Monday, September 16, 2013

What's Happening Around Town for September 16, 2013

OPENINGS: Radar L.A., an international city-wide festival of contemporary theatre is set to begin Sept. 24. Presented by REDCAT and CalArts in association with Center Theatre Group, and other local and national partners, the festival will highlight 18 influential productions including works from Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Los Angeles. I’ve highlighted four of the productions that will hold special interest for those who love music and dance but for info on all of the shows that are part of the festival, Click Here.

REDCAT (85 minutes)
Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 - More Info
Director & choreographer David Roussève’s dance-driven work is a coming of age story for the Twitter generation, in which the central character never makes a physical appearance. Present only in unanswered texts projected on multiple screens, a gay African-American teenager reaches out with growing urgency as the dark realities of his life become apparent. On stage the dancing unleashes a full-bodied expression of emotional states that contrast the intimate romanticism of Nat King Cole with the rough edges of original hip-hop inflected music by d. Sabela grimes, while Stardust plays out against Cari Ann Shim Sham’s immersive video imagery.

Stones in Her Mouth
The Palace Theatre (90 minutes)
630 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014 - More Info
Renowned theater artist Lemi Ponifasio and his New Zealand-based company MAU introduce a 10-member ensemble of Maori women who articulate a powerful and undisguised challenge – voiced through the Maori language, genealogy, spirituality and ceremony. Drawing on the tradition of Maori women as the writers of poetry and chant, this courageous work of transmission gives expression to resiliency and outrage in the face of power structures and oppression. Through oratory, choral-work and dance, the performers address issues of being Maori women in this world and turn a mirror to the massive social and political turmoil of our times.

Track 3
LATC: Theater 1 (75 minutes)
514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 9001 - More Info
Track 3 is Theatre Movement Bazaar’s fast-paced and inventive spin on Three Sisters, Chekhov’s turn-of-the-century play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia, and the search for meaning in the modern world. While this smart, contemporary adaptation by Richard Alger follows the main events of the original play, director and choreographer Tina Kronis incorporates elements of vaudeville, song and dance – from Russian folk to disco – to catapult the play from its Victorian origins into a 21st-century existential extravaganza.

El Gallo
The Million Dollar Theater (90 minutes)
307 Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 - More Info 
El Gallo mixes opera, comedy and surrealist situations to expose the anxieties that fuel creation, from the audition process through to the climactic concert. For the first act, the audience plays witness to a rehearsal process beset with wrestling matches, bared insecurities and exposed underwear. Viewers then experience the “premiere” of the completed performance. It is entirely sung - in an entirely invented language - to a series of tunes ranging from Gershwin to Middle Eastern folk songs, played by a live eight-piece orchestra. Directed by Claudio Valdés Kuri, El Gallo wittily conveys the obstacles and fears that descend on any production, and the sense of triumph that draws people back to the theater.

The Vagrancy presents the west coast premiere of Bottom of the World by Lucy Thurber, a play accompanied by live bluegrass band, Blue Bird Bandits. This quirky, emotional drama unfolds around a young woman dealing with her sister’s sudden death. Sabina Ptasznik directs the life-affirming piece which flashes back to 1910 and takes a heartfelt look at the various characters’ struggle through loss and longing, while striving for human connection. The cast includes Stephanie O’Neill, Natalie Burtney, Anne Butler, Jordan Boughrum, Jeremy Mascia, Steve Madar, Rosemary Stevens, Michael Edelstein, and musicians J Reinke and Peter Blackwelder. After the play patrons are welcome to a Vagrant Hootenanny hosted by Blue Bird Bandits. Fun, dancing and moonshine guaranteed. Oct. 12 – Nov.3 at the The Lounge Theatres in Hollywood. Click Here for tickets.

OVATION NOMINEES: Congratulations to all of the Ovation Award nominees that were announced tonight at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood. For a complete list of nominees Click Here. The Ovation Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 3 at 7 pm at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, 320 S. Mission Drive in San Gabriel. For more information, visit

CABARET/CONCERTS: Following a sold-out May premiere, A Little New Music comes back to Rockwell: Table & Stage on September 24. The program will showcase music by award-winning writers Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen (Broadway-bound Tuck Everlasing), Carmel Dean & Sarah Underwood, and Ryan Scott Oliver (35MM), among many others and will feature performances by Barrett Foa, Julie Garnye, Tinuke Oyefule, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Gina Coconato, the cast of Third Street Theatre’s The Burnt Part Boys, and more. Jordan Kai Burnett hosts and Bryan Blaskie will be on keys. Doors open at 6:30pm and showtime is 8:00pm. Tickets and information:

Kritzerland presents The Story Goes On: The Songs of Richard Maltby & David Shire, Monday, October 7 at 7:00 pm starring Heather Barr, Will Collyer, Ashley Fox Linton, Sally Mayes, John Sloman and Shannon Warne, with music director John Boswell. For reservations call (818) 754-8700. Cover charge $15 + $10 food minimum + $3 facility charge. Sterling’s at The Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. Click Here for more information.

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