ALMOST, MAINE

Play don’t get any more magical, nor any more unabashedly romantic (with just enough salt to keep things from getting sappy) than John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, the record-breaking Most Produced Flop in off-Broadway history, now getting what well may be its first fully-cast professional Los Angeles production since its 2006 New York debut—and an absolutely wonderful one at that.
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BUS STOP

Little Fish Theatre does everything right in their pitch-perfect revival of William Inge’s Bus Stop, the finest of the dozen-and-a-half productions I’ve reviewed at San Pedro’s little gem of a theater, and one absolutely worth a drive down Port Of Los Angeles way.
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TRUE WEST

A quartet of USC grads have joined forces in “Let’s put on a show” tradition (with some 21st-century Kickstarter help) to bring Los Angeles theater lovers an excitingly performed revival of True West, Sam Shepard’s 1980 contemporary-classic tale of brotherly love and hate.
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LITTLE MAN

The much-dreaded, much-anticipated gathering we call the High School Reunion would seem such a surefire source of comedy, drama, and audience empathy that it comes as a surprise how few films and plays have centered on this once-in-a-decade event. Playwright Bekah Brunstetter helps fill this gap in her highly enjoyable World Premiere dramedy Little Man, the latest from The Los Angeles New Court Theatre.
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4000 MILES

Anyone longing to see an intergenerational relationship depicted in all its potential richness, a family drama that grips without resorting to soap opera melodramatics, and an elderly character not made the butt of the joke need drive a mere six minutes east of Pasadena’s A Noise Within where the Sierra Madre Playhouse is presenting its absolutely splendid Los Angeles Premiere production of Amy Herzog’s Obie-winning dramedy—and 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist—4000 Miles.
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BETTER

When humorist Erma Bombeck wrote about “loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that [binds] us all together,” the family she was referring to could easily have been the one to whose nest successful New York restaurateur Annie returns to face her father’s imminent death in Jessica Goldberg’s funny, perceptive, beautifully acted and directed new drama Better, the latest World Premiere from The Echo Theatre Company.
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THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA?

A different kind of Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name speaks its name in Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning Best Play Of 2002, The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?, the latest from the theater and director who revived Ira Levin’s Deathtrap to brilliant, controversial life a couple years back—and that’s about all I have to say about the team’s latest production before launching into a spoiler-filled second paragraph. Proceed with caution.
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THE WHY

Comedy might be the last approach you’d expect a playwright to take in response to the Columbine High School massacre of April 20, 1999, but leave it to an audacious teenager to pen The Why, the darkest, funniest, most button-pushing and thought-provoking play you may ever see about gun violence.
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