ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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April 2017

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

The Encounter!

The Encounter plays at The Wallis April 6-16th (Photo: Robbie Jack)

The Encounter!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Robbie Jack

The lineup at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills (affectionately known as ‘The Wallis’) is offering a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment during the month of April, anchored by The Encounter (April 6th – 16th). An astonishing night of theatre that received overwhelming critical praise on Broadway, this production from the British theatre company Complicite will engage your senses in ways unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The Times of London called Complicite, “the most influential and consistently interesting theatre company working in Britain.” On the Wallis website it says, “Headphones will be provided and must be worn throughout the performance.” Intrigued? Me, too! Get your tickets now!

Other events include Mancini Delivered (April 1st), a benefit evening that will showcase the musical legacy of Henry Mancini, featuring appearances by Julie Andrews, Patti Austin, Kristin Chenoweth, Dave Koz, Matthew Morrison, and more. The Hero Within (April 22nd & 23rd) is an original play based on the lives of Los Angeles veterans. For music lovers, there is Diane Schuur (April 28th), who is regarded as one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists. Schuur was born blind but gifted with perfect pitch and taught herself piano by ear. Closing out the month is British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor (April 30th). Renowned for his distinctive sound, he is one of the most sought-after young pianists in the world.

For all things happening at The Wallis, click here.

INTO THE WOODS!

Into The Woods hits the Ahmanson Theatre April 4th - May 15th  (Photo: Joan Marcus)

INTO THE WOODS!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo By Joan Marcus

“Truly enchanting! These are the woods that you want to get lost in, a place you’ll find buried treasures that you didn’t even know existed.” — Ben Brantley, The New York Time

Spring is the perfect time to head downtown and Into The Woods for the Fiasco Theater Company’s acclaimed re-imagining of the Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine presented by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theater.

Journey again with The Baker and The Baker’s Wife as they quest for items a witch demands in order to break their childless spell. Revisit classic songs such as “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone” as the couple encounters fairy tale characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack (who climbed the beanstalk), Rapunzel and Snow White among others. All are in deep pursuit of living “happily ever after,” but find unexpected consequences when their dreams indeed come true.

This clever re-mounting uses ten actors plus a pianist to play all the roles, employs household objects to stir our imagination and invites us all to join in their “once upon a time” make believe. “In perhaps its most surprising reconfiguration yet, Fiasco’s production highlights the way people fight with their fate rather than just succumb to it. GENIUS.” –Jesse Green, New York Magazine

Plays April, 4-May 14th. For tickets and more information, click here.

THE ORIGINALIST!

The Originalists at The Pasadena Playhouse April 11th – May 14  (pictured Edward Gero and Jade Wheeler) (Photo John Revisky)

THE ORIGINALIST!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo By John Revisky

While headline news covers the political acrimony surrounding the latest Supreme Court nominee, The Pasadena Playhouse presents a new work featuring the justice whose untimely death set it all in motion. John Strand’s The Originalist follows the nerve-wracking clerkship of a black female Harvard Law School graduate to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, a man she finds to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation’s highest court?

A co-production with Asolo Repertory Theatre, the three-hander stars four time Helen Hayes Award winner Edward Gero, who originated the role in its 2015 world premiere at Arena Stage in Washington D.C., Jade Wheeler as liberal clerk Cat and Brett Mack as fellow Scalia clerk, Brad.

Gero watched Scalia on the bench and had lunch in his chambers. The actor told the New York Times: “He doesn’t make eye contact when he’s listening,” he said. “He shuts down the visual. And really a lot of his energy is focused on his ears. And then when he comes to the point, then he’ll pounce.”

“It’s funny, it’s moving and packs some big punches,” says director Molly Smith, Arena Stage’s artistic director. “The play has become more and more meaningful over the past year since Justice Scalia’s passing and with the new administration. Striving for a middle ground feels like an epic struggle these days.”

Plays April 11 – May 7th. For tickets and more information, click here.

History of Comedy!

The Complete History of Comedy runs at the Falcon Theatre March 22 – April 23rd

History of Comedy!

  • By ARLENE WINNICK
  • Graphic Courtesy of Falcon Theatre

They say that laughter is the best medicine and is sure to cure what ails you so as your theater ‘doctor’ I cheerfully prescribe The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), now at the Falcon Theater in Burbank. Written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, the play (well it’s more of madcap revue) takes you on a wild fast-paced hilarious train ride covering comedy through the ages going from ancient history (Aristophanes to Shakespeare and Moliere) then on to modern times (Burlesque, Vaudeville and Charlie Chaplin) up the present (The Daily Show and politicians like Anthony Weiner) with lots of stops in between. Three talented performers – Zehra Fazal, Marc Ginsburg and Mark Jacobson – are your guides for this amusing romp – no joke is left untold and many are deconstructed and then put back together again.

Looking for deeper philosophical humor? We have that too as our comic trio attempts to answer two age-old questions, “Who’s on first?” and “Why did the chicken cross the road?’ The show’s worth it just to hear their response. Broadway World called the show “a master class in the art form” and the Cincinnati Enquirer raved, “It’s a show about wit. About quick minds and what makes us laugh. It’s funny. Really, really funny.”

Whether you love high-brow or low-brow humor and hijinks, The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) has something for everybody…and we all could use a good laugh!

For show times and purchase tickets, click here.

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