Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:
“The Root Beer Bandits – A Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Musicale” tells the story of Polly Peppercorn, the only female to ride for the Pony Express. But as often is the case — that is her predicament – she really has dreams to become a songwriter. When Polly delivers a letter to Sheriff Bailey of Sarsaparilla City, they discover that Copper Penny is scheming to steal the city’s famous root beer supply. With Sally Sue Tucker, a trailblazing female entrepreneur named helping her, and Sheriff Bailey, Polly sets things right and makes it clear that everyone is capable of greatness, no matter what their circumstances may be. Written by Joseph Leo Bwarie and Lori Marshall, with music by Rachael Lawrence, it runs April 4 through April 28 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.
“Clybourne Park” explodes into two outrageous acts set fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to holds its ground in the face of gentrification. Written by Bruce Norris, and directed by Tory Torissi, it runs April 5 through May 5 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.
“Doris and Me” is Scott Dreier’s loving tribute to Day, who will have her 97th birthday during the week that this engagement opens. Dreier, himself a gifted vocalist, sings her hits with piano and bass accompaniment: Secret Love, Que Sera Sera, It’s Magic, Everybody Loves a Lover, Sentimental Journey, and many more. He seamlessly weaves behind-the-scenes stories and over 75 curated images and clips from the iconic superstar’s film and recording career with her beloved song hits. Written by Scott Dreier and Kurtis Simmons, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs April 5 through April 14 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“My Life on a Diet” looks back on a life full of memorable roles in Hollywood and on Broadway… and just as many fad diets. A self-described “diet junkie” who believed that if she ate like a star, she just might look and live like one, Taylor dishes out juicy anecdotes about — and weight loss tips from — such Hollywood legends as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and Barbra Streisand. She also serves up entertaining and poignant stories about the late Bologna, her partner in work and life for 52 years. Considered a comedy legend, she tells about her high and lows – on and off the scale – and shows audiences that the ability to laugh gets you through it all. Written by Renée Taylor and Joseph Bologna, and directed by Joseph Bologna, it runs April 5 through April 14 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Diet.
“Working 2020” explores what work means to different people in different circumstances in the U.S. today, adding new characters, and this time focusing on the sadly relevant slide from middle to working class. Written by Bobby Moresco, it runs April 5 through May 10 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-687-8559 or visit www.whitefiretheatre.com.
“All My Sons” this electrifying family drama remains as timely as it is timeless. A gripping American classic reveals the lethal consequences of deceit and greed. In the aftermath of WWII, Joe Keller and his family struggle to stay intact while planning for their future as a long-hidden secret begins to tear them apart—forcing a reckoning with truth, guilt, and repentance. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Gary Lee Reed, it runs April 6 through May 12 at the Lounge Theatre 1 in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5570 or visit www.onstage411.com/sons.
“Birdland Blue” At Broadway and 52nd Street in New York City, the nightclub Birdland was the legendary center of the jazz world, where the glitterati of Broadway, Hollywood and the sports world regularly filled its 500 seats. In August, 1959, the biggest star in jazz was Miles Davis, who earlier that year recorded Kind of Blue, regarded then and now as the most innovative and best jazz album of all time. The Miles Davis Sextet, as constituted that summer, was regarded as the best jazz combo ever. This is a behind-the-scenes look at Miles on one evening that August. He flirts with a beautiful reporter for a jazz magazine. He copes with division within his ranks, as two of his musicians (Julius “Cannonball” Adderley and John Coltrane) are on the verge of leaving the Sextet to start their own groups. He deals with substance abuse problems, his own and that of one of his musicians. He argues with the club owner/manager over proper compensation. His biggest challenge may be coming from a violent, crooked, racist cop. Written by Randy Ross PhD, and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs April 6 through May 12 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” In this powerful and highly stylized story, Edward Tulane is a porcelain rabbit who must learn the meaning of love: what it is to love, what it is to lose that love and how to find the courage to love again. Written by Kate DiCamillo, adapted by Dwayne Hartford, with music by Bradley Brough, and directed by Debbie Devine, it runs April 6 through May 19 at the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-745-6516 or visit www.24thstreet.org.
“Poor Yella Rednecks” picks up the story six years later as his mom and dad (Tong and Quang) try to build a new life in a foreign land called Arkansas. They find that marriage is hard, especially when she’s having doubts and his first one isn’t over yet. Written by Qui Nguyen, and directed by May Adrales, it runs April 6 through April 27 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“The Things We Do” Bill falls for Sarah, but she is married to Ted. Ted might be a good match for Alice — who is married to Bill. Once trust is broken, how do you get it back? Written by Grant Woods, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs April 6 through May 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Mistakes Were Made – Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda” Dick’s mistake: He let a sexy, blue-eyed winker threaten his marriage. Jeff’s mistake: He turned down a dream job, then later, screamed, “You idiot!” Mel’s mistake: He hired a famous money manager, now famous for stealing money. Dick’s wife’s mistake: She trusted him, then learned of his affair and had one too. NOBODY’S PERFECT! But mistakes can be fixed, between husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, fathers and sons. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs April 7 through June 30 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/mistakes.
“Tiny Beautiful Things” is about Sugar, an anonymous online advice columnist to whom thousands of people have turned for words of wisdom, honesty and hope. At first unsure of herself, Sugar finds a way to weave her own life experiences together with the deep yearning and real problems of her readers, creating a beloved column about the monstrous beauty, endless dark and glimmering light at the heart of being human. Written by Cheryl Strayed, adapted by Nia Vardalos, and directed by Sherri Eden Barber, it runs April 10 through May 5 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“The Chekhov Comedies” includes five lesser-known short works. They will be performed by an all-female cast of four woman who will portray twenty-five characters. The storylines:
On the anniversary of a successful banking institution, its director suddenly finds himself in what may appear to be a compromising position.
A marriage proposal may be suddenly derailed by a dispute over a small parcel of land.
At a wedding, the bride’s parents have paid for a general to be a V.I.P. speaker at the festivities. Will they be the targets of a swindle?
A fellow collapses on a friend’s couch, seeking respite from the many favors being asked by others…guess what happens next?
A hardened man suddenly finds himself falling hard for the widow who owes him money. Written by Anton Chekhov, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs April 11 through April 27 at the Brand Park in Glendale. For tickets visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.
“Duet for One” A famous concert violinist is stricken with a disease which necessitates her retirement from the stage and which threatens her marriage as well. The play is structured as a series of interviews between the violinist and her psychiatrist in which she tries to cope with her illness and its effect on her life. Written by Tom Kempinski, and directed by Allen Barton, it runs April 12 through May 12 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.duetforonebhp.brownpapertickets.com.
“The Lost Virginity Tour” is a comedy about four women recalling their first time, mining the importance of female issues, and the progress made in the past few decades. Funny, profound, and provocative, this adventurous road trip through memories conjures up the choices we make that shape our lives forever – and the friendships that hold us up when we can’t walk on our own. Written by Cricket Daniel, and directed by Kristin Towers-Rowles, it runs April 13 through May 5 at the McCadden Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4191014.
“Sheepdog” Two police officers in Cleveland—they’re partners and they’re in a relationship. She is African American; he is white and things have been good. But what happens if an incident in the line of duty changes the foundation of who they are together? It’s a mystery within a love story about Amina and Ryan, and what happens to rock their relationship to its core. Amina has been on the police force for 13 years, and Ryan for 8; and she’ll follow her training to get to the truth in the case that unfolds. And to do that—to solve it—she has to explore her past and those memories serve as clues to the present. Written by Kevin Artigue, and directed by Leah C. Gardiner, it runs April 14 through May 5 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“The Niceties” At an elite East Coast university, an ambitious young black student and her esteemed white professor meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly, discussions of grammar and Google turn to race and reputation, and before they know it, they’re in dangerous territory neither of them had foreseen — and facing stunning implications that can’t be undone. Written by Eleanor Burgess, and directed by Kimberly Senior, it runs April 17 through May 12 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“Tapestry, The Carole King Songbook” Suzanne O. Davis gives an energetic and heartfelt performance along with the band and takes you on a journey into those great recordings. This show not only performs songs from the record-breaking, Grammy winning album of the same name, but also Carole’s follow-up hits that continued throughout the 70’s. Impeccable attention to detail is taken in recreating a respectful and accurate musical presentation of Carole’s piano vocals, just as they were. Written by Carole King, with music by Carole King, it runs April 17 through April 21 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Diana of Dobson’s” When poorly paid worker Diana inherits enough money to free her from a lifetime of drudgery, she impulsively decides to spend it all on a madcap, month-long taste of the high-life. But what she learns about love, money and society is as timely in 2019 as it was at the turn of the 20th century. Antaeus Theatre Company presents a fully partner-cast production, presenting two equally excellent but very different sets of actors at alternating performances. Written by Cicely Hamilton, and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs April 18 through June 3 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.
“Sand Moon” What does it mean to love someone? What do we do when that person becomes unrecognizable? When a brother and sister start bringing their girlfriends on family vacations, a house built on secrets begins to shift. The push and pull of the ones we love gives us one of two options: resist or relent? Written and directed by Liz Lanier, it runs April 19 through April 28 at the Son of Semele Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-351-3507 or visit www.artful.ly/son-of-semele-ensemble.
“Sister Act, the Musical” tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco nightclub diva, who witnesses a murder committed by her mobster boyfriend, Curtis Jackson, after which Deloris is placed in a witness protective program in a convent under the custody of the local police department. Comedy ensues as Deloris dons a nun’s habit to go undercover as “Sister Mary Clarence,” while attempting to acclimate herself into her new lifestyle in a convent. Written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, with additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane, with music by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Glenn Slater, and directed by Rigo Tejeda, it runs April 19 through May 19 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.
“Macbeth” This new take on the classic story of the rise of the King of Scotland examines the sacrifices and consequences women face in their quest for power and recognition, as inspired by the Norse tradition against the backdrop of the Viking invasion. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Bree Pavey and Emma Latimer, it runs April 20 through May 27 at the Loft Ensemble in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-616-3150 or visit www.loftensemble.org.
“Revolutions/Revoluciones” A highly theatrical fever-dream that employs magical realism to tell the kaleidoscope journey of a strong and passionate woman facing an impossible tragedy. A desperate mother searches for her disappeared son amidst a totalitarian regime in an unnamed Latin American country. Presented in Spanish with English supertitles. Written by Elaine Romero, and directed by Bruno Bichir, it runs April 20 through May 12 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“Singin’ in the Rain” The Greatest Movie Musical of All Time has been faithfully adapted from the original award-winning screenplay. Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show- stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Knock-‘em-dead dance routines, hilarious situations, snappy dialogue, and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make this the perfect entertainment for any fan of the Golden Age of movie musicals! Written by Betty Comden & Adolph Green, with music by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, and directed by Spencer Liff, it runs April 20 through May 12 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.
“Old Jews Telling Jokes” which has been called a “pickle-barrel full of giggles,” showcases five actors in a revue-type production that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. It celebrates the rich tradition of Jewish humor and ‘all the rabbis, complaining wives, fed-up husbands, patience-challenged physicians, gossiping ladies, and competitive men’ populating it. The humor is suggestive and even raunchy as the ‘Old Jews’ make fun of themselves as well as followers of every other religion. Written by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, and directed by Jeremy Quinn, it runs April 25 through June 16 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 855-448-7469 or visit www.playhouseinfo.com.
“Boxing Lessons” When a famous writer dies under mysterious circumstances, family and friends gather in his cabin on a remote island in the Puget Sound to box up his belongings. As they go through the clutter dad left behind, hidden family secrets come to light — and they come to realize just how much they both despise and love one another. Written by John Bunzel, and directed by Jack Stehlin, it runs April 26 through June 2 at the New American Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-424-2980 or visit www.newamericantheatre.com.
“Brain Problems” After being diagnosed with ‘brain problems,’ a cynical man copes with his life-threatening condition by retreating into his imagination. Written by Malcolm Barrett, and directed by Bernardo Cubria, it runs April 26 through May 19 at the Pico in West Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-798-5389 or visit www.ammotheatre.com.
“Dr. Nympho vs. The Sex Zombies” Every family has issues. No issues run deeper than those of the brilliant pathologist and matriarch Dr. Nimfa Delacroix. She was a nymphomaniac in the past but now lives a “normal life” with her nuclear 21st century family. All of her demons must be confronted however, when the outbreak of a deadly STD launches in Atlanta, turning its residents into zombies that promises the end of civilization. Can Nimfa unite her family? Can she overcome her past? Can she save the world? For Mature Audiences 18 and older. Written by Michael Shaw Fisher, with music by Michael Shaw Fisher, and directed by Sarah Haworth-Hodges, it runs April 26 through May 26 at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.
“The End of Sex” It’s Nancy’s birthday. Her daughter and son-in-law come to take the parents out to celebrate. But when new desires and old frustrations collide over dinner, all four slide into a tense standoff as Nancy questions her own collusion with the sexual agreements and power dynamics within her own marriage. Written by Gay Walch, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs April 26 through June 2 at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.
“A Small Group” an aspiring young comedian wakes up in rehab and can’t remember how he got there. He doesn’t believe he belongs there; does he, or doesn’t he? Tormented by the ticking clock, the chugging water cooler, and the buzzing flies, sometimes life isn’t a comedy bit. Written by Taylor Gregory, and directed by Jacob Ortuño, it runs April 26 through May 18 at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7773 or visit www.onstage411.com/asmallgroup.
“Swing!” tells the story of Adrianna, a factory worker in the 40’s who is holding down her husband Butch’s factory job while he’s at war. Once he returns home, both Adrianna and Butch feel like they don’t fit into their old lives. When she meets Janine, Adrianna rediscovers old passions that she put away when she was first married. While her feelings blossom for Janine, Adrianna ‘s love for her husband is also rekindled. Adrianna’s difficult choice in a time of forbidden love fuels this passionate musical journey. Written by Michael Antin, with music by Michael Antin, and directed by Corey Lynn Howe, it runs April 27 through May 19 at the Write Act Repertory (at The Brickhouse Theatre) in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4225661.
“Crime and Punishment” is a thrilling 90-minute psychological inquiry into the troubled mind of a murderer. Dive into the greatest crime story ever written, a tale of murder, motive and redemption that plumbs the depths of the human soul. Written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, adapted by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, and directed by Peter Richards, it runs April 27 through May 26 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 323-960-7822 or visit www.OnStage411.com/Crime.
“Women Beyond Borders” a play inspired by and loosely based on the remarkable journey of Lorraine Serena and a dynamic group of California-based artists who founded the non-profit Women Beyond Borders (WBB). Determined to “make art as if the world matters,” Serena and her friends fell upon the idea of box as metaphor: hope chest, treasure chest, womb, coffin, etc. They replicated a miniature wooden box no bigger than the size of a human heart and sent the boxes to curators and friends in other countries with the goal of encouraging dialogue, collaboration and community among women and honoring creativity. The founders of WBB were astonished at what came back to them – eloquent expressions of the enormous depth and variety, but also the universality, of women’s experiences throughout the world. The boxes were accompanied by equally astonishing artists’ statements, in the form of letters, poems and stories asking about transcending barriers: geographical, social, racial, economic, emotional, gender-related, spiritual, etc. Written by Claire Bowman, Karyl Lynn Burns, Lauren Pattenand Beverly Ward, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs April 27 through June 2 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.