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Jean Lowerison

Theater Review: “Junk: The Golden Age Of Debt”

Zakiya Iman Markland, Linus Roache and Henry Stram

If the intricacies of junk bond trading leave you in “Huh?” mode like they do me, don’t look to Ayad Akhtar’s latest play to enlighten you very much. But you can’t miss the warning he’s sending.

La Jolla Playhouse presents the world premiere of “Junk: The Golden Age Of Debt” through Aug. 21 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre, directed by Doug Hughes.

Theater Review: “Free Speech (While Supplies Last)”

The cast of La Jolla Playhouse’s presentation of The Second City’s Free Speech! (While Supplies Last).

Those bad boys and girls from Chicago’s Second City are back with “Free Speech (While Supplies Last),” a new show of planned skits and off-the-cuff improvisation inspired by audience suggestions. It plays through Aug. 21 at La Jolla Playhouse’s Mandell Weiss Forum.

Theater Review: "Peter Pan"

Misty Cotton as Peter Pan

Kids! Always wanting to do crazy things like fly. Without a plane.

Yep, it’s the stuff of dreams. “Peter Pan” dreams, in fact, and if you’re dying to see it again – or for the first time – you have a chance to do just that through Aug. 6 at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheatre. Steven Glaudini directs.

Theater Review: "Sense And Sensibility"

(from left) Emily Berman as Lucy Steele, Sharon Rietkerk as Elinor

They’re cute, they’re witty, they can sing and they’re looking for love. What could be a more appealing subject for a musical?

I’m talking about Jane Austen’s famous Dashwood sisters – Marianne (Megan McGinnisas) and Elinor (Sharon Rietkerk) – whose beloved amatory adventures have been given a musical treatment by Paul Gordon.

Theater Review: "Ruthless! The Musical"

You’ve got typical hard-driving stage moms like Rose in “Gypsy.” And then you’ve got the reluctant Judy Denmark (Eileen Bowman), whose eight-year-old daughter Tina (Madison O’Donovan) was “Born to Entertain.”

But Judy, though she loves playing social secretary for Tina, really thinks having a normal childhood and getting through school will stand the girl in better stead.

Theater Review: “Ain’t Misbehavin’"

Cynthia Thomas, Tony Perry, Yvonne, Ron Christopher Jones and Anise Ritchie

What do you get when you take a quintet of terrific singing and dancing actors, add some 30 songs of the Harlem Renaissance period by the inimitable Fats Waller, and combine that with a killer backup combo?

Theater Review: "A Gay Marriage"

J. Marcus Newman, Patricia Elmore Costa, Tom Andrew. back: Sherri Allen, Michael Lundy.

Did the U.S. legalize same-sex marriage so gays could be as miserable in marriage as straights?

That’s one of the questions under consideration in Ronnie Larsen’s “A Gay Marriage,” in its world premiere through July 31 at Diversionary Theatre.

Theater Review: "The Twentieth Century Way"

This is Johnson’s third turn at ion, and he gets better every time I see him.

Here’s a novel setup: Two actors – “ruggedly handsome” Warren (Richard Johnson) and “pretty boy” Brown (Colton Iverson) do improv while waiting – and waiting – for auditions for the same film role.

The more assertive Warren suggests a vice theme based on an actual obscure law passed in California in 1914 which called oral copulation “social vagrancy.”

Theater Review: "The Last Tiger In Haiti"

Reggie D. White, Clinton Roane, Andy Lucien, Brittany Bellizeare and Jasmine St. Clair in "The Last Tiger In Haiti."

Time is mushy and truth variable (an understatement) in the world premiere of Jeff Augustin’s “The Last Tiger In Haiti,” where five kids of varying ages serve “Mister” as restaveks (slaves) until they are 18, when they will be freed.

“Last Tiger” is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Theater Review: "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story"

Noah Zuniga-Williams as Buddy Holly with Randy Coull and Dawn Marie Zuniga-Williams as Norman and Vi Petty

Buddy Holly, who had a short life but a huge influence on early rock and roll music, comes alive again in OnStage Playhouse’s terrific production of “Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story.”