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Los Angeles Spotlight: September 2009

September: Osage County logo
Estelle Parsons in August: Osage County
(© Joan Marcus)
One of Broadway's most celebrated dramas in years, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, makes its L.A. debut at the Ahmanson Theatre, September 8-October 18. Oscar winner and four-time Tony nominee Estelle Parsons reprises her role as the matriarch who presides over a family gathering at the Oklahoma homestead after the alcoholic father disappears.

Another blockbuster offering is the world premiere of the quirky Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas (Geffen Playhouse, September 8-October 18), starring the titular actor, along with Peri Gilpin and French Stewart. Blair Singer's comedy, directed by John Rando, follows the plight of a celebrity (Modine) desperate to get back into the limelight.

Danai Gurira's Eclipsed (Kirk Douglas Theatre, September 13-October 18), is set in 2003 during Liberia's horrific civil war, and follows the lives of a rebel commanding officer's so-called wives, who struggle for a degree of humanity amid the war zone. Equally enticing is the L.A. premiere of Conor McPherson's Tony-nominated Shining City (Fountain Theatre, September 12-December 19), a modern day Irish ghost story, starring Morlan Higgins and William Dennis Hurley. Celebration Theatre offers the American premiere of Joe DiPietro's F**king Men (September 11-October 25), which premiered in 2008 in London. Directed by Calvin Remsberg, the play offers a contemporary riff on Arthur Schnitzler's 19th-century classic La Ronde, in which 10 diverse men attempt to connect in a meaningful way with same-sex partners.

Always worth a revisit, Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic Oklahoma! (Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, September 16-October 4) returns in a production directed by Stephanie Coltrin. Another favorite, the thinly plotted Stephen Sondheim revue Putting it Together (South Coast Repertory, September 11-October 11) stars Tony nominee Harry Groener under the direction of Nick DeGruccio. Laurie Stevens and Ronald Jacobs premiere their comedy with songs, Follow Your Dreams (Secret Rose Theatre, September 10-October 31), about the employees of a telemarketing firm, who come from different walks of life.

Those with a taste for the outrageously campy might enjoy the cross-dress comedy The Golden Gays (Cavern Club Theatre, September 10-October 10), parodying a legendary sitcom that needs no introduction. Classic comedy is also on the roster, including Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker (Interact Theatre at the Victory Theatre Center, September 12-October 18). Aristophanes with a new twist comes courtesy of director Bill Rauch and the renowned Culture Clash comedy troupe, presented outdoors at the Getty Villa, in the Greek classic Peace (September 10-October 3).

Highlighting the dramatic offerings is Chekhov's The Three Sisters (Circus Theatricals at the Odyssey Theatre, September 9-October 31). Mark Medoff's vintage Tony-winning drama about the coming together of the deaf and hearing cultures, Children of a Lesser God, is back (Deaf West Theatre, September 6-October 11). The Attic Theatre and Film Center offers its annual Denise Ragan Wiesenmeyer One-Act Play Festival (September 11-October 3), featuring the world premieres of four debuting works.

Among the family fare this month are two-fairy-take musicals:The Princess and the Frog (Theatre West, September 26-February 27, 2010) and Snow White (Glendale Centre Theatre, continuing through November 21).

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