• August Wilson’s FENCES @ Long Beach Playhouse

    Fences is a puzzler. It's easy to understand the play itself, a relatively straightforward domestic drama set within the context of huddled masses of Black people still struggling to be free a century after the eradication of slavery. What I don't get is the hoopla, the accolades, the Pulitzer and Tony and Oscar, the renown this sixth inst

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  • AS ONE @ Long Beach Opera

    Growing up as an unambiguously heterosexual cisgender male, I had the luxury of not being compelled to consider how I fit into any of these categories or how they set me up to fit into society. I did, however, wonder what it was like for others. The arts can be especially helpful for such imaginings. Art is an empathy factory, with its products

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  • GOOD BOYS AND TRUE @ Cal Rep

    When reviewing a play, I'm generally completely uninterested in knowing anything about the playwright's life. It doesn't really matter whether William Shakespeare or Christopher Marlowe or the Earl of Oxford wrote Hamlet, because the play's the thing. But after seeing Good Boys and True, I was curious about Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

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  • UNCANNY VALLEY @ International City Theatre

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a staple of speculative fiction since the time of Alan Turing (b. 1912, d. 1954); and the closer we creep to realizing the possibility, the more timely it seems. But the downside for today's writers taking on the topic is two-fold: 1) there's an ever-larger body of work on the subject to which an audience will

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  • ROMEO AND JULIET @ Elysium Conservatory Theatre

    I was not looking forward to this play. I don't love Shakespeare as I once did, and I never thought much of Romeo and Juliet. Yeah, he's a genius, and admittedly R&J is a great cautionary tale about the dangers of being swept away by immature passions. But three problems: 1) most productions of R&J totally miss or

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  • The Town Hall Affair Debates Culture Wars

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer The Wooster Group’s The Town Hall Affair, based on the 1979 documentary, Town Bloody Hall plunges its audience into the women’s liberation movement of the early 1970s. The REDCAT Theater presented the play, cap

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  • STUPID F*CKING BIRD @ the Garage Theatre

    I like metafiction and various ways of playing with/against convention as much as the next guy—more, probably—but these are dangerous games when you're trying to get people to feel something. After all, the whole point of (for example) the alienation effect—a major component of Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird, which is a sort of m

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  • ECT Unearths the Truth of Love in Romeo and Juliet

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Stephanie Serna, RLn Contributing Writer Elysium Conservatory Theatre Director Aaron Ganz speaks with passion when he describes his production of Shakespeare’s play about the young star-crossed lovers. It runs from March 31 to April 30 at the company’s new site

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  • A JOURNEY THROUGH THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation="none"]By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer Emmy Award-winning director Marta Houske’s film, Crows of the Desert — A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide, will be presented by the Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival on

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  • North on South Central Ave.’s Drive to the Future

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer   The long running jazz musical, North On South Central Ave. will feature some of San Pedro’s best when it arrives, March 26, at the Warner Grand Theatre. North on South Central Ave.

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