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Theaters from Burbank to South Pasadena

Options are plentiful for playgoers

August 18, 2012|By Lynne Heffley

The Grove Theater Center (GTC) opened in 1994 and became a three-venue operation in Garden Grove and Fullerton. Run by original founders Kevin Cochran and Charles Johanson, GTC took over the 98-seat black-box theater in Burbank's George Izay Park in 2001 and began focusing all of its efforts there in 2005. Its most recent show, a critically acclaimed production of Elmer Rice's 1920s classic, “The Adding Machine,” had an extended run through Aug. 18. Many plays, however, are developed and launched through the theater's New Play Initiative. Other recent GTC successes include “Eternal Equinox,” restaged Off Broadway last year; and Cochran's “Bobby & Matt,” a 2011 New York Fringe Festival offering. GTC produces one to four plays a year, filling the downtime with outside productions. “Second Saturdays,” a new children's matinee series presented by Enrichment Works, runs the second Saturday of each month.

Sidewalk Studio Theatre
4150 Riverside Drive, Burban
(818) 558-5702


Less than half a block over from the well-appointed Falcon Theatre is its lower-profile but intriguing neighbor, the 33-seat Sidewalk Studio Theatre, led by noted veteran director and teacher Sal Romeo. Most recently, Romeo directed the standout, very adult production of “Tennessee in the Summer,” based on the life of Tennessee Williams. Upcoming: A September revival of Grant Kramer's award-winning solo show, “Shadow Boxing,” followed by an original drama by Irish playwright Fionnuala Kenny tentatively scheduled for a December run.

Theatre Banshe
3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burban
(818) 846-5323

This small nonprofit theater company, established in 1994 by Sean Branney and Leslie Baldwin and specializing in (but not limited to) Irish plays and playwrights, offers a season of three well-produced shows annually in its 85-seat black-box theater. The company's recent production of “A Merchant of Venice,” was an LA Weekly “Pick of the Week” that Los Angeles Times theater reviewer F. Kathleen Foley called “a richly cogent entertainment that honors every syllable of the Bard's text.” Next up in late October, with dates to be announced: the U.S. premiere of “The Muesli Belt,” by Jimmy Murphy, author of a previous Banshee success, “The Kings of the Kilburn High Road.”

Victory Theatre Center:

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