What's happening in Los Angeles Theatres
Los Angeles audiences enjoy the following productions so much, the shows have all extended their runs at least two weeks.
The MET's production of Patrick Sheane Duncan's Souls on Fire portrays the riotous interaction between customers inside a South-Central LA bar, while outside the Rodney King Riots inflame the city.
Souls, produced by Danny Glover's Robey Theatre Company, runs at the MET Thur-Sat 8 PM; Sun 7 PM, tickets (213) 957-1741. Known as the "Master of Texas comedy" playwright Del Shores has directed and produced his fourth acclaimed play Sordid Lives currently extended at Theatre/Theatre through July 28.
The play reveals the journey of a man who comes out to himself and his Texan family. Two cast members are actually Shores ex-in laws; his ex-mother in law plays the role of a therapist who tires to "de-homosexualize" her patient.
Performances are at Theatre/Theatre in Hollywood, Sat 8 PM; Sun 3 & 7 PM. Tickets are $15-20, call (213) 660-8587.
The Actor's Co-op production of Light Up The Sky the Moss Hart comedy at the Crosseley Terrace Theatre, now runs Thru-Sat 8 PM; Sun 2:30 PM, through June 23.
The year is 1948, and in a star's hotel room, producers gather on opening night, for a party they'll never forget. Tickets are $15, call (213) 964-3586 for more info and reservations.
SHAKESPEARE IN THE CANYON:
8 miles north of the Pacific Coast HWY. and 6 miles south of the Ventura Freeway there is a rustic canyon in Topanga that cradles an outdoor amphitheater known as the Will Geer Theatrical Botanicum. The season of summer theatre opens there with Shakespeare's The Tempest, on June 16.
While The Tempest plays on Sundays at 3pm through Sept. 15, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera runs on Saturdays 8pm and Sundays 7:30pm, July 6 through Sept. 14. Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream opens Aug . 3 and runs on Saturdays, 4pm matinees, and Sunday evenings at 7:30pm (replacing Threepenny) through Sept. 15.
Audience members are encouraged to dress casually and warmly for evening performances, and bring pillows and blankets to cushion the railroad-tie seating. Mexican take-out is available for dining before or after performances.
Tickets are $15 with discounts available for students, seniors and kids. No reservations are necessary. For more information about the Will Geer Theatrical Botanicum, phone (310) 455-3723.
HISTORY AND HERSTORY:
Everyone's got a story to tell, and everyone's telling them. Here are listings for two one-person shows in the area to look out for.
Currently playing at the Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood is Darryl Van Leer's one-man show, The Gallows to the Gavel running through July 3.
Leer has toured his historical show for years in 60 colleges throughout the United States. Apparently , Gallows fares quite well with audiences outside the academic structure. A recent article in Daily Variety said of Gallows,
"Emotionally riveting...a one-man show featuring an actor gifted not only with exceptional range and depth, but with clear-eyed passion and intelligence as well. Darryl Van Leer writes, directs, and performs this masterful rousing one-man tribute to the struggle of blacks for freedom and justice, told through the lives of leaders from Nat Turner to Martin Luther King Jr."
In addition to Turner and King, Leer portrays Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Malcom X, and Thurgood Marshall. He also sings songs of blues artists Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, accompanied by a soundtrack.
Tickets to The Gallows to the Gavel are $15, and can be purchased by calling (213) 466-1767. The show runs Mon-Wed 8pm; thru July 3.
Above and Beyond is a West Coast premiere of a one-woman show by native New Yorker, Andrea Bendewald, opening at The Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood, running Wednesdays at 8pm, June 26 thru July 31.
The story takes place on the streets of New York, following a female rookie cop as she encounters the fellow members of the force, and experiences a sexual awakening with a mysterious hooker while grappling with the unpredictable struggles of police work.
Above and Beyond is directed by Drama-Logue Award winning director, Leigh Kilton-Smith. Tickets are $12; for tickets and information, call (213) 660-TKTS.
BREAKING NEW GROUND:
Little Tokyo seems a fitting place for the new home of Los Angeles' ground breaking Asian Pacific American theatre company, the East West Players, who are holding a ground breaking ceremony for it's new home at the historic Union Church in downtown LA. on July 2.
Mayor Richard Riordan and Councilmember Rita Walters will make speeches to honor the ten year lease signed by the theatre company, and two other LA arts organizations; Visual Communications and LA Artcore. A multi-cultural dedication will be conducted by the Reverend Alfred Tsuyuki of Konko Kyo Church.
East West Players has produced highly acclaimed productions, such as adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Hawaii's pigeon English, at their 99-seat theatre, and the move increases their audience capacity to 236 in an equity house.
Currently playing at East West Players in Silverlake, is Peter Shaffer's Lettice and Lovage, through June 30. For more information about the ceremony or current production, phone (213) 660-0366.