This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez


  • Geffen Playhouse in Westwood has has announced tickets for the 2019/2020 season’s first two productions, Witch and Skintight, which will go on sale to the public July 22. Witch, inspired by The Witch of Edmonton by Rowley, Dekker and Ford, will make its West Coast premiere Aug 20 in Geffen’s intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. Written by Jen Silverman, a charming devil arrives in the quiet village of Edmonton to bargain for the souls of its residents in exchange for their darkest wishes. Directed by Marti Lyons, the ensemble cast features Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory), Vella Lovell and Maura Tierney, with additional casting to be announced. Skintight will make its West Coast premiere Sep 3 in Geffen’s Gil Cates Theater. Written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Daniel Aukin, the ensemble cast features Tony Award winner Idina Menzel, Eli Gelb, Will Brittain and Harry Groener, with additional casting to be announced.
  • Coin and Ghost, an L.A-based theatre company known for its imaginative remixing of known mythologies, announces its second season, opening with the premiere of Bad Hamlet, an irreverent, interactive play that places Shakespeare’s masterpiece directly up against the many interpretations of it. Devised by the ensemble and directed by Rob Adler, the cast includes Casey Dunn, Julián Juaquín, Akshaya Pattanayak, Chris Schultz, Hannah Trujillo and Lauren Vitz. Opens July 25 at New American Theatre in Hollywood. The season continues with the premiere of Mama, Mama, Can’t You See, a new play by Cecilia Fairchild and Marine Veteran, Stan Mayer, incorporating visceral physicality, raw American poetry, and Mayer’s own experience in the Iraq War, directed by C&G Artistic Director Zachary Reeve Davidson (opening TBA); closing the season will be Breakfast in Moscow, conceived and directed by Alex Demers, a stylized production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, re-imagined as a rock-opera using music from the 1979 Supertramp album, Breakfast in America (opening TBA).
  • Center Theatre Group, in association with Atlantic Theater Company will be premiering A Play Is a Poem, a collection of five one acts by Ethan Coen, set in the hillbilly hollows of Appalachia, the executive suites of Hollywood, a New York tenement apartment, the smoke-filled office of a Los Angeles private eye and a magnolia-scented gazebo in Natchez, Mississippi. Casting TBA, directed by Neil Pepe. Opens Sep 11 at CTG’s Mark Taper Forum.


  • The premiere comedy, The Direction Home, written by Greg Vie, focusing on a group of disparate housemates in West Hollywood, 1979, as they attempt to navigate their careers and romances. Kiff Scholl directs. Opens July 19 at Let Live Theatre @ Actors Company in Hollywood.
  • Macha Theatre/Films is presenting the premiere of Love Struck, following two Latinas— one American and one Cuban—in a ‘hurricane of love, lust and other devastations,” co-written by Odalys Nanin and Meie Barrientos. Stars Tricia Cruz, Odalys Nanin and Hilaria Larriva, directed by Nanin. Opens Aug 17 at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.
  • The Road Theatre Company, in association with Spark Theatrical, presents the first show of the Road’s 2019-2020 season, the premiere of The Spanish Prayer Book. Moral dilemma, historical mystery, and matters of the heart converge when a committed atheist, who inherits a collection of rare and hauntingly beautiful illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, discovers that the books, which bear witness to overlapping Jewish and Islamic traditions, were stolen some six-hundred years after their creation from a library in 1940s Berlin. Written by Angela J. Davis and directed by Lee Sankowich. The cast will feature Allison Blaze, Laura Gardner, Carlos Lacamara, Richard-John Seikaly, Amy Tolsky, Allan Wasserman and Tiffany Wolff. Opens Sep 20 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia, located in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony, North Hollywood.


  • North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach has extended its highly successful premiere of Another Roll Of The Dicea rollicking musical with book by Mark Saltzman, reuniting the talents of songwriter Frank Loesser and author Damon Runyon, creators of the legendary Guys and Dolls. Now running through Aug 11. Larry Sousa directs Lance Carter, Sarah Errington, Eliot Lazar, Jason Maddy, Allison Spratt Pearce, and Darrick Penny.
  • The Fountain Theatre in Hollywood’s recurring Forever Flamenco series presents Meditación Flamenca — a journey through the practice of flamenco cante (song), baile (dance), toque (which can mean music – or touch) and arte (art) as a form of meditation. Directed by Wendy Castellanos. The troupe: dancers, Vanessa Albalos, Wendy Castellanos, Misuda Cohen; singer, Antonio de Jerez; guitarist, Antonio Triana; Cajon y Guitarra: Gerardo Morales. Plays July 28.
  • Following its reception of the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival Producer’s Encore Award, She Kills Monsters, written by award-winning playwright Qui Nguyen and directed by Genny Wilson, is returning to The Arena Stage at Theatre of Arts for two performances Aug 15 & 17. The only way for older sister Agnes (Vivi Thai) to get to know her nerdy sister Tilly (Susannah Snowden-Ifft) is through a live-action game of Dungeons and Dragons.  


  • Rob Morrow and other cast members discuss Ruskin Group Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, now extending though Aug 25.

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.