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Brian Friel’s “Faith Healer” At The Odyssey Theatre

It is the Odyssey Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season and in honor of this wonderful accomplishment the company starts off with an intimate and powerful bang with Brian Friel’s “Faith Healer” as directed by Ron Sossi, the company’s artistic director.  In the program notes Mr. Sossi points out that though the theatre launched in 1969 and the play didn’t appear on the scene until the late 1970s, the play seems a “most apt prelude to the[ir] retrospective” season due to its innovative role in developing what we now know as the ‘monologue play’.  It was also the first play the company performed when they opened their new/current space 30 years prior on S. Sepulveda Blvd in Los Angeles.

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Theatre Unleashed: Lauren Gunderson’s “Ada and the Engine” – A Must-See in Koreatown

es, it’s possible if not likely the play has simply conjured up all of this complexity of feeling and that nothing ever existed between Ada and Babbage beyond their shared vision.  Yes, I know, there have been multiple instances over time where Ada’s contribution to the invention of the first computing machine has been questioned and tested and even dismissed.None of that matters, for the romantic liaison that Gunderson has crafted and Powers has brought to life delivers one of the loveliest and mature romantic moments I’ve seen on stage. 

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“The Bourgeois Gentlemen” at the City Garage Theatre, Santa Monica CA

The City Garage once again shows its audiences in Santa Monica, CA how much Moliere’s work is both relevant and necessary with their revival of “The Bourgeois Gentleman”.  Originally produced by the company in 2008 with a new English translation from the show’s director Frédérique Michel and the producer/production designer Charles A. Duncombe, the play centers on a wealthy merchant with dreams of becoming a member of the aristocracy.

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“America Adjacent” At The Skylight Theatre Is Worth Consideration…

If this sounds stark, that’s only because a simple paragraph of explanation cannot possibly do the script justice.  Los Angeles based playwright Boni B. Alvarez is himself a son of Filipino immigrant parents and he has tapped into his roots to craft multi-dimensional characters that deliver surprising levels of humor in spite of the fact that they are essentially prisoners.  The humor reveals the humanity and depth of these characters in ways that draw you close to them no matter how far removed you might feel from their situation.   

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“The Dance Of Death” At The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Trapped in an atmosphere rife with the air of past punishment and with no concrete tasks to take up their time, Alice [Lizzy Kimball] and The Captain [Darrell Larson] play cards, say they will allow themselves one drink then pour three or more over the course of an evening, and argue with an off-stage cook about a dinner that never arrives.  They wonder whether they should take on another lover and recall how the last threesome went.  If this doesn’t sound like Strindberg to you, you’ve been missing out for not only is the play as sexually explicit as one could get in its time, it is also brutally funny and Ms. Kimball and Mr. Larson know exactly how to use both elements to their most effective ends as they engage in a slowly building battle for supremacy over the other. 

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