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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GOOD PEOPLE

What better way could there be of following David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole (La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts’ recent Scenie-winning Production Of The Year) than with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s latest hit? Simply put, Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People makes for an evening of Great Theater.
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COCK

It’s time for John to stop letting M down (and standing him up and cheating and lying and failing and generally cocking things up), or so the 20something gay Brit’s lover informs him upon learning of his younger partner’s serious fling with a member of the opposite sex in Mike Bartlett’s provocative (and provocatively titled) dramatic comedy Cock, now getting an imaginatively directed, thrillingly acted West Coast Premiere at Rogue Machine.
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ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER

A woman who has become a virtual recluse in the months since the breakup of her marriage and the disappearance of a cherished pet. A high school calculus teacher who’s been keeping a written record of his life’s every blessing since the age of twelve. The teacher’s star student, an Indian-American math nerd who fancies himself a black rapper.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph weaves these three ordinary lives into something quite extraordinary in his 2008 dramedy Animals Out Of Paper, now being given a pitch-perfect Los Angeles Premiere as the opening salvo in East West Players’ two-year-long celebration of its 50th season of offering Angelinos of every ethnicity the finest in Asian-American theater.
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