Center Theatre Group’s fourth annual Block Party highlights some of the remarkable work being done on other stages throughout Los Angeles by fully producing two previously staged productions. “The Art Couple” from Sacred Fools Theater and “Canyon” from IAMA theater Company will both get the Block Party spotlight this year, with production at the KDT.
The first production will be “The Art Couple” from Sacred Fools Theater Company by Brendan Hunt, directed by Lauren Van Kurin. Previews begin March 18 and 19, 2020. Opens March 20 at 8 p.m. Through March 29.
“The Art Couple” is a dramedy about Neil Simon’s struggle to break a terrible case of writer’s block he is suffering after accepting a huge commission for his completely unwritten third play: “The Odd Couple.” Encouraged by a mysterious busboy with a western twang (who also happens to be an aspiring playwright), Simon decides the play should be more than schtick, it should be about art. When he learns that Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin shared an ill-fated cohabitation, he endeavors to write about that real-life (but very odd) couple. Neil and the busboy battle for control of the play in parallel scenes and the odd couples begin to resemble something closer to “True West,” building irrevocably to a suitably ridiculous conclusion.
The second production will be “Canyon” from IAMA Theatre Company by Jonathan Caren, originally Directed by Whitney White, staged for the Kirk Douglas Theatre by Colleen Labella. Previews begin April 8 and 9, 2020. Opens April 10 at 8 p.m. Through April 19.
“Canyon” follows Jake and Beth, a seemingly progressive thirty-something married couple, and Eduardo and Rodrigo, a Mexican father and son, who they’ve hired to renovate a deck. The play explores what happens when ideals and consequences collide and the lives of two families are rocked by an unpredictable accident.
Preview Performances: Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m.
Opening Performances: Fridays, March 20 and April 10 at 8 p.m.
Regular Performances: Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. No Monday performances.
For more info, go to centertheatergroup.org