This latest NEW THEATER REVIEWS are embedded within this week's COMPREHENSIVE THEATER LISTINGS; also, see this week's THEATER FEATURE on El Ogrito (The Ogreling) and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo


Half of Plenty Photo by John Flynn

The West Coast premiere of Lisa Dillman's play “on lean times and family values in America” is one of eleven  plays being reviewed this weekend.

Check back Monday after noon for reviews of Half of Plenty, plus Robert Cohen's staging of Eve's Rapture for Transversal Theater Company at the Hayworth; Andak Stage Company's presentation of Bernard Pomerance's Elephant Man; The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble's epic with puppets about a village torn apart, The Heretic Mysteries, at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica;  a pair of '40s themed one-acts, Nights of Noir,  at the Attic Theatre and Film Center; Ark Theatre Company's production of William Wycherley's The Country Wife; Mark Roberts pitch black comedy about a brutal marriage, Rantoul and Die at the Lillian; Edwin Sachez' Trafficking in Broken Hearts at the Celebration Theatre; Stefan Marks' The Singing Skeleton at the Stella Adler Theatre; Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds: The Musical at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro; and Pay Attention: ADHD in Hollywood, on the Rocks With a Twist, at the Santa Monica Playhouse


Northern California had the Gold Rush; SoCal has always had the water wars. Those wars are heating up once again as the state finds itself locked into not only the greatest fiscal crisis in half a century but also the most severe drought.

Meanwhile, there's a movement to free our own Los Angeles River from its concrete bedding and return it to its more natural confines. That movement includes a reinvisioning of how nature should be “exploited,” that's largely part of changing sensibilities and changing times.

Cornerstone Theatre Company's presentation of Julie Hebert's play, Touch the Water, starts previews on May 28 at Rio de Los Angeles State Park — Bowtie Parcel, 2800 Casitas Avenue in Los Angeles, 90039. To quote form Cornerstone's PR:

“Under the City of Angels runs a fierce river flowing from the mountains

to the ocean. But do you know it's there? Once an unpredictable and

mighty stream, a bountiful life source subject to raging floods, the

Los Angeles River has lived under a shroud of concrete for the past

fifty years. Today, having been tamed and transformed into an

industrial flood channel, the river is at the center of much debate.

What happens when we change Nature? Should we free the river from her

concrete corset and let Angelenos finally touch the water?

“This play was created in collaboration with local river residents,

engineers, biologists, environmentalists, activists, advocates and

patrons who walk, fish, bike and ride horses on the Los Angeles River.”

LA Weekly