Theater is a wide and wonderful world; a place of imagination, depth, and hundreds, if not thousands, of years of historical relevancy. It’s given us the gift of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, August Wilson’s Fences, and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, among so many other classics that have affected not just audience sensibilities but have helped frame and define stage storytelling and become mainstays of conventional cinema a well.Continue reading “‘Rise’ is an Inspired Story of Love and Legacy”
“Why do I have to die so you can learn your lesson?” says Kim (Chacha Tahng), the ill-fated character from the Tony Award-winning musical Miss Saigon, in Preston Choi’s This is Not a True Story. She continues on her tirade with her fellow doomed counterparts, CioCio (Julia Cho) from the tragic Madame Butterfly, and Kumiko (Jo Yuan) from the 2014 film, Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter.Continue reading “Preston Choi’s ‘This is Not a True Story’ Examines the Dark History of Asian Heroines”
Written by Lisa Sanaye Dring and directed by Jessica Hanna, the world premiere of Hungry Ghost at the Skylight Theatre Company is easily one of the best Los Angeles plays of 2023 with some of the most innovative acting, stage, and lighting design I’ve seen this year.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Hungry Ghost’”
What you first see: Actors dressed up in hilarious dorky crab costumes.
What you actually get: A brilliant satire about the impact of “crab mentality” on oppressed communities whose members work against one another instead of together.
Latino Theater Company will partner with two Los Angeles-based Asian American companies and San Francisco’s Magic Theatre to close out 2023 with a fall season of exciting premieres at downtown’s Los Angeles Theatre Center.Continue reading “Latino Theater Company Announces 2023 Fall Season”
Have you ever seen theatre that felt more like a defibrillator coursing electricity through your entire being, rather than the kind that makes (most) people snooze away? Then that is exactly the sensation you will be getting in the Geffen Playhouse’s latest production and world premiere of Ramiz Monsef‘s The Ants, directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, and starring Hugo Armstrong, Nicky Boulos, Megan Hill, Jeremy Radin, and Ryan Shrime.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘The Ants’”
Spirited Away is undoubtedly one of — if not the most — well-known film from director Hayao Miyazaki. The Academy Award-winning fantasy-adventure of a young girl having to navigate the spirit world she’s trapped in is a story that has captivated and inspired audiences all over the world.Continue reading “Audiences Will Be ‘Spirited Away’ in Stage Adaptation of Miyazaki Classic”
I have to make a conscious effort of reviewing plays I am invited to cover without learning anything about it and just go in completely blind. In this day and age, such an effort is difficult to do and even more so when the individual such as myself is an information devouring maniac.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’”
I will always cherish plays, especially original plays, that have global majority actors be the leads in content that have nothing to do with their race/culture but rather other pressing issues of life, which in this particular case is an upcoming baby shower for a group of friends and the “baby question” that all the women in Nina Braddock’s Untitled Baby Play individually grapple with. Presented by IAMA Theatre Company and currently playing at the Atwater Village Theatre, the play does a tremendous job giving each of the ensemble members a chance to shine.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Untitled Baby Play’”
You would be hard pressed to find me wanting to watch a Shakespeare production willingly. While I am painfully aware his works are considered the echelon of fine performance arts training, my distaste for it only grew as a vast majority of Shakespeare productions only utilize white actors for the meaningful parts.
As in-person theatre is making more of a return throughout the United States and particularly in Los Angeles where I reside, there’s been a surge of plays that deal with traumatic topics of race when all or most of their cast members are that of Global Majority.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Celestial Events’”
To be watching plays again inside a theatre after 18 months was certainly a strange experience considering that Poor Clare, now playing at the Echo Theater Company, was something I was supposed review right before the pandemic shut everything down and drastically altered our lives for many months to come. To finally be able to watch this play (written by Chiara Atik and directed by Alana Dietze) was made all the worthwhile in how utterly fantastic it was and how much its themes struck even harder after everything we experienced during this chaotic time.Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Poor Clare’”
During intermission while watching An Octoroon (written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Judith Moreland) at the Fountain Theatre, an old white woman randomly came up to me and asked what I found so amusing in this play. First, I had to get over the shock that a live human being was touching me (without permission) and getting up in my face to ask this question because after all, this was my first time watching a play with a live audience (albeit in an outdoor theater) in 16 months. Second, what WAS I and primarily all the other POC audience members laughing about?Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘An Octoroon’”
When people think of Jonathan Larson, the first thing to come out is the Tony Award-winning musical Rent. But, Larson had done many musicals before that, one of which, is based on his life called tick, tick… BOOM!
Performed in 1990 Off-Broadway as a one-man show, tick, tick… BOOM! was an autobiographical rock monologue about his experience feeling rejected because of what he considered a failure for his musical, Superbia. After Larson’s death in 1996, it was reworked into a stage musical by playwright David Auburn and musical director Stephen Oremus. Now, making his feature directorial debut, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the story from stage to the big screen.Continue reading “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Directorial Debut ‘tick, tick… BOOM!’ Releases Teaser Trailer”
They all have a million secrets. What’s so bad about this one? The St. Catherine’s drama club is struggling to put up its first school play – Sophocles’ “Antigone.” As if staging this tragedy in an all-girls Catholic school isn’t challenging enough, the cast’s beloved director ends up betraying them in an unforgivable way — and it’s almost opening night! The cast must figure out the right course of action, all while rehearsing a classic play about impossibly difficult choices. What is the right thing to do? And must the show go on?
Antigone, Presented By The Girls Of St. Catherine’s came with much eager anticipation. Presented by Sacred Fools (which put up a fantastic world premiere production of Gifted), written by Madhuri Shekar, and directed by Reena Dutt (who knocked it out of the park with her previously directed play Defenders), did the play met my expectation? More after the jump below:Continue reading “A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Antigone, Presented By The Girls of St. Catherine’s’”
Co-written with Edward Hong
What do you do when you’re born with a superpower but it’s really not that super? Especially if it’s a power that can accurately pinpoint the success or failure of any romantic relationship? Gifted, which is currently playing at the Sacred Fools till February 29, explores this question in a world not at all too different from our own. Written by Bob DeRosa and directed by Rebecca Larsen, the play takes a somewhat absurd premise into a truly in-depth and touching story that is a feast for the eyes, ears, and the heart.
In the realm of Los Angeles intimate theatre, efficiency and constraint are often unfortunately emphasized as budget limitations become the all-too familiar factor hovering over anyone who dreams of doing anything grandiose. So when I heard about a World War II play written by Cailin Maureen Harrison that was going to have its world premiere with the Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company, I was intrigued because my burning question was: How exactly do you stage a WWII story in a black box setting and do so compellingly??
This marks my second NOC Theatre review since Hannah and the Dread Gazebo performed at the Fountain Theatre a few months back and it was here that my key interest in doing so was a commitment/announcement of sorts. For as much as I can, my focus will be to review plays & musicals with the qualifying criteria that the director, writer, and/or one of the main cast members (not supporting/ensemble but one of the leads) MUST be a non-white artist. The more PoC in the cast/production team, the better I’ll want to review it as I’ll give a glaring stink eye to all things tokenism.
It’s not often we here at The Nerds of Color review theatre performances but once in a while, there comes a production so wonderful, magical, and full of heart that it must be told for all to know. That production is Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, performing in Los Angeles at the Fountain Theatre (in association with East West Players) from now till September 29.