Los Angeles may not be a city known for its stage performances, just as the stage might not be known for its use of the science fiction genre. In true “where no one has gone before” fashion, Sci-Fest, the First Annual Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival, has initiated its warp drive and blasted through many preconceived barriers to discover a unique, surprising, thought-provoking, and undeniably entertaining evening of theater. Featuring humor, drama, and an array of mind-bending tales, Sci-Fest plays out like the live version of a late night Twilight Zone marathon or Weird Fantasy comic book binge and is must-see event for any Los Angeles-based fan of the science fiction genre or the stage!

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“Normal is what people call families that aren’t theirs.”  This all-too-true line comes from the new, off-beat comedy The Bells of West 87th, which presented its world premiere at the Greenway Court Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Saturday, September 7th.  The hilarious and heartfelt show follows Molly Fein, a single woman approaching 40, who is desperate to find independence from her dysfunctional parents.  With an extremely talented cast and a well-written script that depicts a family life that is identifiable for most, if not all, audiences, The Bells of West 87th is a show that is not to be missed this fall.

 

The Third DateThe Third Date, now playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, is a one-act play about that awkward stage in dating, after you’ve gotten past the initial “getting to know you” small talk, but before you’re entirely comfortable letting the other person past the barriers that that small talk is meant to maintain. During the early period when you’re still mainly trying to make a good impression, but past the point where you can convincingly keep that impression going.

The God Particle Complex flyerThe Large Hadron Collider.  The Higgs Boson.  Endeavour's retirement.  The Curiosity Rover.  SpaceX's first flight.  For any fellow science geeks who may be reading this article, I hope that you will join me in celebrating the myriad of scientific discoveries and milestones that filled 2012.  For those science geeks who are in the Los Angeles area, there is no better way to honor these momentous, new beginnings than to check out The God Particle Complex, a tragic one-act science farce about high energy particle physics, time travel, and the abrupt end of our universe.

 

Geeks vs. ZombiesGeeks, zombies, N64 games, and, of course, Aquaman. These are just some of the joys to be experienced in the new stage play Geeks vs. Zombies. This hilarious play follows 4 geeky friends who may just be mankind's last hope after the zombie apocalypse, but before they can save the world, they have to survive each other. Like any good zombie story, the zombies are more the setting, while the real challenges that face our heroes are the difficulties of human relationships, and we all know that relationships are the last thing that geeks excel at.

Frankenstein boyleIn the following audio commentary, Fanboy Comics staffers Bryant Dillon, Sam Rhodes, and Barbra Dillon and FBC Contributor Tony Caballero discuss their impressions of L.A. Theatre Works and National Theatre Live’s screening of playwright Nick Dear's adaptation of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle and co-starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller! 


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ReAnimator The MusicalI’d like to start out by sharing something with you: I am extremely squeamish. As a result, the vast majority of horror movies are off-limits to me, which is a shame, because I would really like to see some of them. In fact, I probably know more about many horror movies than the average movie-goer, because I read all about them on Wikipedia. Still, I can’t watch them. When I was in elementary school, another kid told me a little bit about the movie Alien, and that was all my brain needed for ten years of nightmare fuel. I didn’t actually see the movie until I was 21, and when the chestburster scene finally arrived, I almost went into cardiac arrest. Then, it was over, and all I could think was, “That’s it? That wasn’t so bad.” Smell a segue coming up? Well, good nose, because Re-Animator: The Musical was a lot like the chestburster scene for me: not what I expected, and not even all that great, but definitely a unique experience that stuck with me long after it was over.

 

Frost Nixon LATWIn the latest installment of L.A. Theatre Works’ The Play’s The Thing Series, Peter Morgan’s Tony-nominated Frost/Nixon will soon come to life as a radio theatre performance for audiences far and wide to enjoy.  



L.A. Theatre Works, a non-profit organization that preserves dramatic literature through the production of nationally syndicated audio theatre, will host live performances of Frost/Nixon from April 19-22, 2012, at the James Bridges Theatre at UCLA.  Featuring the finest actors from stage and screen, Frost/Nixon will feature James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville) as British talk show host David Frost and Tom Virtue (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as President Richard Nixon.  History buffs and audio drama fanatics alike will have the unique opportunity to attend a live dramatization of the infamous interviews (sans sets and costumes), while they are being recorded to air on public radio stations across the country.  In addition, the performance can later be streamed on demand at www.latw.org. 



As any web-slinger can tell you, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  This was, indeed, the case for Theatre Unleashed, the Los Angeles-based group that recently opened the West Coast premiere of Broadway parody and fan favorite The Spidey Project, but the cast and crew swung into action, providing a high energy and extremely entertaining performance featuring everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man. 

 

Geeks The MusicalThe Write Act Repertory Theatre in Hollywood, CA, is currently home to the world premiere of Geeks! The Musical, an original musical comedy that follows the adventures of geeks of many genres at San Diego Comic-Con.  With an extremely talented cast and a myriad of well-versed pop culture references, Geeks! provides an entertaining evening of theatre but falls victim to antiquated stereotypes of geek culture.


Written by self-professed geek Thomas J. Misuraca, Geeks! tells the story of three sets of friends at SDCC: two fanboys hoping to meet their favorite Sci-Fi actor and snag a mint-condition copy of the elusive Batman #92, a fangirl and her anti-everything, D&D-loving guy pal, and a goth writer and her not-so-talented artist friend.  Things go awry when fanboy and fangirl meet, and a farcical odyssey of miscommunications, broken hearts, and rejection unfold on the convention floor.

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