12 Jun Theater Reviews by Morna – June 2019
THE DUCHESS & THE STRIPPER (Hollywood)
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is exploding all over the city in June, so don’t miss this truly exciting Theater-For-All event. From the hundreds of choices offered, being British-born and now American, I picked this one. It’s 1961 and Wallis Simpson, (who stole the British monarch), now Duchess of Windsor, returns to her hometown, Baltimore. There she visits the Adult Entertainment District and meets famous Burlesque performer, Blaze Starr, infamous for her torrid affair with Earl Long, Governor of Louisiana. When these two famous home-wreckers meet in a strip club more than skin is laid bare! Says playwright David Bosley, a Baltimore native, “I look for Baltimore stories that do not involve drugs or a gun!” Directed by Ezra Buzzington who advises – includes nudity! At The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. Info: www.theduchessandthestripper.com.
For information on other wonderfully outrageous plays and musicals by innovative artists contact: www.hollywoodfringe.org/schedule.
This emotional play, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel, is inspired by true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance.” Seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, but by others as an act of traitorous libel, it follows the history of this incendiary drama and the paths of the actors who risked their careers (and their lives) to perform it. Director Rebecca Taichman won a Tony Award for the Broadway production. Infused with klezmer music, they have reassembled the Broadway creative team for this production. At The Ahmanson Theatre, downtown. Tickets: (213) 972-4400 or www.CenterTheatreGroup.org
AT THE TABLE (North Hollywood)
Six sexually, and ethnically, diverse friends head out of the city for an annual weekend retreat. The rule is: no social media, no cell phones and no internet allowed! This forces them to look up from their screens and actually talk to each other! When the liquor starts flowing, and the tongues loosen, no conversation is uneventful and no topic off-limits. In the end, these ‘liberal’ friends realize they’re not as enlightened as they believed they were. Written by Michael Perlman and directed by Judith Moreland for Road Theatre Company. Tkts: (818) 761-8838 or www.RoadTheatre.org. At Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd. NoHo.
BRONCO BILLY – THE MUSICAL (Los Feliz)
Back in 1979, a young Dennis Hackin wrote and co-produced the movie Bronco Billy, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood! After a busy career, Hackin has written the book for a musical version of his Western love story. Sweet-natured Billy (Eric B Anthony) struggles to keep his traveling Wild West Show alive, but when he meets a NYC heiress (Amanda Leigh Jerry) she turns his world upside down. Directed by Hunter Bird, songs by Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres, lively choreography by Janet Roston. Skylight Theatre, 1816 N. Vermont Ave, Tkts: (213) 761-7061 or online http://SkylightTix.org
DANIEL’S HUSBAND Hollywood
Bill Brochtrup and Tim Cummings play Dan and Mitch, a seemingly perfect gay couple, wrestling with what it means to be committed to someone. The conflict is about marriage, and what will happen if one objects to ‘tying the knot.’ Michel McKeever’s play is a universal story that reminds us it’s important to grab those we love and hold them close. Jenny O’Hara plays Dan’s mother. Directed by Simon Levy. At The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave (at Normandie). Tkts: (323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com