SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
It’s really heating up now, with more fun in the sun still yet to come, and of course, there are the fireworks as we celebrate the birth or our nation – but why limit the celebration to that when our local theatres are filled with these incredible productions:
“The Exorcist” transforms the unsettling battles of good versus evil, faith versus fact and ego versus ethos into a uniquely theatrical experience as sophisticated as it is suspenseful. Written by William Peter Blatty, adapted by John Pielmeier, and directed by John Doyle, it runs July 3 through August 12 at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village. For tickets call 310-966-2412 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns” takes you to the Springfield High School graduation where we reunite with the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, we are treated to the girls performing classic ‘50s and ‘60s songs such as “River Deep, Mountain High”, “Dedicated to the One I Love”, “Rockin’ Robin” and over 20 other classic hits! Written and directed by Roger Bean, with music by Michael Borth, it runs July 3 through August 12 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“House” Victor is a man in crisis, eager to confess tales of his sordid history with the hope of achieving a more satisfying future. Blurring boundaries between actor and audience, this unpredictable ride is riddled with black humor and vivid storytelling. Written by Daniel MacIvor, and directed by Brian Nitzkin, it runs July 6 through August 11 at the Rogue Machine in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical” a well-meaning Dr. Henry Jekyll desperately seeks a cure for the evil in the world – but is instead pitted in a cruel battle against Edward Hyde, his own evil alter ego. Written by Robert Louis Stevenson, with music by Frank Wildhorn, it runs July 6 through July 29 at the DOMA Theatre Co. @ The MET Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-465-0693 or visit www.domatheatre.com.
“The Genius - 2012 Pageant of the Masters” The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants ("living pictures"), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. An outdoor amphitheater, professional orchestra, original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, expert staff, and hundreds of dedicated volunteers have won recognition for the Pageant of the Masters as the best presentation of its kind. As the Festival of Arts celebrates its 80th birthday, the Pageant of the Masters will pull back the curtain on The Genius. The 2012 theme will explore the fascinating and unpredictable relationship between art and technology with an array of masterpieces brought to life in this summer’s Pageant of the Masters. From the glories of the Italian Renaissance to the deeply personal imaginings of modern artists, The Genius will fill the Irvine Bowl with breathtaking theatrical recreations of memorable artworks by extraordinary masters who have galvanized art history. Written by Dan Duling, and directed by Diane Challis Davy, it runs July 7 through August 31 at the Laguna Arts Festival in the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 800-487-3378 or visit www.PageantTickets.com.
“The Irish Curse” a new comedy about guys with one tiny problem. In this wicked, rollicking, and very funny new play, size matters to a group of Irish-American men who meet weekly in the basement of a Catholic church. The focus of their self-help group? A certain anatomical “shortcoming”—an alleged Irish trait they all feel has ruined their lives. From its blistering language to its brutally honest look at sex and body image, The Irish Curse is a revealing portrait of how men, and society, define masculinity. The show runs July 7 through August 26 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
“La Cage Aux Folles” tells the story of Georges, the owner of a glitzy nightclub in lovely Saint-Tropez, and his partner Albin, who moonlights as the glamorous chanteuse Zaza. When Georges’ son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents home to meet the flashy pair, the bonds of family are put to the test as the feather boas fly! A tuneful and touching tale of one family’s struggle to stay together … stay fabulous … and above all else, stay true to themselves! Written by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein, with music by Jerry Herman, and directed by Terry Johnson, it runs July 10 through July 22 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.broadwayla.org. Following that, it runs July 24 through August 5 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.
“Macbeth” a fully double cast production of the bard's most disturbing tragedy: a macabre tale of Scottish legends, witches, hallucinations, and power. Shakespeare’s bloodiest couple thrash against the rise of their own consciences in a compelling psychological and political thriller that follows Macbeth’s transformation from battlefield hero to bloody tyrant, revealing the human soul’s darkest depths. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs July 12 through August 26 at the Antaeus Company @ Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.antaeus.org.
“On Golden Pond” explores the triumphs and difficulties faced by a couple helping each other into the advancing chill of their last years and the daughter who is desperately trying to establish a deeper relationship with her hard-to-please father before time runs out. Yes, the loons are back on Golden Pond, and so are Norman Thayer (Andrew Prine) and Ethel Thayer (Salome Jens)... as the retired professor and his feisty wife. Returning to their annual lakeside cottage in Maine, their summer is unexpectedly transformed by a visit from their middle-aged daughter Chelsea Thayer, her fiancé Bill Ray, and his 13 year old son Billy Ray, Jr. Written by Ernest Thompson, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs July 12 through August 11 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“Birds of a Feather” The Birdhouse Bar has seen better days. Once a going concern, it now sees little business. Changing times, changing tastes. Walt, the bartender-proprietor, keeps the place going, while caring for his adopted, developmentally disabled son, Reggie, now a young man. Walt has two regular customers on Tuesday nights: Cee Cee, a prostitute approaching middle age, and Joey, her regular Tuesday night john. Cee Cee is a survivor. Joey is damaged goods. But he’s a longtime patron of hers, and his attraction to her is strong. A circumstance arises where Joey will be able to see Cee Cee outside of her regular working hours, i.e. as a civilian, as a real date and not a professional date. Can anything resembling real romance possibly exist for these two? Life proceeds, and things will soon change radically for these four. Written by Christina Hart, and directed by Robert Burgos, it runs July 13 through August 12 at the Ruby Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7785 or visit www.plays411.com/feather.
“Doubt” A nun in a Bronx Catholic School in 1964 suspects a popular priest of inappropriate behavior with a student. Armed with nothing more than a resolute belief in her suspicions and a few circumstantial details. Sister Aloysius instigates a campaign to remove Father Flynn, the beloved and progressive parish priest, from St. Nicholas School. She enlists the help of Sister James, a young nun in the order, and the child's tormented mother, Mrs. Muller. Written by John Patrick Shanley, and directed by Gail Bernardi, it runs July 13 through August 18 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“Mental Creatures” Jesse, a young painter seeking acceptance in the art world, but finding the usual avenues closed to him, until one day, a door opens unexpectedly. Frank, a widower who is moved into an assisted living facility by his son, is desperate to hold onto the memories of the life he had. Sylvia, a woman who shelved her own dreams to become a wife until years later, her friends nudge her to start dating again. Written by Jay Jacobson, with music by Jay Jacobson, and directed by Randy Brenner, it runs July 13 through August 19 at the Lounge Theatre 2 in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7738 or visit www.plays411.com/mantalcreatures.
“To Quiet the Quiet” is a psychological mystery, as a woman reconstructs her life and takes control over it. Three lives entangled, three lives at stake… “A Woman alone…On the edge... One Man enters…then another... Who are they? Father? Son? (Ex) Husband? Lover? Will they help her…?”. Written by Christy Hall, and directed by Barbara Bain, it runs July 13 through August 12 at the Elephant Stages – Elephant Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5773 or visit www.plays411.com/toquiet.
“The Twylight Zone: The 6th Dimension” a parody/tribute to four classic Twilight Zone episodes. In Night Call, a serious of mysterious, yet enticing, phone calls haunt an elderly woman. In Nick of Time, newlyweds are stuck in a small town where they encounter a fortune telling napkin holder and a bad serving of chicken fried steak. In A World of His Own, a playwright discovers his magic pen brings his writings to life…for better or for worse. In The Hitch-Hiker, a young woman traveling cross-country is being followed by an ominous hitchhiker. However, like the show itself…each of these pieces is not what it seems. Written and directed by David Gallic, it runs July 13 through July 28 at the studio/stage in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.fourlettertheatre.com.
“Incident at Vichy” It’s 1942, and the Nazis have invaded France and set up a collaborationist government at Vichy. French police have rounded up those suspected of being Jewish prior to their being sent to extermination camps (90,000 French Jews will ultimately face death in this fashion). This story examines one day during this Nazi reign of terror, as a group of people including one young boy await screening in a place of detention, run by a Nazi major, a French police captain, and a professor. The prisoners have been detained in a sweep ostensibly meant to capture Jews and Gypsies, although there are two men who clearly who do not fit the profile: a French businessman and an Austrian prince. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Barbara Schofield, it runs July 20 through September 8 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“The Paris Letter” centers around a man living a privileged life, whose 'secret' affairs are buried until he gets entangled in a disastrous financial scheme, which cuts the thread that ties him to his conventional life. Contains nudity, mature audiences only. Written by Jon Robin Baitz, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs July 20 through September 2 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“Mutually Assured Destruction” Guy walks into a Mexican restaurant in Canoga Park and finds his best friend’s wife sitting in a booth with their accountant. Three o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon, there’s a bottle of wine…half-empty, and neither of them live anywhere near Canoga Park. Do the math, and hold on tight through a chain of unforeseen events…tantric sex, private detectives, compromising photos, tool belts, Korean BBQ, and so much more. Written by Peter Lefcourt, and directed by Terry Hanauer, it runs July 21 through August 26 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5772 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com/box.htm.
“Chicas in Chains” after a high school streetwalker is killed in a string of murders, Chico’s Angels are hired to go undercover to find a witness at a local prep school, but get so deep in the case that they end up in jail. The show features three beautiful and comedic Latina drag queens as the leads. Written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, and directed by Kurt Koehler, it runs July 28 through August 26 at the Cavern Club Theater in Silverlake. For tickets visit www.chicosangels.com.
“Farm Boy” the main characters are the son and great-grandson of World War I hero Albert. The focus is on the great-grandson and the bond that he forges with his grandfather and with the land that sustains the family through the generations. After World War I, the arrival of machinery changes the face of the rural landscape. As part of a wager, Joey and Zoey are pitted in a competition against a massive tractor in a contest vaguely reminiscent of the American folk legend of John Henry. Written by Daniel Buckroyd from the novel by Michael Morpurgo, with music by Katrina Wood, and directed by David Fofi, it runs July 28 through August 26 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/254780.
“The Government Inspector” The corrupt, self-seeking officials of a small town in Tzarist Russia mistake a penniless clerk for a Government Inspector, and chaos, recrimination, and retribution ensue. This classic satire on human vanity and the corruption of elected officials is more relevant today than ever. Re-envisioned as a cutting, tragic farce with influences from Monty Python and “Brazil”, this painful, hilarious investigation of people’s characters gone to seed makes for hysterical comedy with a good dose of soul. Written by Gogol , adapted by Oded Gross, and directed by Stefan Novinski, it runs July 28 through August 26 at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.bostoncourt.org.
“Memphis” takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50’s, a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn’t: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. This is an original story about the Cultural Revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever. Written by Joe DiPietro, with music by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, it runs July 31 through August 12 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.broadwayla.org.
“I am Chrissie” Sanity is found in the craziest places. The fine lines between art and life, sanity and insanity are highlighted, blurred, and erased during this unlikely journey of two women from two different sides of a mental health facility. An unlikely bond grows between two women from different generations, under the banner of The Women's Movement. Written by Laurie O'Brien, and directed by Tony Abatemarco, it runs through July 30 at the Skylight/Skylab Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 702-582-8587 or visit www.ktctickets.com.
“Crazy for You” Bobby’s a New Yorker who wants to be a musical star, but instead is a banker. His domineering mother sends him out to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on the mortgaged Gaiety Theatre (This takes place sometime before Las Vegas becomes a resort mecca). Deadrock is a dusty cowboy town that’s seen better days (Why do you think they call it Deadrock?). Once he arrives, he promptly falls head over heels for the theatre owner’s lovely daughter, who despises him because he’s the banker. Devising a plan to win her heart, he disguises himself as Zangler, the famous Broadway producer, come to Deadrock to put on a big musical to revive and save the endangered theatre, returning gaiety to The Gaiety. There are obstacles, as he’s followed to Deadrock by his New York fiancée (whom he doesn’t love), his mother, and the real Zangler. Can Bobby possibly pull off his scheme, producing and starring in a great musical, fending off the bank, and realizing his fondest dream of true and everlasting love with the beautiful Polly? Written by Ken Ludwig, conceived by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent, inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan, with music by George and Ira Gershwin, and directed by Anne Gesling, it runs through August 4 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.
Whatever you do, have a safe and sane Fourth of July!