This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez


  • The Road Theatre Company announces submissions are now open for its Eleventh Annual Summer Playwrights Festival, running July 26-Aug 2. SPF mounts 30-40 staged readings of new plays in eight days, the largest staged reading festival in the nation, with playwrights from around the country and around the world participating, overseen by Scott Alan Smith, Founding Festival Director and SPF 11 Consultant.  Each submission is read and evaluated by our Road’s staff with recommendations made to the festival producers, who evaluate the plays and narrow the field to the final 20-40. Each play receives a minimum of two reads. Plays of any length or genre are eligible. All scripts must be in a PDF file format. Name your file with the title of the play first. No hard copy submissions will be accepted. Please put your direct contact information on your play (your name and email address). Plays must be paginated and include a list of characters. Submission for SPF11 may be made between 12:01 am on Jan 2 and 11:59 pm on Mar 1. Plays cannot be accepted past this deadline, so please plan accordingly.


  • Theatre West presents the premiere of a comic spy thriller, Our Man in Santiago, inspired by the true story of a spectacularly botched U.S. attempt to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected leader, written by two-time Emmy nominee and WGA award-winner, Mark Wilding. Cast features Presciliana EsparoliniNick McDow and George Tovar, with Steve Nevil playing Richard Nixon and Michael Van Duzer as Henry Kissinger, directed by Charlie Mount. Opens Mar 13.
  • Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills will be premiering Taming the Lion, written by Jack Rushen. Suggested by a true story of William Haines, an openly gay movie star, who acted in 50 films between 1922 and 1934 and was the number one box-office draw at the end of the silent era, who is now facing an ultimatum by Louis B. Mayer: marry a woman and continue to be a movie idol, or turn his back on his movie career. Cast includes Landon Beatty, Niko Boles, Marie Broderick, Kevin Dulude, Susan Priver, Suzan Soloman and Jeffrey Winner, directed by Melanie MacQueen. Opens Mar 13 in the Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School.


  • Musical Theatre West brings five-time 1997 Tony Award-winning musical Ragtime to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.  Based on E.L. Doctorow’s historical novel, featuring music and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and a Tony Award-winning book by Terrence McNally. Cast stars Terron Brooks, Brittany Anderson, Gary Patent and Jessica Bernard and a 28-member ensemble, directed by Paul David Bryant.  Music director Brian Kennedy. Opens Feb 8.
  • The Actors’ Gang Theater presents Can’t Pay? Don’t Pay!, written by Italian playwright and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, translated by Cam Deaver and directed by Bob Turton. This satirical farce questions why, in a world of bailed-out banks and overpriced prescription drugs, theft is only a crime when it is committed by those truly in need. The cast includes Kaili Hollister, Lynde Houck, Jeremie Loncka, Thomas Roche, Steven M Porter and Danielle Ray PowellOpens Feb 15 at the Ivy Substation in Culver City.  
  • Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is presenting a revival of The Serpent, a work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience, written by Jean-Claude van Itallie, winner of the 1969 Obie award, directed by founding artistic director Ron Sossi (who previously directed the West Coast premiere exactly 50 years ago), as part of the Odyssey’s 50th Anniversary “Circa ’69” Season. The Odyssey ensemble includes Riley Rose CritchlowAvery Dresel-KurtzJoseph GilbertTomoko KarinaMarie OstermanIan Stewart RileyAnthony RutowiczNina SallinenKeaton ShylerAhkei TogunTerry WoodberryDenise Yolén and Peyton Young.  Opens Mar 7.  
  • East West Players announces the cast and creative team for Spring 2020 production of the award-winning Broadway musical Assassins. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by John Weidman, directed by East West Players’ Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai, with musical direction by Marc Macalintal. Cast includes Trance Thompson, Gedde Watanabe, Adam Kaokept, Joan Almedilla, Max Austin Torrez, Christopher Chen, George Xavier, Astoncia Bhagat, Arvin Lee, Aric Martin, Kym Miller, Andrea Somera and Jalen Lum.  Opens Mar 19 at The David Henry Hwang Theatre in Little Tokyo. 


  • The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center presents Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason in the West Coast premiere of her acclaimed solo show Out of the Eclipse, a musical journey through life’s mysteries, digging into her life as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and actress. Gleason will be accompanied by the Moontones  (Michael Protacio, Christine Cornell, and Christiana Cole), and musicians Jeffrey Klitz (piano), Katherine Spingarn (cello), Justin Rothberg (stringed instruments) and Shane Del Robles (percussion). Plays Feb 15 & 16 in the Renberg Theatre. 


  • Director Michael A. Shepperd and playwright Penelope Lowder discuss West Adams, a  new, dark, comedy about race and class, playing at the Skylight Theatre in Hollywood, through Mar 8. 

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

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.