This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez

Image credit:  The 28th Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on January 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

  • The Ojai Playwrights Conference is announcing the cast for Wake Up! Combating Climate Change, an event designed to inspire awareness and action, including dramatic works created through collaboration between current and former OPC playwrights, expert scientists, guest artists and The Climate Group, with musical advisor T Bone Burnett, directed by Robert Egan and Ron Lagomarsino. Cast includes Caroline Aaron, George Ball, Oded Fehr, Riad Galayini, Linda Gehringer, Robin Gerber, Sandra Tsing Loh, Kim Maxwell, Amanda McBroom, James Morrison, Seamus Morrison, Peter Strauss, Carl Thelander, Rachel Ticotin, Gideon Jeph Wabvuta and Bess Wohl. Event occurs Aug 8 at Matilija Auditorium in Ojai. This is one of two special Intersection Events being presented as part of the 2019 New Works Festival of new play readings and special performance events (August 4-11) at Zalk Theater. The eight playwrights chosen for the season range from emerging to veteran, including Kimberly Belflower, Sam Chanse, Kate Cortesi, Inda Craig-Galván, Kimber Lee, James Morrison and Christopher Gabriel Núñez.


  • Casting is now complete for the premiere of Self-Injurious Behavior, playwright and star, Jessica Cavanagh’s own story of loss, love and survival in dealing with her son’s autism diagnosis, written by Cavanagh, directed by Marianne Galloway.  The cast includes Jessica Cavanagh, Jude Segrest, Jonathan Brooks, Janie Haddad Tompkins, Jullian Cavanagh, Gisla Stringer, Madison Calhoun and Mitch Lerner. Presented by Theatre 68 In Special Partnership with Autism Works Now.  Opens Sep 6.
  • Weird Sisters is presenting the premiere of Saugerties, by Susan Eve Haar, set in a remote B&B in the not too distant future, telling the story of Jen and Rog, who are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary. She’s broken hearted over infertility and Rog will do whatever it takes to make her happy.   Stars Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead) and Beau Garret (The Good Doctor)directed by Abigail Zealey Bess. Opens Aug 18 at the Hudson Guild Theatre.
  • Echo Theater Company is offering the premiere of Handjob, written by Erik Peterson, a dark comedy exploring the deepest sensitivities in our culture…with unexpected consequences, directed by Chris Fields. Opens Sep 7 in Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Deaf West Theatre is presenting the North American of The Solid Life of Sugar Water, a Deaf couple’s relationship is revealed through their lovemaking in this intimate portrait of a marriage, made even more intense by Deaf West Theatre’s signature performance style, combining American Sign Language with spoken English, written by Jack Thorne. Opens Sep 12 in Deaf West Theatre @ Inner-City Arts in downtown L.A.


  • Theatre 68 in NoHo is once more encoring its hit play, I’m Not A Comedian…I’m Lenny Bruce, which ran for nine months Off Broadway and for an unprecedented 110 performances in L.A, starring Ronnie Marmo, directed by Joe Mantegna, now adding a burlesque feature by Pearls Daily. Returns for two performances, Aug 8 and 9.
  • Odyssey Theatre, in conjunction with its 50th Anniversary “Circa ’69” Season will be presenting two works by iconic female playwrights. Casting has been completed for María Irene Fornés’s surreal feminist comedy-drama, Fefu and Her Friends, directed by Denise Blasor. Stars Tiffany Cole, Dominique Corona, Sandy Duarte, Tanya Gorlow, Jennifer Lee Laks, Sydney A. Mason, Alexis B. Santiago and Cynthia Yelle. Opens Aug 10. The Odyssey is also offering the Obie award-winning musical, In Circles, adapted by composer Al Carmines, adapted from A Circular Play by Gertrude Stein. a landmark in the “over the top” gay scene in New York of the late ’60s. Opens Sep 14.
  • City Garage in Santa Monica presents Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, retelling the Orpheus myth from Eurydice’s point of view, directed by Frédérique Michel. Opens Aug 9.
  • 3,000 Miles Off-Broadway proudly presents Tuesday Nites UnPlugged, a new concert series featuring some of the finest tribute acts performing today…acoustically, at the historic El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage, in the NoHo Arts District. The schedule includes Fortunate Son: a Tribute to Credence Clearwater Revival (Sep 3), Elton The Early Years, starring Kenny Metcalf (Oct 1) and A Taylor Made Tapestry, a special event recreation of the 2009 Reunion concert at the Troubadour Theatre between James Taylor and Carole King, starring Stephen Bock and Jeannie Austin (Nov 5).


  • Library Girl presents Ham on Rye, celebrating Bukowski’s 99th, hosted by Susan Hayden,  guest curated by Iris Berry and S.A. Griffin. Featuring readings by Dave Alvin, Iris Berry, Michael C Ford, S.A. Griffin, Steve Hochman, Gerald Locklin, Michael Marcus, Chris Morris, Keith Morris, Henry Mortensen, Lorraine Perrotta, A. Razor, Bucky Sinister, Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss. Music by Mason Summit. One night only, Aug 11th at Ruskin Group Theatre at Santa Monica Airport.


Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, airing Fridays (2-2:30pm), on KPFK 90.7FM.

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.