03 Jan Theater Reviews by Morna – 01/19
1776 THE MUSICAL (La Mirada)
Before Hamilton, I saw this rousing 1969 show about the founding of America,with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and book by Peter Stone. It was a huge hit, a Tony Award-winner and ran for over three years.It begins with a deadlocked Congress (sound familiar?) where attempts to adopt the Declaration of Independence are boiling over in heated confrontations. By the evening of July 2nd, the two sides are still miles apart, but remarkably, these contentious Founding Fathers harness their shared determination to do the right thing for a fledgling nation. Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this clever musical depicts the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with humor and humanity. Irreverent and certainly topical, this revival is directed and staged by Glenn Casale, with musical direction by Jeff Rizzo. At La Mirada Theatre For The Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Boulevard (near Rosecrans Ave). Tickets: (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310 or www.lamiradatheatre.com. Free Parking.
SISTERS THREE (East Hollywood)
How might the 19th Century Brontë Sisters adapt in the 21st Century? In this modern retelling, Jane Eyreauthor Charlotte has dropped out of society and joined an ‘anti-technology’ commune. It’s an off-center drama about family, social media, fame, and holidays, while paying homage to the Brontë sisters and their brother Patrick. Says writer Jami Brandli: This play was inspired by the Bronte sisters, all novelists and poets. Though it’s not a biography, the fascinating sibling dynamic includes their brother Patrick, who was a painter… a complicated family of artists now living in a society that seems to place more value on the veneer of a perfect Instagram post, rather than appreciating the beautiful complexities of reality.Inkwell Theater at the VS. Theatre, 5453 Pico Blvd, (near Hauser), LA. Reservations: https://inkwelltheater.com
A MISUNDERSTANDING (Hollywood)
In this challenging drama of ideas, playwright Matt Chait plays a biology professor who has been dismissed from the University of California for sharing his spiritual views with his science students. In today’s ever-increasingly partisan world, here is a philosophical and humorous exploration of the misunderstandings that arise when people with radically different world views become wary of one another and unable to communicate. According to Chait: …it’s about the essence of reality itself, and about the difficulty people have in understanding one another when the lens through which they view reality differs. Although my head was very much at work in the writing, so was my heart and my sense of humor. Directed by Elina de Santos, co-artistic director of Rogue Machine Theatre, and presented by Rubidor Productions. At The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. Tickets: 323-960-4418 or www.plays411.com/misunderstanding.
ROD SERLING’S STORIES FROM THE ZONE (Beverly Hills)
Perhaps some of you might recognize these two classic episodes of Rod Serling’s best-loved TV series, adapted by Jeff G. Rack, who co-directed with Charlie Mount. 1.MR. GARRITY AND THE GRAVES: In the Old West circa 1890, a man and his wagon find their way into the town of Happiness, Arizona. The man claims to have the ability to resurrect the dead, but some of the townspeople figure that resurrecting the folks planted up on Boot Hill might not be the best idea! 2.WILL THE REAL MARTIAN PLEASE STAND UP!: Passengers on a snow-bound bus bound for Boston are stranded at a roadside diner and start to realize that one of them is actually an invader from Mars! Produced by David Hunt Stafford, for Theatre 40, in association with Arcane Theatreworks. At Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr. Beverly Hills. Free parking. Reservations: (310) 364-3606 or www.theatre40.org