Photo - Billy Calderon
Led Zeppelin titled one of its songs "Rock and Roll;" author Laurence Carr, equally audacious, wrote a play with music in 1997 and called it "Vaudeville."
Currently in its West Coast premiere at the Advent Theatre, "Vaudeville" honors Vaudeville's corniness and sweet-natured vitality while also alerting us to the form's pending demise. The story revolves around 11 Vaudeville performers who live in a Philadelphia rooming house in 1919; one year after the end of World War I, which much more than 9/11 "changed everything."
The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum presents the West Coast Premiere
Written by Bill Bozzone
Directed by Heidi Helen Davis
The beautiful Theatricum Botanicum is the setting for Bill Bozzone’s comedy ROSE COTTAGES, one part of Theatricum’s enjoyable “Outdoors and Inspired” 2011 Summer Repertory Season.
Review by Pauline Adamek
Eclectic Company Theatre's annual playwrights competition and festival, now in its eighth year, showcases new works by promising playwrights, with mixed results.
For three weekends a different trio of plays is on offer, along with a voting ballot for audiences to fill out. The final weekend, August 5-7, is reserved for the audience favorites of the festival. This review is for Week 2. In "Stalking Pollyanna," written by Hal Corley and directed by Katie Witkowski, Mark Motyl plays a middle-aged gay man who spots his boyhood movie-star crush (Hayley Mills) in a bookstore. During this short play he is goaded by his obnoxious younger boyfriend (Jeremy Mascia) to make contact with the girl from his dreams. Delicate revelations that link the man's gay identity with his childhood fantasy are clouded by the implausibility of his friendship with such an insufferable younger man. Dan Farell Bruggeman's "Damien" is directed by Wendy Radford and consists of two intercut monologues that are tenuously linked: Mark Burford charts his character's fondness for his dog while his neighbor, a crabby middle-aged Southern woman (well played by Taylor Ashbrook) suspects the aging pooch of being possessed by the devil. Best of the night is "Holey Smokes," a tale tinged with horror written by Ellen Elizabeth Steves. A massive hole has inexplicably appeared on some rural property. Defying investigation, the chasm traumatizes the locals and visiting scientists. Within the large cast (Dana Amromin directs well), 12-year-old Brighid Fleming gives an exceptional performance, playing a disturbed child with heart-wrenching conviction.
Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 7. (818) 508-3003. eclecticcompanytheatre.org
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What do you get when you cross seven sexually charged sketches and two bombshell burlesque dancers? FETISH, the new play written by Dolores Ribakoff and directed by Bryan Rasmussen, running through April 30 at the lovely Whitefire Theater.
While the writing is often on the G-spot, the subject matter is compelling and entertaining enough to keep the audience engaged for the entire two hours. The show's foreplay begins as you enter the theater, where two lingerie-clad hotties are canoodling on a chaise longue. The girls are in the universe of FETISH, and this awkwardly sexy frolicking is merely a prelude to an evening of mild discomfort, and laughs, as we get a peek into the world of other people's kink. Kistina Reynolds and Tania Pearson-Loeser, the aforementioned hotties, end up being more than pre-show fluffers, their periodic dances are cleverly choreographed and skillfully performed. These numbers totally tie FETISH together.
Of the seven stories "Happy Birthday" stands out for its refreshingly conventional narrative and twist. Whereas the other six skits are salacious slices of life, this one delivers as a play. And Steffinnie Phrommany's nuanced transformation brings FETISH to a climax.
The Brechtian denouement flashes a funhouse-type mirror at the audience. We've been implicated as depraved participants, and our voyeurism is no less perverted than what we've just witnessed.
Click Here for tickets and more information>>
Saturday nights only April 2-30, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Valet and street parking
NO ONE UNDER 18 YRS. WILL BE ALLOWED.
Some Like It Freaky By Christine Palau In writer-director, Adam Neubauer's play, MELODRAMA, which runs through March 12 at Zombie Joe's Underground, John (Robert Walters) suffers mild bouts of hysteria after his father's death a couple years earlier. His inept struggle to find his dad’s assassin lends itself to a deluge of perversity and high-jinx. Part musical, part sitcom, it's the quintessential, self-conscious, Valley romp that both haters and 818-ers are sure to get a kick out of. It's Weho Meets Noho...with a dash of Chatsworth.
Yafit Josephson gives an accomplished performance in her solo show about a Jewish actress facing down Hollywood's cultural stereotypes. It's marred only by a poorly designed slideshow. Josephson slips easily into various personae, combining characters with caricatures to good comedic effect. The opening has her switching from a formidable military officer to her nervous young self on her first day of compulsory military training in the Israeli army. Highlights include a hilarious mime sequence where she uncomprehendingly attempts yoga and another scene where she gives a goofy impression of a macho guy in an Israeli nightclub. Josephson's tall, slender build, piercing eyes and chiseled face lend her a commanding presence, but it's her prominent proboscis that relegates her to the usual gamut of villainous roles, from terrorist to evil witch - "And no, they didn't have to use a fake nose," she jokes. Her adult journey takes her from the New World back to Israel, where she touches base with her culture, returning to Hollywood with newfound strength of character. Beneath the comedy lies a serious undercurrent stemming from the ongoing war in the Middle East: Land equals identity.
By Pauline Adamek
The Troubadour Theater Company, led by writer-director-star Matt Walker, is back at the Falcon Theatre for its annual Christmas show. This time, it's the nativity story set to 18 of Billy Joel's songs.