SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Don't get so tired shopping at all of those "Back to School" sales that you won't have the energy to go out at night to partake of the exciting new first shows in the new seasons at our local theatrical venues, such as:
"All My Sons" The year is 1946. The Kellers, by all appearances, seem to be the quintessential “all-American” family, except for one terrible secret: Joe Keller, family patriarch, has concealed a great crime. Tensions mount as he attempts to hide the truth, fearful of how the repercussions will affect the lives of his loved ones, still grieving over the loss of son Larry, whose plane went down in the war. Written by Arthur Miller and directed by Edward Edwards, it runs through October 2 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visitwww.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Camelot” is the story of a mythical kingdom in the middle ages ruled by a king and his knights, the best of whom has a covert affair with the queen thereby sacrificing his position and jeopardizing his life. Written by Alan Jay Lerner with music by Frederick Loewe and directed by Mark Knowles, it runs through October 16 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
"Neighbors" Have you seen the new neighbors? Richard Patterson is an upwardly mobile African-American academic. The family of black actors who has moved in next door is rowdy, tacky, shameless, and uncouth. They are not just invading his neighborhood- - they're infiltrating his family, his sanity, and his entire post-racial lifestyle. Written byBranden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Nataki Garrett, it runs through October 24 at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7774 or visit www.plays411.com/neighbors.
"Tape" in a motel room in one unbroken period of real-time, the much-lauded stage drama, follows the interactions of three emotionally entangled characters, who must navigate through their volatile, differing perspectives of past events. Written by Stephen Belber and directed by Joelle Arqueros, it runs September 2 through September 30 at Bill Becker's NoHo Stages in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-769-5566 or visit www.madworldproductions.net.
"Bail Me Out" Joe, a blue collar mechanic in New Jersey, minds his own business until his best friend Ray, a podiatrist, finally comes out to him, because Ray believes that Joe is the only man who can convince Ray's lover, Shawn, a married black preacher, to leave his wife and kids to be with Ray, which is exactly what Joe tells him in a prison cell after a bar brawl with Shawn. With Joe’s wife, the ‘un-loved’ Sherry, to Melissa, Joe’s ex-fiancé who still has Joe’s heart and his friends in between Troy, a bigoted ex-con and Jimmy, a foot-fearing dolt, Joe is never far away from people that either get him off or piss him off. Written by Renato Biribin, Jr. and directed by Joshua Fardon, it runs September 3 through October 10 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7745 or visitwww.plays411.com/bailmeout.
"Waiting For Godot" is a brilliant, bitter, comic portrait of the dogged resilience of man's spirit in the face of little hope where two dilapidated bums wait for Godot, a mysterious figure who will either explain their interminable insignificance or put an end to it, as they confront that essential human dilemma: "I can’t go on! I must go on!" Written by Samuel Beckett and directed by Timothy McNeil, it runs September 3 through October 3 at The Studio C Theatre at Stella Adler in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7770 or visit www.plays411.com/waitingforgodot.
“Waiting For Lefty” takes place at a union meeting of New York taxi drivers, where the cabbies contemplate a strike. It’s really a corrupt company union, and the cabbies will never get anywhere unless they form their own honest union. They await the arrival of Lefty, their elected chairman. Meanwhile, we look at intimate details of the lives of the people affected by the shattered economy: A cab driver whose wife threatens to leave him unless he stands up for himself; A lab assistant is asked by his boss to spy on an important chemist; A cabbie and his girl friend want to marry, but he doesn’t make enough money to support a family; A company spy is uncovered at the union meeting; A doctor is fired due to the anti-Semitic policies of his hospital, which also plans to close its charity ward. Written by Clifford Odets and directed by Charlie Mount, it runs September 3 through October 10 at Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.
"Walking With Dinosaurs" is a unique presentation of seventeen life-sized audio-animatronics dinosaurs which depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution, complete with the climatic and tectonic changes that took place, which led to the demise of many species. With almost cinematic realism, it shows the interactions between dinosaurs; how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators. The history of the world is played out with the splitting of the earth’s continents, and the transition from the arid desert of the Triassic period is given over to the lush green prairies and forces of the later Jurassic. Oceans form, volcanoes erupt, a forest catches fire -- all leading to the impact of the massive comet, which struck the earth, and forced the extinction of the dinosaurs. Written by Warner Brown and directed by Scott Faris, it runs September 9 through September 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-480-3232 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
"Dracula" is a chilling tale about a bizarre illness fallen upon the daughter of a doctor who owns a sanatorium in the early 1900s, and upon the advice of her fiancé, calls in the help of a professor who is an expert in the macabre - but their search for answers only leads them deep into the terrors of the unthinkable. Dramatized by Hamilton Deane and John L. Baldeston, based on the novel by Bram Stoker, and directed by Shawn K. Summerer, it runs September 10 through October 16 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visitwww.kentwoodplayers.org.
"Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" During an over-the-top wedding reception, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids (and one dashing young usher) take refuge in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the festivities. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women discover a bond that runs much deeper than their identical dresses in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of friendship and personal spirit. Written by Alan Ball and directed by Christopher Chase, it runs September 10 through October 3 at the Ruby Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. For tickets call 661-547-1173 or visit www.thetribeproductions.org.
“Martyrdumb” Two buildings are sequentially captured and their occupants held hostage by bomb-wielding terrorists. The first edifice is a business center. The second building is the headquarters of a government strike force, the Federal Anti-terrorist Regime Troop (F.A.R.T.). The first assailant declares himself to be the member of an obscure religious cult that worships a deity called Viknard. The background of the second attacker is more shadowy; however, one individual is strongly connected to both incidents. Written by Jason Britt and Kerr Seth Lordygan and directed by Maria Markosov, it runs September 10 through October 17 at The Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
"Misalliance" An underwear magnate and armchair philosopher's spoiled daughter is bored with life and her fiancé until a plane drops from the sky into their greenhouse, bringing with it a dashing pilot and a lady acrobat. Soon afterwards, a man with a gun and a grudge turns up in their Turkish bath turning the rules of courtship upside-down as everyone attempts to woo the new guests. Written by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Martin Benson, it runs September 10 through October 10 at the Folino Theatre Center in South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
"Elizabeth Shakespeare And The Astute Detective" a detective believes that The Earl of Oxford was the true author of Shakespeare’s works, and so, via his computer, he conjures up The Bard and The Earl from their four centuries’ demise. His sleuthing brings him into conflict with Elizabeth Shakespeare, who is positive that William Shakespeare was the true author of the plays and sonnets. As the detective tries to coax her to his point of view, she fights her attraction to him as it gets down to a duel of wits about wills and Wills, (with a little romance along the way,) which brings them to a surprising conclusion. Written by Alan Abraham Ross and directed by Chris DeCarlo and Alan Abraham Ross, it runs September 11 through October 24 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 or visitwww.santamonicaplayhouse.com.
"Titus Redux" an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus where a soldier, resolving to retire from a lifetime of killing on behalf of his country, returns to his family after five tours of duty in Afghanistan to bury his eldest son, but he quickly discovers that the horrors of war follow him home. Written and directed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, it runs through September 12 at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 877-369-9112 or visit http://www.CircusTheatricals.com,
"Ruined" is a powerful portrayal of the triumph of human spirit in a war-torn country. Guided by music and the rhythm of life in the Congo, it transports us to Mama Nadi’s bar, a small town refuge where intimacy comes at a price. But by creating this uneasy oasis for women who have no place else to go, is Mama a protector or profiteer? Written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Kate Whoriskey, it runs September 15 through October 17 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.
"Don Giovanni Tonight, Don Carlo Tomorrow" backstage at a regional opera house in the Midwest, the chorus of Don Carlo await their moment in the spotlight as we watch them preen and pontificate, bicker and brag, dawdle and diss, and face the unpredictable reality of life in a post 9-11 America. Written by Dennis Miles and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs September 17 through October 17 at the Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-281-8337 or visitwww.sacredfools.org.
“The Web” a young man suddenly finds himself in a world of trouble when his identity is stolen and he discovers that there is another man whose life events and physical appearance very closely parallel his own, with only slight variations. Suddenly, he finds himself pursued by covert operatives, including sadistic bruisers with guns, plus a femme fatale, as he learns that the other man is connected with a Paraguayan drug ring smuggling massive quantities of cocaine. Written by Michael John Garces and directed by Alyson Roux, it runs September 17 through October 17 at the Art/Works Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-795-2215 or visit www.needtheater.org.
"Debbie Reynolds Alive and Fabulous" Debbie Reynolds stars in her world-renowned Las Vegas show, back for her 3rd straight year direct from her triumphant British Tour. She is a one and only, as she takes the audience through her career in song and comedy. The production runs September 23 through October 3 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
"The Phantom of the Opera" traces the tragic love story of a beautiful opera singer and a young composer shamed by his physical appearance into a shadowy existence beneath the majestic Paris Opera House. Written by Gaston Leroux, adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Harold Prince, it runs September 23 through October 31 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.broadwayla.org.
“State of the Union” a good-looking, charming, hugely successful and influential businessman and captain of industry, would make a great candidate for national office, or so the Republican Party of 1946 thinks as it gears up in advance for the 1948 election. The movers and shakers of the G.O.P. want to groom him to become the next President of the United States, but there is a problem: He’s a man of principles and integrity, except that the married prospective candidate is being hotly pursued by an attractive newspaper publisher, while his wife has taken note of a gallant military officer. Written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, and directed by Anita Khanzadian, it runs September 24 through October 31 at the NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood. For tickets call 877-369-9112 or visit www.interactla.org.
"STILTZ! The Musical" is a tale about a young woman who is willing to risk her life and losing the man of her dreams in order to save the life of her bumbling father, as she is imprisoned in an office and expected to raise the funds to bail her father out of a bad business deal. Written by Paula Miller with music and lyrics by Deborah Johnson and directed by Wayland Pickard and Doug Engalla, it runs September 24 through October 17 at the Actors Forum Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-822-7898 or visit www.theatremania.com.
“The Reckoning” a Louisiana crawfish farm owned by an affluent African-American family, was once a sugar plantation worked by slaves, and is filled with secrets and treacheries. As the family’s fiery but aging patriarch prepares to hand over control of his estate to his devoted yet defiant daughter, secrets long buried gradually come to light, and the resurgence of an age-old betrayal will bring the family face-to-face with the family whose long-held claims to the farm and bitter desperation have made them a dangerous force with which to be reckoned. Written by Kimba Henderson and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs September 25 through October 24 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-489-0994 or visit www.thelatc.org.
So play hooky tonight, grab the kids, text your mate, and meet up to see a show tonight - you won't regret it!