It's hard convincing people to go to the theater—hell, a good 99% of the time I don't want to fucking go. Sometimes theater sucks. And when theater sucks, it sucks bad. But I'm telling you: if you're in Los Angeles and even remotely interested in plays, there are a couple things going on right now that you have to see.
I've already blogged about how fantastically well-written and deeply moving Julia Cho's Durango is, but I wanted to remind you that the play closes this Sunday, October 14, at East West Players. EWP is my L.A. home away from home—except for the arcade and Target.
The other play you should see is Ken Narasaki's Innocent When You Dream, running for three more weekends until October 28. I haven't seen the production yet, but I can recommend it because Ken first developed this piece in one of my workshops at EWP's David Henry Hwang Institute, and I have always admired it greatly.
The intimate-yet-epic play is about Japanese-American siblings dealing with their dying father who longs to reconnect with a mysterious woman from his past. The characters are lovingly drawn, the story is delicate and fluid, and the text is alternately tender and funny. And you see that quote at the top of the poster? George Takei said that. So if you don't take my word for it, then listen to Sulu, would you, nerds?
This production is also another fine example of theater harnessing the power of the Internet to help with PR, with an evocative trailer posted on YouTube. And, yes, the play's title comes from a Tom Waits song, one of my favorites. First, the trailer for the play; then, Waits's music video for his song, "Innocent When You Dream":