ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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October 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

Pressure

LATW’s Pressure by David Haig

Pressure

  • By Ken Werther

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, LA Theatre Works (LATW) will be presenting the U.S. premiere of Pressure, a play by David Haig. An intense real-life thriller, the story unfolds just 72 hours prior to the D-Day landings at Normandy. Scottish meteorologist James Stagg is advising General Eisenhower on the weather conditions likely to prevail when the troops are sent across the Channel. But with Stagg predicting severe storms and Irving P. Krick — Hollywood’s meteorological movie consultant — predicting beautiful weather, the future of Britain, Europe, and the United States rests on a single forecast. The cast will feature Jonathan Cake (The Affair, Desperate Housewives), Darren Richardson (Velvet Buzzsaw), André Sogliuzzo (Family Guy, American Dad, Lego Star Wars, Castlevania), and Matthew Wolf (The Royals). The director is Martin Jarvis.

Founded in 1984, LATW is a unique company. The organization produces, preserves, and distributes classic and contemporary plays of significance for radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download, and online streaming. Presentations are recorded live at the James Bridges Theatre at UCLA. The LATW syndicated radio theatre series is heard locally on KPFK 90.7 FM and may also be streamed on demand at www.latw.org. Some productions are even taken on national and international tours! Since 1985 LATW has recorded over 500 plays. Astonishing! If you are an arts lover, head on over to their website and check out what’s happening with this longtime LA theatrical treasure.

For more details, click here.

ON BECKETT!

Bill Irwin in the Irish Repertory Theatre production of On Beckett (runs through October 27 at Kirk Douglas Theatre)

ON BECKETT!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

Fans of Samuel Beckett should flock to the Kirk Douglas Theatre to witness Tony Award winner (Fool Moon, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and master clown Bill Irwin interpret the Irish playwright’s absurdist writings in On Beckett. The self-created/curated solo show comes on the heels of Center Theater Group’s highly praised spring production of Happy Days starring Dianne Wiest and previously acclaimed Beckett offerings at the Douglas including Endgame featuring Alan Mandell and Barry McGovern plus Krapp’s Last Tape starring John Hurt.

Santa Monica native Irwin caught Beckett fever as an undergrad at UCLA and CalArts before meeting the Nobel Prize winner in 1988.  He’s performed numerous versions of Waiting for Godot (alongside Robin Williams, Steve Martin and Nathan Lane) plus adapted Texts for Nothing as theatrical prose pieces. Irwin calls his highly interactive and infectious evening “a celebration and an investigation of the language” coupled with his own actor musings and physical clowning. Samuel Beckett revered clowns. He’d be delighted that a master class of his work was being taught by one of the world’s best.

“A better guide to playing Beckett would be hard to find.” — Los Angeles Times

Through October 27. For more information, click here.

Matilda the Musical

Matilda The Musical at La Mirada Theatre

Matilda the Musical

  • By Ken Werther

Matilda the Musical is based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was adapted by Dennis Kelly and features music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Following its London premiere in 2010 (and winning a record seven Olivier Awards), the show arrived on Broadway in 2013. It was nominated for a whopping 13 Tony Awards and won four including Best Book of a Musical. Matilda has received widespread critical acclaim and box-office popularity everywhere it has played including Korea, the Philippines, South Africa, and Singapore! The Wall Street Journal called the show, “smart, sweet, zany, and stupendous fun.” The story centers on a precocious five-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher reclaim her life.

This month, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts will be presenting a new production of Matilda directed by the multi-Ovation Award-winning Michael Matthews with choreography by Kate Dunn. Matthews previously directed Rabbit Hole and End of the Rainbow at La Mirada and his work in theatres large and small has been widely praised across Southern California. Dunn was associate choreographer on Billy Elliot in London and on Broadway and for productions of Dirty Dancing across Europe — and she served in the same capacity on Matilda. With an artistic pedigree like this, we can expect only the very best. I’ll be leaving for La Mirada shortly!

For tickets and more details, click here.

THANKSGIVING PLAY!

The Thanksgiving Play at Geffen Playhouse (Photo Yann Rabanier)

THANKSGIVING PLAY!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo By Yann Rabanier

How “woke” are you really when it comes to cultural sensitivity? In Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse’s (What Would Crazy Horse Do?, Landless) biting satire The Thanksgiving Play, three white thespians attempt to “devise” an elementary school pageant that celebrates our historically troubling colonial feast without denigrating Native American Heritage Month. Directed by Michael John Garcés (Urban Rez, The Royale) in the Geffen Playhouse’s Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, the comedy skewers excessive political correctness, white blindness and educational theater obtuseness.

Logan is a vegan drama teacher utilizing a grant to mount a culturally sensitive show with the help of her street performer/yoga dude boyfriend Jaxton plus middle-aged third-grade teacher and frustrated playwright Caden. She hires Los Angeles actor Alicia to supply the Native American POV only to discover that ethnicity in Tinseltown can be as fluid as a new headshot. Featuring Noah Bean (The Whirligig, Marjorie Prime) as Jaxton, Alexandra Henrikson (Fish in the Dark, The Snow Geese) as Alicia, Tony Sandrew (Million Dollar Quartet, The Foreigner) as Caden and Samantha Sloyan (Ellis Island: The Dream of America, Munched) as Logan.

“It’s very, very funny…the play delivers plenty of uproarious moments.” – Hollywood Reporter

Plays October 22 – December 1. For more information, click here.

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