One Week out of 52

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This is Anthony Byrnes Opening the Curtain on LA theater for KCRW.

It's hard to tell you to make time in this busy holiday season to see a play that revolves around child protective services but . . . carve out time to see the Goodman Theater's production of Luna Gale at the Kirk Douglas Theater. It's playwright Rebecca Gilman at her best; the acting is superb; Robert Falls' direction taut and nuanced. We'll talk more about this next week. Right now, find a night not already filled with a holiday party and get tickets to see Luna Gale at the Douglas.

Why am I racing through a review of a great show? Because the 'other shoe' finally dropped: the LA Weekly just announced they are no longer holding the "LA Weekly Awards." Even if you don't care about theater, this is a big deal. It's another canary in the coal mine.

The LA Weekly awards were started roughly 35 years ago to celebrate intimate theater in Los Angeles - under 99 seats. Now, I'm not going to lie to you and say the awards themselves were a big deal to anyone beyond the recipients. This being small theater no one was going to get rich after receiving one.

It's important that an already fragmented community will lose a chance to convene and celebrate itself. That's not insignificant. But I'm confident that the tireless Steven Leigh Morris will find a way to cobble together a new awards show with his new website Stage Raw - which is, in effect, the Weekly's theater section in online exile.

What's lost for both theater people and Los Angeles is the cover of the Weekly. Each year, to celebrate and advertise the awards, the Weekly would give over the cover and a few choice features to Los Angeles Theater. One week out of 52. One week where someone might stumble upon an article on theater and even if they didn't buy a ticket or see a show - they thought about theater.

Losing that is a big deal. It's a tear in our civic fabric.

You appreciate that civic fabric because of what you're doing right now - listening to KCRW. Your engagement matters and it's what makes KCRW matter.

Whether it's discovering a new local restaurant with Evan Kleinman and Jonathan Gold. Or unlocking local politics with Warren Olney. Or discovering a new band with Jason Bentley. KCRW is celebrating what makes our city great and connecting you to the cultural fabric that makes life rich.

Help us make sure KCRW doesn't go the way of the LA Weekly Awards.

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This is Anthony Byrnes Opening the Curtain on LA theater for KCRW.