This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez


  • Theatre 68 in NoHo presents its 16th Annual Original One-Act Festival, written, directed and starring members of the 68 Cent Crew Theatre Company. Works include Connected,   by James Medeiros, directed by Vikram Bhoyrul; Aunt Janice, by Jason Kyle, directed by Brendan Dunleavy; Bury the Cat, by Val Gehley, directed by Molly Leach; The Janitor, by Allegra Leal, directed by Misao McGregor; The Plant and the Pot, by Molly Leach, directed by Sarah Haruko; and The Ride, by Stacy Toyon, directed by Jonathan Moreno and Narmar Hanna. Plays June 28-July 13.
  • TreePeople’s annual summer fundraising concert series, Once Upon a Canyon Night, launches June 22 with Night of Stand-Up with Tehran & Friends, led by comic Tehran Von Ghasi, with opening acts that include Marty Ross and Matt Rife. The season’s theatrical events include Haunted Hacienda – A Radio Play, written by Luisa Leschin with additional material by Cris Franco, staged by Max CiVon (June 28 & 29); U.S. premiere of Sinatra: Raw with Richard Shelton (June 30); A radio play double feature – Live On Our Stage! The Maltese Falcon & The Lady Eve, directed By Jill Klein (July 12 & 13); the return of comedian/actor Sinbad (July 14);Showstoppers! An Evening Of Broadway’s Greatest Hits (July 20); Juggler Michael Rayner (July 27); comedienne Paula Poundstone (July 28); Impro Theatre’s Shakespeare Unscripted, a completely improvised play in the style of William Shakespeare, directed by Brian Lohmann & Dan O’Connor (Aug 2 & 3); 57 Chevy with Ric Salinas, created by Cris Franco, directed by Valerie Dunlap (Aug 23 & 24); and Airplane! The Reading with special guest Robert Forster, featuring the Ace Classic Movie Theatre Players (Sep 6 & 7). All performances held at S. Mark Taper Foundation Amphitheatre in Coldwater Park.
  • Cirque du Soleil returns to Los Angeles with Volta, inspired in part by the spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, where technology often isolates people from one another rather than freeing them. Written and directed by Bastien Alexandre, with Jean Guibert as the director of creation, music composed by Anthony Gonzalez from the international electronic group M83, choreographed by Julie Perron. Performs under the Big Top at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (Jan 18-Feb 23, 2020) and the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa (Mar 18-Apr 19, 2020).


  • Say La Vie Productions is offering the premiere of The Direction Home, a “comedy in six months,” focusing on West Hollywood, 1979, a moment in time before cityhood, before sweeping demographic changes and a decade of tumultuous upheaval of historic events, written by Greg Vie, directed by Kiff Scholl. Cast includes Jacob Barnes, Chris Ciccarelli, Vaughan Eells, Claire Glassford, Amir Levi and Emilie Martz. Opens July 20 at Let Live Theatre @ The Actors Company.
  • Secret Rose Theatre in NoHo is hosting the premiere of the dramedy Nancy F***ing Reagan, a gay high school teacher, who is about to turn 50, needs to be cajoled by his friends to embrace the future and let go of the past,written by Daniel Hurewitz, directed by Larry Margo. Cast features Colbert Alembert, Amy Kersten, Mark Sande, Greg Ivan Smith, Safiya Quinley, Kiff Scholl and Debi Tinsley. Opens July 12.


  • Celebration presents the L.A. intimate theatre premiere of The Producers, book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, choreography by Janet Roston, musical direction by Anthony Zedike. Cast includes Richardson Jones, Chris Jewell Valentin, Michael A. Shepperd and a 10-member ensemble. Opens June 28 at Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Hollywood.
  • The Long Beach Playhouse closes its Mainstage season with the 1983 Tony-winning musical, La Cage Aux Folles, book by Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, based on the play by Jean Poiret. Directed by Sean Gray, Artistic Director for the Playhouse with Stephen Olear as musical director. Features a cast of 16 actors, singers and dancers. Opens June 29.
  • The 1966 Off-Off-Broadway musical from Caffe Cino, Dames at Sea (introducing Bernadette Peters)—book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, music by Jim Wise—has come along way, now housed at Sierra Madre Playhouse. Cast includes Ruben Bravo, Katie Franqueira,, Jennifer Knox, Marissa Mayer, Chuck McLane and Aaron Shaw, directed by Joshua Finkel with music direction by Sean Paxton, choreography by Jeffrey Scott Parsons. Now running, the show has been extended through Aug 3.


  • TMB presents the premiere play, Good Enough, the true journey of author and story-teller Ted McGrath.  Playing 15 characters, McGrath takes us on a roller coaster ride through addiction as he sabotages his family, his career and ultimately his life in the attempt to answer one question burning inside him his entire life. Written and performed by Ted McGrath, directed by James Barbour, opens July 26 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.


  • Miss America’s Ugly DaughterBess Myerson & Me, Barra Grant’s mother-daughter story, the inside tale of Grant’s seismic relationship with her mother, beauty queen Bess Myerson, written and performed by Barra Grant,featuring Monica Piper, directed by Eve Brandstein.  Plays June 21 & 22 at Edgemar Center for the Arts 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.