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MOVIE THEATRE

 

by

Steve Zall

and

Sid Fish


September 2016

 

Well since school is back in session again you have more time now to take in these great productions all around our wonderful city, such as:




“All the Way” The story begins in 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. All the Way follows Lyndon Baines Johnson as he fights to overcome his reputation as an accidental president and maneuvers to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act by any means necessary. Some of the nation’s most dynamic leaders of the time—from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Alabama Gov. George Wallace—stand with the president or against him. As Johnson wheels and deals on Capitol Hill, he keeps his eye on a second term and the looming 1964 presidential race. Written by Robert Schenkkan, and directed by Marc Masterson, it runs September 2 through October 2 at the South Coast Repertory Segerstrom Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“The Odd Couple” opens as a group of the guys assembles for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it's no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and tense, Felix seems suicidal. When the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together, The Odd Couple is born. As the action unfolds, Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind -- with hilarious results. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Jonathan Fahn, it runs September 2 through October 9 at the Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.org.

“Moonlight and Magnolias” Three weeks into filming “Gone with the Wind”—Atlanta has burned, Scarlett O’Hara has been cast, but there’s no workable script and the director has been fired. Legendary film producer David O. Selznick seemingly has the biggest white elephant in Hollywood on his hands, and only five days to save the troubled production from certain failure. Desperate, he brings in the formidable Victor Fleming to take over as director and famed screenwriter Ben Hecht to rewrite the lackluster script. The only problem is Hecht hasn’t read the book, and the clock is ticking. With the shades drawn, phone calls unanswered, and subsisting only on a diet of peanuts and bananas, Selznick and Fleming reenact scenes from the novel for Hecht to adapt into a screenplay that would become an epic Academy Award-winning film. Written by Ron Hutchinson, and directed by Stephanie A. Coltrin, it runs September 3 through September 18 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

“Barbecue” The grill is hot, the beer is chilled and the table is set for a typical O’Mallery family barbecue. But when their drug-addicted sister Zippity Boom arrives strung-out and out of control, her siblings have finally had enough — enough beer, enough whiskey and enough pills to confront her. Their ham-handed intervention ignites the fuse of this raucous and rollicking new comedy that skewers our warped view of the American family. Written by Robert O’Hara, and directed by Colman Domingo, it runs September 6 through October 16 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“Angel’s Flight” follows McKagan’s search for the missing dame through seedy bars, back alleys and awkward dream sequences. He’s hot on the doll’s trail, but barking up the wrong tree and other such noir-ish clichés. Every time he gets close, something gets in the way. Things aren’t always as they seem in the City of Angels, and the chase becomes a downward spiral of betrayal, murder and perhaps most deadly of all…marijuana! Angel’s Flight blends elements of film noir, quick-witted comedy and sexy burlesque for a truly unique theatrical experience. Written by Matt Ritchey and Benjamin Schwartz, and directed by Matt Ritchey, it runs September 7 through September 28 at the Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.eventbrite.com/e/angels-flight-tickets-27102478242?aff=es2.

“Around the World in 80 Days” British gentleman Phileas Fogg bets members of his London club the substantial sum of 20,000 pounds that he can circumnavigate the globe in 80 days. He is accompanied by his new French butler Passepartout. But Fogg has become the prime suspect in a bank robbery and is relentlessly pursued in his global travels by Fix, a bumbling detective. Along the way, Fogg engineers the daring rescue of a beautiful woman in deadly danger who, naturally, falls in love with him. From the wilds of the Indian jungle to the even wilder American West, Fogg and Passepartout race to meet the deadline as the days fall short. Will Fogg win the wager? Can he evade capture? Will he find true love? What character will be created in front of your eyes next? It’s great fun for all ages, and cleverly inventive theatre. Written by Mark Brown, based on the novel by Jules Verne, and directed by Allison Bibicoff, it runs September 9 through October 9 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4429 or visit www.Plays411.com/aroundtheworld.

“Charm” Set in “The Center,” a shelter and safe space for the LGBTQ community in Chicago, CHARM explores the complex issue of Gender Identity. Mama Darleena Andrews, a black transgender woman, attempts to share her rules of proper behavior with a youth group that struggles to define themselves across sexual, racial and gender spectrums. Facing conflict with themselves and each other, Mama- with tough love and an unapologetic attitude- uses her unwavering belief in etiquette and decorum to teach her students how to cope with their daily battles with identity, poverty and prejudice. Written by Philip Dawkins, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs September 9 through October 23 at the Celebration Theatre at the Lex in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“The Fantasticks” is a lyrical and romantic musical that tells an allegorical love story about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. This beloved musical has been seen in over 67 countries and performed in locations ranging from The Peking Opera to The White House. Written by Tom Jones, with music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones, and directed by Seema Sueko, it runs September 9 through October 2 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“Songs for a New World” is about one moment, hitting a wall and having to make a choice, or to take a stand, or to turn around and go back.  Will the expectant young couple put aside their differences and move forward with their unborn child?  How does the New York Socialite deal with her feelings of loss of her son to war and her husband to another woman?  What is the next move of the political activist now that he has been imprisoned? Written by Jason Robert Brown, with music by Jason Robert Brown, and directed by James Esposito, it runs September 9 through September 25 at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-510-2688 or visit www.crtheatre.com.

“Wait until Dark” An independent blind woman unwittingly comes into possession of a doll filled with drugs, and then becomes a target for three ex-cons who attempt to retrieve the doll by deceiving her into thinking that her husband is implicated in the crime. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues leading to a heart-stopping ending. Written by Frederick Knott, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, and directed by Kathy Dershimer, it runs September 9 through October 15 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.com.

“One Woman Gone Wrong” When an Actress (Emmy-winning writer/performer LESLIE CAVENY) takes center stage, her very personal memory play immediately falls apart. But it’s not a show gone wrong, it’s a life gone wrong – and tonight she’s refusing to give up on either one. Is she lost in the part or is she losing her mind? ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG deconstructs the solo show genre and blurs the lines between real life and the stage for an unforgettable, heartfelt and hilarious experience. Written by Leslie Caveny, and directed by Maria Burton, it runs September 10 through November 27 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.

“Amy Snowden's Casting Confessions From La to LA” is an outrageous and comical insight into Snowden’s formative years in a small town in Louisiana, getting chewed up and spit-out in Hollywood and her secret ways of finally making money to survive and rise in the OC. Amy’s wild ride is full of hilarious and terrifying stories of nightmare roommates, nowhere jobs, public transportation, and non-traditional “happy endings”. Amy Snowden’s Casting Confessions From La to LA is an outlandish journey from innocence to guilty in a few short years. Written by Amy Snowden, and directed by Joe Salazar, it runs September 15 through October 20 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5770 or visit www.plays411.net/amysnowden.

“The Beauty, The Banshee & Me” Adopted at 3 months old by celebrated entertainers, Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy, Cathy Lind Hayes embarks on a decades-long journey to learn the truth about where she came from and why she was given up. Her search takes many turns as she tries to make sense of how she is the daughter of two very different women. This is her journey, an entertaining account of searching for the truth. Written by Cathy Lind Hayes, and directed by Michael Allen Angel, it runs September 15 through October 23 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 323-960-1055 or visit www.plays411.com/banshee.

“Anita Bryant’s Playboy Interview” Less than 10 years after the Stonewall Riots, Anita Bryant launched a successful campaign to repeal gay rights in Dade County, Florida. Anita’s nationally notorious campaign gave legitimacy to a new style of right wing politics and helped launch the Moral Majority and other right-wing movements that continue to the present day. But she also had a major impact on the modern gay rights movement, propelling Harvey Milk onto the San Francisco City Council and reviving enthusiasm and anger at a time when it was most needed. In 1978, Anita Bryant sat down for an outrageous and memorable 8-day interview with Ken Kelley of Playboy Magazine. This is that interview, recreated on stage with additional material that sets the historical scene and brings the issues raised by the interview to the present day. Anita didn’t hold back in her interview, and neither does this funny, touching, and thought-provoking piece. Written by Robert Whirry and John Copeland, and directed by Paul Stein, it runs September 16 through October 11 at the Cavern Club Celebrity Theater in Silverlake. For tickets call 213-308-1108 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2591134.

“Our Town” No curtain. No scenery. Arguably the most famous American play ever written, OUR TOWN has entertained generations of audiences. In this exciting multi-cultural version, told by an ethnically-diverse cast of 17, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-winning drama set in Grover’s Corners remains as poignant and relevant today as it was in 1938 - a timeless story about living, love and loss and appreciating life and its quiet moments to their fullest. Written by Thornton Wilder, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs September 16 through October 23 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“The Play About the Baby” In this rarely produced dark comedy by one of America’s greatest playwrights, a young couple who are madly in love with each other, have a child - the perfect family - that is, until a mysterious older couple steal the baby. Through a series of mind games and manipulations, they call into question both couples' sense of reality and fiction, joy and sorrow. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Andre Barron, it runs September 16 through November 5 at the Road on Magnolia in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org.

“Sawed in Half” begs the question: ‘What happens when one woman's competing roles of wife, mother, lover, and performer collide? Seeking guidance from role models as diverse as her spry but dead Jewish grandmother and her neurotic, feminist mother to Frida Kahlo, Isadora Duncan, and Erma Bombeck, Andrea tries to abide by all the rules before realizing that, in the game of life, a woman has to make her own. Written by Andrea Mezvinsky, and directed by Victoria Larimore, it runs September 16 through October 8 at the ACME Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

“Blueberry Toast” Ever wonder what evil lurks in the heart of suburbia? Every family has a dark underbelly — especially the perfect ones. Playwright Mary Laws puts the “dys” in family dysfunction with this modern-day, darkly comic revenge tragedy. Written by Mary Laws, and directed by Dustin Wills, it runs September 17 through October 24 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“The Country Wife” CONSUMER ADVISORY: Suitable for general audiences. Although some of the humorous content is very naughty, it is presented discreetly for comic effect, without profanity or nudity. This is a free production at an outdoor venue. It starts with a young rake named Horner (there’s a pun in that somewhere, as there is one hidden in the title of the play itself). Horner gets his doctor (named Quack, naturally) to spread a rumor that Horner experienced a mishap while traveling in France that has rendered him impotent, thus making him a safe companion to entertain the wives of the city gentlemen. (It’s not true, of course, but it’s certainly clever.) The rumor hasn’t reached the ears of country gentleman Pinchwife, who has recently taken a lovely young bride, Margery. Determined not to be cuckolded, the repressive Pinchwife keeps her under lock and key, which has the effect of making the prospect of Horner’s company all the more appealing to her. Being a country wife (as distinct from a city wife), she is presumably less sophisticated than her urban counterparts and more susceptible to temptation. Will Horner ultimately have his way with Margery? Will he have his way with every woman in town? Written by William Wycherley, and directed by Suzanne Hunt, it runs September 17 through October 23 at the Kings Road Park in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-5691 or email classicaltheatrelab@gmail.com.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” With a lush, emotionally rich score and beautiful choral arrangements, it’s a dramatic retelling of the epic but tragic Victor Hugo novel. Darker than the Disney film, closer in plot to the novel, the musical showcases the film’s Oscar-nominated score and introduces stunning new songs. For the first time, Quasimodo -- who is deaf in the original novel -- will be played by a deaf actor. Written by Peter Parnell, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and directed by Glenn Casale, it runs September 17 through October 9 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” They call him Boy, the orphan without a name. One day he’s whisked onto the good ship Neverland, and recruited by a young Starcatcher named Molly to save the “starstuff” from Black Stache and his pirate crew. If the starstuff falls into Black Stache’s hands, his every wish could become reality. See how the Boy becomes Peter in a swashbuckling tale of yesteryear, infused with pop culture imagery of today. Written by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, with music by Wayne Barker, and directed by Lauren Blair, it runs September 17 through October 9 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“The Maids” Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate role-play rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-play is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide. Jean Genet loosely based his play on the infamous sisters Christine and Léa Papin, who made headlines by brutally murdering their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933. Written by Jean Genet, and directed by Stephanie Shroyer, it runs September 18 through November 12 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 Ext. 1 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Moral Imperative” Seth and Robert are academics who are convinced that their beloved Briarton University will just go straight to hell if it’s allowed to remain under the stewardship of their despised University President, Oscar. It doesn’t help matters that the Trustees passed over Seth and gave the presidency to Oscar, who wants to abolish faculty tenures as his first order of business. Robert and Seth love the world-class institution where they are employed. They feel a moral imperative to remove Oscar and plan to take steps to accomplish their aim. Pauline, a police detective, has other ideas about the actions of Seth and Robert, and their motives. Will Seth and Robert be able to pull off their scheme? Written by Samuel Warren Joseph, and directed by Howard Storm, it runs September 22 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.

“Bars and Measures” Two brothers, both musicians. The classical pianist is Christian. The jazz bassist is Muslim. When Bilal is accused of being a terrorist and jailed awaiting trial, Eric tries to stay connected by pushing aside his own classical aspirations in order to learn big brother's jazz style. Separated by prison bars and religious convictions, the brothers scat and be-bop through their shared language of music. As his brother's trial progresses, Eric becomes disillusioned and struggles to decide if he believes the charges levied against his beloved older brother, or if false accusations make him a beleaguered martyr to a prejudiced, paranoid nation. Written by Idris Goodwin, and directed by Weyni Mengesha, it runs September 24 through October 23 at the Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.bostoncourt.com.

“A Taste of Honey” the story of Jo, a working-class, adolescent girl and her relationships with her saloon-frequenting mother; her mother’s newly acquired husband, the black sailor who makes Jo pregnant, and the homosexual art student who moves into her apartment to help her through her pregnancy. Shot through with love and humor, bursting with energy and daring, this exhilarating and honest depiction of harsh, working-class life in post-war England offers an explosive celebration of the vulnerabilities and strengths of the female spirit in a deprived and restless world. Playwright Shelagh Delaney was just 18 years old in May 1958, when this controversial play rocked the British theater community, with its interracial romance and frank discussion of sexual matters. Written by Shelagh Delaney, and directed by Kim Rubinstein, it runs September 24 through November 27 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Bright Colors and Bold Patterns” Josh and Brennan are about to get married in Palm Springs on a lovely Saturday afternoon. However, the night before becomes a drunken, drug-fueled scream riot, because their friend Gerry has arrived, furious that their invitation says "please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns". In the struggle for equality, what do we really want? What do we lose? And is there any cocaine left? Written by Drew Droege, and directed by Michael Urie, it runs September 26 through November 14 (on Monday nights only) at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“For The Record: Scorsese - American Crime Requiem” introduces audiences to MARTY'S PLACE—a four tier venue rising from the depths of the orchestra pit to the height of the light grid—taking audiences from a Lower East Side dive bar to an Italian restaurant, a Las Vegas casino to a classic rock concert stage. As characters rise through the physical space so do their positions in life: from drunken degenerates at the bar to couples on dinner dates, the rich VIPs seated in the casino to the Gods of Rock looking down on us all. The evening will highlight 40 years of Scorsese's storytelling through films such as GoodFellas, Casino, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and more. Written by Shane Scheel and Anderson Davis, and directed by Anderson Davis, it runs September 29 through October 16 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is set around the time that Theseus, duke of Athens, is about to wed Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. A local maiden, Hermia, is in love with Lysander, but her father Egeus is trying to force her to marry Demetrius, who is in turn loved by Helena. Meanwhile, Oberon, king of the fairies (in this context, magical nocturnal folk who dwell in the forest), seeks to discipline his petulant queen, Titania, and engages the services of Puck, a magical sprite, to cast a spell on her. Employing herbs imbued with mystical powers, Puck causes Titania to become enamored of Bottom, a local craftsman whose head has been supplanted with that of a jackass, complete with donkey ears. Puck employs another magical charm that inadvertently causes Lysander to abandon his true love Hermia and to pursue Helena. This is a comedy, remember, so everyone will eventually wind up with the people with whom they belong. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs September 29 through October 8 at the Brand Park in Glendale. This is a free event. For more information visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.

“Closer” set in London, involves a love quadrangle. There’s Alice, an exotic dancer (played by Stephanie Noel Garrison); Dan, a writer (Hamish Sturgeon); Anna, a photographer (Natalie Mitchell); and Larry, a dermatologist (Randy Vasquez). The couples, who sometimes switch partners in what seems like near-abandon, go through periods of love, affection, lust, devotion, deceit, betrayal, abandonment, romance, manipulation, obsession and game-playing. Can true love survive this much turmoil? Written by Patrick Marber, and directed by James Paradise, it runs September 30 through October 9 at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4420 or visit www.CloserThePlay.com.

“Dear World” follows Countesses Aurelia, Constance and Gabrielle, who scheme up a plan to stop businessmen from drilling for oil in the Parisian neighborhood of Chaillot. Written as a pithy social commentary, while living in Switzerland during World War II, Giraudoux’s “bad men” are corporate fascists, driven by narcissism, greed and a thirst for power. His heroine, Countess Aurelia, who stands firmly against corruption, would fit right into the political climate of today. Stars Tyne Daly as Countess Aurelia. Written by Jerry Herman, with music by Jerry Herman, and directed by David Lee, it runs one night only on September 30 at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge. For tickets call 818-677-3000 or visit www.ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org.

“The Portman Delusions” is a romantic dramedy that is also a skewering of the Hollywood writing process. When Roy and Mark, struggling copywriters in Silver Lake, begin dating Jamie and Clare, smart, successful, romantically challenged career women, they put in motion a series of events that forces everyone to confront the distance between their youthful dreams, and reality, in other words...grow-up. Written by Adam Mervis, and directed by Tommy Burr, it runs September 30 through November 4 at the Raven Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.




...and, if you hurry, there's still time to catch these ongoing productions:



“As Straw Before the Wind” recounts the story of Nene Santos, a Filipina nurse and enterprising owner/operator, of a fictionalized San Gabriel Valley convalescent home. Nene has ambitious plans to expand her business, which she intends to leave to her daughter and primary assistant, Pilita, who has her own agenda. So, what will become of the elderly and fragile resident patients of the convalescent home – Poncing Enrile, a retired Filipino American Army Captain, and Mildred Novak, a chain smoking retiree widow with Alzheimer’s Disease? Nene confronts a string of setbacks and obstacles in her quest. Flashbacks of the horrendous experience she and her family endured during WWII haunt her psyche and lead to a revelation of a long kept family secret. Written by Felix Racelis, and directed by Lesley Asistio, it runs through September 4 at the Ruby Theatre at THE COMPLEX in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.strawbefore.brownpapertickets.com.

“Blueprint for Paradise” Set in 1941 during the weeks leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and inspired by true events, playwright Laurel M. Wetzork imagines the relationship between African-American architect Paul Revere Williams (designer of landmark L.A. buildings including Saks Fifth Ave and the Los Angeles County Courthouse, as well as private residences for Bert Lahr, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Frank Sinatra) and a wealthy American couple who employed him to design a compound and training ground for Nazi sympathizers in the Pacific Palisades. Written by Laurel M. Wetzork, and directed by Laura Steinroeder, it runs through September 4 at the Hudson Theatres in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4412 or visit www.BlueprintForParadise.com.

“Go Back To Where You Are” A forgotten chorus boy from the theater of ancient Greece is sent back to Earth on a mission from God, where he finds himself summering among a makeshift family of theater artists on Long Island. Written by David Greenspan, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs through September 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Tempest” This season, the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival will also feature various opening acts, a Salon Series of talk-backs, an art workshop and education workshops to make this iconic Los Angeles event this summer’s must-do, free, community get together! The Old Zoo is located in Griffith Park near the intersection of Crystal Springs Drive and Griffith Park Drive. In addition to the performances, education and engagement programs are presented for learners of all ages. Players in the Park/Teatristas en el parque are family education workshops presented on select evenings. These workshops are an interactive, energetic way to learn about the evening’s performance and to become more engaged in the overall live theater experience. For one special evening, Self Help Graphics will bring their Barrio Mobile Art Unit for an art-making workshop. Also returning this season is the Salon Series, pre-performance discussions led by experts in the field. Guests this year include Steven Leigh Morris, Executive Director of the LA Stage Alliance; John Frank, Senior Librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library and Ranger Mendibles, Park Ranger with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Additionally, ISC is pleased to announce its Festival Arts Partners, local performing artists presenting pre-show performances. This season’s guests will include: Invertigo Dance Theatre, La Victoria and The Silver Lake Chorus. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Matthew Earnest, it runs through September 4 at The Old Zoo in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“A Night at the Black Cat Cabaret” Michelle Danner is the founder and artistic director of The Edgemar Center for the Arts and is a renowned actor, director, and award-winning acting coach. Michelle directed and produced the film “Hello Herman” starring Norman Reedus (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) through her production company All In Films www.allinfilms.com. As an acting coach, Michelle has worked with A List talent privately and on set, including Salma Hayek, James Franco, Gerard Butler, Chris Rock, Seth MacFarlane, Penelope Cruz, Michael Pena, Isla Fisher, Common, and Zooey Deschanel. Written by Brian Drillinger, with music by Jose Promis, and directed by Michelle Danner, it runs through September 10 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-399-7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.

“Doubt: A Parable” It is 1964, a time of movement and change, but Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius values a stern hand over progressive education. When evidence seemingly points to an inappropriate relationship between Father Flynn and the school’s first black student, she begins a crusade to force Flynn out. John Patrick Shanley’s riveting psychological drama examines the fine line between what seems certain and ambiguity, between conviction and doubt. Written by John Patrick Shanley, and directed by caryn desai, it runs through September 11 at the International City Theatre - Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Menopause The Musical” Set in a department store, four women meet by chance while shopping for a black lace bra at a lingerie sale. After noticing unmistakable similarities among one another, the all-female cast jokes about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain and much more. These women form a sisterhood and unique bond with the entire audience as they rejoice in celebrating that menopause is no longer “The Silent Passage.” Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, Menopause The Musical® was created as a celebration of women who find themselves at any stage of “The Change.” The laughter-filled 90-minute production gets audience members out of their seats and singing along to parodies from classic pop songs of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Written by Jeanie Linders, it runs through September 11 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“D Deb Debbie Deborah” tackles questions of self, one’s place in the world, where we fit in, and who, exactly, takes authorship of his or her art. Written by Jerry Lieblich, and directed by Doug Oliphant, it runs through September 17 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

“A Raisin in the Sun” The title comes from a Langston Hughes poem entitled "Harlem," also known as "A Dream Deferred." The setting is the Younger household in the Washington Park Subdivision of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, and involves the family members' struggle to achieve their individual dreams and potential despite challenges of a system that seems built to thwart them. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, and directed by Lita Gaithers Owens, it runs through September 17 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

“Much Ado about Nothing” is set in Messina, Sicily. Beatrice, niece of the local governor Leonato, and Benedick, a gentleman and friend of the powerful Prince of Aragon Don Pedro, are seeming adversaries, engaging in much verbal jousting and argument. The antagonistic remarks fool neither the men nor the women in Don Pedro’s court; Beatrice and Benedick are obviously meant for each other, even if their love isn’t instantly apparent. Their friends conspire to trick them into confessing their love for each other. Claudio, a young nobleman, is in love with Hero, daughter of Leonato. Claudio plans to wed Hero, but a scheme is plotted to thwart matters by Don John who causes doubts to emerge about Hero’s virtue. Don John is the illegitimate brother of Don Pedro. Jealous of Don Pedro and of the esteem in which Don Pedro holds his friend Claudio, Don John wants to prevent the wedding. Can he possibly succeed? Hint: Happy endings are the convention in Shakespeare’s romantic comedies. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs through September 18 at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.

“Parallel Lives” A pair of capricious supreme beings orchestrate a hilarious montage that makes fun of modern life while celebrating it. With boundless humor, the audience is whisked through this outrageous universe created by comediennes Kathy & Mo, where two women portray numerous men and women struggling though the common rituals of life. Written by Mo Gaffney & Kathy Najimy, and directed by Jenny Sullivan, it runs through September 18 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.

“Please Don’t Ask About Becket” It’s been years since he disappeared, but Emily Diamond is still haunted by dreams of her twin brother, Becket. The issue of nature versus nurture is at the heart of this evocative memory play that’s sure to resonate with anyone who has a family. Please Don’t Ask About Becket grapples with universal questions many of us ask ourselves everyday: To what extent are parents responsible for their children’s bad behavior? Can parents love a child too much? Where do we draw the line between standing up for our kids and forcing them to overcome obstacles on their own? Written by Wendy Graf, it runs through September 18 at the Sacred Fools Theater Black Box in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7745 or visit www.plays411.com/becket.

“Baby Doll” Darkly comic and crackling with sexual tension, this enthralling tale of prejudice, sexual politics and passion is the first-ever Williams Estate-approved stage adaptation of the Tennessee Williams screenplay. Nineteen-year-old married virgin “Baby Doll” Meighan must consummate her marriage in two days, on her 20th birthday — as long as her middle-aged husband, Archie Lee, upholds his end of the bargain to provide her with a comfortable life. When Archie Lee burns down his neighbor’s cotton gin to save his failing business, his rival, Sicilian immigrant Silva Vacarro, arrives to seek revenge. What ensues is a complex mix of desire and desperation, with Baby Doll as both player and pawn. Written by Tennessee Williams, adapted by Pierre Laville and Emily Mann, and directed by Simon Levy, it runs through September 25 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“Drama Queens from Hell” a washed up TV actress, a former Blaxploitation bit player and a pre-op transgender woman compete for the role of Norma Desmond in a remake of Sunset Boulevard. A rollicking farce that skewers Hollywood, ageism, political correctness and everything else in its path, Drama Queens is the answer for anyone seeking a laugh-out-loud, escapist night on the town. These three divas will stop at nothing “to get arrested” – absolutely nothing. Written by Peter Lefcourt, and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs through September 25 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7787 or visit www.plays411.com/dramaqueens.

“Next to Normal” tells the story of a mother, Diane Goodman, who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. This contemporary musical is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling score, this musical shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact. Written by Brian Yorkey, with music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Brian Yorkey, and directed by Thomas James O’Leary, it runs through September 25 at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-204-4440 or visit www.n2nmusicalla.brownpapertickets.com.

“Titus Andronicus” How should a nation choose its leaders? What happens when a government insulates itself from the citizens it once served? What is the difference between justice and revenge? Theatricum sets Shakespeare's first tragedy, the bloody tale of a government gone awry, in the future to spark a flame of caution… but always with a flicker of hope. (Recommended for mature audiences due to adult themes and violence.). Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through October 1 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Tom” Ellen Geer’s free adaptation with music brings new eyes to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’ Long before Black Lives Matter was part of our lexicon, Stowe’s great novel demanded freedom and equality for all, changing forever how Americans viewed slavery, galvanizing the abolition movement and contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War. Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, adapted for the stage by Ellen Geer, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through October 1 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Awake and Sing!” Clifford Odets' gritty, passionate, funny and heartbreaking masterpiece about the hopes and struggles of a lower-middle-class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Great Depression continues to resonate 80 years after its 1935 premiere. Director Elina de Santos and lead actress Marilyn Fox return with a 20th anniversary revival of the smash Odyssey Theatre production that ran for nine months in 1994-95. Written by Clifford Odets, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs through October 2 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“The Imaginary Invalid” skewering of the health care crisis from an entirely different century. Plagued by a growing pile of medical bills, Madame Argan (Ellen Geer), a chronic hypochondriac, will go to any length to marry her daughter off to a doctor. Of course, her daughter has other ideas. This potent elixir of romantic triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities proves, in the end, that laughter really is the best medicine. Alan Blumenfeld stars alongside Geer as Dr. Purgeon. Written by Molière, adapted by Constance Congdon, with music by Marshall McDaniel, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs through October 2 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Romeo and Juliet” With its one-of-a-kind outdoor setting in the heart of Topanga Canyon and its roots in the 1950s McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist — when actor Will Geer created the theater as a haven for blacklisted actors — Theatricum is best known for its productions that frame contemporary social issues through the lens of classic literature. “Romeo and Juliet has been retold many times before with a myriad of backdrops, proving each time that it continues to resonate regardless of time or place,” says Geer. “We place the story in a city currently divided by political and cultural strife. The lovers are able to see beyond the narrow scope of the world in which they live and find each other in spite of it all.” Written by William Shakespeare, with music by Marshall McDaniel, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through October 2 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Anything Goes” is set aboard the ocean liner S.S. American, where nightclub singer/evangelist Reno Sweeney is en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but the problem is Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Full of rousing music, tap dancing and madcap comedy, you are going to love this audience favorite. Written by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, with music by Cole Porter, and directed by Mark Knowles, it runs through October 8 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“Calendar Girls” After the death of her best friend's husband from cancer, a spirited Yorkshire housewife encourages her friends to create a calendar using middle-aged women of their village as tastefully photographed nude models, to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting  room.  Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, the stage adaptation of the film has since become one of the fastest selling plays in British theatre history. Written by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth, and directed by Larry Eisenberg, it runs through October 9 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“How to Love a Republican” Tim and Ruth McCoy are the real deal. Long married, wildly in love - the only catch is he's a Christian, she's a Jew, he's a way-right Republican and she's a way-left Democrat. Contributing to the tension? Ruth and Tim decide to play match-maker to their single daughter, with hilarious, yet edifying, results, introducing her to the perfect men, one a Democrat and one a Republican, both running for Congress - against each other! Margie decides it's finally time to research Democrats and Republicans. Find out, along with Margie, who gets her vote, in and out of the bedroom. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs through December 18 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com.



So make your last evenings of this summer more memorable by adding in a live stage show tonight!



Reviewed By   David Silvers



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