This Week in LA Theatre

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Written by Julio Martinez


  • The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood has announced its eight-play 2020-21 Season, which will take place at the Gil Cates and the Audrey Skirball Kenis theaters, beginning Sep 8 with the return of Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, directed by Geffen founder Gil Cates in 1999.  The season continues with the premiere of the premiere musical, A Wicked Soul In Cherry Hill, a true-crime story told completely through music, words and music by Matt Schatz, directed by Mike Donahue (Oct 6-Nov 15);  the West Coast premiere of The Engagement Party, written by Samuel Baum, directed by Darko Tresnjak (Nov 10-Dec 13); the West Coast premiere of The Inheritance (Parts 1 & 2), written Matthew Lopez (Jan 12-Mar 14, 2021); the premiere of Soft Target, written by Emily Kaczmarek, directed by Jo Bonney (Mar 2-Apr 11, 2021); the premiere of Mindplay, written by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg, directed by Andrew Neisler, featuring DePonto  (May 4-June 13, 2021);  (TO BE ANNOUNCED) (Apr 13-May 16, 2021); and the Bryan Cranston Directorial Project, featuring the Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor making his directorial debut (TBA) (June 22-July 25, 2021).
  • In celebration of a life of Orson Bean (1928-2020), memorial services will be held on March 14, 2020 at BAM Crawford Ministries, 400 East Kelso Street, Inglewood CA. Services will be held 10:00am–12:00pm. The Reception is 12:00-2pm.  The family has extended an invitation for the public to attend. Orson Bean, who, on February 7, was struck by two cars while crossing Venice Boulevard, on his way to attending a performance at Pacific Resident Theatre, is survived by his beloved wife Alley Mills, four children and nine grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations are gratefully accepted by two of Orson Bean’s favorite entities: Bam Crawford Ministries  and Pacific Resident Theatre, P.O. Box 568, Venice, CA 90294.


  • Coin & Ghost, LA’s theatrical home for remixed mythologies, will present the premiere of Mama Mama Can’t You See by Cecilia Fairchild and Stan Mayer, exploring a particularly harrowing moment of Mayer’s life as a U.S. Marine, and the implications of that moment across the boundaries of death, sex and love.  The cast is comprised of Matthew David King, Jess Reed, Cecilia Fairchild, Abe MartellJulián Juaquín, Hannah TrujilloKathleen Leary and Alex Demers, directed by Zachary Reeve Davidson. Opens Mar 20 at The New American Theatre in Hollywood.
  • 24th Street Theatre presents the West Coast premiere of Kerry Muir’s “magical, surreal, dream-like movie-within-a play,” The Night Buster Keaton Dreamed Me, directed by Debbie Devine. Stars Maya Brattkus and Olivia Cristina Delgado, as well as Keri Tombazian, Tony Duran and John Ellsworth Phillips (as Buster Keaton).  Original score performed live by Bradley Brough. Opens Apr 5. (Includes Spanish supertitles, translated by Ercilia Sahores). 


  • The Broad Stage in Santa Monica is hosting Austria’s Mnozil Brass with their new show, Cirque, displaying theatrical virtuosity,  combining the monkey business of daily life with music and humor, transforming the stage into a musical flea circus. The Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Mar 26. Also plays at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts on Mar 24 and Irvine Barclay Theatre on Mar 27.
  • The Group Rep is reviving Neil Simon’s 1995 Broadway  play, London Suite, a comedy of four wildly different stories, that all take place in the same hotel room in London, directed by Doug Engalla.  The cast features Bita Arefnia, Joelle Arqueros, Paul Cady, Fox Carney, Morgan Donegan, Doug Haverty, Christian Land, Beccy Quinn, Michael Robb, Michele Schultz, Neil Thompson, Sal Valletta, Sascha Vanderslik, Chris Winfield, Janet Wood and Gina Yates. Runs Apr 10-May 7 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.
  • La Mirada Theatre presents the fourth show of its 2019-2020 season, Julia Udine (“Maria”) and Christopher Carl (“Captain Von Trapp”) starring in the 1959 Tony-winner, The Sound Of Music, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp, musical direction by Dennis Castellano, choreography by Peggy Hickey and direction by Glenn Casale. Cast also includes Julia Burrows, Suzanna Guzmán, Joe Hart, Cory Lingner, Amanda Minano, Josh Durrant, Ava Madison Gray, Elizabeth Last, Erin Tardibuono, Mackenzie Wrap, Bradley Bundlie, Gordon Goodman,  Janna Cardia, Linda Griffin and Rebecca Spencer, as well as an eight member ensemble. Opens Apr 18.


  • Victory Theatre Center presents its recurring Backstory, an evening of stories, poetry, and “flights of fancy,” told around a theatrical theme. This month, Erica Blumfield, Roger Lowenstein, Bill Mohr, Carl Weinstein and Kathleen Wilhoite ruminate around the theme of “The Ten Commandments,” hosted by Adele Slaughter, Mar 13 at The Big Vic in Burbank.
  • Off My Head Storytelling, produced and hosted by Ty France, features solo storytellers Glen Dunzweiler, Bill Gucwa, Pablo Marz, Erica Gerard, Pam Noles and Katya Duft. Takes place Mar 26 at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.


  • Playwright Chiara Atik, director Alana Dietze and cast members discuss The Echo Theatre production of Poor Clare, opening Mar 14 in Atwater Village 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 

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.