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Venus in Fur

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The tango is a dance which is at once elegant, playful, sensual and filled with power plays. It also has a  unique power to capture an audience. It's true that any two-character play can easily be described as some type of dance. But the tango is a particularly apt metaphor for David Ives' erotically charged Venus in Fur.

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Affluence

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Written by Chicago dramatist Steven Peterson, Affluence won the 2013 Julie Harris Playwriting Award. The time is set in 2010; it's the day after Christmas and the Woodley family matriarch, Namoo, is on her deathbed. But the process has become too slow and uncertain, particularly for the heir to the position of family matriarch, Jean Woodley – Namoo's domineering and ruthless daughter-in-law. Why? Because, due to a complicated tax arrangement, if Namoo (a bastardization of the word grandmother) dies before January 1st, the family will be left a fortune of twelve million dollars. If she departs after the start of the New Year, the fortune will be much less than the heirs want to accept.

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Low Hanging Fruit

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Playwright Robin Bradford has dramatized a timely tale to tell what New York Times reporter, Cara Hoffman says of “Female veterans' stories,” which “clearly have the power to change and enrich our understanding of war...(Their) unsung epics might also have the power to change our art, our culture, our nation and our lives.” Under the directorial stewardship of Lee Sankowich, that is the noble aim of Low Hanging Fruit, now in production at Hollywood's Zephyr Theatre, through October 26.

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Kingdom City

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Censorship as a publicized social and political issue comes and goes, taking up space on front pages and front porches from time to time. Censorship as an act, however, is perpetual. Not hearing about it does not mean it has disappeared.

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Hollywood Party

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Two actors, Alberto Samaniego & Rodrigo Altamirano, receive an invitation to a party celebrating the 1921 debut of the movie, The Mysterious Lady, headlined by Greta Garbo and directed by Fred Niblo. It's not long, however, until Alberto and Rodrigo uncover the real reason for this Hollywood party: murder!

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Gene Kelly: The Legacy-An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly

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For those fans who thought that they knew all about Gene Kelly, this retrospective delivered by his wife, Patricia Ward Kelly, is a glimpse beyond the celluloid and into the private life of the iconic dancer, actor, and director. Accompanied by numerous film clips, Ward Kelly's charming reminiscences make the intermission-free, 2 hours and 20 minutes an homage to creativity.

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Tosca

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Pacific Opera Project (POP) set itself an enormous challenge with its site-specific production of Puccini's Tosca,. This scrappy and inventive company, which  has made its name performing affordable opera in non-traditional spaces, might easily have found its artistic aspirations outstripped by the plan's complex logistical requirements. Beyond the normal difficulties in putting together any production of this magnitude, the group had to find a venue with all it needed (St. James United Methodist Church), and separate migration paths would have to be devised for the orchestra and the audience between each act.

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La Traviata

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While LA Opera has announced its most adventurous season in years (Corigliano's glorious meta-opera The Ghosts of Versailles arrives in February), their choice of Verdi's La Traviata as the season opener was a safe one. Not only is the opera beloved, but it allows General Director, Placido Domingo, to graduate to Germont pere, the father of Alfredo, a character he sang so indelibly through most of his career.

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The Pianist of Willesden Lane

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An elegy and a tribute, a concert and a play, a history lesson and a memoir: The Pianist of Willesden Lane on the Lyceum stage at San Diego’s Repertory Theatre scoops together all of those things and serves them on a gilded platter. Presiding over the tour de force is the maître de Mona Golabek, who in her one-woman show incorporates her personae as writer, adaptor, pianist, actress, and storyteller. Contradicting the usually accurate admonition that multi-tasking equals multi-mediocre tasking, Golabek proves the exception. This is simply a wonderful production, in many ways.

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Hair

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Hair is a defining rock 'n roll musical from the 1960s. With book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, Hair took New York by storm, landing Off Broadway in 1967; it hit Broadway a year later and ran for 1,750 performances. It was restaged on the Great White Way in 2009, and it earned a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

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Spotlight

2014 LA STAGE ALLIANCE OVATION AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
Nominees for the 2014 LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards were announced on the evening of Monday, September 22 at Native Voices at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. The nominations were revealed by past Ovation Award recipients Gigi Bermingham, Brighid Fleming, Parmer Fuller, Jennifer Haley, Brian Kite, Glynn Turman, and John Zalewski, along with LA STAGE Alliance Chief Executive Officer Terence McFarland.


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East West Players Announces “2042: See Change” Initiative Kicking Off with National Playwriting Competition

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, announces 2042: See Change, an initiative by East West Players to promote diversity in American theatre. According to census reports, it is estimated that by 2042, for the first time people of color will make up a majority of the United States population.  With this shift in demographics, the face of America will look and feel different.

“We want to challenge other theaters to prepare for this change by thinking differently in their artistic programming and their audience development strategy,” says EWP Producing Artistic Director, Tim Dang. “In many areas, the change has already happened. The future is here.  2042: See Change is the perfect launch to initiate and innovate new works for the American theatre that include more opportunities for people of color, women, youth and ideas for the next generation of art making.

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The Pasadena Playhouse Announces David DiCristofaro and Board of Directors Chairman and Brad King as Vice Chair

The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Executive Director Elizabeth Doran) announced today that David DiCristofaro, currently serving as the Board’s Vice-Chairman, will be taking on the role of Board Chairman as of September 1, 2014.  Board member Brad King will fill DiCristofaro’s position as Vice-Chairman.

 

This announcement comes simultaneously with steps taken by The Playhouse in the planning of their centennial in 2017, beginning with the installation of new carpet and seating set to be completed just before the start of the theatre’s season opener KISS ME, KATE starring Wayne Brady.

 

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Center Theatre Group Announces the 11th Season at the Kirk Douglas

2014-2015 Douglas Season is Jam-Packed with 10 Exciting Events

David Mamet’s Explosive “Race”

The Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production of Rebecca Gilman’s “Luna Gale”

A ‘Remix’ of Culture Clash’s Popular “Chavez Ravine”

Todd Almond’s and Matthew Sweet’s Musical Charmer “Girlfriend” and DouglasPlus Presentations –

The World Premiere of “Forever” by Dael Orlandersmith

Lucy Alibar’s Work in Progress “Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up”

The U.S. Premiere of Gob Squad’s “Western Society”

World Premiere Production of Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen’s “How to be a Rock Critic”

“Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege”

and

CTG’s Los Angeles Company Partnership Presentation of

the 24th Street Theatre’s Special Family Show “Walking the Tightrope”

 

[The New Season Begins July 13, 2014, and Runs Through August 9, 2015.]

Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie has set the 11th season at the CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

In a jam-packed season of exciting work – from widely varied voices and at every level of development – the 2014-2015 season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre will include four powerful mainstage productions, five lively DouglasPlus productions and readings, and a critically acclaimed show for families and people of all ages.

“We start the mainstage season with David Mamet and his tinderbox of a play ‘Race’ and continue with the Goodman Theatre’s world premiere production of Rebecca Gilman’s smart and absorbing ‘Luna Gale,’” said Ritchie. “L.A.’s very own Culture Clash will bring to the Douglas a new version of their popular ‘Chavez Ravine,’ followed by Matt Almond and Matthew Sweet’s charmer of a musical ‘Girlfriend.’”

“DouglasPlus presentations are interwoven through the entire season,” said Ritchie.  “A five-year-old CTG program, DouglasPlus provides us with the flexibility to explore new work and push boundaries. We have developed and presented many  stimulating pieces through DouglasPlus, and that tradition certainly continues with this season.

“Dael Orlandersmith returns to us with the world premiere of her startling show ‘Forever,’ and we welcome the engaging voice of Lucy Alibar with her work in progress ‘Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up.’ Season ticket holders will have a chance to choose one of these two as part of their subscription.”

“Two other DouglasPlus presentations are subscription bonus options,” said Ritchie, “the U.S. premiere of Gob Squad’s absurdist ‘Western Society’ and the world premiere production of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s passionate ‘How to be a Rock Critic.’

“This July, DouglasPlus gives us a chance to reflect on the Trayvon Martin case and all of its ramifications when we present both “Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege” and the youth summit associated with it.”