Covid-19 cases are on the decline in the southern California area, and those theaters that survived the shutdown have reopened or will soon be opening. This is all good news, but Covid protocols are still in place, so PROOF OF VACCINATION IS REQUIRED, AND FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES DURING THE PERFORMANCES AT MOST THEATERS IN ORDER TO ATTEND 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:
“Comedy of Tenors” One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could possible go wrong? Almost everything! 1930s Paris is ready for the concert of the century – so long as producer Henry Saunders can keep the amorous Italian superstar, Tito, and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runway chaos. Prepare for an uproarious ride, full of mistaken identities, blissful romance and madcap delight! A sequel to the hit, Lend Me a Tenor, this is another laugh-out-loud play. Written by Ken Ludwig, and directed by Sherman Wayne, it runs November 5 through December 12 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970.
“The Children” A taut and disquieting thriller about responsibility, reparation and what one generation owes the next. With the outside world in utter chaos following a devastating environmental disaster, two retired nuclear engineers live a quiet life in a remote cottage on the lonely British coast — until a surprise visit from a former colleague upends the couple’s equilibrium and trust. Written by Lucy Kirkwood, and directed by Simon Levy, it runs November 6 through January 23 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.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 November 12 through December 5 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-964-9766.
“Mamma Mia!” On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her birth father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years before. The magic of ABBA’s timeless songs combined with explosive dance numbers propel this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship to create a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! 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 Kelly Todd, it runs November 12 through November 20 at the Smothers Theatre Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu/events/2021-2022-season/pepperdine-musical-mamma-mia.
“Paradise Blue” A makeshift family and their troubled bandleader find themselves fighting for the future of Paradise. Welcome to the sultry, jazz-filled Paradise Club. It’s 1949 in Detroit, and trumpet-playing club owner Blue has a tough decision to make. Should he sell his jazz joint as gentrification is banging on the door? The house band is desperate to stay, Blue’s demons are tempting him to leave, and the arrival of a seductive stranger turns everything upside down. Written by Dominique Morisseau, and directed by Stori Ayers, it runs November 18 through December 12 at the Gil Cates Theater at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. For tickets call 310-208-2028 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“Love Actually Live” uniquely brings together friends and family alike to experience the unforgettable holiday classic in a three-dimensional world where the film and live action seamlessly intertwine throughout the London setting. Iconic scenes displayed on screens that travel throughout the set, share the stage with an all-star cast of singers and 15-piece orchestra as they reimagine the film’s hit soundtrack including “Christmas is All Around,” “Trouble With Love,” and “Both Sides Now.” Written by Richard Curtis, and directed by Anderson Davis, it runs November 27 through December 31 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Love.
“Another Night in the Catskills featuring Sandy Hackett (Buddy’s Son)” Laugh your way into the holidays with A NIGHT IN THE CATSKILLS! There will be music, comedy, and a few surprises. Sandy Hackett (Buddy Hackett the comedian’s son) returns with material sure to make your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly! Many of the 20th Century’s great performers honed their skills in the Catskills. In its heyday, the Catskills, or “Jewish Alps “(also called the Borscht Belt), consisted of 330 resort hotels of all sizes, a few hours north of New York City. The show runs November 28 only at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Seven Guitars” In 1948 Pittsburgh, old friends gather to mourn the death of a young guitarist and his dream of stardom. This heartrending blues opera combines touching elegy, humor, and emotional grit as the characters strike their own notes in a discordant world that threatens their hopes and lives at every turn. Bursting with musical lyricism and courage, Wilson’s Pulitzer-nominated play continues his theatrical saga that richly captures the spirit and heritage of Black Americans in the 20th Century. Written by August Wilson, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs through November 14 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“Mamma Mia!” Get swept away by the infectious music, funny story, and dazzling dance numbers that have made MAMMA MIA! a worldwide phenomenon. On the eve of her wedding on an idyllic Greek island, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings back three men from her mother’s past. Featuring over 20 ABBA songs, including the hits “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance on Me,” this fresh new look at the high-spirited, feel-good sensation will have you dancing in the aisles! 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 T.J. Dawson, it runs through November 21 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 714-994-6310 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.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:
| Disneyland Resort|
Disney’s California Adventure
|Knott’s Berry Farm||www.knotts.com|
|SeaWorld San Diego||www.seaworld.com/san-diego|
|Six Flags Magic Mountain||www.sixflags.com/magicmountain|
|Universal Studios Hollywood||www.universalstudioshollywood.com|