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I was ecstatic this morning when I saw Taco readers’ comments on the Company of Angels’ new production and I received this e-mail from CofA member Kila Kitu (see Taco story): “The response to L.A. VIEWS:Ten Minutes at a Time has been overwhelming. Three of our last shows have already sold out.”

You see, when I joined the Taco writing staff, someone up there guided my way to the world of LA’s theater groups and I was stunned by the talent I encountered. If you check the reviews posted under Taco’s Theater link, you will get a glimpse into this wonderland. L.A.’s scene of small independent theater ensembles is a treasure that still needs to be discovered by the larger public so that these intelligent, compassionate and daring artists can keep on creating the compelling body of work that I’ve been privileged to enjoy over the last year and a half. In a recent must-read article, LA Weekly’s Theater Editor Steven Leigh Morris raised the red flag on the fate of LA’s live theater: “The Purpose of Theater in Absurd L.A.”

This Friday sees the opening of a new production by the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble who has a special place in my heart for co-producing the first show I ever reviewed for Taco: the hilarious sketch-comedy TELEMONGOL, staged in collaboration with Cold Tofu, 18TH Mighty Mountain Warriors, and OPM Comedy. We all know how that first time sticks to you and sometimes with you. On that fateful night, TELEMONGOL’s veteran performers took more than one bite of my virgin reviewer self and in the name of Decency, all I can say is my ribs still hurt.

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Smelling a virgin… Wanru Tseng, Greg Watanabe, July Lee and Denise Iketani in TELEMONGOL.

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