This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez

 

  • The Actors’ Gang announces the limited North American Tour of The New Colossus, directed and co-written by Academy Award–winner Tim Robbins.  The play tells the true stories of 12 refugees from 12 different time periods, fleeing from violence and oppression in a journey toward freedom, performed in 12 languages with live music, poetry and kinetic movement. Tour schedule: Charlotte, NC/Knight Theater  (Jan 28-Feb 2); Schenectady, NY/Proctor’s Theatre  (Feb 7-8); Detroit, MI/Music Hall (Feb. 14–16); Seattle, WA/Moore Theatre (Feb. 20–22); Durango, CO/Community Concert Hall (Feb 25-26);  Iowa City IA/Hancher Auditorium (Feb 29th, 2020); Folsom, CA/Harris Center (Mar 3–4) ; and Nashville, TN/James K. Polk Theater (Apr 9-11).  

 

  • The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Four Larks present the premiere of Frankenstein, created by Four Larks, based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Commissioned by The Wallis, an exuberant amalgamation of physical theatre, live music and experiential design that brings the tale to life in a modern take that spotlights the dangers of unregulated technology. Featuring a cast of twelve, all doubling as musicians, the show is directed, created, staged and composed by Four Larks’ Mat Sweeney with design and choreography by Sebastian Peters-Lazaro, both of whom created the adaptation with Jesse Rasmussen. Plays Feb 12-Mar 1 in The Wallis’ Lovelace Studio Theater. 

 

  • The Road Theatre Company presents the second show of its 2019-2020 season, a newly revised and re-written production of Nowhere On The Border, wherein a border watch volunteer confronts a Mexican man who claims to be looking for his missing daughter. Set in a hostile wasteland between nations, revealing the personal dramas that drive people to cross borders both physical and emotional, written by Carlos Lacámara. The cast features Chet Grissom, Jonathan Nichols, Natalie Llerena, Leandro Cano, Diana DeLaCruz, Thom Rivera and Mackenzie Redvers Bryce, directed by Stewart J. Zully. Opens Jan 17 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia in NoHo.
  • South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa is reviving the 1963 Broadway musical, She Loves Me, created by Joe Masteroff (book), Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) and Jerry Bock (music), featuring a cast of 16, with an 8-musician ensemble, directed by David Ivers.  Plays Jan. 25-Feb 22 on the Segerstrom Stage.
  • Laguna Playhouse presents The Perfect Dog, The Musical, with music and lyrics by David Abbinanti, book by Jill Abbinanti, and inspired by the book “The Perfect Dog” by John O’Hurley, directed by Dylan Russell, musical director/conductor Diane King Vann, choreography by Ellen Prince. Performs Jan 17-19.
  • Ebony Repertory Theatre presents the International City Theatre production of Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, a drama with music examining and exploring the life of the legendary Billie Holiday by Lanie Robertson.  Stars Karole Foreman in the title role, directed by Ebony Repertory Theatre founder Wren T. Brown, and music director Stephan Terry. Opens Feb 8 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.
  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica presents Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) performing its original work, Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me, a dance performance about the poet-singer-songwriter that evokes the grand cycles of existence in five seasons, as described in Cohen’s deeply reflective work, under the artistic direction of BJM Artistic Director Louis Robitaille, with the dramaturgy of Eric Jean. Plays Feb 14 and 15.
  • Held2gether, Improv for Life brings their 7th annual original sketch comedy show to the Long Beach Playhouse this season as part of their Collaborative Series showcasing local artists. This year’s compilation, Sketch on the Rocks, boasts over a dozen sketches touching upon universal relationships, outrageous characters, music, pop culture, and parodies of the time. Their director is founder and creative director, Darren Held. Opens Feb 20.

 

  • The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival marks 27 years of producing well over 500 multicultural and multidisciplinary solo performers from around the globe. The longest-running Annual Solo Festival for women in Los Angeles, LAWTF will take place March 26- March 29, 2020 at Theatre 68 in NoHo. The overall theme of the Festival will be 2020 Vision!  The Champagne GALA and Awards Ceremony will take place on Mar 26, hosted by Hattie Winston and Starletta DuPois, directed by Denise DowseThe event will honor five women of exceptional achievement and contribution to the world of theatre (announced in a separate release).  There will be live performances in addition to the awards presentation. Performers include singer Jacquelyn Brown-Benefield, dancer Juli Kim and operatic soprano Sunjoo Yeo. Solo artists performing Mar 27-29 include Heather Dowling,  Dagmar Stanec, Ashley Wilkerson, Cynthia Lee, Miriam Reed, Raissa Simpson, Corina Calderon, Crystal Bush, Jannica Olin, Sharon Nyree Williams and more. 

 

  • Artistic Director David Ivers discusses South Coast Repertory’s and Playwrights Horizons’ announced creation of the Pinnacle commission, which will award $60,000 to a major American playwright. The commission, whose inaugural recipient will be announced in spring 2020, is part of The Lab@SCR, a new comprehensive play-development infrastructure at SCR “that will deepen and expand support for the creation of numerous new works for the American theatre.” 

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.   

 

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.