Theatre

Someone Else’s House

  • By Debbie Emery

We’re six months away from Halloween but that doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy a really good scare. Thankfully the Geffen Playhouse has us covered with the premiere of Someone Else’s House— a live, virtual and interactive theatrical experience that is guaranteed to induce nightmares. A true-life haunting story based on a family’s terrifying experiences in New England, it is the Geffen’s first ever horror-themed show. And this is no ordinary show – all ticketholders receive a “Haunting Kit” in advance, containing items that help you set the scene for your performance, as well as important artifacts with which you’ll interact during the show. Audiences are then encouraged to create the mood for their ghost story environment: light candles, turn off the lights, etc. before checking in on Zoom to interact with creator and multimedia artist Jared Mezzocchi. It was actually Mezzocchi’s family who experienced the haunting in their 200-year-old house! “In a year of complete isolation, I found myself digging deeper into my family story and was shocked to unearth unbelievable truths that connect these dots,” said Mezzocchi. “I hope that audiences not only find themselves thrilled by the haunted nature of the experience, but also grow to appreciate mortality, family, and the undeniable need for ghost stories amidst such a challenging time in the world.”

For more details, click here.

Dorothea presented by CAP UCLA (May 15)

Dorothea

  • By Ken Werther

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) will present the video premiere of Dorothea, the latest project from composer, singer, bandleader, and two-time Grammy-nominated recording artist Ted Hearne, on Saturday, May 15, at 7pm. I am not familiar with Mr. Hearne, so I’ll let the show’s official description do the talking. Dorothea is a kaleidoscopic, lushly explosive post-pop song cycle embodying the viscerally tender, pathos-riddled, darkly funny poems of Dorothea Lasky. (I am not familiar with Ms. Lasky either … I guess I’ve got some serious studying to do!). The performance will feature the heavenly vocals of Los Angeles-based polymath electronic musician Eliza Bagg, aka Lisel, and the video will be intensified by the live in-process work of renowned visual artist Rachel Perry.Created with director Daniel Fish (Broadway’s recent revival of Oklahoma!) and filmed by Carole Kim, Dorothea creates a new space, outside the classical concert hall, outside the dance hall, into potentially uncharted territory. Admission is free.

CAPUCLA is the presenting organization for the performing arts at the University of California, Los Angeles. Through the lens of dance, theater, music, literary arts, digital media arts, and collaborative disciplines, informed by diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, artists and audiences come together in theaters and public spaces. More information on engaging with or supporting the arts and artists presented by CAP UCLA is available on the website.

For all the details, click here.

ABT’s Grand Pas Classique featuring Soloists Catherine Hurlin and Sung Woo Han (Photo Todd Rosenberg)

Ballet at Segerstrom

  • By J. Cook
  • Photo By Todd Rosenberg

Ballet finds a way. On March 22, American Ballet Theater (ABT) took up residence across the street from Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, quarantining as a company (dancers, choreographers, and artistic directors). By April 25, they had presented Uniting in Movement for a live audience. The show was received extremely well and is now available for streaming. Contemporary choreographers Lauren Lovette and Darrell Grand Moultrie brought personal and unique visions of where ballet is going. “These creations reflect a time of recalibration on how we create and deliver new work, reinvent how to gather together to create, and what it means to use this art form to lift us all, artists and audience alike,” said Kevin McKenzie, ABT Artistic Director.

Worthwhile to note: Indestructible Light, the fourth dance in the program, is set to music by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Neal Hefti, and Billy Strayhorn —not what any of us expect when we think of ballet. But not to worry … for the classicists looking to check that box/scratch that itch, it will be preceded by Tchaikovsky. An eclectic evening to be sure. Additional choreography is by Victor Gsovsky and Lev Ivanov. The program includes La Follia Variations, Grand Pas Classique, Swan Lake (Act II Pas de deux), and Indestructible Light.

On demand digital access at SCFTA.org May 12 through May 26. Tickets are $25.    

Ed Asner (Photo DeBartolo Performing Arts Center)

Japanese-American

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo By DeBartolo Perf Arts Center

This month L.A. Theatre Works will be releasing two important and timely audio theater recordings about the Japanese-American experience in post-World War II America. In For Us All, a team of lawyers fight to overturn the conviction of a man unjustly sentenced for resisting the mass incarceration of all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast. Defendant Fred Korematsu (Greg Watanabe) and his defenders will not compromise and insist on nothing short of justice despite the government’s efforts to make the case go away.  Written by Jeanne Sakata, the cast also includes Edward Asner, Brooke Ishibashi, playwright Sakata and others. No-No Boy, written by Ken Narasaki adapted from the novel by John Okada, is set in Seattle in the aftermath of the government’s incarceration people of Japanese descent.  Greg Watanabe stars as Ichiro who is finding it difficult to transition to post-war life.  A partial cast list features Sab Shimono, Sharon Omi, Emily Kuroda, Kurt Kanazawa, and playwright Narasaki. Tickets for each streaming play are $20. For Us All includes a bonus Zoom interview hosted by Susan Loewenberg and playwright Sakata in conversation with the real-life attorneys who worked on the Korematsu case. The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of the classic Oscar Wilde comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, is also available this month and it’s so entertaining as it ridicules the inane codes of propriety, etiquette, and courtship. Tickets are $15.

 For more details, click here.