This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez


  • Two Los Angeles intimate theaters will each host a Mueller Report Read-A-Thon, offering Angelenos the opportunity to hear the Mueller Report read aloud, in its entirety, on either side of the City. The Fountain Theatre in East Hollywood will host a single, 15-hour event, July 18 (9 a.m. to midnight). The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in West L.A. will hold a separate marathon reading, breaking it up into two 8-hour sessions, July 22 and 23, each from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to both Read-A-thons is free and open to the public. Readers at the Fountain will include over 90 people, representing the diversity of Los Angeles, including Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, actors Jeff Perry, Richard Schiff, Rob Nagle, Frances Fisher, Harry Groener, Bill Brochtrup and Jenny O’Hara, artistic directors Daniel Henning and John Flynn, playwright Justin Tanner and journalist Steven Leigh Morris. The Odyssey event, curated by Not Man Apart artistic director John Farmanesh-Bocca, will include 20-minute readings by company members, friends and celebrities, including Councilmember Paul Koretz, film and stage actors Alfred Molina, Frances Fisher, Brenda Strong, Norbert Weisser, Michael Nouri, Ray Abruzzo, Darrell Larson, Gregg Henry and Richard Montoya of Culture Clash, as well as Padua Playwrights founding artistic director Murray Mednick.


  • The national tour of The Play That Goes Wrong, the Tony-winning Broadway comedy, focusing on a University drama society attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery, co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields. Opens July 10 at CTG’s Ahmanson Theatre. The tour features Scott Cote, Peyton Crim, Brandon J. Ellis, Angela Grovey, Ned Noyes, Jamie Ann Romero, Evan Alexander Smith and Yaegel T. Welch.
  • The Filigree Theatre—an independent theatre company based in Austin, TX led by women—returns to Los Angeles to present a limited run of the West Coast premiere of Lila Rose Kaplan’s play, 100 Planes, a bittersweet comic drama, set in 1997, that follows three women as ambition, love, and passion collide on a U.S. Air Force Base in Germany. Stars Alani Rose Chock, Brittany Flurry, Karen Harrison and Brennan Patrick, directed by Elizabeth V. Newman. Opens July 18 as a guest production at The Broadwater Black Box in Hollywood.
  • Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group in NoHo presents the premiere of its mid-summer deep-sea haunted-maze horror-theatre attraction, Beasts From The Sea, directed by Zombie Joe, Brandon Slezak & Denise Devin, with musical score by Joseph Bishara.  Featuring Audra Colino, Denise Devin, Robert L. Dobson, Jr., Sarah Durham, Jeffrey Gibson, Jasmine Ibrahem, Matthew Monaco, Brandon Slezak, Mélissa Guérin-Torres and Emma Toureau. Opens July 18.


  • Following a 110–performance premiere run in L.A., followed by a nine-month stint Off Broadway, I’m Not A Comedian…I’m Lenny Bruce, the award-winning one man sojourn into at the life and battles of comedian Lenny Bruce, returns to Theatre 68 in NoHo, starring Ronnie Marmo, directed by Joe Mantegna. Also features actress, comedienne and burlesque artist, Pearls Daily. Plays two performances only, July 11 & 12.
  • Antaeus Theatre Company is presenting Bertolt Brecht’s satiric comedy of war, love and justice, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, translated by Alistair Beaton, featuring a 16-member ensemble, directed by Stephanie Shroyer.  Opens July 11 at Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale
  • The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company’s 23rd Annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival will present Richard II for this first time in its history this summer, with women playing many of the traditional male roles. Cast includes Brett Elliott as Richard II as well as Hannah Tamminen as Bolingbroke. Directing will be company artistic director Michael J. Arndt. Plays July 19-Aug. 4 in Kingsmen Park on California Lutheran University’s Thousand Oaks campus. The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Kevin P. Kern, plays through July 14.
  • Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in West L.A. continues its “Circa ’69!” season of significant plays that premiered around the time of the Odyssey’s 1969 inception with María Irene Fornés’s Fefu and Her Friends, starring Tiffany Cole in the title role, with Tanya Gorlow, Dominique Corona, Sandy Duarte, Sydney A. Mason, Cynthia Yelle, Jennifer Lee Laks and Alexis B. Santiagodirected by Denise Blazor. Opens Aug 3.
  • Sierra Madre Playhouse is presenting The Joy Luck Club, telling the story of four older Chinese-American women and their complex relationships with their American-born daughters, based on the novel by Amy Tan, adapted for the stage by Susan Kim. The cast includes Christopher Chen, Lee Chen, Victor Chi, Debbie Fan, April Lam, Katharine Chen Lerner, Christine Liao, Sharline Liu, Peggy Lu, Nancy Ma, Grace Shen and Gloria Tsai, directed by Tim Dang, Producing Director Emeritus, East West Players. Opens Aug 24.



  • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum’s Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights augments the theater’s summer repertory season with free readings of two new plays about American families confronting their very particular legacies across generations: Sadie’s Day by Danielle DeCrette, directed by Elena Campbell-Martínez (July 14); and The Dog Show by Ivan Faute, directed by Laura Stribling (July 21). Seedlings program director is Jennie Webb. Readings take place under the oaks in Theatricum’s intimate S. Mark Pavilion outdoor space in Topanga.


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.