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:
“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.
“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.