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A Little Night of Theater: Mar. 5th – 10th

Published March 5, 2013 by mickala

A Family Thing” – RunTill Mar. 17th – Stage 52 – Los Angeles
My Night Musing

**”Walking the Tightrope” – Runs Till Mar. 30th – 24th Street Theatre – Downtown
My Night Musing

“Complete” – Runs Till Mar. 30th – The Matrix Theatre – Hollywood
My Night Musing

“Songs of Bilitis” – Runs Till Mar. 30th – Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles
Night Musing Coming Soon

“Chapter Two”Runs Till Apr. 6thLittle Fish Theatre – San Pedro
Night Musing Coming Soon

“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” – Runs Wednesdays Till Apr. 10th – Theatre Asylum – Hollywood
My Night Musing

“Trainspotting”Runs Till Apr. 13thElephant Theatre – Hollywood
Night Musing Coming Soon

“Dreamgirls”Runs Till Apr. 14th- MET Theatre – Hollywood

** = YOU MUST SEE THIS

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A Little Night of Theatre: Feb 28th – Mar 3rd

Published February 28, 2013 by mickala

“The Snake Can”Last WeekendOdyssey Theatre – West Los Angeles
My Night Musing

**A MUST SEE**
“Walking the Tightrope”
Runs Till Mar. 30th24th Street Theatre – Downtown
My Night Musing

A Family Thing”Runs Till Mar. 17th Stage 52 – Los Angeles
My Night Musing

“Complete” – Runs Till Mar. 30th – The Matrix Theatre – Los Angeles
Night Musing Coming Soon

“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” Runs Wednesdays Till Apr. 10th – Theatre Asylum – Hollywood
My Night Musing

Laughter You’ll Remember at Antaeus’ “you CAN’T take it WITH you”

Published October 23, 2012 by mickala

The Antaeus Theatre is well known for putting on the great classics which they always double cast, giving audiences multiple ways to enjoy their productions. Currently they bring in a lighter side of great theater with their production of you CAN’T take it WITH you. Written by the well know comic playwrights Kaufman and Hart (The Man Who Came To Dinner), this hilarious romp crosses the downright odd Sycamore family and the industrious Wall Street tycoons the Kirbys in a love struck tangled web.


Sitting down in the small theater you are immediately transported into the wacky household that belongs to the ballet dancing, snake collecting, play writing, portrait painting, firework making, press printing, song writing family that is the Sycamores. With a skull candy jar, an elephant head, a toy boat just to name a few, the house is perfectly decorated for the play and it sets the mood immediately. Tom Buderwitz has done a wonderful job at capturing the spirit of the play and the house, which becomes just as much a character as any of the actors.

The direction of this play has to be firm and yet flexible enough to allow the playfulness of the actors to shine through, and Gigi Bermingham did just that and more. The staging is of the utmost importance. With Essie (Linda Park) constantly dancing around in people’s faces and leaping across the set at any given moment, the comedy of the piece requires that everyone be in perfect synch with her and the others. Every moment counts in this piece and it is all set perfectly to impromptu music played by Essie’s wacky husband Ed (Michael Hyland). The quick changes and re-setting of scenes after intermission is part of the perfect comedic timing Antaeus has been able to bring to this piece. Without it, the play would be a complete disaster and not funny at all.

As with all Antaeus productions this play is double cast. I had the privilege of seeing the Kirby cast. Each actor held their own with the fast paced hilarious script and the cast was delightful during this opening run. They were led by no one in particular since this play is very much an ensemble piece. No one person stands out and that is the way it is supposed to be. In a play where the importance of family is key the cast should be presented as a strong inseparable family. you CAN’T take it WITH you is an absolutely absurd and extremely well presented play. It will have you laughing your head off and will give you a smile that you can in fact take with you.

 

*Please check the Antaeus website for a schedule, casts alternate every performance.

An Absolute Must-See Theatrical Spectacular: “War Horse”

Published July 27, 2012 by mickala

Sometimes there are shows that you hear about and they are so intriguing that you decide you must see it. Then, as the years go by and you finally get the chance to see it, you are built up with so much excitement and expectation that the show will probably never live up to what your mind has concocted. However, the handspring puppet spectacular War Horse not only lived up to all of my expectations, it surpassed them with flying colors. This is a stunning visual piece, but it is also an emotional ride that captivates the entire audience. Nearing the end of its almost two month long run at the Ahmanson, the theater was still completely packed, and almost the entire theater seemed just as captivated as I was.

I would hate to spoil any of the heart wrenching/warming and nail-biting moments that take place during this production, so I will do my best to be vague, and yet still make my point. There are several places during the evening where the audience audibly gasps together as we all fear the worst will happen. There are also moments where we all break into relieved and excited applause in unison, as if we have some actual connection to the life of the puppet horse on stage.

London 2011 Cast
Photo by: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

The creators of this show, alongside South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company have done a marvelous job at bringing the horses, especially the main horse, Joey to life. Even though the three puppeteers (Christopher Mai, Derek Stratton and Rob Laqui) that man Joey are completely visible and are dressed in period garb, just like any other character. After a short while they become part of the horse. The horse comes to life and has just as much personality as his beloved owner Albert (Andrew Veenstra) does.

The five-time Tony Award Winning War Horse has been adapted from the novel written by Michael Morpurgo. It follows the story of a young man, Albert, who becomes responsible of raising a horse who he names Joey. After growing attached to Joey, Albert’s drunk, money hungry father sells him to the army. Driven by love and naivety, Albert flings himself after his horse and through the bloody trenches of war, hoping he will find Joey alive.

London 2011 Cast
Photo by: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

War is never pretty to watch, and to see what horses went through during the First World War is even less pretty, especially for those who are avid animal lovers. However, this is a visually pleasing show. Between the horses, puppet birds and the projector they use  on a white screen on the back of the stage, everything is brilliantly portrayed.

The transition between the cavalry and tanks and machine guns, becomes a subplot of the story, as Joey maneuvers his way through different jobs during the war. It climaxes when the lone horse comes face to face with a tank; visualizing the moment where the need for horses in war has become obsolete.

Ultimately, this is a love story. A lost and hopefully found love story that is beautifully told.

London 2011 Cast
Photo by: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

I will truly say that I can never recommend a show more than this one. I am an avid lover of small theaters and small productions but sometimes, big masterful pieces of work steal my heart and this is one of them. War Horse is an enchanting evening and one that you must experience. Though there are only three more performances here in Los Angeles this show is continuing on its national and international tour. They will be returning to Southern California in January and I hope to see you there. Trust me, this is a night of theater that is not to be missed. Theater is meant to transport one to another time and place, and to tell a mind-fulfilling story. War Horse does just that and so much more.

–Mickala Jauregui

Photos Courtesy of: warhorseonstage.com

Theatre Like Never Before

Published January 21, 2012 by mickala

Wannabe super heroes, fights straight out of graphic novels, real life stories told in preposterous ways, all the while laden with the all too familiar droning groan of newscasters. This is just some of what you will see if you head over to [Inside] the Ford at The Ford Amphitheater in the next month. Matt Pelfrey’s NogoodDeed is an action play with incredible meaning and spectacular effects. Furious Theater Company has come back from a long hiatus with a play like no one has ever seen before. Playing on the term no good deed goes unpunished, the play follows three heroes, all taken from actual news clippings, who saved a local life or two and were then ripped apart by media hounds.

Sitting down in the theater it was hard to know what to expect. The program is filled with the playwright’s note and background on the theater company and even a graphic novel, trying to set the mood. When blaring music fills the theater my heart began to pound, anticipating the two longest hours of my life. Luckily I was transported by the action filled, drug induced fantasy world created by Pelfrey and director, Dámaso Rodriguez. I was inspired by the successful combining of television and stage, this production intertwines the worlds of graphic novels, television and stage in a way I have never seen before, and they do it successfully. Dan Weingarten’s use of hundreds of light clues help transform the stage and create the difference between reality and graphic novel fantasy.

You cannot help but laugh when the three main characters, heroes whose lives have been turned upside down by the media frenzies that have engulfed them, team up in true super hero fashion. They snort more cocaine then one could plausibly live through and then line up, raise their right arms and scream some ridiculous slogan as they whirl back in time. At times it is hard to tell what is actually happening within the play and what is just happening in Josh Jaxon’s head. Nick Cernoch throws himself into the role of Jaxon and looks as if he is ready to pass out during the final curtain call. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before, but it is quite possibly the new revolution in theatre.

NogoodDeed is overwhelming and downright exciting. Thursday was their second preview and they open Saturday January 21st, so there were obviously some things that need to be ironed out. However, if this production is smoothed out and cleaned up, it could be one of the most refreshing and groundbreaking pieces of theater to arrive in years. One thing is for sure; you do not want to miss it. So as the characters would do in their drug-induced haze, transport yourself to [Inside] the Ford and be ready to be blown away by Furious Theater Company.


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