TAGGED WITH HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FEST

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LA Stage INSIDER

VPAC SEASON 2015-16Thor SreingraberValley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) has announced an ambitious 2015-2016—the first under Executive Director Thor Sreingraber.  Located on the campus of Cal State Northridge, VPAC is offering an eclectic array of music, dance, spoken word and family entertainment fare. What’s missing is a significant infusion of live theater. Out of forty-nine scheduled dates, only five are devoted to stage works, beginning with a two-day stand of LA Theater Works’ concert re...
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Voices from the Fringe: Penny Pollak

Making its West Coast debut at this year’s Fringe is Penny Pollak’s acclaimed one-woman show, No Traveler: A Comedy About Suicide.Bringing welcome humor to such a grim subject, Penny has performed the show off Broadway, in Edinburgh and even the wilds of Winnipeg. She’s currently working on the motion picture adaptation with American History X director Tony Kaye.Penny was kind enough to take some time out from her busy pre-Fringe schedule to answer a few questions for me. What inspired you to creat...
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Rebirth at the Fringe

You can’t fault playwright Christina Ogunade’s earnest idealism in her short play The Rebirth Consortium. The characters in her five short scenes, while all struggling with issues weighty (choosing life or death) or relatively small (where they fit into their social order), all decide to buck up and move on. Their intimate stories, along with her program notes and a feel-good coda in which the cast appears together for the first time, to talk about leaving open the possibility of rebirth, displays O...
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One-Man "Odysseus" Works Wonders for Kids and Adults Alike

Strange visions indeed are conjured when you hear about a one-person show at the Fringe Festival based on the epic tale of Odysseus. A  Lusty story of bacchanals with  the witch goddess Circe. Breaking bread with the Laestrygorian cannibals. Nodding off with the Lotus-Eaters.While Circe gets a mention in Josh Feinman’s solo performance Voyage of Odysseus, along with such notable adversaries as the Cyclops and the Sirens, the focus in his family-friendly version is simple fun and e...
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I'm Not From Here

Boise, Idaho-born performance/visual artist Jessie Proksa doesn’t actually begin nor end her 40-minute solo excursion within Undergound Uptown’s miniscule, item-strewn performance area. Sitting in a corner, playing a repetitive melody on her cello, Proksa indicates she is warming up. Eventually she begins interacting with the items surrounding her—a music stand, beach umbrella, seashell (doubling as a phone), three chairs, an audio-visual setup, a mandolin leaning against the wall, assorted wads of...
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The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships

Local stage vet Jim Hanna (writer) and Fringe Fest traveler Caitlin Rucker (director) have united to issue forth a scathing but deliciously comical send-up of the one-person show genre—embedded with a plethora of achingly familiar clichés, also inventing a slew of new ones. Guised as the ultimate monologue smackdown, the action is overseen by drippingly fawning emcee Danny Westbrook, pitting Narcissus-incarnate six-time world champ Trent “The Soul Mirror” Isaacs (Darin Toonder) against regio...
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The Marriage Proposal

Anton Chekov’s 1890 three-character Russian landed-gentry farce, The Marriage Proposal, has been a production staple for this country’s theater community for almost a hundred years (usually paired with Chekov’s The Bear). LA-based TheatreFactory imbues the 40-minute one-act with such a bombardment of comedia-esque physicality, it nearly overpowers Hudson Guild’s miniscule stage area. By play’s end, no one is really happy that a bethrothal has actually been accomplished; they are all too...
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...Or Dare — Wherein Lies the Truth?

What happens when two people with opposing mindsets do not have the ability to escape one another?  Within Foundry Theatre Works’ staging of two emotion-searing one acts—Viki Boyle’s The Whole Truth and Andrea Goyan’s Cornered —precepts of truth, facts and winning, are masticated beyond recognition, let alone digestion. This is a good thing. Helmer David Robinson guides a pair of two-person ensembles through finely realized confrontations that render psyches permanently scarre...
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BUMPERSTICKER: THE MUSICAL, a Toe Tapping Song Fest

Gary Stockdale and Spencer Green display great originality in their choices for topic to frame their musicals around. Bukowsical was their last effort, a toe tapping song fest about Charles Bukowski America’s ugliest poet. When they received a “cease and desist” letter from the lawyers representing Bukowski’s estate that threatened legal action, in a move that warmed the hearts of gadflies across this great nation of ours, they turned that correspondence into the show’s opening number.W...
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Magical performance from memories of Magic

Daniel Llewelyn-Williams’ taut terrific one man show, A Regular Little Houdini is filled with history. Of his home town in Wales, of Magic, of a world lost, and of a tragedy remembered.Set in Newport, South Wales, Llewelyn-Williams’ love for its history is the foundation and spine of this coming of age show of a little boy enamored with Houdini and magic during the Edwardian era. Llewelyn-Williams weaves a superb narrative drawing on actual events and places from the history of Newport – an appeara...