As always in the summer months, theatre “openings” are fewer, which is why I’ve had less reviews for you recently. It seems to be “feast or famine”… no plays one week… then I’m slammed with three in another week. The success of theatre depends largely on you! A wonderful escape from life’s challenges that will warm your heart, tickle your funny bones, and broaden your horizons… while supporting the talent and dreams of local artists. I do hope you’ll add attending some “theetah” to your social calendar!
Three Sisters After Chekhov (U.S. Premiere)
Many theatre enthusiasts are familiar with Anton Chekhov’s compelling and classic play, Three Sisters, written in 1900. It originally took place in a provincial town in Russia, where a family dreams of returning to Moscow after the death of their father. This adaptation changes names, dates, and places… while maintaining the familial tone and complexities. This ambitiously spirited African-American performed adaptation by Mustapha Matura unfolds in colonial-era Trinidad in 1941 (during World War II) as the family yearns to return to England. The story centers around three closely knit sisters, who live privileged lifestyles with their troubled brother (Terrence Colby Clemmons) and his domineering and self centered wife (Nadage August). As various wartime officers join their social circle, marital strife and indiscreetly forbidden liaisons erupt. Passionately exposing the complicated bonds of family, community awareness, and human frailty, this fine production laces humor with contemplative issues repeatedly. Also, the pleasingly appealing rhythm of the spicy Trinidadian accent adds much to the overall effort. (Special kudos to dialect coach Leon Morenzie!) Under the volatile and heartfelt direction of Greg T. Daniel, the entire cast works very hard. A trio of touching and flawlessly focused performances is given by the three sisters: Diarra Kilpatrick as Audrey, Veralyn Jones as Alma, and Yvonne Huff as Helena. Michael Ralph was also outstanding as Edward. The remainder of the commendable cast includes: Douglas Dickerman, Mirron Willis, and Jason Delane. The cast’s attractive 1940s costumes designed by Naila Aladdin Sanders, gorgeous set design by Shaun Motley, effective lighting by Chris Cotone, crisp sound by Sean Kozma, and choreography by Robyn Gardenhire set the mood of the piece perfectly! An enjoyable and rewarding theatrical experience all around! Try to catch it! Running through August 8th at The Lost Studio: 130 S. La Brea in L.A. (below Beverly Blvd.). For seats call 800-838-3006.
Mark Your Calendar: Circle of Will at West Hollywood’s Macha Theatre on July 16th
Said to be “a barrel of laughs,” this play peers in on the lively repartee between William Shakespeare and the first celebrated Shakespearean actor, Richard Burbage. An award winning play during its premiere run in 1986, the writers deem it time to revive the show, “simply because it’s hilarious!” The press release states: “Circle of Will is for lovers of Shakespeare, lovers of theatre, lovers of show business, and most of all, people who love to laugh a lot.” I’ll be there on opening night, and tell you all about it in next week’s column,
As “the curtain goes down” on my musings this week… again I encourage you to catch a play soon! Los Angeles is bursting with talent!