BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now

What made the Hot List? A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at Theatre @ Boston Court, ALLEGIANCE by East West Players at the Aratani Theatre downtown, A WALK IN THE WOODS at Actors Co-op, and JACKIE UNVEILED at The Wallis. Check out the latest buzz below and go see a show! Reviews by BWW Sr. Editor Ellen Dostal (LADCC).

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Desean Kevin Terry and Jaimi Page. Photo by Jeff Lorch

A Streetcar Named Desire - Theatre @ Boston Court, through March 25
How do you update a classic and make it relevant again? If you're director Michael Michetti, you drop a white Blanche clinging to an antiquated reality into a contemporary multiethnic urban New Orleans and watch the sparks fly. This Tennessee Williams classic is a disruption on all fronts from its intentionally intrusive raging music to the way its ingenious scenic design exposes everything its characters seek to hide. Four sizzling performances ground the play. Jaimi Paige (Blanche), as the quivering queen of denial, delivers a riveting performance and a final exit scene unlike anything you can imagine. Graceful Maya Lynn Robinson's take on Stella is an unexpected revelation, and Desean Kevin Terry's Stanley Kowalski is both impenetrable and jaggedly vulnerable, which makes his place in the game - of life, of cards, of let's make a deal - potent in its layers. Luis Kelly-Duarte (Mitch) is so likable in his ordinariness that when he finds he's been fooled his embarrassing heartbreak becomes ours. No, the dust hasn't yet settled on this Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Tickets:

Allegiance - East West Players at the Aratani Theatre, through April 1
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and FDR's subsequent signing of Executive Order 9066, approximately 120,000 Japanese American citizens were removed from their homes and relocated to government-run internment camps. ALLEGIANCE is the story of how one family endures in a country that now views them as the enemy, even though they had nothing to do with the war. It highlights the incredible resilience of the human spirit and its never-ending ability to carry on, make due, and above all, survive. The musical is a legacy piece for George Takei who was only a child when he and his family were sent to the camps. It was his story that inspired Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione to write ALLEGIANCE and for whom they created the central role of Sam Kimura/Ojii-chan. He has played it in all of the previous productions and does so again, with humor and heart, in LA accompanied by several of his Broadway castmates and a capable local cast directed by East West Player's artistic director, Snehal Desai. Full review HERE. Tickets:

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Nan McNamara and Phil Crowley. Photo by Matthew Gilmore

A Walk in the Woods - Actors Co-op, through March 18
Two arms negotiators - one Russian, one America - take a walk in the woods in Lee Blessing's play based on a real-life incident that happened in 1982. Each has his own agenda in this compelling verbal dance where the upper hand is not so easily gained or acknowledged. The twist in director Ken Sawyer's production is that the American is cast as a woman, played by Nan McNamara. Phil Crowley is the older Soviet whose long and successful career has consisted of perfecting the art of saying no. She is the idealistic younger of the two, her skillful composure hiding a backlog of frustration. Together they offer a thoughtful and compelling look at how different, yet similar, we are as human beings. Scenic designer Ellen Lenbergs creates a glistening abstract winter forest, complete with delicate icicle trees, that metaphorically illustrates the play's themes and facilitates Sawyer's calculated direction. It's a smart use of space in an intimate theater.

BWW Review: THE HOT LIST! What's Hot on Stage Now
Saffron Burrows. Photo by Kevin Parry

Jackie Unveiled- The Wallis, through March 18
The fascination with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis continues in Tom Dugan's new solo play, now playing at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Jenny Sullivan and starring Mozart in the Jungle's Saffron Burrows, the play takes place at two different times in the former first lady's life: the night her brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy was assassinated and, 26 years later, on the day she waits to hear if her cancer has returned. Though it is currently a scattershot journey and the writing doesn't yet make it clear what the play's purpose is, Burrows' performance is worth a trip to the theater. The tall lissome actress invests everything she has into bringing one of the most admired women in America to life. Full review HERE: Tickets:

Coming up on the watch list:

A Man For All Seasons, March 2 - April 15
A tragic historical drama about Sir Thomas More and the question of honor.
Actors Co-op

Bingo Hall, March 9 - 25
A new comedy by Dillon Chitto directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera
Native Voices at the Autry. Tickets and Info

Of Government, March 10 - April 1
An evening of songs, tasty snacks, and a DIY pageant celebrating the often overlooked "feminine" labor that binds our communities together.

All's Well That Ends Well, March 22 - April 22
Independent Shakespeare Co.'s debut production in their new studio featuring live music performed by the cast.

ICE, March 31 - June 10
A world premiere by Leon Martell about what it means to be American.
24th Street Theatre

What Happened When, April 11 - 26
West coast premiere of Daniel Talbott's provocative memory play that unspools as a ghost story. Echo Theatre Company

Lost in the Light, April 13 - May 12
A world premiere play with songs performed by Theatre by the Blind
at the Blue Door in Culver City.

Belleville, April 18 - May 13
A modern day thriller by Amy Herzog starring Anna Camp and Thomas Sadoski.
Pasadena Playhouse

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From This Author Ellen Dostal

Ellen Dostal is a Senior Editor and longtime writer for BroadwayWorld's Los Angeles region. A self-professed musical theatre geek, she also publishes two popular Southern (read more...)

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