Theater Reviews by Morna

Morna Martell

Live theater is back, and thriving, and here are some shows to see this month. All of these indoor theatres have safety protocols in accordance with LA County regulations: Audience members must wear a mask, show evidence of vaccination or a recent negative test, and seating will be socially distanced.

 

AS GOOD AS GOLD – Beverly Hills

 

In this new comedy, Marilyn Anderson takes on Hollywood show business from a distinctly female viewpoint. In this timely spoof, three female screenwriters, frustrated with the sexism and glass ceilings they encounter in Hollywood, decide to collaborate on a macho-action, epic script, that is commercially dynamite. However, being women, they have a problem getting a studio to even consider it.

 

They decide to hire a young guy who purports to be the author and the result is a mega-hit!  However, this imposter, hailed as the new discovery, becomes the toast of Hollywood! Now millions are being offered him for future scripts, but where does this leave the original three screenwriters?

 

The cast includes Marie Broderick and Landon Beatty (both seen in last months “Taming the Lion”), Wendy Hammers, David Westbay, Nicola Victoria Buck, Chance Denman and Will Bradley. Directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, produced by David Hunt Stafford and presented by Theatre 40 in The Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, BH. Reservations: (310) 364-0535 or Tickets at www.theatre40.org.

 

BIDEN MY TIME – Los Angeles

 

If in these tumultuous times you need some political humor to lighten your day, here comes a new revue from Washington-based creator Nicholas Zill. His troupe, Capital Comedy, includes  sketch performers, singers and impressionists who find targets for comic dissection. Neither Democrats, Republicans nor Independents are sacred as apparently Washington endlessly supplies up-to-the-minute material. At Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave, LA. Look for listings online.

 

BLUES IN THE NIGHT – Long Beach

 

In this dynamic musical revue, conceived by Sheldon Epps in 1980, the soul of the blues wails out full and strong. In 1982 I reviewed it on Broadway with performers Leslie Uggams, Debbie Shapiro, Jean DuShon and Charles Coleman. The great Alberta Hunter was in the audience and got her own standing ovation. The show was deservedly nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.

 

Set in 1948 in a rundown Chicago hotel, four people share their stories about sorrow and humor in life and love. The drama reveals itself through glorious torch songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Harold Arlen, Ida Cox and others. Performers are Jenna Gillespie Byrd, Karole Foreman, Vivian Reed and Clinton Derricks-Carroll.

 

This revival is directed by Wren T. Brown, producing artistic director of LA’s Ebony Repertory Theatre, with musical direction by William Foster McDaniel and choreography by Keith Young. Produced by caryn desai, artistic director of International City Theatre. At Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 East Seaside Way, Long Beach. Tkts: 562-436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.org

 

ASCENSION – Atwater

 

With famous tycoons launching into outer space, here is a timely, immersive, interactive, futuristic play. A woman is trapped inside a long, narrow pod. Nobody knows she’s in there – except the audience – and their minds and hers are psychically linked. Only those present can help her escape! The play intends to strike at the heart of our assumptions about faith, memory and reality. The Second Sun! It’s real and it’s going to take us all home!

 

Written by D.G. Watson, directed by Ahmed Best, and presented by Chris Fields, artistic director for Echo Theatre Company. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave, LA. Tkts: 310-307-3753 or go to  www.EchoTheaterCompany.com

 

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