Entertainment » Theatre

L.A. Women’s Theatre Serves Up the Best of the Fest

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Feb 4, 2014

From Feb. 6-23, the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival and the California Performing Arts Centre at Fremont Centre Theatre will stage "From the Best of the Fest," a selection of the finest female solos of their first 20 years, from 1996-2013.

As a prelude to the 21st Annual Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival in March, the Fremont Centre Theatre plays host to an array of encore performances by some favorite artists from years past. For two decades now, the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival has presented outstanding female solo performing artists from around the world. At Fremont Centre Theatre for three weekends only, audiences old and new will have a chance to see some of the Festival's best performances.

The theme for the first weekend is "Resilience," with featured performances including Sariyah Idan's "Homeless in Homeland." In search of justice, a young Jewish-American woman travels to the Middle East in the face of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to gain an understanding of her cultural identity.

Brenda Adelman will share "My Brooklyn Hamlet," her tour de force personal story about what’s possible when you forgive the unforgivable. And Ingrid Graham will perform "The Passage," a dance that explores one woman’s journey to self-acceptance through gratitude and meditation.

Also featured during this first weekend is Ada Luz Pla’s "Tracing My Lineage: A Story of a Puerto Rican Spitfire," an excerpted storytelling piece about the colorful array of Latin women in her life. Paulina Sahagun will perform"Nahuatl-Now What?" From the Mercado in Guadalajara to bad hair days in LA, there is only one question: Does she know how to make tortillas? And Clarinda Ross will stage "Spit Like a Big Girl," looking back on what a daughter learned from her college professor parents during her coming of age South, as well as her experience being the mother of a special needs child.

The theme for the second weekend, Feb. 13-16, is "Love, Identity and Giving Voice." The featured plays include "Who Will Sing for Lena?" by Vanessa Adams-Harris, a poignant theatre piece that chronicles the true story of the first and only woman to be executed in the state of Georgia.

On Valentine’s Day, Juliette Jeffers will share her roller coaster journey with men as she explores online dating, and Amy Milano will stage "Dancing With Crazies," one woman’s search for love and a place to call home.

Feb. 15 will feature Barbara Cole’s tale of motherhood and career, Surviving Chrysalis," Kiha S. Lee’s "The Red Ribbon," an Asian woman’s experiences living in a culturally-diverse society, and Karen A. Clark’s "The Women." Through music, poetry and storytelling reflects on the women in her family, and particularly her mother who provided a "wow" factor.

The weekend will close with Chrystee Pharris’s "In Search of O," asking, "What do you do at the age of 32 after reading every book, asking all the experts, and you still haven’t found your O?" Cece Antoinette stages her coming-of-age story about growing up black, female and spiritual in Dallas, in "Watermelon: Git It While It’s Hot."

The festival’s final weekend, from Feb. 21-23, focuses on the theme "Still Standing," featuring Kim Coles, "Oh, But Wait, There’s More." This zany and at times irreverent solo show chronicles the ebb and flow of Cole’s showbiz career with titillating inside Hollywood anecdotes and personal stories from her amazing world.

The Best of Fest launched on Feb. 1 with a special "Meet and Greet the Artists" reception, where they shared the inspirations behind their one-person shows and answered the audience’s questions.

The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Best of Fest runs from Feb. 6-23 at Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave. (at El Centro). For information or tickets, call 818-760-0408 or visit www.fremontcentretheatre.com

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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