SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Can’t decide what to be this Halloween? You’re sure to get some devilishly good ideas by going to see some of the super shows opening this month at our local area theatres, such as:
“Addition by Subtraction” “When a man has nothing left to lose, that’s when he’s most alive, the most free, the most dangerous.” Patrick Dunn is that man, a man with a past – a past for which he's promised God he'll make amends. When fate foils his good intentions for the future, Dunn tries to repair his past by making things right with his ex-wife. But when that too fails, he realizes he can go neither forward nor backward. So what's left? Written by R.J. Colleary, and directed by Kathleen Rubin, it runs October 1 through November 6 at the El Centro Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.plays411.com/abs.
“The God of Isaac” Isaac Adams is a Jewish American journalist in Chicago with a great job and a beautiful non-Jewish wife, a fashion model, upon whom he dotes. When the Nazis decide to hold a march in a nearby community with many Holocaust survivors and their descendants, Isaac decides to explore his Jewish identity and roots. He becomes obsessive in his preoccupation with Jewish history to the extent that it threaten his career and his marriage. However, Isaac has not completely isolated himself. He’s remained in touch with his Jewish ex-girlfriend Chaya, who ultimately married an observant Jewish man, and relies on his mother to make comments on what's happening. Written by James Sherman, and directed by Darin Anthony, it runs October 1 through November 27 at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-6620 or visit www.westcoastjewishtheatre.org.
“Hyper-Chondriac” Brian Frazer should not have been sick. No sedentary couch potato, he was, in fact, a former competitive body builder, who ate right, slept enough, never smoked, and had only missed one day of flossing in the past five years. Why was he so agitated all the time? What was the source of his inner turmoil? In search of an answer, he tried everything, from Zoloft to Kabbalah to yoga to Ayurvedic medicine. His quest for physical and emotional health is more hilarious than desperate. Written by Brian Frazer, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs October 1 through November 6 at the Asylum Lab in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7785 or visit www.plays411.com/hyperchondriac.
“I Love Lucy® Live on Stage” The world premiere of a musical comedy tribute to the most popular and longest-running television show in history. Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel: America’s favorite foursome… live on stage and in color for the very first time! Travel back to the 1950s and the Desilu Studios to watch the “filming” of two episodes of the iconic and beloved sitcom, I Love Lucy. Enjoy vintage-style live musical commercials and be entertained by the music of the ‘Ricky Ricardo Orchestra’ live. Written by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks, with music by Wayne Moore, and directed by Rick Sparks, it runs October 1 through December 30 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-595-4849 or visit www.ilovelucylive.com.
“Pulling Leather” a professional rider faces a much tougher challenge than a bucking bronc when he loses his nerve in the rodeo ring. The struggle to get past that obstacle forces him to confront both romantic challenges and a deep, dark secret from his past. Written by Ted Ryan, and directed by Audrey M. Singer, it runs October 1 through October 30 at the Actors Forum Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-822-7898 or visit web.ovationtix.com.
“Way to Heaven” Inspired by the true story of the elaborate deception that took place at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1944 Germany. In order to mislead the international Red Cross inspectors, the Nazis constructed a fake village to quell extermination rumors. Written by Juan Mayorga, translated by David Johnston, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs October 1 through December 18 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
“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, with music by Jeanine Tesori, it runs October 4 through October 16 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.scfta.org.
“Nobody Walks Like My Daddy” the story of four generations of fathers and sons in an African American family and the bonds and strength they derive from paternal love and the admiration of sons. One of the men in particular has become a father once again at age 52 after siring his first son three decades earlier. Being a dad again in the middle years brings with its own unique set of challenges. But the emphasis is on familial love---the love that gets you over life’s hurdles, whether they’re from external forces (racism, economic downturns) or self-generated (hell-raising and other reckless behavior). A man wants to be like his daddy, while at the same time looking to the future and wishing the best for his kids. Above all, kids need their father’s love. Written and directed by E.L. James, with music by Tommie McKenzie, Clarence Patterson and E.L. James, it runs October 7 through November 13 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/201357.
“Silent Roar” is a full-length multimedia “cirque”-like theatre piece depicting the story of a family of whales and its perilous journey down and up the coasts of the North American continent as the sea-going mammals struggle to survive against predators both above and beneath the surface of the water. Some of the dangers they encounter are natural, from carnivorous enemies like Hammerhead sharks and Great Whites. Other threats are manmade, from ocean mining, oil drilling, and sonar testing. But there’s friendship in the creatures’ world as well, as they bond with fellow mammals like dolphins and sea otters. A baby whale develops a special bond with a young disabled boy in a relationship so unique it is nearly a miracle. Written and directed by Zina Bethune, with music by Zeljko Marasovich, it runs October 7 through October 16 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“The Woodsman” Walter is a sex offender who returns to his life denying that his odds of living normally are even possible. With the help of his good-hearted brother in law and a compassionate and understanding new love interest, things are looking up until he meets Robin. This piece asks the question, how you define 'winning' when the opponent is your own, self-created demon, while telling the story of a man struggling to recover from a serous disorder. Written by Steven Fechter, and directed by Sabina Ptasznik, it runs October 7 through October 30 at The Underground Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.com.
“tick...tick...BOOM!” autobiographical tale of a young composer on the brink of turning 30 and falling into oblivion. His girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city (TICK,), his best friend is making big bucks on Madison Avenue (TICK...), yet Jon is still waiting on tables and trying to write the great American musical (BOOM!). Written by Jonathan Larson, with music by Brian Michael, and directed by L. Flint Esquerra, it runs October 7 through October 23 at The Met Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7770 or visit www.plays411.com/ticktick.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” In a small town in Alabama in 1935, the steadfastly decent and honorable lawyer Atticus Finch is called upon to defend a Black field worker falsely accused of rape. Even Atticus admits that, given the time and location of the trial, he has little chance of success in defending his client. But the prisoner is innocent, a fact that Finch is determined to demonstrate by evidence in court. Finch will do it, even if he has to face down an armed and angry lynch mob determined to see young Tom Robinson swing from a rope, because Finch is also a widower and a single father, who instills his own values of decency and right conduct in the daughter and son who love him. Written by Christopher Sergel, based on the novel by Harper Lee, and directed by Michael Cooper, it runs October 7 through November 12 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visitwww.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“The Dinosaur Within” The disappearance of ancient dinosaur footprints in the Australian outback triggers a series of mysterious events bringing together a forgotten movie star, an Aboriginal elder and a grieving father on an epic journey of transformation. From the vast Australian desert to subway tunnels beneath Hollywood Boulevard, Dreamtime meets the Dream Factory when worlds collide in this play that ponders the depth of human loss, the fragile bonds between parents and children, and the possibility of redemption. Written by John Walch, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs October 8 through November 6 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visitwww.BostonCourt.org.
“Jane Fonda in the Court of Public Opinion” describes a little-known event that occurred when Fonda confronted a room full of hostile war veterans who were boycotting the announced filming of her movie “Stanley & Iris” as a forum to surface many controversial and polarizing issues that had festered for years regarding Fonda’s activism during the Vietnam War. Learn the truth about her anti-war activism in an impartial, accurate, and balanced story, and then formulate your own opinions. Written by Terry Jastrow, and directed by Terry Jastrow and Michelle Danner, it runs October 8 through October 30 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visitwww.edgemarcenter.org.
“Monkey Adored” The dog is in love with the monkey, who may be having an affair with the cat who's smitten with the rat…and let's not even talk about what the humans are up to. This allegorical and uniquely staged performance utilizes actors, puppetry, and projection in a collision of the comedic and the tragic. It is a tender love story that reeks of a ribald sex farce, set in a brutally violent world where compassion and understanding, might still have a chance. Written by Henry Murray, and directed by John Perrin Flynn, it runs October 8 through November 20 at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Betrayed” Three young Iraqis go to work for the occupying American forces in Baghdad after the overthrow of Saddam. They come to find that some of their Iraqi neighbors consider them traitors because they work for the Americans. They also find that some of their American employers regard them with hostility and contempt. Ultimately, the trio find that their lives are in deadly danger, and their pleas to their American bosses for greater security are being ignored. They wanted to assist the forces of freedom, but now they find that the threat of sudden, violent death is palpable. Written by George Packer, and directed by Andre Verderame, it runs October 13 through November 13 at the Lyric Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-826-3609 or visit www.whitmoreeclectic.com.
“The Robber Bridegroom” is a comic, adult fairy tale that’s loaded with symbolism, innuendo and double entendre. It’s the story of a charming gentleman bandit, the rich plantation owner’s daughter he loves, the wicked, sex-starved stepmother who wants her dead, and an evil thief who carries his brother’s head around in a trunk – all set to an infectious Broadway/bluegrass score. Written by Alfred Uhry, with music by Robert Waldman, and directed by Todd Nielsen, it runs October 14 through November 6 at the International City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.ictlongbeach.org.
“4 Murders” an examination of urban isolation and the convenient yet tragic cure for such loneliness. It is a surreal discussion of images, impressions and ideas that poke through the clutter of the day-to-day. The normalcy of eating dinner, drinking tea, waiting for a bus or falling to sleep is interrupted by thoughts of mortality, and it seeks to embody and physically articulate those thoughts. If the darkness itself were physically able to converse, those conversations would be much like what is heard in this show, for once we begin to speak to the darkness, our biggest fear is that the darkness may just speak back. Written by Brett Neveu, and directed by James Sharpe, it runs October 15 through November 20 at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.skypilottheatre.com.
“Juan and John” The play is inspired by the remarkable friendship of baseball immortals Juan Marichal, Hall of Fame pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, and the late great John Roseboro, catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After an on-field brawl in 1965, which is regarded as the most notorious in the game's history, and a decade of silent animosity, Marichal and Roseboro were able to construct a genuinely warm relationship, which endured until Roseboro’s death in 2002. At Roseboro's memorial service, Marichal spoke as honorary pallbearer. Written by Roger Guenveur Smith, it runs October 20 through November 13 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visitwww.thelatc.org.
“Peace in Our Time” Set in a London Pub during the 1940s, this drama poses a most intriguing and terrifying question: What if the Nazis had successfully invaded and occupied Britain? It imagines English life under Nazi occupation. Complacency or freedom - which would you choose? Written by Noel Coward, with music by Barry Creyton, and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs October 20 through December 11 at the Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.anteus.org.
“Southern Comforts” follows the enchanting romance between New Jersey widower Gus and Southern widow Amanda. While waiting out a thunderstorm, their opposite natures collide to create a sweet and intoxicating romance filled with perceptive humor and unpredictable tribulation, proving that it’s never too late to find the love of your life. Written by Kathleen Clark, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs October 21 through November 13 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.
“All My Sons” This non-traditionally cast, multi-racial production sheds new light on Arthur Miller’s powerful story. World War II has ended and Joe Keller, an airplane parts manufacturer, is caught in a personal battle between social responsibility and business success that could threaten his quest for the American dream. Joe Keller and Steve Deever, partners in a machine shop during World War II, knowingly turned out defective airplane parts that caused the deaths of many men. Now, the past has come back to haunt their families. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs October 22 through December 18 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7773 or visit www.matrixtheatre.com.
“Hermetically Sealed” A stirring recipe of raspberry tarts, video games, and family secrets. The May family's daily routine helps them maintain a safe, isolated world where they can almost evade their unspeakable pain. This evening, however, their carefully balanced life may be undone. Written by Kathryn Graf, and directed by Joel Polis, it runs October 22 through November 20 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 702-582-8587 or visitwww.ktctickets.com.
“House of Gold” A dark, kaleidoscopic comedy about childhood in America. Inspired by the unsolved murder of six-year old JonBenét Ramsey, House of Gold is a hilarious, yet scathing critique of our culture, revealing dark truths about our values, and, ultimately, about ourselves. Written by Gregory Moss, and directed by Gates McFadden, it runs October 22 through December 4 at the EST/LA @ Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-644-1929 or visitwww.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org.
“Pity The Proud Ones” It’s 1915 at St. Augustine, Florida. James Perez, a half-Black man, is hunting for his father, Martin O’Grady, an Irishman. Martin owes James money, lots of it. There are debts of different kinds and a time of reckoning is at hand. America will soon be at war. Martin sees it coming, and smells money to be made. Where’s Martin to be found? At Elizabeth Marie’s bordello, the most successful such establishment in St. Augustine. It is there that Martin and James will converge. The bordello is where both of the men’s true loves reside. For Martin, it’s beautiful Elizabeth Marie, with whom he shares a long and troubled history. For James, it’s the lovely Ella, who is the establishment’s bookkeeper, among her other duties. There’s love, sex, and money. And, because this is an American story set in the 20th Century, it is also inevitably about race. Conflicts must be resolved soon, because St. Augustine is about to be walloped by a raging hurricane. Sometimes a hurricane isn’t a metaphor. Sometimes a hurricane is just Mother Nature at her angriest, nastiest and most deadly. Written by Kurt D. Maxey, and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs October 22 through November 13 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visitwww.robeytheatrecompany.com.
“Come Fly Away” follows four couples as they fall in and out of love during one song and dance filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a live on-stage big band and 15 of the world's finest dancers, it weaves an unparalleled hit parade of classics, including "Fly Me To The Moon", "My Way", and "That's Life", into a soaring musical fantasy of romance and seduction. Written and directed by Twyla Tharp, it runs October 25 through November 6 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.broadwayla.org.
“Next Fall” Adam and Luke seem like a case of opposites attract. Adam is older, neurotic and an atheist; Luke is impulsive, a struggling actor, and a devout Christian. After Luke is involved in a critical accident, family and friends descend upon the couple and these longtime differences collide, forcing opposing views on faith and family into a standoff. As timely as it is touching, this must-see play exposes the fundamental truth that we love people both because of, and in spite of, who they are. Written by Geoffrey Nauffts, and directed by Sheryl Kaller, it runs October 25 through December 4 at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village. For tickets call 310-966-2412 or visitwww.geffenplayhouse.com.
“Harbor” The story centers on Jules, a single mother, who must wrestle with the return of her ex-husband Lillard following the death of her father. The gloves and more come off when his untimely return to the family sets off a powder keg of emotions. The ensuing struggle over their explosive relationship elicits both laughs and an upheaval of the family in this exploration of what it takes to say good-bye. Written and directed by Jon Cellini, it runs October 27 through December 3 at The Victory Theatre Center’s Big Victory in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visitwww.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.
“The King of the Desert” Depicts a Mexican American boy's journey of self-discovery through adulthood and the realization of his dreams. Written by Stacey Martino, and directed by Sal Romeo, it runs October 28 through December 4 at the Forum Theatre in the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visitwww.elportaltheatre.com.
“Dreams in Variation” A man searching for answers, a woman looking for lust, a girl seeking some shelter, an alcoholic with no love, sometimes it only takes a moment to change your whole life, and to realize that reality is easily altered. Look through someone else's eyes, only to see a part of yourself played out in front of you. Explore dreamers and their dreams, with music from some of Broadway biggest hits including Wicked, Aida, The Producers, Next to Normal, Newsies, and more. Written and directed by Kristen Boule’, it runs through October 16 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-1054 or visit www.plays411.net/dreamsinvariation.
“How the World Began” biology teacher Susan Pierce has just arrived in tornado-ravaged Plainview, Kansas, from New York City. When she unthinkingly implies that creationism is “gobbledy gook”, she riles the devout but troubled Micah, which in turn, disturbs Micah’s wily, good-natured guardian, Gene. Soon the entire town is up in arms, and Susan’s job is in jeopardy. Written by Catherine Trieschmann, with music by Darron L West, and directed by Daniella Topol, it runs through October 16 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“Bechnya” Somewhere, 30 years ago, in a troubled country shaken by wars and religious misunderstandings, Shari lost everything. She grew up in shelters where, instead of toys, she played with guns and grenades, imploring the rats to be her friends. Shari is desperate to punish Vicky, who was adopted by a wealthy family and brought out of despair and raised in the best schools, wanting for nothing, with loving adopted parents. Shari was deserted, left at the orphanage to suffer unspeakable neglect and horrific atrocities. Her only dream was to come to America and find Vicky, then become Vicky’s worst nightmare. Written by Saviana Stanescu, and directed by Atanas Kolev, it runs through October 22 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7721 or visit www.plays411.com/bechnya.
“The Missile Man of Peenemunde” Wernher Von Braun stands poised to usher in the Space Age with the successful launching of the V-2 Rocket in October of 1942. Aided by his assistant Walter Thiel (a mad scientist who fuses Germanic folk lore with physics) and inspired by The Girl in the Moon (the decal on the rocket who comes to life for Von Braun only), Von Braun's only obstacle is his dear friend and physician, Doctor Bahr, who has the authority to scrub the launch and who continually attempts to force Von Braun to face his dream's military applications. Written and directed by Bill Sterritt, it runs through October 23 at the Studio/Stage in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-463-3900 or visit www.studio-stage.com.
“Shirley Valentine” follows a middle-aged Liverpool housewife who finds herself in the rut of her dull daily life and in a loveless relationship with her husband. When her best friend wins a trip for two to Greece, she packs her bags, leaves a note on the kitchen table, and sets out on a journey toward independence and self-discovery. Written by Willy Russell, and directed by Andrew Barnicle, it runs through October 23 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“The Tragedy of the Commons” In the established routines of daily life, change is never welcome. Yet most people bend to accommodate it. Some cannot. Dakin and Macy Adams live seemingly serene lives with shared memories of family and friends, and they share years of waking up to the extraordinary view that is part of their home. But the day has come when all of this is about to change, and the fragile relationship of two people is now in ever increasing jeopardy. Written by Stephen Metcalfe, and directed by Dave Florek, it runs through November 6 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
As darkness falls and the monsters come out you’ll find the fun even more exhilarating by sharing the night enjoying one of these fantastic shows with family or friends. Happy haunting!