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The Price

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The Price, written by that pillar of American drama, Arthur Miller, made its Broadway debut in 1968, where it ran for 429 performances and garnered two Tony-Award nominations--one for Best Play and the other for Best Scenic Design.

This rarely produced script puts focus on family dynamics, as grown brothers sort out the property of their recently deceased father. Not only do the two estranged siblings, one a New York City cop, the other a  successful surgeon, attempt to put a price on items such as furniture; they also find themselves assessing the value of certain life decisions.

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Gefilte Fish and Chips

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In the same way that you don't think of combining gefilte fish with chips of any sort, one wouldn't necessarily think that a Jewish Englishman would be a master musician, a raconteur, and a performance artist. But when it comes to Daniel Cainer and his solo-show, Gefilte Fish & Chips, Cainer demonstrates a unique and winning combination of aforementioned nationality, ethnicity, and talents; he’s an unlikely hodgepodge of potentialities conveyed through a warm and pleasingly quirky performance persona.

 

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The Road to Appomattox

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The Colony Theatre is presenting the local premiere of Catherine Bush’s The Road to Appomattox, which was commissioned by the Barter Theatre in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War. Bush’s play contrasts a modern-day story of a couple visiting historical markers surrounding Lee’s movements prior to his surrender and the actual events in the Confederate camp. An unhappy series of mistakes, coincidences, and accidents will eventually force Lee’s hand and signal the dissolution of the Confederacy. Similarly, the modern couple is facing problems which could derail their marriage.

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Anna Christie

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Written in 1921 by Eugene O'Neill, Anna Christie earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and, in 1993, some three generations after its Broadway premiere, it won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.  Again, in 2011, it was honored with an Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play. Now So Cal theatergoers have an infrequent opportunity to experience an original staging of this American classic at Los Angeles' Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, through March 8.

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Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin

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Always, White Christmas, and God Bless America are but a few of the unforgettable additions to the American Songbook made by one of the country's, and the world's, greatest composers of popular music, Irving Berlin. And who better to relay the great music man's life story than that musical chameleon and theatrical polymath Hershey Felder?

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The Ghosts of Versailles

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I must confess upfront that I am the target audience for The Ghosts of Versailles. William Hoffman’s intricate and clever libretto mixes historical figures with familiar fictional characters in a spectacular, Stoppardian, meta-theatrical circus act which manages, against all odds, to work on every level. John Corigliano’s inspired score walks its own tightrope of pastiche, send-up, and delicately nuanced, but always accessible postmodern sound. I have loved the opera since its 1991 Met premiere and found myself as excited as the proverbial kid in the candy shop to finally see a live production.

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Fugue

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With the world premiere production of Fugue, playwright Tommy Smith delves into the lives and psyches of three classical composers: Carlo Gesualdo, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Arnold Schoenberg. Tchaikovsky, of course, is one of the most popular composers of all time, and his musical themes are well-known. Schoenberg, despite his importance to modern music, worked in a style resolutely guaranteed to find him little popularity outside of music critics and academics. Gesualdo, if he’s known at all by the average concert-goer, is more famous for his personal life than his compositions.

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Hellman vs. McCarthy

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In 1979, talk show host Dick Cavett interviewed noted author Mary McCarthy. Her inflammatory comments about writer Lillian Hellman on the air prompted Hellman to institute a libel suit for $2.5 million dollars against McCarthy. The result of that confrontation is the subject of Brian Richard Mori's play now presented at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills.

McCarthy was, by all accounts, an acerbic intellectual known for her liberal politics and, in particular, antipathy for Stalinism, which Hellman had embraced at one point in her life.

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Shen Yun

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From glowing artistic reviews to political concerns, Shen Yun provides audiences with a provocative evening of gorgeous color and spectacle. Announcing at the outset that this is a show that could not be seen in China today, 5000 years or so of historical and political stories are interpreted in dance and music.

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La Boheme

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Just in time for the holidays, Pacific Opera Project (POP) has revived their unique take on Puccini’s La Boheme, which they subtitle, The Hipsters. As you can probably guess, the production has been updated. Updating Boheme is hardly innovative. Baz Lurhmann brought his eye-popping visual sense to a glamorous 50’s interpretation and, of course, the Boheme-inspired Rent infused its bohemians with a contemporary sound and many more dramatic threads than the famously concise Puccini would ever have countenanced.

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Spotlight

29th Annual Robby Award Winners Announced

South Coast Repertory’s The Light in the Piazza and the Center Theatre Group’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, each with four awards, were the big winners at the 29th Annual Robby Awards held Monday February 9, 2015 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. Piazza tied with Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening for Best Musical Production and also took awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Patti Cohenour, Best Music and Lyrics for Adam Guettel and Best Costume Design for Leah Piehl. Vanya took home the awards for Best Comedy Production, Best Playwriting for Christopher Durang as well as Best Actress and Supporting Actor in a Comedy for Christine Ebersole and David Hull, respectively. Best Drama Production of the year went to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s production of The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? which also won a Best Actress in a Drama award for Ann Noble. (A complete list of winner can be found below.)

 

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LA STAGE ALLIANCE AND THE THEATRICAL PRODUCERS LEAGUE OF LOS ANGELES/INTIMATE ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO RESEARCH 99-SEAT THEATRE BUSINESS MODELS

LA STAGE Alliance, in partnership with the leadership council of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles/Intimate (TPLLA/I), will work with consultants to research the existing business models for theatre companies working in the 99-seat arena, it was announced today. The project will be completed by May of this year, with findings presented at the annual LA STAGE Day event.

Funded by the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, the consultants (M.A. candidates at Claremont Graduate University’s Graduate School of Management Alex Rast and Cong Li) will research Cultural Data Project (CDP) data for companies that operate under the Actors Equity Association 99-Seat Plan; they will also conduct a series of interviews with community leaders to ascertain the various models currently in use. The result will be a series of case studies detailing how these businesses operate, and to what level of success.

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LADCC AWARD NOMINEES FOR QUALIFYING YEAR 2014 (12/1/13 – 11/30-14)

Production

Firemen, The Echo Theater.

Floyd Collins, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

One in the Chamber, 6140 Productions in association with Theatre Planners, Racquel Lehrman, Victoria Watson, Lynne Peck, Joe Cirincione, Ed Ryan and Robin Greenspun at The Lounge Theatre.

Spring Awakening, Deaf West Theatre in association with The Forest of Arden, Cody Lassen, Jarrod Musano at Inner City Arts.

Stupid Fucking Bird, The Theatre @ Boston Court and Circle X Theatre Company at The Theatre @ Boston Court.

Taste, Sacred Fools Theater Company, The Schramm Group LLC and Red Hen Productions at Sacred Fools Theater.

The Behavior of Broadus, Sacred Fools Theater Company and Burglars of Hamm in association with Center Theatre Group at Sacred Fools Theater.

 

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Stephen D. Rountree Named the New Managing Director of Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles

Stephen D. Rountree has been named the new Managing Director at Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles, one of the largest and most active theatre companies in the country, it was announced today by William H. Ahmanson, President of the CTG board of directors.


Rountree has served as the President and CEO of The Music Center for almost 12 years (beginning in 2002) and held the position of CEO of the Los Angeles Opera concurrently from 2008-2012. He will begin his new role at CTG on January 2, 2015.

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