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.

This Week in LA Theatre

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Written By Julio Martinez

Image credit: Amber Gray and the cast of Hadestown (Matthew Murphy)

  • Center Theatre Group announces that Hadestown, the winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards including Best New Musical, will launch a National Tour beginning in the Fall of 2020. Hadestown will be a part of Center Theatre Group’s 2020–2021 season at the Ahmanson Theatre. Created by singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell, developed with Tony-winning director Rachel Chavkin, marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat. Following two intertwining love stories—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—Hadestown invites audiences on a journey to the underworld and back. David Neumann is choreographer with music direction from Liam Robinson. Cast will be led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page.
  • Rogue Artists Ensemble is launching the second year of their new works incubator, Rogue Lab. After a successful first year and the public presentation of six new works in the inaugural Rogue Lab Reading series, Rogue Artists is opening submissions for its new class of playwrights, designers and directors who stretch the boundary of what is currently being done onstage. The Rogue Lab is an 8-month bi-weekly meeting of 5 playwrights, inspired by Rogue Artists Ensemble’s development approach facilitated by ensemble members Lisa Sanaye Dring and Chelsea Sutton, which culminates in a public reading series. Each playwright is paired with a designer, composer, or choreographer and director who will collaborate with the writer. As part of Rogue Artists Ensemble’s commitment to broadening the diversity of the arts, they are especially interested in submissions from women, artists of color, transgender people, queer artists, and non-binary artists. Each artist involved in the Rogue Lab series will receive an honorarium, keeping with the Rogue’s commitment of paying artists. Also, one of the pieces developed in the Rogue Lab will receive a semi-staged workshop in an upcoming Rogue Artists Ensemble season to further support the development of the work. As part of the Rogue’s community partnership with the City of West Hollywood, a minimum of two key artists will be selected who reside in the City of West Hollywood. To be considered, please send fill out the application form at https://www.rogueartists.org/rogue-lab, including a description of a proposed project and a 10-page writing sample. The project proposal should include a description of the plot and theatrical forms you are exploring in the play you’d like to work on during this one-year residency in Rogue Lab. Please send the writing sample as a PDF.
  • The Robey Theatre Company continues its 25th Anniversary celebration with its presentation of the Third Biennial Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, curated by the Company’s Artistic Director, Ben Guillory. Opens Aug 23 at Los Angeles Theatre Center, in the intimate Theatre Four. Directors include Ben Guillory, Dwain Perry and  Julian White. Actors include J.C. Cadena, Dwain Perry, Michael Ricks, Toyin Moses, Marcus Clark Oliver, Tiffany Coty, Ben Jurand, Larry Powell, Jason Mimms, Ben Guillory and more. Musical accompaniment is provided by Randy Ross Ph.D. and Marion Newton. Scott St. Patrick Williams and Ebonie Marie will introduce each scene.

 

  • Theatre 40 announces its fall premiere production by Leda Siskind’s The Surveillance Trilogy, focusing on the plight of employees of government and state agencies suspected of being Communist following the 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for being Russian spies. Siskind’s trilogy of one-acts, directed by Amanda Conlon, consist of Until All of This is Over, starring Landon Beatty and Jocelyn Hall; The Havana Syndrome, starring Warren Davis and Stacey Mosely; and Are You Listening?, starring Charlotte Evelyn Williams, Sequoia Granger and Max Pescherine. Opens Sep 19 at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills.
  • Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company presents the premiere of Last Swallows by Cailin Harrison, displaying how even families who love one another can be amazingly dysfunctional. Features Matthew Downs, Abby Eiland, Ty Mayberry, Shaw Purnell, Leilani Smith, Bob Telford, Tina Van Berckelaer and Leah Zhang, directed by Kiff Scholl. Opens Sep 21 at The Other Space @ The Actors Company in West Hollywood.

  • Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon is offering D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, The Gin Game, starring real life husband and wife Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James, directed by Christian Lebano. Opens Aug 17.
  • Sierra Madre Playhouse continues its Off the Page series of staged readings with Herb Gardner’s 1962 Tony-nominated comedy, A Thousand Clowns, directed by Cate Caplin. Plays Aug 26.
  • Macha Theatre is presenting Love Struck, co-written by Odalys Nanin and Marie Barrientos, directed by Nanin, a lesbian romantic comedy focusing on two Latinas, one American and one Cuban, starring Tricia Cruz, Odalys Nanin and Hilaria Larriva. Opens Aug 16 at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood.

 

  • The cast and director of the California premiere of Hannah And The Dread Gazebo chat about their journey with the play, written by Jiehae Park, directed by Jennifer Chang, with Hahn Cho, Monica Hong, Wonjung Kim, Gavin Lee, Jully Lee, Janet Song. Opens Aug 17 at The Fountain Theatre in association with East West Players.

 

 

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.

Shakesqueer – A Queer, Feminist Reading

“We know from his plays that he struggled intimately with the social conditions that produce identity in the first place. A queer reading of Shakespeare dwells not on the orientation of the man but rather of the works. And Shakespeare’s works are queer AF.”

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