This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez


  • Laguna Playhouse presents four Summer musical experiences that celebrate the songs and music of four legendary musical icons In The Sounds Of Summer Series. The lineup includes: The Rave-Ons – The Music of Buddy Holly (Aug 7-11); Elements – The Music of Earth, Wind and Fire (Aug 15-18); Back In Time – The Music of Huey Lewis & the News (Aug 22-25); and We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered (Aug 28-Sep 1).
  • The Lee Strasberg Institute is hosting Short+Sweet Hollywood 2019, a Festival of short plays and films, running Sep 10-Oct 28 at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre at the Lee Strasberg Institute in West Hollywood. Festival Director is Nick Hardcastle.


  • Executive producers Ronnie Marmo and Joe Mantegna, along with Theatre 68 and producers Laura Buchwald and Bren Rapp will present the L.A. premiere of Jessica Cavanagh’s Self-Injurious Behavior, based on Cavanagh’s real-life experience as the mother of a severely autistic child. Stars Cavanagh, and Jude Segrest as her character’s son, as well as Madison Calhoun.  Remaining ensemble TBA. Directed by Marianne Galloway and presented in Special Partnership with Autism Works Now, opens Sep 6 at Theatre 68 in NoHo.
  • The U.S. premiere of Anne, A New Play by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter, in celebration of what would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, reframing Anne’s story through an unconventional lens, directed by Eve Brandstein, has been extended through Aug 5 at the Simon Wiesenthal Center


  • Tickets for the Los Angeles engagement of Latin History for Morons, written by and starring John Leguizamo, directed by Tony Taccone, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, will go on sale to the public at noon on July 18. Inspired by the near total absence of Latinos from his son’s American history books, John Leguizamo embarks on a frenzied search to find a Latin hero for his son’s school project. Tickets will be available online at Opens Sep 8.
  • At the Long Beach Playhouse is the Pulitzer Prize winning drama, Water by the Spoonful, a meditation on lives on the brink of redemption, the boundaries of family and community that stretch across continents and cyberspace, written by Quiara Alegrîa Hudes, directed by Ryan Holihan.The cast Marco Estrada, Maria V. Oliveira, Synida Fontes, Jeff Jacobs, Robin Harrison, Rose Kim and Jonathan Garcia. Opens July 20.
  • The Garry Marshall Theatre has completed casting of the off Broadway musical, The Spitfire Grill, created by James Valcq (music and book) and Fred Alley (lyrics and book), based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff, directed by Dimitri Toscas. Broadway’s Linda Kerns has joined the cast as Effy. Ashley Argota, Nicu Brouillette, Rachel Sarah Mount, Joey Ruggiero, Sarah Saviano, and Erich Schroeder round out the ensemble. Opens July 12.
  • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon continues its summer season with Thornton Wilder’s 1942 Pulitzer Prize-winning, The Skin of Our Teeth, the story of humankind told through the lives of the Antrobus family, set in 20th century New Jersey and the Ice Age, directed by Ellen Geer. Features Gabrielle Beauvais, Jonathan Blandino, Willow Geer, William Holbrook, Mark Lewis, Melora Marshall and Earnestine Phillips. Opens July 11.
  • The 1966 off-off Broadway musical hit, Dames At Sea, directed by Joshua Finkel, which introduced Bernadette Peters, is doing so well, it has extended its run at Sierra Madre Playhouse, now reaching out Aug 3.


Solo Mojo

  • The Hollywood Fringe Festival award-winning solo show Love, Madness, And Somewhere In Between, a no holds barred glimpse into a man’s journey filled with love, pain, insanity and redemption, written and performed by James J Cox, directed by Trace Oakley has extended its run at The Hudson Guild Theatre, returning for performances on July12, 14.
  • Dagmar Stansova’s solo show, Loose Underwear, garnered the Encore! Producers’ Award at HFF 2019 and will be extended to performances on July 14 and 21st at The New American Theatre in Hollywood.
  • Actor/musician, Jeremy Ebenstein’s Pain In My Asperger’s takes audiences, through story and song, through his humorous, inspiring and heartbreaking story of living a life with Asperger’s Syndrome. The script was developed by Jack Fry in the Jack Fry Solo Workshops, with Debra Ehrhardt serving as producer and creative consultant. Plays July 21 at Asylum’s Studio C in Hollywood.


  •  Playwright Dionna Michelle Daniel discusses Rogue Machine Theatre’s staging of  Gunshot Medley: Part I, running at The Electric Lodge in Venice, now extended to Aug 11.

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.