Category Archives: 2018

“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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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.

“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!

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

Happy New Year! Well, 2018 is finally upon us, and here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:


OPENING


“Bugaboo & The Silent One” Bugaboo is an inmate in the women’s block of Henderson County Jail in West Virginia. After 42 days alone, she is assigned a roommate who she comes to call her “silent little sinner”. This timely new drama is an intimate look at the power of female friendship despite devastating circumstances. Written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, it runs January 6 through January 27 at the Lounge Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.batso.brownpapertickets.com.

“My Father’s A Cop” is a true story that traces the tumultuous relationship of Jerry Dean, a charismatic local Greenwich Village legend and his father, a decorated NYPD detective, as their paths crisscross in the worlds of crime, drug addiction, prisons, and mental hospitals. The story uses archival footage and video interviews, to chronicle Jerry’s journey from extorting the owner of A&W Root Beer’s son for $6,000 at his private upper eastside grammar school when he was 12, to robbing 26 whorehouses with a sawed-off shotgun when he was 16. In between Jerry and his teenage crew roamed the Village, tagged landmarks with legendary graffiti artists. As an adult, Jerry bobs and weaves and swerves through downtown NYC clubs, high-end whore houses, Park Avenue brownstones, heroin dens, incarcerations in America’s toughest prisons, rehab centers, iconic mental institutions (Bellevue), star friendships, run-ins with gangsters, kinky sex with supermodels, a burgeoning acting career, Hollywood hostage stand-offs, break-ups break-downs, and an undying and tumultuous relationship with his father that would make Shakespeare blush. Jerry gets his first sparks of hopes in one the darkest places on the planet— Sing-Sing Psychiatric Ward, a 30-bed facility for the state’s most mentally ill criminals, when a “sexy little” social worker-angel walks into his cell. Written by Jerry Dean and Kurt Brungardt, and directed by Kurt Brungardt, it runs January 6 through January 28 at the Lounge Theatre 2 in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.myfathersacop.brownpapertickets.com.

“Tales of Modern Motherhood: This Sh*t Just Got Real” is a heartfelt comedy about the uncertainties of becoming a parent, the FEAR of being a parent, and the reservations of why I didn’t just settle for a dog. It addresses the good, the bad and the ugly truth about what really happens behind closed doors and gives a very honest perspective on the hardest job in the world, PARENTING! Written by Pam Levin, and directed by Mark Hatfield, it runs January 6 through February 10 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.talesofmodernmotherhood.com.

“The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone” depicts momentous changes in the fortunes of the fabulously wealthy MacAlister Family (fictional surrogates of the oil-rich Doheny Family). Family patriarch and mining tycoon Charles makes an illegal if well-intentioned loan to Senator Alfred Winston (a stand-in for Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall). Both men face imminent disgrace and worse in the oncoming Teapot Dome bribery scandal, which will engulf the Warren Harding administration. A scion of the MacAlister family faces violent death. Written by Kathrine Bates, and directed by Martin Thompson, it runs January 11 through February 4 at the Greystone Mansion, in Greystone Park in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Small Mouth Sounds” In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward and insightful humor, Small Mouth Sounds is a unique and compassionate new play that asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us. Written by Bess Wohl, and directed by Rachel Chavkin, it runs January 11 through January 28 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

“The Crucible” Using the historical and controversial subject of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, it presents an allegory of events from the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950’s. Reason and fact become clouded by irrational fears and the desire to place blame for society’s problems on others. John Proctor, a blunt, out-spoken farmer is the play’s central character. He gets caught up in a conspiracy not even his own strength can control when his ex-lover Abigail throws false accusations on his wife Elizabeth. As Proctor tries to free his wife and prove all others accused of witchcraft innocent, he finds himself accused as well. One man stands in a tug-of-war between God and Satan, pride and damnation, and good and evil. It all leads to a climactic ending in which one lost soul finds peace with himself and realizes the importance of one’s own dignity. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by George L. Rametta, it runs January 12 through February 17 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” explores how we communicate in our everyday lives, and how that could be affected by censorship, oppression and loss of free speech. Bernadette and Oliver are two people that meet, fall in love and move in together, like people do. But their rapidly-progressing relationship becomes more complicated when the government introduces a draconian hush law giving everyone a daily limit of just 140 words each. They come up with ways to communicate with each other within the constraints of the law, but how can you know someone in just 140? Without words and the freedom to use them, are we completely powerless? Written by Sam Steiner, and directed by Jen Bloom, it runs January 12 through February 11 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4420 or visit www.2centstheatre.com.

“The Price” In a soon to be demolished family house, two brothers, estranged for decades, meet together to dispose of their late parents’ property. The resulting confrontation leads them to examine the events and qualities of their very different lives and the price each of them had to pay. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Tony Torrisi, it runs January 12 through February 18 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.

“Trump in Space” Four hundred years from now, thanks to the stripping away of EPA regulations, the earth has blown up. Two human factions survive and are on the hunt for Polaris 4, a planet capable of sustaining human life. One faction, the United States of Commerce, lives by a motto of “opportunity at any cost.” Ruled by The Executive, his chief representative in space is starship Captain Natasha Trump, a lineal descendant of Donald J. Trump. Competing with her to reach Polaris 4 first is a resistance called The Separatists, gathered on the Starship California and led by President Gary Hart, Natasha’s ex-lover. Which faction will be the first to reach Polaris 4 and establish the New Cosmic Order? Written by Gillian Bellinger and Landon Kirksey, with music by Tony Gonzalez and Sam Johnides, and directed by Frank Caeti, it runs January 12 through April 27 at the Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-464-8542 or visit www.secondcity.com/shows/hollywood/trump-in-space.

“Bled for the Household Truth” Keith doesn’t need a roommate, but wants one. He wants a female roommate. Pen needs a place to live – and a lot more. This is a play about intimacy and yearning, and what happens when the world we live in, and the experiences we have, make simple human interactions the most intolerable and painful acts we could ever imagine. Written by Ruth Fowler, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs January 13 through January 28 at the Rogue Machine in the MET Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

 

“Freud’s Last Session” September, 1939. On the day England enters World War II, legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud invites the young, rising Oxford don C.S. Lewis to his home in London. There, only weeks before Freud took his own life, they engage in a brain-teasing battle of wits on the subjects of love, sex and the existence of God. Filled with humor, this deeply touching play explores the minds, hearts and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time. Written by Mark St. Germain, and directed by Robert Mandel, it runs January 13 through March 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“A Love Affair” follows the the roller-coaster-ride of a 38-year (and counting) marriage, from the romantic naiveté of a 1950’s honeymoon, to the irritation of daily life in the Coming-of-New Age ’90’s. The successes, the disappointments, the sex, the traumas, the traumas about sex and the budget and the children and the adventure of casting your lot with another human being…for life. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs January 13 through March 25 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/a-love-affair.html.

“Shakespeare in Love” follows young Will Shakespeare (portrayed by Paul David Story), who is desperate. He has writer’s block and owes a new comedy to two demanding producers; what he has at the moment is a half-baked mess titled Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. Enter his inspiration: Viola (Carmela Corbett). Smart, beautiful and Will’s greatest admirer, she will stop at nothing—including breaking the law—to be in his play. As their love blossoms, so does his greatest masterpiece. Written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, adapted by Lee Hall, with music by Paddy Cunneen, and directed by Marc Masterson, it runs January 13 through February 10 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“I Am My Own Wife” Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric German transvestite, against all odds, navigates a path between the Nazi’s and East German Secret Police — in a pair of high heels. Uses more than 30 characters—all played by a single actor—to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life. A profound story of survival and inspiration, this provocative and bold production is highly engaging for ages 16 and up. Written by Doug Wright, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs January 14 through January 28 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“The Last Wife” moves the story of King Henry VIII and his final wife, the wealthy widow Katherine Parr, to the 21st Century in this fascinating what-if imagining of The Tudors. Katherine Parr actively plays a role in being the stepmother to Henry’s three surviving children, Edward, Mary and Bess. Edward is the Heir Apparent, but Katherine acts to have Mary and Bess added to the line of succession, advancing their status as women of royal privilege. Henry also makes her Queen Regent when he goes off to war. Katherine’s marriage to Henry interrupts her ongoing affair with nobleman and soldier Edward Seymour. Given Henry’s track record with wives, will Katherine’s head remain upon her shoulders? Written by Kate Hennig, and directed by L. Flint Esquerra, it runs January 18 through February 18 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Shakespeare His Wife and the Dog” asks a burning question: Now that he’s come home, just what is up with Shakespeare? The play tells the story of a sleepless night and of secrets, lies, resentments and passions of a marriage laid bare. Of course, this is not just any marriage. It is April 1616 and Shakespeare has returned to Stratford, having had the most illustrious career in all of theatrical history. He is a rich and famous man, but all’s not well. Why is he so unhappy? Why can’t he sleep? Why is his wife furious with him? Who is Will waiting for and why can’t his wife Anne find the dog? Written by Philip Whitchurch, and directed by Julia St John, it runs January 18 through January 28 at the Edye at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

“This is Very Important” Three different women. Three different stories.​ ​One common denominator… HIV positive. This one woman show sheds a light on the lives of these women, the people in their lives, public perception and what we think we know about HIV. Written by Rahvaunia, and directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, it runs January 18 through February 4 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.thisisveryimportantshow.com.

“A Delicate Ship” A haunting love triangle triggers an unexpected chain of events in this poetic play. In the early stages of a new relationship, Sarah and Sam are lovers happily discovering each other. Sarah and Nate know everything about each other, best of friends since childhood and maybe something more. But when Nate shows up unannounced on Sarah’s doorstep, she’s left questioning what and who she wants in this humorous and heartbreaking look at love, memory, and the decisions that alter the course of our lives. Written by Anna Ziegler, and directed by Andre Barron, it runs January 19 through March 11 at the Road Theatre on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org.

“Denim Doves” tells the story of a modest compound nestled deep in the woods of what was once a small Midwestern town, home to five denim-clad sister wives and their naive husband, Penis. When a mysterious sixth wife arrives to join the sisterly Braid, clad in scandalous acid-wash and singing forbidden songs of ancient riot girls, will she compromise the security of this pious sect? The show contains strong sexual themes, brief full-frontal nudity, suggestive humor and is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up. Written by Adrienne Dawes, with music by Ellen Warkentine, lyrics by Cyndi Williams, and directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert, it runs January 19 through February 17 at the Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Nothing Is the Same” December 7, 1941. Four Hawaiian youngsters (two of Korean extraction, one of Filipino parentage, one of Japanese extraction) are playing marbles in a churchyard in Wahiawa, on Oahu’s North Shore. Japanese bombers buzz the town on their way to attack Pearl Harbor. War arrives, and nothing is the same. Mits, the Japanese-Hawaiian youth, eventually becomes an object of suspicion after he appears to signal one of the aircraft flying overhead. Could he possibly be a spy for the enemy? How will this affect how the other three youngsters respond to him? Japanese Americans on the mainland are being sent to detention camps far from their homes. Will that happen to Mits on the island? George, Bobi and Daniel, the other three, though not of Japanese heritage, are Asian Pacific Americans. How will perceptions of how they are seen affect their lives and their relationship with Mits? Written by Y York, and directed by Tim Dang, it runs January 19 through March 4 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“Cabaret” A thrilling and up-to-date production of a classic show that is now more relevant than ever. The seedy glamour of the Kit Kat Club with its bawdy Emcee provide an unsettling but fitting backdrop to the story of the hard-living entertainer Sally Bowles in the decadent nightlife of Germany in the early ’30s. Come hear some of the most memorable songs in musical theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Right this way, your table’s waiting! Written by Joe Masteroff, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Larry Carpenter, it runs January 20 through February 11 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“The Chosen” A silent father, an ancient tradition and an unexpectedly important game of baseball forge bonds of lifelong friendship between two Jewish boys from “five blocks and a world apart” in this funny, poignant, timely and timeless father-son story about recognition and acceptance of “the other”. Written by Chaim Potok, adapted by Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok, and directed by Simon Levy, it runs January 20 through March 25 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“Moon over Buffalo” centers on Charlotte and George Hay, fading stars of the 1950’s, played by Wendy Way and Edwin Scheibner. At the moment, they’re playing Private Lives and Cyrano De Bergerac in rep in Buffalo, New York with five other actors. On the brink of a disastrous split-up caused by George’s dalliance with a young ingénue (Haley Rade), they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinee, and if he likes what he sees, he might cast them in his movie remake of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Unfortunately for George and Charlotte, everything that could go wrong does go wrong, abetted by a visit from their daughter and her clueless fiancé (Desiree Gillespie and Josh Breeding) and hilarious uncertainty about which play they’re actually performing, caused by Charlotte’s deaf old stage-manager mother (Rebecca Tudor) who hates every bone in George’s body. Charlotte’s admirer, attorney Richard (Jack Stroud) and Roz’s lovesick ex-fiancé Paul (Eric Pierce) round out the cast. Written by Ken Ludwig, and directed by Michael Thomas-Visgar, it runs January 20 through February 11 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/975428.

“Pirates of Penzance” Sappy pirates, dewy-eyed damsels, bumbling Bobbies and a stuffy Major General. The Playhouse goes topsy-turvy as the audience joins the cast for a beach party onstage – tiki bar, banjos, and beach balls included. Chicago theater rebels The Hypocrites bring their zany immersive production of this beloved operetta to Pasadena. Written by Gilbert and Sullivan, adapted by Sean Graney and Kevin O’Donnell, with music by Gilbert and Sullivan, and directed by Sean Graney and Thrisa Hodits, it runs January 23 through February 25 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“The Hothouse” A wild, impudent and blisteringly funny look at a government-run mental institution in which the wardens may be madder than the inmates. Under a veil of devilish wit and subversive humor, Harold Pinter’s biting political commentary on the perils of unchecked power is as vital and pertinent today as when he first wrote it. Nike Doukas directs a fully partner-cast production. Written by Harold Pinter, and directed by Nike Doukas, it runs January 25 through March 11 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“The Chinese Wall” Part tragedy, comedy, history, and satire, this wildly unpredictable theatrical event rivals and parallels today’s headlines, making an astounding comment on a seemingly farcical political arena. This 1946 anti-fascist play is being presented as a satire of the Trump administration. What sort of emperor would delight in the completion of a protective wall (The Great Wall of China) that could reach from New York to Berlin? Written by Max Frisch, and directed by Larry Eisenberg, it runs January 26 through March 11 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“Buyer and Cellar” follows a struggling actor named Alex who winds up working for an unnamed show-business legend in her Malibu basement mall. An unlikely friendship develops between the two from which Alex learns profound lessons about himself. Written by Jonathan Tolins, and directed by Stephanie A. Coltrin, it runs January 27 through February 11 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Ironbound” spans 22 years to tell the story of Darja, a Polish immigrant getting by on a cleaning job, aggressive pragmatism and sheer will. This wry drama points out that sometimes survival is the only measure of success. Written by Martyna Majok, and directed by Tyne Rafaeli, it runs January 30 through March 4 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.


CONTINUING


“Barefoot in the Park” Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by George Strattan, it runs through February 10 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.


Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!