ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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February 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

FEBRUARY FUN!

Clockwise from the left: Kneehigh's The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk; Sussan Deyhim in The House is Black Media Project; Saffron Burrows, star of Jackie Unveiled; Patti LuPone, appearing in Broadway @ The Wallis with Seth Rudetsky

FEBRUARY FUN!

  • By William Nedved
  • Photos Courtesy of The Wallis

The Wallis in Beverly Hills promises some truly wonderful cultural offerings this month. Saffron Burrows (Mozart in the Jungle) plays none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the world premiere of playwright Tom Dugan’s one-woman play Jackie Unveiled. Iranian-American artist Sussan Deyhim makes her Wallis debut with The House is Black Media Project, a timely celebration of the work of Iranian feminist icon Forough Farrokhzad.

The Wallis once again partners with The ASCAP Foundation for the third annual Musical Theatre Workshop, as well as an evening with Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz hosting composers Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich, Cinco Paul and special guest Megan Hilty. Showtune aficionados will also want to catch Broadway @ The Wallis with Patti LuPone and Seth Rudetsky.

The UK’s Kneehigh Theatre returns to The Wallis for their third engagement (after Brief Encounter in ‘14 and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips in ‘17) with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, about the romance between Russian-French artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella. Last but certainly not least, Kneehigh founder David Mynne brings his family-friendly adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations – in which he plays all of the characters!

To learn more, click here.

BY THE SPOONFUL!

Water by the Spoonful is now playing through March 19th at the Mark Taper Forum

BY THE SPOONFUL!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of CTG

Center Theatre Group brings Tony Award winner Quiara Alegría Hudes’ (In the Heights) Pulitzer Prize-winning Water by the Spoonful, a play about a Puerto Rican Iraq War veteran named Elliot Ortiz struggling with civilian life back home in Philadelphia, to the Mark Taper Forum. Elliot’s traumatic journey first alternates then overlaps with four recovering crack addicts — a janitor, software mogul, college grad and IRS worker – seeking redemption and support via an online chat forum.

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, Water by the Spoonful is the second in a trilogy of plays by Hudes centering on the Ortiz family. CTG will also concurrently present the trilogy’s first play, Hudes’ Pulitzer finalist Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, while The Latino Theater Company hosts the Elliot Trilogy’s final installment with their production of The Happiest Song Plays Last at the Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC). It is the first time all three plays will run at the same time in one city.

“Ms. Hudes writes with such empathy and vibrant humor about people helping one another to face down their demons that regeneration and renewal always seem to be just around the corner.”  — The New York Times.

Water By the Spoonful” playing now through March 11th.

SELL/BUY/DATE!

SELL/BUY/DATE at the Geffen Playhouse

SELL/BUY/DATE!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

Tony Award-winner Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) brings her celebrated chameleonic performance skills to the Geffen Playhouse with Sell/Buy/Date, a new solo show about commercial sex work directed by Carolyn Cantor. Set in the distant future, Jones plays Dr. Serene Campbell, a British sociology professor instructing her class about the past experiences of people working in or affected by the sex trade. Jones travelled to brothels, strip clubs and red-light districts worldwide interviewing both workers and consumers to investigate the topic.

Jones channels 19 female and male characters inspired by her research including: a Trinidadian home-care attendant turned sex worker who pretends to be Jamaican for “marketing purposes,” an Irish woman forced into prostitution to support herself and her heroin-addicted boyfriend, an African-American pimp turned “motivational speaker, life coach and therapist,” a Native-American comedian performing at the “Porn Comedy Awards,” and a Russian virtual-reality sex entrepreneur who runs a chain of brothels he calls “hotels with enhanced amenities.”

“There are many performers who play multiple characters in their one-person shows, but few do it as seamlessly and effectively as Jones, who shifts genders, ages and ethnicities with such fluidity, it makes you wonder if she suffers from multiple personality disorder.” — Hollywood Reporter

Plays February 27 – April 8. For more information, click here.

Trump in Space!

Trump in Space’s Nicole Pellegrino, Scott Palmason, and Jessie Sherman (photo Joe Funk)

Trump in Space!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Joe Funk

Trump in Space is Star Trek meets the Broadway musical Avenue Q … meets Trump! Originally produced for the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival last summer and then remounted this past fall, it is now enjoying an extended run through April 27. Trump in Space is a zany musical battle of good vs. bad and ideals vs. opportunism. This original musical is an epic space adventure filled with all the sci–fi tropes we love and all the politics we love to hate. Four hundred years in the future, the fallout of the Trump administration has left humans stranded without a planet. Captain Natasha Trump, a direct descendant of you-know-who, races to find humanity a new planet because, well … the earth blew up!

You may be asking yourself … what if I like Donald Trump? What if I hate Donald Trump? Should I go? The answer is a resounding yes! The show is extremely entertaining regardless of your politics. I’ve seen it twice and will be going back yet again! Trump in Space features book and lyrics by Gillian Bellinger and Landon Kirksey, music by Tony Gonzalez and Sam Johnides, and direction by Frank Caeti. It’s 60 minutes of good-natured, zany fun (no intermission, just the way I like it)! The antics commence every Friday at 8pm. In these trying times, which of us can’t use an extra dose of laughter?

For more details, click here.

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