“Scene in LA” May 2016 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

SCENE IN LA

 

BY

 

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

 

May 2016

 

It’s May, it’s May, that glorious holiday – the lusty month of May – and just look at all the shows blooming in our local theaters this month:

                                                                                                          

OPENING

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“The Archer from Malis” In this bold reimagining of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, set in a Hunger Games-inspired dystopia and employing non-traditional casting, Odysseus orders young Neoptolemus, daughter of Achilles, to trick Philoctetes into joining the Greeks to assure their victory of the Trojan War. Philoctetes was entrusted with Hercules’ bow upon the demi-god’s death. The Greeks, who abandoned the snake-bitten Philoctetes on the island of Lemnos ten years earlier, return, now in need of him and the divine bow to win the Trojan War. The play explores questions of loss, betrayal, loyalty and whether the ends always justify the means. Written by Sophocles, and directed by Malik B. El-Amin, it runs April 29 through May 22 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.griottheatre.org/happeningnow.html.

 

“Birder” follows middle-aged accountant Roger, who, upon discovering a house finch nesting outside his home in Los Feliz, finds himself forced to question his most basic assumptions about what it means to be a father, husband, and breadwinner. But do his avian explorations represent a deep search for meaning, or just a city-dweller’s mid-life crisis? This funny, moving, world premiere, explores the human need for silence, as Roger finds both terror and solace in Los Angeles’ unique urban ecology. Written by Julie Marie Myatt, and directed by Dan Bonnell, it runs April 29 through June 19 at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org.

 

“The Boy from Oz” the musical focuses on the extraordinary life of legendary singer/songwriter Peter Allen, from his birth in 1944 and humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame as an international star. The story covers Peter’s life and career in Australia and the United States, as well as his relationships with the legendary singing stars Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. Written by Martin Sherman, original Book by Nick Enright, with music by Peter Allen, and directed by Michael A. Shepperd, it runs April 29 through June 19 at the Celebration Theatre at the Lex in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

 

“Lunatics & Actors” Based on the real life obsessions of famed doctor, Duchenne du Boulogne, Lunatics & Actors takes its audience into the peculiar hinterland of emotional authenticity. The Four Clowns of this performance veer wildly from reason to insanity to Hamlet, and things are never far from becoming completely unhinged. Who is really mad after all – the lunatic or the actor? Written by David Bridel, and directed by Jeremy Aluma, it runs April 29 through May 28 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 562-508-1788 or visit www.fourclowns.org.

 

“American Idiot” The groundbreaking Broadway musical! Green Day’s powerhouse album is brought to life in this electric-rock musical of youthful disillusion. The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical, based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album, boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. This high-octane show includes every song from Green Day’s album American Idiot, as well as several songs from follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown. Content Warning: AMERICAN IDIOT contains adult content and strong language. For mature audiences. Written by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, with music by Green Day, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, and directed by Brian Kite, it runs April 30 through May 15 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

 

“The Foreigner” The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia where two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arrive as guests. The shy Charlie agreed to accompany Froggy on the trip after his sick wife begged him to go. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent: he is terribly shy, depressed about his wife’s illness, and cannot find the words to reply. Froggy claims that Charlie cannot talk because he is a “foreigner” from an exotic country, and does not understand English. Taking the explanation that he’s a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge’s guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge. Written by Larry Shue, and directed by Michael Rothhaar, it runs April 30 through May 22 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

 

“Sex and Education” Meet Joe Marks, a basketball star whose college scholarship is suddenly in jeopardy when his poorly written, sexually-charged note to his girlfriend is intercepted during a final exam. Meet Miss Edwards, his high school English teacher on her last day of teaching. In this hilarious homage to educators everywhere, Miss Edwards uses the note to teach Joe a lesson – on life, love, and the power of words. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE; EXCESSIVE HILARITY. Written by Lissa Levin, and directed by Andrew Barnicle, it runs April 30 through May 22 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

Eastside Heartbeats

“Eastside Heartbeats” tells the fictional story of Jimmy Ramirez, leader of the four-man vocal group, the Eastside Heartbeats. The group has conquered East L.A., but Jimmy and the others have bigger goals. They aim to be #1 in the nation, Mexican-American superstars. But first they have to make a record. Eastside Heartbeats is inspired by the true story of Cannibal and the Headhunters, the musical group which opened for The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965. Written by Tom Waldman, with music by David Reyes, and directed by Steve E. Feinberg, it runs May 5 through May 29 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.

 

“Author, Author” A magical, musical melee at once glorious and gentle, bold and bittersweet, mirthful and romantic, inviting audiences of all ages to celebrate the humor and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem as Chris DeCarlo reprises his award-winning portrayal of the world’s most beloved Yiddish author, seen by more than a quarter of a million people to date. Written by Chris DeCarlo, Evelyn Rudie and Ben Weisman, with music by Evelyn Rudie and Ben Weisman, and directed by Arthur R. Tomkins, it runs May 6 through May 28 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com.

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“The Glass Menagerie” The semi-autobiographical play involves Tom, a struggling writer enduring a survival job in a shoe warehouse; his domineering mother, Amanda, a faded Southern belle with memories of better times; his adored sister, Laura, fragile with a crippling shyness mirrored in a physical limp; and Jim, a work friend whom Tom asks to call upon Laura. The play takes its name from the collection of glass animals which holds a fascination for Laura. Will Laura’s gentleman caller be able to bring her out of her shell? Tom, while feeling a duty to his family, knows he will suffocate if he remains in his current circumstances. What will he do? Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs May 6 through June 12 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

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“Shine Darkly, Illyria” Illyria is depicted as an island paradise, where inhabitants do reverence to the Moon and revel at nightly moon parties. Love, sex and dancing abound, but no children are ever conceived. Gender boundaries in sex can be rather fluid (Some of Shakespeare’s original characters engaged in cross-dressing, after all). The Moon has a favorite in the countess Olivia, and Olivia consumes moon dust as a euphoric substance. When The Moon attempts to warn Olivia of an upcoming ecological disaster brought on by humanity’s environmental neglect, Olivia does not listen. Lovers are in conflict, and hearts are broken. Can they be mended? Nature hands the Illyrians an ultimatum: Evolve or die. Can they escape the fury of the elements? Written by Megan Brown, and directed by Amanda McRaven, it runs May 6 through May 29 at the McCadden Place Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 702-204-6179 or visit www.artful.ly/fugitive-kind.

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“Unemployed. Finally.” It’s the story of writer-performer Heather Dowling’s 30 jobs in 30 years, which allowed her to explore some length and depth of the human experience until, when unemployed, finally, she at last had the opportunity to do what she always wanted in the first place. She was a sailor (the U.S. Navy calls them seamen, really); a waitress, an entrepreneur; a journalist, a foreman, a telecommunications specialist, tended bar, sold shoes; the list goes on and on. She also finds love on the way, and more than once. Life throws some curve balls her way (and we won’t give them away here), but she persists and prevails. Will she find happiness as she makes her way through the wonderful world of work? Written by Heather Dowling, and directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, it runs May 6 through June 10 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2530591.

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“Blood from a Stone” Travis has returned home to his parents’ house in Connecticut before his intended departure for the West Coast to “start over.” He wants to see his folks and his siblings again before moving to the far side of the country. All is not well, however, and it never has been for this particular family. Travis’ parents Bill and Margaret are intensely angry people, with both of them having significant attachments outside their marriage. Kid brother Matt has several compulsions: gambling, lying and thievery, all of which will imperil his safety when he runs afoul of shady associates. Only sister Sarah could pass as relatively normal. Ironically, Margaret, Matt and Sarah are all nurses, devoting their working lives to the care of other people while failing to keep the peace within their own family. Meanwhile, Travis has reignited erotic sparks with an ex-lover, Yvette. She lives next door and is the married (and not to Travis) mother of two. Bill gets so angry he punches his fist through walls and windows. Margaret berates him constantly. Will Travis be able to make peace in his family before he leaves his family home? Written by Tommy Nohilly, and directed by Thomas C. Dunn, it runs May 7 through May 22 at the Electric Lodge in Venice. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.Plays411.com/stone.

 

“Climax” Max Madison, renowned Malibu restaurateur, unwittingly finds himself entangled in a warped love triangle with his devoted wife and the diabolical mistress who seeks revenge on his entire family. When Max’s adoring wife Olivia gets pregnant after years of unsuccessful attempts and thousands of dollars spent on fertility treatments, her ever-growing compulsion for motherhood sends Max into Jade’s arms. Jade, Olivia’s best friend and modern day femme fatale in a nurse’s uniform, has other plans for the baby. Written by Lisa Phillips Visca, and directed by Chris DeCarlo & Evelyn Rudie, it runs May 7 through June 26 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 2 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

 

“Honky” When a young African American is shot for a pair of basketball shoes, sales triple among white teens. Are ghetto-glorifying commercials to blame for the violence, or are they just part of a smart, targeted marketing plan? Luckily, there’s a new pill for sale, guaranteed to cure racism. Taking a satiric look at the symbiotic relationship between bigotry and commercialism, this is a comedy about different people, white and black, navigating the murky waters of race, rhetoric and athletic footwear. Written by Greg Kalleres, and directed by Gregg Daniel, it runs May 7 through June 12 at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

 

“The Golden Dragon” What starts out as a simple toothache evolves into a dizzying chain of events as a group of disparate people, played by a cast of five who assume many roles indiscriminate of age, gender, and race, struggle to make connections in an increasingly isolated world. At the center of the story is a Thai/Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant, The Golden Dragon, where a young Chinese man suffering from an oversensitive incisor sparks a whacked and weird series of interconnected stories. A delicious mixture of epic theatre, bizarre comedy, poetry, and fable combine to create this fabulous pho. Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs May 8 through June 5 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.BostonCourt.org.

 

“In & Of Itself” Derek DelGaudio’s latest conjuring, In & Of Itself, will see the writer, performance artist and two-time Academy of Magical Arts Award winning magician join with four-time Emmy winning director Frank Oz for a unique theatrical experience in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. DelGaudio’s 2012 record-breaking Nothing to Hide enjoyed a 144 performance run, the highest daily and weekly box office sales for the Geffen’s more intimate venue and grossed over $1 million in revenue before transferring to New York City. Glenn Kaino returns as producer with original music by DEVO founding member and front man Mark Mothersbaugh. A radically new show, In & Of Itself is constructed as a metaphoric labyrinth, filled with allegorical illusions and centered around a single paradoxical truth. Written by Derek DelGaudio, and directed by Frank Oz, it runs May 11 through June 26 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.

 

“Next Fall” Two men in love, two parents in denial and two friends on speed dial form a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love. Adam is a committed atheist; his lover and long-term partner, Luke, is devoutly religious. When a traffic accident changes their lives, Adam must turn to Luke’s conservative Christian family and friends for support… and answers. Written by Geoffrey Nauftts, and directed by Robin Long, it runs May 12 through May 22 at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.nextfallweho.com.

 

“Amadeus” The story begins with composer Antonio Salieri in the 1820s and then flashes back to 1781 Vienna. The city of drama, intrigue and scandal is abuzz with the arrival of a Mozart, who can write an opera a week, but can’t control his exuberant giggling or his notorious libido. Salieri—until then the royal court’s most-lauded musician—recognizes Mozart’s genius, calling him “God’s magic flute.” Pious, but calculating, Salieri tries everything to subvert the success of the enfant terrible. Written by Peter Shaffer, and directed by Kent Nicholson, it runs May 13 through June 5 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

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“Clybourne Park” Set in Chicago, the play explodes in two biting and satiric acts, 50 years apart. Act I takes place in 1959 (as did “A Raisin in the Sun”) as nervous white community leaders anxiously try to stop the sale of a middle-class home to a black family. Act II jumps to 2009, in the same house, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of urban renewal by a Caucasian couple. Each of the seven cast members plays different characters in both acts. Written by Bruce Norris, and directed by George L. Rametta, it runs May 13 through June 18 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

“The End Times” Enter the world of a religious cult. Dare to ask questions, and discover the truth that may shatter your beliefs. Who do you turn to afterwards? Tim, born and raised in the Lord’s Restoration, has always been a devout follower of the ministry. He is young, loyal, and a true believer. When his best friend Evan is cast out of the Church in Pullman for “living in his mind,” Tim’s life slowly unravels as he questions the foundation of his faith. Written by Jesse Mu-En Shao, and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs May 13 through May 29 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.skylighttix.com.

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“Gruesome Playground Injuries” darkly comic tale about love, pain and friendship. What is the path we take to find love in a harsh world? Sara Rae Foster (Showtime’s Masters of Sex, TNT’s Mob City) and Jeff Ward (title role in Lifetime’s Manson’s Lost Girls) star in this hilarious and heartbreaking love story about the intimacy between two people who allow their defenses to drop and their wounds to show. Written by Rajiv Joseph, and directed by John Hindman, it runs May 13 through June 26 at the Hudson Theatres in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7773 or visit www.plays411.com/playground.

 

“How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” J. Pierpont Finch is a lowly window cleaner with dreams of making it big in the business world. After finding a copy of the book “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” Finch decides to apply the tactics in the book to his own life. Soon, he’s working as a mail-room clerk at the World Wide Wicket Company and quickly fighting his way up the corporate ladder. A huge Broadway hit Musical! Starring: Starring: Kent Cain (J. Pierpont Finch), Kelly Hennessey (Rosemary), Richard Malmos (Biggley), Lia Peros (Smitty), Alex Allen (Bud Frump), Cynthia Caldwell (Miss Jones), Danielle Lebens (Hedy LaRue), Randle Rankin (Bratt), John David Wallis (Gatch), Richard Van Slyke (Twimble), Kyle Kelley (Womper), Alex Mackyol (Voice of the Book), Bobby Burkich (Ovington/ Ensemble), Chris Curry (TV Announcer/ Ensemble), Christa Hamilton (Miss Krumholtz/ Ensemble), Devin Holliman (Scrubwoman/ Ensemble), Kevin Holmquist (Jenkins/ Ensemble), Katie Moya (Scrubwoman/ Ensemble), Paul Reid (Peterson/ Ensemble), and Libby Snyder (Treasure Girl/ Ensemble). Written by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, with music by Frank Loesser, and directed by Danny Michaels and Orlando Alexander, it runs May 13 through June 25 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

“Bill W. and Dr. Bob” In 1929, famous New York stockbroker Bill Wilson crashes along with the stock market and becomes a hopeless drunk. Dr. Bob Smith, a surgeon from Ohio, has also been an alcoholic for 30 years, often going into the operating room with a hangover. Through an astonishing series of events, Bill and Bob meet and form a relationship, each helping the other to stay sober. This is the amazing and often humorous story of the two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the story of their wives, who founded Al Anon. The play artfully illustrates Bill and Bob’s journey from the pain and isolation of alcoholism to the hope and inspiration they find in sobriety and helping others. Written by Stephen Bergman and Janet Surrey, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs May 14 through June 12 at the Theatre 68 @ NOHO Arts Center in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-5068 or visit www.Theatre68.com.

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“The Hairy Ape” the story of Robert “Yank” Smith, a brutish ship laborer who searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the wealthy elite. As head coal stoker on an ocean liner, Yank is in his element: he rules his dark, smoky world. But when the pale, spoiled daughter of the ship’s owner visits the engine room for a thrill, she is at once repulsed and terrified by Yank and what she sees there. Half in love with the unattainable and half blinded by rage, the bewildered Yank blunders violently through Manhattan seeking revenge and trying to understand his place on “de oith.” Written by Eugene O’Neill, and directed by Steven Berkoff, it runs May 14 through July 17 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - May 16: The Wallis presents "The City of Conversation" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – May 16: The Wallis presents “The City of Conversation” at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 16th, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California

“The City of Conversation” is an inside-the-Beltway play about politics in family—and families in politics—as it delves into the ever-changing tapestry of U.S. Government and the people who shape it off the senate floor. In 1979, Washington D.C. was a place where people actually talked to each other—where adversaries fought it out on the Senate floor and smoothed it out over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. But it was all about to change. Spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, Hester Ferris throws high-powered Georgetown dinner parties that can change the course of Washington’s politics. But, when her beloved son suddenly turns up with an ambitious Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she’s spent her whole life fighting for. Written by Anthony Giardina, and directed by Michael Wilson, it runs May 17 through June 4 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org.

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Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Dan Deluca (Jack Kelly), Steve Blanchard (Joseph Pulitzer), Stephanie Styles (Katherine Plumber), Angela Grovey (Medda), Jacob Kemp (Davey), Zachary Sayle (Crutchie), Anthony Rosenthal or Vincent Crocilla (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, North American Tour premiere Thursday October 30 Philadelphia
Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Dan Deluca (Jack Kelly), Steve Blanchard (Joseph Pulitzer), Stephanie Styles (Katherine Plumber), Angela Grovey (Medda), Jacob Kemp (Davey), Zachary Sayle (Crutchie), Anthony Rosenthal or Vincent Crocilla (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, North American Tour premiere Thursday October 30 Philadelphia

Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Dan Deluca (Jack Kelly), Steve Blanchard (Joseph Pulitzer), Stephanie Styles (Katherine Plumber), Angela Grovey (Medda), Jacob Kemp (Davey), Zachary Sayle (Crutchie), Anthony Rosenthal or Vincent Crocilla (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, North American Tour premiere Thursday October 30 Philadelphia

Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Dan Deluca (Jack Kelly), Steve Blanchard (Joseph Pulitzer), Stephanie Styles (Katherine Plumber), Angela Grovey (Medda), Jacob Kemp (Davey), Zachary Sayle (Crutchie), Anthony Rosenthal or Vincent Crocilla (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, North American Tour premiere Thursday October 30 Philadelphia

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“Newsies” Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right. Written by Harvey Fierstein, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and directed by Jeff Calhoun, it runs May 17 through May 29 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.

 

“La Cage aux Folles” Featuring: Jon Jon Briones as Georges Gedde Watanabe as Albin Allen Lucky Weaver as Jacob Michael Hagiwara as Edouard Dindon Sharline Liu as Marie Dindon Jinwoo Jung as Jean Michel Audrey Cain as Anne Grace Yoo as Jaqueline Cesar Cipriano as Francis Christopher Aguilar Carlos Chang Jonathan Kim DT Matias Alex Sanchez This multiple Tony Award winner for Best Musical about a gay couple who own a glitzy drag club is given a fresh, sleek and racy look that only East West Players can deliver.  The charmed lives of Georges, the suave owner, and Albin, his high-strung star performer, are turned upside down when George’s son, Jean-Michel, returns with his fiancée, Anne. Cultures collide as Georges and Albin are introduced to Anne and her ultra-conservative parents in this jubilant musical that inspired the movie, “The Birdcage.” Written by Harvey Fierstein. based on the book by Jean Poiret, with music by Jerry Herman, and directed by Tim Dang, it runs May 18 through June 26 at the East West Players – David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

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“Hillary & Monica” History’s most-reported act of oral copulation inspires a couple of writers to pen a narrative that could potentially impact the individual who may become the next President of the United States. Ben and Pete are two combative writing partners who reunite to write a “blockbuster” play about the most infamous political sex scandal of the 20th Century. Their script pivots about a proposed clandestine meeting between Hillary and Monica in an upscale suite of a Baltimore hotel. Ben’s aesthetic sense is deeply rooted in the noir movies of the 40s, to Pete’s irritation. But their play’s problems run deeper than that: What if either of their two women subjects decide to sue them? Hillary is a wealthy Presidential candidate. Monica is a struggling C-list celebrity. Neither of them could welcome this theatrical exposé of their lives. Ben’s paranoia pushes Pete to call his lawyer, Greg Goldfarb, an African American who likes to speak in Yiddishisms (it throws potential clients off-balance). Ben has a girlfriend, Tiffany, a used-up dance hall instructor. She doesn’t think Ben’s a great lover, but he’s a sometime roof over her head. Ben and Pete’s script reveals that their characters are full of hidden agendas and sexual secrets. But so are Pete, Ben, Greg and Tiffany- so much so that the quartet make Bill Clinton look like a Sunday school teacher. The four are far, far naughtier than the subjects of their creative endeavors. The four are simply coming up with angles to generate cash at the same time. Written by Victor Bardack and Edward Michael Bell, and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs May 19 through June 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7735 or visit www.plays411.com/hillary.

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“Separate Beds” Ernie and Twink have been sent on a cruise by their kids for their 30th anniversary. Ernie owns a hardware store. He’s grumpy. Twink keeps the store’s books. She bemoans the lack of tactile romance in their lives. They haven’t had marital relations in a while. In their state room, they’re sleeping in separate beds. Ah, the power of metaphor. They try to acquaint themselves with a more glamorous couple: Blake, a wealthy eyewear entrepreneur, and his wife Beth, an actress. Blake gushes over Beth, frequently holding her hand. They’ve been married 10 years. Why can’t Ernie and Twink be more like fun couple Blake and Beth, Twink wonders. She’s bored, and Ernie and Twink bore others around them. All is not necessarily as it first appears. Are Blake and Beth really happy? Can Ernie find a way to become romantic for Twink before he loses her forever? Are they condemned to sleep in separate beds forever? Written by M.J. Cruise, and directed by Melanie MacQueen, it runs May 19 through June 19 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

 

“Clarence Darrow” this intimate production, presented in the round, is a compelling one-man tour-de-force which provides insights into the life, loves, triumphs and disappointments of the man who defended the seemingly indefensible and championed the underdog with passion, eloquence and sharp humor. James O’Neil, whose acting credits include Pontius Pilate in the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, and Rubicon productions of Hamlet and Our Town, has long aspired to play the role of Darrow, who is O’Neil’s great-grandfather’s first cousin. Written by David W. Rintels, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs May 25 through June 12 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

 

“Billie Holiday: Front and Center” Billie Holiday (1915-1959) was a trail-blazing musical artist, known as perhaps the first female vocalist to use her voice in the style of jazz improvisation. Recording first with Benny Goodman, she became the first Black female vocalist to front a white band, that of Artie Shaw. She also performed with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. She had long professional associations with saxophonist Lester Young (who named her Lady Day; she called him Prez) and pianist Teddy Wilson. Born to poverty in Philadelphia, she was a victim of sexual assault while still a child and sentenced by the court to a Catholic correctional institution. It was only her first experience with the court, however. She was convicted at age 13 (along with her mother) of prostitution. Subsequent arrests involved possession of narcotics and substance abuse. Despite a turbulent life, abusive relationships, and racism, she prevailed to become one of the greatest jazz and blues artists of her time, before her untimely demise at age 42 from cirrhosis of the liver. In addition to multiple hit recordings, she sold out Carnegie Hall three times. Written by Sybil Harris, and directed by B’Anca, it runs May 27 through June 19 at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2499741.

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“The Engine of Our Ruin” TIME: Present. PLACE: Luxury hotel suite somewhere in the Middle East. EVENT: American diplomat attempts delicate trade negotiation. INCIDENT: An idealistic interpreter with secret agenda turns mission into international incident. Written by Jason Wells, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs May 27 through June 26 at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

                                                                                                          

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“Catch Me If You Can” is one of the most door creaking, suspenseful, and fun-filled of the whodunits. With more turns than a corkscrew, this hilarious mystery comedy will keep you on the edge of your seats right up to the thrilling climax. Gather your family and friends and catch this show while you can! Written by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, and directed by Tim Dietlein, it runs through May 7 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

“The Turn Of The Screw” A young governess journeys to a lonely English manor to care for two recently orphaned children. Are the specters she sees haunting the children real, or are they the product of her fevered imagination? Based on the provocative tale of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality by Henry James, this Gothic ghost story, set in an impromptu performance space lit entirely by the audience holding flashlights, is certain to give you the chills – bring a sweater! Written by Jeffrey Hatcher, adapted from the novel by Henry James, and directed by Blake Silver, it runs through May 7 at the Behind Sirens/Titans Fitness in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-782-1849 or visit www.eventbrite.com.

 

“The Full Monty” Adapted from the Academy Award®-winning movie, this charming and hilarious musical follows the journey of two unemployed steelworkers desperate to make a living. When the search for work becomes hopeless, they scheme to put together a male striptease act and recruit other displaced workers to join them. The heart of this musical is the story of self-empowerment, overcoming odds, and the unbreakable bond formed within this seemingly diverse group of men who find that they have more in common than they first thought. Written by Terrance McNally, with music by David Yazbek, and directed by TJ Dawson, it runs through May 8 at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton. For tickets call 714-589-2770 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.

 

“Abducted- The Show” depicts the terrifying true story of the abduction of a 13-year-old youth in America’s heartland, Omaha, Nebraska. It will take all of the teen’s intelligence and resourcefulness if he can escape alive. Other episodes in the show present how we can be abducted in our dreams. A white mainlander visiting Hawaii has a startling encounter with the indigenous culture. An American visiting the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto experiences a special kind of terror. Writer-performer William Riedmann portrays multiple characters in his solo performance. His adventurous life includes retailing snowboards in Colorado, being a river guide in the Grand Canyon and sojourns in Panama and Costa Rica. His professional experience as an actor and comic includes work with The New Collective and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Written by William Riedmann, and directed by Debra De Liso, it runs through May 19 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7780 or visit www.plays411.com.

 

“The Devil’s Bride” is a romantic comedy-mystery that takes place a week after the events in Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About Nothing, with the villainous Don John the Bastard still languishing in Messina’s jail after attempting to thwart his rival’s wedding. Don John is given a chance to redeem himself, if he consents to marry Signore Benedick’s sister Allegra. However, Lady Allegra is under a Gypsy curse. She has already been engaged three times, and all three of her intended bridegrooms have died before reaching the altar. Will Don John be next? Written by Joan Silsby, and directed by Wendy Gough Soroka, it runs through May 21 at the Belfry Stage Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.

 

“Electricity” openly gay sex addict Brad hooks up with closeted virgin Gary in a motel room after their 10th high school reunion in 1983. They form an undeniable connection that draws them back to the same motel room once every ten years. As the decades fly by, their lives transform and reflect the changes in society around them from that closeted first night in the 80’s to a world where even gay marriage is possible and it’s their time to decide. Is their connection over, or is it really just beginning. Written by Terry Ray, and directed by Steven Rosenbaum, it runs through May 22 at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City. For tickets call 213-265-7972 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“Joe & Marilyn: A Love Story” a passion-filled two-character play about the volatile relationship between baseball great Joe DiMaggio and Hollywood super-star Marilyn Monroe. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by T.J. Castronovo, it runs through May 22 at the Write Act Rep @ The Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

“A Nice Family Gathering” On Thanksgiving Day, the first gathering since Dad died, Dad comes back as a ghost with a mission. Trouble begins when Mom invites a date for dinner. Written by Phil Olson, and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs through May 29 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

 

“The Story of Alice” A young girl finds herself in a mysterious otherworld filled with articulate woodland creatures struggling against a tyrant Queen and self-indulgent Havalots, but in an attempt to save herself, the girl known as Alice must first save those she encounters during her wild adventure that is as real as it is confabulation. One of the most enduring stories by Lewis Carroll is given a musical and contemporary retelling in this timely and wickedly imaginative production featuring an impetuous teenager in a wondrous world unlike any she’s known before. Bored and restless, Alice follows after a nervous White Rabbit and lands in a strange place far different than her suburban home and more dangerous than her self-absorbed sister Simone could have warned her about. Along the way, Alice meets a trickster Cheshire Cat, who leads her unwittingly through a labyrinth of odd and unusual Forest Creatures. It isn’t long though before Alice discovers the dark truth shadowing this otherworld in the matriarch of a greedy Queen of Hearts, her inept husband and those who serve her, the Havalots. As Alice tries to return to her normal way of life, she invariably finds herself leading a rebellion against the tyranny of power and absolute rule. But will she ever return to being a regular teenager ever again, or be caught forever down the rabbit hole where reality is only a dream. Written by Michael Cormier, with music by Scott Hiltzik, and directed by Gary Reed, it runs through May 29 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4420 or visit www.plays411.com/alice.

 

 

Looks like this month is filled with fun stuff to do, so go enjoy a show tonight!

2 thoughts on ““Scene in LA” May 2016 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

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