TRYING

Two-character plays don’t get much more entertaining or ultimately moving than Joanna McClelland Glass’s Trying, a humungous hit for the Colony Theatre back in 2007. Now, seven years later, the same lightning could easily strike for Long Beach’s International City Theatre with performances as memorable as those being given by Tony Abatemarco and Paige Lindsey White on the ICT stage.
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I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND

Seven years ago, Erik Patterson’s best friend’s head “exploded,” or at least that’s how the playwright describes the brain aneurysm that sent him rushing to the Manhattan ICU where best friend Uma and her fellow aneurysm victims waged their life-and-death struggle while loved ones watched and waited, hoped and prayed, and bonded with similarly concerned strangers in the hospital waiting room.

Cut to 2014, and the author of the multiple Scenie-winning He Asked For It has taken these real-life events as the point of departure for his latest, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, now getting its World Premiere at Hollywood’s Theatre Of NOTE, and in words I used to describe its predecessor, Patterson’s newest play is “fresh, entertaining, gripping and entirely unpredictable” … and beautifully acted to boot.
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BROADWAY BOUND

Neil Simon plays don’t get any finer than his semi-autobiographical 1986 dramedy Broadway Bound, nor intimate theater revivals any more flawless than the Broadway Bound revival now playing at West L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre under Jason Alexander’s inspired direction.
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ONCE

Sometimes execution can be everything. It certainly is in the case of Once, the multiple Tony-winning Best Musical of 2012. The story and the songs are the same as those in the film on which it is based (a movie I found quite unbearable), and yet as brought to freshly inspired life on the musical theater stage, Once The Musical turns out to be one of the best, and quite possibly the most original Broadway smashes, of the past decade.
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MY FAIR LADY

Moonlight Stage Productions revives the Lerner & Lowe classic My Fair Lady for a 21st-century audience with the one element that’s been mostly missing since its 1956 Broadway debut—sex appeal—and the result is a My Fair Lady that is not only every bit as captivating as the best of the past century, its Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle could give the hottest Hollywood romcom stars a run for their money any day.
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OSWALD, THE ACTUAL INTERROGATION

Playwright Dennis Richard turns audience members into flies on the walls of the Dallas Police Station interrogation room where Lee Harvey Oswald parried question after question with the aplomb of a professional liar in the two days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Richard’s fascinating docudrama Oswald, The Actual Interrogation, now playing at San Pedro’s Little Fish Theatre.
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6 RMS RIV VU

One of theatergoing’s greatest pleasures is the discovery of “forgotten gems,” plays that may have hit it big when they debuted but for one reason or another have faded into obscurity in the intervening years. Such is the case with Bob Randall’s 1972 romantic comedy 6 Rms Riv Vu, now getting a sparkling Sierra Madre Playhouse revival under Sherrie Lofton’s pitch-perfect direction.
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LEAR

A Queen with three sons, two of them ungrateful jerks wed to a pair of domineering Duchesses. An Earl with two daughters, one of them illegitimate and a conniver to boot. Meet Shakespeare Through The Looking Glass as Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum debuts its uniquely intriguing, exquisitely acted, gender-bending take on Shakespeare’s King Lear, retitled simply Lear, directed by and starring Ellen Geer as Queen Lear and Melora Marshall as her Fool.
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