LADYHOUSE BLUES - Celebrating Women's History Month

Andak Stage Company’s Dakin Matthews and Anne McNaughton present

LADYHOUSE BLUES by Kevin O’Morrison

Celebrating Women during Women’s History Month

 

Since the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day has been observed in America and has now grown to become an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.  In the United States, March is “Women’s History Month.”

 

 

Celebrating this tradition, a small professional theater In Los Angeles, Andak Stage Company, has launched a splendid production of Ladyhouse Blues by Kevin O’Morrison.  This evocative drama stars five women (including Kitty Swink from the nationally recognized Antaeus Company) and is set in one of the 1919 St. Louis “ladyhouses,” so-called while men were off fighting, and women almost exclusively occupied these tenements.  Day-to-day life now so considerably different for these women, and it is clear that they sense more changes are just around the next corner.  The decade from 1913-1923 brought new roles for women in family life, and in history... including the right to vote.

 

 

A working class mother and her four daughters deal with the tensions of a war-scarred nation in transition as they struggle to manage their own lives.  While awaiting the return, from World War I, of the only surviving male member of their family, the social and psychological state of these women becomes tested.

 

 

Directed by Anne McNaughton and produced by Dakin Matthew (well-known actor from films such as Lincoln, True Grit, The Baker Boys, and TV series Desperate Housewives, The Mentalist, and The Good Wife), the intimate setting exquisitely exudes the ambience of the era.  It was a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.  It was during the challenge of world plagues, shortly before women obtained the right to vote, and a time when women’s roles were changing rapidly with the outbreak of WWI.  For the first time in history it was a decade that saw women uniting across Europe, holding rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.  This fascinating production goes beyond one family’s story, and brings audiences to the brink of these monumental changes for women that defined their role in the 20th Century.

 

 

Andak Stage Company was founded in 2004, and has produced thirteen plays since then, including eight world premieres, among them three award-winning productions of new translations of Spanish classics, Anne McNaughton’s crowd-pleasing Moliere adaptation San Fran Scapin, the Ted-Schmitt-Award-winning verse drama The Prince of L.A., and the award-winning original musical by Dakin Matthews and B.T. Ryback Liberty Inn. The Company also staged critically acclaimed productions of David Hare’s The Bay at Nice, Harold Pinter’s The Betrayal, the world premiere of John Lowell’s The Letters, Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, and Martin Crimp’s modern adaptation of The Misanthrope.

 

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!  Make every day International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month.  Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, safe, equal, and rewarding.  If you want to experience a bit of history and be entertained by a fine cast, this production continues during March.

 

LADYHOUSE BLUES runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2pm through March 24, 2013. NewPlace Studio Theatre is located at 10950 Peach Grove St.  For reservations: Ovationtix (866) 811-4111 or www.Andak.org.  Tickets are $25, with discounted $20 tickets for industry professionals, seniors, and students.  Group discounts (10 or more) available by calling our direct line (818-506-8462).

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