November 25, 2012 |
As artistic director of L.A.'s Center Theatre Group, Michael Ritchie reads more than a play a day on average - perhaps 500 a year - in quest of the 15 or 16 he'll pick each season for his company's three stages. But lately he's noticed that there's a bit less to read. Shorter scripts have been popping up more than they used to. "Nowadays a lot more plays are being written as one-acts," said Ritchie - meaning the stories play out in perhaps 90 minutes or less, without stopping for intermission.
October 29, 2012 |
Neil Patrick Harris will direct a new magic-themed show at the Geffen Playhouse that is set to open on Nov. 27. "Nothing to Hide," featuring magicians Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães, will run at the company's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater through Jan. 6. The show, which Harris will direct but not appear in, is a series of stage vignettes revolving around sleight-of-hand tricks, according to the Geffen. The company said the production won't be part of its regular season and won't be open for critics to review.
October 25, 2012 |
Loretta Swit and Harry Hamlin, who played to many millions of weekly television viewers when they were Maj. Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in “MASH on CBS and attorney Michael “Mickey” Kuzak in NBC's “L.A. Law,” will share a small-theater stage in North Hollywood starting next month in the premiere of “One November Yankee,” a two-actor play written and directed by Joshua Ravetch. The two will begin the play, which opens Nov. 16 in a production by the NoHo Arts Center Ensemble, as a brother and sister who survive the crash of a single-engine airplane.
October 13, 2012 |
Sanaa Lathan has been a critics' darling here and in New York in the title role of Lynn Nottage's play "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark," which runs through Oct. 28 at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. As Vera, Lathan plays an African American movie actress in the 1930s who can get only maid roles. Fast-forward to the present, where she costars as Mona Fredricks, the mayor's assistant, in the second season of the Starz series "Boss," which concludes Sunday. FOR THE RECORD: Sanaa Lathan: The Sunday Conversation interview with Sanaa Lathan in the Oct. 14 Calendar section said that her TV series "Boss" would be airing its season finale that night.
September 27, 2012 |
The Geffen Playhouse and the La Jolla Playhouse are reaching out to military families as part of a new, nationwide program offering discounted or complimentary tickets to active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families. Blue Star Theatres is a nationwide program that officially will be launched Friday. The program is organized by Theatre Communications Group, the nonprofit organization that promotes theater around the country, and Blue Star Families, a support organization for military families.
September 7, 2012 |
You've probably never heard of the African American actress whose film career and life are dramatized in Lynn Nottage's play"ENMV0002398"> "By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. " Don't feel bad: Plenty of serious film buffs haven't, either. Google the name and you'll turn up a documentary by scholar Herb Forrester, "Rediscovering Vera Stark," which includes a clip from her film "The Belle of New Orleans" (1933), a handful of photographs and some speculation about her mysterious fate.
August 22, 2012 |
At the ripe age of 86, Dick Van Dyke is having an eventful year, both professionally and personally. The "Mary Poppins" actor is scheduled to appear in a one-night live performance in September that will benefit the Malibu Stage Playhouse. The Sept. 12 performance is to feature Van Dyke alongside the Vantastix, a vocal ensemble, at the Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University. Earlier this week, the Screen Actors Guild announced that Van Dyke will receive its Life Achievement Award, which will be handed out during the guild's January ceremony.
July 13, 2012 |
Two questions immediately presented themselves when it was announced that "The Exorcist" was going to be done onstage: How? And why? At the show's premiere Wednesday at the Geffen Playhouse, the creators seemed to be searching for answers to these challenges. God doesn't appear to be on their side. The how, at least on a visual level, turns out to be far more interesting than the why, which leads to all kinds of armchair moralizing and faux philosophizing. But fans of William Friedkin's 1973 film - a work that has caused more bad dreams than any other movie in Hollywood history, if my childhood is any guide - shouldn't expect any ostentatious spinning of heads.
July 10, 2012 |
Few films conjure up the nightmarish movie memories that"The Exorcist"does. William Friedkin's 1973 adaptation of William Peter Blatty's bestselling novel famously spurred reports of screaming, fainting and even moviegoers running from theaters as 12-year-old Regan MacNeil, possessed by an ancient, powerful evil, spat out obscenities and ugly rivers of dark green bile. Religious leaders condemned the movie as sacrilegious; some cautioned that watching the film and its head-spinning imagery would endanger the soul.
June 6, 2012 |
From on stage at "Backstage at the Geffen," the annual gala for the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, host Jane Lynch of "Glee" said she had participated in the theater's previous fundraisers, alongside such stars as Annette Bening, Alfre Woodard, Julie Andrews and others. "But now I'm the clearly most famous person in the room," Lynch said, sliding into the personality of her "Glee" alter-ego, Sue Sylvester. In truth, the Geffen had quite a lineup of A-list stars for Monday's event, which broke the theater's fundraising record by raking in $1 million from silent auction sales, sponsorships and tickets, which sold for $350 and up. On hand to make presentations, provide musical entertainment and regale the audience with behind-the-scene tales of theatrical life were actors Bening, Helen Mirren, Andy Garcia, Warren Beatty, Dick Van Dyke, Matthew Morrison, Dana Delany, Joe Mantegna and Beth Behrs, jazz great Arturo Sandoval, singer Monica Mancini, and Bruce Vilanch, the 17-time writer for the Academy Awards telecasts.