STAGE FEATURE on August: Osage County
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Oh, dear. Blair Singer's comedy about a washed-out former celeb, Matthew Modine (played by Matthew Modine, somewhere between appealing and appalling) trying to crawl his way back onto the A-list by enlisting himself in a hip charity with the help of jaded publicist Whimberly North (Peri Gilpin) is not bad for a comedy dreamed up, as Neil Simon would say, somewhere on the 23rd floor. So down they go to the Equadorian Andes in all their Hollywood ignorance and arrogance to save a dying indigenous tribe and their alpacas, and down we go with them, wondering how could a movie-biz satire -- directed by John Lando in a deliberately goofball style somewhere between Benny Hill and Saturday Night Live - go so astray. There's such talent on this stage, from the inimitable Mark Fite of the perverse clown-show Clowntown City Limits, to French Stewart - a comedian who can milk a deadpan stare literally without blinking an eye - the mystery of what makes a comedy work seems almost terrifying. There are moments of lowbrow comedy that suggest the promise of what this could be. As is, Singer's lackadaisical comedic logic is held together with the very frayed duct tape of charm and silliness, so that the satire plays itself out as a string of jokes that skewer the obvious. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; also Sat., 3 p.m. and Sun., 2 p.m.; through Oct. 18. (800) 745-3000. (Steven Leigh Morris) See Theater feature on Thursday.
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JOHN LITHGOW TO PERFORM HIS ONE MAN SHOW
He's performing Stories by Heart at Pacific Resident Theatre for two nights only, Oct. 3 & 4, 8 p.m., prior to his engagement at London's National Theatre.
CAROL CHANNING SINGS OUT FOR ARTS IN EDUCATION
Kim Rhodes will host as a number of celebrated
Broadway veterans including Joyce Aimee, Mary Jo Catlett, Carole Cook,
Jason Graae, Ilene Graff, Sam Harris, and the voices of Los Angeles'
Vox Femina and NPYNK of GMCLA, as well as students from Creative Planet
School of the Arts join together with Carol Channing
for a one night only event at UCLA's Royce Hall. Sunday, October 11, 7 p.m. The evening is
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a fundraiser for arts in education.
Tickets are $25, $35 and $50 ($15 for students). Call 310.825.2101
AARON HENNE'S PLAYWRIGHT'S GUIDE
Aaron Henne, co-literary manager at Theatre @ Boston Court is having a book release party Saturday night for his book, published by Write Large Press: You Already Know, A Playwright's Guide to Trusting Yourself.
This Saturday, 8 p.m. at La Cita Bar, 336 South Hill Street, Los Angeles.
Henne's plays include King Cat Calico Finally Flies Free!, Record Storm Spreads Ruin! (commissioned by the Los Angeles History Project) and Sliding Into Hades, which received L.A. Weekly Awards for Playwriting and Production of the Year.