Monthly Archives: March 2019

“Scene in LA” March 2019 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

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

“Attack of the Second Bananas” Who killed beloved stage stars Ruby Moss and Andrea Hammond? Find out as the LAPD detective on the case pieces together the clues. Attack of the Second Bananas is a comedy noir about the ultimate price of fame. Written by Gina Torrecilla, and directed by Ryan Bergmann, it runs March 1 through March 31 at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

“Fifty Words” Adam and Jan are alone together for the first time in almost 10 years. Without the buffer of their nine-year-old son (who is away at his first-ever sleepover), this smoothly scripted multi-layered play reveals how closely love and hate can be linked in marriage … how with each problem experienced as parents, each subsequent layer that’s revealed shows yet another problem in their marriage. The play is an incisive close-up of the emotional battleground of contemporary relationships and the lengths to which a couple will go to save it. Written by Michael Weller, and directed by Shane Stevens, it runs March 1 through April 7 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.fiftywords.brownpapertickets.com.

“Blues for Mister Charlie” Richard, a black man who is a former junkie returns to his parochial southern town and infuriates the denizens with his incendiary talk and actions. When he is killed by a poor, illiterate, white man, the murder, the eulogy, the trial, and the acquittal are presented in an abstract dramatic form of time, fury, and passion. Written by James Baldwin, and directed by Tor Brown, it runs March 2 through April 7 at the Loft Ensemble in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-616-3150 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

“Hamlet” as we’ve never seen it before: Five actors of different races, genders and ages will all play Hamlet for one act each in this new production that explores the universal nature of this singular character that still haunts and resonates within us all. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Matthew Leavitt, it runs March 2 through March 31 at the New American Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.hamletla.eventbrite.com.

“Home” Desperately seeking approval from her Chinese Toisan immigrant family, Nancy journeys away from her home in New York City’s Chinatown in search of the American dream — only to learn that you can only find “home” when you accept where you come from. Written by Nancy Ma, and directed by Geoffrey Rivas, it runs March 2 through March 24 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon” is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience is the touching tale of a man charged with the task of keeping the moon shining bright. A mysterious disappearance sends him on an epic adventure over land, sea and sky and ultimately reminds him — and us — of the unwavering power of love. Written by PigPen Theatre Co., with music by PigPen Theatre Co., and directed by Stuart Carden, it runs March 2 through March 17 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/OldMan.

“Too Much Sun” Celebrated actress Audrey Langham reaches her breaking point while rehearsing Medea in Chicago — walking off the stage, out of the production and into her married daughter’s summer house in Cape Cod, where her unexpected and unwelcome arrival sets off a chain of events alternately hilarious and harrowing. Written by Nicky Silver, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs March 2 through April 21 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Photograph 51” The story follows Franklin, a British science pioneer, whose groundbreaking role in the discovery of DNA’s double-helix structure in the 1950s is still often overlooked. Based on a true story, Photograph 51 offers an intriguing portrait of a complex, courageous woman who makes her way in a male-dominated field. As rival teams of researchers compete for a breakthrough, Franklin—focused and unbending—is locked in a race of her own. Written by Anna Ziegler, and directed by Kimberly Senior, it runs March 3 through March 24 at the South Coast Repertory’s Julianne Argyros Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“My Big Gay Italian Wedding” Anthony Pinnunziato loves Andrew Polinski and has proposed to him. Anthony’s very traditional Italian mother, Angela, insists that they have a Catholic wedding with Father Rosalia presiding. Given the Vatican’s position on same-sex marriages, this presents a challenge. Angela also insists that Andrew’s mother fly in from Florida to attend the wedding, set to take place in the fanciest Italian restaurant. But Andrew’s mother still refuses to talk to her gay son. The biggest challenge of all may come from Gregorio, Andrew’s spurned ex-lover. He threatens to scuttle the proceedings by revealing a nasty secret about Andrew. Will a large, loving Italian family come together, despite multiple obstacles, to celebrate the marriage of two men deeply in love? Written by Anthony Wilkinson, and directed by Gianfranco Terrin, it runs March 8 through March 31 at the Hudson Theatre Main Stage in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-481-6890 or visit www.italiancomedyclub.com/mbgiw.

“Paradise” What is the science behind first love? Two outsiders, a gifted Yemeni-American teenager at a poorly rated high school in the South Bronx and her disillusioned biology teacher, form an unlikely scientific partnership in the hope of securing her a scholarship. But when conflicts arise over differences in religion, culture and the boundaries of mentorship, their capacity to alter the course of each other’s lives becomes greater than either had imagined. Written by Laura Maria Censabella, and directed by Vicangelo Bulluck, it runs March 8 through March 31 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7724 or visit www.Plays411.com/Paradise.

“Black Super Hero Magic Mama” When Sabrina loses her 14-year-old son Tramarion to a police shooting, she is unable to face the ensuing flurry of media attention. Crippled by grief, she retreats into a fantasy world of superheroes and arch villains that inhabit the comic book created by her son before his death. Assuming the role of the Maasai Angel rather than the expected part of grieving mother, Sabrina battles her enemies along the way to peace. Written by Inda Craig-Galván, and directed by Robert O’Hara, it runs March 13 through April 14 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“The Shape of Things” is set in a small university town in the American Midwest and centers on the lives of four young students who become emotionally and romantically involved. How far would you go for love? For art? What would you be willing to change? What price might you pay? Such are the painful questions explored in the play. A young student drifts into an ever-changing relationship with an art major while his best friend’s engagement crumbles, unleashing a drama that peels back the skin of two modern-day relationships. Written by Neil LaBute, and directed by David Conolly, it runs March 14 through March 24 at the Theatre of Arts at Arena Stage in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-4356 or visit www.toa.edu.

“The Sound of Murder” Charles Norbury is a wildly successful author of children’s books. He hates children, and pretty much anyone else, too. He’s petty, cruel, vindictive, and treats his unloved wife like a slave. He also refuses to have children with her. In short, he’s the sort of fellow who would make the world a better place if only he would just die. Anne, the wife, has found some solace in the arms of her handsome lover, Peter. Charles won’t grant her a divorce: It would damage him professionally with the parents of his juvenile fans. The one person who has real regard for Charles is his loyal secretary, Miss Forbes. She is infatuated with Peter. Anne and Peter deduce that the only way they will ever be to be together forever is if they kill Charles. They come up with a scheme to effect his murder. But things just don’t go according to plan. Written by William Fairchild, and directed by Adrian Neil, it runs March 14 through April 14 at the Theatre Forty, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Friends with Guns” You think you know your friends, your neighbors, your spouse, but what happens when you suddenly find out they have a garage full of guns? This new dark comedy explores the complicated issue of gun proliferation when two young liberal couples are forced to confront their assumptions about who should own a gun and why. The time of easy answers regarding this issue is long gone. In the wake of current events, we are all forced to reexamine our strongly held beliefs about gun ownership. It explores the question of what we can compartmentalize…and what we can’t. It examines what happens when guns enter the conversation. It pulls the curtain back on liberals with guns. It asks what happens when suddenly one person in a marriage does a 180 on the gun issue. And it does all of this through a female lens. Written by Stephanie Alison Walker, and directed by Randee Trabitz, it runs March 15 through May 5 at the Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.roadtheatre.org.

“Sunday in the Park with George” the plot revolves around the creation of his masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” George, an intense and passionate artist, struggles to not only create his paintings but also to maintain a relationship with his long-time mistress, Dot. The second act connects to the first while focusing on another George, Seurat and Dot’s great grandson, also struggling to find meaning in art and the need to connect to the past, present and future. ”A white canvas, so many possibilities”. Written by James Lapine, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Susan Goldman Weisbarth, it runs March 15 through April 20 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Tangerine Sunset” Every paradise has a dark side. This is the story of a group of unlucky souls who find themselves the involuntary guests of a palatial estate on a mysterious private island. These celebrities, billionaires, madmen, and innocents desperately try to survive the night with their lives and sanity intact. Written by Peter Fluet, and directed by JJ Mayes, it runs March 15 through April 13 at the Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“The Wolves” Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girl’s indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, these 16- and 17-year-olds navigate big questions and wage tiny battles with the ferociousness of a pack of adolescent warriors. Written by Sarah DeLappe, and directed by Alana Dietze, it runs March 16 through April 22 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“Ada and the Engine” As the British Industrial Revolution dawns, young Ada Byron Lovelace (daughter of the flamboyant and notorious Lord Byron) sees the boundless creative potential in the “analytic engines” of her friend and soulmate, Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer. Ada envisions a whole new world where art and information converge––a world she might not live to see. It’s a music-laced story of love, friendship, and the edgiest dreams of the future. Written by Lauren Gunderson, and directed by Heidi Powers, it runs March 21 through March 31 at the studio/stage in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.theatreunleashed.org.

“The Elephant Man” based upon the life of a man so physically deformed that he became known as the “Elephant Man.” With very few options open to him, John Merrick is forced to display himself to the public in travelling sideshows. Written by Bernard Pomerance, and directed by Robyn Cohen, it runs March 21 through April 14 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.ElPortalTheatre.com.

“Matilda the Musical” With inspiring and fun songs, this extraordinary girl will show you how a sharp mind and vivid imagination can help you change your destiny! Written by Roald Dahl, adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music by Tim Minchin, and directed by Lewis Wilkenfeld, it runs March 22 through March 31 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.

“Steel Magnolias” Set in a small-town beauty salon in Louisiana, Steel Magnolias celebrates the bond of friendship between six women in the midst of life’s challenges. Written by Robert Harling, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs March 22 through May 5 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Bar Mitzvah Boy” Joey Brant is a Jewish divorce lawyer in his 60s. He has never had a bar mitzvah ceremony. He feels the need to get one now, before his grandson has his bar mitzvah. For reasons which will become clear in the story, Joey’s bar mitzvah ceremony must take place at the synagogue he attended five decades ago. Joey, a thoroughly secularized man, must now re-connect with the faith of his ancestors. He promptly alienates the synagogue’s regular instructor, which means that Joey must now go to the temple’s rabbi for his bar mitzvah lessons. Rabbi Michael Levitz-Sharon, a woman, finds her faith challenged at the same time that Joey is rediscovering his spiritual roots. her 11-year-old devoutly Jewish daughter has contracted terminal cancer. The daughter, Rachel, wants nothing more than to live long enough to be bat-mitzvahed. The impending tragedy is taking its toll on Rabbi Michael’s marriage. Will Joey at long last have his bar mitzvah and find his faith? Can Rabbi Michael retain her beliefs? Written by Mark Leiren-Young, and directed by Howard Teichman, it runs March 23 through May 12 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 323-821-2449 or visit www.wcjt.org.

“Faith Healer” about the life and times of an itinerant Irish healer. Is Fantastic Francis Hardy a miracle worker — or a showman in search of a dollar? Written by Brian Friel, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs March 23 through May 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Mother of Henry” Five diverse employees in the return department at Sears form a tight bond as they cope with upheaval in their personal lives, their community and the rapidly changing world around them during the course of one tumultuous and historic year – 1968. Connie, a Latinx single working-class mother, realizes her agency and discovers her true identity when the anxieties of war, civil unrest and political assassinations plaguing the country tragically affect her own life. Written by Evelina Fernández, and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, it runs March 23 through April 14 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“The Meatball Chronicles” follows one woman through humorous and sometimes heart wrenching meals that align with stories of her childhood, her relationships with men, and in particular, her complicated relationship to her mother. Mansini crafts this piece in a way that transcends her own story into universal themes that anyone who has a family can love. As she kneads the dough and thickens the sauce through each Italian recipe, the stories associated with those recipes reveal the complex ways that families cope, laugh, grieve, and show their love through food. Written by Debrianna Mansini, it runs March 29 through April 14 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.onstage411.com/meatball.

“The Secret of Chimneys” In this mystery, a cosmopolitan adventurer on a mission discovers more than he bargained for when he arrives at an English country house and finds himself in the center of a murderous international conspiracy. This sinister plot of stolen diamonds, secret oil concessions and exiled royalty unfolds under the purview of both Scotland Yard and the French Surete. Chimneys is Christie at her best: a comedy of manners laced with murder! Written by Agatha Christie, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs March 29 through May 5 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“BRUSHES: A Comedy of Hairs” untangles the hysterically complicated relationship between women and their hair since time immemorial. Brushes with disaster, vanity, envy, self-doubt, sex, death – even the law – are explored in hilarious and poignant style. In a series of vignettes, the follicular follies flow from the Bad Hair Days Inn to a new salon on the block called Blow Me Now. Written by Cathy Hamilton and Carol Starr Schneider, and directed by Kevin Bailey, it runs March 30 through May 4 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.brushes.brownpapertickets.com.

“Heisenberg” In a bustling London train station free-spirited American Georgie unexpectedly plants a kiss on the neck of mid-70s British butcher Alex. When she turns up in his shop a few days later, she sets the suspicious man’s world reeling. As Alex is drawn into Georgie’s anarchic world, his conventional life becomes chaotic, uncertain, and undeniably richer. Peeling away the many layers of everyday relationships with subtle humor and quiet poeticism, HEISENBERG brings to poignant theatrical life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection. Written by Simon Stephens, and directed by Katherine Farmer, it runs March 31 through April 14 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Lemur Mom” Megan Dolan has the distinct feeling that she’s not the right mom. As she navigates the treacherous world of support groups, child psychologists, and play-dates trying to help her son communicate, she makes countless wrong turns along the way. This hilarious and hopeful solo show explores the power of resilience, kindness, and the value of showing up. Megan forges a path from believing she’s the wrong mom to knowing she’s the only mom for her unique and gifted son. Written by Megan Dolan, and directed by Wendy Hammers, it runs March 31 through June 2 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3570240.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!