Written by Julio Martinez
Image credit: The 27th Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards held at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre on January 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)
- The 30th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards, the only peer-judged theater awards in Los Angeles, are happening Monday, Jan 13, celebrating 30 years of excellence in Los Angeles theatre. The ceremony will be held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, hosted by George Salazar. The after-party will be at The Globe Theatre, which is just walking distance from the ceremony. Ticket sales end Friday, Jan 10 at 5pm so click here to get yours today!
- Applications for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2020 scholarship applications are due Jan 15. Created in 2016, the Fringe Scholarships Program exists to expand and diversify the pool of performing artists producing work at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Scholarships are available to first-time Hollywood Fringe producers who contribute to the ethnic, cultural, racial, mentally or physically disabled, and LGBTQ+ diversity of the Fringe community. This year, each scholarship includes: Free registration for one Hollywood Fringe production; A $550 stipend towards venue and production costs; a Fringe mentor (an experienced Hollywood Fringe participant who can help guide you through the Fringe process, attend events with you and more!); and marketing and networking opportunities as a member of the Fringe community. To learn more about the program requirements and the application process, visit hollywoodfringe.org/scholarships. HFF 2020 Office Hours begin Jan 14 (7-10pm) at The Broadwater Plunge for the chance to interact with this year’s Fringers.
- Center Theatre Group will continue its free library play reading series with the readings of six plays on select dates from January to June 2020. The plays will be presented at Benjamin Franklin Library on Tuesdays, Malabar Library on Wednesdays and Robert Louis Stevenson Library on Thursdays. Works include Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck, adapted by Forrest Hartl (Jan 14, 15, 16); Las Arañas Cumplen Años, by Camila Villegas, directed by Juan Parada, presented by Off the Tracks Theatre Company (performed in Spanish, Feb 11, 12, 13); East Side Story by the ELAC ensemble, directed by James Buglewicz (Mar 17, 18, 19); Valor, written and directed by Fran de Leon, presented by Will & Company (performed in English and Tagalog, Apr 14,15 16); Awake, written and performed by Joe Hernandez-Kolski May 12, 13 May 14); Caminos: A Mother’s Journey by Teatro Liberado (presented in English and Spanish, June 16, 17, 18). New this year, all readings at Benjamin Franklin Library will include ASL interpretation from Interpret THAT. All readings will begin at 6 p.m.
- As its first production of 2020 Venice-based Rogue Machine is offering the West Coast premiere of Mike Bartlett’s Earthquakes In London, a portrait created through the eyes of a modern family, struggling to make sense of it all during a time of societal disconnect, corporate greed, and while dealing with fractures within their own lives. Ensemble cast includes Michael James Bell, Ava Bogle, Zoey Bond, Ron Bottitta, Turner Frankosky, Anna Khaja, Kaitlin Kelly, James Liebman, Jeff Lorch, Kevin Phan, Sara Shearer, Taylor Shurte, Jonathan P. Sims, Paul Stanko, Christian Telesmar, Mari Weiss, Miranda Wynne, co-directed by John Perrin Flynn and Hollace Starr. Opens Jan 16 at Rogue Machine (in the Electric Lodge).
- Impro Theatre kicks off 2020 with Winterfest, its 4th annual international improv festival (Jan 6-12). This year’s event expands to 7 days with nearly 3 dozen events celebrating the art of narrative improvisation around the world. Featured companies include Det Andre Teatret, direct from Oslo, Norway, and Ratas de Dos Patas, Chicago’s newest Latinx female sensation. Impro Theatre’s Main Company will also perform their rarely seen show Dorothy Parker UnScripted. The Impro Studio is located in the heart of Los Feliz Village.
- L.A. Theatre Works presents a record-in-front-of-a-live-audience-for-future-radio-broadcast production of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone, repurposing pop culture from the last 40 years to tell the story of two Vietnamese refugees who meet in an Arkansas relocation camp before setting out on a road trip across America. Stars Desirée Mee Jung, Will Dao, Greg Watanabe and Jeena Yi, directed by East West Players producing artistic director emeritus Tim Dang and featuring a hip-hop soundtrack by Shane Rettig. Opens Jan 25 in the James Bridges Theater, UCLA in Westwood.
- Anaheim’s Chance Theater opens its 22nd season with Fun Home, the 2013 musical based on Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, a 2006 graphic memoir by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Written by Jeanine Tesori (music) and Lisa Kron (book and lyrics), with direction by Marya Mazor and music direction by Lex Leigh. Starring in the production are returning artists Ron Hastings and Matt Bolden. They are joined by Chance newcomers Ashlee Espinosa, Madelyn Velazquez, Holly Reichert, Jennifer Richardson, Reese Hewitt, Christopher Patow and Ketino Christopher. Opens Feb 8 on the Cripe Stage at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center.
- Sistahs Ink Productions is presenting Unsung Heroes, celebrating the stories of several African American women of the 19th and 20th Centuries, written by Erika Cohen, directed and dramaturged by Zadia Ife. Cast includes Fredericka Meek, Tiffany Phillips, and LaRita Shelb. Plays Feb 1 at The Bridge Theater @ A Place Called Home on Central Avenue.
- Santa Monica Playhouse is hosting the return of Stogie Kenyatta’s NAACP award-winning solo show about African-American artist/activist Paul Robeson, The World is my Home – The Life of Paul Robeson, a turn-of-the-century love story about the triumphs and tragedy of the great Paul Robeson. Kenyatta plays 12 characters and ages from 5 to 65, with a soundtrack by Ellington, Coltrane, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Louie Armstrong & Robeson himself. Plays Jan 12 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day.
- UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), in association with the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, presents Gianni Skaragas’s The Lady of Ro, inspired by the life of Despina Achladioti, known as “the Lady of Ro,” who fled with her husband during WWI to the deserted island of Ro, a stone’s throw away from Turkey’s southern coastline, performed by Fotini Baxevani, directed by Katerina Berdeka. Music by Fotini Baxevani, cellist, Yorgos Tamiolakis. Performances in Greek with English supertitles, Jan 31 and Feb 1 at Freud Playhouse.
Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, airing on KPFK (90.7fm) on Fridays 2-2:30pm, streamed live around the world in real time over www.kpfk.org.
Ticket sales for The 30th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards end Friday, January 10th at 5 pm. Click here to get yours today!