This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez

 

  • Center Theatre Group has selected 12 local high school students to participate in the regional finals for the 2020 August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) to be held at the Mark Taper Forum on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. The program is designed to inspire and educate Los Angeles youth using monologues from August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle,” a 10-play cycle that details the complexity of the African American experience in the 20th century.  Those selected to participate in the regional finals are Kyle Branch (Los Angeles), Daniel Cuasay (Moreno Valley), Fletcher Jones (Los Angeles), Jayla Jones (Sunland-Tujunga), David Kwon (Fullerton), Milan Lapesarde (Los Angeles), Miko Alicia Mariscal (Los Angeles), Samantha del Rey (Sylmar), Nailah Shorter (Pasadena), Theodore Taylor III (Los Angeles), Tyla Uzo (Gardena) and Onnie Williams IV (Alhambra). The two top-performing students will earn an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for the chance to perform in the AWMC national finals; the third-place student will serve as alternate. The national finals will take place on May 4 at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
  • The Road Theatre Company, led by co-Artistic Directors Taylor Gilbert and Sam Anderson, has established an ongoing program to offer High School Students complimentary tickets to any Road Theatre Company production. Students must make a reservation and provide student ID at the box office. The Road is currently presenting Nowhere On The Border, written by Carlos Lacámara and directed by Stewart J. Zully, playing through Mar 8 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia, located in The NoHo Senior Arts Colony in NoHo.

 

  • The Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood is hosting the Los Angeles premiere of This Side Of Crazy, written and directed by Del Shores, focusing on the monumentally  dysfunctional family reunion that occurs when Ditty Blaylock, the most prolific singer in gospel music history, is being honored by “Gospel Music Network.” Stars Dale Dickey, Bobbie Eakes, Sharon Garrison and Rachel Sorsa. Opens Jan 31.
  • REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents the premiere of Dada Divas, an experimental opera by Jacqueline Bobak, celebrating the works and lives of the Dada movement’s historically neglected female pioneers: Emmy Hennings, Mina Loy, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and others, performed by a Los Angeles-based team of cutting-edge talent including the virtuoso singers Jacqueline Bobak, Sharon Chohi Kim, Micaela Tobin, and Meltem Ege. Plays Feb 8.

 

  • The Wallis in Beverly Hills and Live Nation present An Intimate Night Of Stand-Up Comedy With Chelsea Handler, bringing to life her thought-provoking stories about alternative lifestyles, family, and her new found love of cannabis. Plays Feb 13 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater. Upcoming, The Wallis will present New International Encounter Theatre’s Production of Snow White, an original take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale in which the cheerful heroine escapes her homicidal stepmother with help from a family of feisty woods-dwelling, banjo-strumming, washboard-wearing vegans. Plays May 8-17 in the Lovelace Studio Theater.
  • The full cast has been announced for Geffen Playhouse’s production of Man of God, a feminist thriller about that moment when girls realize the male gaze has been watching all along…and decide “they’re definitely gonna do something about it,” written by Anna Moench (Originally premiered at East West Players in Jan 2019). Cast features Shirley Chen, Camryn Kim, Natasha Liu, Albert Park and Jenapher Zheng, directed by Maggie Burrows. Original Music & Sound Design by Jonathan Snipes. Opens Mar 12 in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse.
  • As the first play of its 46th Season, The Group Rep in North Hollywood presents the revival of Doug Haverty’s award-winning  comedy-drama, In My Mind’s Eye. Inspired by true events, this memory play chronicles the life and loves of a legally-blind female public school teacher, exploring the delicate balance of how a parent can become dependent on caring for a child with special needs. The cast features Kait Haire, Peyton Kirkner, Maria Kress, Lloyd Pedersen, Torrey Richardson, Clara Rodriguez and Bobby Slaski, directed by Bruce Kimmel. Plays Feb 7-Mar 15 at 7 Lonny Chapman Theatre. Next up for Group Rep is Neil Simon’s London Suite (Apr 10-May 17).
  • The next selection in Sierra Madre Playhouse’s Off the Page series of monthly play readings will be a new stage adaptation of William Saroyan’s classic American novel, The Human Comedy, adapted by Thom Babbes. Set in warfront America 1942, this coming-of-age tale tells the story of Homer Macaulay, a 15-year-old boy who delivers telegrams at night to make money for his family, growing from an idealistic boy to a mature young man as he struggles with the unfairness of the world around him. Christian Lebano directs. Reading takes place Apr 27.
  • The Found Theatre in Long Beach is hosting the new Long Beach theatre company, Mid-World Players, for its production of Bonnie & Clyde the Musical, focusing on the two young lovers’ thrilling adventure into a downward spiral, with a score by Frank Wildhorn, lyrics by Don Black, and book by Ivan Menchell, featuring a mixture of rock-a-billy, country, bluegrass and gospel music. Directed by Jesse Seann Atkinson, opens Feb 28.

 

  • Library Girl presents Of Love and Other Demons, a Valentine’s tribute to Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, hosted by creator Susan Hayden, featuring writers Billy Burgos, Rick Bursky, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Rich Ferguson, Michael Harris, Leon Martell, Beth Ruscio, Deanne  Stillman and Sany Yang, music by Mason Summit. Plays Feb 9 at Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. 

 

  • Writer/director Stephen Sachs and cast members discuss Human Interest Story, opening Feb 15 at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood. 

 

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.