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Arts, Public Spectacle This Play Asks the Audience to Tweet During the Performance

This Play Asks the Audience to Tweet During the Performance

Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin. Please, turn on your cell phones.  Because when New York’s WaxFactory company brings its experimental one-act #aspellforfainting to L.A. this weekend, theater-goers for once will be allowed — nay, encouraged — to live tweet the whole thing in a piece that...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Cave</i>, a Play That Takes Place in a Cave

Cave, a Play That Takes Place in a Cave

Located near Griffith Park’s Camp Hollywoodland, the Bronson Caves are actually more of a tunnel, about 50 foot long with three entrances, dug by a quarry company around the turn of the last century. Everyone from John Wayne to Batman has used it as a film location since. Next weekend,...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle A Hollywood Satire Performed on the Streets of Watts

A Hollywood Satire Performed on the Streets of Watts

Late on a recent Thursday evening, Watts Village Theater Company members gather in a large, nearly bare room on the fifth floor of the L.A. Theatre Center. The second week of rehearsals for WVTC's new site-specific spoof, Hollywood in the Hood, has just commenced, and two groups of actors, not...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle A <i>Sons of Anarchy</i> Actor's New Novel, Inspired by His Own Addiction

A Sons of Anarchy Actor's New Novel, Inspired by His Own Addiction

Wally Rudolph's debut novel, Four Corners, tells the bleak story of Frank Bruce, an addict entering middle age and nearing the end of the road. Roped into a kidnapping scheme concocted by his meth-head best friend, Frank finds himself desperately trying to outrun both a thuggish casino boss and his...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>The Country House</i> at the Geffen Playhouse Stars Blythe Danner as a Broadway Star (GO!)

The Country House at the Geffen Playhouse Stars Blythe Danner as a Broadway Star (GO!)

Playwright Donald Margulies' The Country House takes its mother-son rift, its themes of art and ego and unrequited love and even its bucolic setting from the Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, but what The Country House most has in common with its source material is an ability to scrupulously map all...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Hit</i>: An Aggressively Funny Play About Life in L.A. (GO!)

Hit: An Aggressively Funny Play About Life in L.A. (GO!)

Hit, the aggressively funny farce by lauded playwright Alice Tuan, careens through issues of cultural diversity, global capitalism, social responsibilities and extended adolescence in Los Angeles, with an unforgiving aim and an insistence on shunning easy answers. It begins with Kim (Kahyun Kim), an Angeleno of partly Korean ethnicity, as...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle Sci-Fest: L.A.'s Science Fiction Theater Festival

Sci-Fest: L.A.'s Science Fiction Theater Festival

"We're right now in the middle of an interesting riddle," David Dean Bottrell, the actor-producer behind Sci-Fest, the city's inaugural festival of science fiction one-acts, says just two weeks before his brainchild's May 6 premiere at Hollywood's Acme Theater. "We're working out how to make our actors float in space."...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Saved by the Bell</i> Creator Chats About His Life as a Playwright

Saved by the Bell Creator Chats About His Life as a Playwright

A breakneck lineup of 12 short sketches by playwright, composer and Saved by the Bell creator Sam Bobrick, L.A. Deli centers around a day in the life of its titular eatery, an industry hangout where six actors take turns portraying a retinue of Hollywood types, presided over by Kathleen (Gail...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle A Play Staged in a Secret Downtown L.A. Warehouse (GO! If It Comes Back!)

A Play Staged in a Secret Downtown L.A. Warehouse (GO! If It Comes Back!)

Four Larks, the Australian-American theater company that has been producing "junkyard operas" mainly in Melbourne and San Francisco since 2008, made their Los Angeles debut this past week with a beautifully melancholy Orpheus, a one act suffused with love and mourning, the tenuousness of life and the capriciousness of where...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle New Play Shows the Difficulties of Being Gay in the Indian Community

New Play Shows the Difficulties of Being Gay in the Indian Community

Nicely funny and not a whole lot more - such is the well-staged world premiere comedy A Nice Indian Boy. Keshav (Christian Durso) and Naveen (Andy Gala), two single Bay Area men, meet cute at a Hindu temple. Cut to six happy months later, when Naveen finally, nervously agrees to...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle A Film Series in Echo Park Examines Race in L.A.

A Film Series in Echo Park Examines Race in L.A.

The camera holds a languid shot of an open park, leafy trees catching a gentle breeze, before cutting to the image of adolescents on a summer day frolicking at the local swimming pool. "I haven't been out of my own neighborhood too much, but I guess what impresses me most...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Above the Fold</i> at Pasadena Playhouse Stars Oscar Nominee Taraji P. Henson

Above the Fold at Pasadena Playhouse Stars Oscar Nominee Taraji P. Henson

There is little that qualifies as news in former New York Times writer Bernard Weinraub's heavy-handed play about ambition and media bias in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. Jane (Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson), a reporter at a New York Times-esque daily, is sent south to cover...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle California's Largest Meteorite Gallery Lands at UCLA

California's Largest Meteorite Gallery Lands at UCLA

"I just got a couple envelopes in the mail today," said Alan Rubin on Friday. As a researcher in UCLA's Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences - and now, as associate curator, one of the two men who sifted through thousands of space rocks to put together the university's…
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Arts, Public Spectacle How to Make Horror and Sci-Fi Theater Work

How to Make Horror and Sci-Fi Theater Work

One man is dragged, screaming, down a portal to hell. A boy takes a baseball bat to his abusive father. A mysterious body stuffed into a trunk provokes the most unsettling metaphysical questions. Happy holidays. Perhaps not every theater company, in casting about for the perfect yuletide show, settles upon…
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Arts, Public Spectacle <i>Full Circle</i> on DirecTV: In Every Episode, Two Actors Eat Together at an L.A. Restaurant

Full Circle on DirecTV: In Every Episode, Two Actors Eat Together at an L.A. Restaurant

Mayhem has broken out at DirecTV's El Segundo headquarters. On this mid-June morning, the small production studio normally reserved for the satellite TV provider's sports-themed Red Zone channel has been temporarily transformed into a Westside L.A. restaurant, all violet lights, splashy red artwork and gleaming silver. At the moment, however,…
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Calendar, Archive Merlin: The Untold Adventures

Merlin: The Untold Adventures

Begat of a demon, gifted with second sight and shape-shifting powers, the druid Merlin provides much of the momentum of the Arthurian legend. In the process of retelling the fabled wizard's backstory, playwright-director Ellen Geer has concocted a high fantasy with a strong antiwar flavor. The work's emphasis on meshing...…
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Arts, Public Spectacle A Late-Night Theater Battle Royale

A Late-Night Theater Battle Royale

It is about a quarter to midnight last Saturday, and it's the eve of World War II on stage at the Sacred Fools Theater. A young Fuhrer (writer/actor Donal Thoms-Capello) prances out and picks up the phone to call his man-crush, Henry Ford (Curt Bonnem), who is on the other…
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Arts, Public Spectacle L.A. River Opens for Recreation, Isn't Yucky

L.A. River Opens for Recreation, Isn't Yucky

"I feel a little itchy, I'm not going to lie." Tyler Sedustine has just emerged from the Los Angeles River, his dripping wet two-and-a-half-year-old son Elijah ensconced in his arms. That his first instinct is to hose off will likely strike few Angelenos as strange. Just twenty-four hours previous, the…
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Calendar, Archive Death of a Salesgirl

Death of a Salesgirl

Death of a Salesman goes into a cinematic blender, which transforms the original's thematic preoccupations into a noir grudge match between the past and present. Down-on-her-luck salesgirl Catherine (playwright Patricia Scanlon, in fine form) has arrived at a grungy motel with her last $300, intent on getting a good night's...…
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Calendar, Archive The Fainting Couch

The Fainting Couch

A love quadrangle among a ballerina, two fools and their evil boss, the Magician, lies at the heart of playwright Robert Riemer's twisted revisiting of the Stravinsky ballet Petrushka. With themes like manipulation and doubling, the play shares much with the original, and direct references to the Russian ballet abound,...…
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