This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez

  • California Arts Council announced a grant award of $14,400 to The Robey Theatre Company as part of its Local Impact program. The funding will support Robey’s 2019 Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, a three-day, biannual, short-play festival inspired by the actor and activist, Paul “Robey” Robeson, The Robey Theatre Company is one of 190 grantees chosen for the Local Impact program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with grant funds totaling a projected $24,508,541 for 2018-19, the highest investment in statewide arts programming since the 2000-01 fiscal year.
  • The Sacred Fools Theater Company announces its upcoming 23rd Season (2019-2020), kicking off with the premier of Deadly, set in 1893 Chicago, examining one of the most famous true crime cases in history. Book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart, music by Ryan Thomas Johnson, directed by Jaime Robledo.  Opens in September at the Broadwater Theatre Main Stage (date, TBA). The season continues with the West Coast premiere of Waiting for Waiting for Godot by Dave Hanson, directed by Jacob Sidney, opening November, TBA at Broadwater Second Stage; the premiere of Gifted by Bob DeRosa, directed by Rebecca Larsen, opening early 2020; and West Coast premiere of Antigone, Presented by The Girls of St. Catherine’s, by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Reena Dutt, opening Spring 2020.  Along with these mainstage shows, Sacred Fools will also continue its tradition of late- night and off-night programming, with announcements about ongoing shows and new programming coming soon.


  • Moving Arts announces the Los Angeles premiere of Apple Season, exploring family, desire, and whether to confront the tangled past—or burn it to the ground. Written by E. M. Lewis, cast features Rob Nagle, Liza Fernandez and Justin Huen, directed by Darin Anthony. Produced as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Opens July 13 in Atwater Village Theatre. Other partnering theaters are New Jersey Repertory Company (NJ) and Riverside Theatre (IA).
  • The Echo Theater Company presents the West Coast premiere of Pass Over, the 2019 Lucille Lortel award-winning play by Antoinette Nwandu that mashes up Waiting for Godot with the Exodus saga. Starring Stan Mayer, Tyrin Niles, Damon Rutledge, Raven Scott, Henita Telo, Ahkei Togun, directed byDeena Selenow.  Opens July 13 opening in Atwater Village Theatre.
  • The Matrix Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of Scraps, Set in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, three months after the fatal shooting of black teenager Forest Winthrop by a white police officer, a mash up of poetry, realism and expressionism that chronicles the effects of Forest’s death on his family and friends. Written by Geraldine Inoa and directed by 2019 Obie Award winner Stevie Walker-Webb, opens July 6 at the Matrix Theatre in Hollywood.


  • Antaeus Theatre Company presents Bertolt Brecht’s1944 masterpiece, The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Amidst the rubble of a bombed out village in the aftermath of World War II, farmers debating the best use of their land enact a parable in which a humble kitchen maid risks her life to rescue an abandoned baby from civil war, a contemporary translation by playwright Alistair Beaton. Stephanie Shroyer directs a 16-member ensemble. Opening July 11 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale.
  • Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank presents the off Broadway musical The Spitfire Grill, music and book by James Valck, lyrics and book by the late Fred Alley, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff. The cast includes Ashley Argota, Nicu Brouillette, Rachel Sarah Mount, Joey Ruggiero, Sarah Saviano, Erich Schroeder and Diane King Vann. Garry Marshall Theatre’s artistic director Dimitri Toscas directs. Opens July 12.
  • The hit 1968 musical, Dames at Seabook and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller. Music by Jim Wise, directed by Joshua Finkel opens June 15 at Sierra Madre Playhouse. Cast includes Ruben Bravo, Katie Franqueira, Jennifer Knox, Marissa Mayer, Chuck McLane and Aaron Shaw. Music director is Sean Paxton, choreography by Jeffrey Scott Parsons.


  • Following its acclaimed 2018 national tour, C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, starring Max McLean as C.S. Lewis, adapted from Lewis’ writings, McLean inhabits Lewis from the death of his mother and his estranged relationship with his father to the experiences that led him from vigorous debunker — to one of the most vibrant and influential Christian intellectuals of the 20th century. Opens July 12 at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
  • TMB presents the workshop production of a premiere play, Good Enough, the true journey of world renown author and story teller Ted McGrath, written and performed by Ted McGrath (playing 15 characters), directed by James Barbour, will open July 26 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.


  • Actor Rob Morrow and other cast members discuss Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning Death of a Salesman, opening June 21 at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica.

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.