This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez


  • Moving Arts announces a new partnership with LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Theater At The Museum, a one-night-only roving theatrical performance created exclusively for LACMA members, inspired by several current LACMA exhibitions and permanent installations. Nine separate plays have been written by nine Los Angeles based playwrights: In All Her Gloria, by Boni Alvarez, directed by Dana Schwartz; Perspective by Dana Schwartz, directed by Chuma Gault; The Band Play by Jihan Crowther, directed by Kiff Scholl; Ingredients by Khari Wyatt, directed by Matthew Robinson; I Killed A Tiger, by Meghan Brown, directed by Gabriel Griego; The Next Wave, by Steve Serpas directed by Dan Steele; The New System by Dan Steele, directed by Ross Kramer; Mourning of the Sons, by Marlow Wyatt, directed by Diana Wyenn and It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way, by Eric Reyes Loo, directed by Gabriel Griego. A team of 40 theatre artists will create a fully site-integrated event featuring these brand-new plays staged in and around different museum exhibits. Each audience member will experience five of these intimate vignette performances. Theater At The Musuem will perform Nov 16.
  • Center Theatre Group has selected two local small theater productions for the fourth annual Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (Mar 18-Apr 19, 2020) in Culver City. Block Party 2020 will remount Sacred Fools Theater Company’s The Art Couple and IAMA Theatre Company’s Canyon. The visiting companies will receive the full support of Center Theatre Group and its staff in order to fund, stage and market each production. Full casting for each production will be announced at a later date. Written by Brendan Hunt and directed by Lauren Van Kurin, The Art Couple, a dramedy about Neil Simon’s struggle to break a terrible case of writer’s block he is suffering after accepting a huge commission for his completely unwritten third play: The Odd Couple, plays Mar 18-20, 2020. IAMA Theatre Company’s Canyon, written by current L.A. Writers’ Workshop participant Jonathan Caren and directed by Whitney White, is a compassionate look at gender, race, citizenship and the costs of trying to live a conventional, American life (originally produced in association with the Latino Theater Company). Plays Apr 10-19.


  • Victory Theatre Center in Burbank is presenting the West Coast premiere of Elijah, a dramady by Judith Leora. While Hurricane Elijah has closed down all the roads in a small town in Texas, a disparate group of people take refuge in a TGIFridays restaurant, while a high-profile execution is scheduled in a nearby prison. Cast includes Molly Gray, Jordan Wall, Jesse Merrill, Elle Vernee, Kathleen Bailey, and MacKenzie Rickaby, directed by Maria Gobetti. Now playing.  
  • LA Theatre Works is presenting the Los Angeles premiere of The Hard Problem, Tom Stoppard’s mind-bending comedic exploration of the origins of human consciousness. Rosalind Ayres directs Eddie Cahill, Rosie Fellner, Adhir Kalyan, Julian Morris and Moira Quirk. There will be four performances recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater in Westwood. Opens Nov 15. 


  • Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills is offering the return of The Manor-Murder and Madness at Greystone, an immersive crime/scandal drama, now in its 18th year, written by Kathrine Bates, directed by Martin Thompson. Plays Feb 6-Mar 1, 202 at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. The ensemble includes Katherine Henryk, Darby Hinton, Daniel Lench, Daniel Leslie, Melanie MacQueen, Carol Potter, Esther Levy Richman and Annalee Scott.  


  • Pasadena Playhouse is presenting Bob Baker’s Nutcracker, an adaptation of the ballet classic, one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s most beloved shows since it began in 1969, featuring over 100 hand-crafted puppets. Plays Nov 30-Dec 29 in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre.
  • The Soroya in Northridge will be hosting the return of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with three performances of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker, based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann with music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, choreographed by ASFB executive director Jean-Phillippe Malaty and artistic director Tom Mossbrucker. Features 100 performers on stage,  including 70 children from Los Angeles Youth Ballet and students from USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Plays Dec 7 & 8.
  • After a sold out run and winning a Producers Encore Award at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019, Bunny the Elf LIVE!, written by and starring Christi Pedigo, directed by Rose London; focusing on a musical theatre nerd, forced by her family to give up her dreams, who gets a real job in the real world… as a toy store Christmas elf, makes its Orange County Premier at STAGES Theatre in Fullerton on November 30th and returns to LA at Theatre Asylum’s Studio C on Dec 1st.


  • Playwright Steve Mazur, actors Orson Bean, Alley Mills and other cast members discuss the premiere of Mazur’s comedy, Bad Habits, directed by Mike Reilly, opening  Nov 22 at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. 


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.