SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Fireworks aren’t the only thing sparkling this month. Just look at all of these new shows exploding onto the Southern California theatre scene, including:
“D is for Dog” In the seemingly innocent home of the Rogers family, life is like a 1950s sitcom—or is it? All is not as perfect as it seems. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and their two darling children, Dick and Jane, must face their history and identity before it’s too late, with only mysterious phone calls and a forbidden book as clues. (Mature audiences). Written by Katie Polebaum, Sean T. Cawelti, and Rogue Artists Ensemble, music by Ben Phelps and John Nobori and directed by Sean T. Cawelti, it runs July 1 through August 7 at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-596-9468 or visitwww.rougueartists.org.
“Richard III” Daunted by a life of physical challenges, Richard weaves a fiery web of intrigue, removing all obstacles – and all people – that stand between him and his designs on the throne of England. Shakespeare's delightfully bloody and brutal history follows the corrupt path of a twisted man with equally twisted ambitions as Richard manipulates, marries and murders his way to the top with unmatched charm and zeal. Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs July 2 through October 2 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-2322 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett” features three singers and a live on-stage jazz combo who celebrate his career by performing more than two dozen songs all recorded by Tony Bennett, including “Because of You,” “Stranger in Paradise,” “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “When Will The Bells Ring for Me,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “The Good Life,” “Rags To Riches,” and of course, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.“ The songs are tied together with narrative that helps tell the story of Bennett’s career. Written by David Grapes and Todd Olson music by Vince di Mura, it runs July 5 through August 21 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.LagunaPlayhouse.com.
“Fiction” tracks a married couple, both novelists, as they venture into their memories on separate trips to the same writers colony. Once there, they both face a life-changing experience with the same amazing and intriguing young woman. Their encounters with her remain secret until journals, diaries and a brain tumor bring the tender and difficult truth bubbling to the surface. Written by Steven Dietz and directed by Joshua Morrison, it runs July 8 through July 31 at the Underground Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.com.
“Fleetwood Macbeth” is a classic mash-up of the Bard’s Macbeth and the rocking sound of Fleetwood Mac! Watch with shock and awe as Macbeth wages war against forces natural, supernatural, and spousal. Will he heed the witches who say, “You Can Go Your Own Way” or will he break The Chain? Will Lady Macbeth become his Gold Dust Woman or will she succumb to her Dreams? See Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane in a Landslide and Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow. Written and directed by Matt Walker, it runs July 8 through August 14 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.
“In Bed with Tenn” Six short plays: "Talk to me like the Rain and Let Me Listen" Two outsiders can connect only in bed; "Hello from Bertha" A prostitute, stricken with diseases, suffers schizoid delusions of an idolized past lover; "The Lady of Larkspur Lotion" A drunkard and a degenerate find solace in each other’s fantasies; "Green Eyes" Reveals the effects of war through the sexual fantasies of a newlywed couple; "The Big Game" In the men’s ward of a city hospital we find out what really is the big game; "The Pronoun 'I'" A whimsical fantasy involving a Mad Queen and a narcissistic boy toy. Written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Natalia Lazarus and George Neilson, it runs July 8 through July 23 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-656-6070 or visit www.plays411.com/bedwithtenn.
“Revisiting Wildfire” exposes the complex relationship of two 52-year-old women whose madcap friendship was forged as college roommates. When Pam comes to NYC for a surprise visit, she finds her friend has discovered spiritual guidance in an old 70’s pop song after losing her high-powered job. But Theresa discovers that Pam has some craziness too, and neither one of them can move forward without the help of the other. To save their friendship they must find in each other a neglected and vital part of themselves. Written by Kari Floren and directed by Eve Brandstein, it runs July 8 through July 31 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.revisitingwildfire.com.
"Small Engine Repair" This darkly comic drama charts three working class friends in Manchester, New Hampshire as they reunite for an evening of drinking, fighting and reminiscing. A stunning revelation quickly shifts the course of action, while testing the friendships and instigating a dangerous confrontation. Written by John Pollono and directed by Andrew Block, it runs July 8 through July 31 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“The Wedding Singer” It’s 1985 and Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer and is engaged to the platinum blonde, leather clad Linda who stands Robbie up at the altar of his own wedding day. Bitter and broken, Robbie begins to make every wedding as disastrous as his own until a warm-hearted waitress named Julia intervenes. Though heartbroken over his fiancée, Robbie is forced to reexamine the meaning of love and marriage with the help of Julia. The only trouble is, Julia is about to be married! Can Robbie pull off the performance of the decade and win the girl of his dreams? Written by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and directed by Larry Raben, it runs July 9 through July 24 at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-856-1999 or visit www.musical.org.
“Shrek the Musical” In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre shows up to rescue a feisty princess in order to reclaim the deed to his land. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a villain with a ‘short’ temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, music by Jeanine Tesori, and directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, it runs July 12 through July 31 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visitwww.broadwayla.org.
“Mary Poppins” Based on the famous movie by the same name; this is a musical about a maid who knows enough magic to appear exactly when she is needed to watch over two children in England. Written by Julian Fellowes, based on a book by P.L. Travers, music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, and directed by Richard Eyre, it runs July 14 through August 7 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.
“Bus Stop” A freak snowstorm has halted the progress of a bus in front of a diner 30 miles west of Kansas City, and eight travelers have a weather-enforced layover in the diner for four hours in the early morning. Romantic or quasi-romantic relationships ensue as they wait out the storm, most notably between a cowboy and a hillbilly chanteuse. Written by William Inge and directed by Max Stormes, it runs July 15 through August 20 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“Battle Hymn” Fantastical play follows a young girl's epic journey and 150-year long pregnancy, from the eve of the Civil War to Haight Ashbury and beyond, determined not to have her child born into a violent world. Written by Jim Leonard, music by Michael Levine and directed by John Langs, it runs July 23 through August 27 at the Circle X Theatre Co @ Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 213 644-1929 or visit www.circlextheatre.org.
“Heavier than…” This mash-up of Greek myth unfolds in the heart of a labyrinth where Aster the Minotaur contemplates turning 30 in a world that sees him as nothing more than a murderous oddity. Aster has to navigate the impending arrival of warriors out to kill him, a deceptively enticing chorus, a plotting sister, and Icarus, a sexually obsessed boy with wings, all while pining to see his estranged Mother. Written by Steve Yockey and directed by Abigail Deser, it runs July 23 through August 21 at the Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visitwww.bostoncourt.org.
“It Must Be Him” tells the story of Louie Wexler, whiz kid comedy writer from the heyday of variety television, who is now out of luck and out of new ideas. With his devoted agent and his considerably less devoted housekeeper by his side, Louie finds himself broke, lonely, and on the wrong side of middle age. Desperate to rekindle his fading career, save his posh Beverly Hills home and find the man of his dreams, Louie searches high and low for one last shot at his own real-life happy ending. Written by Kenny Solms, music by Larry Grossman, lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and directed by Brian Drillinger, it runs July 23 through September 4 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.
“The Nvitational” is a dance festival consisting of Mainstage Shows that feature world-premiere pieces mixing styles of your favorite choreographers and up to 50 dancers per night, so you might see a FUSION SALSA, a LYRICAL-TAP, a FUNK-FLAMENCO, or BREAKIN'-BALLET, along with special Pre-Shows performed in the 99-seat Forum Theatre that will be intimate, personal, intense, inspirational, and surprising as choreographers themselves dance in their own creations. Written and directed by Dee Caspary, it runs July 29 through August 14 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Rose Cottages” an offbeat and quirky comedy about our enduring need to belong, wherever we are, and whatever the circumstances. A de-facto family is formed when Rose, the beleaguered owner of a dilapidated tourist motel, grudgingly befriends a disenfranchised teen punker and a sassy older woman who has been abandoned by her son. Written by Bill Bozzone and directed by Helen Heidi Davis, it runs July 30 through October 2 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-2322 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Barrie: Back to Back” An evening of plays by J.M. Barrie: Rosalind and The Old Lady Shows Her Medals – two delightful, unique and rarely produced works by the author of “Peter Pan” which mirror each other, examining the theme of unlikely love in early 1900’s England with humor, wit and poignancy. Written by J. M. Barrie and directed by Marilyn Fox and Dana Dewes, it runs through July 31 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.PacificResidentTheatre.com.
“Blood Wedding” Spain’s Frederico Garcia Lorca’s 1933 tragedy gets a powerful and macabre retelling in this bold and poetic new version with long-standing feuds between families, infidelity, murder, supernatural forces, and the prevalence of gang warfare with gorgeous poetry abound. Written by Frederico Garcia Lorca, adapted by Tanya Ronder, and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs through August 14 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
“The Tunnel of Love” the story of Abbey and Lenny, a couple destined for each other, as they meet, fall in love, break up, and find their way back to each other again in a musical that celebrates love and romance with all its ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs. Written and directed by Lani Ridley Pedrini, it runs through July 24 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
With all these extravaganzas to choose from, you’re sure to find something to “spark” your interest, so make today special - go out to the theater!