June 2018

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Henry IV!

Henry IV at Japanese Garden on the West LA VA Campus June 5- July 1st

Henry IV!

  • By Arlene Winnick

Tom Hanks makes his LA stage debut starring as Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare’s comedy masterpiece, Henry IV.  What more can I say except beg, borrow or steal but get a ticket to this limited run at the Japanese Garden on the West LA VA Campus.

Falstaff is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comedic character – and his over the top raucous exploits dubbed him “the villainous and abominable misleader of youth.”  The story is an age old tale of fathers, sons, rebellious youth, honor and responsibility. Will the wayward young prince return home and defend the throne or will he be seduced, by the lovable liar and thief Sir John Falstaff, and his fun-loving gang?

Joining Hanks in the production directed by Tony Award winner Dan Sullivan is Hamish Linklater as his ne’er-do-well protégé Prince Hall, Harry Groener as Northumberland, Joe Morton as Henry IV and Rondi Reed as Mistress Quickly.

Not only is the casting so compelling but the Japanese Garden venue is simply a magical setting to watch a performance.  Be sure to come early (grounds open at 6:30 pm) and enjoy a pre-show picnic. Note: Alcohol is not permitted on the grounds.

Henry IV is a presented by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and will run for 24 only performances form June 5th to July 1st.

For more details, click here.

Skeleton Crew!

Skeleton Crew opens at Geffen Playhouse June 5th

Skeleton Crew!

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

Skelton Crew, the much anticipated final play in Dominique Morisseau’s trilogy ‘The Detroit Project” has arrived and it was worth the wait. Just ask The New York Times who hailed it as “squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller. A deeply moral and deeply American play” or The San Diego Union Tribune who called it “Fierce and funny!”

Set in 2008 at the start of the Great Recession, we follow – Faye, Dez, Reggie and Shanita – blue collar co-workers at one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit where the business is on shaking ground. The long hours and demanding shifts have turned the line workers into a family of sorts and we soon discover the hard choices each must make in order to secure their individual survival as their loyalty and self-preservation are tested.

Shanita (Kelly McCreay from Grey’s Anatomy) needs to support herself and her unborn child; Faye (Caroline Stefanie Clay fresh from Broadway’s The Little Foxes) just months away from retiring must decide where she’ll live; Dez (Amari Cheatom from the recent movie Roman J. Israel, Esq.) wants to make his big dreams a reality; and Reggie (D.B. Woodside from TV’s hit show Lucifer) is the manager caught between his work family and corporate red tape.

Morisseau has received numerous playwriting awards including the esteemed Edward. M. Kennedy Prize for Drama and the 2014 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize Award for Skeleton Crew.

For more details, click here.


The Humans opens June 19th at the Ahmanson Theatre


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theater Group

Thanksgiving in June? Head to the Ahmanson Theatre for a holiday meal you won’t forget with Stephen Karam’s 2016 Tony Award-winning Best Play The Humans. Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell reprise their Tony Award-winning roles in this Pulitzer Prize finalist alongside previous Broadway cast members Cassie Beck, Lauren Klein, Nick Mills and Sarah Steele. Directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello, this highly lauded new American classic keenly observes current day middle class anxiety with hilarity and compassion.

Breaking with tradition, the Blake clan has gathered for Thanksgiving dinner at youngest daughter Bridget’s ramshackle pre-war duplex in Manhattan’s Chinatown newly shared with older boyfriend Rich. Once her Scranton, PA-based parents, Erik and Deidre (plus Erik’s mother Momo), and older Philly attorney sister, Aimee, settle into their surroundings for the three course feast, secrets and strange sounds from upstairs begin to emerge. Can we humans control our fate? As Bridget recounts one of Deidre’s emails, (complete with linked science article): “Happy Tuesday, oh and just F.Y.I.: At the subatomic level, everything is chaotic and unstable … Love, Mom.”

“Mr. Karam’s comedy-drama depicts the way we live now with a precision and compassion unmatched by any play I’ve seen in recent years.” – Christopher Isherwood, New York Times

Plays June 19 – July 29. For more information, click here.

Our Very Own!

Our Very Own Carlin McCullough opens June 19th at Geffen Playhouse

Our Very Own!

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

We all know Amanda Peet, the actress, from her many memorable TV and movie roles, but now she steps into a new ‘character’ as playwright and she’s scored another success.  Her play, Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, will have its world premiere in the Geffen’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater this month.

The play centers on three characters: Carlin McCullough a ten year old tennis prodigy with incredible talent and a chance to become champion; her single mother and current coach; and a young dedicated coach who takes the young Carlin under his wing. As her meteoric rise in the competitive tennis world takes shape, Carlin soon witnesses the adults in her life struggling with their own pasts and failed ambitions as they try to find the right path for her, all leading to a dramatic encounter which forces Carlin to come to terms with her past and face her future head on.

Our Very Own Carlin McCullough stars Mamie Gummer (The Good Wife, True Detective); Joe Tippett (Rise, Waitress); and Tyee Tilghman (Criminal Minds, Young and the Restless). Peet is no stranger to playwriting – her play The Commons of Pensacola – hailed by the New York Times as “a solid playwriting debut” – had a successful run at the Manhattan Theatre Club and starred veteran actresses Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker.

For more details, click here.

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