Posts Tagged ‘Matrix Theatre’

WHEN JAZZ HAD THE BLUES

He was the love of Lena Horne’s life. He ghostwrote and/or arranged many of Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits. He lived an openly gay life three full decades before Stonewall. He was Billy Strayhorn, and if the name doesn’t ring a bell, playwright Carole Eglash-Kosoff aims to rectify that with her elucidating, engrossing, enormously entertaining World Premiere musical drama When Jazz Had The Blues.
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RUBEN GUTHRIE

Giving up the bottle in a country where the rate of alcoholism is among the highest in the developed world is no laughing matter, that is unless you’re playwright Brendan Cowell, whose year of self-imposed sobriety inspired the thoroughly entertaining dark dramatic comedy Ruben Guthrie, the second half of the rotating-rep double-bill that marks the welcome return of Los Angeles’s Australian Theatre Company.
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SPEAKING IN TONGUES

The secrets we hide from those we love, the lies we tell to protect both them and ourselves, and the truths that can only be revealed to strangers lie at the heart of Andrew Bovell’s extraordinary Speaking In Tongues, the first half of the rotating-rep double-bill that marks the welcome return of Los Angeles’s Australian Theatre Company.
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THE MOUNTAINTOP

A sexy young maid’s late-night visit to a preacher’s Memphis motel room provokes unexpected consequences in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. That the preacher in question is Dr. Martin Luther King on the last night of his life is just one reason audiences should be lining up to catch the Olivier Award Winning Best New Play of 2009’s long-awaited Los Angeles Premiere at the Matrix.
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SERRANO THE MUSICAL

SoCal’s major regional houses can eat their hearts out they didn’t get first dibs on the World Premiere of Serrano The Musical, while L.A. musical theater aficionados can rejoice that this sensational contemporary adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac told Goodfellas style is making its debut in the up-close-and-personal intimacy of the Matrix on Melrose.
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IN A DARK DARK HOUSE

NOT RECOMMENDED

It’s rare than a single performance can sink an otherwise mostly fine production, but such is the case in the Los Angeles Premiere of Neil LaBute’s In A Dark Dark House, a play consisting of three extended two-actor scenes revolving around a central character who only departs the stage during set changes. Unfortunately, since Aaron McPherson is not up to the challenges of bringing Terry to real, three-dimensional life, In A Dark Dark House fails to get the Matrix Theatre Guest Production it deserves.
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HOLDING THE MAN

The Aussies have set up shop at the Matrix Theatre as a troupe of L.A.-based actors from Down Under aptly-named the Australian Theatre Company present the Southern California Premiere of the true-life coming-of-age/coming-out/coming-to-terms-with-AIDS play Holding The Man, exciting news indeed for Angelinos in search of quality theater Ozzie-style.
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THE END OF IT

RECOMMENDED
A 50ish couple (or is it three?) confront the dissolution of a twenty-year relationship in Paul Coates’ The End Of It, a World Premiere production elevated above a too generic script by sensational direction, fine acting, and one humdinger of a gimmick.
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