Los Angeles Theater Preview: GUS’S FASHIONS & SHOES (Vs. Theatre Company)

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by Frank Arthur on April 23, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles

THE LATEST FASHION

Since its founding in 2004, Vs. Theatre Company has upped the ante for storefront theater in Los Angeles, offering both original works and LA premieres with the kind of love and professionalism I associate with Chicago theater (the best in the nation). Among Vs.’s productions are In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, On An Average Day, Blackbird, The Mercy Seat, and Completeness.

Sam Boeck in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

Opening this week is the world premiere of Gus’s Fashions & Shoes, written and directed by Ron Klier, who also created the riveting and edgy Cops And Friends Of Cops, presented by Vs. Theatre in 2013 (and I’m happy to announce that it is opening at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre later this year).

Amir Abdullah and Jeffrey Johnson in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

Per the company’s web site: It’s 1990, and ”Gus’s Fashions & Shoes” is the hippest clothing store downtown. Gangstas, cops, everybody shops at Gus’s. With a crazy cast of characters, including Gus, his son Matty, a narcotics detective, an aspiring rapper, and Jimmy—the little person with a big old imagination— Gus’s Fashions & Shoes is as hilarious as it is combustible.  From the writer/director of Cops and Friends of Cops, comes this play about the family you’re born into, the family you choose, and the difficulties of navigating each.

Jeffrey Johnson, Robert Maffia and Sam Boeck in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

The cast of features Amir Abdullah, Sam Boeck, Jeffrey Johnson, Robert Maffia and Pancho Moler. Returning is the amazing design team from Cops: Danny Cistone (sets), Gelareh Khalioun (costumes), and Derrick McDaniel (lights).

Azul DelGrasso in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

Cops was the inaugural production at Vs.’s new digs on Pico (formally the Black Dahlia Theatre). Not only is the 39-seat space perfect for in-your-face theater, but this smart company offers Wednesday night performances for theater-starved Angelinos.

Jeffrey Johnson and Pancho Moler in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

photos by Azul DelGrasso

Amir Abdullah & Jeffrey Johnson in Vs. Theatre Company’s production of GUS’S FASHIONS AND SHOES. Photo by Azul DelGrasso.

Gus’s Fashions & Shoes
Vs. Theatre Company, 5453 W. Pico Blvd.
ends on May 30, 2015
for tickets, call 323-739-4411 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com
for more info, visit www.vstheatre.org

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