Smiling Spider sightings this weekend can be expected in Hollywood where Action Theater Company’s “R.U.R.” comes highly recommended by a very trusted source, Olya Petrakova Brown of ARTEL, who recently directed “Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms,” a delirious ensemble piece inspired by the surreal writings of Soviet writer Daniil Kharms.

Here’s what Action Theatre Company has to say about its new production: “R.U.R.” stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” Written in 1920 – R.U.R. garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and introduced the word “Robot” to the English language. Mass-produced, efficient and servile labor, Karel Capek‘s robots remember everything, but lack creative thought, and the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning. When the robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must attempt to learn the secret of procreation.Working from a new adaptation by Action! Theatre Company Artistic Director, Tiger Reel, this production will highlight Capek’s themes of technology’s effect on society, gender and class roles and will wrestle with the question: “Are we as a race worth saving?”

A quick web search led me to Dennis G. Jerz‘s blog:

“R.U.R. was written in 1920, premiered in Prague early in 1921, was performed in New York in 1922, and published in English translation in 1923.  The following year, G. B. Shaw and G. K. Chesterton were among those in London participating in a public discussion of the play.  Capek responded, via The Saturday Review, to what he felt was the excessive thematic attention they and other critics paid to one of his devices: “For myself, I confess that as the author I was much more interested in men than in Robots.”  Click here for more.

R.U.R. will be performed through May 16th at Art/Works Theater. For more information, go to Featuring Jamil Chokachi, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Vicki Conrad, Warren Davis, A.J. Diamond, Jennifer Gabbert, Katie Kevorkian, Gretchen Koerner, Sara Lesley, Vera Miao, Michael Rachlis, Mahryah Shain and Tee Williams.


Feodor Chin and Ewan Chung. Photo by Nic Cha Kim.

You might also think you saw me spinning my web in Burbank for another sure treat: Lodestone Theatre Ensemble‘s first play of their tenth and final season: TEN TO LIFE, which opened last weekend.

TEN TO LIFE consists of four one-acts developed specifically for the tenth season by four writers who have been an integral part of Lodestone’s history. The four plays —RE:verse by Nic Cha Kim, Hacienda Heights by Annette Lee, Be Happy by Tim Lounibos and Red Dress by Judy Soo Hoo—were born from an idea to explore the milestones that come along each decade and touch on everything from a ten-year high school reunion to the census but in a distinctly Lodestone fashion…delving into the dark and twisted things lurking beneath the surface of normalcy.

TEN TO LIFE will be performed through June 7th. Click here for more information.


Look for me on the ceilings of the ACME theater where two of my favorite comedy groups, OPM and 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, will be performing at this year’s LA Comedy Fest. For the lucky ones, they share the bill on Sunday at 7pm. The festival includes films, standup and group shows, and runs through May 17th.

Check out this video with Mighty Warriors Greg Watanabe and Michael Hornbuckle in THAILAND (for MATURE audience only):


Opening People’s Minds