STATE OF L.A. THEATER PANEL Tomorrow (Sunday) at  1 p.m. at Fringe Central, I join Harvey Perr (Stage and Cinema), Don Shirley (LA Stage Blog), Geoff Hoff

(LA Theatre Review), Colin Mitchell (LA Bitter Lemons), “and other

special guests from LA's most vocal theatre criticism communities as

they discuss the contemporary state of theater n LA.” Moderated by Kat


The following anecdote was experienced and written by critic Bill Raden:

“At a performance of Elevator (Hudson Theatres), about an hour into the show — and eight hours in story time of the seven characters being trapped in the titular, broken-down elevator — the moment arrives for big monologue from the one, oddly taciturn character (played by Rachel Page) that playwright-director Michael Leoni was clearly reserving as a sort of a suspense device. At precisely that moment, a man carrying a guitar case suddenly appeared from behind the single flat that represented the elevator car, then with dawning awareness that he was facing down a nearly full house in the midst of a live performance, stops abruptly, loudly lets loose a “Whoops!” and then executes a Marcel Marceau-like reverse step back out of site. This was followed by loud thumping noises of someone moving heavy equipment (guitar amps?), which the ensemble attempted to ad lib as sounds of the maintenance crew affecting repairs. That effort was quickly defeated, however, as the first intruder's scruffy, bearded and bespectacled pal began to peek out from behind the flat at the goings on, then, growing bolder, simply stepped out in full view of the audience to watch the action. As the cast heroically tried to ignore him, and an urgent finger snapping from somewhere back by the lighting board suggested the efforts of someone trying to wave him off, the guy then began tapping one of the “trapped” actors on the shoulder (probably to inquire when their overlong show would finally end). You could almost read the thoughts of the poor actor as he considered escorting the disruptor off the stage, then realizing doing so would utterly blow the reality of the entire piece.”

The following anecdote, told here by Bill Raden was overheard from the production's stage-manager:

“At Thursday's performance of Euripides' Medea (at The Complex), they had a whopping house of five people. Two of them, both men, sat in the front row, which at the Dorie, means their knees were jammed into the apron of the stage. Seven minutes into the show one of the men's heads began wobbling and then plunked down onto the stage, apparently passed out. The somewhat alarmed actors weren't sure whether to stop the performance or not. Fortunately for them, the man's companion got him to his feet and dragged him outside. As they were passing through the lobby, the house manager overheard the companion reassuring the man, who had obviously consumed too much of whatever hard drug he was abusing, “It's okay, man, I'll get you someplace safe.” Clearly the guy had purchased two of the $10 tickets thinking a legitimate theater would be an ideal place for his pal to wait out his overdose.”

Life on the Fringe.

For a list of productions being reviewed over the weekend, press the More tab directly below:

Check back Monday for reviews of the following:

ALL MY SONS Wasatch Theatrical Ventures presents Arthur Miller's first play. Raven Playhouse, 5233 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru July 25. (323) 960-4420.

AMADEUS Peter Shaffer's Mozart tale. Chandler Studio, 12443 Chandler Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru June 27. (800) 838-3006.

CHiPS THE MUSICAL Take a journey down the 405 circa the 1970s, where you'll find those super-flashy stewards of safety and suave-ness., $26-$46. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank; opens June 25; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru July 25. 818-955-8101.

THE FANTASTICKS theTribe presents Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' musical. The Complex, 6470 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sun., 7:30 p.m.; thru July 11. (661) 547-1173

IN THE HEIGHTS Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show's creator, composer-lyricist and Broadway star, reprises his lead role in the 2008 Tony winner. Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; thru July 11. (213) 365-3500.

KING LEAR The Antaeus Company presents Shakespeare's tale of madness, tyranny, loyalty and love. Deaf West Theatre, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; opens June 26; Sat., June 26, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 27, 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; thru Aug. 8. 818-506-1983.

OPUS Michael Hollinger's behind-the-scenes look at a “high-strung” string quartet. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru July 25. (323) 663-1525.

PRAYING SMALL Clifford Morts' study of addiction. NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru July 18. (818) 508-7101.

SORORITY QUEEN IN A MOBILE HOME Michael DiGaetano and Kevin A. Mahoney's “Rashomon on cement blocks.”. Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru July 15. (323) 882-6912.

ST. NICHOLAS Written by Conor McPherson, performed by Michael McGee. SFS Theatre, 5636 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru July 24. (323) 463-7378.

TWELFTH NIGHT Theatre Unleashed presents Shakespeare's comedy. Sherry Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru July 31, (818) 849-4039.

LA Weekly