Results tagged “Mia Bonadonna”

'Let Them Eat Meat' Tells Hilariously Crude Stories

Focusing on the fall and eventual heart-warming rise through life of Sacre's younger brother, the script works itself out like an autobiographically twisted family tree. While in many ways standing as a totem for all families born out of common, all-forgiving eccentricity, eccentricity, Sacre channels his brothers as seen through the eyes of their elders to tell a story that is full of circumspect authenticity, loving homage, and luck-filled cadences.

'Home: A Dramatic Improvisation' Brings Instant Awesomeness To The Stage

The pressure generated from making up a play on the spot is always redirected into a simmering, contagious warmth imbued with gravitas. The set for the production is simple, but does give the audience the sense that they are willing spies, and at times, voyeurs, into the lives of the central characters. What the production lack in over-rehearsed polish, it makes up for in raw, gritty authenticity that is absolutely enjoyable.

'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical' Puts the Pomp in Pompadour at Pantages Theatre

If you threw Lisa Frank stationary, Busby Berkely, and an assortment of club drugs in a blender, you would end up with the Priscilla-worthy concoction of boisterous staging that Philips, Brian Thomson (set sesign), Tim Chappel (costuming), and Lizzy Gardiner (costuming) have wrought.

Behind the Scenes With Country's Only Blind-Centric Theatre Company

Many of the performers use theatre to overcome fears after being thrust into blindness in adulthood from reasons that range from domestic abuse to being a shooting victim. Others use it to gain confidence in a dark world that is predisposed to those that can see.

'Slipping' Explores Self-Hate, Homophobia, and Acceptance at Lillian Theatre

Slipping is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of what it brings to audiences, although the net outcome is surely a positive one. The New York Times rightly described Slipping as a "Gay Rebel Without a Cause" story following its New York premier, and in being so it accurately captures the confusion-driven teenage mindset.

'Alabama Baggage' Puts Dark Secrets, Pedophilia And Death Center Stage

Taboo-prodding drama, Alabama Baggage, is playing at Theatre Asylum. A chance graveside meeting reveals that two previously unacquainted men were sexually abused by the same pedophile during childhood.

'Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth' Shows Off The Softer, Weirder Side Of The Boxing Great

What makes Mike Tyson's performance inherently different from other one-man shows is that he isn't self-pitying or whiny or looking for acceptance. He works the stage warmly and graciously, wholly unfettered by pretentiousness. Tyson's delivery is not perfect, but his uniquely-honed personality shines through an undeniable stage presence marked by humor and earnest simplicity.

Alex Lyras Talks Foxconn, Apple Evils & 'The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs'

The last fucking thing we want in the theatre is strict journalism. I don't want strict journalism in the theatre. That is not why I am there. The lights go down, I am din the dark, I'm watching something on stage, not reading the newspaper in my living room.

'Deep Throat Sex Scandal' Heats Up Zephyr Theater With Onstage Sex Scenes, Plenty Of Penis Jokes

Having the actors reenact the iconic scenes from Deep Throat is a clever and engaging touch. The play doesn't always flow well, but the trade off is that you get to bask in the warm glow of gorgeous naked actors.

'Walking the Tightrope' Enchants Both Kids and Grown-Ups Alike at 24th Street Theatre

Set in a quaint British seaside village during the 1950s, Kenny's script follows Esme (a young girl) and her Granddad Stan as they come to terms with the death of her grandmother. Attempting to spare Esme grief, Granddad initially tells her that her grandma has joined the circus as a tightrope walker. As the characters create new norms for their family, the play touches upon themes such as growing up, life changes, home, family, tradition, and longing. Under the direction of Debbie Devine, Walking the Tightrope is funny, sweet, moving, and perfectly enjoyable for both adults and little ones over the age of six.

'The Misadventures of Rick the Strangler' Brings Hitmen & Hipsters to Electric Lodge

Brian Peterson's hipsterized organized crime comedy, The Misadventures of Rick the Strangler, is playing at Electric Lodge in Venice. Set in a squalid apartment, the script follows assassin-for-hire Rick and his finger-eating dog through their pursuit of happiness exploits in the underground economy.

WTF Meets Steampunk Wonderment in LOFT Ensemble's 'LoveSick'

For this love story, the boy is a graveyard-dwelling, alligator owning, shy charmer absorbed will all things morbid; the girl is the epitome of sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice sweetness who always leaves a trail of flowers and frosting-scented kindness in her wake.

Civil Rights Epic 'The Good Negro' Brings Powerful Performances to Hudson Theatre

Wilson's script does not really ask questions or reveal anything new, but it does illustrate that although young, our country does indeed have its own epic, and in the case of the mid-century Civil Rights Movement, one that must be honored with collective pride.

'7, Eight, 9' Brings Heartfelt Angeleno Authenticity to Studio/Stage

Through an authentically local voice, complex characters, and hearty nonlinear storytelling, Cedillo fuses crime and social drama to depict the intersection of morality, disenfranchisement, and depravity via three underdog best friends.

Hoarder Rom-Com 'Dirty Filthy Love Story' Brings Sex, Violence, and Crud-Infused Infatuation to Rogue Machine

Dirty Filthy Love Story is a perfectly executed, short and slovenly bout of fun that challenges the typical boundaries of theatre in true Rogue Machine style, and certainly serves as a reminder of just how fun and enjoyable theatre can be.

Doomsday Cabaret: It Was The Best of Times, It Was The End of Times

The show's energized cast injects catchy and weird, permanently brain penetrating lyrics into the brain as they tease and heckle each other on the last day of Earth. While simple and unassuming in character, Doomsday Cabaret is charmingly seedy, fun, kitschy, and infused with local Angeleno underground sensibilities.

Sage of the Stage Ben Vereen On 'Steppin' Out,' Empowering Youth, and Stephen Hawking

Ben Vereen is a masterful singer, actor, dancer; and in short, a legend own right. LAist spoke to Vereen about uniting the theatre community, empowering young creatives, inspiration, and about his upcoming show, Stepping Out with Ben Vereen at Santa Monica's Broad Stage.

Home Is Where the Art Is: cARTel's Living Room Tour Returns With 'We Are Gathered Here'

Joe Drescher's We Are Gathered Here depicts an encounter between an unsure groom on the night before his wedding, an ex-girlfriend that is very determined to stop the wedding, and their circle of overly-involved, occasionally bitch-slapping friends.

Roller Skate Musical 'Xanadu' Is An Instant Cult Classic

Do you ever daydream about a place where roller skates, rainbow colors, singing, live Electric Light Orchestra covers, Pegasus, cotton candy, glitter, astral plane stuff, blonde wigs, tube socks, dancers, and Cyclops could exist together in peace and harmony with the sole purpose of making you deliriously, fabulously happy? If you answered yes, then you're in luck because that is EXACTLY what you will get at DOMA Theatre Company's production of Xanadu at the MET Theatre.

'Helen' at the Getty is One Big WTF Moment for the Annals of Classical Theatre

You know that suffocating, mindless feeling you get when you are trapped in the slow-moving crowd of otherwise absorbed tourists, excessive pop culture, landscape pollution, and costumed characters at Hollywood and Highland? Yeah, that is exactly what it feel like to watch this rendering of Helen.

How The La Brea Tar Pits Inspired An Exhilarating Theater Festival

We were informed that the Page Museum's pet peeve is bad science. It was really cool to have a real paleontologist work as my dramaturg. We got the chance to actually meet paleontologists and hang out with them. They took us around the museum and we asked them a shit ton of questions. The scientists were really cool!

Hyper-Realism Meets Seedy Noir in 'Tape' at the Los Feliz Motel

Under the hyper-realistic direction of Ian Forester, Tape is a dichotomy of vigorously orchestrated theatre and always in-the-moment intuitive flux. Forester goes straight to the heart of Belber's play and thrusts the all of the thickened, anxiously unnameable emotion of the work out into the enveloping collective of misplaced audience and performers huddled together in a dimly defiled motel room.

The Power of Christ Compels 'The Exorcist' at Geffen Playhouse

This stage version of The Exorcist is not the all out evil vomitorium that the film is, but there are some interesting special effects to be had during the performance. Frightening loud and startling noises, bright flashes of bluish light, mid-air levitation, churchy-smelling incense, and a specially piped in demonic-stench that wafts through the theatre are all part of the experience.

Bittersweet Love Swells in the Social Underbelly of L.A. in 'Birds of a Feather' at Ruby Theatre

Based on the lives of real people known to the playwright, Birds of a Feather is a perfectly constructed, nicely staged, entertaining play that stays true to its real-life roots through Hart's fearless embrace of uncertainty. Hart's script is full of earnest, endearing sincerity for all people regardless of social status.

Uranium Madhouse Explores Brainwashing & Identity in 'A Man's a Man' at Atwater Village

As central character Gayly Gay, Terence Leclere conveys a perfectly discerning delicacy and empathic angst for the deconstructed Gayly. Leclere also has a this weird, but ultimately compelling Dan Aykroyd kind of vibe that we really dig.

Lovers Face Doomsday in Sci-Fi Space Musical 'Earthbound'

Falling somewhere between Buck Rogers, Crimson Tide, and the Heaven's Gate cult, Earthbound is a unique and suspenseful doomsday premonition infused with philosophical after-life questioning all set to song by a talented and engaging cast.

Why We Love L.A. Summers: Dog Days All Around Town

Summer has arrived, and we're ready to celebrate all that screams 'tis the season in Los Angeles. From sand to summit, from sips to snacks -- we love L.A. summers.

cARTel's 'Family Forest: An Immersive Experience' Merges Ancestry and Art

Guided by a lanky, paternal narrator who sits at the base of a whimsical family tree, the Family Forest cast-creators take their audience through several generations of their own understated and endearing family stories. Through fluid reflection, oral histories are actively molded into beautifully crafted and highly varied vignettes steeped in tangible theatrical sepia.

Why We Love L.A. Summers: Revel in Classic Outdoor Theatre

Summer has arrived, and we're ready to celebrate all that screams 'tis the season in Los Angeles. From sand to summit, from sips to snacks -- we love L.A. summers.

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012: 'Fool for Love' and 'Lost Moon Radio'

The cast stylishly executes the pseudo radio show with an endearing local slant and perfect, engaged comedic timing that it utterly energizing. We think we'll be laughing at Dan Oster's performance as a texting, bad-ass cowboy for years to come.

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012: Surrealist Plays Abound with 'In Dream' and 'Reconstruction'

If In Dream and Reconstruction came to fruition in 1959, Rod Serling certainly would have commissioned them as Twilight Zone teleplays.

Gender Bending 1950s Farce 'Leading Ladies' Plays at International City Theatre

The extremely wholesome, middle-America sort of undertone in Ludwig's work sent us into the theatre full of this-is-gonna-suck-pessimism; but the cast's perfectly executed performances, high-quality staging, and flawless direction in a cushy and clean venue (cushy and clean is a rarity in Los Angeles) quickly won us over. This production of Leading Ladies most definitely proved itself as an enjoyable night of theatre.

Hollywood Fringe Festival Features Local and International Plays With a Nautical Twist

Owen Thomas' delectably macabre Richard Parker depicts two men trapped in a disturbing, self-perpetuating stranded-at-sea horror story born out of tragically avoidable destiny and credence-infused historical coincidence. Thomas' work is full of the sort of creepy, fascinating, reflexively spun dialogue that draws cold sweat out of the palms.

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Putting on a Show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

Theatre, or at least the theatre that I try to make, tries to make you see things or think about things that you don't ordicinarity think about. It tries to give you an emotional experience that you don't get to ordinarily have.

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012: 'First Love/Worst Love,' 'D is for Dog,' & 'Uncle Jermy's Smyle Hour'

Some shows at the Hollywood Fringe Festival are meant only for adorable itty-bitty kid theatregoers, but D is for Dog, First Love/Worst Love, and Uncle Jermy's Smyle Hour sure as hell (and quite thankfully) are not that kind of kid-friendly fare.

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012: 'Gentle Passage' and 'Confessions of a Cat Lady'

Price's typhoon-like delivery of her unique feline-driven humor is flawless, energizing, and constantly hilarious. She is basically the living, breathing, physical embodiment of brightly colored Lisa Frank unicorn and dolphin school supply paraphernalia.

'The Fool and the Red Queen' Takes Us On A Brilliant, Surrealist Jaunt

The Fool and the Red Queen is beautifully crafted with impeccable performances, striking staging, and insightful dialogue that blurs the boundaries between narrative, meta narrative and fluid streams of consciousness.

Sandra Bernhard Talks 'Sandrology,' Food & the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse

Sandra Bernhard is back in town at REDCAT with her new stage show, Sandrology. She is perhaps best known for her biting social commentary, energized performance style, and edgy glamour; but there is another side to the comedienne that rarely comes across while she entertaining.

'BitchSlap!' Resurrects Hollywood Divas Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Hedda Hopper With A Vengeance

In this coup de camp, Hagen retells the well-known but never tiring story of the jealousy-charged Davis-Crawford feud through the eyes of powerful gossip columnist, Hopper. BitchSlap! offers its audience lots of silver screen history, memorable What Ever Happened to Baby Jane moments, and extravagant belly laughs all wrapped up nice and tight in a barrage of juicy gossip and catty bitchiness.

'Cafe Vida' Brings Realities of Gang Life and Food Politics to the Stage

The non-professional cast culled from Homeboy Industries lends not only their own personal stories and experiences to the script, but brings passion to their stage performances that is easy to appreciate and root for. Their line delivery may not be perfect or of professional caliber, but it is indeed heartfelt and comes from a place of knowing, intuition, and love.

Not Psycho Enough: 'Psycho Beach Party' at Morgan-Wixon Theatre

While most are probably familiar with the cult-destined, drag-driven film version from 2000, Psycho Beach Party was originally envisioned by Busch as a stage venture. The work opened Off-Broadway in 1987, with Busch himself leading the cast as Chicklet. At the time, Stephen Holden's New York Times review basically called the production a little slice of campy heaven.

From the Indecency of Prejudice, the Narratives of "Camp Logan" at LATC Recount Extraordinary Events

Wallace's Camp Logan is full of richly-crafted, touching, and earnest soldier narratives that serve as a humanizing anchor to the off-the-handle discrimination depicted in the play. She uses typical men and everyday encounters as a vehicle to recount extraordinary events borne out of the common indecency of prejudice.

Dazed Nurses Duke it Out with an Evil Doll in 'Sukie and Sue: Their Story'

The script is far from genius, but Sanderson hones in LaChiusa's cynical silliness to craft an entertaining night of theatre. The giddy-squeal inducing special effects by Matt Falletta are extremely fun, and definitely worth the price of admission.

Carson McCuller's Only Play, 'The Square Root of Wonderful,' Revived at Raven Playhouse

Overall, this production of The Square Root of Wonderful is watchable and offers some truly superb performances, but it falls short of reaching it full potential through some distracting theatrical missteps by its lead.

'Girl Most Likely To' Brings Filipino Culture & Transgender Youth Issues to the Stage at LATC

Premsrirat's play is a bit preachy and sometimes feels like an unfulfilled fairy tale, but his narrative ultimately reflects deserving stories that are rarely represented in any sort of art or media, that of Filipino culture and the struggles of transgender youth.

'Goose and Tomtom' is a Surrealist, Hilarious, Mind-Fuck of a Play

The cast of Goose and Tomtom gives a performance that is so immensely exhilarating and pleasurable to watch that the audience's story-processing brain parts start to explode from overexposure to sustained theatrical, philosophical, and comedic acuity.

A Surprisingly Warm-and-Fuzzy Suicide Parable: "The Bridge Club" at Deaf West

The grim beginnings of Raskind's work twists unexpectedly into a platonic love-at-first-sight-story draped in a cutesy ghost-story. The plot probably would have benefited from darker, sadder writing, but it is easy to appreciate the bleak suicide facts that speckle the script and the playwright's decision to not pass judgment on the morality of suicide.

The 9-Year-Old Founder of Caine's Arcade Tells Us What It's Like to Be the Coolest Kid in America

While shooting goals through a playing field of little green toy soldiers with the afternoon rush of his dad's auto parts store buzzing around him he discussed school, playing games, fame, fortune, business ethos, and happiness. Caine gave LAist a tour of all of his arcade games...sfter completing his homework, of course.

Impressive Mess of Aesthetic Brilliance: 'Eternal Thou' at Atwater Village

The script is quite dense and subtly genius which makes this brief description of McCray's play seem somehow inadequately descriptive, so try to image what a theatrical love-child of Tron and David Byrne's True Stories would be like and you will be well on your path to grasping Eternal Thou.

Love, Obsession, & The Easter Bunny: Meet Candace Frazee, Owner of The Bunny Museum

Pasadena is home to the Bunny Museum, a world record holding living museum that houses thousands upon thousands of bunny knick-knacks, trinkets, and tchotchkes. This wonderful little curiosity spot is housed within the walls of a quaint residential Victory Park cottage nestled at the foot of Mount Wilson.

Morgan Spurlock's 'Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope' Is An Homage to Fandom

While Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope is about the comic-con crowd, the film's underlying themes of hope, community, acceptance, and the human capacity to be extraordinary make the film boundlessly inclusive and universally engaging.

'Small Engine Repair' & 'Re-Animator the Musical' Win Big at LA Weekly Theatre Awards

Rogue Machine's Artistic Director John Flynn, waxed knowingly about the shared theatrical lifeblood of Los Angeles. Flynn eloquently declared, "Art is transformative. It can change the world. It isn't what we do, but how we do it that is transformative."

The Federal Reserve and Vampires are Hungry for Fresh Blood in 'The Vault: Bankrupt'

Watching the The Vault: Bankrupt is like witnessing the awkward love-child of Wall Street and The Rocky Horror Picture Show on its first day at work as a bastardized and modernized 1950s educational film, but, you know, on a stage.

Contemporary Sex Comedy 'The Boomerang Effect' at Odyssey Theatre is a Guilty Pleasure

The scenes with the Kat Bailess (as Julie) and Charles Howerton (as Alexander) are particularly juicy as the pair dukes it out in a deliciously premeditated power scheme. Bailess is gutsy and electric, while Howerton is poised, subtle and potent.

Calling All Angelenos: Strike a Pose in Massive 99% Aerial Photo

"All in for the 99%" has sent out a city-wide call for Angelenos to come out this Saturday to pose for an aerial photo shoot of our local 99% en masse. The shoot is part of an all-day "All in for the 99%" public art exhibition to raise awareness about the issues surrounding the 99% movement.

LAist Interviews: Val Kilmer Dons a 'Stache to Play Mark Twain

Twain was an outspoken critic and really funny, but has that special spark that comes from intellectual experience. Twain came before Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor. He started the great tradition of being outspoken!

'Cages' Playwright Leonard Manzella Talks Prison Reform, Humanity & Conversations With Inmates

While sitting in a bright and simple deli on Hollywood Boulevard watching various costumed characters from Grauman's Chinese Theatre wander by, LAist chatted with Leonard Manzella about his new play and his ideas about prison reform.

cARTel's 'Sound/Stage' Brings Back Old Hollywood Glamour at El Cid

The cARTel Collaborative Arts LA series strives to build a link between today's creative community of local artists and those yesteryear Hollywood hopefuls that came eras before. This homage to L.A.'s art ancestors blends modern aesthetic sensibilities with classic charm for a night of (in the words of the director Negin Singh) "sustainable story-telling with a little bit of glamour."

You Should Go See This Play Now: 'The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King' at Atwater Village Theatre

Dolan respectfully approaches inequality paradigms in a way that is rarely found in any arena -- be it political, economic, social, or artistic. The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King is not pandering, jokey, insulting, or overly-academic; but rather wonderfully insightful, fearless, and honorable.

Tony Kushner's Cheeky Adaptation of 'The Illusion' Plays at A Noise Within

Under the direction of Casey Stangl, The Illusion is visually enchanting and peppered with fine performers and a most excellent surprise ending. While the philosophical undertones of The Illusion are geared toward a sophisticated adult audience, the charming staging of this production has tons of kid-friendly appeal and is perfectly suited for budding theatre patrons.

Psychological Prison Drama 'Cages' Releases Irony & Terrifying Characters

Cages is entertaining and well-rounded with a largely capable cast, engaging script, excellent staging, and insightful direction. The title is an eerie reference to so-called "therapeutic modules" used in prisons to contain inmates during group therapy sessions.

Snake Love Story: 'Slither' at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

True to their mission—presenting theatre in unconventional spaces—this Chalk Repertory (Chalk Rep) production takes place within a stately sacred space within the Masonic Lodge that previously was not open for women to enter. Slither features intriguing plot twists, charismatic performers, and an alchemistic take on theatrical space.

Women and Their Monologues: 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf'

From a literary perspective, these poems could and do hold their own, but fully staged the choreopoem is transformed into a meaty, passion-filled series of interconnected monologues that deal with rape, domestic violence, sex, abortion, consciousness, and god. This production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf features an exceptionally talented cast, live music, and engaging direction.

Some Things are Better Left Unstaged: 'Pentagon Papers' at Santa Monica Playhouse

While the infamy of the subject matter presented could have resulted in a gripping historical drama, and while it is clear that writer and director John Power meant well, this production is painfully slow and untheatrical. In fact, it bears more resemblance to a class presentation of a history project than a play.

Deranged Duo Gets Deconstructionist in 'Brilliant Traces' at Lounge 2

This atmospheric production of Brilliant Traces features extraordinary actors, expressive direction, and gripping dialog reminiscent of a hectic night shift at a psychiatric facility.

Death Becomes Him: 'Expecting to Fly' at Elephant Space

Through distinctive performance, artful direction and graceful staging, Expecting to Fly merges regret, longing, affection, memory, appreciation, warmth and absolution into a single gem of a play.

LAist Interviews 'Short Eyes' Director Julian Acosta

Amid the downtown cacophony of armored truck traffic, bustling pedestrians, coffee cups clinking against saucers, and an overheard gypsy curse, LAist talked to Short Eyes director and Artistic Director for Urban Theatre Movement, Julian Acosta.

Comic Book Comes Alive In Furious Theatre Company's 'No Good Deed'

The complex staging of No Good Deed must be a nightmare to direct, but Damaso Rodriguez smoothly orchestrates the entire production with raw grace and a little kitsch. In fact, Rodriguez has crafted an indie-version of Broadway's , minus all of the Spiderman failures, of course.

Interrogation Drama: 'Oswald' Fleshes Out a Dramatic Chapter of American History

Playing Lee Harvey Oswald, Perez's performance is wonderfully engaging, direct, and full of vitality. He keeps the audience on their toes, never fully indicating whether Oswald is a manic, defiant assassin or the only sane man in the room. The role of Oswald appears to be incredibly challenging, but Perez never once lets the audience down.

Salute Noir: 'Absolute Black' at Zombie Joe's Underground

Vanessa Cate's dapper murder mystery, Absolute Black, is currently playing at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre in North Hollywood. This homage to film noir whodunits follows a nameless, witty private eye and two bumbling police officers as they try interrogate suspects after the untimely death of an up-and-coming Hollywood starlet.

Kathleen Turner Smolders in 'Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins' In Spite of a Script That's Pretty 'Meh'

The left coast premier of the biopic work Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins is currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse. The ever-smoky Kathleen Turner resurrects the saucy journalist through this staged adaptation by twin-sister playwrights Margaret and Allison Engel.

Gloriously Revived: Miguel Pinero's 'Short Eyes' at LATC

Miguel Pinero's penetrating, taboo-breaching prison drama Short Eyes is currently at Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC). Co-produced by the Latino Theater Company and Urban Theatre Movement, this exciting production is dark, exhilarating, and utterly glorious. Pinero flaunts violence and poetry while navigating delicate moral, ethical, and social dilemmas contextualized by power dynamics and incarceration culture.

Intense and Edifying: Whitmore Eclectic's 'Betrayed' at Lyric Theatre

New Yorker journalist George Packer's engrossing Iraq War drama Betrayed is in its last weekend at Lyric Theatre. Packer's work is based on true accounts of Iraqi citizens working as translators in the Green Zone.

Bring a Pillow, Get Comfy on the Couch: 'Amongst the Trees' at cARTel's Living Room Tour

Lauren Smerkanich's masterfully crafted, thoroughly enjoyable drama, Amongst the Trees, is making rounds throughout the city as part of cARTel's Living Room Tour. The produciton features exceptional writing, direction, and performance in a unique, unpretentious, and welcoming atmosphere.

'Hope, Part II of a Mexican Trilogy' at LATC

Retro family drama Hope, Part II of a Mexican Trilogy, is playing at Los Angeles Theatre Center. Falling somewhere between Hairspray, West Side Story, and The Wonder Years,, Hope depicts the interpersonal relationships of the Garcia family as they are impacted by the major political events of 1962.

Not a Dry Eye in the House: 'Next Fall' at Geffen Playhouse

Geoffrey Nauffts' dramatic tear-jerker, Next Fall brings the emotional crux of the Gay Rights Movement to the Geffen Playhouse. Presenting homophobic family dynamics, tragic endings, and a realistic religious debate that tackles the incongruities and salves of faith, the play features charged performances, careful direction, and a bold script.

Civil Rights, L.A. History, and Baseball: 'Juan and John' at LATC

Roger Guenveur Smith's energetic one-man biopic, Juan and John, is at Los Angeles Theatre Center. The show transverses the Civil Rights Movement, local Los Angeles history, and the relationship between baseball legends John Roseboro and Juan Marichal following their on-field fight in 1965.

Theatre Review: Cowboy Drama 'Pulling Leather' at Actors Forum

Ted Ryan's urban-cowboy drama, Pulling Leather, is currently playing at Actors Forum Theatre in North Hollywood. The plot follows a good-natured competitive rodeo rider through a low point in his career as he uncovers a dark family secret and falls in love.

Theatre Review: 'Addition by Subtraction' at El Centro Theatre

RJ Colleary's underdog drama, Addition by Subtraction, is currently playing at El Centro Theatre. The plot follows a misunderstood and unlikely avenger as he attempts deliverance through vigilante tactics. Addition by Subtraction lacks originality but does feature capable performers, emotionally charged monologues, and a thoughtful set.

Theatre Review: 'Mommie Queerest' at Cabaret Ultra Suede

Jamie Morris and Brooks Braselman in 'Mommie Queerest' (photo by Mitch Soileau). Jamie Morris' hilarious drag homage to Joan Crawford, Mommie Queerest, is back in Los Angeles once last time to round out a nationwide tour of the show. This reviewer has had the guilty pleasure of seeing this stage adaptation of Mommie Dearest twice before — and just like the film, this play gets better with every viewing. The production is a well-balanced...

Raunchy & Crass With a Conscience, 'The Vault: (Unlocked)' at LATC

Based on the true stories of Downtown residents, the slightly seedy and deeply hilarious gentrification fable "The Vault: (Unlocked)" is currently playing at Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC). Vault Ensemble pokes fun at the hipster colonization of Downtown Los Angeles, bundling social commentary on redevelopment and loss of urban culture into an edgy farce with musical influences.

Stunning Anti-War Play 'Trojan Women (After Euripides)' at Getty Villa

A stunning rendition of the ancient anti-war classic, Trojan Women (After Euripides), is playing at Getty Villa. The 2,426 year-old play depicts the brutal aftermath of the mythological Trojan War through dishonor, rape, infanticide, mass murder, enslavement, urban decimation, and despair.

Art Imitates Life in Comic-Centric 'Stranger Things'

Under the direction of Ronnie Clark, Ghost Road Company's experimental play Stranger Things brings a purgatorial graphic novel to life through a stark pencil-sketch landscape, multimedia effects, and strong performances. Impressionist music, steely drawings, and austere characters transform grim abstractions into a conceptual drama where the art itself slowly siphons off individuals members of a creepy family.

Somewhere Between Low Humor and High Morality: 'Guided Consideration of a Lamentable Deed'

Falling somewhere between the low humor of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the high morality of Charles Dickens, Frank Basloe's Guided Consideration of a Lamentable Deed follows an otherworldly guide through an ethical and redemptive journey on the eve of a college graduation.

A Park a Day: White Point Beach, San Pedro

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

A Park a Day: Rosie's Dog Beach, Long Beach

July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2011: 'Born to be on Stage,' 'Four Clowns,' and 'Next Best Thing,'

Alexis Jones, Raymond Lee, Zach Steel, and Kevin Klein in 'Four Clowns: Romeo & Juliet' (photo by Mustafa Sayed). Hollywood Fringe Festival 2011 encompasses more than theatre and musicals -- it also features perverted and crass clowns in Four Clowns:Romeo and Juliet; a Moroccan mime in Born to be on Stage; and a narrative storytelling in Next Best Thing. Through twisted humor, live music, and audience interaction Four Clowns gives clowning some much needed...

RADAR LA 2011: 'Car Plays,' 'State of Incarceration,' 'Ground to Cloud,' 'Myth and Infrastructure'

Miwa Matreyek in 'Myth and Infrastructure' (photo by Scott Groller). Experimental theatre, simply put, is an art form that differs from the typical staged theatre paradigm where an invisible audience consumes action and dialogue on a stage. RADAR LA's primary objective is to showcase these non-traditional works from contemporary performance companies. The 2011 RADAR LA charges on with four more experimental pieces at Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC) and REDCAT that question the validity...

RADAR LA 2011: 'Amarillo,' 'Method Gun,' 'Fierce Love (Remix),' 'As you are now so once were we'

Brian Bennett, Nyree Yergainharsian, Rob McDermott, and Tanya Wilsown in 'As you are now so once were we' (photo by Ros Kavanagh). LAist continues coverage of the RADAR LA International Festival of Contemporary Theatre with four more shows: San Francisco's Pomo Afro Homos and Mexico's Teatro Linea de Sombra bring works that deal with crucial human emotions that are often forgotten amid politicized tension. Ireland's The Company and Rude Mechs from Texas offer process...

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2011: 'Deity Clutch,' 'Dumb Waiter,' 'Glint'

Kristopher Lee Bicknell and Jordan Randal in 'Dumb Waiter' (photo by Landon Johnson). Fringe festivals showcase works and performers that come to the stage without the benefit of politicized production channels. This year's Hollywood Fringe Festival conjures dark aesthetics from both large and small scale plays including a dapper 1950s British gangster one-act by Harold Pinter, an ironic David Foster Wallace adaptation from Need Theater, and a new work by LA based Gus Krieger...

RADAR LA 2011: '2 Dimensional Life of Her,' 'The Word Begins'

Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews in 'The Word Begins' (photo courtesy of Signature Theatre). The RADAR LA International Festival of Contemporary Theatre is the fruit of the combined efforts of the Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), the folks from Public Theatre's Under the Radar Festival, and the Roy & Edna Disney/ CalArts Theatre (REDCAT). This year's RADAR LA prominently showcases works that obscure the traditional parameters of theatre. Indulgences for both the eyes and...

'Blackbird' at Rogue Machine

Sam Anderson and Corryn Cummins in 'Blackbird' (photo by John Flynn). David Harrower's taboo exploring drama, Blackbird, is currently at Rogue Machine. This single scene one act depicts a tension wracked meeting between Una and Ray, 15 years after their pedophilic sexual affair when Una was still a child. Throughout the course of the plot, the characters of Harrower's script slowly reveal opposing emotional complexities that are both ugly and compelling in nature. Blackbird...

'South of Delancey' at Fremont Centre Theatre

Jodi Fleisher and Barry Alan Levine in 'South of Delancey.' (Photo by Dove Huntley) South of Delancey, a new history inflected docu-drama play by Karen Sommers, is currently at Fremont Centre Theatre. Based on an actual 1940s rabbinical arbitration radio program, the play enacts real family crises from archival radio audio and imagined fictional back stories. South of Delancey features relatable characters, vintage audio, competent performers, and a period set that gives the audience...

'The Au Pair Man' At Raven Playhouse

Hugh Leonard's dry humored, The Au Pair Man, is playing at Raven Playhouse in conjunction with the Celtic Arts Center. Through unusual circumstances surrounding the employ of a young Irish man by a creepy English matron, this dialogue heavy period piece is a social commentary on the traps of classism and ironic cruelty.

'Caught' at Zephyr Theatre

Will Beinbrink and Mackenzie Austin in 'Caught.' (Photo by Michael Lamont) David Ray's intense and heartening family drama, Caught, is playing at Zephyr Theatre. Now in its 25th week, Caught is currently the longest running play in Los Angeles. This eight month run is remarkable considering the substantial competition for Los Angeles audiences and the pervasive theatrical disinterest that haunts the city. Caught uses emotionally charged writing, excellent performances, instinctive direction, and a rich...

'Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays' at LA Gay & Lesbian Center

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays is currently playing at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. The show features nine short one-act plays from nine distinguished and notable playwrights including Jeffrey Hatcher, Jordan Harrison, Moises Kaufman, Joe Keenen, Neal LaBute, Wendy McLeod, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright. A rotating cast that changes each week performs each piece as a staged reading.

'Mad Women' at Skylight Theatre

John Fleck in 'Mad Women.' (Photo by Ed Krieger) John Fleck's whirlwind one-man show about two women -- his mom and Judy Garland -- is currently playing at Skylight Theatre is Los Feliz. Fleck's narrative concurrently enacts Garland's last performance in Los Angeles and sentimental moments with his own mother, Josephine, near the end of her life after an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. The performance features multi-media, a rare Garland recording, and audience participation. Fleck...

Theatre Review: 'Curse of the Starving Class' at Open Fist

Ian Nelson with Juju the lamb in 'Curse of the Starving Class.' (Photo by Maia Rosenfeld) Sam Shepard's dark melodrama Curse of the Starving Class is currently playing at Open Fist Theatre on Hollywood's Theatre Row. Shepard uses biographical references to his own childhood on an avocado-and-sheep ranch in Duarte, CA as a device to highlight the virtual impossibility for social mobility in the United States. Through tragic and utterly unstable characters, the play...

Musical Review: 'Rent' at Secret Warehouse Location

Adam Shapiro in "Rent." (Photo by Kat Hess) Jonathan Larson's celebrated rock musical, Rent, is currently running at a secret warehouse location in Mission Junction. Perfectly contextualized in an atmospheric, industrial setting, this production of Rent features hearty, resonant voices, emotionally charged performances, live musical accompaniment, and appreciable direction by Kate Sullivan and Caitlin Hart that remains true to the 1996 Broadway original. Each member of the large ensemble cast of is capable and...

Emergency Room with a Joule: 'Entropy General' at MADhouse

Alive Theatre's current production at MADhouse is the silly and deranged Entropy General. The tone of playwright Ryan McClary's hilarious script falls somewhere between M*A*S*H* and the late 1970s satire Soap with its off-color, often physical humor spliced with deep philosophical speculation about the meaning of...

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