Category Archives: 2019

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

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.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

“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 28 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.

“Argonautika” In this fresh retelling of the classic Greek myth, Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece has been reframed for our time. Join the fantastic voyage and encounter Hercules, Hera, sirens, centaurs, and more—familiar mythological figures imbued with unexpected character and depth. Written by Mary Zimmerman, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliot, it runs March 20 through May 5 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“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!

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

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

“The Importance of Being Earnest” features two carefree bachelors, Jack and Algernon, each with a carefully hidden double life. But when Algernon discovers that Jack has been posing as a man named Ernest to escape to the city, he promptly travels to Jack’s country estate to pose as the fictional figure himself! Silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and the most famous handbag in theatre history. Written by Oscar Wilde, and directed by Michael Marchak, it runs February 1 through March 31 at the Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“Too Heavy for Your Pocket” In rural Tennessee at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, two young African-American couples struggle to understand justice, love, and their own responsibilities. It beautifully explores the sacrifices and tolls in the fight for freedom and equality that are placed, not only on the fighters, but the people they love. Written by Jiréh Breon Holder, and directed by Michael Shepperd, it runs February 1 through March 2 at the Black Box Theater space of the Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Accidental Death of an Anarchist” a madman, who invades a police station interrogation room where an anarchist accused of bombing a railway station has recently “accidentally” fallen out of a window. Donning various disguises and voices, the madman manipulates policemen into a truth-inducing hysteria. Written by Dario Fo, and directed by Will Thomas McFadden, it runs February 2 through March 9 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre at Ivy Substation in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“Heisenberg” Sweet, sexy and full of surprises, the story follows two strangers whose lives intersect in a bustling London train station. Free-spirited Georgie, an American in her 40s, unexpectedly plants a kiss on the neck of Alex, an Irish butcher in his 70s. She doesn’t really know why. Or does she? When Georgie turns up in Alex’s shop a few days later, full of contradictions, his conventional life becomes chaotic, uncertain and undeniably richer. Peeling away the many layers of everyday relationships with subtle humor and quiet poeticism, this story brings to poignant theatrical life the uncertain and sometimes comical sparring match that is human connection. Written by Simon Stephens, and directed by Katharine Farmer, it runs February 2 through February 17 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Two Trains Running” It’s 1969 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where the regulars of Memphis Lee’s restaurant struggle to cope with the turbulence of a world that is rapidly changing around them. With compassion, humor and a superb sense of place and time, it paints a vivid portrait of everyday lives in the shadow of great events. Written by August Wilson, and directed by Michele Shay, it runs February 2 through March 3 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-326-9945 or visit www.augustwilsonstwotrainsrunning.eventbrite.com.

“Whoopsie-Doopsie!” a quirky comedy about a popular, smart, good-looking guy whose world is turned upside down when his girlfriend delivers unwelcomed information. Written and directed by Art Shulman, it runs February 2 through March 3 at the Upstairs at the Group Rep in the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider” is a hilarious take on parenting, religion, cancer, feminism and even her iconic characters’ place in today’s modern landscape. It’s an evening of laughter with one of comedy’s most indelible, indestructible voices. Written and directed by Julia Sweeney, it runs February 5 through February 10 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Ragtime: The Musical” begins with an unforgettable sweeping, nine-minute opening number in which all strata of society of the early twentieth century are introduced: immigrant Jews in their ghetto, successful rich Protestants, and African Americans. The fictional characters – pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr., his child’s mother Sarah – who has become part of a respected family headed by the white Father and Mother – and a Latvian immigrant Tateh, are eventually joined by a parade of historic figures — Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, Emma Goldman and even Harry Houdini – in this much appreciated and well-remembered musical. Written by Terrence McNally, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and directed by David Lee, it runs February 5 through March 3 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

“Witness Uganda” follows Griffin, a New York City-based American volunteer, as he arrives in Uganda to help build a village school and escape his church’s condemnation of his sexuality. When he falls into a complicated relationship with a group of destitute, orphaned teenagers, he finds himself driven by a mission that will change his and their lives forever. From the rolling hills of the Ugandan countryside to a stifling apartment in New York City, from a joyous celebration of African youth to a terrifying abduction 8,000 miles away, it explores the question, “is changing the world even possible?” Written by Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, with music by Matt Gould, and directed by Griffin Matthews, it runs February 5 through February 24 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts Lovelace Studio Theater in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Witness.

“The Mountaintop” takes place on the night of April 3, 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has just given one of his most impassioned and famous speeches to support sanitation workers during an intense strike in Memphis. Known as his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, he spoke as if he knew what might happen the next day. It is a dark night, and lighting and thunder crack the sky. Room 306, the Lorraine Motel. Tonight, it is just another stopover motel for Dr. King. Tomorrow, it becomes the scene of one of our nation’s greatest losses. Water stains pockmark the walls. Bright orange and fading brown sixties décor accent the room. The carpet is the color of bile. Dr. King, tired and hungry, wants cigarettes and coffee. But mostly he is weary. Written by Katori Hall, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs February 6 through March 10 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Man of God” A hidden discovery in a hotel bathroom changes the lives of four Korean Christian girls on a mission trip to Thailand. Samantha is hurt that someone she trusted could betray her. Jen is worried about how this might affect her college applications. Kyung-Hwa thinks everyone should adjust their expectations. Mimi’s out for blood. Amid the neon lights and go-go bars in Bangkok, the girls plot revenge in this funny, feminist thriller. Written by Anna Moench, and directed by Jesca Prudencio, it runs February 7 through February 24 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

“1776 The Musical” the electrifying musical about the founding of America. Featuring a thrilling cast, this Tony Award-winning smash begins with a deadlocked Congress. Its attempts to adopt the Declaration of Independence are boiling over in heated confrontations. Sound familiar? Spoiler alert: by the evening of July 2nd, the two sides are still miles apart! Written by Peter Stone, with music by Sherman Edwards, and directed by Glenn Casale, it runs February 8 through February 10 at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts in Northridge. For tickets call 818-677-3000 or visit www.TheSoraya.org.

“Anna Karenina” an upside-down telling of Tolstoy’s classic tale, this eight-person dramatic event is a fast-paced examination of love, adultery and marriage. Written by Helen Edmundson, adapted from the novel by Leo Tolstoy, and directed by Heather Chesley, it runs February 8 through March 17 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Church Basement Ladies” Ever wonder what goes on in a church basement kitchen and the women who work there? Come see Church Basement Ladies, a hilarious musical comedy and meet the women who navigate relationships and solve all the problems of their rural Minnesota church congregation. Experience a record-breaking annual holiday Lutefisk dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter fundraiser and a steaming hot July wedding! Funny and down to earth, from the elderly matriarch to the young bride-to-be, her meddling mother and the strikingly charming pastor. Witness a church year as it unfolds from below the house of God! Written by Jim Stowell and Jessica Zuehlke, with music by Drew Jansen, and directed by George Stratten, it runs February 8 through March 9 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“Miss America’s Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson & Me” is a fascinating account of growing up a confused ugly duckling in the shadow of a spectacular mother. An awkward, chubby kid with frizzy hair, buck teeth and no obvious talent, Barra was beauty queen Myerson’s only child. The first and only Jewish Miss America, Myerson was famous — an accomplished pianist, television personality, New York City’s first Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, a close advisor to Mayor Ed Koch, and a national spokesperson against anti-Semitism — until she became infamous, falling in love with the wrong man and going down with her Mafia boyfriend in a judge-bribing scandal. In the play, Barra takes us on the journey of her life: a feisty struggle as she tries to fit in at school, meet the right man, find a career and forge her own place in the universe. But Bess (voiced off stage by Piper) is ever-present, fixated on “improving” Barra by molding her into a version of herself. Written by Barra Grant, with music by Mark Adler, and directed by Eve Brandstein, it runs February 8 through March 24 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-285-2078 or visit www.MissAmericasUglyDaughter.com.

“Airport Encounters: Brace for Impact!” is a comedic anthology of inter-connected vignettes centered around a central hub that take a hard and hysterical look at human behaviors and the problems we face, all in real time as both weary and excited passengers pass through an airport and onto their next adventure. Featuring individual stories of the eclectic but all too familiar passengers written by a team of top writers, the stories comprise a bigger picture, a full show in itself, making for a truly unique theatrical experience from Neo Ensemble Theatre. Written by Elayne Heilveil, Mark Harvey Levine, Scott Mullen, Beth Polsky, Jessica Rowe and Rom Watson, and directed by June Carryl, David Bickford, Valerie Gould, Joe Ochman, Richard Pierce, Matthew Singletary and Lauren Smerkanich, it runs February 9 through February 24 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.neoensembletheatre.org.

“Death of a Salesman” is a haunting and moving portrait of a man whose belief in, and pursuit of, the American dream ends in tatters. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Joseph Hanreddy, it runs February 9 through February 24 at the New Vic in Santa Barbara. For tickets call 805-965-5400 or visit www.etcsb.org.

“The Servant of Two Masters” Lombardi’s son Silvio loves Clarice, but her father, Pantalone, has promised her to the wealthy dung merchant Federigo Rasponi, who is really Beatrice Aretusi disguised as a man searching for her lover, the tango teacher Florindo, so they can run off and open a dance studio in Brooklyn. It’s complicated. Written by Carlo Goldoni, and directed by Lance Davis, it runs February 9 through March 10 at the Parson’s Nose Theater in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-403-7667 or visit www.parsonsnose.com.

“Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole” imagines Nat “King” Cole as he faces the final Christmastime broadcast of his groundbreaking variety show and weighs the advice of his friend Sammy Davis Jr. to “go out with a bang.” Cole’s hit songs, such as “Nature Boy,” “It’s a Good Day” and “Smile,” underscore this boldly original homage to the renowned performer who struggled to break through America’s color barrier in the early days of television. Written by Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor, and directed by Patricia McGregor, it runs February 13 through March 17 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Born to Win” Pinky Corningfield has always dreamed of her daughter winning the “Supreme Queen.” So when Marge, a newcomer to the child pageant circuit, shows up with her daughter and starts grabbing all the glory, Pinky will stop at nothing to get the crown. Written by Matthew Wilkas and Mark Setlock, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs February 15 through March 31 at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is the knock-’em-dead, uproarious romp filled with unforgettable music and non-stop laughs. When the low born Monty Navarro finds out that he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are slight and sets off down a far more murderous path. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the ninth Earl of Highhurst? And what of love? This fun musical follows him on his adventures that will change the course of his future. Written by Robert L. Freedman, with music by Steve Lutvaki, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steve Lutvaki, and directed by Peggy Hickey, it runs February 15 through March 3 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 562-916-8500 or visit www.Cerritoscenter.com.

“The Joy Wheel” Life is changing for Frank and Stella. On the night of Frank’s retirement party, this once loving and simple couple find themselves pulled in different directions as the winds of change blow through Joy, Illinois. The world is not what it was. Joy is not what it was. Stella is shaken, but inspired, by her best friend becoming a liberated, sexualized, independent woman, while Frank decides to emulate his doomsday prepper friend by building an underground bunker that once was the family swimming pool. It’s as if all of them are riding the Joy Wheel, hanging on to someone else so they can stay their ground. Written by Ian McRae, and directed by Jason Alexander, it runs February 15 through March 24 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

“America Adjacent” In pursuit of the American Dream, six pregnant Filipina women risk everything. Confined to a one-bedroom one-bath unit in East Hollywood, they do their best to overcome fears of jail and deportation so that their children can have a better life. Playwright Boni B. Alvarez examines the promise of US Citizenship asking, “How far would we go to give our children a better future?” Written by Boni B. Alvarez, and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs February 16 through March 24 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.SkylightTix.org.

“How We’re Different from Animals” Over three years in the making, ÉLAN Ensemble’s inaugural production is the culmination of the company’s work, adapting Miranda July’s book of short stories “No One Belongs Here More Than You.” The show breathes life into July’s quirky, lonely, odd, lovable characters in an oddly hilarious tapestry that reflects the complexity, isolation, and unexpected connectivity of life in Los Angeles. Written by Miranda July, and directed by Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, it runs February 22 through March 24 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-990-2023 or visit www.elanensemble.com.

“Life Could Be a Dream” SH-BOOM! Meet fledgling doo-wop singing group the Crooning Crabcakes as they prepare to enter the Big Whopper Radio contest and realize their dreams of making it to the big time. The ’60s doo-wop songs in this award-winning jukebox musical say it all: “Fools Fall in Love,” “Tears on My Pillow,” “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Stay,” “Unchained Melody,” “Lonely Teardrops” and “The Glory of Love.” Written by Roger Bean, with music by Bill Wolfe, and directed by Jamie Torcellini, it runs February 22 through March 10 at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Hype Man” A hip-hop trio – frontman, hype man and beat maker – is on the verge of making it big on national TV when a police shooting of a black teen shakes the band to its core, forcing them to confront questions of race, gender, privilege and when to use artistic expression as an act of social protest. Written by Idris Goodwin, and directed by Deena Selenow, it runs February 23 through April 14 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“The Judas Kiss” In spring of 1895, Oscar Wilde was larger than life. His masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was a hit in the West End and he was the toast of London. Yet by summer he was serving two years in prison for gross indecency. Punished for “the love that dare not speak its name,” Wilde remained devoted to his beloved, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas. This story revolves around two pivotal moments in his life: the day when, cajoled by Bosie into an ill-fated trial, he decides to stay in England and face imprisonment, and a night when, after his release two years later, the lover for whom he risked everything betrays him again. Written by David Hare, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs February 23 through March 24 at the Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.BostonCourtPasadena.org.

“Tuesdays with Morrie” Mitch Albom, on his graduation day from Brandeis University, promises to stay in touch with his beloved sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. Mitch gets busy with life and doesn’t keep his promise. At first, he’s a jazz pianist, but abandons that career when he becomes successful as a sports journalist and sportscaster. One night, he sees Morrie on ABC-TV’s Nightline with Ted Koppel. Morrie’s joie de vivre in the face of his challenges from Lou Gehrig’s Disease captivates the Nightline audience. Mitch re-connects with Morrie, flying in to see him ultimately every Tuesday (hence this play’s title). In the time that Morrie has left, he will equip Mitch for his life ahead. Written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, and directed by L. Flint Esquerra, it runs February 23 through March 31 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“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, with music by Abdul Hamid Royal, it runs February 24 through March 10 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“1=0” An unemployed, divorced theoretical physicist has an online relationship with a man claiming to be a Syrian refugee. When the relationship goes offline, it paradoxically becomes less real. Written by Joshua Fardon, and directed by James R. Carey, it runs February 28 through March 30 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

“Canyon” In a backyard deep within a canyon during Labor Day weekend 2016 — before everything in America changed — we meet a newlywed couple and a Mexican father and son as they all try their best to find a better view. An immersive staging of this driving new play takes a look at what happens when two families are rocked by an unpredictable accident that changes their lives forever. A look at gender, citizenship, and the costs of trying to live a conventional American life. Written by Jonathan Caren, and directed by Whitney White, it runs February 28 through March 24 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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

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

“A Bundle of Trouble” An inventor’s life crumbles when his estranged, precocious 8 year-old daughter comes to live with him. She unravels this charming curmudgeon’s home, work, and heart. Written by Ruth Hale, adapted by James Castle Stevens, and directed by James Castle Stevens, it runs January 4 through February 2 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“A Misunderstanding” Leave all your preconceived notions at the door: this play is sure to turn them inside out. A playful play of ideas that challenges our understanding of reality while asking the question, Can two people fundamentally disagree and continue to love one another? Written by Matt Chait, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs January 4 through February 3 at the Complex (Ruby Theatre) in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4418 or visit www.plays411.com/misunderstanding.

“Soul -Crushing Disco Ball” Killer Kisses, STD Clinics, Marriage…DIVORCE. Sometimes women cause men “lots of pain,” so when a school-yard rumor spreads that one female student has committed manslaughter, two third-grade boys join forces to stop the bleeding by forming a friendship that spans three decades worth of debacles at the hands of the opposite sex. It’s true. Being a best friend can be a soul-crushing job, but one that also comes with surprising benefits. Written by Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens, and directed by Chambers Stevens, it runs January 4 through February 24 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7822 or visit www.plays411.com/discoball.

“Desert Rats” dark comedy about life and crime in America’s contemporary West. Estranged 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 January 5 through January 20 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“Forever Brooklyn” is the story of Melvin Kaplofkis, a young man growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s who emerges in the 1960s as Mel King, The King of Brooklyn. Young Mel entertains his family and friends by telling jokes and stories. He is championed by a local radio personality, and Mel begins to move up, with gigs in the Borscht Belt resorts. It turns out he actually has a flair for performing, and ultimately, he is booked for an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Sounds like a dream, no? Well, not quite. His family doesn’t want him to leave Brooklyn. Also, he’s been pressed into service, against his will, as a bagman for the Mob that’s been ruling Brooklyn with an iron fist. The Mob doesn’t want Mel to leave Brooklyn behind. If he does, there will be a price to be paid. And, oh yes: Along the way, he falls in love. Written and directed by Mark Wesley Curran, it runs January 5 through February 9 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3613939.

“Bat out of Hell the Musical” is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever-young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian. Written by Jim Steinman, with music by Jim Steinman, and directed by Jay Scheib, it runs January 8 through February 2 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-972-4400 or visit www.AhmansonTheatre.org.

“Definition of Man” In the abstracted setting of a burnt-out, post-apocalyptic ruin, the cast of two serves as a stand-in for all of humanity while grappling with their own personal struggles to maintain a sense of self in a world that has ceased to exist. In a tightly-paced narrative progression, they move and shift between verbal and physical intimacy, exploring how these intersect and overlap from start to finish. Nameless but for their titles of XX and XY, they are both universal and specific, two sides of one coin, speaking from their own divergent experiences to reach a place of mutual understanding. Written by Nikki Muller, with music by Chris Thomas, and directed by JJ Mayes, it runs January 10 through January 27 at the Arena Theatre on the Cal State LA Campus in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.dconstructionarts.org/shop.

“Smart Love” is a contemporary comedy with a scientific twist. The Wachowski household is turned upside down when their son makes a surprise visit home, from MIT, with an unexpected guest. How far will human beings go in order to salvage love? Written by Brian Letscher, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs January 10 through February 24 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.

 

“Jocasta: A Motherf**king Tragedy” An alcoholic tattoo artist, a kid who’s been swimming laps for 25 years, an ex-con, and a woman who believes she can see the future help Jocasta when she is awakened from a dream into a literal nightmare, discovering her husband Oedipus is also her son. This at once disturbing and darkly comic theatrical work, explores modern feminism, the nature of fate, and what it takes to regain control of one’s own destiny. Written and directed by Brian Weir, it runs January 11 through February 10 at the Broadwater Main Stage in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-281-8341 or visit www.ghostroad.org.

“Our Town” The residents of the small town of Grover’s Corners remain as universal and timeless as when they first appeared on stage in 1938. Written by Thornton Wilder, and directed by Stanley Brown, it runs January 11 through February 16 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“The Twelfth Night or What You Will” This is Illyria, folks! Our heroine is shipwrecked. Her brother is presumably drowned. Disguising herself as a boy, she joins Duke Orsino’s court. She is sent out as an emissary to the Countess Olivia, who is mourning the death of her brother. Olivia falls for the youth. Mistaken identity, gender confusion, a mordant clown, a pompous mayor domo, whackadoodle relatives (Sir Toby) – makes for a great deal of fun! Written by Williams Shakespeare, and directed by Sabrina Lloyd, it runs January 11 through February 17 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.

 

“1776 the Musical” is the electrifying musical about the founding of America. Featuring a thrilling cast, this Tony Award-winning smash begins with a deadlocked Congress – sound familiar? Its attempts to adopt the Declaration of Independence are boiling over in heated confrontations. Spoiler alert: by the evening of July 2nd, the two sides are still miles apart! But remarkably, these contentious Founding Fathers harness their shared determination to do the right thing for a fledgling nation. See how they get it done! Engaging, tuneful, witty and passionate, this Broadway musical shows us the likes of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson as we’ve never seen them before — with humor and humanity. Written by Peter Stone, based on a concept by Sherman Edwards, with music by Sherman Edwards, and directed by Glenn Casale, it runs January 12 through February 3 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is one of the most famous and haunting stories to emerge from the 20th Century. The memoirs of this young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years to escape Nazi persecution, are an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of our human history. Written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman, and directed by Stan Zimmerman, it runs January 12 through February 24 at the Complex Dorie Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3921444.

“Stockholm” Meet the couple every couple wants to be. Attractive and immaculately turned out, they are the perfect team. Tomorrow they will be in Stockholm, a city where, in summer, the sun shines 24/7 and sometimes it’s dark all day long. Today, it’s his birthday and she’s going to give him all his presents, treats and surprises. Treading a fine line between tenderness and cruelty, it reveals a relationship unravelling. It’s beautiful, but it’s not pretty. Written by Bryony Lavery, and directed by Kim Rubenstein, it runs January 12 through January 28 at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.stockholmla.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“Driving Miss Daisy” is about the decades-long relationship between a strong-willed, well-to-do Jewish woman and her black chauffeur, in the Jim Crow south. Set against a backdrop of changing world events between the late 1940s and early ‘70s, what begins as a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them. Written by Alfred Uhry, and directed by Michael Bloom, it runs January 13 through January 27 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“The Empty Nesters” hard working parents Greg and Frances stop for a visit to the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking Skywalk, a not-to-be missed sight, after delivering their final child to college in Phoenix. But, instead of seeing a limitless horizon full of fresh possibilities, one half of the couple faces an empty chasm, while the other begins to wonder if freedom is only a loss of solid footing. Written by Garret Jon Groenveld, and directed by Richard Seyd, it runs January 17 through February 17 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.EmptyNestersPlay.com.

“It Is Done” Hank’s Bar is a roadside joint on a desolate highway in the middle of nowhere. Hank the barkeep passes the time when he has no customers by perusing a porn mag while pleasuring himself. He likes the bar’s isolated location: It keeps him away from his ex-wife and kids. But Hank does have one customer this evening: Jonas, a drifter who wants to drink, not chat. Jonas has been haunted by troubling dreams. He travels from place to place to escape his past. Into the bar strides Ruby, a sexy woman who informs them that her car has broken down nearby. Can she use the phone to call the auto club? A howling dust storm outside suggests that the three are going to remain at the bar for a while. A mysterious traveler, a horny barkeep, a sensuous woman trapped in a dive bar with an abundant supply of bourbon. Anything could happen. Whatever happens, one thing is certain: There will be hell to pay. Written by Alex Goldberg, and directed by Jeff G. Rack, it runs January 17 through February 19 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Brilliant Traces” Rosannah Deluce has been driving for days. Her car dies in a snowbound corner of Alaska. In distress, she seeks shelter in the only nearby structure, an old barn that is the home of Henry Harry, a man she does not know. She is attired in a wedding gown. She is a runaway bride. Henry Harry is an oil rig worker who lives a hermit’s existence during the periods he is not working. His solitude is a refuge from the pain and trauma of events past. The last thing he wants is company, but a beautiful woman has landed literally at his doorstep. Both have run away from circumstances too difficult to endure. Over the next few days, alternately repulsed by and attracted to each other, they might discover that they are kindred spirits. Written by Cindy Lou Johnson, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs January 18 through February 10 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 440-465-8878 or visit www.our.show/brillianttraces.

“Death House” On the night a death-house chaplain must hand over the reins to the confident young pastor set to replace him, the men encounter an enigmatic inmate who challenges their convictions and changes their lives forever. This is a startling new piece of theatre that explores justice, redemption, and the possibility that we’re all more connected than we may want to admit. Written by Jason Karasev, and directed by Michael Peretzian, it runs January 18 through March 10 at the Road on Lankershim in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.roadtheatre.org.

“Last Call” the Vaughn family’s go-to defense mechanism of sarcasm and mordant humor falls short when the aging parents hatch a not-so-funny way to avoid the retirement home. Written by Anne Kenney, and directed by Lane Allison, it runs January 18 through February 23 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“Nude/Naked” Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Bennett Duquesne and his daughter Addy have had their controversial work collected by major art museums all over the world. When Addy’s trust funder boyfriend shoots one of Duquesne’s students in their living room, photos meant to be viewed on art gallery walls or in coffee table books become plastered all over the Internet. The Duquesnes struggle to hold onto their unique, intuitive relationship while the local District Attorney pressures them to reveal more about their personal lives, and the mainstream and social media launch brutal attacks. Written and directed by Paul Hoan Zeidler, it runs January 18 through February 17 at the McCadden Place Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-204-4883.

“Aleichem Sholom” 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 January 19 through February 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.

“Hir” is a dysfunctional family dramedy for a new era: a highly intelligent, heartfelt and deeply, darkly humorous portrayal of a family in crisis, in which domestic abuse, the trauma of war and the acceptance of gender neutrality are illustrated in a nearly absurd, emotionally gripping, intensely real dynamic. Somewhere in the American suburbs, Isaac, dishonorably discharged from his tour in Afghanistan, has returned home to discover a household in revolt. The insurgent: his mom. Liberated from an oppressive marriage to Isaac’s father by his debilitating stroke, and with Max, Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling, as her ally, Paige is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. Written by Taylor Mac, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs January 19 through March 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.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 January 19 through March 31 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3919605.

“Red Hot Mama – the Sophie Tucker Songbook” chronicles the life and career of the first lady of show business, whose remarkable career spanned six decades. Sophie Tucker was a consummate performer on stage screen and radio, was part of the Ziegfield Follies early in her career, and in addition to her legendary artistry, was a great humanitarian. Featuring the music and history of burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and Las Vegas, the show features over two dozen songs made famous by Tucker including compositions by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and DeSylva & Brown. Written by Sharon McNight, and directed by Richard Riccardi, it runs January 19 through January 20 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” follows Sweeney Todd as he settles into a barber shop, above Mrs. Lovett’s struggling pie shop, and plots revenge on the lecherous judge who wronged Todd and his family. The barber’s strange alliance with the pie-maker seems to provide the perfect solution to their problems. The themes in Sweeney—power, abuse of power, revenge and responsibility—continue to resonate with 21st-century audiences. Written by Stephen Sondheim, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Kent Nicholson, it runs January 19 through February 16 at the Segerstrom Stage at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Rod Serling’s Stories from the Zone” consists of stage adaptations of two classic episodes of his best-loved TV series. Mr. Garrity and the Graves: In the Old West circa 1890, a man and his wagon find their way into the town of Happiness, Arizona. The man, Garrity, claims to have the ability to resurrect the dead. Some of the townspeople figure that resurrecting the folks planted on Boot Hill might not be the best idea. Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: Passengers of a snow-bound bus originally bound for Boston are stranded at a roadside diner. There’s a growing realization that one of their number might actually be an invader from Mars. Written by Rod Serling, adapted by Jeff G. Rack, and directed by Jeff G. Rack and Charlie Mount, it runs January 21 through February 17 at the Theatre Forty, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“An Inspector Calls” set in 1912, about Inspector Goole and his unexpected arrival at the prosperous Birling family home, shattering their peaceful dinner party by his investigations into the death of a young woman. His startling revelations shake the very foundations of their lives and challenge audiences to question their own consciences. Written by J.B. Priestley, and directed by Stephen Daldry, it runs January 22 through February 10 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Inspector.

“Well” is a hilarious, moving story that combines the genres of solo performance and experimental theatre with the timeless story of mothers and daughters. Written by Lisa Kron, and directed by Bradley Griffin, it runs January 22 through January 25 at the Lindhurst Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” is set on the small Aran Island community of Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) off the Western Coast of Ireland in 1934, where the inhabitants are excited to learn of a Hollywood film crew’s arrival in neighboring Inishmore (Inis Mór) to make a documentary about life on the islands. “Cripple” Billy Claven, eager to escape the gossip, poverty and boredom of Inishmaan, vies for a part in the film, and to everyone’s surprise, the orphan and outcast gets his chance… or so some believe. Antaeus Theatre Company presents a fully partner-cast production, presenting two equally excellent but very different sets of actors at alternating performances. Written by Martin McDonagh, and directed by Steven Robman, it runs January 24 through March 11 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star” is two one-act plays where three young women who are neighbors and friends share drinks and hard truths about life, love, and marriage while doing laundry on a very hot day. In another part of town three men beat-the-heat in the backyard of a bar as the local high school hero, recently returned after a hitch in Vietnam, details his military and amorous exploits. Laughs are shared, souls are bared. Written by James McLure, and directed by Barbara Brownell, it runs January 25 through March 3 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“Link Link Circus” is a comedic and scientifically informed look at the links between humans and animals, via Darwin’s theory of evolution. Rossellini is a vivid monologist exploring the brilliance of the animal kingdom. The show is illustrated with her short comic films, home movies, and animation. Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, a medieval theologian, B.F. Skinner, Charles Darwin and other helpful thinkers of the past, while her dog Pan plays various animals, assisted by puppeteer and animal handler Schuyler Beeman. Written by Isabella Rossellini and Guido Torlonia, with music by Andy Byers, and directed by Isabella Rossellini, it runs January 25 through January 27 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

“Paradise” 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 January 26 through February 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7724 or visit www.Plays411.com/Paradise.

“The P.O.W. and the Girl” It’s the 1980s in Britain. Sarah, a college student, lives with her grandfather, John (Johnny) Harris, after the sudden death of her mother. John was a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. Several decades later, he openly manifests classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including flashbacks and petty to explosive outbursts directed at his granddaughter. This in turn, has a negative impact on Sarah’s well-being. Meanwhile, Sarah meets a sweet, sincere young man named Paul and a budding romance ensues. When she discovers that Paul’s life also is far from perfect, it emerges that she may have found a kindred spirit in Paul. Torn between familial duty and a chance at love and happiness, can Sarah’s new relationship with Paul survive? Can John ever overcome the traumas of incarceration, torture and abandonment? Written by Katrina Wood, and directed by Trace Oakley, it runs January 26 through February 16 at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3742908.

“Forever Motown” is an incredible collection of nine all-star performers including the Spinners original lead singer G.C. Cameron and former Temptations Lead Singer Glenn Leonard, along with members of The Marvelettes and a live band singing your favorite hit songs from all the Motown legends including The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Smoky Robinson and more. Directed by Terri Giordano, it runs January 30 through February 2 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“S.O.S.” explores how political opportunists and economic systems have fed off and taken advantage of a rise in our sense of personal isolation and how we might find a way back to belonging to each other and the world we inhabit. Written by various famous writers, and directed by Madeleine Dahm, it runs January 31 through February 10 at the Circle X Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/SOS.

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!