SCENE IN LA

BY

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

 

April 2014

 

Now the Spring is in full swing and Easter is just around the corner, it’s time to hop out to catch one of the many new shows that have sprouted up all over town, including:

OPENING 

 

“Country Roads - A John Denver Celebration” Jim Curry, the number one re-creator of John Denver's beloved songs, captures the voice and the warm engaging manner of the original artist as he takes us on wonderful down the country roads, across the oceans and through the rocky mountains. Written by Jim Curry, with music by Jim Curry, it runs April 3 through April 13 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

 

“Fathers at Game” Best of Fringe - 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival. A high school football game. A crisp fall day. Then, things get weird. In “Fathers at a Game” fantasy and reality collide with deadly force. Moe and Eddie are two buddies watching their sons play football. Or are they? Something strange is gurgling underneath this portrait of the American Dream. War is hell and so is football...be careful which side you root for. Written by Trey Nichols, and directed by Vesna Hocevar, it runs April 4 through April 27 at the Moving Arts Hyperion Station in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-472-5646 or visit www.movingarts.org.

 

“Knock Me a Kiss” This is a fictionalization based on actual people and events. In 1928, rising swing bandleader Jimmie Lunceford pursues the affections of beautiful Yolande DuBois, daughter of W.E.B. DuBois, 20th Century America’s first Black public intellectual and co-founder of NAACP. While Yolnade likes Jimmie, she also finds him somewhat coarse. She instead chooses betrothal to her father’s choice for her, the educated, refined poet Countee Cullen, a major American literary figure. The impending nuptials are a social event of the first magnitude, a union of Black American royalty at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. All is not well, however. Yolande learns that Countee’s truest affections and his heart belong to another man. Yolande wonders if she should give Jimmie another chance. Written by Charles Smith, and directed by Dwain A. Perry, it runs April 5 through May 4 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

 

“S' Wonderful” Five mini-musicals take audiences on a ride through the songs that made the Gershwin brothers the most successful team in musical history. ‘S Wonderful features over 40 classic hits such as “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Shall We Dance, “ “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and “Rhapsody in Blue.” Written and directed by Ray Roderick, with music by Bret Simmons, it runs April 5 through April 20 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-856-1999 or visit www.musical.org.

 

“White Marriage” A surreal, erotic coming-of-age fairytale set in Poland circa 1890 that follows a young girl’s poignant emergence into womanhood and her frightened resistance to her impending marriage. Chekhov meets Fellini in an enchanting tragicomedy brimming with wit, charm and a large dose of the magical by one of Poland’s most distinguished modern playwrights. Written by Tadeusz Różewicz, translated by Adam Czerniawski, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs April 5 through May 25 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

“Taste” You’re invited to the most disturbing dinner party of the year. Based on a shocking true story, two men meet online and make a unique arrangement: one will kill, cook, and eat the other. Taste imagines their first and only meeting, told in real time, in a working kitchen. Written by Benjamin Brand, and directed by Stuart Gordon, it runs through May 17 at the Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-281-8337 or visit www.sacredfools.org.

 

“Mamma Mia!” An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends – practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya – from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. Written by Catherine Johnson, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and directed by Phyllida Lloyd, it runs April 8 through April 13 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.

 

“The Minister’s Black Veil” The setting is a small Massachusetts village, circa 1710. The town’s minister, Reverend Hooper, suddenly begins appearing in public wearing a black veil over his face…to Sunday Service, to a funeral, to a wedding, everywhere. His congregation, astonished and disturbed by his strange appearance, appeals to his loving fiancée, Elizabeth, to intercede with him, discover the reasons for his masking and get him to remove the veil. It soon becomes apparent that he has no intention of removing the veil while he lives. He is a good man, doing battle against the power of evil. For, no matter how virtuous one may be, one harbors somewhere some secret sin. As he continues to wear the veil, his congregants note the increased strength and depth of his spiritual power. Sin, however, is mighty. For the sake of his congregation, for the sake of his love for Elizabeth, for the sake of his own soul, can Hooper possibly prevail? Written by Timothy Sprague, and directed by Laura Lee Bahr, it runs April 11 through May 18 at the Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.

 

“Everything you Touch” Victor is a ruthless fashion designer in the 1970s at the top of his game. Esme, his glamorous protégé and muse, is pushed aside when an ordinary Midwestern woman inspires Victor to make his artistry accessible to the masses. A generation later, a woman grappling with a healthy dose of self-loathing must wrestle her own family demons to find her way through the world of fashion that won’t give a woman her size a second look. Skipping back and forth in time, Everything You Touch is a viciously funny look at the struggle to find an identity that's more than skin deep. Written by Sheila Callaghan, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs April 12 through May 11 at the Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.bostoncourt.com.

 

“Five Mile Lake” looks at what happens to people who stay in a small town and those who go away. It’s the story of Jamie, who enjoys a quiet life in his Pennsylvania hometown, where he fixes up his grandfather’s old lake house and pines after Mary, his troubled coworker. When his brother comes back to town with a new girlfriend, Jamie’s peaceful world is turned upside down. Written by Rachel Bonds, and directed by Daniella Topol, it runs April 13 through May 4 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

 

“Detective Partner Hero Villain” As Detective Baker scrambles to find a serial killer, superhero Fantastic Phenomenon doesn't offer his usual help. Baker pursues the clues with help from his partner Warren and super villain Supernova, but is he ready to uncover the truth? A truth that expose's the realities of life and death, and the ultimate consequences of trusting those who tell us to “keep the faith”. Written by Brett Neveu, and directed by Jonathan Price, it runs April 18 through May 24 at the NoHo Actors Studio in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.ATheatreConnection.com.

 

“GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly” Gene Kelly was a joyous performer. A legendary dancer, director and choreographer, he brought astonishing grace, athleticism and masculinity to the big screen. He continues to delight and captivate us, yet we know little about him. During a unique evening, Patricia Ward Kelly—his widow, biographer and the person who knew him best—presents an intimate portrait of this dynamic and innovative artist who created some of the most memorable and iconic scenes in film history. Patricia Kelly’s compelling presentation combines rare and familiar film clips, previously unreleased audio recordings, personal memorabilia, and insights culled from her hours of interviews and conversations with her husband. Patricia Ward met Gene Kelly in 1985 in Washington, D.C., where she was the writer for a television special about The Smithsonian for which he was the host and narrator. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoir. They fell in love, married, and were together until his death in 1996. Written and directed by Patricia Ward Kelly, it runs April 18 through April 19 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.bostoncourt.com.

 

“Jealousy” Deaf West Theatre brings Teater Manu, Norway’s professional sign language theater company, to the U.S. for the first time with a black comedy about three women living on different floors of the same luxurious high-rise. Although they have never met, the trio is inter-connected by their secrets, a man and a feisty email conversation. It’s a story as truthful as life, love and jealousy itself, filled with forbidden emotions, desire and passion. Written by Esther Vilar, and directed by Magne Brevik, it runs April 18 through May 4 at the [Inside] the Ford in Hollywood. For tickets call 818-762-2998 or visit www.deafwest.org.

 

“Premeditation” Esmeralda’s husband is driving her crazy. She finds his attitudes and habits (leaving underwear on the floor after a shower; not maintaining the car properly; keeping the garage cluttered) pushing her beyond the limits of human endurance. So she does what any woman in her position would do: she hires a hit man to kill him! There’s a wrinkle: Mauricio The Assassin doesn’t just kill people for profit. A killer with a conscience, he insists that Esmeralda comes up with a really good reason for him to kill her man. For Mauricio, it isn’t about the money, it’s about Justice. There is also one other complication: Esmeralda and Mauricio share a connection that neither of them suspects. Written by Evelina Fernandez, and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, it runs April 19 through May 11 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.

 

“Pray to Ball” Seldom explored in American culture, Amir Abdullah’s distinctive play probes the spectrum of a young man’s faith, and a county’s prejudice toward it. As the NBA draft approaches, two Superstar college basketball players and the controversial world of Islam collide in this face-off between lifelong friends. Beyond money, fame, and flesh…a look at living in America today. Written by Amir Abdullah, and directed by Bill Mendieta, it runs through May 25 at the Skylight Theatre Complex in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.skylighttix.com.

 

“False Solution” Anton Seligman is a renowned architect, working on his designs for a new Holocaust museum to be built in Poland. He encounters Linda Johansson, a beautiful young intern and first-year architecture grad student, who challenges his conceptions. The tensions created by their differing ideas are complicated by their mutual attraction to each other: The lovely young woman is drawn to this man by his accomplishments and influential position in addition to his considerable personal charm; He, in his turn, is stimulated by her beauty, vitality, and probing intellect. Given the subject matter of the project, identity politics are also part of the mix. Written and directed by Oren Safdie, it runs April 24 through May 11 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/588251.

 

“Beyond Sight” the story of Jack Carter, a committed ROTC cadet driven to answer the call of duty in the wake of a catastrophic event. Blinded in Afghanistan, Jack returns home forever changed, forced to face the challenges of reintegrating into society without sight. Through all the darkness, will Jack be defined by his circumstance or can he find the hope and courage to live a successful and fulfilling life. Written by Nick Sivakumaran and Jeremy Aldridge, with music by Mark P. Leonard and Colin Simson, and lyrics by Greg Shane, Colin Simson and Mark P. Leonard, and directed by Jeremy Aldridge, it runs April 25 through May 25 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-902-8220 or visit www.creoutreach.org.

 

“Disney’s Tarzan” tells the classic tale of a shipwreck that leaves an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa. The helpless baby is adopted and raised by the mate of the leader of a tribe of gorillas who is grieving the loss of her baby. As Tarzan grows and matures, he yearns for acceptance from his gorilla father and longs to discover the reason for his uniqueness. Eventually, he encounters his first human - Jane Porter, a curious young explorer - and both of their worlds are transformed. DISNEY’S TARZAN features music and lyrics by pop icon Phil Collins, including "You'll Be in My Heart". Written by David Henry Hwang, with music by Phil Collins, and directed by Erik Austin, it runs April 25 through May 18 at the Monroe Forum at El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

 

“A Delicate Balance” Agnes and Tobias’ precarious suburban lives are shaken when they find themselves hosting unexpected houseguests — who plan to stay indefinitely. This stylish, daring and profoundly touching social comedy is full of memorable Albee bits, bountiful bursts of colorful invective and lacerating repartee. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Robin Larsen, it runs April 26 through June 15 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

“Fat Pig” stingingly witty romance about love in the modern age of body image and peer pressure tells the story of Tom, a young career guy who hits it off with Helen, a bright, sexy woman who happens to be plus-sized. As he reluctantly finds himself falling in love, Tom's colleagues are brutal in their assessment of his new mate. LaBute probes our carb-counting, extreme makeover nation by asking tough questions. How much has our relentless pursuit of beauty turned us into an uglier species? Written by Neil LaBute, and directed by Alexis Jacknow, it runs April 26 through June 1 at the Hudson Mainstage Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.plays411.com/fatpig.

 

“Wake” Molly Harrison, an agoraphobic mortician, has been anchored to the safety of her funeral home for over three years. Her vivacious mother and precocious teenage daughter try in their own humorous ways to help her take that first step down the front walk, including hypnosis, sensory-overload therapy and a trip to Moscow. But in the end, Molly must realize what is truly important in her life before the power of love can finally inspire her to embrace the world again. Written by Carey Crim, and directed by Paul Stroili, it runs April 26 through May 25 at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For tickets call 818-533-8441 or visit www.seaglasstheatre.org.

 

“Hooked” is about the transformative power of love which cannot be truly realized without having seen the darker side first. Bailey shares the true story of how her life evolved into something much more positive and spiritual as a result of finding love in a most unexpected way after living in the dark for so long. Seedy? Scary? A roller coaster ride through hell? Of course it was - and guilt ridden to be sure. But it was a rite of passage Bailey had to go through to transform herself into the person she shares with you during her autobiographical solo show. Her story needs to be told to encourage others to turn their lives around and become the person they were always meant to be, no matter what challenges appear to be in your way, and know that love will find you no matter how hard you try to hide from it. Written by Bailey Mason, and directed by Mark W. Travis, it runs April 27 through June 29 at the Spiritworks Center in Burbank. For tickets call 818-623-7408 or visit www.hookedagain.net.

 

CONTINUING

 

“Cinnamon Girl” A musical set in 1939 Ceylon, an orphaned cinnamon peeler searches for a home to call her own. Through unexpected twists and turns, she finds it in the most surprising place. Written by Velina Hasu Houston, with music by Nathan Wang, and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs through April 6 at the Playwrights’ Arena at Greenway Court Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-655-7679 or visit www.greenwayarts.org.

 

“Six Degrees of Separation” Inspired by a true story, this play follows the trail of a young black con man who charms his way into the lives of wealthy New Yorkers by posing as a friend of their children at Harvard – and son of movie star Sidney Poitier. Written by John Guare, and directed by Milton Justice, it runs through April 13 at the Main Stage at Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-455-3111 or visit www.plays411.com/sixdegrees.

 

“Get Some Rest” Rest is set in northern Idaho, where an assisted living home is shutting down. Only three patients remain—and one of them is lost. Gerald, 91 and suffering from severe dementia, has disappeared, leaving his wife, Etta, and her friend, Tom, behind. The facility’s remaining staff includes a new 20-year-old cook and two longtime nurses, women who suddenly face a crisis of their own. In the midst of a record-breaking blizzard, the search for Gerald takes an unexpected turn. Written by Samuel D. Hunter, and directed by Martin Benson, it runs through April 27 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

You’ll be a sunny funny honey of a bunny once you take in a show or two!

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