“Scene in LA” October 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“Villainy, or H.H. Holmes’ Own Story” the incredible true story of H.H. Holmes (1861-1896), America’s first serial killer. Born Herman Webster Mudgett, his favored alias was H.H. Holmes, reportedly assuming the name in tribute to the fictional master of mystery, Sherlock. A master seducer of women, Holmes was ultimately married to three women simultaneously. His many crimes included arson, insurance fraud, torture and murder. He confessed to 27 murders in a memoir, written in a response to a lucrative offer from newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. Having received training in the medical profession, Holmes sometimes dissected the bodies of his victims, selling their skeletons to medical schools. In the most brazen portion of his career, Holmes had a “murder castle” with a pharmacy, a torture chamber, apartments for young women who disappeared mysteriously… all just three miles east of the Columbian Exposition (the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair), giving rise to Holmes’ nickname, “the Devil in the White City”. Written by John Strysik, and directed by Jeff G. Rack, it runs October 3 through November 7 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.villainy.brownpapertickets.com.

“The Bench, A Homeless Love Story” Based on true stories, this drama explores the emotional anguish of five homeless characters and the catastrophic hysteria surrounding the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. Humor and heartbreak bring these stories to life, based on real people in the writer’s life. Written by Robert Galinsky, and directed by Jay O. Sanders, it runs October 4 through November 9 at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7822 or visit www.plays411.com.

“The Tempest” Free, but reservations are required. This great romantic comedy has it all: danger, intrigue, politics, revenge, a mighty sorcerer, her beautiful daughter falling deeply in love at first sight, for the very first time, with the handsome prince who is so conveniently shipwrecked near her beach home. The play still exerts an influence over popular culture nearly four centuries later, ranging from Forbidden Planet to Gilligan’s Island to Lost. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs October 4 through October 20 at the Brand Park in Glendale. For tickets visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.

“Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk” tells the story of Philip, a struggling painter who goes on a fantastical journey to reclaim his right to be an artist (the title roughly translates to ‘Journey Extremely Mysterious’.). Written by Lars Mattsun, translated by Todd Merrill, and directed by Todd Merrill, it runs October 5 through November 3 at the Broadwater Main Stage at Sacred Fools in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Johnny Got His Gun” The narrator, twenty-year-old Joe Bonham, got his gun and went to war in 1918. An exploding shell in World War I reduced him to a silent life, silent on the outside but not on the inside. Far from home, in a hospital bed in Europe, Joe Bonham is without a voice but ready for battle, ready to explode with rage at what the war left behind. A story about survival and the unyielding and persistent need in all human beings to live with dignity and purpose, it reminds us that behind every casualty of war there is the story of a young person whose hopes, aspirations and dreams have been stolen from them. Written by Dalton Trumbo, adapted by Bradley Rand Smith, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs October 6 through November 10 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“The Madwoman of Chaillot” with love and magic at a sidewalk café where artists, ragmen and madwomen become aware of a diabolical plan to drill for oil in the middle of Paris. The Madwoman develops a scheme with her eccentric circle of friends to stop the men and their insatiable lust for oil. Written by Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs October 6 through November 10 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“Oppenheimer” Fascism is spreading across Europe. Two German chemists discover the processes of atomic fission. In Berkeley, California, theoretical physicists recognize the horrendous potential of this new science: a weapon that draws its power from the very building blocks of the universe. Ambitious and charismatic, J. Robert Oppenheimer finds himself uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history, the Manhattan Project and the creation of the Atomic bomb. Could it bring about an end of World War II, and all wars? Written by Tom Morton-Smith, and directed by John Perrin Flynn, it runs October 6 through December 30 at the Electric Lodge in Venice. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” In Bucks County, Penn., Vanya and Sonia share a country house and fret endlessly—and amusingly—about their hapless lives. When Masha, their self-absorbed movie-star sister, and her much, much younger boy toy, Spike, visit for the weekend, the entire household gets hilariously upended. Rivalries are rekindled, resentments rage, the housekeeper blurts out strange prophecies and Masha announces she’s selling the house. Written by Christopher Durang, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs October 6 through October 21 at the South Coast Repertory Julianne Argyros Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” Hamlet is turned topsy-turvy in this brilliant comedy that thrusts Shakespeare’s two minor characters to the frontlines with no rules except one: they are destined to die. Trapped in a universe where the flip of a coin always comes up heads and pirates can pop-up anytime, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern engage in a battle of wits to try to escape their fate and make sense of a senseless world. Written by Tom Stoppard, and directed by Geoff Elliott, it runs October 7 through November 18 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Silence! The Musical” follows rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling as she matches wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in order to catch the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. Clarice faces her own demons while racing the clock to unlock Lecter’s clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Buffalo Bill. This laugh-out-loud naughty satire features a singing and dancing chorus of lambs narrating the action as Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin. Even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he’d like to lead someday outside the prison walls. Along the way, the entertaining lambs keep the story moving from scene-by-scene with musical commentary and tons of laughter! Written by Hunter Bell, with music by Jon Kaplan & Al Kaplan, and directed by Amanda Conlon, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Let Live Theatre at The Actors Company in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.bucketlisttheatre.com/tickets.

 

“42nd Street” Starring Phantom of the Opera’s Davis Gaines as Julian Marsh! Grab your tap shoes and come meet those dancing feet in the American dream fable of Broadway. Young Peggy Sawyer is looking to make it on the great white way. When the leading lady of a new Broadway musical gets injured, Peggy might have the shot at stardom she has always been dreaming of. This mother of all musicals features the beloved and iconic “Lullaby of Broadway,” “42nd Street,” “We’re in the Money,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” and much more. Written by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble, with music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and directed by David F.M. Vaughn, it runs October 12 through October 28 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 800-300-4345 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.

“The Boys Next Door” Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where “little things” sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in the brief time that they are allotted on this earth. As such, this play explores friendship, love and loss in ways universal to all of us. We all fight with filters and obstacles in our lives, but the actors and characters in this production face challenges steeper than most. It is the experience and living truth of the actors that will fill these characters’ stories with physical and emotional authenticity. Written by Tom Griffin, and directed by Jeremy Aldridge, it runs October 12 through November 10 at the Blue Door in Culver City. For tickets call 310-425-8215 or visit www.creoutreach.org.

“Double Play” It sounds like a play about baseball, but it is really about two loners who meet at the crack of dawn in front of Yankee Stadium. Thirty-eight years later, Act Two, Home Plate, completes this romantic comedy, which follows two lonely people who meet in front of Yankee Stadium through the course of their courtship and a 28-year marriage. Written by Dennis Danziger, and directed by Matthew Leavitt, it runs October 12 through November 4 at the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-463-7378 or visit www.doubleplay.brownpapertickets.com.

“Real Women Have Curves” In a tiny, family-run factory, fabric flies and tempers flare when Ana, fresh out of high school, rebels against the status quo with dreams of becoming a writer. But deportation and the pressure to not abandon her heritage become a heated debate. These incredibly strong women gossip about food and sex and love… and size, while rewriting Corporate America’s definition of beauty. It’s a coming of age comedy, set in East LA. Written by Josefina López, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs October 12 through November 18 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Talking Trees” is a therapeutic tale centered around a mixed race couple and their refusal to effectively communicate, giving race permission to be the silent killer of their relationship. This absurd dark comedy compares the couple’s relationship to the irony of nature and the balance of its four seasons. Nature has no problem navigating the changes and messages sent within those seasons, but what is it with humans? Written by Lonnie Hughes, and directed by Marjorie LeWit, it runs October 12 through November 11 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.TalkingTreesPlay.com.

“To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen” represents the culmination of Kiki Ebsen’s vision of a full-scale entertainment tribute to the life and career of her father, Buddy Ebsen. Early in her career, Kiki established herself as a dynamic singer/songwriter, musician and artist whose vast musical range combines elements of jazz, pop, classical and rock. Written by Kiki Ebsen, and directed by Steve E. Feinberg, it runs October 12 through October 14 at the Theatre West in Studio City. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.

“Cal in Camo” Do wounds from the past irrevocably impact our capacity to connect? Heartfelt and mysterious, this play probes the nature of bonding in family relationships, and beyond. With an unexpected sense of humor towards humanity, it mines those sometimes excruciating revelations that are necessary before healing can begin. Written by William Francis Hoffman, and directed by Amy K. Harmon, it runs October 13 through November 9 at the VS Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-739-4411 or visit www.reddogsquadron.com.

“Kings” The story follows Sydney Millsap, who wins a seat in Congress and is determined to drain the swamp. Then she meets Kate, a whip-smart lobbyist who gets her clients whatever they want. When Kate helps Sydney try to unseat a powerful senator steeped in cronyism, the result, is a sleek, fast-paced, absorbing and very funny look at the corrosive effect of money on politics. It’s a play that lets audiences laugh, think and hope. Written by Sarah Burgess, and directed by Dámaso Rodríguez, it runs October 13 through November 10 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“18 Minutes of Fame: A Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus” You’ve seen her —a lot: On stage, on screen and especially on television. Other than the fact that she never became actually famous, she’s had what most performers would consider an enviable career. Because she started out as, and remains, an accomplished singer, her show business memoir is a musical one. Her road hasn’t always been an easy one. She faced physical challenges. She had to conceal her stage mother’s ongoing infidelities. Aspiring early on to sing opera, Barbara found her audiences steering her in the direction of musical comedy. Gaining a foothold in national media, she worked with the show business greats. She appeared 25 times as a raconteur and singer on The Merv Griffin Show; Appeared on TV with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis; 27 episodes of Love, American Style as a variety of characters; stints on Tosh O; Getting On; The Tonight Show. Her stage career has included the touring company of Funny Girl (as Fanny Brice); a starring role on Broadway in The Education of Hyman Kaplan; Off-Broadway roles in Picon Pie (as Molly Picon); Don’t Leave It All to Your Children; Rondelay. She starred locally as Jennie Grossinger in Saturday Night at Grossinger’s. She also had roles in nine feature films. Along the way, she found true love. A trip to Israel with her husband brought her closer to her Jewish roots. Written by Susan Morgenstern and Barbara Minkus, and directed by Susan Morgenstern, it runs October 14 through October 21 at the Pico in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.18MinutesOfFame.brownpapertickets.com.

“Sell/Buy/Date” is an exuberant show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Brimming with Jones’ dazzling medley of masterful, multicultural characterizations, the play presents an honest, moving, and even humorous look at a complex and fascinating subject, all while preserving the full humanity of voices seldom heard in the theatre. Written by Sarah Jones, and directed by Carolyn Cantor, it runs October 14 through November 18 at the Renberg Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

“Return to the Forbidden Planet” follows the adventures of the dashing spaceship captain Tempest and his crew, who hit a meteor shower and are then mysteriously drawn off course to the planet D’Illyria. There they discover the mad scientist Dr. Prospero and his beautiful daughter Miranda, along with the robot Ariel. As a romance develops between Captain Tempest and Miranda, a monster threatens the spaceship, and a sacrifice is made to ensure everyone’s safety. Written by Bob Carlton, and directed by Kirby Ward, it runs October 17 through November 4 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“The Woman in Black” A man obsessed, believing his family has been cursed by a ghostly woman in black, tells his terrifying story to exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but as he reaches further into his darkest memories, he quickly finds that there is no turning back. Written by Susan Hill, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, and directed by Robin Herford, it runs October 17 through November 11 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“Bride of Blood” King Solomon, the son of King David, was famed as the wisest King in all the world. With 700 wives and 300 concubines, his truest love may be the Queen of Sheba, and a ruler of power in her own right. The King attempts to plumb occult Hebrew mysteries, but his understanding is challenged by Exodus 4:24. A perplexing passage in which Moses, his wife Zipporah and their child are endangered by the wrath of God. In his quest and mastery of occult secrets, Solomon is overtaken by his own pride and commits a serious infraction against the will of the Almighty. This opens a path for Solomon’s arch-enemy, Asmodeus, The Demon of Wrath, to enter the land of the living. Seeing into the future, Solomon embarks on a desperate attempt to avert the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Written and directed by Amit Itelman, it runs October 18 through November 8 at the Skylight Theater in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.trepanyhouse.org.

“Vietgone” spins a modern twist on the classic boy-meets-girl story: Quang and Tong are refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, who hook up and fall in love in a relocation camp in Arkansas. Bold, and fearless, this production takes audiences on a hilariously rip-roaring ride across 1970s America with a hot soundtrack that serves up hip-hop, sass, and revolution. Written by Qui Nguyen, with music by Shammy Dee, and directed by Jennifer Chang, it runs October 18 through November 11 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

“Radiant Vermin” A wickedly funny satire flecked with horror. In this outrageous comedy with a killer heart, Ollie and Jill want to tell you about their dream home — but some of the things they did to get it… well, you might find them kind of shocking. Written by Philip Ridley, and directed by Tim True, it runs October 19 through November 18 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.dn3theatre.org.

“Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta” It’s 1942 and you receive an invitation to the book launch of Señor Plummer: The Life and Laughter of an Old Californian, Eugenio Plummer’s (mostly) true account of his life in early Los Angeles. You arrive in the newly dedicated Plummer Park, only steps away from where Plummer himself has lived since 1877. From Señor Plummer’s darkest nightmares, to his most luminous joys, you will be armed with only a treasure map of Señor Plummer’s mind. The adventures you encounter are not always friendly, not always logical, but always exist in the vibrant, mysteriously shifting ground at the very heart of Eugene Plummer, the original resident of West Hollywood. Written by Diana Burbano, Tom Jacobson, and Chelsea Sutton with Rogue Artists Ensemble, and directed by Sean T. Cawelti, it runs October 19 through November 4 at the Plummer Park in West Hollywood. For tickets visit www.RogueArtists.org.

“Shrek the Musical” Set in a mythical “once upon a time” sort of land, this is the story of a hulking green ogre who, after being mocked and feared his entire life by anything that crosses his path, retreats to an ugly green swamp to exist in happy isolation. Written by David Linsday-Abaire, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by David Linsday-Abaire, and directed by Kirsten Chandler, it runs October 19 through October 28 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

“A Splintered Soul” A gripping drama about war refugees haunted by the death of their loved ones — and by memories of the things they had to do to survive. It’s 1947 in San Francisco, home to a group of resettled Holocaust survivors from Poland whose very existence depended on blurring the lines between right and wrong. It is there we meet Rabbi Kroeller and a group of morally starved refugees as they seek to define their existence in this new, tidy post-war America. How can these splintered souls adapt to a new life in a new land, where all the rules have changed? Written by Alan L. Brooks, and directed by Marya Mazor, it runs October 19 through November 4 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Sunny Afternoon” November 22nd, 1963. The kickoff of a 46-hour interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald in the custody of Dallas Homicide Captain Will Fritz, where they discuss Baynes Barron, Russia, Coca-Cola, Jim Brown, a mysterious package, backyard photographs and Friday afternoon in Dealy Plaza. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 19 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

“…meantime at HoJo’s” Friday night June 16th, 1972. Across the street from the Watergate Complex, eight men sit inside a Howard Johnson’s motel room and wait. What happens over the next five hours will set in action a series of events that will end the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

“Cost of Living” John is a rich, quick-witted grad student who has cerebral palsy. Ani is a hilariously foul-mouthed quadriplegic. The people who help them, Jess and Eddie, have their own struggles to contend with. This is a haunting, rigorously unsentimental play about the forces that bring people together and the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities. Written by Martyna Majok, and directed by John Vreeke, it runs October 20 through December 16 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“King Dick” Christmastime, 1970. The King just spent 100G’s on gifts, and he’s on the run from Graceland. High on Demerol and liquid Ritalin, and with the help of his dead twin brother Jesse, Elvis concocts a scheme to offer the leader of the free world his influential voice in exchange for a new symbol of power. This was the last time anyone would be allowed to cold call the President of the United States. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

“Mark Twain and Friends: A River Journey” is a wonderful, family-friendly piece that goes deep into very topical subjects such as prejudice, religion, and education, with Twain’s signature humor and pathos. Mark Twain returns from The Beyond to introduce some of the characters he met in his travels. Written by Greg White, and directed by Gary Lamb, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Parson’s Nose Theater in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-403-7667 or visit www.parsonsnose.com.

“Murder on the Orient Express” All aboard! The exotic Orient Express is hurtling down the tracks…to a murder! With a train full of suspects and an alibi for each one, it’s the perfect mystery for the dapper detective Hercule Poirot. Romantic, dramatic and sumptuous, this first-ever stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s suspenseful masterpiece comes to life in this stylish production. Book your passage today for the thrill-ride of the season! Written by Agatha Christie, adapted by Ken Ludwig, and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs October 20 through November 11 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Steambath” What if God turned out to be a Puerto Rican steam bath attendant, assisted by a butler named Gottlieb? Renowned standup comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez stars in a revival of the hilarious, razor sharp, 1970 off Broadway hit comedy. Written by Bruce Jay Friedman, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs October 20 through December 16 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Tragedie of Macbeth” nine actors perform all the roles. They guide audience members from the Witches Heath, down the haunted hallways of Macbeth’s castle, and to the unsuspecting Macduff family’s peaceful home. Audiences pay a visit to the lair of the “double trouble” witches brewing around their cauldron and finally witness a fateful battle where a confrontation between rival adversaries pitches good against evil. The 360-degree performance ranges through five separate locations staged throughout SCLA’s Downtown LA facility, located on the corner of 1st Street and Bixel. To maximize suspense and intimacy, the number of audience members per performance is limited. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Kenn Sabberton, it runs October 20 through November 3 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-710-8942 or visit www.shakespearecenter.org/macbeth.

“The Seafarer” It’s Christmas Eve in a small coastal village north of Dublin, and Sharky has returned to look after his irascible, aging brother who’s recently gone blind. As Sharky attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays, he contends with old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky, who are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. With the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher and Sharky may be playing for his very soul. Written by Conor McPherson, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs October 21 through November 4 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“The Little Foxes” another epic drama about a Southern family in crisis. Set in the Deep South of 1900, where women have scant options and men seem to hold all the power, Regina Giddens will stop at nothing — even blackmail — to wrest the family business away from her scheming brothers. Written by Lillian Hellman, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs October 25 through December 10 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

 

“Desert Rats” Brothers Frank and Jesse reunite to plan a kidnapping in a squalid motel room on a hellish day in Barstow. When day turns into night and their hostage is brought out of the trunk, the siblings find their troubles have just begun. Written by Nate Rufus Edelman, and directed by Angie Scott, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“Letters from Home” Kalean Ung’s multimedia solo show weaves together her Cambodian family’s refugee story; her own story as a bi-racial, first-generation American; and Shakespeare’s iconic female characters into a unique theatrical experience. In 2016, Kalean learned of a drawer in her father’s study, filled with letters from family and friends living in desperate circumstances in refugee camps and detailing their lives during the genocide with the rise of the Khmer Rouge. This story examines her own life through the stories her father (acclaimed composer Chinary Ung) told her of arriving in America in the 1960s as a young music student, and his subsequent quest to rescue his family members. Written by Kalean Ung, with music by Chinary Ung, and directed by Marina McClure, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Independent Studio in Atwater. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Members Only” The year is 1982: the golden age of boxing, the dying gasp of disco, the flowering of identity politics — a time before AIDS had a name. Two decades have taken their toll on Pedro Quinn, a gay Latino prizefighter still fighting well into his 40s, ducking his living-legend status and mourning a man he killed in the ring years ago. Meanwhile, a new generation continues to push the cultural and sexual envelope in and out of the ring. Written by Oliver Mayer, and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man” Part fact, part fever dream, and part musical, this captivating new work opens with Alice B. Sheldon – better known to sci-fi aficionados as author James Tiptree, Jr. – contemplating suicide. Dodging in and out of reality, the play, with a bold musical score, investigates gender, longing and creativity as self-exploration through one of the Science Fiction world’s greatest literary tricksters. Sheldon was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently ‘male’ or ‘female’ and it was not publicly known until 1977 that Tiptree was, in fact, a woman. Written and directed by Maureen Huskey, with music by Yuval Ron, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Son of Semele Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.sonofsemele.org.

“Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” this new adaptation takes place on the dismal streets of London in the 1860s, where societal pressures silence a gentle doctor’s questions about the nature of morality. As the pressure intensifies, Dr. Jekyll takes matters into his own hands. Will his efforts save the world, or will they destroy all that he holds dear? After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Written by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg, and directed by Anna Stromberg, it runs October 29 through October 31 at the LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” September 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:
 

“I Dig Rock and Roll Music” is a celebration of folk-rock then and now. Described as a theatrical concert, the evening features songs from 1965 through the 1970s made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary; The Mamas and the Papas; Carole King; Joni Mitchell; Carly Simon; The Fifth Dimension; The Association; Otis Redding; Cat Stevens; The Youngbloods; The Beatles; The Eagles; and many others. Written by James O’Neil, George Grove, and Dan Wheetman, with music by Noel Paul Stookey, and directed by James O’Neil, it runs September 1 through September 23 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Infidel” A suspense thriller that explores religious superstition and terrorism in the name of Islam versus unscrupulous Western imperialism and war mongering. When an American anthropologist is kidnapped in Baghdad by seemingly ruthless fundamentalists, an exchange of ideas with his captors evolves into a spiritual quest for the meaning of faith. Written and directed by Christopher Vened, it runs September 1 through October 7 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 323-960-7738 or visit www.WhitefireTheatre.com.

“Sense and Sensibility” follows the Dashwood sisters—practical Elinor and impulsive Marianne—who are of good social standing and marriageable age. When their father dies and their half-brother skimps on their inheritance, the sisters are forced to leave their grand estate for a tiny, cold cottage. Just as life seems at its bleakest, a handsome stranger arrives on horseback and the sisters are convinced their futures are secured. Written by Jane Austen, adapted by Jessica Swale, and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs September 1 through September 29 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Native Gardens” In this new comedy, horticultures clash, turning well-intentioned neighbors into feuding enemies. It’s the War of the Hoses where cultures collide and mudslinging ensues – literally. Good fences don’t always make good neighbors, but they do make for a lot of laughs in this new play. Written by Karen Zacarías, and directed by Jason Alexander, it runs September 5 through September 30 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“The World Goes ‘Round” is a celebration of life and the fighting spirit that keeps us all going. The cast finds themselves careening through the world of love, babies and coffee. From Cabaret to Chicago, the nonstop hit-parade features unforgettable gems, including “Mr. Cellophane,” “My Coloring Book,” “All That Jazz,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Money, Money,” “Maybe This Time,” “Cabaret” and “New York, New York” seamlessly interwoven into a passionate, harmonious, up-tempo evening of musical theatre. Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs September 5 through September 16 at the UCLA’s Freud Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.Reprise2.org.

“Dangerous Obsession” takes place on a sunny afternoon in the Home Counties. Sally Driscoll is watering her plants in the conservatory of her luxurious home. Suddenly, John Barrett appears at the door. Sally does not recognize John, but it seems that the Driscolls and the Barretts have met before. After Sally’s husband, Mark, arrives it becomes apparent that someone has a very dangerous obsession. Audiences will twist and turn with the plot in this psychological thriller. Written by N.J. Crisp, and directed by Kathy Dershimer, it runs September 7 through October 13 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Inspecting Carol” Get your holiday cheer on with this hilarious, madcap comedy! Behind the scenes of a struggling theatre’s annual slapdash production of A Christmas Carol, rehearsals are at a standstill. Tim is no longer Tiny, Scrooge wants to do the play in Spanish (Feliz Navidad), and their funding is on hold pending an inspection. This laugh out loud spoof makes for a night at the theatre that is anything but show business as usual. Written by Daniel Sullivan, and directed by Kirsten Chandler, it runs September 7 through September 23 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. For tickets visit www.panicproductions.org.

“Martians- an Evening with Ray Bradbury” America’s Storyteller, Ray Bradbury, is our guide to mankind’s next great adventure, to our next outpost in outer space, the planet Mars. Ray Bradbury speaks directly to the audience weaving Martians stories both humorous and harrowing, bringing his characters to life on stage right before your eyes. Characters like Bob and Carrie, a young couple struggling to turn the cold, dead Mars into an Earthly garden. There are Beck and Craig, two soldiers of fortune searching for the legendary Blue Bottle of Mars! Father Niven’s religious faith traps a shapeshifting Martian in the form of Christ! Emil Barton is the last man on Mars with only recordings of his younger self to keep him company, or drive him mad! As Ray creates his stories we come to know the mind and heart of the great writer who believes that humanity can only survive by carrying our culture out into the Universe! Most of the text is taken from Ray’s own words, from interviews and books he’s written on the art of writing, as well as adaptations of his Martian stories: The Strawberry Window, The Blue Bottle, The Messiah and Night Call, Collect. Written by Charlie Mount and Jeff G. Rack, and directed by Jeff G. Rack, it runs September 7 through November 2 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.whitefiretheatre.com.

“Time Stands Still” Sarah is a photojournalist for a magazine. James, her boyfriend, is a foreign correspondent. Both have returned home to their apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after suffering traumas during a stint on assignment in Afghanistan. James’ wounds are largely emotional. Sarah, however, took a shrapnel hit to the face. Her mobility was also impaired when the vehicle in which she was riding was blown up. Her local guide was killed. Very much currently in their orbit are their boss Richard (who is also Sarah’s long-ago lover) and Richard’s new young-and-hot love Mandy. Sarah loves photography. It enables her an element of control in a world spinning madly. When she snaps the shutter of her camera, Time Stands Still. James is fine with building a normal life in New York. Sarah clearly relishes the challenge of finding the perfect image, the powerful rush that comes with taking the photo and making time stand still in a dangerous world. Can their relationship survive? Written by Donald Margulies, and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs September 7 through September 30 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.timestandsstill.brownpapertickets.com.

“Two’s a Crowd” They say opposites attract. They haven’t met Tom and Wendy. Forced together by a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations. Will they get to know each other well enough to reveal the real reasons behind their travel? Will they agree on sleeping arrangements? Will room service ever arrive? Written by Martin Bergman & Rita Rudner, with music by Jason Feddy, and directed by Martin Bergman, it runs September 7 through September 16 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Breadcrumbs” is about a reclusive fiction writer diagnosed with dementia, who must depend upon a troubled young caretaker to complete her autobiography. Written by Jennifer Haley, and directed by Bert Emmett, it runs September 8 through October 14 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“The Gin Game” Weller Martin tries desperately to retain some control over his life despite falling into ill health and becoming a reluctant resident of a nursing home. Fonsia Dorsey serves as the symbol of all gone wrong, and his battles with her, though over a simple game of gin, become not only a conflict with the woman but with divine will itself. Written by D.L. Coburn, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs September 8 through October 6 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“Black!” In this dynamic, funny and deeply truthful performance, actor, playwright and storyteller Michael Washington Brown shatters stereotypes, playing out the life stories of four men from around the world (the U.S., England, Jamaica and Africa), each of whom is black — but each of whom has a very different idea about what that means. Written and directed by Michael Washington Brown, it runs September 9 through October 14 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.blackonemanshow.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona” is a poignant journey through love, hope and the unknown. How many of us have wished for one more chance to say the right thing? A Better Orpheus Inc. provides an alternative to regret—a service that allows the living to communicate with the dead. When Nikki Corona loses her twin sister, A Better Orpheus puts her in touch with Orlando, a man dying too young. The ensuing love story leads to a quest through a vivid, fantastical afterlife as Orlando learns whether Nikki’s message to her sister has the ability to transcend death. Written by José Rivera, and directed by Jo Bonney, it runs September 12 through October 7 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Fire in the Dark House” two young lovers, their families and community are thrown into turmoil as a result of a vicious anti-immigrant campaign by the U.S. President during World War I. Written by Mona Z. Smith and Traci Mariano, it runs September 13 through November 15 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.fireinadarkhouse.bpt.me.

“Suburban Showgirl” is a hilarious and heartfelt tour-de-force about the life of the professional dancer Wendy Walker, who finds her perfectly choreographed life spinning out of control. Singing and dancing non-stop, Palmer Davis plays over 18 characters that will take audiences deep into the unpredictable journey of a dancer’s life. Written by Palmer Davis, with music by Ross Källing, and directed by Cate Caplin, it runs September 13 through September 16 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.colonytheatre.org.

“All Night Long” The thin line between waking and dreaming, the conscious and subconscious, is exposed in an outrageously funny, surreal sit-com about 18 hours in the life of an all-American nuclear family. Written by John O’Keefe, and directed by Jan Munroe, it runs September 14 through October 21 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“The Beauty Queen of Leenane” Set in a small Irish town, a spinster who has cared for her aging, manipulative mother for twenty years, has a final chance at happiness with a local man. Suffocated dreams and simmering resentments surface, culminating in an unexpected climax. Written by Martin McDonagh, and directed by Mark Kemble, it runs September 14 through October 21 at the studio/stage in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7774 or visit www.plays411.com/leenane.

“I Am Charlie” explores the question: Why is the Charlie meme chiseled in granite when other 20th century memes (JFK, for example) are completely and continuously malleable? Most people will agree what was bizarre in 1969 would be old news in a few days and forgotten in a week. This is NOT the play you were expecting about Charles Manson. It looks at the Charles Manson story (Among other things) through the mind of Charlie himself. Written by Stephen A Cardinal, and directed by Tom Waters, it runs September 14 through October 21 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets visit www.promenadeplayhouse.com.

“The Mousetrap” A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snow storm, one of whom is a murderer. Suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. He probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons. Written by Agatha Christie, and directed by Sonny Lira, it runs September 14 through October 21 at the Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“Broadway Bound” It’s 1949, the war is over, and America is beginning a new chapter. Eugene Jerome and his brother Stan are being given a chance to audition as comedy writers for CBS in the emerging medium of television. If they succeed, they’ll move out of the family home in Brighton Beach and into the Big City. Eugene, however, is distracted. He’s fallen in love and thinks his new girl is The One. Stan has episodes of writer’s block. Meanwhile, all is not well within the family: father Jack is often “working late” and mother Kate suspects the worst. Grandpa Ben no longer lives with his wife and resists his wealthy daughter Blanche’s attempts to move him to Florida. Will Eugene find bliss with the love of his life? Will he and Stan achieve fame and fortune? Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Howard Teichman, it runs September 15 through October 28 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 323-821-2449 or visit www.wcjt.tix.com.

“Gloria” Editorial assistants Ani, Dean and Kendra each hope for a starry life of letters and a book deal before they turn 30. But when an ordinary humdrum workday becomes anything but, the stakes for who will get to tell their own story become higher than ever. Bitingly funny and fierce, Gloria incisively depicts the declining, dog-eat-dog industry of publishing. As the magazine struggles with the world’s ascent into the digital age, relationships between the staff members are imploding. Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs September 15 through October 21 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“The Marriage Zone” Cal and Beth are selling their home. They’re visited by Skip and Ellie, an engaged couple, very much in love who are eager to buy their first home. They’re joined by Mike and Liz, apparently a couple of lookie-loos who decided to drop by and take a peek at the house for sale. The three couples get to chatting and begin to marvel at just how much they have in common. WAY too much in common, in fact. So much in common that it begins to become surreal. Written and directed by Jeff Gould, it runs September 15 through November 17 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3591184.

“A Night with Janis Joplin” Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock & roll. The unmistakable voice, filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort, made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. Fueled by such unforgettable songs as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby” and “Summertime,” this is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences—icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock & roll’s greatest legends. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, with music by Brent Crayon, it runs September 15 through October 7 at the La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Othello” Shakespeare’s classic tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and revenge gets a new look as Griot sets the tragedy in an East Asian dystopian future. Further, the entire production will not only be comprised of people of color, but will also feature women in key roles, including the notorious villain Iago. The show’s mission, much like the company’s mission, is to look at theatre in a different light, exploring themes from a new perspective. While Othello has traditionally explored white and black relations, El-Amin feels there have been several voices left out, thus the nontraditional staging. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Malik B. El-Amin, it runs September 15 through October 7 at the Actor’s Company in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.GriotTheatre.org.

“26 Pebbles” is set in Newtown, Connecticut in June 2013, six months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 20 children and six school staff were murdered. The play is not blood, gun rights, psycho killers nor gun violence. It is about how the people of a community come together, bond, cope and heal from devastating tragedy and move forward with their lives towards a more hopeful future. As Newtown’s local rabbi says, “Newtown doesn’t want to be remembered as the town of tragedy. We want to be remembered as a bridge to a new and kinder world. It’s not about the suburbs or the urban areas. It’s about the red blood that flows out of all of our veins. It’s about the clear tears that flow out of our eyes. We are all the same”. Written by Eric Ulloa, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs September 20 through October 14 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Dead Boys” The end of the world. Two millennials trapped in the basement of their old high school. The only gay kid in school. And the guy who used to beat him up. Provocative, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Dead Boys is about two modern American young men who have no choice but to face fate, race, sexuality – and each other. Written by Matthew Scott Montgomery, and directed by Christopher James Raymond, it runs September 20 through September 23 at the Arthur Newman Theatre in Palm Desert. For tickets call 760-820-9169 or visit www.CLagoProductions.com/tickets.

“UK Underdog” A refreshing and highly theatrical solo show, based on true events, where a young Jewish boy in London transforms himself, through sheer force of will (and plenty of chutzpah) from bullied underdog to martial artist, boxer, community leader and animal rights activist. All proceeds from the production will benefit START Rescue as well as selected animal charities and anti-bullying groups. Written by Steve Spiro, and directed by Ann Bronston, it runs September 20 through October 28 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.plays411.com/ukunderdog.

“American Hero” A franchise-owned sandwich shop becomes a microcosm of recession-era America in Bess Wohl’s sharply comedic commentary on the struggles and perseverance of the American working class. When a trio of disparate and desperate “sandwich artists” at the local mall — an awkward young misfit (Laura Mann), a single mom (Anna Lamadrid) and a downsized refugee from corporate banking (Graham Outerbridge) — find themselves left to their own devices by overwhelmed franchisee Bob (Rodney To), they are forced into an unlikely alliance in order to keep the store, and themselves, afloat. Written by Bess Wohl, and directed by James Eckhouse, it runs September 21 through October 21 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre of the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 323-380-8843 or visit www.iamatheatre.com.

“The Rescued” What happens to a human after being abused, forgotten, and living in a cage for years? Do we find the same compassion for them, that we might find for rescue animals? Follow six souls who spend the day singing, sleeping, and wrestling their past with the present: how to trust, how to love and be loved, and how to finally feel free. Written by Julie Marie Myatt, and directed by Marya Mazor, it runs September 21 through November 11 at the Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.roadtheatre.org.

“Rope” Chasing a dangerous thrill and “for the fun of the thing”, two students commit the perfect murder. Written by Patrick Hamilton, and directed by Ken Sawyer, it runs September 21 through October 28 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Old Clown Wanted” Three aging clowns compete for a job in an absurdly comic look at man’s fear of uselessness in society. Inspired by a 1970 Federico Fellini film, theater and circus arts are intertwined in this tender, funny, cynical play by Romanian-French playwright Matei Visniec. Written by Matei Visniec, translated by Jeremy Lawrence, and directed by Florinel Fatulescu, it runs September 22 through November 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Tenor by Night” is a fantasy musical, loosely based on author-composer’s own life story as a Chinese businessman who immigrated to the United States and overcame the odds and obstacles to realizing his American dream. He founded an internationally successful mannequin business, married to a beautiful wife, and father of two wonderful children. How dare he desire more? In this Hitchcockian musical, the main character James by day designs and sells mannequins and by night, he sings, rehearsing opera. His passion and desire for a musical career has turned into an obsession. His (fictional) frustrated wife kicks him out of the house and James takes up residence at his mannequin warehouse. His next-door neighbor, a magician, with an eye on his neglected wife, befriends James – and one night helps bring all the mannequins to life. As his singing improves, James finally has his adoring and appreciative audience (his mannequins) as his life spirals out of control. What James – both the character in the musical and composer in real life — really wants is to become a great tenor. The real Chiao himself immigrated to the United States in 1980 and with his wife Lily, built a successful business, CNL Mannequins, which sells to major department stores and fashion brands. Two decades later, Chiao himself began his vocal training in 1998 eventually earning his MFA in music at CalArts in 2017 at the age of 67. At his Masters’ recital, Chiao presented selections from this new musical. Written and directed by James Chiao, with music by James Chiao, it runs September 22 through September 26 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.TenorByNight.com.

 

“A Picture of Dorian Gray” Entranced by the beauty of his own portrait, Dorian Gray sells his soul to preserve his youth and pays a price. This haunting and seductive adaptation lets Wilde’s language and wit sparkle, but strips bare the themes of hedonism and the insatiable pursuit of pleasure. Written by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Michael Michetti, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs September 23 through November 16 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Everything That Never Happened” uses The Merchant of Venice as a jumping off point, exposing the realities of Jewish history and drawing three-dimensional characters from the stereotypes depicted in the original Shakespeare. Mantell’s fresh and time-bending story is rich with humor and heartbreak while bridging the 16th century with today and beyond. What do we lose or gain by leaving our own culture? And what sacrifices does love demand of fathers and daughters, lovers and friends? Everything That Never Happened is a play about disguise, assimilation, pomegranates, and everything Shakespeare left out. Written by Sarah B. Mantell, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs September 27 through November 4 at the Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.BostonCourtPasadena.org.

“Have Several Seats (A Musical Comedy Show)” Carlie Craig performs original comedic songs, celebrity impressions, and musical parodies all woven together with her side-splitting stand-up. The show highlights the highs and lows of her first five years in Los Angeles — between working as a personal assistant, starring on a short-lived reboot of an iconic sketch show, all while supporting herself as a party princess, Carlie has endless stories to tell and you won’t want to miss a single one. Written and directed by Carlie Craig, with music by Carlie Craig and Will Jay, it runs September 27 through September 30 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.colonytheatre.org.

“Six Characters in Search of a Play” Del Shores brings to life six one-of-a-kind characters he has met in real life that haven’t quite made it into one of his plays, films or TV shows. In 90 minutes, the audience will hear the truth behind how he collected these eccentrics and their stories as he portrays his hilarious, off-the-rails encounters with them. The audience will meet “Yvonne”, the anti-vegetarian Dallas waitress; “Sarah”, a Trump-hating elderly actress with an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other; “Jimmy Ray”, the evolving, Magic Mike-loving latent Georgia redneck; “Loraine”, the once-brilliant drama teacher who has lost her damn mind and is now obsessed with porn; “Marsha”, the monkey-hating lesbian with COPD; and “Aunt Bobby Sue”, the racist Republican with a heart of gold. Written by Del Shores, and directed by Emerson Collins, it runs September 27 through September 30 at the Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“What Happened When” On a snowy night in a rural farmhouse, three siblings (Ian Bamberg, Matthew Gallenstein and, at alternate performances, Kenzie Caplan and Mara Klein) huddle together in the dark with a flashlight, while the audience (unseen by them) gathers closely around. Expect to be fully immersed in this beautiful, provocative and disturbing memory play. Written by Daniel Talbott, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs September 27 through October 18 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“A Flock of Macaws” A young woman, abandoned at birth, finds the woman she believes to be her birth mother– What should be a reunion/reconciliation of sorts, turns into a combination of mutual interrogation, the absurdity of potential paternal candidates, with back stories straight out of an urban modern day, “Alice in Wonderland. Abandonment is the theme, but the ranting’s and ravings regarding everything from pop culture to politics, takes this moment and delivers a roller coaster ride, filled with everything from rage to contrition. Along the way, we meet an array of bizarre paternal candidates, as well as a young Actress, who stumbles into this world, eager to fill any void or role necessary. Written by Sam Henry Kass, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs September 28 through October 20 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.Theatre68.com.

“Showpony” When the mostly white employees from a large Ad Agency reveal their unconscious racism through slips of the tongue and gender micro-aggressions, the tensions build as aggressions move into overt racism and misogyny. Both African American and white women fight back. Hidden agendas, alliances and liaisons rise to the surface—in both fierce and fiercely funny ways. Written by Judith Leora, and directed by Tom Ormeny, it runs September 28 through November 18 at the Big Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

“The Turn of the Screw” The details: a letter, a locket, a riddle, a name. The words are her own — written in her diary in faded ink on the pages of seven days. This is the story she tells. It is a story of terror … and horror … and death.is the tale of a young governess just before the turn of the last century who is tasked with the care of two rather peculiar children at a country estate in England. The governess comes to believe the children are possessed by the previous groundskeeper and governess who have since died. Written by Henry James, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, and directed by Don K. Williams, it runs September 29 through October 31 at the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre at the Art of Acting Studio in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-601-5310 or visit www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/999287.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” August 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“Outlaw” During his years with the Hells Angels, Christie survived prison, multiple investigations, prosecutions and assassination attempts. Through it all, he considered himself to be a peacemaker in the outlaw biker community. With a reputation firmly established in popular culture, the Hells Angels have developed a modern mythology around themselves that presents as many questions about the group as answers. Are the Hells Angels organized criminals or compassionate givers to charity and the community? What really goes on behind closed club meeting doors? Written and directed by Richard La Plante, it runs August 2 through August 24 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 213-713-9149 or visit www.Clagoproductions.com.

 

“Mamma Mia!” unfolds on a Greek island paradise when on the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited twenty years ago. Non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers, along with the magic of ABBA’s hit songs that include “Super Trouper,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and “SOS,” combine to make this enchanting show a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Written by Catherine Johnson, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and directed by David F.M. Vaughn, it runs August 3 through August 12 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, then August 17 through August 26 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets in Redondo Beach call 714-589-2770 Ext. 1, for tickets in Cerritos call 562-916-8500, or visit www.3dtheatricals.org for either venue.

“Shining City” is set in Dublin, where a guilt-ridden man reaches out to a therapist after the death of his wife in a car crash. Wrestling with his own demons, the therapist can only do so much to help. Routine visits between the two men quickly become a gripping struggle to survive, changing both of them for the rest of their lives. Written by Conor McPherson, and directed by Brian Foyster and Eddie Kehler, it runs August 3 through August 26 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7780 or visit www.plays411.com/shiningcity.

“Titus Andronicus” Titus, a Roman general, returns from the war in triumph with Tamora, Queen of the Goths, as prisoner. What follows is a visceral story of temptation, political machinations, and the thirst for vengeance. It’s full of bloody spectacle, dark humor, and definitely not for the youngest audience members. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs August 4 through September 2 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Yellow Face” is based on the author’s own life. When Hwang mistakenly makes a disastrous casting decision, he quickly gets in over his head. As the situation spirals further out of control, he finds himself at the center of a government intrigue and investigation. Written by David Henry Hwang, and directed by Rob Zimmerman, it runs August 10 through September 26 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/yellowface.

“End of the Rainbow” It’s December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback….again. In a London hotel room, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. Featuring some of Garland’s most memorable songs, “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do it),” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Trolley Song,” ”The Man That Got Away,” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow,” this savagely funny play offers a unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of America’s most beloved figures. Written by Peter Quilter, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs August 12 through September 2 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Man of La Mancha” The fictionalized author ‘Cervantes’ is the main character of Man of La Mancha. While in prison during the Spanish Inquisitions, he is forced to act out parts of Don Quixote for the other inmates. This story-within-a-story of Don Quixote’s musical misadventures – rife with love, chivalry, and of course, four-armed giants – unfurls into something more transcendent: a beacon of hope in a dire world. One of the most important hits of Broadway’s golden age, audiences have been dreaming “The Impossible Dream” for the past half century with the wandering hidalgo in this quintessential tale about the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of storytelling when faced with insurmountable odds. Written by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs August 16 through September 9 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Pizza Man” CONSUMER ADVISORY: Includes material related to sex and sexual violence. Leave the kids at home. Alice and Julie are frustrated 20somethings, sharing an apartment in Los Angeles. They’re frustrated personally, professionally and sexually. Julie does not seem able to hold either a job or a man for an extended length of time. Alice has been in a dead-end relationship with a married man who she cannot seem to live without. Both women, tired of being harassed by men in every way, decide to hatch a scheme intended to reverse their power dynamic. Julie decides to drink herself into oblivion whilst Alice turns to food to squash her emotions. With too much alcohol and an empty fridge, they decide to order a delivery and find a man to fulfill their needs. When the “Pizza Man” arrives at their door, it seems their prayers were answered…. Or at least, that’s what they thought. What lies ahead, none of them ever could have imagined. Written by Darlene Craviotto, and directed by Natalie Sutherland, it runs August 16 through August 26 at the Dorie Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.pizzamancomplex.com.

“I Am Sophie” Have you ever wondered what it might be like to re-invent yourself – to start over as someone else? Sophie gives you a chance to sit court-side during one such adventure. To join her on an existential, down the rabbit hole, adventure of self-discovery. This piece aims to wake up your sleeping soul and remind you to go out and live life in whatever way feels best to you – others opinions be damned. That said, Sophie will soar to the highest heights and plummet to the lowest lows. But what journey of self-discovery doesn’t have that? Beauty and pain so often occur at the same exact time, don’t they? Written by Corinne Shor, and directed by Susan Angelo, it runs August 17 through September 2 at the Pico in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.iamsophie.brownpapertickets.com.

“Paradise” When a southern coal mining town goes from boom to bust, a charismatic preacher arrives to offer salvation…along with his bombshell sidekick who was rescued from a stripper pole. But, now there’s a network reality TV producer from Hollywood who has different ideas about how to make the town great again. Written by Cliff Wagner, Bill Robertson & Tom Page, with music by Cliff Wagner, lyrics by Bill Robertson & Tom Page, and directed by Michael Myers, it runs August 17 through September 23 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

 

“Jews, Christians and Screwing Stalin” On the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 1967, Joey brings his pregnant, Christian fiancé home to meet the radical communist bubby who raised him. Minka Grazonsky is tough as nails — and why not? Her brother was the first president of Stalin’s Soviet Union. When Joey’s alcoholic father shows up at the table, alliances are challenged and new beginnings forged… maybe. Written by Mark Lonow and Jo Anne Astrow, and directed by Mark Lonow, it runs August 18 through September 23 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4412 or visit www.Plays411.com/Matzoballs.

“LYMAN, The Musical” follows a woman who meets a homeless man she thinks she recognizes. She ponders whether his homelessness was a cause of life choices or destiny, and she takes us on a journey through the various universes in which Lyman would have existed but for chance. With original songs performed by the cast, the show helps us learn the truth about how choices affect destiny and what it means to be a hero. Written and directed by Anne Johnstonbrown, with music by Anne Johnstonbrown, it runs August 18 through August 26 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.lymanthemusical.com.

“Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood” is a gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic Robin Hood myth. In Szymkowicz’s retelling of the tale, Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (a few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on. Written by Adam Szymkowicz, and directed by Christopher Johnson, it runs August 23 through September 22 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

 

“The Glass Menagerie” this autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a rapidly changing world. Confined to a tiny St. Louis apartment on the eve of World War II, the Wingfield family struggles to find beauty amid the rough circumstances that surround them. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by John Henry Davis, it runs August 24 through September 9 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Hole in the Sky” is a California story about how we live with fire, water, and family. A young woman returns home to find her family and community in a bitter fight over who owns the local groundwater during a devastating California drought. Caught between loyalty to her family’s ranch and fear – of wildfire, of loss of identity and culture, Connor finds her small town trying to figure out how to live with nature when nature doesn’t seem to want us there: “We’d get along with the environment a whole lot better if we didn’t have to live in it”. Written by Octavio Solis, and directed by Kate Jopson, it runs August 24 through September 23 at the Courtship Ranch in Lake View Terrace. For tickets visit www.circlextheatre.org.

“The Man Who Saved Everything” Before his life as an adult could begin, Barry left school and moved back home to care for his aging parents. When they died, he never left — literally. Barry became obsessed with holding onto every single possession and treasured item that might help keep alive the memory of his parents and his prior life. He saved everything. Decades later, Barry lives inside a massive hoard of possessions. But his neighborhood is being redeveloped and he faces eviction. Only his niece and a former friend from college care enough for his health and well-being to attempt to convince him to leave his longtime home. How can Barry abandon a collection that he has carefully curated and guarded for decades, a hoard of items that has literally become his home? What happens to his memories when the possessions that anchored them are gone? Written by Benjamin Scuglia, and directed by Michael Van Duzer, it runs August 24 through September 23 at the Theatre West in Studio City. For tickets visit www.theatrewest.org.

“BARK! The Musical” is a tuneful tribute to dogs and their intrepidly human hearts. Written by Mark Winkler and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, with music by David Troy Francis, and directed by Susan Stangl, it runs August 31 through October 7 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” July 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“Dead Boys” It’s the end of the world. Two millennials are trapped in the basement of their old high school – the only gay kid in school, and the guy who used to beat him up. Provocative, hilarious, and heartbreaking, it is about two modern American young men who have no choice but to face fate, race, sexuality – and each other. Written by Matthew Scott Montgomery, and directed by Christopher James Raymond, it runs July 1 through July 31 at the Celebration Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.CelebrationTheatre.com.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” It’s hard to tell where reality ends and dreams begin in this intoxicating joyride of a play. Otherworldly creatures, lovers on the run, and a group of amateur actors all converge in a deep forest outside of Athens. When their worlds collide, chaos ensues and nothing but magic has the power to set things right before the sun comes up. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs July 7 through September 2 at the Old Zoo at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Million Dollar Quartet” explodes on stage with a monumental night of rock ‘n’ roll. Inspired by the most famous jam session in recording history, this smash-hit musical tells the story of legendary music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins as they come together on December 4, 1956 at the famous Sun Studios. Featuring 21 timeless hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Fever,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Hound Dog,” this thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio to experience an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations. Written by Colin Escott & Floyd Mutrux, with music by Jon Rossi, and directed by Tim Seib, it runs July 8 through July 29 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Three Days in the Country” a handsome new tutor brings reckless, romantic desire to an eccentric household. Over three days one summer the young and the old will learn lessons in love: first love and forbidden love, maternal love and platonic love, ridiculous love and last love; the love left unsaid and the love which must win out. Written by Patrick Marber, and directed by Andrew Paul, it runs July 12 through August 26 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will” Set in a small Texas town, this comedy stages the reunion of a family gathered to await the imminent death of their patriarch, who has recently suffered a physically as well as mentally disabling stroke. They’ve wanted their father’s love, but they’ll settle for his money! It is not so much the story of the impending demise of the father or of the drafting of his will, but of a rebirth of the spirit of the family unit. Written by Del Shores, and directed by Kirk Larson, it runs July 13 through August 18 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Mary Poppins” is practically perfect in every way and includes all of your favorite songs including, “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite!” Mary Poppins is breathtakingly beautiful, and full of dancing and heart. It is simply Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Written by Julian Fellowes, based on a book by P.L. Travers, with music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, it runs July 13 through August 25 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com.

 

“Arrival & Departure” a Deaf man and a hard-of-hearing woman, two married strangers, meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. As their casual friendship develops into something deeper, each is forced to confront how their simmering relationship could forever change their lives — and the lives of those they love. The play is performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language with additional use of open captioning, so that both Deaf and hearing audiences can enjoy the production. Written by Stephen Sachs, inspired by the screenplay Brief Encounter, and directed by Stephen Sachs, it runs July 14 through September 30 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

 

“Cry It Out” Cooped up on maternity leave and eager for conversation, Jessie invites the funny and forthright Lina for coffee in their neighboring backyards. They become fast friends, quickly bonding over their shared “new mom” experience—and arousing the interest of a wealthy neighbor hoping for a similar connection. This insightful comedy takes an honest look at the absurdities of new motherhood, the dilemma of returning to work versus staying at home, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship. Written by Molly Smith Metzler, and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh, it runs July 14 through August 19 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook” Something terrible happened to Junie B. Jones at school today! Someone stole her new furry mittens! So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she should be allowed to keep it, right? Because finders keepers, losers weepers. And guess what? There’s a new boy in kindergarten and he is the handsomest. The only thing is both Grace and Lucille want him to be their boyfriend. Maybe he will love Junie B. when he sees her wonderful pen! It is okay to keep it, right? Junie B. Jones is not a crook . . . Or is she? Written by Allison Gregory, based on the book series by Barbara Park, and directed by Gil Santoscoy, it runs July 14 through July 29 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“The Motherf**ker with the Hat” Jackie is a former drug dealer out on parole who is trying to stay clean. His girlfriend is coke-addicted Veronica, whom he has loved since 8th grade. Visiting her, he sees a man’s hat in her apartment, a hat that does not belong to him. He surmises who the man might be and visits him with a gun (a violation of Jackie’s parole, among other things). Jackie asks his supportive cousin Julio to hide his gun. Jackie also visits his 12-step sponsor Ralph, whom he believes to be a friend. Ralph ingests healthy food, but his dedication to a clean body belies the fact that, underneath, he is entirely willing to backstab anyone for his personal gain. His unhappy wife Victoria rounds out the cast of characters. Will Jackie reconcile with his true love Veronica? Will he be able to stay out of jail? What will Ralph do? Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs July 14 through August 25 at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.

 

“Mutt House” Featuring 20 original songs and a cast of 10, Mutt House is the story of quirky outsider Eddie Corbin. Bullied all his life, Eddie has finally found a place to call home — a neglected downtown animal shelter. When the city threatens to close the shelter, Eddie must do something he’s never done before: stand up for himself and fight for what’s right. With the help of six zany mutts, he faces his fears and makes an unexpected human connection in the process. This life-affirming musical, in the tradition of Annie, is filled with singing and dancing fun for the whole family. Written by Tony Cookson, with music by John Daniel, Tony Cookson, Robb Curtis Brown, and directed by Ryan Bergmann, it runs July 15 through August 5 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 213-628-2772 or visit www.MuttHouseTheMusical.com.

“The Jungle Book” From Mowgli to Baloo the Bear, Kaa the snake and more, this Jungle Book re-imagines Kipling’s classic stories and brings to life the known and loved characters, while also introducing some of the other colorful inhabitants of Kipling’s books, and even today’s urban jungle. Through eye-popping video, interactive technology and the whimsical and soulful stories, poems and songs from the original novel, this time-honored tale transports audiences of all ages world of adventure in the jungle. Written and directed by Craig Francis and Rick Miller, it runs July 17 through July 29 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“Screwball Comedy” The year is 1938, and newly laid-off perfumier, Mary Hayes is trying to break into the male dominated world of newspaper journalism. Editor-In-Chief Bosco Godfrey sets a competition between his egotistical star reporter Jeff Kincaid and plucky Mary assigning them to cover a society wedding. If Jeff writes the better story, he gets to keep his job. If Mary wins, she will replace the ace newshound. Super-rich lady Delores suspects that her son Chauncey’s fiancée Gloria is a fortune hunter and wants the reporters to expose her. Chauncey is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and Delores suspects he’s being played for a patsy. Can Jeff or Mary dig up the dirt? Written by Norm Foster, and directed by Howard Storm, it runs July 19 through August 19 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Beauty and the Beast” Susan Egan will reprise her iconic performance once again when we welcome you to “Be Our Guest” through the brand-new retelling of the classically enchanting tale as old as time. This much-anticipated production will transform your spirit, leaving you captivated by adventure, revenge, true friendship and love that knows no limitations. Written by Linda Woolverton (based on the Disney film), with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice, and directed by Yvette Lawrence, it runs July 20 through July 29 at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

“Famous” Through the eyes of Hollywood’s biggest star, Jason Mast, we witness a world fueled by sex, money, and power, where image is everything. On the heels of Jason’s first Oscar nomination, he plans a hot party to celebrate. The night unfolds with an adrenaline-rushed pace, ultimately revealing one of Jason’s darkest secrets. His attempt to control the outcome ignites a chain of events that pushes the boundaries of real friendship and reveals the true cost of fame. Written and directed by Michael Leoni, it runs July 27 through August 19 at the 11:11 in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-378-6969 or visit www.FamousThePlay.com.

“Mayakovsky and Stalin” is a dramatic character study incorporating historical footage and photos to explore two distantly connected relationships: that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his wife Nadya, and of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married lover and “muse” Lilya Brik. Written and directed by Murray Mednick, it runs July 21 through August 19 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4443 or visit www.plays411.com/stalin.

“Side by Side by Sondheim” features a dazzling array of songs from landmark shows that revolutionized the art of musical theater with their masterful craft and astounding creativity, including Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle and Pacific Overtures — as well as songs from the classics Sondheim wrote with musical theater giants Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Richard Rodgers, such as West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? Written by Stephen Sondheim, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Dan Fischbach, it runs July 21 through September 16 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“What Happened When” On a snowy night in a rural farmhouse, three siblings huddle together in the dark with a flashlight, while the audience (unseen by them) gathers closely around. Expect to be fully immersed in this beautiful, provocative and disturbing memory play. Written by Daniel Talbott, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs July 26 through August 23 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“Annie” the classic story of a young girl overcoming adversity, features a beloved score of hits (including “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life”) and is a delightful experience for the entire family. Written by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and directed by Michael Arden, it runs July 27 through July 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-850-2000 or visit www.hollywoodbowl.com.

“Under Milk Wood” recounts the dreams, gossip and waking hours of the sleepy, Welsh seaside town of Llareggub — a name that seems innocent enough until you read it backwards. Unforgettable characters such as Captain Cat, Myfanwy Price, the Reverend Ely Jenkins, Organ Morgan, Polly Garter and Dai Bread populate this odd place, and their affectionate charm and humor still captivate and entertain 65 years after it was written. Written by Dylan Thomas, and directed by Ben Martin, it runs July 27 through August 25 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“Haiti” is a melodramatic recounting of the same 1802 uprising, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, that Orson Welles used as a basis for his now-famous Voodoo Macbeth — but Haiti depicts the actual events that transpired to give the Haitians back their country and rule. Striking a sharp chord that still resonates today, it explores the devastating legacy left by colonialism and slavery that was overcome by the strength, resilience and urgency of those brave enough to fight for freedom. Written by William DuBois, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs July 28 through September 29 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” June 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

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.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes” takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” Featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s hits, it will keep you smiling in this must-take musical trip down memory lane! Written by Roger Bean, and directed by Robert Marra, it runs June 1 through July 7 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“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.

“Rumors” Five neurotic couples gather for a dinner party celebrating one couple’s 10th anniversary. The best laid plans go wildly awry when guests arrive early only to discover their host has shot himself, the hostess and servants are missing, and dinner not ready. As confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into farcical hilarity. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs June 15 through July 29 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“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.

“Slaughter City” follows the lives of a group of workers laboring at a slaughterhouse. Tensions rise as the work gets tougher and more dangerous, their wages are cut, and their benefits reduced. The play was inspired by a number of labor-related incidents including the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 and the 1993 strike at Fischer’s meat packing plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Written by Naomi Wallace, and directed by Jer Adrianne Lelliott, it runs June 23 through July 14 at the Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-944-2165 or visit www.coeurage.org/slaughtercity.

“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.

“Mary Poppins” The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Mary takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises, “Anything can happen if you let it!” Written by Julian Fellowes, based on the stories by P.L. Travers, with music by Richard Sherman & Robert Sherman, and directed by Kristie Mattsson, it runs June 30 through August 4 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” May 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

 

“Cardboard Piano” Against the backdrop of Uganda’s civil war, the union of the daughter of an American missionary and a local teenage girl is disrupted by violence. Hansol Jung’s haunting drama confronts the religious and cultural roots of intolerance, as well as the human capacity for hatred, forgiveness and love. Written by Hansol Jung, and directed by caryn desai [sic], it runs May 4 through May 20 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“SOLO MUST DIE: A Musical Parody” In an untold adventure somewhere in between “A New Hope” and “The Empires Strikes Back,” Han Solo crash lands in Cloud City and is torn between his smuggler past and his new status as a galactic hero, as he sings and dances his troubles away, all while trying to make it out alive. Written by Jordan & Ari Stidham, with music by Hughie Stone Fish and Ari Stidham, and directed by Ari Stidham, it runs May 4 through May 27 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.plays411.com/hansolo.

 

“The Baby Dance: Mixed” is a compelling and urgent play about race, class, and wanting the perfect child. In the story, Regina and Richard, an affluent mixed-race couple in Los Angeles, have everything except a baby. Wanda and Al, an African-American couple living in an overcrowded trailer in modern-day Louisiana, are too poor to keep their soon-to-be-born child. Through an adoption attorney, the two couples broker a deal. However, circumstances arise that affect their decision and the situation spins out of control. Written by Jane Anderson, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs May 5 through May 20 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Sholom Aleichem” This new musical, performed in English with just a taste of Yiddish, follows the life of the beloved Yiddish story-teller and his mespoche, spinning tales of his loves and losses, his fame and his failures, his travels, his travails and the tremendous joy and optimism that kept him going against all odds. Written by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Ben Weisman, Emery Bernauer, Evelyn Rudie and Sholom Aleichem, and directed by Arthur R. Tompkins, it runs May 5 through June 24 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/aleichem-sholom.html

“The Sisters Rosensweig” The story, set in the early 1990s, is centered on three sisters—each extraordinary in her own way. There’s Sara, the successful banker, whose 54th birthday brings everyone together at her London flat. Pfeni is the globe-trotting journalist. And Gorgeous is an irrepressible radio host. This smart, funny and enthralling play looks at the quest for love, acceptance and self-fulfillment. Written by Wendy Wasserstein, and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs May 5 through June 2 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Seminar” four aspiring writers, (all in their 20s, acquainted with each other and living in New York City), have just hired world renowned writer, editor and teacher Leonard for a 10 week “seminar” to teach them how to be better writers and help move their careers along. However, they have absolutely no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into in this funny and provocative play. Written by Theresa Rebeck, and directed by Melanie Weisner, it runs May 10 through June 2 at the Thymele Arts Theater in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thepopuptheater.org.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” a young woman in a provincial town, and a Beast, who is actually a handsome young Prince who lives in a luxurious castle in France. When an Old Beggar Woman, who is actually an Enchantress, asks the Prince for shelter from the freezing cold, the Prince shuns the beggar for her repulsive appearance, at which time the Enchantress appears transforming the Prince into a Beast for his cold-hearted and selfish ways. The Enchantress casts a magic spell upon the Prince’s entire castle, including his good-natured servants, who are transformed into household objects to reflect their different personalities. Ashamed of his new appearance, the Beast conceals himself inside his castle with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world, and an enchanted rose, which will bloom until he turns 21 years of age. Time is running out. If the Beast can learn to love a woman and earn her love in return before the final petal falls off the rose, the curse will be broken and he will return to his original self as a Prince. But, if not, he will remain a Beast forever, and all the members of his household will be doomed as well for all eternity. Written by Linda Woolverton, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and directed by Rigo Tejeda, it runs May 11 through June 10 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.

“Forever Bound” Are we all savages? A rare book dealer’s desperate scheme to avoid bankruptcy goes shockingly awry in this darkly funny literary thriller with a surprise twist. Written by Steve Apostolina, and directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, it runs May 11 through June 16 at the SANKALPA PRODUCTIONS Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-960-4429 or visit www.plays411.com/foreverbound.

“The Giant Void in My Soul” A quixotic quest, between friends, leads to new adventures in temptation, self-examination, sensation, and even procreation. While on a journey to fill the void, Cubría’s characters mine the comic ironies of searching for meaning in life. Ever curious, they forge ahead in optimism. Written by Bernardo Cubría, and directed by Felix Solis, it runs May 11 through June 3 at the Pico in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.thegiantvoid.eventbee.com.

“Match” Mike and Lisa Davis arrive at the apartment of Tobi Powell, who lives alone in Inwood, on the northern tip of Manhattan. They are there to interview him about his life as a dancer and choreographer, but it is soon evident that their agenda is as multilayered as the life story that Tobi begins to tell them. What happens next will either ruin or inspire them—and definitely change their lives forever. Written by Stephen Belber, and directed by Bruce Starrett, it runs May 11 through June 16 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Red Speedo” Ray’s swum his way to the eve of the Olympic trials. If he makes the team, he’ll get a deal with Speedo. If he gets a deal with Speedo, he’ll never need a real job. So when someone’s stash of performance-enhancing drugs is found in the locker room fridge, threatening the entire team’s Olympic fate, Ray has to crush the rumors or risk losing everything. A sharp and stylish play about swimming, survival of the fittest, and the American dream of a level playing field – or of leveling the field yourself. Written by Lucas Hnath, and directed by Joe Banno, it runs May 11 through July 1 at the Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.roadtheatre.org.

“Violet” Leaving her North Carolina home behind, Violet boards a bus and travels through the segregated South to be healed by a minister, convinced he can heal her scar, while discovering the true meaning of beauty along the way. Written by Brian Crawley, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Brian Crawley, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs May 11 through June 17 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“West Side Story” It’s the late 1950’s and this is Hell’s Kitchen. The streets of New York City belong to two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, and their feud is about to reach a fever pitch. Written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Jan Glasband and Caroline Esposito, it runs May 11 through May 13 at the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

“Antigone, or We Are Rebels Asking for the Storm” Creon is King of Thebes, ascending to the throne after the death of his brother King Oedipus, and the deaths of Oedipus’ sons Eteocles and Polyneices in a civil war. Creon, an autocrat who rules with an iron fist, has considered Polyneices a political rival, and so decrees that he should remain unburied on the battle field, to be devoured by worms and vultures. Polyneices’ sister Antigone defies Creon and buries her brother, though it means she will surely be executed. She refuses to retract her defiance and unwittingly becomes the face of a movement, changing her sister Ismene and husband Haimon’s lives forever. Written by Sophocles, translated by Kenneth Cavander, adapted by Matt Minnicino, and directed by Amanda McRaven, it runs May 12 through June 2 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 330-209-7711 or visit www.fugitivekind.org.

“Sex” Margy LaMont, an entrepreneur as well as a prostitute, is the most successful sex worker in Montreal. That city becomes too hot for her when a society matron attempts to frame her for a crime she did not commit. She heads for the Caribbean, and later for a swank enclave in New York. She acquires lovers along the way, including Gregg, an English naval officer who has some entrepreneurial ideas of his own; and Jimmy, a younger man who will be the heir to a fabulous fortune, who is smitten with her. Between the police, criminals, hypocritical high-society types, and two men who really love her, Margy has her arms full. Written by Mae West, and directed by Sirena Irwin, it runs May 12 through June 17 at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.dime.io/events/buzzworks-sex.

“Hershey Felder Beethoven” The brilliant Hershey Felder now brings Ludwig van Beethoven to life through the eyes of a Viennese doctor who as a boy spent Beethoven’s last years by the Maestro’s side. Featuring some of the composer’s greatest works, from the “Moonlight Sonata” to the “Ninth Symphony” and the “Emperor Concerto,” this intense, illuminating, and unforgettable journey through time will immerse you in the astounding life of the Maestro and his genius that transcended it all! Written by Hershey Felder, with music by Ludwig van Beethoven, and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs May 16 through May 27 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Mr. Pim Passes By” This delightful comedy tells of what happens when appealing Mr. Pim, who has much trouble with names, drops in one day. Mr. Pim announces that the former husband of the lady of the house, thought to be deceased, is alive. Since the lady is married now, she is a bigamist. Her present husband is upset no end. Then Mr. Pim passes by again, confessing that he was confused and it is safe to assume that the lady’s first husband is dead, as they originally believed. Without telling her husband, the lady uses the knowledge to get what she wants and to force her husband to permit his niece to marry the young artist who loves her. Written by A.A. Milne, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs May 17 through June 17 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Ripe Frenzy” submerges us in the before, during and after of a mass shooting at a small-town high school theatre, during opening night of its 40th production of Our Town. Told from the perspective of the mothers of the town, the play questions our own culpability in the perpetuation of mass shootings in our country. Written by Jennifer Barclay, and directed by Alana Dietze, it runs May 17 through June 17 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-673-0544 or visit www.GreenwayCourtTheatre.org/RipeFrenzy.

“The Last Schwartz” It’s the first Yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death) of family patriarch Manny Schwartz, and the Schwartz clan has gathered for dinner prior for the unveiling of the deceased’s tombstone scheduled for the following day. They’re at the Schwartz home in the Catskills, although the members of the family have actually been far-flung in recent days. Norma, the take-charge daughter, is the most religiously traditional of the bunch. After she turned in her teenage son to the cops (and jail) because he had a joint, her husband left her. Her brother Herb is there with his wife Bonnie, a convert to Judaism. They’ve been trying to produce an heir for nine years, without success. Another brother, Gene, arrives with his young, hot non-Jewish girlfriend Kia, a model and actress, in tow. Gene gets around. One more brother, Simon, is an Australia-based astronomer who doesn’t like to be touched. The Schwartzes are not producing heirs to carry on the family name, it seems. Will traditional Jewish ritual draw the family together, or will a web of secrets and deceptions be indicative that the world has seen The Last Schwartz? Written by Kiff Scholl, and directed by Howard Teichman, it runs May 19 through July 1 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visit www.edgemar.org.

“Twelfth Night” a 400-year-old play about people seeing what they want to see, instead of what is. We all see ourselves in Twelfth Night: Wise fools, foolish sages, true lovers, false lovers, brave women, and cowardly men. All ruled by Fortune, or Chance, or Karma – a whirligig of Time, which, as it turns, eventually brings all things ‘round. Sit back and enjoy some of the most beautiful language ever written, in one of the most charming stories ever told. Written by William Shakespeare, adapted by Lance Davis, and directed by Lance Davis, it runs May 19 through June 10 at the Parson’s Nose Theater in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-403-7667 or visit www.parsonsnose.com.

“Lost & Found: A Guilt Trip through Show Business” is the show business memoir of Steven Shaw. Steven grew up in Brooklyn. Turning to show business after first trying out for the Detroit Tigers, Steven pursued acting as a young man but was frequently unemployed. He found success running the properties department at New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre for nine years, and subsequently working as a Broadway stage manager for twenty years, working on the biggest shows with the most important directors and the most legendary stars. Returning to acting in his early 60s, he finally struck performing gold and has appeared in over sixty feature films and television episodes (Suburbicon, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Two and a Half Men). His previous appearances at Theatre 40 include On Borrowed Time and Breaking and Entering. Written by Steven Shaw, and directed by Joan Darling, it runs May 20 through June 10 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets visit www.theatre40.org.

“Wiesenthal” As Holocaust survivor and the world’s most renowned hunter of Nazi war criminals Simon Wiesenthal is about to retire, he recounts for an audience the stories of his most famous cases of bringing wrongdoers to justice. Playwright Tom Dugan portrays Wiesenthal. Written by Tom Dugan, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs May 22 through June 13 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Cult of Love” IAMA concludes its 10th anniversary with the final installment in Leslye Headland’s “Seven Deadly Plays” cycle — a black comedy that explores the final sin of “pride” through one family’s feverish clash over who is right and who is crazy. The Dahl family gathers to celebrate Christmas in their rural Connecticut home. Raised as strict Christians and overachievers, the four adult children (along with their partners) have grown into varying degrees of belief and success. Their initially joyful reunion quickly reveals an American family riddled with competition, xenophobia and mental illness. Written by Leslye Headland, and directed by Annie Tippe, it runs May 24 through June 24 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-380-8843 or visit www.iamatheatre.com.

“Her Portmanteau” a family rifles through their literal and emotional baggage in this taut and poignant drama about relatives, legacy, and connection. This family drama, penned by first generation Nigerian-American storyteller Mfoniso Udofia, chronicles the triumphs and struggles of a tenacious matriarch and two daughters. The mother and one of her daughters have called the United States home for many years. And the other daughter’s arrival raises heart-wrenching questions about the power of place, family bonds, and how we define our relationships over space and time. Written by Mfoniso Udofia, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs May 24 through June 30 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.BostonCourt.com.

“Wood Boy Dog Fish” the cricket is killed, a blue poltergeist haunts us all, the legendary Dogfish monster preys on our greatest fears and a little wooden puppet struggles to discover what it means to be real. Written by Chelsea Sutton with Rogue Artists Ensemble, with music by Adrien Prévost, and directed by Sean T. Cawelti, it runs May 24 through June 24 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.GarryMarshallTheatre.org.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” When Randle Patrick McMurphy gets transferred to a mental institution, he encounters Nurse Ratched who runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication, and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the authoritarian Ratched soon escalates, leaving no one in the ward left unscathed. The experience begins the moment you check-in. All audience members are encouraged to take part in our immersive preshow where you can freely explore the asylum, interact with the characters, take “medication,” and discover the secrets of the ward and those who inhabit it. Once the performance of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest commences, audiences can choose between two different viewing experiences. “Acute Patients” sit on stage and will have the opportunity to interact with the characters and the space during the performance. “Chronic Patients” will be stationary throughout the performance and will enjoy the show from a more traditional theatrical vantage point. Written by Dale Wasserman based on the novel by Ken Kesey, and directed by Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, it runs May 25 through July 1 at the SIXO1 Studio in Burbank. For tickets visit www.CUCKOOSNESTLA.com.

“Bordertown Now” Twenty years after their searing hit Bordertown premiered, the Playhouse sends LA’s very own Culture Clash back to the border to investigate. Re-imagined, remixed and fully reloaded, Bordertown Now is an irreverent sometimes hilarious exploration of the regions and people at the center of one of America’s most hot button and controversial issues. Energized with new material ripped from the headlines and developed and directed by Obie award-winning Diane Rodriguez, the nation’s premier Chicano/Latino performance trio continues to redefine the boundaries of theatre and break down the divisions between cultures. Written by Ric Salinas & Herbert Sigüenza with new material by Richard Montoya, and directed by Diane Rodriguez, it runs May 29 through June 24 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” April 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

 

“Medea” Medea is a wife, a mother, and an immigrant. When her husband abandons his family for a new life, she exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. First staged at the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, Greece, Medea has intrigued and terrified audiences for nearly 2,500 years. Written by Euripedes, version by Ben Power, and directed by Bradley Griffin, it runs April 4 through April 7 at the Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

“Confessions of a Mulatto Love Child” is a hilarious, touching, and poignant story of a daughter, her eccentric mother, and the deep bond they forged on an extraordinary coast-to-coast journey. Written by Bellina Logan, and directed by Maggie Soboil, it runs April 6 through May 6 at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

“Midnight Requisitions” three sisters, Gray (Serena Anis), Ash (Laura Walker) and Heather (Kelsey Risher) gather for their father David’s (Morris Schorr) wake. Their long-estranged mother Maggie (Michelle Begley) arrives with her new husband Ernesto (Gerry Del Sol) hoping to make a new start with her daughters, but when buried hurt, anger and misunderstandings begin to surface, the family discovers that David’s life was not what everyone thought it was. Written by Craig Jessen, and directed by James Carey, it runs April 6 through April 29 at the Arena Stage, Hollywood’s Theatre of Arts in Hollywood. For tickets call 772-828-0668 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3368581.

“Play On!” IT’S THREE DAYS before the opening night of Murder Most Foul and the biggest mystery is whether the cast can make it through even one rehearsal. But how can they do that when the set isn’t done and the playwright keeps rewriting the script? A fast and funny backstage farce for the whole family! Written by Rick Abbot, and directed by Sherry Coon, it runs April 6 through May 13 at the Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.

“The Columbine Project” An atemporal retelling of the events leading up to, during and following the April 20, 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, The Columbine Project challenges what we think we know about the victims, families, teachers and the shooters themselves. Written by Paul Storiale, and directed by Bree Pavey, it runs April 7 through May 20 at the Loft Ensemble in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.artful.ly/store/events/14848.

“Little Black Shadows” is set in pre-Civil War Georgia, where child-slaves Toy and Colis spend long days on the plantation silently serving adolescent twins in the big plantation house. But in the dead of night, Toy and Colis’ world comes alive, as they lie beneath their masters’ beds whispering stories to each other through a vent in the wall. When the Father announces that the family is moving to Louisiana, the children face uncertain futures and wonder if they dare come out of the shadows. Written by Kemp Powers, and directed by May Adrales, it runs April 8 through April 29 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Nathan Gunn Flying Solo” America’s leading baritone Nathan Gunn sings selections from classic American musicals, contemporary songs and a little bit of opera fun in his personal story, FLYING SOLO. This “Sexiest Man Alive” recounts how he became elder of his heritage, the Scottish Clan GUNN, and learned what life is really about is this world premiere, moving, musical journey. But there’s a whole lot more to this story about a boy who wants nothing more than to please his Scottish Dad as he becomes an elder of his heritage, the Scottish Clan GUNN, and who ends up realizing what life is really about. Written and directed by Hershey Felder, with music by Michael Bagby, it runs April 8 through April 22 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Vote, Pray, Love” In 2016, Ryan O’Connor took a break from show business to work as a Field Organizer for the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign in Pontiac, Michigan. Now returning to the cabaret stage, Vote, Pray, Love is an exploration of how his 150-pound weight loss, sobriety from drug and alcohol abuse, a career implosion, and a sudden divorce led to his unlikely redemption in the middle of nowhere. Told through story and song, O’Connor’s uniquely comic and vulnerable voice shines in this exciting, engaging, and emotionally cathartic night of entertainment. Written by Ryan O’Connor, and directed by Marissa Jaret Winokur, it runs April 8 through April 16 at the Celebration Theatre at The Lex in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.CelebrationTheatre.com.

“Significant Other” follows Jordan, a single, young professional with a close group of female friends who slowly drift away as they each get married while he searches for his own “Mr. Right.”. Written by Joshua Harmon, and directed by Stephen Brackett, it runs April 11 through May 6 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“What Happened When” On a snowy night in a rural farmhouse, three siblings huddle together in the dark with a flashlight, while the audience (unseen by them) gathers closely around. Written by Daniel Talbott, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs April 12 through April 26 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“The Willows” At The Willows funeral home, Mark is being groomed to take over the family business from his father. But an unexpected reunion with the one that got away could derail those carefully laid plans in this moving new play about family, loss and love. Written by Kerri-Ann McCalla, and directed by Jessica Hanna, it runs April 12 through May 5 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-389-3856 or visit www.bootlegtheater.org.

“All Shook Up” The songs of Elvis Presley form the backdrop for this musical about a mysterious, leather-jacketed stranger who shakes up a small Midwestern town in the 1950s. Tony Award Winner Joe DiPietro’s tale of the cross-dressing, mistaken identity and romance that ensue was inspired by Twelfth Night and other Shakespearean comedies. Featuring the hit songs we have learned to love “Love Me Tender,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”. Written by Joe DiPietro, it runs April 13 through April 22 at the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” involves the doings of two best friends, Jack and Algy (Algernon). Jack lives in the country, protective of his young ward, the “excessively pretty” heiress Cecily Cardew. But he likes to get away to London and the attractions of the city, so he has invented a rascally brother in London named Ernest to whom he must occasionally attend, necessitating his periodic departure from the country. The biggest draw in London for Jack is Algy’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen Fairfax. Algy, meanwhile, goes to Shropshire posing as Ernest in an attempt to woo Cecily. It also turns out that both women are attracted to men with the name of Ernest, so naturally both fellows make arrangements to have themselves re-christened. In the course of things, the deceptions of Jack and Algy will be found out. Can their lady loves possibly forgive them? It ultimately turns out that Jack and Algy share more in common than they could possibly have imagined, and that they have destinies that neither could have suspected. Written by Oscar Wilde, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs April 13 through April 28 at the Brand Park in Glendale. For tickets visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.

“The Intimacy Effect” It’s Matt Appel’s 40th birthday and his wife Amy can’t stop crying. His brother and sister-in-law arrive for a celebratory dinner and are ambushed with news that threatens to fracture the Appel family’s already strained relationships. As the past intrudes upon the present, boundaries between public and private lives decay, bringing the darkest parts of each family member into the light. Written by Jeff Tabnick, and directed by Eric Hunicutt, it runs April 13 through May 6 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.theintimacyeffect.brownpapertickets.com.

“L.O.V.E.R.” Accomplished actress Lois Robbins takes us on a poignant and comic journey as one woman explores her sexual history, in what ultimately becomes her coming of age story. L.O.V.E.R. is a riff on childhood, adolescents and finally adulthood from a grown-up woman’s point of view. Written by Lois Robbins, and directed by Sonia Sebastian, it runs April 13 through May 12 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5770 or visit www.plays411.com/lover.

“Lost in the Light” centers on headstrong student Angel Taylor, blind since birth, who has always taken her sighted family’s hyper-vigilance in stride alongside their overwhelming love and support. At the dawn of her budding journalism career, Angel learns about a rare opportunity to gain her vision through an experimental surgery. Along with her family, Angel grapples with the conflicting notions of seeing for the very first time or continuing to live in darkness. What will happen if she gains her vision but then finds herself lost in the light? A play with original songs that forces audiences to grapple with the question: Would you risk an experimental surgery if it meant it could restore your sight? Written by Pelita Dasalla, with music by Laurie Grant and Chloe Copoloff, and directed by Greg Shane, it runs April 13 through May 12 at the Blue Door in Culver City. For tickets visit www.creoutreach.org/lostinthelight.

“Waste Land” is a serio-comedy that lays bare the tumultuous love between T.S. Eliot and his first wife and muse, Vivienne. As he writes the poem that would be his masterpiece, a circle of notable friends—Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Bertrand Russell—populate his life with witty banter, biting commentary, and moments of joy and self-doubt that informs all of their work. Written by Don Nigro, and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs April 13 through May 6 at the studio/stage in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-6569 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3321593.

“West Side Story” tells the ageless tale of Romeo and Juliet is set against the backdrop of NYC gang warfare of the 1950’s. As rival gangs battle over their turf, a boy and a girl from opposing sides fall in love and begin their tragic fight for survival. This gem includes well loved songs such as “Tonight,” “Somewhere,” and “Maria.”. Written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Danny Michaels & Orlando Alexander, it runs April 13 through May 26 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“Belleville” concerns young Americans Zack and Abby: they appear to be a perfect couple, with the perfect ex-patriot life in Paris – a funky bohemian apartment in up-and-coming Belleville, a stable marriage, and Zack’s noble mission at Doctors Without Borders to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he’s supposed to be at work, their marriage begins to show cracks as an ordinary night unravels into a modern-day thriller. Herzog’s new play is a Hitchcock-style drama, and a captivating evening of intrigue and suspense. Written by Amy Herzog, and directed by Jenna Worsham, it runs April 18 through May 13 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy” is the hilarious tale of Brad Zimmerman’s struggle to fulfill his dream and make it as a comedic actor in New York. One-part standup, one-part theatrical, and all parts uproarious, the show has garnered rave reviews wherever it has played, including sold-out runs off-Broadway and at dozens of other venues throughout the USA. Written and directed by Brad Zimmerman, it runs April 19 through June 10 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 855-448-7469 or visit www.mysonthewaiter.com.

“Native Son” Suffocating in rat-infested poverty on the South Side of Chicago in the 1930s, Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man’s house, Bigger unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate. Written by Nambi E. Kelley from the novel by Richard Wright, and directed by Andi Chapman, it runs April 19 through June 3 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Death Before Cocktails” When your famous twin sister’s suicide letter instructs you to put together a makeshift wake in a Palm Springs cocktail lounge, what can you do but grant her final wish? LA writer Lana arrives in Palm Springs to host an evening with competing ex-lovers, surprising new flames, and enough arousing confessions to raise the dead. Written and directed by Laureen Vonnegut, it runs April 20 through May 13 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.buytickets.at/deathbeforecocktails/155994.

“Hair” defined the “rock musical,” exuberantly celebrating the hippie counterculture, anti-war movement and sexual revolution of the 1960s with a rainbow score of hits – including “Aquarius,” “Hair,” “Easy to be Hard,” “Be In,” “Where Do I Go?” “Good Morning Starshine,” and “Let the Sunshine In” – that have become ingrained in pop culture. Written by James Rado, with music by Galt MacDermot, lyrics by James Rado, and directed by Michael Arabian, it runs April 20 through June 30 at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles.

 

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” Who is the monster and who is the man? For the first time ever on the Civic Arts Plaza stage, Victor Hugo’s classic novel comes to life with dramatic spectacle and songs that soar! With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, the show is based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film of the same name, and features popular songs such as “God Help the Outcasts.” This is musical theatre at its best! Written by Peter Parnell, based on the Victor Hugo novel, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and directed by Misti B. Wills, it runs April 20 through April 29 at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

“The Immigrant” Rural Central Texas, 1909. A young Russian-Jewish immigrant, newly arrived in America through the port of Galveston, pulls his banana cart into the hamlet of Hamilton. Fleeing the vicious pogroms of his homeland, he has sought refuge in the land of the free. Able to speak only Yiddish, alone in the midst of a staunchly Christian community, he is offered shelter. Over the next 30 years, he makes a home and raises a family in this tiny town. THE IMMIGRANT is the story of a young Russian-Jewish couple and the local couple that take them in, as religion meets religion, culture meets culture, fear meets fear, and love meets love. Written by Mark Harelik, and directed by Simon Levy, it runs April 20 through May 26 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“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 April 20 through May 25 at the Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328722.

 

“Bad Jews” A beloved grandfather has died and a treasured family heirloom with religious significance is up for grabs — but who’s the most deserving? Bossy, overbearing, self-declared “super-Jew” Daphna? Her wealthy cousin Liam, just returned from skiing with his shiksa girlfriend, Melody? Or Jonah, Liam’s younger brother, who finds himself in the impossible position of peacemaker as the two rivals argue, insult and try to outwit each other to the bitter, hilarious end? Written by Joshua Harmon, and directed by Dana Resnick, it runs April 21 through June 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Ice” Two baseball players from Sinaloa, Mexico arrive in the U.S. with big dreams… but no documents. Armed with their Tia’s famous salsa recipe, the pair works day and night to make their taco truck the “Uncle Sam” of mobile restaurants. Will a contest to be “the most American food truck” at Dodger Stadium for the 4th of July prove to Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they belong? For adults and kids 8 and up. Written by Leon Martell, and directed by Debbie Devine, it runs April 21 through June 10 at the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-745-6516 or visit www.24thstreet.org.

 

“Noises Off” features an under-rehearsed and over-worked cast and crew with a penchant for drama more personal than professional, readying themselves for the world premiere of a new play with the auspicious title Nothing On. As the production progresses, the bumbling cast brings down the house – literally! Written by Michael Frayn, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott, it runs April 21 through May 26 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.

“South Pacific” Prepare yourself for some enchanted evening! Rodgers & Hammerstein’s epic musical romance makes its La Mirada Theatre debut! Although well-known for its extraordinary score – “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “Bali Ha’i,” “There is Nothin’ Like A Dame,” and “A Wonderful Guy” – SOUTH PACIFIC is also a deeply felt drama. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in a foreign culture in wartime is as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1949. Written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and directed by Glenn Casale, it runs April 21 through May 13 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Dirty Blonde” Explore the phenomenon of the legendary Mae West, one of America’s most enduring and controversial pop culture icons, in this sparkling romantic comedy with music about a guy, a gal, and their mutual admiration for one voluptuous blonde. Magically woven into the story is a celebration of songs and laughter of Mae West’s racy life and saucy career. Written by Claudia Shear, and directed by James W. Gruessing, Jr., it runs April 26 through April 29 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Blues in the Night” The 26 hot and torchy numbers – by icons Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and more – tell of the sweet, sexy and sorrowful experiences that three women have with the lying, cheating, snake of a man, who represents the men who do them wrong. Written and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs April 27 through May 27 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Blues.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Returns for 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival Returns and Introduces a New Lineup of Tasty Boysenberry Treats and Festive Entertainment, March 16- April 8

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The Knott’s Boysenberry Festival is our annual food-inspired event that celebrates the park’s historic roots by highlighting the little berry that started it all, the boysenberry. This year’s festival will feature over 75 new and returning boysenberry-inspired creations crafted by the Knott’s culinary team. Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in a tantalizing line up of dishes ranging from savory foods with a boysenberry twist to refreshingly sweet and tangy drinks and one-of-a-kind specialty desserts that can only be found at Knott’s Berry Farm during this time of the year. In addition to the tasty treats, the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival offers a wide selection of daily entertainment, live music and fun activities for guests of all ages to enjoy. This year’s festival has expanded to 24 days, starting March 16 and running daily through April 8.

The historic boysenberry is a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry and is named after its originator Rudolf Boysen. The Knott family was the first to successfully harvest and sell the boysenberry on the land that is now known as Knott’s Berry Farm.

Some of the tastiest and most unique food items are rolled out exclusively during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. This year’s appetizing lineup includes the first ever boysenberry quesadilla made with a boysenberry-infused flour tortilla, prepared with boysenberry salsa, boysenberry sour cream, sprinkled with cotija and mozzarella cheese. Plus, the boysenberry pierogies with onions, bacon and boysenberry sour cream will be bursting with a combination of sweet and savory flavors. Other flavorful items that will be prepared and served to perfection include the slow cooked boysenberry short ribs, the juicy meat is smothered in boysenberry hoisin sauce served over butter basmati rice and complete with chopped green onions will leave guests asking for more. The guest favorite and finger-lickin’ boysenberry chicken wings will be available during the festival; the irresistible wings are smothered in the delicious and popular boysenberry BBQ sauce which is made exclusively at the Farm. The meaty and boysenberry inspired items also include the very filling boysenberry grilled sausage on a bun prepared with a freshly farm-baked roll and topped with boysenberry ketchup, relish and mustard. For guests craving a refreshing drink, Knott’s is offering an all-new boysenberry boba tea which consists of boysenberry milk tea and chewy berry-soaked tapioca balls served over ice. The boysenberry elote is one of the satisfying treats guests will be able to find in the streets of Ghost Town. The lightly grilled corn is smothered in fresh boysenberry butter, mayo and perfectly topped off with cotija cheese. The Festival also offers a variety of sharable snacks for the family including a new vegetarian/vegan option like the highly enjoyable boysenberry hummus served with pita bread and prepared with garden-fresh boysenberries. Sweets and desserts are a key part of the festival and this year the culinary team is introducing the scrumptious, perfectly bite-sized boysenberry coconut macaroons, dipped in a decadent chocolate ganache, which are great to enjoy while strolling through the park. A great option to indulge in a variety of new and returning food items during the festival is by purchasing a tasting card priced at $30 which offers 8 of the new food options per card; guests can select any 8 items of their choice. Returning and other signature boysenberry items will be available for purchase a la carte. Tasting cards are available at Knotts.com or in the theme park.

Guests can also take home a taste of the boysenberry festival with limited edition merchandise that can be found throughout the park, such as a new boysenberry bath and body line including soaps, salt soaks, bath bombs, lip balms (introducing three new flavors) and candles. New to the festival this year is Knott’s sugar-free boysenberry concentrate, a low calorie, no sugar version of Knott’s popular drink, a wide selection of boysenberry chocolates including boysenberry versions of milk chocolate bars, truffles, caramel squares, peanut butter and jelly cups. New and exclusive to Knott’s Berry Farm this year is the all-new boysenberry Jelly Belly. The Knott’s Berry Market also features signature boysenberry items like the delicious boysenberry BBQ sauce or the classic jams and preserves. Unique boysenberry inspired products with a homemade twist will also be available as the Craft Fair returns offering a variety of products like boysenberry cashew nut brittle, boysenberry pie shaped homemade accessories and more.

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Entertainment:

Knott’s Boysenberry Festival offers endless entertainment options for the festival goers who have a hankerin’ for some good ol’ country fun:

  • Tied up in Knott’s! – “Tied Up in Knott’s!” is a tribute art show to the rich history of Knott’s Berry Farm, its beginnings as a farm and its standing as a Southern California institution for millions of visitors during its (almost) 100-year history. More than a dozen artists will be contributing pieces to the show, which pays homage to Knott’s Berry Farm’s past, present and future in various mediums including: oil paintings, illustrations and digital mixed media. These original pieces will be hung on display at the Wilderness Dance Hall during the duration of the Boysenberry Festival and Guests will have the opportunity to purchase many of the pieces, as well as prints of some of the art.
  • Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jamboree! – Guests are invited to join Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts Gang in a show that will have families dancing and playing along at the Calico Mine Stage.
    Old Time Melodrama – Knott’s pays tribute to its past at the Legendary Bird Cage Theatre with a special presentation of the musical comedy melodrama with a surprising boysenberry twist!
  • Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies – A group of krazy talented performers will have guests toe tappin’, vine dancin’ and knee-slappin’ to a comedic country music show at the Wagon Camp stage.
  • Ghost Town Miners – The joy of scrumptious food and country music encompass guests as the Ghost Town Miners take the stage in a fun musical performance.
  • Easter Beagle – Spring has sprung all around the park including in Camp Snoopy where guests can meet everyone’s favorite beagle as he celebrates the season.
  • Ghost Town’s Town Hall- In honor of the famous berry that started it all, guests are invited to learn the history of the boysenberry and how Walter and Cordelia Knott started the Farm.
  • Old MacDonald Petting Zoo – Young ones and young at heart are invited to cozy up to the cutest critters on the farm including horses, sheep, goats and other furry friends.

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The Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm. Additional costs apply for food tasting experiences within the event. Knott’s will have extended hours on select days March 16 – April 8, allowing guests extra time to take advantage of all of the limited-time offerings.

The best way to savor every day of the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival and all of the other Seasons of Fun is with a 2018 Season Pass. A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the recently expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $94 or six easy payments of $15.66 and Gold Passes are $113 or six payments of just $18.83. These offers end April 8, 2018. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at www.knotts.com.

For more information about Knott’s Berry Farm please visit www.knotts.com or download the Knott’s Berry Farm app for your smart phone. For all current Knott’s Boysenberry assets please visit the event’s electronic press kit. Join the conversation using the hashtag #Boysenberry Festival.

“Scene in LA” March 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

 “Big Shot” unfolds on the eve of what could be a giant break for two aspiring writers — a face-to-face meeting with one of Hollywood’s heaviest-hitting producers. As the clock ticks — and with only one shot to pitch a winning idea — the two embark on a frantic all-night quest to find the perfect story. Written by Joe Napoli Jr. and John Scacco, and directed by Stan Zimmerman, it runs March 2 through March 17 at the Dorie Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3325702.

“A Man for All Seasons” tragic historical drama offers a brilliant portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII.  When Henry mandates his subjects to sign an “Act of Supremacy” making him both spiritual and temporal leader of England in order to obtain papal approval for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas cannot in good conscience comply. Written by Robert Bolt, and directed by Thom Babbes, it runs March 2 through April 15 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Cambodian Rock Band” is set in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and moves back and forth in time. It’s the story of a young Cambodian American who has found evidence that could finally put away one of the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman, a man who oversaw the country’s most notorious prison. But her work is far from done. Her Dad shows up unannounced—his first time back in Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago— and it’s clear that this isn’t just a pleasure trip for him. Written by Lauren Yee, and directed by Chay Yew, it runs March 4 through March 25 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“The Graduate” Benjamin’s got excellent grades, very proud parents and, having spent four years achieving a brilliant scholastic record, a clear uncertainty about this future, trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life?  An unexpected diversion crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson. And even more unexpected, he finds himself falling in love with the one person Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her upbeat and optimistic daughter, Elaine. Starring Melanie Griffith as Mrs. Robinson. Written by Charles Webb, adapted by Terry Johnson, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs March 4 through March 25 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“The Tragedy: A Comedy” a wholly immersive theatrical experience, centering around three literary/talent managers – Larry (Malcolm Barrett, Timeless), Lisa (Tina Huang, Rizzoli & Isles), and Derek (Brandon Scott, Guerrilla), who go on a psychedelic mushroom trip, hoping they’ll be struck with a brilliant idea that will save their failing business. Instead, the mushrooms reveal a chilling truth: their whole lives are the subject of a tragic play, with an audience of people watching their every move. As Larry slips deeper and deeper into his role as the tragic hero, Lisa and Derek undertake a mad quest to escape the confines of the play and save their friend. Greek goddesses, self-help cults, and inter-dimensional portals all set the stage for this interactive dark comedy about characters trapped inside a tragedy. Written by D.G. Watson, and directed by Ahmed Best, it runs March 8 through June 14 at the Pico Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.ammotheatre.com.

“Unemployed Elephants – A Love Story” A chance meeting in an airport lounge leads to a Burmese odyssey and a search for a missing monk… and maybe love. Written by Wendy Graf, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs March 9 through April 15 at the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

“King Lear” is the story of a narcissistic ruler who craves adulation, casts out those who doubt his decisions, and neglects those on the fringes of society. Considered by many to be Shakespeare’s greatest masterpiece, KING LEAR is a haunting and epic saga of love, greed, family strife, and civil war. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by James O’Neil, it runs March 14 through April 1 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Engaging Shaw” England, 1897. Charlotte Payne-Townshend, wealthy Irish heiress, meets George Bernard Shaw, the financially challenged but famous Irish playwright and political activist (He’s a Fabian Socialist). Will sparks fly? Shaw is a notorious flirt and heartbreaker. He enjoys romancing women, though not particularly interested in sex. The thrill of the hunt is the main attraction for Shaw: the pursuit of women, not the keeping of them. In present-day parlance, he’d be considered a sexist. But Charlotte is not quite like any other woman that Shaw has met before. She is a woman that he must consider to be his intellectual peer. They thrive in each other’s company, but can he resist her when she wants to take their relationship to the next level? “No man can resist a woman once she has set her sights on him, unless thwarted by another woman,” declares Charlotte. But Beatrice Webb, co-founder of the London School of Economics, who introduced the pair, also has strong feelings for Shaw. Will Charlotte get her man? Written by John Morogiello, and directed by Melanie MacQueen, it runs March 15 through April 15 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“The Mousetrap” A group of strangers is stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm, one of whom is a murderer. Suspects include the newly married couple who run the house, a spinster with a curious background, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift, and a jurist who makes life miserable for everyone. Into their midst comes a policeman, traveling on skis. He probes the background of everyone present, and rattles a lot of skeletons. Written by Agatha Christie, and directed by Sonny Lira, it runs March 16 through May 6 at the Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“The Night Forlorn (or, Waitin’ on Godsford)” is a re-imagining of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, set in the West during the 1870s. At a campfire out on the prairie, two none-too-bright cowpokes wait for their leader Godsford and for instructions about “the plan.” There’s been a hanging in town, and they may or may not have been part of it — in the flurry of what happened, things are somewhat unclear to them. All they are sure about is that Godsford has told them to meet them here by the tree. Into their midst come several tumbleweed characters — all of whom may change the course of their destiny in one way or another. A comedic journey which utilizes the roots of vaudeville as well as the absurdity of Beckett, the play is in many ways an homage to the elegiac westerns of Ford and Peckinpah. Written by Steve Nevil, and directed by Arden Teresa Lewis, it runs March 16 through April 22 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.

“No Exit” Three strangers are locked together in a belligerently distasteful room for eternity. Without the expected torture to occupy them, they are forced to simply exist. There is no escape: from the room, each other, and worst of all themselves. Written by Jean-Paul Sartre, and directed by Ye’ela Rosenfeld, it runs March 16 through April 8 at the Chromolume Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/noexit.

“Pigs and Chickens” While working at a chaotic tech startup, a woman tries to overcome her hellish anger management problem and get along with her buggy coworkers, human and otherwise. Marek Glinski breathes humor into the perils of individuals coexisting with technology. Written by Marek Glinski, and directed by Kevin Comartin, it runs March 16 through April 15 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-839-1197 or visit www.dime.io/events/pigs-and-chickens.

“Sister Act” takes place in Philadelphia in 1978, where disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder and is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with the rigid lifestyle imposed by uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find themselves up against Deloris and the power of her newly-found sisterhood. Written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, with additional material by Douglas Carter Beane, with music by Allen Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and directed by Ben Lupejkis, it runs March 16 through April 21 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

“An Undivided Heart” Set in 1992 Massachusetts against the backdrop of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal and a toxic drinking water scandal (the latter made famous by the book and film “A Civil Action”), An Undivided Heart is part thriller and part spiritual mystery. A series of otherworldly visions and an unlikely encounter with a Zen priest propel Father Mike Cleary into a collision course with his Archdiocese, while Lynne Callahan, a young widow, struggles to make sense of her life in a town whose water has been polluted with deadly chemicals. The two confront a universal problem: How do victims of suffering caused by others find a way to go on? Written by Yusuf Toropov, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs March 16 through April 22 at the Echo Theater Company in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“King Lear” follows an aging sovereign who announces that he will divide his kingdom among his three daughters in proportion to their professed affection for him. When his youngest daughter Cordelia refuses to flatter her father falsely, Lear becomes irrational and enraged, exiling his beloved child and his longtime friend and advisor, the Earl of Kent, and the kingdom is thrown into a state of confusion. More family drama ensues when Edmund, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester, convinces his father that his half-brother Edgar intends to murder Gloucester. Lear’s elder daughters Goneril and Regan reveal their true natures and turn on their father; and Lear, his Fool and companions find themselves in a raging, bitter storm. As the monarchy collapses, Lear descends into madness. Lear ultimately comes to understand the folly of his actions, too late to save those who were most loyal to him. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by James O’Neil, it runs March 17 through April 1 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Little Women, The Musical” follows the adventures of the four March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy, and their experiences growing up in Civil War America. It’s a coming-of-age tale filled with drama, romance, humor, and song, all under the watchful eye of the girls’ beloved Marmee while their father is away at war. Written by Allan Knee, with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and directed by Anne Gesling, it runs March 17 through April 14 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“El Niño” Will the winds blow? The rains come? The cat die? Legendary local playwright Justin Tanner fashions a new laugh-out-loud comedy that encompasses his talent for writing and touching on an equally brilliant underbelly of sadness for humankind. Once again discover all that you’ve come to love about a Tanner piece, including his regular cast. Written by Justin Tanner, and directed by Lisa James, it runs March 22 through April 22 at the Rogue Machine in the MET Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

“Keith Moon: The Real Me” explodes on the stage with the turmoil and excitement of the wildest drummer in rock and roll history. A living legend during his lifetime, Keith Moon still stands as the pinnacle of rock-star extremism — both in life and in music. The show explores Moon’s state of mind as he attempts to save himself from the unbearable burden of living up to (or down to) his self-created legend of ‘Moon the Loon.’ As Moon attempts to save himself, he takes the audience on a journey through his early struggles, joining The Who, and their rise as one of the world’s greatest rock bands. By the show’s end, the audience intimately knows the man behind the myth — his acute vulnerability and insecurity, and his struggle to escape the ever-looming rock and roll crash landing. Contains explicit language and adult themes of drug use and sexuality. Written by Mick Berry, with music by Pete Townshend, and directed by Nancy Carlin, it runs March 23 through April 15 at the Hudson Theatre Mainstage in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-965-9996 or visit www.plays411.com/keithmoon.

 

“Laughter on the 23rd Floor” follows the rollercoaster antics that catapult a not-your-average 1950s writers’ room into the comedy fray, as they frantically attempt to please their larger-than-life boss of a weekly comedy variety show. Locked in an ongoing battle with NBC executives, who fear the show’s humor is too sophisticated for Middle America, the writing and fighting of the team expose the social and political undercurrents of the 1950s—reflecting back the ongoing tensions in today’s America in this updated, reimagined production. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Michael A. Shepperd, it runs March 23 through April 22 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Through the Eye of a Needle” The Keen family is dealing with the recent tragedy concerning their daughter, Dana, a navy corpsman in the Iraq War. Larry copes with a tumbler of scotch, or five, Barbara sets an extra plate setting and Samantha, their teenage daughter, secretly uses Twitter to create a protest. Then Nasser, an Iraqi refugee, arrives at their door unannounced on Christmas Eve.  As the family fights over whether or not to keep Nasser’s “gift”, tempers fly and secrets are revealed. Will the Keens be pulled further apart or will they find grace and redemption in this intriguing family dramedy? Written by Jami Brandli, and directed by Ann Hearn, it runs March 23 through May 26 at the Road Theatre on Lankershim in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org.

“All’s Well That Ends Well” features an extraordinary heroine. Helena is a young woman brought up by her father to be a physician. She falls in terrible, unrequited love with Bertram, the son of the Countess her father served. When Bertram leaves to seek his fortune, she sets out in a pursuit both daring and foolhardy. It is a journey that requires all her intelligence, spirit, and more than a little subterfuge. Featuring live music played by the cast. Written by William Shakespeare, with music by Dave Beukers, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs March 24 through April 22 at the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater Village. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Damaged Furniture” After a shocking furniture accident claims the life of his uncle, an LA actor must work in his family business in Brooklyn, and is confronted not only by his dysfunctional family, but what lead him to become an actor in the first place. Written by Howard Skora, and directed by Jim Fall, it runs March 24 through May 26 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.damagedfurniture.brownpapertickets.com.

“Shrew!” delves into Kate’s and Petruchio’s back stories. For Kate, it’s breaking free of the constraints on women of the late 16th century and enjoying all the rights and opportunities that men in her society enjoyed. For Petruchio, it’s a smoothing-out of his stock braggadocio with more complicated dimensions and creating in him a suitable spouse for Kate. Written by Amy Freed, and directed by Art Manke, it runs March 24 through April 21 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Mulatto Math” Original music fuels writer/performer Monique DeBose’s exploration of race, family and identity through the lens of being mixed race. Written by Monique DeBose, with music by Monique DeBose, and directed by Denise Dowse, it runs March 25 through May 6 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.MulattoMath.com.

“Chico’s Angels: Love Boat Chicas” Kay goes undercover as Charo, (Fortunately, she is the spitting image of the Spanish classical guitarist) with Chita in tow, as her choreographer/manager (Chita has seen A Chorus Line 32 times…at the East LA Quienceanera Palace/cafetorium). Frieda joins the crew as the new Cruise director (cruising is one of her off-duty specialties.) Finally, Bossman provides back up, undercover as Isaac, your bartender (Bar…enough said). Written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, and directed by Kurt Koehler, it runs March 28 through April 8 at the Cavern Club Theater inside Casita Del Campo Restaurant in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.chicosangels.com.

“Threat” is a story of a psychotherapist who tries to control a bipolar, brilliant and dangerous maniac in order to save innocent lives but finally is forced to a make a bold choice between honoring her oath and protecting others. It asks the question of whether a psychotherapist treating a troubled student could have prevented the carnage we’ve seen time and time again at schools across America. Full of suspense and catharsis, Threat is a tense exploration of narcissism, risk and self-realization. Written by Louis Felder, and directed by Asaad Kelada, it runs March 29 through May 4 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 805-419-8327 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3343157.

“Akuma-shin” In 1956, a giant kaiju (monster) destroys Tokyo and sends seismic waves of fear, anger and ignorance through generations. Facts are questioned, history is alternatively written and modern politics is set against primal religion in this ferociously civilized cautionary tale of two nations coping with their own damaged legacies. Can humanity reckon with the monsters that rise against us, the ones that live within us all? Written by Kenley Smith, and directed by Scott Leggett, it runs March 30 through April 28 at the Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Macbeth” Combining the beautiful, macabre text of Macbeth with movement and dance, this production explores Shakespeare’s brutal play of a Scottish king driven mad from his own ambitions from a different angle that’s all too relevant today. In this debut show, Lady Macbeth is a survivor of horrifying abuse, flipping the script and challenging us to end the cycle of violence perpetrated through toxic masculinity, often passed on from father to son. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Heidi Powers, it runs March 30 through April 29 at the McCadden Place Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.survivingmacbeth.brownpapertickets.com.

“Sing, Bibi, Sing! The Untold Tales of Bibi Osterwald” Chronicles the untold tales of Bibi Osterwald, veteran actress of stage and screen. As the renowned standby for Hello Dolly, Bibi worked with some of the biggest names in the biz and left her legacy to her granddaughter to share. Tonight, we crack open Bibi’s songbook and weave together their two stories to celebrate the triumphs…and trials that accompany forging a career in the arts. The musical lineup spotlights popular jazz standards, go-to staples from Bibi’s nightclub act, and of course, some Broadway medleys. Written by Elise Arndt, with music by Doug Peck, and directed by Christine O’Grady, it runs March 30 through April 8 at the Write Act Rep at The Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.elisearndt.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“Scene in LA” February 2018 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Valentine’s Day is coming fast! Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:

“Dessa Rose” tells the story of a young black woman (a runaway slave) and a young white woman (an abandoned mother) and their journey to acceptance in the antebellum South, as they tell their story to their grandchildren. Written by Lynn Ahrens, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by James Esposito, it runs February 2 through February 25 at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-510-2688 or visit www.crtheatre.com.

“Occupant” Unapologetically flamboyant, New York sculptor Louise Nevelson’s life was one marked by intrepid artistic triumphs as well as deep inner turmoil. In this play, both her public accomplishments and private emotional conflicts are thoroughly examined by an unnamed interviewer who questions the posthumous Nevelson with an unabashed scrutiny. From her unique vantage point beyond the grave, Nevelson answers his queries with a clarity born of the distance provided by death. The result is a touching, humorous, and honest tribute to a woman who was a pioneer for free-thinking females everywhere, but also stood strongly on her own as one of the 20th century’s greatest artistic minds. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Heather Chesley, it runs February 2 through March 4 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Pizza Man” Step inside a Hollywood loft for an experience where instead of viewing the action from a distance, you become immersed in it! In this site-specific production, the audience themselves are part of the 1980s apartment where Julie Rodgers is on the verge of a breakdown. Her boss made a pass at her that she rejected, so now Julie is without a job, broke, disillusioned, and drinking. Her roommate, Alice, is at an equally low point coping with romantic troubles. The pair of Los Angeles women decide to take revenge on the entire opposite sex, and the unsuspecting pizza delivery man is just the vehicle for this descent into comedic chaos! Written by Darlene Craviotto, and directed by Jamie Lou, it runs February 2 through February 24 at the Loft Space in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.PIZZAMAN.eventbrite.com.

 

“Two Fisted Love” It’s 2008 and Hollywood A-lister, Caroline Connors, having recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, braves her descent into an uncertain future while attempting to navigate her relationships with her ultra-conservative and less than politically correct husband Kevin, and her defiant and idealistic daughter Rachel.Written and directed by David Sessions, it runs February 3 through March 11 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.twofistedlove.com.

“Henry V” tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years’ War, and the historical events during the years 1398-1485, particularly the struggles for the British throne between warring branches of the Plantagenet family and Britain’s ongoing wars with France. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs February 4 through April 6 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.

“Prez” featuring Leslie A. Jones, this play is set in a 1959 hotel room in Paris, and paints an intimate portrait of Lester Young, a unique jazzman whose warm, lyrical style brought him fame, first with the Count Basie band, then with the likes of Nat ‘King’ Cole, Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson, and his best friend and alter ego, Billie Holiday. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Daniel E. Keough, it runs February 4 through March 11 at the Write Act Repertory @ The Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” the dysfunctional but wealthy Pollitt family gathers to celebrate aging patriarch, Big Daddy’s, birthday. Lurking under every practiced interaction between the Pollitts is an ulterior motive. Under every smile, a challenge. And under every statement, the specter of mendacity. For the Pollitts, the truth is as hazy as the late summer sun in Mississippi, and sometimes the only way to find it is to journey through the lies. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Kenneth James Billington, it runs February 8 through March 30 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“Great Expectations” David Mynne portrays all of the novel’s colorful characters including terrifying Magwitch, kindly Joe Gargery, eccentric Miss Havisham, cold and beautiful Estella, pompous lawyer Mr. Jaggers and Pip’s wise and spluttering friend Herbert Pocket. Providing all the sound effects himself, Mynne traverses the difficult line of staying true to the story but adding some modern-day anarchy, thanks to his natural ability for physical comedy, and keeping it as strangely spooky as the original tale. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Simon Harvey, it runs February 8 through February 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/GE.

“Trust” This is a contemporary dramatic comedy set against a backdrop of the rock music scene. In a world ruled by love, lust and lying, a spiral unwinds. Cody is a rising star musician. Becca is his fiancée. Gretchen is a dressmaker, fitting Becca for her wedding dress. Leah is a rock star past her prime who Cody meets while on the road. Roy is a public radio announcer smitten with the young bohemian, Holly. As the lives and loves of these people continue to intersect, attraction gives way to seduction, and secrecy holds sway over truth. Becca and Cody’s marriage-to-be grows as rocky as Roy increases his hilariously futile attempts to charm Holly. Gretchen and Leah’s past is unearthed, brought on by Gretchen’s attraction to Becca. As the final concert of Cody’s tour concludes, new bonds have been formed, old wounds remain; friends looking for answers, lovers looking for that elusive word: trust. Written by Steven Dietz, and directed by William Kircher, it runs February 8 through March 31 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“Extremities” Marjorie, is attacked in her home by Raul, but manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her fireplace. Her roommates come home to discover the attacker bound with cords, belts and other household items. When Terry and Patricia, Majorie’s roommates, come home, they are shocked and begin discussing how to handle the situation: call the police or take matters into their own hands? The incredibly gripping drama portrays the act of rape and its aftermath as the victim turns the tables on her attacker, reaching a climax of fever pitch suspense. Written by William Mastrosimone, and directed by Jenny Nwene, it runs February 9 through March 31 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“Jack Stevenson, A Decent Man” centers around the exploits of a sex crazed sociopath, who after marrying into wealth, deceitfully attempts to maintain a highfalutin lifestyle while continuing to carry on his sexual indiscretions. Written by Johnny Cannizzaro, and directed by Lee Aronsohn, it runs February 9 through March 31 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“Million Dollar Quartet” Set in Memphis, Tennessee on December 4, 1956, this musical harkens back to when Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – responsible for launching the careers of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley – brought the four superstars together at the Sun Records storefront studio for the first and only time, resulting in what became known as one of the greatest jam sessions in rock ‘n’ roll history. As such, the legendary event comes to life on stage with an irresistible telling of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations that are both poignant and amusing. Relive the era through a rousing score of rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits such as: “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Fever,” “Walk the Line”, “Sixteen Tons”, “Who Do You Love?”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”, “Hound Dog” and more. Written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, with music by David Lamoureux, and directed by David Lober, it runs February 9 through February 18 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, then February 23 through March 4 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 714-589-2770 Ext. 1 (for Redondo) or 562-916-8500 (for Cerritos) or visit www.3dtshows.org (for any show).

“Requiem” Is the story of a man who has lost his faith in society. Troubled by his past, his current job and relationship. He struggles to fit in and subsequently looks to a firearm for answers. A comedic snapshot of an American workforce and their plight to exist in the nightmare. Written by Carlos Javier Castillo, and directed by Hector Negrete, it runs February 9 through March 31 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“The Speed of Darkness” Joe is a decorated hero of the Vietnam War and owns a prosperous construction business in South Dakota. When Joe suddenly finds himself nominated as man of the year by his town, he is faced with an unwelcome amount of attention, which begins to challenge his ability to walk the tenuous line of normality on which he has come to live. Emotionally numbed by the fallout of war and with rumblings about family scars, Joe’s home life faces upheaval with the sudden appearance of an old war buddy, Lou. The presence of his mysterious and mentally disturbed friend puts Joe and his family on edge as whispers of past misdeeds begin to unravel, all which he has worked to build. Written by Steve Tesich, and directed by William Alderson, it runs February 9 through March 18 at the River Street Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.riverstreettheatre.yapsody.com/event/index/171616.

“A Walk in the Woods” This witty two-hander concerns a relationship between two arms negotiators and what happens when they step out of the war room and into the woods. Written by Lee Blessing, and directed by Ken Sawyer, it runs February 9 through March 18 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Burt… A Homeless Odyssey This show pays homage to people who aren’t recognized. The creative souls, artists and street-people. The lost and forgotten we pass-by on the street and don’t give a second glance. But guess what? In this play, we are going to stop and listen to them. Written by Sam Henry Kass, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs February 10 through March 31 at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatre68.com.

“The City of Conversation” It’s 1979, and Washington, D.C. socialite Hester Ferris is notorious for her posh dinner parties that can change the course of politics. But when her son turns up with an ambitious girlfriend and a newly minted political agenda, it ignites a family divide that spans 30 years and six presidential administrations. A timely and moving look at a family forced to choose between defending opposing political views and keeping their family together. Sharon Lawrence and Meredith Baxter star. Written by Anthony Giardina, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs February 10 through February 25 at the Ensemble Theatre Company at the New Vic in Santa Barbara. For tickets call 805-965-5400 or visit www.etcsb.org.

“4Play: Sex in a Series” Celebrate Valentine’s Day (and the rest of February and March) with this delightful romantic comedy that blurs the lines between art and life, gay and straight. New York City’s trip. theater ensemble kicks off its move to L.A. with the West Coast premiere of the company’s uniquely theatrical hit production, direct from a sold out run in Chicago — the not-so-simple story of boy meets girl, boy meets boy, girl meets girl, and all the little things that can ruin a perfectly good dinner party. trip.: a place we have not been before. Written by Graham Brown with Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth, and directed by Graham Brown, it runs February 14 through March 17 at the Trip. @ The Actors Company in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.tripnyc.org.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” This radical re-envisioning of Streetcar will feature a multicultural cast and modern setting, pushing on the play’s present-day relevance by stripping away decades of “Southern gothic gauze” to reveal striking themes of class, race, and gender—reinvigorating the classic which shocked audiences in its debut 70 years ago. By placing a traditional, 1940s era Blanche within a contemporary, multicultural and urban environment familiar to modern audiences but foreign to her, this new production highlights the pertinence of this play for our divided America. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs February 15 through March 25 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.BostonCourt.com.

“The Art Couple” Long before Felix met Oscar, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were ill-fitting roommates in the south of France; a fateful co-habitation that would change the face of art – and Van Gogh’s face, too. It’s a lesser-known tidbit of theatre history that these two masters were also the subjects of Neil Simon’s original draft of The Odd Couple. Written by Brendan Hunt, and directed by Lauren Van Kurin, it runs February 16 through March 17 at the Broadwater Black Box in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Don’t Hug Me, We’re Family” The host of a radio show devoted entirely to ice fishing loses his sole sponsor while his wife, a popular host of a book show, has numerous sponsors, putting the couple at odds. Issues escalate and are compounded when two fish-out-of-water Brooklyn Italians come to the rural Minnesota town, buy the radio station and a hotel, and turn everything on its ear. Written by Phil Olson, with music by Paul Olson, lyrics by Phil Olson, and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-850-9254 or visit www.donthugme.brownpapertickets.com.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Experience this Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors at the Historical in-the-round Glendale Centre Theatre! Joseph is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams and being his father’s favorite son. But when his jealous brothers sell him into slavery and he is taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of terrific adventures. This Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. One of the most popular shows we have ever produced. A must-see! Written by Tim Rice, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice, and directed by Lee Martino, it runs February 16 through April 7 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“Nice Fish” On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two old friends are out on the ice, angling for something big — something down there that is pure need. Something that might just swallow them whole. Written by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins, and directed by Rob Brownstein and Anita Khanzadian, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-765-8732 or visit www.interactla.org.

 

“Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical” is a hilarious, outrageous and fabulous musical road trip featuring some of the most classic dance songs of all time including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and “I Love the Nightlife.” Set in Australia, PRISCILLA follows three drag queens as they drive across the outback in a rundown old bus searching for love and fulfillment and end up discovering what true friendship really means. Written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, with music by Jennifer Lin, and directed by Jessica Hanna, it runs February 16 through March 25 at the Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“Talley’s Folly” Set in a deserted Victorian boathouse (a “folly”) in Lebanon, Missouri in 1944, Matt Friedman has arrived to plead his love to Sally Talley, the susceptible but uncertain daughter of the Talley family. Telling his innermost secrets and in return, learning hers, Matt gradually awakens Sally to the possibilities of a life together, two kindred spirits who, in their union, will find a wholeness rare in human relationships. Written by Langford Wilson, and directed by Richard Kilroy, it runs February 16 through March 11 at the Hudson MainStage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4412 or visit www.plays411.com/talleysfolly.

“The New Colossus” tells the story of forced migration and the constant struggle for survival and dignity in an uncertain and hostile environment. The members of the acting company are from different parts of the world; they tell their stories, each in a different language, and each in different dress. Written by The Actors’ Gang Ensemble, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs February 17 through March 24 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com.

“The Wicked, Wicked Mae West” is a new comedy about the legendary actress, writer and sex symbol. Set in 1959, the play portrays the bigger-than-life, wise-cracking Mae when she was being interviewed by Charles Collingwood for a possible appearance on his popular “Person to Person” TV show. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Iris Merlis, it runs February 17 through May 25 at the Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328677.

“Allegiance” tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Written by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, with music by Jay Kuo, and directed by Snehal Desai, it runs February 21 through April 1 at the Aratani Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.AllegianceMusical.com.

“The Pirates of Penzance” tells the story of the Pirate King and his apprentice Frederic as they match wits with the Major General and his beautiful daughters. Written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, with music by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and directed by Dr. Henry Price and Dorothy Danner, it runs February 21 through February 24 at the Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

 

“The Happiest Song Plays Last” chronicles a year in the life of two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world. At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordanian town, Elliot, an Iraq War veteran, struggles to overcome the traumas of combat by taking on an entirely new and unexpected career: an action-film hero. At the same time, halfway around the world in a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, his cousin, Yasmin, takes on a heroic new role of her own: as the heart and soul of her crumbling community, providing hot meals and an open door for the needy. Written by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and directed by Edward Torres, it runs February 22 through March 19 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“Jackie Unveiled” Hailed as an icon of style, grace and strength, Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis was known for her alluring mystery and piercing sensuality. Much has been written and said about America’s most famous First Lady. However, one detail usually omitted from the story is that she was human. This one woman show dares to peek behind the façade of America’s most private public figure. Written by Tom Dugan, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs February 22 through March 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Jackie.

 

“Year of the Rooster” Gil is a loser. He works at McDonald’s, lives with his ailing mother, and hasn’t had a girlfriend since…ever. But that’s all about to change. He’s been secretly training (and drugging) a rooster to fight. And Odysseus Rex (aka Odie) is the baddest barnyard bird there is. Gil has so much faith in Odie’s abilities that he bets everything on him — but victory and revenge may not yield the delicious spoils he anticipates. A fiercely comic play about cockfighting, connections, and clawing your way to the top. Written by Olivia Dufault, and directed by McKerrin Kelly, it runs February 22 through March 24 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

 

“Daddy Long Legs” An intimate musical about a spirited orphan girl who is sent to a prestigious college by a mysterious benefactor. Jerusha’s heart-warming journey to independence, education and romance is chronicled in a wealth of witty letters and glorious songs. Written by John Caird, based on the novel by Jean Webster, with music by Paul Gordon, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs February 23 through March 11 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

 

“Wicked Pagan Gays” Jeff is a 35-year-old atheist who has recently moved to Los Angeles to start a new life. Greg is a middle-aged struggling journalist led by “signs from above.” When serendipity reunites the former acquaintances, Greg insists their fates are intertwined and they must uncover the details of their shared cosmic destiny. Jeff, ever skeptical, first humors Greg, but soon finds himself second-guessing his core beliefs. Moral questions arise and loyalties are tested as the duo are thrust into a world of child stars, self-help gurus, and baffling gay politics. Born of real-life friends Jeff Dinnell and Greg Archer’s cocktail-fueled debates on God and gays comes this surprisingly thoughtful look at compromise in modern times. Sending up everything from religion to gay culture, steeped in cheeky, fast-paced banter, this play examines the unlikely friendship between two gay men with very different world-views as they embark on a hilarious search for meaning in a bewildering (and possibly sentient), Universe. Written by Jeff Dinnell, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs February 23 through March 31 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/wicked.

“The Alamo” In the blue collar Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn sits a rundown neighborhood institution called The Alamo; the last great American bar. The owners, Munce and Carmen, along with some of their regulars watched, from the roof, as the World Trade Towers fell, taking down their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Today, with an aging clientele the place is fighting to keeps its doors open and the only hope seems to be the arrival of artist/gentrifiers who are moving into the neighborhood and wanting to adopt the bar as an entertainment hangout. Bay Ridge locals and The Alamo regulars don’t want to surrender their bar, much less their neighborhood, to these young neo-carpetbaggers without a fight. Touching on themes of, nativism, racism, and war, The Alamo paints a humorous yet heartbreaking portrait of eight working class Bay Ridge natives who always seem to find themselves on the front lines of change in America. Written by Ian McRae, and directed by Kent Thompson, it runs February 24 through March 31 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

“Antony & Cleopatra: The Musical” is rarely produced in Southern California, and it may be because the genre-defying play is one of the Bard’s most complex: It’s a history play, but it takes liberties with historical facts; It could be seen as a sequel to Julius Caesar, yet it stands on its own; Its heroine is a leader of men, but also an object of male sexual desire. Its complexity, however, may be the source of its appeal. This show has its all: Romance, passion, sex, heartbreak, the fascination of royalty, war, politics, the epic sweep of history and, at its center, one of history’s most celebrated love stories: that of Antony, a general and triumvir of the Roman Republic who defied his Emperor; and the woman for whom Antony was willing to risk all, the Macedonian usurper of the throne of Egypt, the mighty Queen Cleopatra. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs February 24 through March 18 at the Gray Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.

“The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk” Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella are immortalized as the picture of romance. On the painter’s canvas they flew, but in real life they walked through some of the most challenging times in 20th Century history—navigating the devastation of war, the Russian Revolution and each other. Following the artistic heights of Brief Encounter and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Kneehigh and Rice return to The Wallis with a production that combines the visuals of Chagall’s paintings with the music and dance of the Russian-Jewish tradition. Written by Daniel Jamieson, with music by Ian Ross, and directed by Emma Rice, it runs February 24 through March 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Lovers.

“A Raisin in the Sun” In pre-civil rights America, an unexpected windfall offers a life-changing option for the Youngers, an African-American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment. They struggle with competing dreams and racial intolerance in this timely drama. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs February 25 through April 8 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

 

“Six Characters in Search of a Play” Del Shores brings to life six one-of-a-kind characters he has met in real life that haven’t quite made it into one of his plays, films or TV shows. In 90 minutes, the audience will hear the truth behind how he collected these eccentrics and their stories as he portrays his hilarious, off-the-rails encounters with them. The audience will meet “Yvonne”, the anti-vegetarian Dallas waitress; “Sarah”, a Trump-hating elderly actress with an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other; “Jimmy Ray”, the evolving, Magic Mike-loving latent Georgia redneck; “Loraine”, the once-brilliant drama teacher who has lost her damn mind and is now obsessed with porn; “Marsha”, the monkey-hating lesbian with COPD; and “Aunt Bobby Sue”, the racist Republican with a heart of gold. Written by Del Shores, and directed by Emerson Collins, it runs February 26 through March 25 at the Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“Sell/Buy/Date” Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) comes to the Geffen Playhouse as a dazzling medley of characters in Sell/Buy/Date, an exuberant new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Directed by Carolyn Cantor and brimming with Jones’ masterful, multicultural characterizations, Sell/Buy/Date presents an honest, moving and even humorous look at a complex and fascinating subject, all while preserving the full humanity of voices seldom heard in the theater. Written by Sarah Jones, and directed by Carolyn Cantor, it runs February 27 through April 15 at the Geffen Playhouse Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Waist Watchers the Musical” If you’re like the rest of us, perhaps those New Year’s resolutions are starting to slip. So what better than getting a group of your friends together to LAUGH OFF a few pounds! We guarantee this will be the easiest weight loss program you have ever gone too – so much fun, you’ll want to come back again and again! This hilarious & inspirational musical comedy will leave you laughing so hard, you’ll burn more calories than you have all week. Come and dance in your seat or jump right in with a lighthearted look at four women dealing with food, friendship, love, life and sex! Written by Alan Jacobson, with music by Vince Di Mura, lyrics by Alan Jacobson, and directed by Matthew E. Silva, it runs February 27 through March 4 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!