SCENE IN LA

 

BY

 

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

 

August 2014

 

Things are really heating up now with summer in full swing and so are things at our local theatres too, including:

           

OPENING

 

“6 Rms Riv Vu” Anne Miller, a full-time mom and homemaker, and Paul Friedman, an advertising executive who would rather be writing his own projects, simultaneously show up to inspect a Manhattan apartment for rent. It has six rooms, a partial view of the Hudson River, and is rent-controlled. In other words, it’s a prime find. It’s not entirely without flaws, however. A doorknob falls off, trapping the two inside the apartment. Instead of treating each other like competitors for the same treasured piece of real estate, however, both find themselves with a swift and strong attraction to each other. It’s not illogical: both are attractive, intelligent, witty, sensitive and charming. Why not? Well, they’re both in long-term marriages to other people, and both are the parents of small children. Both have to consider how it will impact their lives and their futures if they decide to have an affair. Written by Bob Randall, and directed by Sherrie Lofton, it runs August 1 through September 6 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

 

“Broadway Bound” Brothers Eugene and Stanley Jerome are determined to break into show business as professional comedy writers. As their parents' relationship unravels, the brothers convene in the upstairs bedroom of their Brighton Beach home to write and rehearse material. When the brothers use their real-life family situation as inspiration for a radio comedy skit, they quickly learn the complications that ensue when life informs art. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Jason Alexander, it runs August 2 through September 21 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

“The Cherry Orchard” Anton Chekhov’s last play and one of his greatest works, a dramatic comic ode to a passing way of life. This lively, touching play illuminates the joys of a new world being born, the sorrows of the old world passing, and the timelessness of the human condition. Written by Anton Chekhov, and directed by Dana Jackson, it runs August 2 through September 21 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.

 

“Damn Yankees” Set in Washington, D.C. during the 1950’s and based on a novel by Douglass Wallop novel... married, middle-aged real estate agent Joe Boyd is a long-suffering fan of the Washington Senators. “I’d sell my soul for one long-ball hitter,” says Joe. Soon enough... the Devil, disguised as a smooth talking salesman named Mr. Applegate, appears at Joe’s door. Applegate offers to turn Joe into a 22-year old phenom called “Joe Hardy...” but all, of course, for a price. Joe must leave his beloved wife Meg, and the rest of his suburban life behind. As the Senators’ stats soar, Joe realizes he’s losing his wife and his boyish looks and begins searching for a loophole in his contract. Dogged by suspicious sports writer Gloria Thorpe, and tempted by Applegate’s sizzling-hot seductress Lola (a charter member of the Home-wreckers Hall of Fame,) will Joe live to regret fulfilling his dreams of baseball glory? That’s one helluva question...but we’re not telling! Written by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, with music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and directed by Alan Souza, it runs August 2 through August 10 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach. For tickets call 714-589-2770 or visit www.3dtshows.com.

 

“Moon over Buffalo” Charlotte and George Hay, a once-famed acting couple, are on tour in Buffalo in 1953 with a repertory consisting of Cyrano de Bergerac "revised, one nostril version" & Noel Coward's Private Lives. Fate has given these fading stars one more shot at the big time: movie star roles in a Hollywood epic. But will they be able to seize it? Written by Ken Ludwig, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs August 2 through September 14 at the Grove Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets call 323-960-7721 or visit www.plays411.com/moon.

 

“Meet & Greet” is a one act comedy about four actresses of a certain age -- a Broadway diva (Carolyn Hennesy), an unhinged ex-sitcom star (Vicki Lewis), her ditzy blonde bombshell former co-star (Teresa Ganzel), and a volcanically tempered African-American reality show star (Daniele Gaither) -- are all up for the same part in a new sitcom pilot. They meet at a network casting office in the San Fernando Valley presided over by a catty, gay young male assistant (Brendan Robinson). Old rivalries come screaming to the surface, egos clash, hair is pulled and a shocking revelation forces them to question their entire existences. Written by Stan Zimmerman & Christian McLaughlin, and directed by Stan Zimmerman, it runs August 3 through September 21 at the Theatre Asylum in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.theatreasylum-la.com.

 

“2 Across” A commuter train leaves San Francisco Airport at 4:15 a.m. on its way to the East Bay. A man and a woman who have nothing in common but their crossword puzzles are on that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train. She takes crosswords (and life) very seriously; he treats everything like a game. By the time they reach East Bay their lives have changed. Over 40 Million people in the U.S. do crossword puzzles every day. Most never finish them; a driven few would rather die than give up. 2 ACROSS has one of each, and the sparks that fly will have you laughing till you drop. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs August 9 through September 28 at the Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

 

“The Tavern” On a dark stormy night, thunder and gunshots ring through the air. A vagabond and a mysterious woman are discovered. As the tavern master attempts to learn who they are, the Governor and his family arrive at his door seeking shelter. A mystery unfolds with hilarious twists and turns that catch everyone off guard. As the storm howls outside, the truth unravels inside the tavern with hilarious results. Written by George M. Cohan, and directed by Mike Peebler, it runs August 9 through August 30 at the Festival Amphitheater - Euclid Park in Garden Grove. For tickets call 714-590-1575 or visit www.shakespeareoc.org.

 

“Once” tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together. Written by Enda Walsh, with music by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and directed by John Tiffany, it runs August 19 through August 31 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.

 

“Trying” A poignant, poetic and powerful story, inspired by the real-life experiences of the playwright, about the friendship forged between 81-year-old Francis Biddle, U.S. Attorney General under President Roosevelt and Chief Judge at the Nuremburg trials; and a tenacious 25-year-old woman from the Canadian plains – one of a string of secretaries Biddle's wife has hired to help him put his affairs in order at the end of his long and illustrious career. Written by Joanna McClelland Glass, and directed by John Henry Davis, it runs August 22 through September 14 at the International City Theatre - Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.com.

           

CONTINUING

 

“Without Annette” The richly drawn characters play, laugh, have affairs, uncover secrets and become a hilarious ensemble performing their own improvised finale. With a script by celebrated character actor and improv coach Jeff Doucette (Desperate Housewives, Newhart) and Hope Juber (It's The Housewives! , A Very Brady Musical ), each show is a unique hybrid of scripted and improv performance; featuring a cast of accomplished performers culled from the Groundlings, Second City, iO West, Upright Citizens Brigade, the Spolin Players, and Shplotz!, among others. Written by Jeff Doucette and Hope Juber, with music by Laurence Juber, it runs through October 2 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 323-960-5773 or visit www.plays411.com.

 

“Always…Patsy Cline” This wonderful, country western, toe-­tapping musical, is based on the life and music of country legend Patsy Cline (Carter Calvert) and a Texas housewife, Louise Seger (Sally Struthers), who struck up a friendship after meeting Cline and remained friends until Cline’s untimely death at age 30 in a 1963 plane accident. The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger which were consistently signed Love Always…Patsy Cline. Twenty-two of Cline’s most famous hit songs, including “Crazy,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Back in Baby’s Arms” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” are performed by Calvert along with a five-­piece band. Written and directed by Ted Swindley, with music by John Randall, it runs through August 3 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

 

“Paternus” A relentless snowstorm strands father and son with only their RV for protection. Survival plans become paramount, temperatures drop, and food begins to run out as this powerful and gripping situation burrows below the surface of their relationship…during what might become their final days together. Written by Daphne Malfitano, and directed by Mark St. Amant, it runs through August 9 at the Rogue Machine in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.

 

“A Family Affair” Causing an uproar when published in 1850, this broad and irreverent Russian comedy of manners centers around a greedy merchant, Bolshov who makes a fraudulent bankruptcy application in order to finance the lavish lifestyle of his bourgeois husband-hunting daughter. When Bolshov’s accomplices run off with his assets and his daughter, Bolshov descends into professional and psychological ruin and is jailed. Upon his release, Bolshov, a new man ready to walk the straight and narrow, finds that his selfish and cantankerous family has not changed one bit. Written by Alexander Ostrovsky, and directed by Mel Green, it runs through August 10 at the Plummer Park - Fiesta Hall Courtyard in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-5691 or visit www.classicaltheatrelab.org.

 

“Once” tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together. Brought to the stage by an award-winning team of visionary artists and featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians, it is a musical celebration of life and love: thrilling in its originality, daring in its honesty… and unforgettable in every way. Written by Enda Walsh, with music by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and directed by John Tiffany, it runs through August 10 at the Hollywood Pantages in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or visit www.hollywoodpantages.com.

 

“Leading Ladies” In this brilliant comedy by the author of Crazy For You and Lend Me A Tenor, two down-on-their-luck actors decide to pass themselves off as the long lost nephews of a rich old woman, only to find when out that the distant relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements and comical misunderstanding abound in this hilarious cross-dressing comedy. Written by Ken Ludwig, and directed by James Castle Stevens, it runs through August 16 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

“The Sexual Life of Savages” How many have you slept with? Everyman Hal is about to discover all the baggage this answer will entail. With fierce humor and candor, The Sexual Life of Savages follows the lives of a group of young people thrust into a new sexual era and forced to come to terms with its shifting definitions of tolerance, empathy, and morality. Written by Ian MacAllister-McDonald, and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs through August 16 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.skylighttix.com.

 

“William Shakespeare’s The Tempest” This great romantic comedy has it all: danger, intrigue, politics, revenge, a mighty sorcerer, his beautiful daughter falling deeply in love at first sight, with the handsome prince who is so conveniently shipwrecked near her island home. “The Tempest” still exerts an influence over popular culture four centuries later, ranging from “Forbidden Planet” to “Gilligan’s Island” to “Lost.” Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs through August 24 at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.

 

“One In The Chamber” Jennifer (Emily Peck), a court appointed social worker, is sent to assess Adam’s (Alec Frasier) home life six years after he accidentally shot and killed his little brother. She interviews his precocious seven-year-old sister Ruthie, troubled older sister Kaylee (Kelli Anderson), workaholic father Charles (Robert Bella) and drug and alcohol addicted mother Helen (Heidi Sulzman) before finally meeting Adam. The piece smartly personifies the delicate hot-button topic of gun violence in America. Written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, it runs through September 7 at the Lounge Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7724 or visit www.plays411.com/chamber.

 

“A Streetcar Named Desire” recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Considered to be one of the most remarkable plays of our time, the play established Tennessee Williams as one of the most important playwrights of his generation. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by L. Flint Esquerra, it runs through September 7 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

 

Enjoy the beaches and the sun then head on in to see one of these great shows to finish off your day in style!

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