There are plays that grab you from their opening moments and keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. And then there’s Endgame, the latest from A Noise Within.
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The flamboyant theater queen who lives to rag on this year’s Tony winners. The average-looking all-around good gay who’s everybody’s best friend and nobody’s boyfriend. The foreign-born charmer living with HIV—though no longer with his (married-her-for-a-green-card) wife. The small-town boy whose move to the big city has meant making gay friends—and a new life he could never have had back home.

We’ve seen these gay men, or gay men like them, on stage before, most notably in the pre-Stonewall world of Mart Crowley’s The Boys In The Band and in the AIDS-crisis world of Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion!

Now, young Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins brings these gay archetypes into the 21st Century in his 2011 Jefferson Award-nominated dramedy The Homosexuals, now being given a couldn’t-be-better West Coast Premiere by Celebration Theatre.

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Neil Simon reminisces about his last days of being a live-at-home son and the earliest days of his writing career in Broadway Bound, the third play in Simon’s “Eugene Trilogy” and one of the master scribe’s bona fide masterworks, now getting a Broadway-caliber revival by McCoy-Rigby Entertainment at the La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts.
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Let’s say your most recent play has won every major Best Production award in L.A. and you’re about to head back east to star in it off-Broadway. That would be one tough act to follow, wouldn’t it?

But follow it John Pollono has with Lost Girls, a night-and-day departure from the aforementioned Small Engine Repair, but a humdinger of a play in its own right, and one whose last five minutes elevate it to a whole new level of amazing.
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IN THE NEXT ROOM (or the vibrator play)

Debuting its new home at North Hollywood’s Secret Rose Theatre, L.A.’s award-winning The Production Company opens its seventh season with a sparkling Los Angeles Intimate Stage Premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s delightful, provocative, ultimately uplifting In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), a 2010 Best Play Tony nominee and one that more than matches Ruhl’s previous The Clean House, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Eurydice in quirky originality and charm.
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Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Gina Gionfriddo examines the changing roles of women from the pre-Betty Friedan 1950s to the post-post-Feminist now in Rapture, Blister, Burn—and if this sounds like a potentially dry (i.e. boring) way to spend a night at the theater, think again. I haven’t had a more exhilarating time with four fabulous women and one not-so-fabulous man in I don’t know how long.
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A pair of aging partners in murder-for-pay meet in a rundown diner for breakfast (and playwrights-only-know what else) in Dennis A. Pratt & Robert Vincent O’Neil’s crackerjack comedy-mystery-suspense thriller Night Hawks, now getting a much deserved extension at North Hollywood’s Crown City Theatre.
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You’d think that a play that ran a mere 125 performances on Broadway way back in 1954 would have faded into almost instant obscurity. Not so with L. Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker, which is doing just fine and dandy nearly sixty years later, as The Old Globe’s captivating, innovative revival makes abundantly clear.
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