March 2, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival:

For 17 years, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival has been presenting performances by talented women from the theatre, dance, and performance art world. This year’s festival, with the theme “Meeting the New Decade,” was presented at the Electric Lodge in Venice over the unusually hot weekend of March 25-28.

Opening night on Thursday featured an awards ceremony honoring Fifth Dimension singer-actor Florence LaRue, dancer-choreographer Sri Susilowati, performance artist Odalys Nanin, character actor Connie Sawyer, and posthumous awards to actors Beatrice Arthur and Alaina Reed Hall.

Los Angeles City Council member Bernard Parks posed for photos with the winners, although he did not fulfill the hosts’ humorous suggestion that he recite Shakespeare. As a bonus, there were special performances like Juliette Marshall’s laugh-inducing one-woman cabaret show “Shift Happens,” about her experiences with divorce.

Friday night’s highlights included Cynthia Lee’s “ruddha rude huh?” in which the dancer-choreographer used kathak (Indian classical dance) movements while speaking in nonsense syllables and watching her own invisible performance from the audience. In a similar vein, Sheetal Gandhi’s “Bahu-Beti-Biwi” was a combination of Indian dance and music with odd verbalisms seguing into nonsense comments like “My brother cannot wear short shorts in India.” These pieces managed to be both amusing and graceful.

On Saturday afternoon, Raleigh S. Pinsky took the audience through “Evolution of Soul 685,” in which she played a soul (complete with glittery halo) who decides to be born and live on earth. The childlike nature of her narrative seemed a quiet interlude compared to many of the more raucous Festival offerings.

Saturday evening offered an energetic program with Elaine Del Valle’s hilarious and ultimately moving “Brownsville Bred,” the story of growing up Latina in an African-American neighborhood in New York; and Barbara Cole’s “Surviving Chrysalis,” about a maturing mother struggling with erotic temptation and identity.

Sunday afternoon featured the strongest performances. Gloria Rosen’s “Listen, Can you Hear Me Now?” dealt with the dilemma of a woman whose parents are deaf and rely on their daughter as a “translator.” This story of family conflict was amazingly funny at times and audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, identified with it.

Lydia Nicole’s “Calling Up Papi” was another stunning tale of a girl growing up in the inner city with a pimp for a father. Erika Green Swafford’s monologue “The New Black” drew whoops and cheers from the audience for her observations on the marketing and co-opting of black identity. And Dina Morrone’s “The Italian in Me,” was a hoot, with Morrone telling of her attempts to find movie work in Italy and meeting a series of film industry types (including Federico Fellini!).

One audience member, who had made a long trip from Palos Verdes to attend the Festival, told this reviewer: “What I love about this is the amazing cultural diversity.” Not only was the diversity in the performances, she noted, but it was also in the way that audience members from different backgrounds got to meet and talk and befriend each other. The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival can be proud of this achievement.

in News
Related Posts

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Dozens of Santa Monica Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater Dozens of Santa Monica restaurants...

Video: Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin Soon

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

LA Metro could begin offering fare-less rides as early as next year as part of a $300+ million program. Learn...

That New Car Smell: Keep it Fresh

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

If ladies can have a special relationship with a new pair of shoes, just imagine our connection with a brand...

Danny Trejo’s Tacos Coming to Santa Monica

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Popular restaurant owned by legendary actor coming near Promenade By Kerry Slater Legendary actor Danny Trejo is bringing his popular...

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...

Santa Monica Convicted Felon Indicted for Multiple Firearms Charges After Shooting into Neighbor’s Yard

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Jason Walsh faces federal prison time for January 9 incident By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica man previously convicted for...