By MARK BLANKENSHIP
There are some fascinating things happening in L.A. theatre---shows that make you wish you had a dozen free nights and unlimited airline miles.
For those who can't wing it to California and see these productions in person, there's always LA STAGE Times, the magazine of the L.A. Stage Alliance, where features, reviews, and news items offer a vivid look at the city's live performances. Beginning this week, LA STAGE Times and TDF Stages will periodically share content, allowing our readers deeper access to what's happening on both coasts.
TO KICK THINGS OFF, WE ARE PLEASED TO RECOMMEND THESE STORIES:
DEAF WEST-A look at the 20th anniversary of Deaf West, a theatre company famous for its ingenious use of American Sign Language in its productions. (You may remember their 2003 Broadway revival of Big River.) Starting tomorrow, the company launches its innovative production of Pinocchio. With a script by Lee Hall---who wrote the book for Billy Elliot---the show casts one actor as Pinocchio and another as The Voice of Pinocchio. Their interaction underlines the theatre's approach.
COLUMNIST DON SHIRLEY'S thoughtful analysis of three current musicals---Dangerous Beauty, Gigi and Rock of Ages---and how they portray their female characters.
A FRANK CONVERSATION with experimental playwright Tim Crouch, who had an Off Broadway hit in 2006 with an oak tree. Crouch's latest play, The Author, scatters artists among the audience and with little more than words, pulls them into a unusual experience. The playwright-performer won't reveal exactly what his show is about, but since patrons are allowed to leave whenever they choose (and are told they won't be allowed back in if they do), something provocative is clearly afoot.
Mark Blankenship edits TDF Stages