The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side

Thru May 24, 2015, Thurs- Sat 8pm, Sun 7PM @ the Matrix Theatre

7657 Melrose Ave. LA, CA 90046- tix at www.piedpipersla.com  

Reviews-

James Joyce’s The Dead- The Open Fist at the Greenway Court Theatre

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Lighting Design by Terry Enroth & Dan Reed
Limited Return Engagement! Six Weeks Only! Jan 18 – Feb 22 at the GREENWAY COURT THEATER 544 N Fairfax Hollywood, CA  (Just South of Melrose)  
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS  $25 | $20 Students/Seniors (WITH ID ONLY)

 REVIEWS

Both- A Hard Days Silent Night at the Open Fist

BOTH A Beatles Gospel Nativity

Music and Lyrics by The Beatles

Book by Mark Wilson
Directed by Martha Demson
Arrangements by Jason Paige, Music Direction by Ken Rosser, Choreography by Eboni Nichols, Sound Design- Peter Carlstedt, Lighting Design- Dan Reed, Projection Design- Liam Carl

Performances at 8pm from December 18th through December 23rd.

Foote Notes- Two Plays About Harrison, Texas at the Open Fist Theatre

DIRECTED BY SCOTT PAULIN

Produced by Martha Demson

Nov. 2 – Dec. 15, 2012

Reviews

The Black Glass- Padua Playwrights and the Open Fist at the Hollywood Fringe Central Mainstage

A blistering and darkly comedic deconstruction of corporate power in the age of Occupy Wall Street and internet porn by the award-winning playwright and director Guy Zimmerman. One of Los Angeles’ leading theatrical voices, Zimmerman delivers a searing indictment of the current neo-liberal mores in a story involving intrigue after hours in an office in downtown Los Angeles. In return for the CEO position at his LA-based corporation, Bentham offers his daughter to the sinister McGivern. McGivern’s two female cohorts have very different ideas, and the play takes unexpected twists and turns on the way to an explosive denoument.

Schedule- Sunday June 17 2012, 3:30 PM, Tuesday June 19 2012, 6:30 PM, Sunday June 24 2012, 3:30 PM

6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038 (map) Box Office 323 – 818-823-1008

Reviews

Both- A Beatles Nativity; Presented by The Open Fist at The Hollywood United Methodist Church & Open Fist Theatre

Music and Lyrics by The Beatles
Book by Mark Wilson

Directed by Martha Demson
Arrangements by Jason Paige, Music Direction by Chris Wabich, Choreography by Eboni Nichols
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Performances: Wed 12/7, Fri 12/9, Sat 12/10 8:00pm  at Hollywood United Methodist Church  6817 Franklin Ave / Highland  Admission & Parking Free

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Performances: Tue 12/20, Wed 12/21, Thur 12/22 8pm, Fri 12/23 8 pm at Open Fist Theater 6209 Santa Monica Blvd / Vine  Hollywood, CA

Dancing with the Stars: Schnick Schnack LED

I had the unique opportunity to oversee the installation of over 1900 Schnick Schnack B-250 and C-250 LED units provided by VER and distributed by TMB into the precarious new main staircase and lovely new 360˚ balcony rails on Dancing with the Stars.   Many thanks to Lighting Designer Simon Miles at VX Inc and Susan Tesh at VER for bringing me on and having me wrap my head around this project, to Jolynn Schmitt, Victor Cruz, Matt Cotter and Mo Duleasis for the smooth install process onsite, and to Melanie Lekaj, Tommy Stephanson and Stephanie Kilburg at TMB for walking the fine line between customs and customer service to pull this off.

And congratulations to James Yarnell on an truly incredible set design…

The Existents at The Open Fist Theatre Company

THE EXISTENTS

Book by Douglas Crawford and Jason Wooten, Music and Lyrics by Ty Taylor,  Directed by Martha Demson

A new rock musical at the Open Fist as part of the First Look Festival Of New Plays

Performances:  Saturday July 31at 8pm, Sunday, August 1 at 7pm, Saturday August 14 at 8pm, Thursday August 19 at 8pm, Friday August 20 at 8pm.  Sunday, August 1 and August 22 @ 7pm.  Matinee performances;  Sunday August 15th @ 2pm & Sunday August 22 @ 2pm

Full Photo Gallery @ Existents at Open Fist
Backstage.com Review- The Existents
StageSceneLA Review- The Existents

StageSceneLA Best of 2009-2010 Outstanding Lighting Design

Getting Frankie Married, and Afterwards at the Open Fist Theatre Company

Directed by Scott Paulin


Produced by Ina Russell, Stephanie Terronez, and Martha Demson, Scenic Design • James Spencer, Costume Design • Christina Wright, Lighting Design • Dan Reed, Sound Design • Peter Carlstedt, Props • Ina Russell & Bruce Dickinson


April 2 – May 15, 2010 Fridays & Saturdays @ 8 pm, Sundays @ 2 pm   call (323) 882-6912

Stage Door at The Open Fist Theatre Company

by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber Directed by Barbara Schofield
Jan. 22 – March 13
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8 pm, Sundays @ 2 pm
Special Performances:
Preview Showings Jan. 14, 15, 16 and 17 • $15
Opening Night Friday Jan. 22 • $35 w/ Reception
Pay-What-You-Can Performances Jan. 17, 24 and 31
Tickets Adults $25 | Students & Seniors $20
call (323) 882-6912

LA TImes Review- Theater review: ‘Stage Door’ at Open Fist Theatre | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times
LA Weekly Review- Stage Raw: Stage Door – Los Angeles Art – Style Council
Backstage.com Review- Stage Door
StageSceneLA Review- Stage Door
StageSceneLA Best of 2009-2010 Outstanding Lighting Design

Karbala Sol- Ziggurat Theatre Company @ Inside the Ford Theatre

Photos by Ed Krieger

Inside the Ford Theatre January 18 – February 11, 2007

Written and Directed by Stephen Legawiec
Dance Choreography by Dana Wieluns, Set and Costume by Stephen Legawiec, Lighting Design by Dan Reed, Masks Designed by Beckie Kravetz, Stage Manager: T Keaton-Woods

Papa at the Open Fist Theatre Company

BACK STAGE WEST’s Wenzel Jones raves!

“Had John deGroot not written this engaging peek into a vodka-soaked afternoon in the life of Ernest Hemingway, then actor Adrian Sparks would have had to commission this one-man show elsewhere. Rarely does one witness a performer so completely inhabiting the skin of an historical figure. Hemingway prowls around the living room of his Cuban home railing against emasculating women and spinning out his ongoing romance with death while pouring ever pinker Bloody Marys. Unlike real people, this character becomes more captivating the drunker he gets. The script, constructed from interviews with many who knew the famed author, has both the ring of truth and the thrill of eavesdropping, as the portrait is not altogether flattering. It is never, however, unbelievable.

Sparks is a consummate raconteur as he draws the audience in. . . . The directorial hand is so deftly employed as to be invisible. Martha Demson has obviously not let her actor run wild–that kind of show has a special look all its own–but her vision and that of her actor meld so seamlessly as to cause the audience members to forget we’re watching a performance. By the time the show builds to an almost Homeric conclusion, with thunder crashing and Hemingway letting loose a few lighting bolts of his own, we are utterly in its thrall.”

LA WEEKLY’s Steve Mikulan Recommends!

“Playwright John deGroot’s one-man show, starring Adrian Sparks, displays a Papa Hemingway in full sunset glory as self-mythologist, raconteur and critic of American small-mindedness. . . . Under Martha Demson’s relaxed direction, Sparks’ Hemingway is a brawling, profane and surprisingly likable Hemingway who guides us along an anecdotal safari of his life. Sparks also bears an uncanny resemblance to the novelist, which doesn’t hurt. DeGroot may err a little on the side of laughter (Kenneth Rexroth once said a sure way to earn Hemingway’s lasting spite was “to loan him two bits,” a side of Hemingway that remains unexplored here), but his two-act, 90-minute monologue is a pleasant way to reacquaint ourselves with an American legend – and a hard-drinking male American obsessed with sexual swagger and fears of castration.”

Open Fist, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays
Ends: Feb. 18
Price: $15 to $20
Contact: (323) 882-6912, http://www.openfist.org
Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

LA Times Review- Hemingway captured, in looks and in form – Los Angeles Times

Play7.com- PAPA | PLAY7

Ovation Award – Best Set Design, Jeff Rack
Ovation Award Nomination – Best Production, PAPA
Ovation Award Nomination – Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Adrian Sparks
Ovation Award Nomination – Best Sound Design, Tim Labor
Ovation Award Nomination – Best Lighting Design, Dan Reed

Lydie Breeze at The Open Fist Theater

From Play7.com

“A production of considerable beauty. . . . [Director] Smith sustains a gripping harmony of majesty and sardonic wit.” — LA Weekly Recommended!

“Compelling [and] entertaining” — LA Times Recommended!

“incredibly gripping story. . . . This is a powerful play with some very effective scenes–kudos to everyone in the cast for a fine performance.” reviewplays.com

Open Fist Theatre Company is proud to present the West Coast premiere of John Guare’s astonishing tale of the painful yet enduring power of American idealism, LYDIE BREEZE. Hurtling from comedy to tragedy, to satire to melodrama and back again, LYDIE BREEZE tells the gripping story of a disastrously failed utopian commune in late 19th century Nantucket and its aftermath. Years after its scandalous end, the children return to sift through the ashes of their tumultuous past. Aiming to heal the confusion in their lives, they find themselves enmeshed, yet again, in age-old rivalries and buried desires — all the while haunted by memories of the commune’s amorous founder and dominating spirit, Lydie Breeze. Old passions are rekindled, revenges taken and tragedies repeated – never in a way that one expects. (This version of Lydie Breeze is the original play — not the subsequent two-play cycle.)

“Lydie Breeze,” the Open Fist Theatre, 1625 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends Dec. 4. $18, Sundays pay what you can. (323) 882-6912. Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes.

L.A. Weekly Nomination – Best Revival Production

Roberto Zucco at the Open Fist Theatre Company

A previously anonymous man escapes from prison, kills his parents and embarks on a murderous quest through a labyrinthine metropolis. Who is Roberto Zucco, and why does he kill? While a dysfunctional community tries to ward off the trail of darkness as some demonic external force, the murderer himself, Roberto Zucco, appears to be the least callous, and most honest of them all. Based on the true story of a young Italian man, Roberto Succo, who went on a crime spree while on limited release from a psychiatric hospital.

The playwright, Bernard-Marie Koltes was born in 1948 in eastern France and died of AIDS at the age of 41. Bernard-Marie Koltes, through almost unknown in the U.S., outside of New York, is one of the most frequently produced playwrights in Europe, and considered the heir of Genet and Beckett. The London Times wrote that he was, “a creator of mythology of the underworld, a champion of the underdog and the lone wolf, and a pioneer of a wholly new style of dramatic writing.”

Open Fist Theater Company, 1625 N. La Brea Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru July 17. (323) 882-6912

  • LA TIMES: “Director Russell Milton and his hardworking 21-member cast make the theme of society’s preoccupation with violence abundantly clear in a stylish staging for Open Fist Theatre Company . . .”
  • LA WEEKLY RECOMMENDED! “bring(s) abundant humor to an episodic series of grimly suspenseful scenes in which the audience is left guessing who will be Zucco’s next victim. . . . Standouts include Kieffer’s hilarious prison guard/police officer, Rebecca Metz’s acerbic madam and Michelle Haner’s wickedly cynical rich lady whom Zucco abducts in the show’s dramatic zenith.”