If you hurry, you can catch Kevin O’Morrison’s “Ladyhouse Blues,” the current offering from Andak Stage Company, at the NewPlace Studio Theatre in North Hollywood (where it plays through March 24). And if you enjoy a good “old-fashioned” play that focuses on story and character, you’ll want to do just that. (Andak itself may be closing up shop by the end of the year, owing to artistic director Dakin Matthews’ demanding schedule).
“Ladyhouse,” which takes place in the tenements of St. Louis just after World War I, has the feel of a classic American drama a la Horton Foote. It also has moments reminiscent of Synge’s “Riders to the Sea” and Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.” Anne Naughton directs with careful attention to detail.
Kitty Swink heads the all-female cast, anchoring the play with her solid portrayal of Liz—the widowed matriarch of a salt-of-the-earth Midwestern family. Annie Matthews and Kaylee Bouwens offer distinctive, well-drawn characterizations as socially conscious daughters Dot and Terry.
Liza de Weerd and Tro Shaw are overly broad as the oldest and youngest sisters, sickly Helen and free-spirited Eylie. Though they play it too big for the intimacy of the venue, one suspects they’d come across just fine in a large house like the Ahmanson. Call 866-811-4111 for tix.
“Performance, Body & Presence,” the first TEDxCalArts conference offered last Saturday at REDCAT, was a rip-roaring success in my book. Certainly in terms of organization, execution, and the enthusiastic reception of attendees, it couldn’t have gone much better. Although a few additional bathroom breaks would not have been met with complaint. Let’s call it an A-.
Highlights included actor-playwright Aleshea Harris, who performed excerpts from her one-woman show to loud and appreciative response, and performance artist-activist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, who got a standing ovation. “Why is society not listening to its artists?!” asked Gomez-Pena, who made such provocative statements as, “Kids wear a T-shirt that says ‘Art is Resistance’ and think the job is done.”
More from Jordan:
Shaffer’s ‘Amadeus’ at Maverick, TMB’s riff on Chekhov at SCR http://www.examiner.com/article/shaffer-s-amadeus-at-maverick-tmb-s-riff-on-chekhov-at-scr
Reza’s ‘Life’ at Fullerton’s Stages, NoHo’s Theatre West Solo Series http://www.examiner.com/article/reza-s-life-at-fullerton-s-stages-noho-s-theatre-west-solo-series
Theatre Movement Bazaar’s ‘Cat,’ Cal Arts, Dramatists Guild events http://www.examiner.com/article/theatre-movement-bazaar-s-cat-cal-arts-dramatists-guild-events
TCM’s 2013 Classic Film Festival, LACMA’s Stanley Kubrick exhibit http://www.examiner.com/article/tcm-s-2013-classic-film-festival-lacma-s-stanley-kubrick-exhibit
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