Tuesday, October 30, 2018

NBY OCTOBER COLUMN: OPPENHEIMER & FINKS - LOST IN TIME - BEAUTY QUEEN OF LENANE - THE RESCUED



OPPENHEIMER & FINKS (Venice)  Both Tom Morton-Smith’s play OPPENHEIMER and Joe Gilford’s FINKS will be playing in repertory as both examine socialism and communism movements in America in the 30s-50s. In OPPENHEIMER, directed by Artistic Director, John Perrin Flynn, we see the personal cost of making history as he struggles to cast off his radical past beliefs. While FINKS, directed by Michael Pressman, is a searing view of the blacklisting that resulted from these movements. Rogue Machine at Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice. (855) 585-5185 or www.roguemachinetheatre.com
LOST IN TIME (Atwater) When an older man wakes up one morning as his twenty-three-year-old self, he believes now is a chance to rectify the mess he’s made of his life. But when he attempts to alter his story by romancing the woman he knows will be his wife, it goes badly, and he finds himself in a desperate battle to save his future. Says director Keith Szarabajka, “Who hasn’t thought at one time or another, if only I could go back and do it all over again…knowing then what I know now!” Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. LA. (818) 839-1197 or https://dime.io/events/lost-in-time
BEAUTY QUEEN OF LENANE (Hollywood) 
In a remote cottage in Ireland, beautiful Maureen has been caring for her manipulative, aging mother Mag for twenty years. When Maureen has a chance at happiness with a local beau, suffocated dreams and simmering resentments surface. From writer Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) comes this darkly comic tale. Developed at Actor’s Studio and directed by Mark Kemble. At Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave, Hollywood. (323) 960-7774 or www.plays411.com/leenane
THE RESCUED (North Hollywood) 
What happens to a human being after being abused, forgotten, and living in a cage for years? Do we find the same compassion for them, that we might find for rescue animals? Follow six souls who spend the day singing, sleeping, and comparing memories from their past with the reality of the present. Can they learn how to trust, how to love and be loved, and how to finally feel free? Written by Julie Marie Myatt, directed by Marya Mazor. At Road Theatre on Magnolia, NoHo Senior Arts Colony, 10747 Magnolia Blvd. NoHo. (818) 761-8838 or www.RoadTheatre.org

From my column in the October issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY




Wednesday, October 3, 2018

OLD CLOWN WANTED review




Ionesco meets Beckett in this delightfully enigmatic comedy inspired by a 1970 Federico Fellini film. It’s at an open-call theatre audition – or is it - where three former circus stars are vying for a job. Time has passed but memories of the glory days still throb in their hearts. They had performed together many years before and now, taken back in time, their circus act comes to life. These three marvelous performers transform from decrepit oldsters to their youthful past selves but rivalry, that old show-biz demon, humorously arises and causes conflict.

Alan Abelew as Niccolo is cleverly devious but sadly vulnerable; Jose A. Garcia as Filippo is a delightful nag but has a tender heart beneath, and Beth Hogan as Peppino, the classic actress, hilariously takes one-up-man-ship to a new level. All are superbly clownish performers who personify the hidden heartbreak under greasepaint and funny red noses. The ending is wonderfully ambiguous and hardly what was expected. Or was it? Go and see for yourself.

By Romanian-French playwright Matei Vi┼čniec, translated by Jeremy Lawrence, and directed by Romanian-born Florinel Fatulescu.

At Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, West LA. (310) 477-2055 or OdysseyTheatre.com.

Photos by Enci.

Also featured in the October issue of Not Born Yesterday.