I wasn’t scheduled to review any productions on the weekend

Life is like that, as you know… Feast or Famine! With quite a few intriguing upcoming plays on my roster, this time I’ll give you a “sneak peek” of plays to come. I do hope you’ll mark your “playtime” calendars…and see some of them.

“Waiting for Lefty” Opening Sept. 3 at Theater West. This compellingly thought provoking drama, written by Clifford Odets, studies a major strike by NYC taxi cab drivers during the 1930’s. Boasting a huge and impressive cast, fighting for their rights during a huge recession, this is a timely subject, considering the shape of today’s economy. It is no accident that this play is opening on Labor Day weekend.

“Anais: an erotic evening with Anais Nin” A world premiere opening Sept. 10 at Sherry Theatre. A solo performance by Sonia Maslovskaya, based on Nin’s personal diaries, and taking place in a mental institution. This one is said to be “an emotional and shattering journey of secrets, seduction and betrayal.” Adults only, provocative text, no nudity.

Debbie Reynolds in “Alive & Fabulous” Opening Sept. 23 at The El Portal Theatre Main stage. America’s Sweetheart for generations, this “still gorgeous” bundle of dynamite can still knock ‘em dead! Accompanied on piano by her longtime musical director Joey Singer, we are sure to hear some beloved favorite songs and some bawdy stories.

“Stiltz! The Musical” A story about love, power and fame, in its world premiere. Opening Sept. 24 at Actor’s Forum. Billed as “a modern story based on an old tale,” a young woman risks her life, and romance, to save the life of her bumbling father. A damsel in distress, she spends three days trying to accomplish her mission.

“Barefoot in the Park” Opening Sept. 24 at The Lonny Chapman Theater. Neil Simons’ Tony nominated romantic comedy about a pair of newlyweds adjusting to marriage is always a crowd pleaser. Many famous stars have played this zany couple onstage, and the 1967 film version starred Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.

“A Conversation with Edith Head” Opening Sept. 23 at the El Portal Theatre. This one is billed as “an evening of wit, wisdom, and a whisper of gossip!” Actress Susan Claassen colorfully depicts the legendary Hollywood costume designer, who earned eight Oscars for her fashion visions from the 1920’s through the ‘80’s. “A compelling glimpse of a Hollywood that no longer exists,” I can’t wait to experience this one!

“Sweet Mama String Bean” A celebration of blues singer Ethel Waters opening Nov. 26 at Fremont Centre Theatre. At last week’s opening night gala, after seeing “TopDog/Underdog,” we were treated to a preview song performance of this show, and were blown away. Vallimar Jansen, accompanied on the ivory’s by her husband Frank, soulfully belted out a couple of familiar old songs and made believers of all of us. I know that this opening is quite awhile away, but it is definitely worth making a note of in advance.

With an exciting and endless abundance of dedicated and talented artists in our midst. Remember that it is “we” the audience who keeps theatre thriving in Los Angeles.

See you at the theatah!


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