With hardboiled private detectives, double-crossing femme fatales, unscrupulous villains and plenty of intrigue, Play Noir returns to the Actors Workout Studio. Take a trip back to Hollywood's Golden Age with four short plays that revel in all things noir -- and are all set right here in the City of Angels. This year's thrilling show features Speak No Evil by Michael W. Moon, Desperate Desires by David Galanter, Outside Job by Hope Thompson, and The Zone Ranger by Ben Goldstein and Mac Taylor.
“The Rainmaker” focuses largely on the fate of Lizzie, who
lives on a family farm with her brothers and father in the Dust Bowl during
the Depression. She capably takes care of the men in her house, but there’s
an emptiness in her life. She has no one of her own, and she dreams of a
husband and children. A visit to her cousins, actually a failing attempt to
find a prospective mate, has left her more frustrated than ever. The
recurrent reminders that she is considered “plain” by her family and
herself do not relieve her fears of winding up as the “maiden aunt.”
The Curry farm, like all those around them, is impacted by a
withering and persistent drought. Suddenly, a charismatic stranger named
Starbuck appears, claiming that he can make the clouds come and the rains
fall. “The Rainmaker” is about love, desire and magic, and expresses
these themes so resonantly that the play has been translated into forty
languages since it premiered on Broadway in 1954.
Fun (and appropriate) for all ages 2yrs-200, this show, directed by Frank Caeti, features improv games that rely on audience suggestions and participation. Great for the whole family! We are the Bugs Bunny of improv; come be a part of the show!
The final musical collaboration by the legendary theater team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman) comes to Los Angeles for a run at the Ahmanson Theatre. This surprising and inspiring story is based on the Scottsboro case from the '30s concerning nine young African-American men who were unjustly accused of a shocking crime and whose story would eventually contribute to the Civil Rights Movement. The Scottsboro Boys is told through a mix of innovative staging and piercing songs, and garnered 12 Tony Award nominations. This production is directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers).
In The Size of Pike, to sit behind a desk is to “check your nuts at the door” according to hard-bitten-rod, who views his friends’ ability to adapt to the changing world around them as tantamount to treason. When, in the wake of his father’s death, Rod’s best friend Fetcher opts for a weekend at Lake Jamaica with the country club set instead of their annual fishing trip to Lake Fred, strong bonds forged in adolescence threaten to break. Caught in the middle, third-wheel John must choose sides: Rod’s, Fetcher’s or his own. The Size of Pike is a whisky-fueled, sharply comic, coming-of-middle-age story about friendship, identity and need among men.
Set in a cell in Lebanon in the 1980s, three men are taken hostage by a group of Islamic militants. Forced to cope with the daily challenges of fear and uncertainty, the men are thrust into a dangerous emotional climate that shifts between savage fighting, gentle understanding, uproarious laughter and deep grief; an emotional roller-coaster ride through the horrors of captivity, the balm of memory and the unbreakable strength of friendships forged by dire circumstance.
This heartwarming true story follows a group of friends who gather each week at a salon in Chinquapin Parish, Louisiana. Truvy dispenses shampoo and advice to Ouiser, the town curmudgeon (“I’m not crazy; I’ve just been in a bad mood for forty years”), Miss Clairee, an eccentric millionaire with a sweet tooth, and M’Lynn, whose daughter Shelby is about to get married. Tough as steel and fragile as the blossoms of magnolia trees, these hilarious characters gossip, tease, laugh, fight, cajole, and comfort each other as they go through life’s big joys and challenges.
Ingmar Bergman’s chamber drama Through A Glass Darkly is a character study dealing with the universal themes of faith, family, and reality. Recently released from a mental hospital, Karin and her family go on their annual holiday to a small island off the coast of Sweden. They all have high hopes for regaining a sense of normalcy, but Karin’s inner and outer worlds begin to collide, forcing a shattering of her sense of reality and those of the men (her husband, father, and brother) who are trying to save her. Bergman’s movie won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Shakespeare's Timon of Athens Gets Modern Adaptation
Actors Forum Theatre (10655 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91601) Full Price:
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When Lord Timon, a generous pillar of society whose patronage has allowed others to benefit, is hit with financial disaster, his "friends" refuse to provide him with any aid in Timon of Athens. This contemporary telling of William Shakespeare's work still touches on the universal truths of corruption, the monetization of human relationships, debt and deceit, and the selfishness of mankind. Shakespeare's words still resonate some 400 years later in this searing drama, which is being staged for the first time in the Los Angeles area in 15 years.
Trainspotting – Disturbing. Gruesome. Funny. Mark Renton and his mates Sick Boy, Tommy and Begbie embark on a horrific journey to the heart of a world peopled by psychos, junkies and drunk Scottish fathers. Entertaining and shocking in equal measure, Harry Gibson's stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh's cult novel charts the harrowing, but at times hilarious, disintegration of their friendship as they hurtle towards self-destruction.
Weird On Top, a favorite with local audiences, returns to The Eclectic Company Theatre by popular demand with more premium-grade improvisational comedy. The players include Danielle Cintron, Tiffany Cole, Mason Hallberg, Kerr Seth Lordygan, Sarah McCann and Alex Sanborn. Be prepared for the bizarre, the unexpected, and the very, very funny.
Wild, bawdy and ferociously playful, Joe Orton's outrageous farce, What the Butler Saw, is one of the seminal works of modern comedy. When a psychiatrist tries to seduce an aspiring secretary, his botched efforts lead to comic bedlam involving his insatiable wife, a randy bellhop, a befuddled police officer and Sir Winston Churchill. Psychiatry, religion, marriage, government, definitions of gender and even language are all targets of British playwright Orton's poison pen. His sly jokes and hilarious shenanigans will have you shaking with laughter from start to finish.
"Which Way Is Out?", is the story of Monica, a poor girl from a remote rural district in Jamaica West Indies, with whom, a "well to do" visiting American tourist falls in love. After much convincing, he marries her, and takes her to the U.S.A. The man's family vehemently rejects Monica, but, he protects her from their attacks, while he quickly gets her acclimatized to her new environment, and the ways of life expected of her new role as a middle class American wife. It is a tall order, and an uphill climb for Monica, but, she tries to learn as fast as she is able, encouraged and inspired by the love, affection, care, respect and attention shown to her by her husband. Tragedy strikes, her husband suddenly dies, and Monica, without support, and, the unbridled hostility of his family unleashed on her, is forced to fight life as a lone stranger in the U.S.A. "Which Way Is Out?" is an intriqueing and inspiring account of perseverance, love, triumph and forgiveness in the face of adversity.
Clare Boothe Luce’s 1936 play was the first American comedy about women by a woman. Set within a world of Manhattan women who are wealthy, social and privileged, along with the pink-collar women who serve and maintain them, the action and themes of this play are as relevant now as they were 77 years ago. The more things change…. Ms. Luce takes a jaundiced view of her gender, as the female friends of the uptown circle are often not content to be faithful to their own men and engage in spiteful gossip to sabotage the marriages and relationships of their purported friends.
Sweet Mary Haines believes that she has the perfect marriage. When someone in her circle lets slip that her husband has a mistress. Mary is devastated, and her wise mother gives her sage advice to preserve her marriage. Mary then proceeds to ignore her mother’s counsel, making every mistake she could possibly make. She seems set on a path to divorce, severing the ties between herself and the man she loves (and who still loves her, despite everything). Additionally, her adorable little daughter is just crushed by the turn of events. Can the Haines’ marriage possibly be saved? Will the other women in Mary’s circle find love and fulfillment? Will the nasty gossipmongers get their comeuppance? “The Women” has sex, gossip, marriage and romance. In short, it has everything that preoccupies the airwaves today. It was all upon the stage first. Men are frequently mentioned but never seen in this narrative.
Two 40-something men, who have been friends for decades but only cursorily in touch via social media over the past four years, finally get together for coffee. But their long anticipated “face to face” meeting reaps surprising consequences now that truthful and dramatic changes in each of their lives are revealed. Can this long time relationship survive?