A commuter train leaves San Francisco Airport at 4:15 a.m. on its way to the East Bay. A man and a woman who have nothing in common but their crossword puzzles are on that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train. She takes crosswords (and life) very seriously; he treats everything like a game. By the time they reach East Bay their lives have changed.
99 Histories is a powerful story about the familial bonds between mothers and daughters, generation to generation. Korean American Eunice, a former cello prodigy, comes home pregnant and unmarried, trying to mend the relationship with her estranged mother. Haunted by violent memories and previous battles with mental illness, Eunice must confront her ghosts before she can move forward in life. In this riveting story of memory, legacy and home, what is remembered might be made up and the only homelands that seem to exist are imaginary.
Theatricum continues its celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday with the Bard’s bittersweet comedy. The beautiful but low-born Helena heals the king, winning the right to marry the man she loves – a count above her station. But no one is prepared for the severity and ruthlessness of Bertram’s rejection of Helena as his royally-decreed wife, nor for the lengths to which Helena will go in order to win his love. This summer, discover Theatricum Botanicum's “garden of theater,” a spectacular outdoor amphitheater nestled in the heart of Topanga Canyon.
The quirky and complicated creatures featured in Animals Out of Paper aren't pieces of origami, but the characters written by playwright (and Pulitzer Prize finalist) Rajiv Joseph. Meet Ilana, a famous origami artist reduced by a series of tragedies to living in her studio, surrounded by paper cranes. Her seclusion is broken by Andy, an energetic high school teacher, and his student Suresh, an origami prodigy with some major attitude problems. Through the interactions of these three, Animals Out of Paper traces the complex ways in which people hurt, heal and love those around them. This funny, inventive and heart-wrenching drama stars C.S. Lee (Dexter), Tess Lina (Revenge) and Kapil Talwalkar.
Barnyard Madness with the Three Pigs is a zany 1940s Country and Western romp and toe-tapping, finger-snapping musical comedy that follows the romantic antics and show business aspirations of the singing McPig Sisters and their wolverine admirers, proving once and for all that true friendship does not depend on size, color, background, nationality or even "species." A cross between "Grand Ole Opry", "The Three Little Pigs", and drawing from all the happy moments of "Romeo & Juliet", Barnyard Madness offers humorous, yet keen, insights into the dangers of falling in with the "wrong crowd," the deceptive nature of stereotypes, and the importance of following your heart. Barnyard Madness is one of fifteen original fairy tales that are part of the Santa Monica Playhouse award-winning Family Theatre Musical Matinee Series that cut across the imaginary generation gap by providing an experience that the entire family can enjoy.
This incredible, sort-of-true story centers on Dr. John Broadus Watson, the father of Behaviorism and modern advertising. Famous for his "Little Albert" experiment in which a baby was conditioned to fear things he had previously loved, Dr. Broadus lost his job at John Hopkins after an affair with a lab assistant. He then applied his behavioral methods to the world of advertising and forever changed the world. Over 10 years in the making, the hilarious musical comes from the comedy writing team Burglars of Hamm and was completed with a commission from the Center Theatre Group and a Kickstarter funding campaign. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but it's probably all just emotional conditioning.
Agatha Christie's master detective Hercule Poirot appears in 33 novels, a slew of movies (where he's been played by Peter Ustinov, Tony Randall and Albert Finney), tons more TV (where David Suchet and Alfred Molina had the honors) but only one play. Now Theatre Palisades brings the dapper Belgian and his "little gray cells" to the stage in Christie's thriller Black Coffee. In this suspenseful mystery, the charming and ingenious Poirot is summoned by England's most prominent physicist, Sir Claud Amory, who fears that someone in his household is attempting to steal his latest discovery, a formula critical to England's defense. Poirot and Captain Hastings rush to get there, but upon arrival they find that Amory's been murdered, his formula's missing and anyone in his country house -- full of visiting relatives and friends -- could have been responsible. Ken MacFarlane directs.
“With ExtravaDANZA, we wanted to create something unique, fun and different that surpassed the average theatre experience,” said Luvara. “The ExtravaDANZA is a multi-disciplined exploration of everything 80s that will transport the audience to an entire hit era through one hit TV show.” Tony, played by Damien Luvara, having been a huge star on Taxi suddenly finds himself out of a job and looking for work in this off-the-cuff comedy about Danza’s early career life. After finding fame on the small screen as Tony Banta, the sweet-natured and somewhat dimwitted cab driver, on Taxi, Tony finds himself out of a job and looking for work. A strange man makes him an offer he can’t refuse, but how much is Tony willing to sacrifice in order to regain his fame?
Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander (who starred in the original Broadway production) directs Neil Simon's hilarious, heartwarming semi-autobiographical play. Brothers Eugene and Stanley Jerome are determined to break into show business as professional comedy writers. As their parents' relationship unravels, the brothers convene in the upstairs bedroom of their Brighton Beach home to write and rehearse material. When the brothers use their real-life family situation as inspiration for a radio comedy skit, they quickly learn the complications that ensue when life informs art. A finalist for the the1987 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the recipient of four Tony nominations when it premiered on Broadway, Broadway Bound sparkles with the potent combination of Simon’s celebrated comic genius and his deep understanding of family dynamics.
A multiracial orphan girl, growing up in a predominantly white California town in the 1950's, discovers an entirely new sense of self when a black girl from Alabama suddenly appears in her world. Lyrically brimming with passion and humor, Bulrusher is about how we move forward in our lives by learning from our past.
Buried Child, the powerfully mysterious play that won Sam Shepard a 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is a darkly comic meditation on the theme of "You can't go home again." The story begins when 20-something Vince decides to bring his girlfriend back to his family's decaying farm. A sweet idea, but there's a hitch: No one "back home" -- neither his folks nor his grandparents -- seems to remember him. Eviscerating Rockwell-ian notions of American rural life, the play oozes with a spookiness that takes a long while to shake off. Buried Child is a bona fide classic masterfully conveying the mystical, cannibalistic pull of family ties even as they unravel.
Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, his final and perhaps greatest play, is still as relevant today, with its treatment of mortgage and debt and a changing socioeconomic climate, as it was when it opened at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1904. A cherry orchard, holding years of family memories within its blossoms and branches, is the pride and joy of the owners of an estate. However, it's about to be sold at auction unless delinquent property taxes are paid -- but no one seems to be willing able to grasp the gravity of the situation.
At the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, a young black man knows what is expected of him. Work hard, fall in line and if you’ve got the voice for it, use it to praise God in the school choir. Within these walls, Pharus Young, with the voice of an angel and a keen mind, should be a star. But in the face of Drew’s time-honored traditions, can music overcome silence? Award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney navigates expectation, alienation and the overwhelming desire to be heard.
Cited for its toe-curling frankness and comedic twists, that have nothing to do with battling poultry, this Olivier Award winning play makes its Los Angeles debut at Rogue Machine. The worst of men's (and women's) behaviors explode in a lustfulicious triangle. John desperately needs some straightening out...no intermission, no retreat, and no surrender.
Charismatic, confident and caring, Tom Hodges is that guy. The teacher students adore and parents admire. The smart, wise-cracking colleague with all the answers. The neighbor who takes care of the neighborhood. The seemingly perfect husband and father. But when a student accuses Tom of crossing a line, his friends and family can’t help but question his actions and relationships become splintered. This delicately balanced, beautifully nuanced new drama digs deep beneath the surface of a happy suburban existence to explore the damage done when seeds of mistrust are planted. The cast for Conviction includes Tom Astor, Elyse Mirto, Joseph Fuqua, Julie Granata, and Daniel Burns under the direction of Outer Critics and Lortel Award-winner Scott Schwartz. The production is co-produced by Rubiocn Theatre Company in association with Dead Posh Productions, London; The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Canada; and Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, New York. Talkbacks following Wednesday evening shows – preview excepted)
Chris Brewster's hilarious dark comedy Doubting Thomason returns to Los Angeles. Days before it's set to open a production, a small theater company learns it doesn't have the rights to perform the show and must scramble to come up with an all-new play -- that utilizes the same actors, set and even a kissing scene. A character-driven comedy populated by drama queens, aspiring starlets, surfer dudes and dedicated professionals, Doubting Thomason takes the audience behind the scenes for a funny peek at life on the other side of the curtain.
At once an explosive comedy of ideas and a high-stakes political thriller, this bold new work deftly reveals the cat-and-mouse games in politics and art, and the craft of learning how to speak the truth in difficult times. In London in the year 1605, a down-and-out playwright called “Shagspeare” receives a royal commission from King James to write a play promoting the government's version of the Gunpowder Plot, a recent failed attempt to blow up Parliament and the Monarchy. As Shag navigates the dangerous course between writing a lie and losing his soul — or writing the truth and losing his head — his devoted theater troupe helps him negotiate each step of the way. Winner of the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. “One of the most bracingly intelligent, sizzlingly theatrical American plays in a decade.” — Variety