It has been a long time coming, but finally we are seeing many theaters that are or will soon be reopening and announcing their upcoming schedules. However, the Covid-19 virus is still running rampant, so PROOF OF VACCINATION IS REQUIRED BY MOST THEATERS IN ORDER TO ATTEND PERFORMANCES, AND MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES DURING THE PERFORMANCES. The information presented in this column is the latest available at the time of printing, however you should check with the theater to confirm it before making definite plans. Here are the shows that have announced opening dates or are already running this month:
“Aleichem Sholom: The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem” Based on Sholom Aleichem’s letters and stories, the controversy surrounding his stories and plays, and his passionate involvement in the creation of a new homeland coupled with the personal recollections of those who knew him first hand, Aleichem Sholom is written by the internationally acclaimed duo of Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with lilting songs by Emery Bernauer, E. Rudie and Sholom Aleichem himself. Audiences are treated to an in-depth look at the joyous and poignant events that inspired the foolish philosophers, philosophical fools, comical shtetl folk and not-so-comical scoundrels that populated Sholom Aleichem’s world. Written by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Emery Bernauer, E. Rudie and Sholom Aleichem, and directed by Arthur R. Tompkins, it runs October 2 through October 30 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/aleichem-sholom.
“Dionne Warwick in Concert” The legendary Dionne Warwick performs live on stage in an amazing lineup of hits from her long career. Some of her past chart toppers include “Alfie”, “Walk on By”, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, “That’s What Friends are For” and countless others. A performance not to be missed! Written by Dionne Warwick, with music by Dionne Warwick, it runs October 2 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, and October 3 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center in Oxnard. For tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com/dionne-warwick-tickets/artist/734099.
“The Root Beer Bandits — A Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Musicale” This is the story of a woman with dreams of becoming a songwriter in 1860. In an effort to prove that women are capable of anything, she disguises herself to ride for the Pony Express. Her name is Pollyanna Peppercorn, and her adventure is just beginning. When Polly (Tiffany Daniels) delivers a letter to Sheriff Bailey (Clayton Snyder) of Sarsaparilla City, they discover that Copper Penny (Kelly Brandeburg) is scheming to steal the city’s famous gold label root beer supply, with her partner Zeke (Josey Montana McCoy). Alongside Sally Sue Tucker (Cloie Wyatt Taylor), a trailblazing entrepreneur, and Sheriff Bailey, Polly sets things right and makes it clear that everyone is capable of greatness, no matter what their circumstances may be. . Written by Joseph Leo Bwarie and Lori Marshall, with music by Rachael Lawrence, lyrics by Lori Marshall, and directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie, it runs October 2 through October 31 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.
“Ascension” Do you know about it? The Second Sun? It’s real. It’s going to take us home! The Echo Theater Company presents the world premiere of Ascension, an immersive, interactive sci-fi, futuristic cyber play that strikes at the heart of our assumptions about faith, memory and reality. Rebel is trapped inside a long, narrow pod. Nobody knows she’s in there… nobody but you, the audience. For some strange reason, your minds and hers are psychically linked, and only you can help her escape. Written by D. G. Watson, and directed by Ahmed Best, it runs October 6 through November 18 at the Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
“Holding Court” Court is a young woman who seems to have had every advantage: A loving, supportive family, a top-flight education. Yet, she’s troubled. She’s afflicted by shame and guilt because of failure to live up to her own expectations. A messy love life and self-destructive coping strategies like petty lies contribute to her emotional burdens. She runs through a gamut of therapists without doing the work that it takes to benefit from treatment until she encounters one particular practitioner who sees through her mechanisms and connects with her. Court understands that to achieve health, she has to become the hero of her own story. Can she forgive herself for all the stumbles she’s made on her life path? One extraordinary day, she finds herself in a situation of deadly danger. She must now become a hero for real, and damn fast, or someone will die. Will Court rise to the occasion? Written and directed by Courtney Scheuerman, it runs October 8 through October 16 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.onstage411.com/holdingcourt.
“Mamma Mia!” You can dance, you can jive and you’ll have the time of your life when 5-Star stages this massively popular musical for the first time! The impossible-to-resist hits of the Swedish pop group ABBA power this sunny, funny show about a young woman’s search for her birth father. Whether you grew up bopping to the beat of hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me,” “Chiquitita” and “Money, Money, Money,” or you discovered ABBA on the big screen, 5-Star’s production will lift you higher than a pair of bedazzled platform boots. . Written by Catherine Johnson, conceived by Judy Craymer, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and some songs with Stig Anderson, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs October 15 through October 24 at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.
“The Book of Moron” Robert Dubac’s newest Off-Broadway solo hit, THE BOOK OF MORON, has been described as one of the most “Hilarious” “Intelligent” and “Scorching” satirical attacks on idiocracy since Mark Twain. (And “idiocracy” isn’t even a word. How dumb is that?) Are you are craving for some satire that cuts with a clever intelligent edge? Are you are tired of adolescent comedies generated by the mediocrity of television? Then buckle up for a hilarious joy ride over the pot-holed highways of cultural hypocrisy! It’s comedy on steroids. Think your funny bone can handle it? Written and directed by Robert Dubac, it runs October 16 only at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Sh-Boom Life Could Be a Dream” Hey cool cats! Take a trip to Springfield and meet 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 hits 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.” This delightful, award-winning jukebox musical, written and created by Roger Bean (The Marvelous Wonderettes), will leave you laughing, singing, and cheering— let’s hear it for the boys! Written by Roger Bean, with music by Nick Guerrero, and directed by Jonathan Van Dyke, it runs October 17 through October 31 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Terry Barber Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber” The world’s greatest countertenor returns to El Portal to sing the amazing songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Terry returns to El Portal by popular demand after his thrilling concert in 2019. Written and directed by Terry Barber, it runs October 17 only at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Blues in the Night” Set in 1948 in a rundown Chicago hotel, three women and a man share their stories about the misery and humor of life, love and the dogged determination to do more than just survive. The drama reveals itself through 26 hot, torchy, glorious songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. Written by Sheldon Epps, and directed by Wren T. Brown, it runs October 22 through November 7 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“Never Swim Alone” In the slyly witty and unexpectedly suspenseful Never Swim Alone, two men are locked in a ruthless competition of one-upmanship under the watchful eye of “The Referee,” a young woman with a secret connection to the boys these men used to be. Written by Daniel MacIvor, and directed by Amanda Weier, it runs October 23 through December 12 at the Open Fist Theatre Company @Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.
“Poor Clare” Clare is just a regular noblewoman living in 13th century Italy, trying out hairstyles and waiting to get married… until a man named Francis starts ranting in the courtyard. But what happens when your eyes are opened to the injustice of the world around you — and you can’t look away? Written by Chiara Atik, and directed by Alana Dietze, it runs October 23 through November 29 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
“The Serpent” Go ahead – take the apple. The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble re-envisions the groundbreaking, Obie award-winning The Serpent by Jean-Claude van Itallie, a unique “ceremony/celebration/exploration” that delights in life as seen through the Book of Genesis and other iconic events. Written by Jean-Claude van Itallie, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs October 23 through December 12 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“The Soldier Dreams” A darkly funny and moving play about life, death, grief — and dancing. As David lies in a virus-induced coma, his lover, Richard, plays host to David’s family members, each of whom feel they had the most special connection. In this poignant homage to those we love who have left us, the audience becomes witness to everyone’s — including David’s own — memories of David. Written by Daniel MacIvor, and directed by Amanda Weier, it runs October 23 through December 12 at the Open Fist Theatre Company @Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.
“That Lovin’ Feeling – Tribute to the Righteous Brothers” Gene Sironen & Larry G Jones have performed to standing ovations, especially in the senior marketplace. Their portrayal of the Righteous Brothers is not only a brilliant recreation of the Blue-eyed Soul Duo, but it also brings back the history and memories of a wonderful era gone by. Songs include “Unchained Melody” “Rock and Roll Heaven” “Little Latin Lupe Lu” “Ebb Tide” “Soul and Inspiration” and, of course, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. Written by Gene Sironen and Larry G. Jones, it runs October 23 only at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“A Perfect Ganesh” Adult themes. No one under 12 admitted. The pilgrimage tradition is turned on its head when two outwardly unremarkable, middle-aged women throw themselves into a rousing tour of India, each one having her own secret dreams of what the fabled land of intoxicating opposites will do for the suffering she hides within. Margaret, an uptight example of WASP prerogative, has just discovered a lump in her breast but hasn’t told her friend. More adventurous Katharine seeks a respite from the haunting of her son, Walter, and even thinks of kissing the leprous hordes of Bombay to atone for the way she rejected him and maybe, she thinks, contributed to the gay-bashing in which he died. Faced with the women’s despair, who but Ganesh, the Hindu god with an elephant’s head, could intervene? Fluid in his power to assume any guise, at peace with all things, Ganesh is the spiritual center around which the play spins itself, drawing upon the tragic and the comic, the beautiful and the deplorable. Can Ganesh bring relief to the pain abiding within each of the women’s hearts? Written by Terrence McNally, and directed by David W. Callander, it runs October 29 through November 21 at the Pico (Formerly the Pico Playhouse) in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.onstage411.com/ganesh.
“An Iliad” Deborah Strang (she/her/hers) and Geoff Elliott alternate performances as The Poet in An Iliad, reliving and recounting bloodshed through hundreds and thousands of years. The lone witness of an ancient and ravaged Trojan battlefield weaves a tale of tragedy and triumph, with an enduring love for every victim of war. The Poet, an eternal being tasked with a passionate examination of deadly conflict, grapples with grief and dualities of victory and loss, power and fragility, heroism and hubris in an unforgettable modern take on Homer’s classic. Written by Lisa Peterson & Denis O’Hare, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs through October 3 at A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“Wait Until Dark” The hunter or the hunted, who is the prey? A classic American play about a woman in peril and tables that are turned. A blind housewife confronts a trio of nefarious men in search of a doll she does not know she has — its contents being a fortune in illicit goods. A suspenseful battle of wits leads to a confrontation between the lady and the devil, culminating in a thrilling climax! Written by Frederick Knott, and directed by Tony Torrisi, it runs through October 3 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.
“Sex With Strangers” Ethan is a hot young 20’s writer whose online journals of “sexcapades” are the buzz of the blogosphere. Olivia is an attractive 30-something whose own writing career never took off. Attraction turns to sex when star sex blogger Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure novelist Olivia. They find they each crave what the other possesses, but must confront the dark side of ambition and the trouble of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away. Written by Laura Eason, and directed by Allen Barton, it runs through October 7 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets visit www.crimsonsquare.org.
“It’s Alive, IT’S ALIVE!” NOTE: Proof of vaccination will be required of all patrons, and admittance is limited to ages 12+. All current CDC and local guidelines regarding seating and masks will be followed at each performance.
Joined onstage by a band and two singer/dancers, Fleck uses musical numbers, dance sequences and broad characters to create a hilarious and uniquely ribald theatrical rollercoaster that skewers our fears and assumptions about everything from COVID-19 to our identity as earth dwellers at this precarious moment. Written by John Fleck, and directed by David Schweizer, it runs through October 9 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” Please note: Everyone (adults and children over 12) who enters the Westchester Playhouse building must wear a face mask and needs to be prepared to show proof of vaccination.
Set in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up and cared for their elderly parents, while mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities. When their often-wrong, fortune-telling maid warns of impending dangers, and their movie star sister, Masha, arrives unexpectedly with her young, sexy, boy toy, Spike, the family is launched into a rollicking weekend of one-upmanship, exposed nerves, and a lot of broken mugs. With wit and absurdity, the toils and troubles of celebrity, social networking, and age combine into a laugh-out-loud comedy that will tickle your funny bone and stimulate your mind. Written by Christopher Durang, and directed by Susan Stangl, it runs through October 10 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“The Wolfe & The Bird” No time to sleep. No room for error. No pleasing mom. A young girl struggles to find herself against the backdrop of 1980s small town America.
- Proof of vaccination required – no exceptions
- Admittance is limited to ages 12+
- Masks required throughout the performance as mandated by the County of L.A.
Written by Rachel Parker, and directed by Alina Phelan, it runs through October 10 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5219775.
“As Good As Gold” Three female screenwriters, frustrated with the sexism and glass ceilings they encounter in Hollywood, decide to collaborate on a commercially surefire macho action epic screenplay with a studly hero. Now, they have a script. But, they’re women. How will they get a studio to buy it? They hire a young fellow to be their front. He will purport to be the author of their screenplay. Sure enough, their front/impostor becomes the toast of Hollywood, commanding millions of dollars in asking price for future scripts. Written by Marilyn Anderson, and directed by Roger K. Weiss, it runs through October 17 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.
“Clue” It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Murder and blackmail are on the menu when six mysterious guests assemble at Boddy Manor for a night they’ll never forget! Was it Mrs. Peacock in the study with the knife? Or was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench? Based on the cult 1985 Paramount movie and inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit that will leave you dying of laughter and keep you guessing until the final twist. Rated PG. Written by Sandy Rustin, based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn, with music by Michael Holland, and directed by Casey Hushion, it runs through October 17 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.
“Our Man in Santiago” A comic spy thriller inspired by the true story of a spectacularly botched U.S. attempt to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected leader. In this new political farce by two-time Emmy nominee and WGA award-winner Mark Wilding (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Good Girls, Charmed), the CIA enlists an inexperienced, unsuspecting agent to follow up with a last-ditch, poorly conceived and wildly dangerous effort to hasten the 1973 Chilean coup d’état. Written by Mark Wilding, and directed by Charlie Mount, it runs through October 24 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.TheatreWest.org.
“Boy Vey” An autobiographical solo show about how a Jewish girl’s quest for love unveils the bizarre connections between her misbegotten dating life and inherited Holocaust trauma. A humorous, touching and powerful theatre piece. Written by Rachel Kaftan, and directed by Dana Resnick, it runs through October 30 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/boyvey.
“The Enigmatist” A highly inventive, immersive theatrical experience from renowned master illusionist and magician David Kwong, who returns to the Geffen after a successful run of his hit interactive show. Can you solve the enigma? Clues are everywhere, so keep your eyes open and be ready for surprises behind every multi-layered illusion. Written by David Kwong, it runs through October 30 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. For tickets call 310-208-2028 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“Julius Caesar” A thriller about power, politics and the elusive nature of truth, through a slightly different lens, with the iconic tale told from the vantage point of the Soothsayer. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Ellen Geer and Willow Geer, it runs through October 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight” You’ve tried everything. Yoga. Acupuncture. Therapy. You floated in salt water in the pitch- black dark. You juiced, you cleansed, you journaled, you cut, you volunteered. You got a mattress that fitted itself to your fetal form. You ate only RINDS for three days and nights. You reached out, you looked within, you have tried, and yet here you are. NOTE: These are all fully vaccinated performances and will require proof of vaccination at the door. Seating will be socially distanced and limited. Written and directed by John Kolvenbach, it runs through October 30 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets visit www.eventbrite.com/e/stand-up-if-youre-here-tonight-tickets-161947454195.
“The Last, Best Small Town” In this modern-day “Our Town” by L.A.-based Latinx playwright John Guerra, two neighboring families, one Latinx and one White, live in the town of Fillmore — the self-proclaimed “Last, Best Small Town in Southern California.” As the first decade of the 21st century unfolds, the children of these families come of age, fall in love and suffer loss, as they continually hunt for their place in a world that can no longer promise them a better life than their parents had. Written by John Guerra, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through November 6 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” A new take on its signature production, infusing the Bard’s beautiful language with song to heighten the pleasure. Select sections of Shakespeare’s text will be sung to original music by Ellen Geer. Prepare to be transfixed as the most magical outdoor setting in Los Angeles is transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human, a world of wonder, magic, romance and comedy where misunderstandings and the pain of unrequited love are resolved through midsummer night revelries and the enduring power of nature. Written by William Shakespeare, with music by Ellen Geer and Marshall McDaniel, and directed by Melora Marshall, it runs through November 7 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
Our local theme parks continue to operate at high, if not full, capacity, which is a welcome relief to everyone! Most require advance reservations online, as well as advance ticket, and possibly food, purchases. You will need an app in many to be able to take full advantage of those attractions they have reopened. Attendance is no longer limited to California residents only in most parks. Please check their websites for details, restrictions, and availability before planning a trip to them:
Disney’s California Adventure
Knott’s Berry Farm
SeaWorld San Diego
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Universal Studios Hollywood