Posts Tagged ‘East West Players’


Powerful performances highlighted by Anna Khaja’s riveting star turn command attention in the Los Angeles Premiere of Anupama Chandrasekhar’s Free Outgoing. Still, the unremitting bleakness of its shocking-but-true story of conservative Indian values in today’s anything-goes Internet age could make it a hard sell for East West Players.
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Thomas Wolfe to the contrary, you can go home again. Just don’t expect to have fun once you’ve arrived, not if the family you’ve left behind in the Appalachians is as dysfunctional as Hiro’s in Leah Nanako Winkler’s Kentucky, an entertaining but hit-and-miss East West Players West Coast Premiere that could be a whole lot better without tonal shifts that take it back and forth from over-the-top sitcomish to authentically real.
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Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s La Cage Aux Folles is back in L.A. thanks to East West Players, and as anyone who’s seen one of EWP’s annual Broadway musical revivals will tell you, this means yet another thrillingly reimagined Asian take on a contemporary musical theater classic.
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A trio of SoCal Filipinas earning extra cash by weeping and wailing at funerals may provide the title (and the hook) for Giovanni Ortega’s Criers For Hire, but it’s the play’s mother-daughter reunion and its look at a teenage girl’s coming-of-age in a new land that give Ortega’s delightful, charming World Premiere comedy its emotional heart and punch.
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East West Players continues its two-year-long 50th-anniversary celebration with Chinglish, David Henry Hwang’s hilarious, perceptive, eye-opening look at Chinese-American relationships (including one of a particularly romantic/sexual nature), a Los Angeles Premiere that could well prove one of EWP’s most popular productions ever. It’s certainly one of the finest I’ve seen onstage at the David Henry Hwang Theater.
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A fabulous, primarily Asian-American cast, design elements with a Far East flavor, and a 1960s-though-‘80s time frame that inspires a slew of innovative costumes and choreography …

All of this (and more) add up to an exciting East West Players revival of the now iconic The Who’s Tommy.
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Sometimes all it takes to turn a cramped, overpriced, single-occupancy big-city condo into a must-own Manhattan co-op is something as seemingly trivial as a washer/dryer, which is why newlywed Sonya will do anything to maintain ownership of her co-op in Nandita Shenoy’s terrific World Premiere Comedy Washer/Dryer—even if it means pretending that her handsome hubby is merely a frequent sleep-over chum.
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The women are gorgeous and the men … Well, the men are women—and every bit as stunning to look at—in Takarazuka, the all-female Japanese musical revue that is the setting for Susan Soon He Stanton’s fascinating new behind-the-scenes play-with-music Takarazuka!!!, now getting its West Coast Premiere at East West Players.
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