SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Ah Valentine’s Day! Cupid is drawing his bow and the whole world seems bent on love. There are also lots of shows to love in our local theatres this month, such as:
“Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage” it’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances “Baby” Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both onstage and off. This timeless love story features the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life.” Written by Eleanor Bergstein, and directed by James Powell, it runs February 3 through February 15 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.
“The Whipping Man” The Civil War has ended, leaving destruction in its wake. As a raging storm illuminates what’s left of a once majestic plantation home, three Jewish men prepare for Passover—the owner’s son, and his family’s former slaves. Only one of them, Simon, remains strong in his faith, but it is threatened with truths about what happened in this house—and in their lives—during its antebellum days. Written by Matthew Lopez, and directed by Sheldon Epps, it runs February 3 through March 1 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“A Carlin Home Companion” Chronicling over forty years of her life with her father, Kelly Carlin, the only child of iconoclastic comedian George Carlin, deftly weaves her amusing yet poignant family stories with classic video footage of her father’s career and family memorabilia. Kelly warmly yet honestly reveals not only what it was like to be swept up by his life and career, but the struggles of their father/daughter relationship and ultimately what it took Kelly to find her own place in the world. Written by Kelly Carlin, and directed by Paul Provenza, it runs February 6 through March 1 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.FalconTheatre.com.
“Hellman v. McCarthy” An episode of The Dick Cavett Show (PBS) on which one literary giant, Mary McCarthy, referred to another literary titan, Lillian Hellman as “dishonest” (and worse) sparked a war between the two women, with Hellman suing McCarthy, Cavett, and producing station WNET-TV. Brian Richard Mori’s play has the two women confronting each other on Cavett’s TV show (this is the fictional part; although both appeared separately on Cavett’s program at different times, Hellman in real life died before a joint appearance could take place). It makes for a fascinating dramatic “what if?” Written by Brian Richard Mori, and directed by Howard Storm, it runs February 6 through February 28 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org.
“Seussical the Musical” Based on the renowned works of Dr. Seuss, this Tony-nominated musical delivers a message about the power of imagination and belief in yourself through a charmingly, colorful story enhanced by an uplifting score and performed by such characters as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie LaBird, and JoJo... a young Who from Whovillle, the tiniest planet in the sky. Warning: This musical is contagious and may tickle your fancy. Written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns, with music by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns, and directed by David Engel, it runs February 7 through February 22 at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton and February 28 through March 8 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach. For tickets call 714-589-2770 or visit www.3dtshows.com.
“Ligature Marks” Terry and Jill are stuck in a twisted, dysfunctional romance. The problem is they can’t live without each other. Thanks to the thrilling and sadistic online game “Noir”, now they won’t have to. Written by Mac Rogers, and directed by Jacob Smith, it runs February 12 through March 7 at the Belfry Stage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.
“Damn Yankees” This deliciously hilarious musical about one fan’s attempt to save his favorite baseball team from failure has entertained numerous generations since it first premiered on Broadway! Filled with show-stopping songs like “Whatever Lola Wants” and “You’ve Gotta Have Heart”, this musical is a hit with every swing of the bat! Written by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, with music by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, and directed by Orlando Alexander, it runs February 13 through March 28 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“The Heart of a Gypsy Troubadour” Performer Richard Byford, the singer and songwriter (including Grammy contender "Touched by the Hands of an Angel"), has distilled his many adventures across Europe and America, his battle with cancer, and the motley crew of characters he has experienced over the years into a solo performance like no other. Performances of his many original songs are a highlight of this heartfelt and very personal look at a life well lived. Written and directed by Richard Byford, it runs February 13 through April 9 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-687-8559.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” The groundbreaking rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Race is the story of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth — told through the eyes of his betrayer, Judas Iscariot. As Jesus’ radical teachings become increasingly embraced by the populace and his fame approaches superstar status, the zeal with which his followers hail him as the Son of God becomes a source of dismay to Judas. Fearing that this tide of religious fervor will provoke brutal repression by the occupying Romans, the disciple must make his fateful choice between faith and betrayal. Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice, and directed by Marco Gomez, it runs February 13 through March 22 at the MET Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-802-9181 or visit www.domatheatre.com.
“Spoon River: The Cemetery on the Hill” Spoon River is the name of the body of water that flows past Lewiston, Illinois, the small town where Masters (1868-1950) spent part of his early life. The local cemetery is located on Oak Hill. In Masters’ anthology, Spoon River becomes the name of the town where the departed souls of his narratives once lived and are now buried. A community of long standing, their stories extend as far back as the mid-Nineteenth Century. Some of the peoples’ lives have been rich and full; others have not been so well lived. Masters’ language gives the story of each of these lives a compelling urgency, no matter how rich or common. The late inhabitants of that little town share the stories of their lives, sometimes instructively, sometimes nostalgically, sometimes lovingly, sometimes bitterly, sometimes to insure the record of the simple fact that they were there and lived a life and that it was important. One hundred years after their initial publication, the stories and their evocation of an earlier America still have a grasp on our imagination. Written by Edgar Lee Masters, adapted by Maureen Lucy O’Connell, and directed by Maureen Lucy O’Connell, it runs February 13 through March 22 at the Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
“American Buffalo” Using its signature, award-winning combination of signed and voiced performance, Deaf West Theatre offers a fresh look at the groundbreaking play that established David Mamet as a seismic force in theater. Three small-time crooks plan to rob a man of his valuable coin collection, including what they believe to be an extremely valuable Buffalo nickel. A little out of luck and way out of their league when the con goes awry, it's every man for himself in this modern classic that weaves humor and menace throughout an emotionally charged struggle for identity and dominance. Mature audiences. Written by David Mamet, and directed by Stephen Rothman, it runs February 14 through March 8 at the State Playhouse (on the campus of Cal State L.A.) in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-762-2998 or visit www.deafwest.org.
“Fugue” Set simultaneously in 20th century Austria, 18th century Russia and 17th century Italy, Fugue interlaces three tales of ill-fated romance in counterpoint, a polyphonic telling that reveals each composer’s breathtaking genius — as well as the demons that drive his creativity. Written by Tommy Smith, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs February 14 through March 22 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
“Hollywood and Broadway” Hollywood meets Broadway in this hilarious world premiere comedy. Set in 1951 at the famous but now defunct Hotel Astor in New York City, legendary stars Tallulah Bankhead and Gloria Swanson are set to receive the prestigious Page One Award for Entertainment. Both actresses are introduced by Ms. Aileen Pringle but with the help of a snooping butler and a very eager Hotel Reception Clerk, mayhem and lunacy prevail as both actresses compete to be the Diva of the evening. Written and directed by Octavio Carlin, it runs February 14 through March 22 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/hollywoodbroadway.
“Inside Out” A women’s therapy group, headed by group leader, Grace, is transformed forever when former singing star Dena joins the group and winds up being a catalyst for change in the lives of Sage, a flower child; Liz, a powerful businesswoman who has problems balancing work and home; Chlo, a gay bank employee and single mom of a teenage son; and Molly, a mother of two young children who is dealing with weight and work issues. Written by Doug Haverty, with music by Adryan Russ and Doug Haverty, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs February 14 through March 22 at the Grove Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets call 323-960-1055 or visit www.plays411.com/insideout.
“Alternate Endings” Humorous and moving scenes and monologues focusing on the many ways the world could end, from nuclear warfare and artificial intelligence to global pandemics and volcanoes. Reserve your front row seat for the Apocalypse now! Written by Jonathan Price, and directed by Kristina Lloyd, Nick Leland, Morry Schorr, Lois Weiss, and Jonathan Price, it runs February 20 through March 1 at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.SkyPilotTheatre.com.
“End of the Rainbow” Peter Quilter’s savagely funny, tour de force musical drama about the final days of Judy Garland’s life features some of her most memorable songs including “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” “The Trolley Song” and, of course, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Written by Peter Quilter, and directed by John Henry Davis, it runs February 20 through March 15 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“Properties of Silence and “Post-Silence” Salon Series” Poetry, science, and history spiral out of control as a contemporary Phoenix realtor, her pool contractor husband, and the famed 17th century poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz meet in a multi-layered dreamscape. Sor Juana, considered the first great Latin American poet, is joined by her confessor who hopes to silence her pen and scientific inquiries. Reality bends as they all confront the nature of their identities and seek a new beginning. Each performance will be followed by a “Post-Silence” event in tribute to Sor Juana’s legacy as the first feminist writer. Written by Theresa Chavez, Rose Portillo and Alan Pulner, and directed by Theresa Chavez, it runs February 28 through March 29 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-396-0920 or visit www.aboutpd.org.
“Clean Start” is a comedic play centering on Parker Reed, a down-on-her-luck Beverly Hills socialite, and Rosario Martinez, her Latina maid who lives in a small, two-bedroom house in East Los Angeles. When Reed loses everything due to a result of her husband’s illegal dealings running a ponzi scheme, she is forced to move in with Rosario and her superstitious mother and immature sister. The resulting tensions question whether the women, from such divergent backgrounds, can resolve their differences and make a clean start with their lives. Written by Kathy Fischer and Josefina López, and directed by Kathy Fischer, it runs through February 15 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.
“Tristan & Yseult” a cabaret band performs above the stage as this romantic epic is played out with wild abandon and stunning theatricality. It’s the timeless story of forbidden love—brought to new heights of passion. Written and directed by Emma Rice, it runs through February 22 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“Disconnection” is a powerful indictment of contemporary religious intrusions into personal relationships. A successful lawyer, his classical piano mentor, and his estranged daughter all confront the dark side of dedication to a Church whose aged founder faces the end of his life in isolation and regret. Written by Allen Barton, and directed by Joel Polis, it runs through March 1 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 213-761-7061 or visit www.skylighttix.com.
“The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll” The beloved British writer Lewis Carroll kept a detailed journal of his life, including his close relationship with young Alice Liddell, the 11-year-old muse who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Upon Carroll's death it was discovered that several pages of his otherwise immaculate journal had been torn out. Now after more than a century of swirling rumors, this play takes us down the rabbit hole to explore these missing pages and what might have occurred between the legendary storyteller and the young girl who inspired one of the most famous stories ever written. Written by Lily Blau, and directed by Abigail Deser, it runs through March 1 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.BostonCourt.org.
“Timepiece” Betty thought she had all the time in the world to in love. Bob wishes she would love him. Bernice is afraid to go home, and Burt is just plain angry at everything. What happens if someone unexpectedly told you are running out of time and exactly how much you have left? What does it mean—for her and the others? Bob wants to help but the rest of them just argue. Bebe wanders in to announce that time has no meaning. Billie emerges from a refrigerator with ideas of her own. Finally, Superman holds them all hostage, demanding compassion at the point of a gun. This witty new absurdist comedy by playwright Charles Duncombe helps laugh at our ultimately silly and illogical view of love, life, and death. Written by Charles A. Duncombe, and directed by Frédérique Michel, it runs through March 1 at the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-453-9939 or visit www.citygarage.org.
“A Woman Called Truth” In honor of Black History Month, Sojourner Truth’s story is recreated for the stage in a powerful, musically infused, award-winning play that combines her actual words with slave songs and spirituals of the period. A remarkable figure in history, the wit, courage and wisdom of a woman proves still timely and relevant today as she was over 200 years ago. Written by Sandra Fenichel Asher, and directed by D’Shaun A. Booker, it runs through March 1 at the Complex Ruby Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-604-8158 or visit www.plays411.com/calledtruth.
“Serrano the Musical” Serrano D'Anfelo is a renaissance man - poet, connoisseur of arts - and the enforcer for the Reyo crime family. Don Reyo seeks Serrano's help in educating his nephew Vinnie, a handsome but foul-mouthed young mobster. The goal: to take the "crude" out of Vinnie so he can seduce the beautiful and refined daughter of a judge who sits on a case involving "The Family.” If Vinnie succeeds, the judge would be compromised and have to recuse himself from the case; and the next judge in line is owned by the mob. Serrano accepts Don Reyo's challenge only to discover that the judge's daughter is the beautiful Rosanna, the woman with whom Serrano is secretly in love. Written by Madeline Sunshine, with music by Robert Tepper, and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs through March 29 at the Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7774 or visit www.serranothemusical.com.
Share a night at the show with someone you love this month!