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Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks in Los Angeles and San Diego

Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks in Los Angeles and San Diego


Lear, Theatricum Botanicum
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum kicks off an All-Shakespeare Summer Season in celebration of the Bard's 450th birthday with a gender-reversed Lear for the 21st century, opening on June 7 and running through September 28. Venerable stage actress and Theatricum Botanicum artistic director Ellen Geer returns to the stage as Queen Lear in a new production that sees Lear divide her kingdom and test the loyalty of her three sons.

Stoneface, Pasadena Playhouse
Vanessa Claire Stewart's Stoneface, starring French Stewart, will play the Pasadena Playhouse June 3 - 29 in a highly anticipated remount. The production, which was a hit in 2012 at Sacred Fools Theatre Company, is inventively directed by Jaime Robledo. Chronicled through the lens of his own silent films, it recreates some of Buster Keaton's most memorable gags live on stage, capturing the legend of a bygone era and telling the tale of the redemption of one of Hollywood's greatest performers.

The Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd, Lillian Theatre at the Hollywood Fringe Festival
From the wild world of Michael Shaw Fisher and The Orgasmico Theatre Company, who brought you previous Fringe hits Exorcistic: The Rock Musical Parody Experiment and Doomsday Cabaret, comes their latest bloodthirsty new musical featuring music by Michael Teoli. When a horror lit agent gets laid off, he latches onto a mysterious werewolf script and discovers he has more in common with the werewolves of history than he could have ever dreamed. It's a bloodthirsty new rock musical about the Hollywood underworld, the 2008 financial crisis and the corporate strategies of Vlad the Impaler.

The Bargain & the Butterfly, Ghost Road Company at South Coast Rep
Though it will only run June 12 - 15, this is a must-see production inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story The Artist of the Beautiful and directed by Katharine Noon. The Los Angeles-based theater ensemble has crafted a haunting new play. In a world of shredded books and ticking time pieces, Annie--the brilliant, yet tense progeny of a scientist and a watchmaker--has one desire: to restore the soul of her twin brother. With blueprints for a synthetic soul in hand, she turns to a local glassblower to execute the central, delicate piece. Developed from devising workshops that are a kind of free-form collaborative exploration, it is an exciting and immensely thought-provoking journey into the mind and its fine line between genius, madness, and the all-consuming obsession with creation and knowledge.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare Orange County (SOC)
SOC reinvents itself under new artistic director John Walcutt and opens its summer season with A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Susan Angelo, June 19 - July19. Shakespeare's story of love and mischief takes on a stunning new beauty in a gorgeous 18th Century Polynesian setting, featuring Garden Grove's award-winning Polynesian dance troupe Hitia O Te RA. Nearly 50 strong, including over a dozen little faeries and demons, it also features the return to the stage after 16 years of SOC founding father Tom Bradac.


Dog and Pony, The Old Globe
This new musical with book by Rick Elice and music & lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker is from the award-winning talents behind Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Altar Boyz. Dog and Pony is a romantic musical comedy that follows Mags and Andy, a successful screenwriting team, as their professional relationship evolves into something more. Tony Award winner Roger Rees will direct a cast that includes Heidi Blickenstaff, Beth Leavel, Eric William Morris, Nicole Parker, and Jon Patrick Walker. May 28 - June 29.

El Henry, La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse, in partnership with San Diego REPertory will present El Henry, written by and starring Culture Clash's Herbert Siguenza as the next production in its site-based theatre series, Without Walls (WoW). Leading the cast are Kinan Valdez and Lakin Valdez, sons of internationally-renowned writer and director Luis Valdez, along with Siguenza as Fausto. El Henry takes place in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego) in the year 2045 where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets. It's a harsh new world where Hispanics, Mexicans and Chicanos rule as the majority in this new society abandoned by Anglo America. Written in a unique poetic cadence called Calo, which mixes urban Spanish and English slang, this world-premiere adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One explores the play's universal themes through the lens of Mexican-American machismo. June 14 - 29 at SILO in downtown San Diego's Makers Quarter.

Othello, The Old Globe
Blair Underwood will make his Globe debut in the title role of Shakespeare's classic tragedy Othello in the company's 2014 Summer Shakespeare Festival. Joining him and also making their Globe debuts are Richard Thomas as Iago and Kristen Connolly as Desdemona. Barry Edelstein is set to direct "a riveting, intense, and intimate production where poetry soars and swords clash, where true love and wrenching jealousy collide." June 22 - July 27.

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