This biweekly newsletter of LA theatre information is written by Playbill On-Line's Regional Database Manager, Blair Glaser. To submit material for this column, e-mail to Blair_Glaser@playbill.com.
WRIGHT FROM THE END
Zephyr Theatre will host a world premiere by award-winning playwright Willard Simms, "Wright From America." The play is an account of African-American novelist Richard Wright's life, seen from a modern, post-O.J. trial perspective.
The play also serves as a "history lesson" in civil rights, and traces racism and prejudice from it source to it's rampage. A post-performance discussion about racism and slavery in 1996 will take place on Lincoln's Birthday.
"Wright From America" runs at the Zephyr Theatre in Hollywood (Pre: Feb. 9, 10; Opens Feb 12-Mar. 20), performances are Mon-Wed 8 PM. Tickets are $12, phone (213) 660-TKTS. Post-play discussion "Racism and Slavery in 1996" follows the performance on Feb. 12.
FROM DRAMA TO HARMONY
"In a time when misunderstanding and blanket statements about prejudice and racism shroud this city creating rifts between all peoples, Voices in Harmony is not only about the hope of peace and understanding--it is the reality."
The quote is from a flyer about Voices in Harmony, a Los Angeles based organization which brings the theatrical community together with young adults from the inner city to encounter the power and healing of theatre. The group is presenting original theatre productions at the Met and Tiffany Theatres in Los Angeles.
Each sketch reflects the creative processes of one inner city youth paired with a mentor from the LA Theatre community. Voices hopes the participants, as well as the audience, will experience theatre as a transforming medium, through which "we can transcend cultural, racial, socioeconomic and generational differences to find truth in what it is to be human."
Plays alternate at the Tiffany and Met Theatres through Jan. 24. Tickets cost $10. For information: (310) 915-6678.
ANGELS IN L.A., PART II
Returning to the Los Angeles Theatre Centre (LATC) is the sequel to last year's highly acclaimed dance-theatre adaptation of fiction called "Little Pictures." "Little Pictures: 2" features 20 stories, described as a cross between Aesop's fables and Italo Calvino's fantasies, performed with incredible costumes, music, scenery, dance and puppetry.
The production is adapted from the book "Little Pictures" (Ballantine), a collection of fables written for the 21st century by Andrew Ramer . Ramer is also the author of the bestseller, "Ask Your Angels" and his newest book, "Angel Answers."
In a review of last year's "Little Pictures," the L.A. Weekly wrote, "This gorgeous melding of actors, puppetry, music, and dance asks the kind of questions that stick with us for days." With 15-foot tall puppets from outer space and a girl who grows cookies from the palm of her hand, "Little Pictures: 2" sounds like a perfect 'family fantasia on human themes.'
"Little Pictures: 2" runs Feb. 2-24, Saturdays and Sundays at LATC. Tickets $9-15, (212) 485-1681.
The Colony Studio Theatre's production of Arthur Miller's "Incident at Vichy" is extending it's run through Feb. 4. The show is about residents of a small town in France during World War II who undergo Nazi interrogation to ferret out Jewish inhabitants. Colony producing director Barbara Beckley said, "It's gratifying to know that audiences recognize the incredible timeliness and importance of this drama, and that they come away so powerfully moved by Miller's message."
"Incident at Vichy" runs Thu.-Sun. at The Colony Studio Theatre in Silver Lake. Tickets cost $18-22: (213) 665-3011.
The Matrix Theatre Company has extended its ever-popular production of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" through Mar. 3. The show has won nine "Dramalogue" awards and was listed in the "L.A. Reader" as one of the best 10 productions in 1995.
The production is original in that each role is shared by at least two actors, with different combinations of the ensemble each night. Cotter Smith, David Dukes, and Lynnda Ferguson are among the 13 alternating actors in the company.
"The Homecoming" runs at the Matrix Theatre on Melrose Avenue, Thu-Sat 8 PM. Tickets are $20, phone (213) 852-1445.OPENING A NEW WINDOW
The Open Window Theatre Group mounts it's debut production "The Winter Project" at The Evidence Room in Culver City, Jan. 18 -Feb. 25.
The company consists of 15 performers, musicians, and writers who are greatly influenced by Joseph Chaiken's Open Theatre Group of the '70's, Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton.
"The Winter Project" is a West Coast premiere containing two short plays, both set in the post-Apocalyptic desert of Southern California. "Fando & Lis" is a French absurdist piece by Fernando Arrabal, which captures the exploitation in a man's relationship with his loved one.
The world premiere of "You Should Have Been There An Hour Ago" by Deanne Stillman portrays a homeless, middle class family that lives out of a Ford Taurus and waits for phone calls from a polling organization.
The Open Window Theatre Group's "The Winter Project" runs Jan. 18-Feb. 25, Thu.-Sun. at The Evidence Room in Culver City. Tickets are $15, phone tix: (213) 660-TKTS.