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)
- IAMA Theatre Company highlights its 2019-20 season with the West Coast premiere of Found: A New Musical Comedy, inspired by scores of discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by every-day people and brought to theatrical life. Based on the collection curated by Davy Rothbart in his “Found” books and magazines, the musical features a book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree and music and original lyrics by Eli Bolin, directed by Tony-nominated director Moritz von Stuelpnagel. Opens Feb 20 at downtown’s Los Angeles Theatre Center. Cast and more details to follow at a later date. Additionally, IAMA will present a New Works Festival of staged readings Nov 14 through Nov 17, also at the LATC. Ever traveling IAMA kicked off its season with the West Coast premiere of A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle, a guest production, continuing at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse (through Nov 3). The season will conclude in Spring 2020 with the world premiere of The Untitled Baby Play by Nina Braddock (May 14-June 15) at Atwater Village Theatre.
- Tony Award nominee Maria Dizzia will star in the Los Angeles stop of the national tour of Heidi Schreck’s Tony Award-nominated play and Pulitzer Prize finalist, What the Constitution Means to Me, tracing the relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that dictated their rights and citizenship, directed by Oliver Butler. Dizzia will be joined by the play’s original Broadway cast members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian. Plays at CTG’s Mark Taper Forum (Jan 12- Feb 16, 2020).
- The Matrix Theatre in Hollywood is premiering The Double V, a dramatization of how a simple letter to a newspaper initiated a series of changes that gave black Americans their first taste of equality in a society that had always denigrated them, written by Ovation Award-winner Carole Eglash-Kosoff, directed by Michael Arabian. The cast features Nic Few, Brie Eley, Preston Butler III, Terra Strong Lyons, Cary Thompson, Joe Coffey, Jamal Henderson and John Apicella. Opens Oct 25.
- REDCAT, CalArts Center for New Performance and Poland’s Studio Teatrgaleria, present the US premiere of WITKACY/Two-Headed Calf, set against the backdrop of California’s wild nature, drawn from the writings of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and directed by Natalia Korczakowska. Plays Oct 18-25.
- Sierra Madre Playhouse continues its 2019 season with Little Women, a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story, adapted and directed by Christian Lebano. Opens Oct 17.
- Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts is hosting Together Again…For the First Time, reuniting Davis Gaines and Dale Kristien, 25-years removed from their starring turn in the record-breaking Los Angeles run of Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ The Phantom of the Opera. The stage veterans perform solos and duets from their favorite Broadway shows, share stories, and reminisce about their long careers on Broadway and beyond. Plays Nov 15.
- Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood’s Barnsdall Park will host Remembering James: The Life and Times of James Brown, a stage adaption of the life and music of James Brown from 1951-1968. Starring Broadwayworld Awards Nominee Dedrick Weathersby as James Brown, accompanied by an eight-piece band. Opens Oct 26.
- Odyssey Theatre is hosting the premiere of Mono/Poly, Brian Reynolds’ sex comedy about the effect a polyamorous triad has on monogamous couples, directed by Reynolds. Now open, runs through Nov 10.
- Long Beach Playhouse rings in the holiday season with Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley, playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s sojourn into the lives of of the Bennett family, beginning two years after the conclusion of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as the family gathers at Pemberley home for the holidays. Directed by Phyllis Gitlin and featuring an eight-member ensemble, production opens Nov 2.
- The Long Beach Ballet continues its annual holiday tradition, for the 37th year presenting The Nutcracker at the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, staged by Artistic Director David Wilcox, featuring a cast of over 200 and a full symphony orchestra. Plays Dec 14-22.
- Now in their 23rd year, playwrights Joe Keyes and Rob Elk are proud to bring back the longest running Holiday hit, Bob’s Holiday Office Party, directed by Matt Roth. Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The cast includes Elk & Keyes, as well as returning cast members David Bauman, Michael Bonnabel, Cody Chappell, Melissa Denton, Mark Fite, Maile Flanagan, Michael Halpin, Andrea Hutchman and Sirena Irwin. Opens Dec 5 at The Atwater Village Theatre.
- Chris Pierce performs “Unstop My Ears” from Reverend Tall Tree’s Blues Opera, written by Mark Malone and Pierce, featuring Chris Pierce (Vocals), Dylan Cooper (Upright Bass), Sam Meek (Guitar), Chris Lovejoy (Drums), performing Nov 3 at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles.
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.