Oct. 7 2015 02:48 PM

Without Walls Festival kicks off at La Jolla Playhouse

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Meghan Frederick in Healing Wars tableau
Photo by Jim Carmody

La Jolla Playhouse is getting a jump on its biennial Without Walls Festival (coming up Oct. 9-11) with a presentation of Liz Lerman's dance-theater piece Healing Wars. In the spirit of the site-specific WoW Festival, Healing Wars allows audiences backstage before the show to encounter the play's cast in moving (in both senses of the word) tableaux. This helps evoke Lerman's trenchant messages about the scars that war inflicts on those who fight it and the healing that sometimes never follows.

This solemn multidisciplinary production melds the Civil War and our more recent conflicts in the Middle East with equal fervor and tenderness. Exposition is entwined in balletic choreography conceived by Lerman and Keith Thompson. The cast of eight, portraying figures from both time periods, includes Paul Hurley, a Navy veteran fitted with a prosthetic leg. Healing Wars weaves in and out of parallel wars and aftermaths, perhaps raising too many talking points—pain, medicine, physical scars, emotional scars, PTSD, the horror and senselessness of war, and the indiscriminate specter of death. But Healing Wars' evocative period music, David Israel Reynoso's set and costume design, and the sensitivity of its dance sequences, which speak more eloquently than words, are equally artful and powerful.

Healing Wars runs through Oct. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. $20 and up. lajollaplayhouse.org


Basil Kreimendahl's Orange Julius would be a much more powerful play without Julius on stage. It's hard to say that with stellar Jeffrey Jones in the cast as Julius, a Vietnam vet dying years later from the effects of Agent Orange. But neither Jones' usual intensity nor the short battlefield flashbacks change the fact that Orange Julius owes its soul to the character of Nut, Julius' plainspoken but searching daughter (played in Moxie The atre's world premiere production by Rae K. Hendersen). Julius' fate and its effects on the entire family (Dana Case as wife Frances, Wendy Maples as other daughter Crimp) are best expressed in Nut's searing monologues. When Hendersen addresses the audience in the shadows, all the fear and anxiety and unanswered questions she and her family harbors coalesce.

Orange Julius runs through Oct. 18 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando. $20-$30. moxietheatre.com

OPENING

The Glass Menagerie: Tennessee Williams' classic play about a Southern family whose lives change forever when a gentleman caller comes to, well, call. It opens Oct. 9 at Onstage Playhouse in Chula Vista. onstageplayhouse.info

Stage Fright: A film critic is drugged and kidnapped, only to wake up and find the actors he's disparaged in the past are extracting their revenge. Written by Charles Marowitz, it opens Oct. 9 at Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa. lamplighterslamesa.com

Without Walls Festival: The biennial weekend of immersive and site-based work features dozens of local and international performances in theatre, dance, art and more. It runs from Oct. 9 through Oct. 11 at UCSD and the La Jolla Playhouse district. lajollaplayhouse.org

Paloma: A staged reading of Anne García Romero's play about a couple whose Catholic and Muslim faiths are colliding. Presented by Amigos del REP, it happens Oct. 13 at the Lyceum Theatre in the Gaslamp. sdrep.org

NOW PLAYING:

The Fox on the Fairway: A country-club president bets on a golf tournament but loses his ringer to the other side in this Caddyshack-esque comedy. It runs through Oct. 11 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org

Master Class: Terrance McNally's acclaimed dramedy about a once-famous opera singer who's having a hard time adjusting to teaching. Presented by ion Theatre, it runs through Oct. 17 at BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest. iontheatre.com

A Night of Dark Intent: A thriller about six women attempting to solve a years-old murder mystery in the very house where the crime was committed. Written by L. Don Swartz, it runs through Oct. 18 at PowPAC in Poway. powpac.org

Master Class: Terrance McNally's acclaimed dramedy about a once-famous opera singer who's having a hard time adjusting to teaching. Presented by ion Theatre, it runs through Oct. 17 at BLKBOX Theatre in Hillcrest. iontheatre.com

Cell: A world premiere play about a corrections officer who begins to fraternize with the illegal immigrants she's supposed to be overseeing. Presented by Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company, it runs through Oct. 18 at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center in the East Village. moolelo.net

The Phantom of the Opera: Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical about a masked, disfigured and caped stalker is more lavish than ever thanks to new staging and choreography from Cameron Mackintosh. Presented by Broadway San Diego, it runs through Oct. 18 at the Civic Theatre in the Gaslamp. broadwaysd.com

Thoroughly Modern Millie: A young girl fresh off a Kansas farm taps and flaps her way through ‘20s New York City in this highly popular Broadway musical. It runs through Oct. 18 at the Coronado Playhouse. coronadoplayhouse.com

Healing Wars: A multisensory production that blends dance, spoken word and multimedia in order to explore how soldiers cope with the physical and emotional wounds of war. Presented as the centerpiece production of the upcoming Without Walls Festival, it runs through Oct. 25 at the La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org

In Your Arms: A world premiere “dance-theatre musical” created by a who's who of Tony and Pulitzer winning Broadway vets. Directed by Christopher Gattelli, it runs through Oct. 25 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org

Full Gallop: Broadway vet Mercedes Ruehl plays a fashion editor scornfully plotting a comeback after being fired from Vogue magazine. It runs through Oct. 25 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org

My Mañana Comes: The bond between four busboys at a swanky New York restaurant is tested after a shocking incident. Presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it runs through Oct. 25 at the Lyceum Theatre in the Gaslamp. sdrep.org

Orange Julius: The world premiere play from Basil Kreimendahl tells the story of a dying Vietnam vet trying to reconnect with his lesbian daughter. It runs through Oct. 25 at the MOXIE Theatre in the College Area. moxietheatre.com

The Weir: Set in a pub in Ireland, Conor McPherson's acclaimed play centers on the arrival of a woman to the typically male-heavy bar and the spooky stories the patrons try to tell her. It runs through Nov. 1 at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. newvillagearts.org

Hay Fever: Noël Coward's classic comedy about a retired stage actress, her writer husband, their eccentric children, and a weekend get-together gone awry. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through Nov. 8 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

The Vortex: Noël Coward's scandalous comedy about an aging socialite and her son who are forced to confront some hard truths about themselves when their respective lovers leave them. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through Nov. 8 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com

Calendar

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