This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez


  • La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment announces its 42nd season of shows, beginning with the West Coast premiere of Grumpy Old Men: The Musical, starring Hal Linden, Cathy Rigby and Ken Page, adapted from the film, written by Mark Steven Johnson, directed by Matt Lenz (Sep 21).  The 2019-20 season continues with Roald Dahl’sMatilda The Musical, directed by Michael Matthews (Oct 26); Arsenic And Old Lace, written by Joseph Kesselring, directed by Casey Stangl (Jan 25, 2020); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound Of Music, directed by Glenn Casale (Apr18, 2020);  and Mamma Mia, based on the songs of ABBA, directed by Larry Raben (May 30, 2020). Completing the schedule are concerts by Grammy-winning country artist Travis Tritt (Feb 22, 2020), rock duo superstars The Righteous Brothers (Mar 21, 2020) and pop star Engelbert Humperdinck (May 15 & 16, 2020).
  • Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (LAWTF) presents its annual programming at the Ivy Substation in Culver City on June 23. The evening takes an intimate look at the personal lives of women in stories written and performed by them. Hosting the evening will be Anna Maria Horsford. Co-hosting will be writer/actor Ted Lange. The schedule includes Karen. A. Clark in The Women; Barbara Cole in Surviving Chrysalis; Bellina Logan in Confessions of a Mulatto Child; and Amy Milano in Dancing with Crazies. Adilah Barnes is Executive Producer and Co-Founder. Performance made possible in part by a Culver City Performing Arts Grant with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.



  • Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood continues its 2019 season with ROOTS: An Evening of World Premiere Shorts, four premiere short plays written by Lisa Sanaye Dring, Phinneas Kiyomura, Erik Patterson, and Bill Robens, directed by Lee Hannah Conrads. The performing ensemble includes Jaxy Boyd, Alysha Brady, Patricia Canale, Cat Chengery, Tony DeCarlo, Jennifer Flack, David Guerra, Brad C. Light, Sierra Marcks, Kelby Jo McClellan, Channing Sargent, Dan Wingard. Opens May 16.
  • 24th Street Theatre is extending the Los Angeles premiere of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted by Dwayne Hartford from the book by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Debbie Devine, scored by Bradley Brough. Stars Jennifer Hasty, Carlos Larkin, Brady Richards and Rachel Weck.  Now running through June 2.



  • Pasadena Playhouse is presenting Academy and Tony Award Nominee John C. Reilly and an ensemble of actors who will create an evening of Story Theater in Gather: Surprising Stories & Other Mischief, tales of legendary creatures and colorful characters, including such well-known tales as The Bremen Town Musicians and contemporary War Game, created by Reilly and Patrick Murphy, who will direct. Plays May 24-June 22, in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre of the Pasadena Playhouse.
  • Garry Marshall Theatre presents Deidrie Henry as singer Billie Holiday in the 2014 Broadway play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, set in a seedy bar in Philadelphia in 1959, written by Lanie Robertson, directed by Gregg T. Daniel; musical director is Abdul Hamid Royal. Opens May 17.
  • Laguna Playhouse presents a special event production, Hershey Felder, A Paris Love Story, featuring the music of Claude Debussy, written and performed by Hershey Felder, music by Claude Debussy, directed by Trevor Hay. Opens May 8.
  • Musical Theatre Guild is offering a one-night-only staging of 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winner, Sunday In The Park With George, created by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book). Georges Seurat’s imagined journey as he creates his most famous painting: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, directed by James O’Leary, musical direction by Doug Peck.  Plays May 5 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.
  • Christopher Sepulveda & 3Gems Productions present a visiting production at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A., Be A Good Little Widow, focusing on a young wife turned widow, who must learn how to grieve, a comedy by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Brandon Baer. Cast features Sandy Bainum, Sterling Knight, Katy Keene, Khylin Rhambo and Adrienne Visnic.Opens May 2.



  • Center Theatre Group is offering the premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., a solo play that tells the real-life story of Hnath’s own mother, a nondenominational hospice chaplain, performing at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in a co-production with Goodman Theatre. Adapted from interviews with Dana Higginbotham, conducted by Steve Cosson, directed by Les Waters and featuring Deirdre O’Connell in the title role, production Opens June 2.



  • Director Hunter Bird discusses Skylight Theatre’s premiere of Bronco Billy-The Musical, created by Dennis Hackin (book), Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres (music and lyrics) and Michele Brourman (additional lyrics).  Opens May 18.

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.