Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:
“Alice and the Fabulous Tea Party” Vaudeville, burlesque, panto, farce and fantasy combine to make this a no-holds-barred evening of hilarious theatre. Set in a fabulously overdone and wild garden-themed Victorian salon, Alice (now a grown woman) returns to Wonderland at the invitation of her old friend, the Queen of Hearts. Once there, she finds that things are just as madcap and nonsensical as ever. Written and directed by Chris DeCarlo & Evelyn Rudie, with music by Evelyn Rudie, it runs June 1 through June 30 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 2 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/alice-pride-2018.
“Bearing Witness” Thomas Bird’s autobiographical solo show is the moving father-son story of Bird’s relationship with his World War II veteran dad and their mutual healing from the traumas of battle and the Holocaust. In the play, Bird travels to Mauthausen concentration camp to honor the memory of his father, an Army doctor who cared for survivors upon the camp’s liberation. As Bird conjures the spirits of his father and the camp’s victims, he recalls his own wartime experiences in Vietnam along with a long-held secret his dad revealed just before his death. In “bearing witness” himself, Tom is finally able to find some peace. Written by Thomas Bird, and directed by Brian Delate, it runs June 1 through June 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Cabaret” Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. This is The Kit Kat Klub… the seediest, sexiest nightclub in Berlin. In here, life isn’t just beautiful – it’s downright dangerous. If you’re not careful, you could lose your perspective on the world outside. Fight that urge. RESIST. Celebration Theatre presents Kander & Ebb’s dark, eerily relevant masterpiece like you’ve never seen it before. Written by Joe Masteroff, based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs June 1 through July 15 at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.
“An Evening of Betrayal” An evening celebrating two masters of language, Harold Pinter and William Shakespeare, as they investigate the same subject: Betrayal. The first half will feature Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” in its entirety. After a short intermission, the same four actors will perform an abridged one-hour adaptation of “Othello”, told backwards to mirror the structure of Pinter’s “Betrayal”. Written by Harold Pinter and William Shakespeare, and directed by Elizabeth Swain, it runs June 1 through June 24 at the THEATRE 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3415884.
“Parade” is a tragic and true story of the 1913 trial of a Brooklyn-born Jewish factory manager Leo Frank who was accused of raping and murdering a 13 year old employee, Mary Phagan. Already guilty in the eyes of those around him, the trial, sensationalized by the media, aroused anti-Semitic tensions in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Written by Alfred Uhry, with music by Jason Robert Brown, and directed by T.J. Dawson, it runs June 1 through June 10 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, then June 15 through June 24 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach. For tickets visit www.3dtheatricals.org.
“Coriolanus” An allegory for today’s tumultuous times, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy is a cautionary tale of political manipulation and revenge. Rome, a city where the one-percenters rule, is led by a populist general who has nothing but contempt for the common people and is unable to reconcile his disdain for the citizens with his love of country. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Ellen Geer and Melora Marshall, it runs June 2 through September 23 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Newsies” They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines! Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney will ignite the stage in La Mirada. Written by Harvey Fierstein, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and directed by Richard J. Hinds, it runs June 2 through June 24 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.
“Next to Normal” has been called one of the best musicals of the 21st century and its soundtrack one of the best original soundtracks in a musical due to its graceful handling of its dark, complex subject matter and its moving and brutally honest exploration into pain. Written by Brian Yorkey, with music by Tom Kitt, it runs June 2 through June 17 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. For tickets visit www.panicproductions.org.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Theatricum brings back its signature production, an audience favorite with a set design unrivaled by any other theater – because it’s the real thing. The most magical outdoor setting in Los Angeles is once again transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human. Shakespeare conjures a world of wonder, magic and romance where comical misunderstandings and the pain of unrequited love are resolved, and all is reconciled through midsummer night revelries and the enduring power of nature. Buffet dinners with a costumed cast of fairies in attendance take place in the theater’s adjacent gardens prior to Thursday evening performances on Aug. 2; Aug. 9; Aug. 16; and Aug. 23. (Separate admission, or combo packages available.). Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Willow Geer, it runs June 3 through September 3 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Henry IV” an evening of Shakespeare’s finest comedy and most touching drama with Fallstaff, starring Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. Written by William Shakespeare, adapted by Daniel Sullivan, and directed by Daniel Sullivan, it runs June 5 through July 1 at the Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles VA Campus in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.shakespearecenter.org.
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” Haunted by the past but unable to face the truth of the present, James and Mary Tyrone and their two sons test the bonds of a family caught in a cycle of love and resentment. As day turns to night and each member of the family indulges in their vices, the truth unravels leaving behind a quartet of ruined lives. Written by Eugene O’Neill, and directed by Sir Richard Eyre, it runs June 8 through July 1 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/LongDays.
“Write Me a Murder” Julie Sturrock, wife to ruthless business man Charles Sturrock, longs to write mysteries. When she meets David Rodingham, a young writer whose home Sturrock has just bought, they dream up the perfect murder plot. Written by Frederick Knott, and directed by Michael-Anthony Nozzi, it runs June 8 through July 15 at the Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.
“100 Aprils” mines the dark humor of oppression and creates a story that illuminates the struggle of all marginalized people. It is both timely and universal in scope. John Sapian is a modern-day Don Quixote. He and his family are second generation Armenians whose parents escaped the Genocide. John believes that a tormentor is pursuing him. Is the enemy a haunted memory from his childhood or is he real? Written by Leslie Ayvazian, and directed by Michael Arabian, it runs June 9 through July 16 at the Rogue Machine Theatre (in The Met Theatre) in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Lysistrata Unbound” In this newly imagined, dramatic version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, an aristocratic Athenian matron is crushed by fateful events and gradually transformed into the most celebrated anti-war activist of the ancient world. Written by Eduardo Machado, and directed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, it runs June 9 through August 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Clybourne Park” A spin-off of Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking drama A Raisin in the Sun, this razor-sharp satire examines race and real estate in a fictional Chicago neighborhood. Smart and funny, this Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play featured the evolution of a house, acting as the focus of reactions to the shifting racial landscape of a community. Written by Bruce Norris, and directed by Matt August, it runs June 10 through June 24 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Skeleton Crew” follows four co-workers—Faye, Dez, Reggie and Shanita—at a Detroit auto factory in 2008. The play highlights the layered relationships and drama of blue-collar workers navigating the instability and uncertainty in their personal lives and at work. Each character’s patience and loyalty are tested as the plant’s future comes into question and they are forced to make hard choices to ensure their individual survival. Written by Dominique Morisseau, and directed by Patricia McGregor, it runs June 13 through July 8 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“The Crucible” is a classic parable of mass hysteria that draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch hunts of 1692 and McCarthyism, which gripped America in the 1950s, remains eerily timely in today’s climate of fake news. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, its own history firmly rooted in the McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist — when actor Will Geer and his wife, Herta Ware, created the theater as a haven for blacklisted actors — opens a new production of Miller’s modern classic. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs June 16 through September 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Their Finest Hour: Churchill and Murrow” This full-length play sheds light on the unique relationship between Winston Churchill and Edward R. Murrow during the early years of WW II when England was under attack by Hitler’s air-force. Murrow, who was covering the war for CBS Radio News, not only became friendly with Churchill, but had a passionate and adulterous love affair with the Prime Minister’s daughter-in-law. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Stu Berg, it runs June 16 through July 22 at the Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328722.
“Sweet Charity” The story centers on Charity’s life as a dance hall hostess “with a heart of gold”, determined to break out of the Fan-Dango Ballroom. Her misadventures in 1960s New York take her from a zany night with Italian film star Vittorio Vidal (in which she ends up alone in his bedroom closet), to dating the neurotic and shy Oscar Lindquist. When Oscar proposes, he insists he doesn’t care about Charity’s profession. But in the end, he does care very much and Charity is soon back to having her toes and heart stepped on in the ballroom. But not before singing and dancing to such rousing Broadway classics as “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “Where Am I Going,” and “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This.”. Written by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and directed by Kathleen Marshall, it runs June 20 through July 1 at the UCLA’s Freud Playhouse in Westwood. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.reprise2.org.
“The 39 Steps” Hitchcock meets hilarious in this fast-paced comedy mystery thriller for anyone who loves the magic of theater. Train chases, plummeting planes and old-fashioned romance lead to a death-defying finale as a cast of four actors breathlessly reenacts hundreds of characters, locations and famous scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film of the same name. Written by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, and directed by Jamie Torcellini, it runs June 22 through July 8 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“Pump Boys and Dinettes” Out there on Highway 57 in North Carolina, somewhere between Frog Leap and Smyrna, sits a gas station across from the Double Cupp Diner. The Pump Boys and Dinettes know what you want and they’ve got what you need: gasoline and comfort food. Fill your tank and fill your belly: The Energy Duet. They’ve also got a whole bunch of toe-tappin’, hummable country/pop tunes guaranteed to show you a good time. Written by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, with music by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, and directed by Allison Bibicoff, it runs June 23 through July 29 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“The Blade of Jealousy” Dashing Melchor moves to Los Angeles to meet his online dating connection but unexpectedly falls in love with a mysterious veiled lady (Magdalena), and she with him. He later meets her sans veil but is unimpressed, thus igniting Magdalena’s jealousy – of herself! A farcical amalgam of disguise and deception ensues. Written by Henry Ong, and directed by Denise Blasor, it runs June 24 through August 26 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.thebladeofjealousy.brownpapertickets.com.
“Our Very Own Carlin McCullough” A single mother discovers that her ten-year-old daughter is a tennis phenomenon. When a young, dedicated coach takes Carlin under his wing, her meteoric rise takes shape and this threesome struggles over what is best when building up a champion. Written by Amanda Peet, and directed by Tyne Rafaeli, it runs June 27 through July 29 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“The Chalk Garden” An outdoor production of Enid Bagnold’s unique comedy that blends witty humor with insightful truths. Dyed-in-the-wool British dowager Mrs. St. Maugham is an eccentric with two obsessions: caring for her troubled teenage granddaughter and growing a traditional English garden in the harsh chalk soil of the surrounding grounds. When the mysterious Miss Madrigal, with her keen knowledge of gardening, is hired as a governess despite her lack of references, she brings along a dark secret. Written by Enid Bagnold, and directed by Susan Angelo, it runs June 30 through September 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“The Death and Life of Mary Jo Kopechne” tells the story of an American tragedy from the point of view of the victim – a young woman who became famous one night in 1969 when the car she was in plunged off a bridge on Martha’s Vineyard on the way back from a midnight tryst on the beach. A prominent United States senator who’d had too much to drink was at the wheel. He survived. She didn’t. Mary Jo Kopechne was a Democratic campaign worker and idealist with ambitions of running for the Pennsylvania State Assembly. A demure Catholic with little experience with men, she was not the type to have an impulsive sexual adventure with a married man. But does she say no to a man of considerable power and influence, a man who could help advance her career, a man she also may have admired? A dilemma that has become particularly prominent in the #MeToo era we are living through. In his hotel room Ted Kennedy is frantically trying to devise some way out of this potentially career-ending disaster when his two dead brothers and his father miraculously show up to help him try to salvage not only his political future but the family’s reputation. They are deep in damage control scenarios when there is a knock at the door. They open it to discover Mary Jo Kopechne standing there, soaking wet, and very angry. The Kennedys try desperately to persuade her to help them cover up the incident. The decision that she has to make in the next few hours will determine not only Ted Kennedy’s fate but also that of the entire nation, perhaps for decades to come. Written by Peter Lefcourt, and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs June 30 through August 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4418 or visit www.Plays411.com/MaryJo.