This Week in LA Theatre

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Written By Julio Martinez

Image credit: Invertigo Dance Theatre’s  Formulae & Fairy Tales by photographer Joe Lambie

  • Theatricum Botanicum’s ‘Under the Oaks’ salon series in Topanga brings four Friday evenings of performance and song outdoors in the intimate S. Mark Taper Pavilion, beginning with Theatricum Unmasked. Company members, past and present, gather to share “behind the scenes” stories (Sep 6). The series continues with Theatricum Spotlight, an eclectic mix of songs and poems from Theatricum’s company, including Ellen Geer, Melora Marshall, Earnestine Phillips and more (Sep 13); Crazy Ladies, a solo “symphony of insanity” by Katherine Griffith and Darla J Fjeld. Veteran actress Griffith plays 17 different “crazy ladies” in a world gone mad (Sep 20); and Multitudinous One-Act Marathon (MOM), Theatricum company members perform readings of one-acts by Shaw, Chekhov, Oates, Ionesco and more (Sep 27).
  • UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) and The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles will hold a third season, including seven events: Avery*Sunshine (Nov 23); Bill Morrison Dawson City: Frozen Time Live! (Dec 6); Lea DeLaria In Concert (Jan 18, 2020); Buika (Jan 25); Philip Glass & Jerry Quickley Whistleblower (Mar 21); John Cameron Mitchell The Origin of Love Tour (Apr 11); and Perla Batalla Discoteca Batalla (Apr 18).


  • The Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents the premiere of Invertigo Dance Theatre’s Formulae & Fairy Tales, casting the life of Alan Turing, mathematical genius and World War II code breaker, into the Technicolor and mythologized ideas of his favorite film, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, placing the world of mathematics, artificial intelligence, and cryptography onto a twisted fairy-tale palette. Plays Sep 13 & 14.
  • IAMA Theatre Company is offering the West Coast premiere of Daniel Pearle’s A Kid Like Jake, study of intimacy and parenthood, and the fantasies that accompany both, as a mother and father try to do right by their four-year-old son as he enters the admissions cycle for New York City kindergartens, directed by Jennifer Chambers. Opens Oct 3 as a Pasadena Playhouse guest production in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre.


  • Celebrating its Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 Encore Producers Award, the original musical, The Bully Problem, returns for two more performances on Aug 9 and 11 at The Hobgoblin Playhouse in The Arena Stage at Theatre of Arts in Hollywood. Produced by New Musicals Inc. and written by composer Michael Gordon Shapiro, directed by Joanna Syiek, the musical tells the story of 14-year-old whiz kid Kevin Dijkstra who yearns to escape his bully-infested school for an elite tech academy.
  • William Shakespeare’s Macbeth will get get a new production in Downtown LA’s arts district from 134 West. Directed by Alyssa Escalante, this Macbeth, set in a near future desert landscape, will have a limited engagement at Art Share L.A., the first play to have a full run in the space,  beginning Aug 15. The 15-member Macbeth cast includes Tristan Waldron (Macbeth), Megan Ruble (Lady Macbeth) and José Angel Donaldo (Banquo).
  • As far as alternative stagings of the Bard go, The Actors’ Gang in Culver City has opened Toy Story Tempest, its annual Free Shakespeare in the Park production. Based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and inspired by Pixar-Disney’s Toy Story characters, the production is directed by Will Thomas McFadden and features a 12-member ensemble. This 45-minute family show runs every Saturday and Sunday through August 25th in Media Park. All performances are free-of-charge, thanks to support in part by the City of Culver City, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Performing Arts Grant Program.
  • Celebration announces the second show in its 2019 season, the Ovation Recommended, Los Angeles intimate theatre premiere production of the 2001 Tony-winning musical, The Producers, book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, choreography by Janet Roston, musical direction by Anthony Zediker, directed by Michael Matthews, is extending through Aug 26 at Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Hollywood.
  • South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa kicks off its 2019-20 season with American Mariachi by José Cruz González, a comedy with live music, set in the 1970s as young women defy the tradition of all-male mariachi performers, directed by Christopher Acebo, with music direction by Cynthia Flores. Opens Sep 7 on Segerstrom Stage.


  • Outlandish Cat Productions presents Treya’s Last Dance, a modern-day exploration of grief, fractured pasts and hopeful futures, written and performed by Shyam Bhatt, including music composed by Archita Kumar and voiceovers/vocals by Arun Kamath directed by Poonam Basu. Opens Sep 18 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood.


  • Gunshot Medley: Part 1, by Dionna Michelle Daniel, a lyrical and mystical new play about the struggle against systemic racism, directed by Desean K. Terry, now extended thru August 19 at Rogue Machine in Venice.


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.