  • The staff of upcoming Hollywood Fringe Fest 2019 are looking for interns. The following positions are available: Events Intern, Programs Intern, Volunteer Coordinator Intern and FringeTV Production Intern. For those interested, please review the four available positions here and submit a cover letter and resume to Please specify which position(s) you are applying for in your cover letter. Deadline to apply is April 15th. For performers interested in presenting a program at HFF 2019, all of the registration steps must be completed by Apr 1st to be included in the printed version of this year’s guide. Check out our registration support page with any questions.



  • The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank is premiering The End of Sex, examining “how sexual behavior encourages power arrangements even in consensual relations,” written by Gay Walsh, directed by Maria Gobetti, starring Sara Botsford, Tom Ormeny, Austin Highsmith, Chad Loe and Lianna Liew. Opens Apr 26.
  • The West Coast premiere of Too Much Sun by Nicky Silver, focusing on a celebrated actress, at a career breaking point, who walks off stage at a rehearsal and into her married daughter’s summer house in Cape Cod, directed by Bart DeLorenzo, has extended through Apr 22 as a visiting production at the Odyssey theatre in West L.A. Cast includes Diane Cary, Bailey Edwards, Joe Gillette, Clint Jordan, Bryan Langlitz and Autumn Reeser.



  • A Noise Within is presenting Argonautika, a retelling of the classic Greek myth, The Voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, an adult fairy-tale, reframed for our time by Tony-winning director/playwright Mary Zimmerman. ANW Producing Artistic Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott will direct. Original music composition/sound design by Robert Oriol; music direction by Dr. Melissa Sky-Eagle. Opens Mar 23.
  • 5-Star Theatricals continues its 2018-2019 season with the local premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, musical direction by Jennifer Lin, choreography by Heather Castillo, directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld. Opens Mar 22 in the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks.
  • Long Beach Playhouse is producing Lauren Gunderson’s play, Silent Sky, based on the true story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, directed by Phyllis Gitlin. Cast includes Loren Bowen, Austin James, Brenda Kenworthy, Holland Renton and Amber Hill. Opens Apr 6.
  • Casting has been completed for CTG’s Ahmanson Theatre production of Indecent, inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it, written by Pulitzer-winner Paula Vogel, directed by Rebecca Taichman, choreography by David Forfman. Ensemble includes Broadway cast members Mimi Lieber, Steven Tattazzi, Richard Topol and Adina Verdon, joined by Harry Groener, Elizabeth A. Davis and John Earle.  Opens June 9.



  • Theatre West is presenting the premiere of The Long Gravel Road, a modern re-telling of the Parsifal myth revolving around a man’s primordial recognition of himself, written and performed by Abbott Alexander, with an original sound score by Garrett Parks. Opens May 4.
  • Geffen Playhouse is offering the premiere of magician Helder Guimarães’ one-man show, Invisible Tango, exploring “the nature of secrets and how far we are willing to go to discover them.” Directed by film director Frank Marshall (Jurassic World) with original music by Moby. Opens May 7 at Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.



  • Director Jason Alexander and cast members discuss the Ruskin Group Theatre’s premiere of The Joy Wheel by Ian McRae, now extended through Mar 31.



  • Actor Richard Erdman, born June 1, 1925, passed away on Saturday, March 16.  He made his film debut in Mrs. Skeffington (1944), starring Bette Davis. His seven-decade career encompassed 160 film and TV projects, including his role as Leonard in Community. Along the way, Erdman helped to found Stage Society of Los Angeles, a non-profit community theatre in Hollywood that produced more than 30 plays between 1950 and 1965. According to Erdman, Stage Society was conceived in a loft on El Centro Avenue by such notables as Arthur Kennedy, Akim Tamiroff, N. Richard Nash, John Ireland, and Anthony Quinn “as a refuge from the frustrations of their careers” and for “surcease from the encroaching limitations of political hysteria and the acidity of ‘commercial’ theater, films and TV.” Until its closing in 1965, Stage Society, with Erdman as President, continued to attract future stars of Hollywood into its ranks while the company barely managed to stay solvent. Among these were Cloris Leachman and Jack Albertson (appearing in Design for Living), Gene Reynolds (Chee-Chee), and Dyan Cannon, in her stage debut with Ross Martin in Firebrand. Others included Wayne Heffley, Margaret Muse, Marvin Kaplan, William Windom, William Schallert, Robert Vaughn, Dennis Weaver, and Anne Bancroft. No plans for a service have been announced.
Robert Vaughn, Richard Erdman and Patrick Miller in George Bernard Shaw’s “Misalliance” at Stage Society (1955)

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. On Mar 22, Cast members discuss Gina Hecht and Lee Garlington discuss The Joy Wheel at Ruskin Group Theatre.

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.