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“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.

“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.

“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.

 

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!

 

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

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

“All About Santa” It’s holiday time at the North Pole and everyone is in a tizzy – Santa has disappeared. Is he taking a vacation? Did the sleigh run out of spirits? Can Mrs. Claus keep the home fires burning and the toyshop churning until he can be found? And to make matters worse, who should appear on the scene but the Suits – the Mad Men from Badison Avenue – ready and willing to “solve” the problem with a host of plans to make the holidays even more commercial than ever. The good North Pole folk in this heart-warming Victorian yuletide musical almost succumb to these sinister hijinks, but, with the help of the audience, love and good cheer conquers all, leaving the way clear for still another happy holiday season! Written and directed by Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo, with music by Evelyn Rudie and Matthew Wrather, it runs December 1 through December 16 at the Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 2 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

“A Christmas Carol” allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays. Ebenezer Scrooge’s rebirth from miserly curmudgeon to the epitome of love and generosity affirms our faith in the potent goodness of humanity during this beloved time of year. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Geoff Elliott, and directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs December 1 through December 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“A Harmony Boys Christmas: Live from Waikiki Beach” The Boys are back! It’s 1963 all over again and famed foursome The Harmony Boys are returning to spread Christmas Cheer all over your face in a new holiday special on the gay and vibrant shores of beautiful Waikiki Beach! See Billy, Bobby, Barry, and Xian Ling Moon Harmony reunite onstage together in this singing, dancing, toe-tapping yuletide extravaganza. For mature audiences. Written by Aaron Matijasic, with music by Ben Stanton, and directed by Jaime Robledo, it runs December 1 through December 23 at the Broadwater Main Stage in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.theharmonyboys.brownpapertickets.com.

“Sugar Plum Fairy” tells the story of a 12 year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker. Audiences are encouraged to come decked out in ugly holiday sweaters, tutus, and Hanukah hats and be prepared to join in the 75 minutes of madcap merriment. Written by Sandra Tsing Loh, and directed by Bart De Lorenzo, it runs December 1 through December 23 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.SkylightTix.org.

“A Holiday Comedy Sh*tSH*W” Brace yourself for an evening of hysterical proportion with “Finding the Virgin Mary’s Baby Daddy, Subway Dwelling Jesus, The Flawed Logic of the Male Mind, Just the “10%.” Tips…all topics you are bound to encounter during the holidays. Okay, maybe not so much, but you most definitely will at this production. Directed by Jackie Learmond and Megan James, it runs December 4 through December 12 at the Complex Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.squareup.com/store/holiday-comedy-shitsh-star-w.

“Love Actually Live” takes place in a three-dimensional world where scenery and video screens intertwine, providing a canvas upon which actors weave between projections as they bring unforgettable scenes to life through the movie’s album. The film, along with original custom-video content illustrating the London-based setting, is displayed on screens that travel throughout the stage, immersing the singers and musicians in a cinematic spectacle. This theatrical world transforms the experience so completely that audiences will fall in love with Love Actually all over again. The production, a one-of-a-kind presentation is performed live by an all-star cast and 15-piece orchestra includes songs from the hit film, including “Christmas Is All Around,” “The Trouble with Love Is,” and “Both Sides Now.” Written by Richard Curtis, with music by Jesse Vargas, and directed by Anderson Davis, it runs December 4 through December 31 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.thewallis.org/love.

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor’s wife have already RSVP’d for this year’s event. But Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow-minded thinking. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Will any of this matter once the party starts, the bickering and fighting begins, and the drinks hit the floor? Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs December 6 through December 20 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.bobs23.brownpapertickets.com.

“A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens” David Melville gives a virtuoso performance as nearly all the characters in the story. He is joined by Kalean Ung who provides dramatic interjections, sound effects and live music. Written by Charles Dickens, with music by Kalean Ung, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs December 6 through December 23 at the Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater Village. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“The Eight: Reindeer Monologues” Listen to the eight reindeer dishing about the real Santa in some serious X-rated fashion! All those rumors you’ve heard about him and the elves? About Rudolph’s little secret? About Vixen’s story that was leaked to the press? All true. Yes, the reindeer finally speak up and – believe us – they do not hold back! Written by Jeff Goode, and directed by Bill Reilly, it runs December 6 through December 23 at the Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“Beauty and the Beast – A Christmas Rose” In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to CHEER for Belle, BOO for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.” Written by Kris Lythgoe, with music by Keith Harrison, and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs December 8 through December 30 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play” takes place at KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station that good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping alive. He calls on some old friends (with big personalities) and some less-than-professional station employees to offer up a live radio version of Frank Capra’s touching masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life in what might sadly be the station’s last live show. But it’s the holidays, a time when miracles can happen…. Written by Jim Martyka, and directed by Carey Matthews, it runs December 8 through December 16 at the Belfry Stage Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.

“South Pacific” the musical is set on an exotic island during World War II. The plot follows two love stories about seeming-opposites brought together by the circumstances of war and torn apart by prejudice and fear. In the core story, Nellie Forbush, a naïve American nurse from a small town, falls in love with Emile de Becque, a sophisticated French plantation owner with a mysterious past. In the second, Joe Cable, a Marine Lieutenant from Philadelphia finds himself drawn to Liat, a young native girl. The timeless score includes beautiful ballads such as “Younger the Springtime” and “Some Enchanted Evening,” exuberant up-tempo songs like “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy,” comic character numbers like “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” and driving anthems like the ever-timely “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” Written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and directed by Katharine Farmer, it runs December 8 through December 23 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Wink” Wink, a homeless gender questioning teenager and Dario Villanova, a former A-list actor who is now doing B movies, are both down on their luck in Los Angeles. When a synchronistic meeting connects these two souls, they quickly bond over music, art, and life’s unexpected misfortunes. Sometimes the best way forward is to stop fighting the past. Written by Neil Koenigsberg, and directed by Michael Allen Angel, it runs December 8 through January 13 at the Zephyr on Melrose in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-1055 or visit www.plays411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=4855.

“The Year without a Santana Claus” Santa’s gonna need a BLACK MAGIC WOMAN this year ‘cause he’s real sick with a CORAZON ESPINADO. Poor Santa feels like he has NO ONE TO DEPEND ON and to make matters worse THIS BOY’S FIRE is comin’ in at a fever of 102. It’s no wonder – the ol’ guy can’t be EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING!!! One thing’s for certain – Santa’s in need of a serious vacay. Maybe he’ll vacation on Mars and attend an INTERPLANETARY PARTY? Or maybe he’ll play it SMOOTH and lay low down south in Cabo. Will the Heatmiser tell his brother the Snowmiser to change his EVIL WAYS? Will Santa say “Hey, Mrs. Claus WHY DON’T YOU AND I get together and take a snowboarding lesson?” Will the Troubies come to the rescue and save Christmas? This holiday season bring the familia to the El Portal and party and laugh INTO THE NIGHT!!! The Troubies’ annual holiday show has become a tradition in Los Angeles. Written and directed by Matt Walker, it runs December 8 through December 30 at the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” One of the all-time classic Christmas stories comes to life onstage in a 1940s-style radio broadcast – join George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck man, as his guardian angel shows him what his town would have been like had he never been born. This timeless masterpiece guarantees to warm your heart this holiday season. Written by Joe Landry, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs December 12 through December 23 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

“Jane Austen UnScripted” gives audiences a chance to imagine the other books she might have written. The company starts with audience suggestions and deftly creates a world of love-struck girls, brooding noblemen and charming cads, and although hearts are sure to be broken, true love will win out in the end. Written by Impro Theatre Company, it runs December 14 through December 22 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

“Special” commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the worst variety show in television history with a behind-the-scenes imagined look of how The Star Wars Holiday Special came to be. How could it miss? It was riding the coattails of what was at that point the most popular movie of all time. It featured appearances by cast members, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. It had great guest stars like Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney and (in holographic form) Jefferson Starship and Diahann Carroll. There was even a cartoon sequence (the first appearance of Boba Fett). The narrative involved the celebration of the Wookiee holiday Life Day (because there’s no Christmas in Space), as Chewie’s family wants to celebrate despite the intrusion of Imperial Storm Troopers. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. The Love Boat pulled better Nielsen numbers than The Star Wars Holiday Special. CBS never aired it again. Written by Andrew Osborne, and directed by Kerr Lordygan, it runs December 14 through December 31 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.specialtheplay.com/tickets.

 

“The Nutcracker” The Long Beach Ballet has pulled out all the stops for this 36th production of the classical tale. This production boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200. Former Disney designers Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer created the enchanting scenery, Australian artist Adrian Clark designed the detailed costumes, and renowned magician Franz Harary created the special effects, including a magical costume switch, involving Clara instantly changing from her nightgown into a gleaming ball gown. Written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and directed by David Wilcox, it runs December 15 through December 23 at the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 877-852-3177 or visit www.longbeachballet.com.

“The Wonderful Winter of Oz” On Christmas Eve, Dorothy gets swept away by a ‘freak’ Kansas blizzard and lands in a world of munchkins and witches. An updated version of the beloved classic, in the style of a traditional British family Panto, THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ features family-friendly magic, with a comedic twist, dancing (with “So You Think You Can Dance” alumni), contemporary music and more. Written by Kris Lythgoe, with music by Michael Orland, and directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, it runs December 15 through December 30 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.thepasadenacivic.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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

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

“Cleo, Theo & Wu” Lucy is a modern Angeleno gal just trying to be her best self. The Cool Girl, Lady Boss and all around getting sh*t done Boss Bitch. But, suddenly, the fate of the universe is in her hands and she’s gonna need to do better than self-help books and inspirational Insta-quotes. Never fear, space creatures from the future and the forgotten women of ancient history are teaming up to get Lucy on the right track. Careening through time and place, it takes Lucy on a heroine’s journey with the remarkable women who were so much more than the power hungry, sex-obsessed obstacles that history books would have you believe. Written by Kirsten Vangsness, and directed by Lisa Dring, it runs November 1 through December 8 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or www.theatreofnote.com.

“SIGNing the Song” Through American Sign Language paired with singing, William Martinez shares the true story of a boy who grew up in a deaf household with little exposure to TV, radio, or movies. Because of his incredible 8th grade music teacher and the love and support of his parents, he came out of his silent world and discovered his voice through music. ASL (American Sign Language) and song lyrics meld together into a beautiful unique art form. This immersive one-man show celebrates the extraordinary impact educators and parents have on each child’s life … regardless of their struggles. Written and directed by William Martinez, with music by David Bawiec, it runs November 1 through November 4 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.colonytheatre.org.

“Parfumerie” feuding employees George Horvath and Amalia Balash have each fallen in love with their secret pen pal. What will happen on Christmas Eve when they discover their true lover’s identity? Written by E. P. Dowdall, and directed by Brandon Ferruccio, it runs November 2 through December 9 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.

“She Loves Me” tells the beloved story of two feuding shop clerks who are unaware that they are the recipients of each other’s love letters. Written by Joe Masteroff, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and directed by Cate Caplin, it runs November 2 through December 16 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead)” It’s 1960 and America is in the midst of a civil upheaval. But in North Orange, NJ, an immaculate suburb with all the trappings of a prosperous, modern society: afternoon tea parties, electronic appliances, and JELL-O! “Progress and Science” are the buzzwords of the day. In this farcical, domestic tragicomedy, the classical Greek heroines, Clytemnestra and Medea, have been recast as pill-popping housewives, and Antigone is the lovelorn, teenage girl next door. Their “blissful” lives are upended when Cassandra, a colored girl new to town and cursed with the gift of prophecy, arrives with a mind to free them from their dark destinies. Written by Jami Brandli, and directed by Darin Anthony, it runs November 3 through December 2 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-472-5646 or visit www.movingarts.org.

“A Mile in My Shoes” we meet Ester, an omniscient “shoe whisperer,” as she walks us through a day in her life on Skid Row. We meet a variety of characters: a transgender teen, a young mom, a mentally ill substance abuser, a high school valedictorian, a police officer, concerned citizens at a city council meeting and others as they put a face on the homeless epidemic. Written by Kathryn Taylor Smith, and directed by Zadia Ife, it runs November 4 through December 9 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/mileinmyshoes.

“Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays breathes new life into the greatest ghost story ever told. While the heart of A Christmas Carol is evergreen, Mays brings fresh perspective to Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the rest, playing every role in this whirlwind one-man show. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jefferson Mays, Susan Lyons and Michael Arden, and directed by Michael Arden, it runs November 7 through December 2 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Anatomy of a Hug” Amelia has a job selling memberships to a charity that rescues kids in countries overseas. She’s invested the rest of her life in her beloved television shows, which provide her an emotional haven. Sonia is Amelia’s mother. She’s been given Compassionate Release from prison as she is terminally ill. She was convicted of murdering Amelia’s father. She’s moved into Amelia’s apartment with the aid of a social worker, Iris. Amelia has attracted the attention of a decent, sincere co-worker named Ben, who introduces her to a wonderful human invention called a hug. Can Amelia possibly bridge the emotional chasm with her mother while there’s still time? Will the wounds of the past prevent Amelia from returning Ben’s affection? Written by Kat Ramsburg, and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs November 9 through December 2 at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-6569 or visit www.anatomyofahug.bpt.me.

“Blacktop Highway” Renowned performer John Fleck reinvents the gothic horror genre in this horrifyingly hysterical tale of taxidermy, transformation and caged creatures. Fleck continues to break new ground playing all the parts (both human and animal) in this brilliantly staged screenplay. Written by John Fleck, and directed by Randee Trabitz, it runs November 9 through December 15 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

“The Color Purple” is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. The story spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, it is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life. Written by Alice Walker, book by Marsha Norman, with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and directed by Jeffrey Polk, it runs November 9 through December 9 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-673-0544 or visit www.GreenwayCourtTheatre.org/THECOLORPURPLE.

“Confederates” is an often funny, often devastating look at today’s high stakes political media landscape. When two journalists embedded with the campaign of a newly declared presidential campaign — one seasoned, the other young and ambitious — uncover a compromising photo of the candidate’s daughter, they must decide whether to publish or bury it. Written by Suzanne Bradbeer, and directed by Christopher Hart, it runs November 9 through December 16 at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.hartnpi.org/tickets.

“Curtains” It’s the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston’s Colonial Theatre is hosting the opening-night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage, the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical-theatre fan! Curtains is the final musical from the American musical theatre composing giants Kander and Ebb, who brought us such works as Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Written by Rupert Holmes, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Tony Cason, it runs November 9 through November 17 at the Smothers Theatre Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

 

“Death and Cockroaches” Meet Eric. He’s an aspiring playwright who’s trying to break into TV writing when his Dad interrupts his plans by suddenly getting sick with a terminal illness. Instead of stepping up to his familial duties, Eric runs away from his sadness straight into a ‘Wall of Dicks’. Fortunately, there’s a hot, imaginary Cockroach who’s there to help him to confront his grief and his family’s disappointment. Written by Eric Reyes Loo, and directed by Jennifer Chang, it runs November 9 through December 1 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-379-9583 or visit www.chalkrep.com.

“Disney’s the Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. This fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea”, “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World”. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Written by Doug Wright, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and directed by Catherine Rahm, it runs November 9 through December 15 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

“In a Booth at Chasen’s” In November 1949, a nervous 29 year-old starlet – Nancy Davis – went to a dinner at Chasen’s restaurant with the President – of the Screen Actors Guild – movie star Ronald Reagan, while Reagan is still nursing a broken heart from his divorce from Jane Wyman. There is an attraction, and the two hit it off. Several weeks later, the two have become closer, but not yet exclusive. Nancy helps Ron paint the fences at his ranch in the San Fernando Valley, and starts to get to know his children. She even loves his dumb jokes. Over the next two years, the couple confide in one another, turn up the heat, bicker and rage against the gossipy tabloid press, and even battle the threat of Communism. The drama is in how Nancy plays hard to get, and how long it takes Ron to propose. The marriage of Ron and Nancy Reagan continues to be written about, talked about, analyzed and scrutinized. To some, Ron’s unyielding devotion to his wife is to be admired and Nancy’s fierce protection of her husband is applauded. To others, their relationship seemed odd, old-fashioned and even corny. Either way, it cannot be denied that few, if any, marriages had more of an impact on the 20th century. Written by Sam Bennett, with music by Al Kasha and Phil Swann, and directed by Kay Cole, it runs November 9 through November 25 at the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportal.com.

“Remembering Boyle Heights” Contemporary gentrification debates unlock the early history, stories and memories of Boyle Heights revealing the mythical and human dimensions of L.A.’s own Ellis Island of the West. Written by Josefina López and Corky Dominguez, and directed by Corky Dominguez, it runs November 9 through December 16 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.

“The Value of Moscow” Three grown “adult” sisters are thrust back into living together as a last resort after their various lives have fallen apart. This trio can’t even agree on how to unpack their stuff much less their relationships and pasts. And before they can finish the bottle of vodka they found in the kitchen, everything goes from bad to worse, to a lot, LOT worse. Can they set aside their grievances long enough to work together and save themselves? Probably not. But with acerbic wit and an encounter with the pizza man, these three sisters aim to find out. Written by Amy Dellagiarino, and directed by Carrie Keranen, it runs November 9 through December 8 at the Second Stage at The Broadwater Theater Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“My Date With Death – A Musical Romance” Link finds himself at the end of his rope, drinking the remainder of his life away at a bar when he is visited by a Spirit from the beyond. This Spirit reveals herself to be a Soul Collector sent to keep Link from ending his energy too soon. Strap in and take a Dickensian sprint across the universe with Link, an isolated soul, as he falls in love with Lady Death, and her never-ending knowledge of the cosmos. Written by Daniel Sugimoto, with music by Daniel Sugimoto, and directed by Julia Lisa, it runs November 10 through December 2 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 323-301-9002 or visit www.thezootheatreco.com.

“Hughie” and “Krapp’s Last Tape” Reprising roles that have garnered critical and popular acclaim, Dennehy brings searing humanity and his extraordinary dramatic skill to these powerful productions:

Hughie: When high-rolling gambler and small-time hustler Erie Smith loses his confidant Hughie, his life takes a turn for the worse. In his grief, Erie befriends a new hotel night clerk and sees a chance for a winning streak.

Krapp’s Last Tape: Preparing for his birthday ritual, Krapp stumbles upon a recording of a tender memory from a lifetime ago. As he immerses himself in his own personal history, Krapp questions whether his present lives up to his past.

Written by Eugene O’Neill (Hughie), Samuel Beckett (Krapp’s Last Tape), and directed by Steven Robman, it runs November 14 through December 16 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Bus Stop” tells a story of a group of people thrown together by a blizzard to spend a long night snowbound at a diner/bus stop in rural Kansas. It is especially the story of Bo, a young cowboy who has grown up on an isolated ranch in Montana. The wild young man has fallen for a nightclub chanteuse named Cherie while competing in a rodeo in Kansas City. He will need to be taught a lesson in humility and lose a fight before he can win the heart of the love of his life in what has become a classic American romance. The other characters all have their own agendas, too, including the diner’s two waitresses, the bus driver, the local sheriff, an itinerant educator, and Virgil, Bo’s ranch foreman and mentor. Written by William Inge, and directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, it runs November 15 through December 16 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“Chico’s Angels Five-O: Waikiki Chicas” This is one hurricane of a case! Hula dancers have gone missing from Waikiki’s hottest night club The Hula Ho. This is job for the three sexiest detectives alive, but since Sabrina, Jill and Kelly are busy, Chico’s Angels will take it! Come to paradise with Kay Sedia, Frieda Laye and Chita Parol as they go undercover in grass skirts, coconut bikinis and cha-cha pumps to solve the case of the missing Hula Hos. Chico’s Angels are three beautiful and comedic Latina drag queens as the leads: Kay Sedia, Chita Parol & Frieda Laye – Who work for pennies for their unseen boss. Think of the 70s series, Charlie’s Angels starring a Latino Three Stooges in drag. Written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, and directed by Kurt Koehler, it runs November 15 through November 18 at the Colony Theater in Burbank. For tickets call 818-558-7000 or visit www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/993027.

“A Carol Christmas” Instead of a man named Scrooge we have a woman named Carol, the successful, demanding host of a home-shopping show who cares nothing for Christmas and wants her staff to work right through the holidays. 17 new songs and all of the characters you know and love. Written by Doug Haverty, with music by Bruce Kimmel, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs November 16 through December 30 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“Exit Wounds” explores the effects of a national tragedy on three generations of the perpetrator’s family. How do you find redemption when someone you love has committed a terrible crime? A story of healing, hope and compassion, Exit Wounds unravels slowly, as a mystery: what was the tragic event that caused hoarder Linda Sadowski to retreat from life, and her son, Matt to become estranged? How can Linda stem the ripple effect of the family’s painful past and save the 17-year-old grandson she’s never met? Written by Wendy Graf, and directed by Christopher Hart, it runs November 16 through December 15 at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.hartnpi.org/tickets.

“Down to My Last Egg” When Remy’s window to become a mother started to close, she hit the road in search of a sperm daddy. Once she found him, getting pregnant proved to be even more slippery than his sperm. Her thoughts, ideas and actions around motherhood, and what it entails, left her with one question – Is she meant to be a mother? Did she conceive or did her last egg shrivel up and die? You’ll have to see the show to find out. Written by Remy O’Brien, and directed by Jonathan Medina, it runs November 18 through November 26 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“A Christmas Story” The Parker family gets its Christmas tree. Ralphie’s dad, The Old Man, wins a very special prize in a contest. Ralphie is pursued by a girl in his class. Ralphie is pursued by the class bully. And, most famously, Ralphie sets off on a campaign to acquire his most-desired Christmas present, a Red Ryder BB air rifle, only to be warned repeatedly, “You’ll put your eye out, kid”. Written by Philip Grecian, based on the screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and also on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs November 23 through December 30 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“Bob Baker’s Nutcracker” features over 100 handcrafted puppets to take the entire family on an adventure through the wizardry of strings and into the enchanted world of the fantastic. Bob Baker’s adaptation of the ballet classic is one of Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s most beloved shows since it began in 1969. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her promenading cakes, waltzing flowers, and all of the wonders beyond the mysterious door are now to be found at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre — entirely outfitted for the holidays — at Pasadena Playhouse. This is the first time that the show is being performed outside of its original location. The show runs November 24 through December 31 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.

“A Christmas Carol” Nineteenth-century London comes with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come—and, as always, Hal Landon Jr. as everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by John-David Keller, it runs November 24 through December 24 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Vendetta Chrome” Vendetta, a late bloomer at a Victorian girls’ school, must save her friends and family from a legacy of trouble — and it’s all in the dance moves. In the West Coast premiere of Sylvan Oswald’s melodrama-farce, spirited movement sequences take a female and nonbinary cast through the lightness and the darkness of today’s feminist rage. Written by Sylvan Oswald, and directed by Sara Lyons, it runs November 24 through December 15 at the Lex Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-944-2165 or visit www.coeurage.org/buytickets.

“Dixie’s Tupperware Party” Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternative uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation and a little bit of empowerment and homespun wisdom, Dixie’s Tupperware Party leaves your heart a little bigger and your food a little fresher. Written by Kris Andersson, and directed by Dixie Longate, it runs November 28 through December 30 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 213-628-2772 or visit www.dixiestupperwareparty.com.

“Aphrodite’s Holiday Show” brings back Aphrodite, Dionysus and their 45-year old human daughter, Poinsettia, as they continue to work through their god/mortal issues. Aerialists, dancers, magicians, jugglers and other special guests join the fun in this winter solstice variety spectacle. Written by Lee Margaret Hanson and Adam J. Jefferis, co-Written by Rynn Vogel, and directed by Lee Margaret Hanson and Adam J. Jefferis, it runs November 29 through December 16 at the Actor’s Gang Theater in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“1966 Holiday Variety Extravaganza” the audience travels back to the swingin’ Sixties for a night of holiday hilarity. Using audience suggestions, the award-winning Impro Theatre performs their unscripted, totally improvised LIVE variety show that delights in the comedy and music stylings of “Holiday Special” icons Andy Williams, Perry Como and Judy Garland. Written by Impro Theatre Company, it runs November 30 through December 9 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.GarryMarshallTheatre.org.

“The SantaLand Diaries” Patrick Censoplano dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris about the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City, taking a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best – and the worst – in us all. Written by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs November 30 through December 16 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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

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

“Villainy, or H.H. Holmes’ Own Story” the incredible true story of H.H. Holmes (1861-1896), America’s first serial killer. Born Herman Webster Mudgett, his favored alias was H.H. Holmes, reportedly assuming the name in tribute to the fictional master of mystery, Sherlock. A master seducer of women, Holmes was ultimately married to three women simultaneously. His many crimes included arson, insurance fraud, torture and murder. He confessed to 27 murders in a memoir, written in a response to a lucrative offer from newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. Having received training in the medical profession, Holmes sometimes dissected the bodies of his victims, selling their skeletons to medical schools. In the most brazen portion of his career, Holmes had a “murder castle” with a pharmacy, a torture chamber, apartments for young women who disappeared mysteriously… all just three miles east of the Columbian Exposition (the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair), giving rise to Holmes’ nickname, “the Devil in the White City”. Written by John Strysik, and directed by Jeff G. Rack, it runs October 3 through November 7 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.villainy.brownpapertickets.com.

“The Bench, A Homeless Love Story” Based on true stories, this drama explores the emotional anguish of five homeless characters and the catastrophic hysteria surrounding the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. Humor and heartbreak bring these stories to life, based on real people in the writer’s life. Written by Robert Galinsky, and directed by Jay O. Sanders, it runs October 4 through November 9 at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7822 or visit www.plays411.com.

“The Tempest” Free, but reservations are required. This great romantic comedy has it all: danger, intrigue, politics, revenge, a mighty sorcerer, her beautiful daughter falling deeply in love at first sight, for the very first time, with the handsome prince who is so conveniently shipwrecked near her beach home. The play still exerts an influence over popular culture nearly four centuries later, ranging from Forbidden Planet to Gilligan’s Island to Lost. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs October 4 through October 20 at the Brand Park in Glendale. For tickets visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.

“Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk” tells the story of Philip, a struggling painter who goes on a fantastical journey to reclaim his right to be an artist (the title roughly translates to ‘Journey Extremely Mysterious’.). Written by Lars Mattsun, translated by Todd Merrill, and directed by Todd Merrill, it runs October 5 through November 3 at the Broadwater Main Stage at Sacred Fools in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.

“Johnny Got His Gun” The narrator, twenty-year-old Joe Bonham, got his gun and went to war in 1918. An exploding shell in World War I reduced him to a silent life, silent on the outside but not on the inside. Far from home, in a hospital bed in Europe, Joe Bonham is without a voice but ready for battle, ready to explode with rage at what the war left behind. A story about survival and the unyielding and persistent need in all human beings to live with dignity and purpose, it reminds us that behind every casualty of war there is the story of a young person whose hopes, aspirations and dreams have been stolen from them. Written by Dalton Trumbo, adapted by Bradley Rand Smith, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs October 6 through November 10 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“The Madwoman of Chaillot” with love and magic at a sidewalk café where artists, ragmen and madwomen become aware of a diabolical plan to drill for oil in the middle of Paris. The Madwoman develops a scheme with her eccentric circle of friends to stop the men and their insatiable lust for oil. Written by Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency, and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs October 6 through November 10 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.TheActorsGang.com.

“Oppenheimer” Fascism is spreading across Europe. Two German chemists discover the processes of atomic fission. In Berkeley, California, theoretical physicists recognize the horrendous potential of this new science: a weapon that draws its power from the very building blocks of the universe. Ambitious and charismatic, J. Robert Oppenheimer finds himself uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history, the Manhattan Project and the creation of the Atomic bomb. Could it bring about an end of World War II, and all wars? Written by Tom Morton-Smith, and directed by John Perrin Flynn, it runs October 6 through December 30 at the Electric Lodge in Venice. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” In Bucks County, Penn., Vanya and Sonia share a country house and fret endlessly—and amusingly—about their hapless lives. When Masha, their self-absorbed movie-star sister, and her much, much younger boy toy, Spike, visit for the weekend, the entire household gets hilariously upended. Rivalries are rekindled, resentments rage, the housekeeper blurts out strange prophecies and Masha announces she’s selling the house. Written by Christopher Durang, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs October 6 through October 21 at the South Coast Repertory Julianne Argyros Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” Hamlet is turned topsy-turvy in this brilliant comedy that thrusts Shakespeare’s two minor characters to the frontlines with no rules except one: they are destined to die. Trapped in a universe where the flip of a coin always comes up heads and pirates can pop-up anytime, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern engage in a battle of wits to try to escape their fate and make sense of a senseless world. Written by Tom Stoppard, and directed by Geoff Elliott, it runs October 7 through November 18 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Silence! The Musical” follows rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling as she matches wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in order to catch the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. Clarice faces her own demons while racing the clock to unlock Lecter’s clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Buffalo Bill. This laugh-out-loud naughty satire features a singing and dancing chorus of lambs narrating the action as Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin. Even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he’d like to lead someday outside the prison walls. Along the way, the entertaining lambs keep the story moving from scene-by-scene with musical commentary and tons of laughter! Written by Hunter Bell, with music by Jon Kaplan & Al Kaplan, and directed by Amanda Conlon, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Let Live Theatre at The Actors Company in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.bucketlisttheatre.com/tickets.

 

“42nd Street” Starring Phantom of the Opera’s Davis Gaines as Julian Marsh! Grab your tap shoes and come meet those dancing feet in the American dream fable of Broadway. Young Peggy Sawyer is looking to make it on the great white way. When the leading lady of a new Broadway musical gets injured, Peggy might have the shot at stardom she has always been dreaming of. This mother of all musicals features the beloved and iconic “Lullaby of Broadway,” “42nd Street,” “We’re in the Money,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” and much more. Written by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble, with music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and directed by David F.M. Vaughn, it runs October 12 through October 28 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 800-300-4345 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.

“The Boys Next Door” Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where “little things” sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in the brief time that they are allotted on this earth. As such, this play explores friendship, love and loss in ways universal to all of us. We all fight with filters and obstacles in our lives, but the actors and characters in this production face challenges steeper than most. It is the experience and living truth of the actors that will fill these characters’ stories with physical and emotional authenticity. Written by Tom Griffin, and directed by Jeremy Aldridge, it runs October 12 through November 10 at the Blue Door in Culver City. For tickets call 310-425-8215 or visit www.creoutreach.org.

“Double Play” It sounds like a play about baseball, but it is really about two loners who meet at the crack of dawn in front of Yankee Stadium. Thirty-eight years later, Act Two, Home Plate, completes this romantic comedy, which follows two lonely people who meet in front of Yankee Stadium through the course of their courtship and a 28-year marriage. Written by Dennis Danziger, and directed by Matthew Leavitt, it runs October 12 through November 4 at the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-463-7378 or visit www.doubleplay.brownpapertickets.com.

“Real Women Have Curves” In a tiny, family-run factory, fabric flies and tempers flare when Ana, fresh out of high school, rebels against the status quo with dreams of becoming a writer. But deportation and the pressure to not abandon her heritage become a heated debate. These incredibly strong women gossip about food and sex and love… and size, while rewriting Corporate America’s definition of beauty. It’s a coming of age comedy, set in East LA. Written by Josefina López, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs October 12 through November 18 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Talking Trees” is a therapeutic tale centered around a mixed race couple and their refusal to effectively communicate, giving race permission to be the silent killer of their relationship. This absurd dark comedy compares the couple’s relationship to the irony of nature and the balance of its four seasons. Nature has no problem navigating the changes and messages sent within those seasons, but what is it with humans? Written by Lonnie Hughes, and directed by Marjorie LeWit, it runs October 12 through November 11 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.TalkingTreesPlay.com.

“To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen” represents the culmination of Kiki Ebsen’s vision of a full-scale entertainment tribute to the life and career of her father, Buddy Ebsen. Early in her career, Kiki established herself as a dynamic singer/songwriter, musician and artist whose vast musical range combines elements of jazz, pop, classical and rock. Written by Kiki Ebsen, and directed by Steve E. Feinberg, it runs October 12 through October 14 at the Theatre West in Studio City. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.

“Cal in Camo” Do wounds from the past irrevocably impact our capacity to connect? Heartfelt and mysterious, this play probes the nature of bonding in family relationships, and beyond. With an unexpected sense of humor towards humanity, it mines those sometimes excruciating revelations that are necessary before healing can begin. Written by William Francis Hoffman, and directed by Amy K. Harmon, it runs October 13 through November 9 at the VS Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-739-4411 or visit www.reddogsquadron.com.

“Kings” The story follows Sydney Millsap, who wins a seat in Congress and is determined to drain the swamp. Then she meets Kate, a whip-smart lobbyist who gets her clients whatever they want. When Kate helps Sydney try to unseat a powerful senator steeped in cronyism, the result, is a sleek, fast-paced, absorbing and very funny look at the corrosive effect of money on politics. It’s a play that lets audiences laugh, think and hope. Written by Sarah Burgess, and directed by Dámaso Rodríguez, it runs October 13 through November 10 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“18 Minutes of Fame: A Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus” You’ve seen her —a lot: On stage, on screen and especially on television. Other than the fact that she never became actually famous, she’s had what most performers would consider an enviable career. Because she started out as, and remains, an accomplished singer, her show business memoir is a musical one. Her road hasn’t always been an easy one. She faced physical challenges. She had to conceal her stage mother’s ongoing infidelities. Aspiring early on to sing opera, Barbara found her audiences steering her in the direction of musical comedy. Gaining a foothold in national media, she worked with the show business greats. She appeared 25 times as a raconteur and singer on The Merv Griffin Show; Appeared on TV with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis; 27 episodes of Love, American Style as a variety of characters; stints on Tosh O; Getting On; The Tonight Show. Her stage career has included the touring company of Funny Girl (as Fanny Brice); a starring role on Broadway in The Education of Hyman Kaplan; Off-Broadway roles in Picon Pie (as Molly Picon); Don’t Leave It All to Your Children; Rondelay. She starred locally as Jennie Grossinger in Saturday Night at Grossinger’s. She also had roles in nine feature films. Along the way, she found true love. A trip to Israel with her husband brought her closer to her Jewish roots. Written by Susan Morgenstern and Barbara Minkus, and directed by Susan Morgenstern, it runs October 14 through October 21 at the Pico in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.18MinutesOfFame.brownpapertickets.com.

“Sell/Buy/Date” is an exuberant show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Brimming with Jones’ dazzling medley of masterful, multicultural characterizations, the play presents an honest, moving, and even humorous look at a complex and fascinating subject, all while preserving the full humanity of voices seldom heard in the theatre. Written by Sarah Jones, and directed by Carolyn Cantor, it runs October 14 through November 18 at the Renberg Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

“Return to the Forbidden Planet” follows the adventures of the dashing spaceship captain Tempest and his crew, who hit a meteor shower and are then mysteriously drawn off course to the planet D’Illyria. There they discover the mad scientist Dr. Prospero and his beautiful daughter Miranda, along with the robot Ariel. As a romance develops between Captain Tempest and Miranda, a monster threatens the spaceship, and a sacrifice is made to ensure everyone’s safety. Written by Bob Carlton, and directed by Kirby Ward, it runs October 17 through November 4 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“The Woman in Black” A man obsessed, believing his family has been cursed by a ghostly woman in black, tells his terrifying story to exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but as he reaches further into his darkest memories, he quickly finds that there is no turning back. Written by Susan Hill, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt, and directed by Robin Herford, it runs October 17 through November 11 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“Bride of Blood” King Solomon, the son of King David, was famed as the wisest King in all the world. With 700 wives and 300 concubines, his truest love may be the Queen of Sheba, and a ruler of power in her own right. The King attempts to plumb occult Hebrew mysteries, but his understanding is challenged by Exodus 4:24. A perplexing passage in which Moses, his wife Zipporah and their child are endangered by the wrath of God. In his quest and mastery of occult secrets, Solomon is overtaken by his own pride and commits a serious infraction against the will of the Almighty. This opens a path for Solomon’s arch-enemy, Asmodeus, The Demon of Wrath, to enter the land of the living. Seeing into the future, Solomon embarks on a desperate attempt to avert the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Written and directed by Amit Itelman, it runs October 18 through November 8 at the Skylight Theater in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.trepanyhouse.org.

 

“Vietgone” spins a modern twist on the classic boy-meets-girl story: Quang and Tong are refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, who hook up and fall in love in a relocation camp in Arkansas. Bold, and fearless, this production takes audiences on a hilariously rip-roaring ride across 1970s America with a hot soundtrack that serves up hip-hop, sass, and revolution. Written by Qui Nguyen, with music by Shammy Dee, and directed by Jennifer Chang, it runs October 18 through November 11 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

“Radiant Vermin” A wickedly funny satire flecked with horror. In this outrageous comedy with a killer heart, Ollie and Jill want to tell you about their dream home — but some of the things they did to get it… well, you might find them kind of shocking. Written by Philip Ridley, and directed by Tim True, it runs October 19 through November 18 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.dn3theatre.org.

“Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta” It’s 1942 and you receive an invitation to the book launch of Señor Plummer: The Life and Laughter of an Old Californian, Eugenio Plummer’s (mostly) true account of his life in early Los Angeles. You arrive in the newly dedicated Plummer Park, only steps away from where Plummer himself has lived since 1877. From Señor Plummer’s darkest nightmares, to his most luminous joys, you will be armed with only a treasure map of Señor Plummer’s mind. The adventures you encounter are not always friendly, not always logical, but always exist in the vibrant, mysteriously shifting ground at the very heart of Eugene Plummer, the original resident of West Hollywood. Written by Diana Burbano, Tom Jacobson, and Chelsea Sutton with Rogue Artists Ensemble, and directed by Sean T. Cawelti, it runs October 19 through November 18 at the Plummer Park in West Hollywood. For tickets visit www.RogueArtists.org.

“Shrek the Musical” Set in a mythical “once upon a time” sort of land, this is the story of a hulking green ogre who, after being mocked and feared his entire life by anything that crosses his path, retreats to an ugly green swamp to exist in happy isolation. Written by David Linsday-Abaire, with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by David Linsday-Abaire, and directed by Kirsten Chandler, it runs October 19 through October 28 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

“A Splintered Soul” A gripping drama about war refugees haunted by the death of their loved ones — and by memories of the things they had to do to survive. It’s 1947 in San Francisco, home to a group of resettled Holocaust survivors from Poland whose very existence depended on blurring the lines between right and wrong. It is there we meet Rabbi Kroeller and a group of morally starved refugees as they seek to define their existence in this new, tidy post-war America. How can these splintered souls adapt to a new life in a new land, where all the rules have changed? Written by Alan L. Brooks, and directed by Marya Mazor, it runs October 19 through November 4 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Sunny Afternoon” November 22nd, 1963. The kickoff of a 46-hour interrogation of Lee Harvey Oswald in the custody of Dallas Homicide Captain Will Fritz, where they discuss Baynes Barron, Russia, Coca-Cola, Jim Brown, a mysterious package, backyard photographs and Friday afternoon in Dealy Plaza. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 19 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

“…meantime at HoJo’s” Friday night June 16th, 1972. Across the street from the Watergate Complex, eight men sit inside a Howard Johnson’s motel room and wait. What happens over the next five hours will set in action a series of events that will end the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

 

“Cost of Living” John is a rich, quick-witted grad student who has cerebral palsy. Ani is a hilariously foul-mouthed quadriplegic. The people who help them, Jess and Eddie, have their own struggles to contend with. This is a haunting, rigorously unsentimental play about the forces that bring people together and the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities. Written by Martyna Majok, and directed by John Vreeke, it runs October 20 through December 16 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“King Dick” Christmastime, 1970. The King just spent 100G’s on gifts, and he’s on the run from Graceland. High on Demerol and liquid Ritalin, and with the help of his dead twin brother Jesse, Elvis concocts a scheme to offer the leader of the free world his influential voice in exchange for a new symbol of power. This was the last time anyone would be allowed to cold call the President of the United States. Written and directed by Christian Levatino, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Complex Hollywood The Flight Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.thebigeventlive.com.

“Mark Twain and Friends: A River Journey” is a wonderful, family-friendly piece that goes deep into very topical subjects such as prejudice, religion, and education, with Twain’s signature humor and pathos. Mark Twain returns from The Beyond to introduce some of the characters he met in his travels. Written by Greg White, and directed by Gary Lamb, it runs October 20 through November 18 at the Parson’s Nose Theater in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-403-7667 or visit www.parsonsnose.com.

“Murder on the Orient Express” All aboard! The exotic Orient Express is hurtling down the tracks…to a murder! With a train full of suspects and an alibi for each one, it’s the perfect mystery for the dapper detective Hercule Poirot. Romantic, dramatic and sumptuous, this first-ever stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s suspenseful masterpiece comes to life in this stylish production. Book your passage today for the thrill-ride of the season! Written by Agatha Christie, adapted by Ken Ludwig, and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs October 20 through November 11 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Steambath” What if God turned out to be a Puerto Rican steam bath attendant, assisted by a butler named Gottlieb? Renowned standup comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez stars in a revival of the hilarious, razor sharp, 1970 off Broadway hit comedy. Written by Bruce Jay Friedman, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs October 20 through December 16 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Tragedie of Macbeth” nine actors perform all the roles. They guide audience members from the Witches Heath, down the haunted hallways of Macbeth’s castle, and to the unsuspecting Macduff family’s peaceful home. Audiences pay a visit to the lair of the “double trouble” witches brewing around their cauldron and finally witness a fateful battle where a confrontation between rival adversaries pitches good against evil. The 360-degree performance ranges through five separate locations staged throughout SCLA’s Downtown LA facility, located on the corner of 1st Street and Bixel. To maximize suspense and intimacy, the number of audience members per performance is limited. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Kenn Sabberton, it runs October 20 through November 3 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-710-8942 or visit www.shakespearecenter.org/macbeth.

“The Seafarer” It’s Christmas Eve in a small coastal village north of Dublin, and Sharky has returned to look after his irascible, aging brother who’s recently gone blind. As Sharky attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays, he contends with old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky, who are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. With the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher and Sharky may be playing for his very soul. Written by Conor McPherson, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs October 21 through November 4 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“The Animal Monologues” Fast-moving, entertaining, and full of heart, the piece features the hopeful perspective of a young descendent of last living 9/11 Search and Rescue dog, Bretagne, who worked twelve-hour shifts at Ground Zero and became an international symbol of 9/11 heroism. When researching the story, Raasch learned that over 300 dogs from all over the world had worked the World Trade Center site, many entering spaces too tight for firefighters. As the mission turned from rescue to recovery, firefighters hid in the rubble to give the dogs a reason to keep looking. Written by Amy Raasch, with music by David Poe, and directed by Matthew McCray, it runs October 25 through November 18 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.TheAnimalMonologues.com.

“The Little Foxes” another epic drama about a Southern family in crisis. Set in the Deep South of 1900, where women have scant options and men seem to hold all the power, Regina Giddens will stop at nothing — even blackmail — to wrest the family business away from her scheming brothers. Written by Lillian Hellman, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs October 25 through December 10 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

 

“Desert Rats” 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 October 27 through November 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

“Letters from Home” Kalean Ung’s multimedia solo show weaves together her Cambodian family’s refugee story; her own story as a bi-racial, first-generation American; and Shakespeare’s iconic female characters into a unique theatrical experience. In 2016, Kalean learned of a drawer in her father’s study, filled with letters from family and friends living in desperate circumstances in refugee camps and detailing their lives during the genocide with the rise of the Khmer Rouge. This story examines her own life through the stories her father (acclaimed composer Chinary Ung) told her of arriving in America in the 1960s as a young music student, and his subsequent quest to rescue his family members. Written by Kalean Ung, with music by Chinary Ung, and directed by Marina McClure, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Independent Studio in Atwater. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Members Only” The year is 1982: the golden age of boxing, the dying gasp of disco, the flowering of identity politics — a time before AIDS had a name. Two decades have taken their toll on Pedro Quinn, a gay Latino prizefighter still fighting well into his 40s, ducking his living-legend status and mourning a man he killed in the ring years ago. Meanwhile, a new generation continues to push the cultural and sexual envelope in and out of the ring. Written by Oliver Mayer, and directed by José Luis Valenzuela, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

 

“The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man” Part fact, part fever dream, and part musical, this captivating new work opens with Alice B. Sheldon – better known to sci-fi aficionados as author James Tiptree, Jr. – contemplating suicide. Dodging in and out of reality, the play, with a bold musical score, investigates gender, longing and creativity as self-exploration through one of the Science Fiction world’s greatest literary tricksters. Sheldon was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently ‘male’ or ‘female’ and it was not publicly known until 1977 that Tiptree was, in fact, a woman. Written and directed by Maureen Huskey, with music by Yuval Ron, it runs October 27 through November 18 at the Son of Semele Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.sonofsemele.org.

“Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” this new adaptation takes place on the dismal streets of London in the 1860s, where societal pressures silence a gentle doctor’s questions about the nature of morality. As the pressure intensifies, Dr. Jekyll takes matters into his own hands. Will his efforts save the world, or will they destroy all that he holds dear? After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Written by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg, and directed by Anna Stromberg, it runs October 29 through October 31 at the LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!