WALKING TO BUCHENWALD

An intergenerational trek across Europe turns a good deal darker than the lighthearted family road trip it initially promises to be in the Open Fist Theatre Company’s World Premiere Walking To Buchenwald, the funny, impactful latest from the endlessly self-reinventing Tom Jacobson.
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BR’ER COTTON

An angry, rebellious African-American teen finds himself at loggerheads with his hard-working single mom, his tradition-bound granddad, and the racist world he confronts on a daily basis in Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s Br’er Cotton, a dialog-provoking gripper of a play that I’d like even better if it stayed in the very real present instead of detouring into magical realism territory and the Civil War past.
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OUR TOWN

Deaf West Theatre and Thornton Wilder prove a match made in heaven as Pasadena Playhouse debuts an exquisite seventy-ninth anniversary revival of Wilder’s classic bit of Americana, Our Town, as it has quite literally never been staged before.
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TRIBES

A young man who cannot hear, parents and siblings who will not listen, and an outsider who disrupts the ties that bind populate Nina Raine’s powerful, discussion-provoking Tribes, now getting a memorable Orange County Premiere at Anaheim’s Chance Theater.
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FIXED

A sexually confused Filipino-American “ladyboy,” the drag princess’s sexually confused Mexican-American sort-of boyfriend, and the sort-of boyfriend’s just plain confused sort-of girlfriend, all three of them in massive states of denial, play out a centuries-old game of love and death in contemporary L.A. in Boni B. Alvarez’s Fixed, a Filipino-Latino telenovela come deliciously to life on the Atwater Village Echo Theater stage.
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THE VIEW UPSTAIRS

The thirty-four gay bar patrons who lost their lives in the 1973 arson attack on New Orleans’ UpStairs Lounge deserve far better than Max Vernon’s corny, clichéd The View UpStairs, now getting its West Coast Premiere at Celebration Theatre, and so do its crème-de-la-crème cast and creative team.
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THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT

A cabal of super-wealthy corporate execs conspire to drill for oil deep under the cafés and museums and monuments of Paris, environmental consequences be damned, in Jean Giraudoux’s The Madwoman Of Chaillot, the latest bit of theatrical alchemy from A Noise Within.
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MASTER CLASS

Carolyn Hennesy gives one of the year’s most dazzling performances as the legendary Maria Callas in the virtual one-woman-show that is Terrence McNally’s Master Class, the inaugural season opener of the newly rechristened, spiffily refurbished Garry Marshall Theatre.
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