This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez

Image credit: Sacred Fools’ Waiting for Waiting for Godot. (L to R) Julie Marchiano, Joe Hernandez-Kolski and Bruno Oliver. Photo by Jessica Sherman Photography


  • Hollywood Fringe Festival has announced the dates for its eleventh event. HFF2020 previews will take place June 4-9, 2020. Opening Night Party June 10th, with the Festival running June 11-28. You can create a project today. Off-season office hours are 7-10pm at the Broadwater Plunge. The HFF Creative Workshop Series will be hosted at The Broadwater Theatres, beginning Nov 16, followed by a mixer.  
  • Center Theatre Group has announced the four new Los Angeles County schools that have been selected to participate in the 2019-2020 Disney Musicals in Schools program. The program is an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The four schools include: Dr. Owen Lloyd Knox Elementary (LAUSD), Eastman Avenue Elementary (LAUSD), Euclid Avenue Elementary (LAUSD) and San Gabriel Avenue Elementary (LAUSD). The selected schools will begin a 17-week musical theatre residency later this month. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from two teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with Center Theatre Group teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, Center Theatre Group will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on the Ahmanson Theatre stage for an audience of students, teachers, family and community (date TBA).
  • Thousand Oaks-based 5-Star Theatricals (formerly CabrilloTheatre) announced that, effective immediately, Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy has resigned his position at the theatre organization to explore new endeavors. An announcement on a new Artistic Director for 5-Star Theatricals will be forthcoming.


  • Circle X Theatre Co. announces the Southern California premiere of punkplay, written by Gregory S. Moss, focusing on two teenage boys trying to make sense of the world in the mess of 80s America through the music and culture of punk rock. Cast features Zackary Stone Gearing, Dempsey Bryk, Mathew Dunlop and Sadie Kuwano, co-directed by Circle X Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director Matt Bretz & Associate Artistic Director Lisa Sanaye Dring. Composition and Musical Direction by Rob Cairns and Beth Thornley. Opens Nov 16 in Atwater Village Theatre.
  • Collaborative Artists Ensemble presents the West Coast premiere of Unraveled, Jennifer Blackmer’s drama exploring the relationship between a mother and daughter when the end is imminent. Cast includes Carolyn Crotty, Kathy Bell Denton, Jake Jensen, Drew Lee Davis-Wheeler, Heidi Shon and Meg Wallace, directed by Steve Jarrard. Plays Nov 15-Dec. 8 at The Sherry Theater in North Hollywood.
  • The Sacred Fools Theater Company continues its 23rd season with the West Coast premiere of the existential comedy Waiting for Waiting for Godot, by Dave Hanson. Ester and Val are understudies for a production of Waiting for Godot. They are committed to art, and frustrated by anonymity. They understand their purpose, but not the reasons they stay.  Features Bruno Oliver, Joe Hernandez-Kolski and Julie Marchiano, directed by Jacob Sidney. Now running through Dec 14 in the Broadwater Second Stage.


  • There will be a workshop production of B.R.O.K.E.N code B.I.R.D, a lawyer representing a black teenager accused of murder is forced to face her own truths about marriage, race and the woman she’s chosen to be. This new work by playwright Tara L.Wilson Noth, will have a limited workshop engagement at the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Hollywood. The cast features Terrah BennettMs. CampbellKiersten DolbecCameron DymallyDominic Leeder, and Jim Titus, directed by Rayna Campbell. Performances are Nov 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 at 8pm; Nov 10 at 3pm.
  • Casting has been announced for the return of The Wallis and For The Record’s production of Love Actually Live, adapted and directed by Anderson Davis, with musical supervision and arrangements by Jesse Vargas, vocal design by Tony Award nominee AnnMarie Milazzo, musical staging by Sumie Maed. The multimedia concert celebration of one of the most beloved holiday films, will have performances beginning the day before Thanksgiving (Nov 27) and running through the weekend following Christmas (Dec 29). Returning from the 2018 production are Rex Smith, Carrie Manolakos, Doug Kreeger, Tomasina Abate, Carson Higgins and Emily Lopez. New this year to the lineup are Rogelio Douglas Jr., Declan Bennett, Jon Robert Hall, Chris Mann, James Byous, Ruby Lewis, Aubrie Sellers, Gabriela Francesca Carrillo, Levi Jesse Smith, Nayah Damasen, John Battagliese and violinist Molly Rogers, plus a 15-piece orchestra.


  • Musical Theatre West celebrates the holiday season with the classic movie-turned-Broadway musical, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, featuring music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a new book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge, in an adaptation of the1942 Oscar-winning film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire,  directed by Daniel Pelzig, with choreography by Christine Negherbon. Music Director is Dennis Castellano. Stars Cameron Bond, Natalie Storrs and Jeffrey Scott Parsons. Plays Dec 6-15 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. 
  • Three Clubs in Hollywood is presenting the premiere of the rock musical Dear Jerry Seinfeld, the zaniness ss of TV’s Seinfeld with a generous helping of the Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen during the holidays, book and lyrics by Alex Lewis and Greg Smith, music by Lewis and Michael Teoli, directed by Greg Lewis. Features a cast of eleven. Plays, Nov 14, 21, Dec 6 and 27.


  • Pasadena Playhouse is presenting Bob Baker’s Nutcracker, an adaptation of the ballet classic. Plays Nov 30-Dec 29 in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre.

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.

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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.