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  • gilwilson 2:11 AM on April 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gender issues, , live theatre, ,   

    “Boy” By Anna Ziegler 

    Boy35109915
    By: Anna Ziegler
    Narrated by: Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, Bobby Steggert
    Length: 1 hr and 21 mins
    Release date: 10-17-16
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    If you haven’t yet experienced a production from L.A. Theatre Works, you should. Their productions put you in the middle of the audience.

    This time around I listened to another play from the Relativity series, (science plays). The story of a boy who was born a boy but after a disfiguring accident was raised a son. Throughout his life he knew something was not quite right. The play goes back and forth through time from when the parents notified the doctor and the plan to raise him as a girl developed, to the late 80s when he finds a girl and falls in love, back to his therapy sessions during childhood.

    This one gets you thinking, but not about what you think.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a powerful statement about sexual identity and the mystery of what makes us who we are.

    After a baby boy is seriously injured in an accident, a doctor persuades his parents to raise the child as a girl. As the child grows up, the child – known as Samantha and Adam at different times – faces an extraordinary challenge to carve out a place in the world.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:

    Sarah Drew as Jenny

    John Getz as Dr. Wendell Barnes

    Travis Johns as Doug

    Amy Pietz as Trudy

    Bobby Steggert as Adam Turner

    Directed by Debbie Devine. Recorded in Los Angeles before a live audience at The James Bridges Theater, UCLA, in July of 2016. Boy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

    ©2016 Anna Ziegler (P)2016 L.A. Theatre Works

     
  • gilwilson 5:33 PM on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ibsen, , live theatre, theater,   

    “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen translated by Rebecca Lenkiewicz 

    An Enemy of the People61xR19ntQtL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_
    by Henrik Ibsen translated by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring: Richard Kind, Gregory Harrison, Rosalind Ayres, Emily Swallow, Josh Stamberg, Tom Virtue, Alan Shearman, Alan Mandell, and Jon Matthews. Additional voices by Sam Boeck, William Hickman, Adam Mondschein, Julia Coulter, and Jeff Gardner. Directed by Martin Jarvis.
    Approx 2 hours
    Released: May 31, 2014
    Publisher: LA Theatre Works

    Once again it is time to visit an L.A. Theatre Works production. This time around we have a production of the play “An Enemy of the People” A small town relies on tourists coming to their town for the mineral water baths, but Dr. Stockmann has discovered that the new baths built in his town are infected with a deadly disease he tries to warn the town that they must repair or close the baths. The Mayor, who is Dr. Stockmann’s brother, does not believe the report and refuses to close the baths because it will cause the financial ruin of the town.

    Dr. Stockmann tries to take his case to the people, but the mayor intercedes and explains to the people how much it will cost to repair the baths. The Mayor says that the Doctor has always been filled with wild, fanciful ideas and in a public meeting, he has his brother declared an enemy of the people. The doctor decides to leave the town, but at the last minute comes to the realization that he must stay and fight for the things he believes to be right. While Dr. Stockmann is an impulsive and naïve man he believes the issue could ruin the town more than being shut down for repairs would. He maintains that the truth cannot be killed by a “conspiracy of silence.” This leads to the conclusion of “the strongest man is he who stands alone.” While being written in the mid 18th century this play still holds true today.

    Being a production by L.A. Theatre Works once again listening to this production you are put in the center of the audience and listening to the show. The production is so well done that it is easy to have this theatre of the mind play out while you are just along for the ride. Great performances and great production.

    Publisher’s Summary

    When a small town relies on tourists flocking to its baths, will a report of dangerously polluted waters be enough to shut them down? Henrik Ibsen weighs the cost of public health versus a town’s livelihood in An Enemy of the People.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring: Richard Kind, Gregory Harrison, Rosalind Ayres, Emily Swallow, Josh Stamberg, Tom Virtue, Alan Shearman, Alan Mandell, and Jon Matthews. Additional voices by Sam Boeck, William Hickman, Adam Mondschein, Julia Coulter, and Jeff Gardner. Directed by Martin Jarvis.

    Includes an interview with Joel K. Bourne, Jr., former senior environment editor for National Geographic, on man-made environmental disasters, climate change, and the state of the world’s water supply.

    An Enemy of the People is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

     
  • gilwilson 7:23 PM on January 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amy madigan, , , , , , , , , , , live theatre, , steven weber, susan glaspell, , trifles   

    “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell 

    “Trifles”
    by Susan Glaspell
    a full cast audio performance
    starring Jeanie Hackett, Amy Madigan, Sam McMurray, Stephen Vinovich and Steven Weber
    Produced by L.A. Theatre Works
    29 minutes

    Cast:
    Jeanie Hackett as Mrs. Peters
    Amy Madigan as Mrs. Hale
    Sam McMurray as the Sheriff
    Steven Vinovich as Mr. Hale
    Steven Weber as the County Attorney
    Directed by Rosalind Ayres.
    Recorded at The Invisible Studios, Los Angeles in April, 2011.

    Once again I get the pleasure of attending a theatrical performance without leaving my home, okay, actually I left my home because I listened to this production from L.A. Theatre Works in my car on my commute to work.  Being just under 30 minutes of performance time I heard the entire play from beginning to end without interruption.  This one act play is loosely based on the murder of John Hossack, which the author, Susan Glaspell, reported on while working as a news journalist for the ‘Des Moines Daily News. Hossack’s wife, Margaret, was accused of killing her husband. However, Margaret argued that an intruder had killed John with an axe. She was convicted but it was overturned on appeal.  The play was written and first performed in 1916.

    Even if it is a one act play, such as this one, L.A. Theatre Works, puts their all into it.  The recordings of the performances are so clear that every movement made by the actors is clear in its intent.  Such as when the women in the play are checking the canned fruit jars, some of which were cracked due to the excessive cold in the house, when the women are pulling out the jars to find one undamaged, every clink of the glass and the scooting of the jars in the cabinet can be heard.  It is amazing that they can create the complete theatre of the mind aspect without over emphasizing anything, it all has intent and once again the production value from L.A. Theatre Works captures all the ambiance of the performance.

    While the title of the play is taken from one of Mr. Hale’s lines, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.” It also can refer to the time period when women were treated as mere trifles themselves.  “Trifles” is seen as an example of early feminist drama, because it is two female characters’, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale’s, ability to sympathize with the victim’s wife, Minnie, and so understand her motives, that leads them to the evidence against her, while the men are blinded by their cold, emotionless investigation of material facts.

    While the men are investigating the murder scene and other aspects of the house it is the women that uncover the whole story from the clues in the quilting, the broken birdcage and more.  The play doesn’t end with the trial, but only after the women discuss their found evidence and decide not top pass the info on to the men, who probably wouldn’t listen anyway.  The sheriff, says of the kitchen “Nothing here but kitchen things.” This dismissal of the importance of the woman’s life and the male reluctance to enter the “woman’s sphere” is key in the men’s failure to discover the crucial evidence for the case. The most important evidence is found hidden in Minnie’s sewing basket.

    A very haunting play and a brilliant performance produced by L.A. Theatre Works makes for a solid performance you won’t forget.

     
  • gilwilson 9:13 PM on October 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , enron, , , live theatre, lucy prebble, , ,   

    “Enron” by Lucy Prebble 

    “Enron”
    by Lucy Prebble
    a full cast audio performance
    starring Greg Germann, Gregory Itzin, Amy Pietz and Steven Weber
    Directed by Rosalind Ayres.
    Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles in October, 2010
    Produced by L.A. Theatre Works
    1 Hour 51 Minutes

    One of my latest treasures I’ve found are the classic theatrical productions in audiobook form produced by L.A. Theatre works.  I’ve been listening to plays by Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Chekov, Oscar Wilde and others.  Listening to the classics is fun but this time around I was curious to see what LATW had to offer in the more modern theatre genre.  I was intrigued by this play, “Enron,” due to the fact that as the Enron scandal unraveled I was was working on a Business format radio station and at the time and this was all big news, and I heard most of it unfold live on the air with our in depth coverage on “Business Radio 1190 KPHN.”  What I didn’t know then was how this would affect our economy today.

    This play not only points out the greed and political underhandedness of the time and of the company but also gives great insight as to how the world economy today has fallen into the state it is in.  The interesting aspect of this play is that it, at times, takes an absurdist look at the situation and company.  For example, when the company develops a way to make losses seem like profits they illustrate the feature by feeding dollar bills to Raptors, yes in the performance you hear actual dinosaurs eating money.  The raptors soon become too much to handle and must be released or killed.  Another fun feature of the play is that it has song and dance numbers.  A musical about greed…too much.

    When Enron slumped into bankruptcy in December 2001, Lucy Prebble was a 20-year-old English literature student at the University of Sheffield in northern England.  She tossed around the idea for a few years and eventually got to do her show making it into this musical adventure that actually puts into plain language the cryptic language of finances and Mark to Market financing that gave Enron the edge.  So with a little British humor the average listener is able to understand the disaster that came crashing down on Enron and the U.S.   Informative, entertaining and frustrating, you’ll find yourself laughing with disgust at big business.

     
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