SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
It’s time once again for that giant bunny to come hopping around to everyone’s house bringing treasured gifts of Easter eggs and other goodies, and it’s also time for these:
“Dear Ruth” During WWII, a young girl carries on a romantic correspondence with an overseas soldier while signing the name of her unwitting older sister. The soldier returns to find that his pen pal is already engaged to another guy! After a series of lively complications and plot twists, the older sister has to choose whom to marry. Charming and delightful! You will love this hilarious comedy! Written by Norman Krasna, and directed by George Stratton, it runs April 3 through May 9 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“Carney Magic” is much more than a magic show and much more amazing than any play. Pin balling between jaunty comedic riffs, multiple characters, and mind-boggling sleight of hand, John Carney leads the audience through an exploration of the importance of wonder and imagination in our lives. His approach is smart, engaging, and often hilarious. Written and directed by John Carney, it runs April 5 through April 26 at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.gtc.org.
“The Glass Menagerie” involves Tom , a struggling writer enduring a survival job in a shoe warehouse; his domineering mother, Amanda, a faded Southern belle with memories of better times; his adored sister, Laura, fragile with a crippling shyness mirrored in a physical limp; and Jim, a work friend whom Tom asks to call upon Laura. The play takes its name from the collection of glass animals, which holds a fascination for Laura. Will Laura’s gentleman caller be able to bring her out of her shell? Tom, while feeling a duty to his family, knows he will suffocate if he remains in his current circumstances. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Wilson Better, it runs April 9 through May 17 at the Renegade Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-874-1733 or visit www.renegadegm.eventbrite.com.
“The Discord Altar” David has died, succumbing to the ravages that his addictions had wreaked upon his health. A brilliant voice teacher, during his life on the skids, his students were a small group of homeless young people. Now they have gathered to memorialize him. They’re joined by one of their number who escaped poverty and went on to achieve a successful career in the mainstream; and also by David’s embittered daughter, who considers that he abandoned his family. Needless to say, not all members of the assemblage have similar memories of David. Written by Meghan Brown, with music by Ann Baltz, and directed by Amanda McRaven, it runs April 10 through May 3 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-898-9597 or visit www.operaworks.org/asap.
“I and You” On the night before a class assignment is due, Caroline and Anthony plumb the mysteries of a Whitman poem…unaware that a much deeper mystery has brought them together. Written by Lauren Gunderson, and directed by Robin Larsen, it runs April 11 through June 14 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
“Recorded in Hollywood” The fascinating true story of black businessman, record label owner and music producer John Dolphin. In 1948, a decade before Motown, he opened his world-famous Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop in South Los Angeles, but his contributions to music and the formative years of rock ’n’ roll have often been overlooked. Based on the book “Recorded In Hollywood: The John Dolphin Story,” this new musical features 16 original songs to match the musical era of the 1950s, as well as hit cover songs associated with the story. Written by Matt Donnelly and Jamelle Dolphin, with music by Andy Cooper, and directed by Denise Dowse, it runs April 11 through May 17 at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4443 or visit www.RecordedInHollywood.com.
“Mr. Wolf” The universe is vast, but 15-year-old Theresa seeks to understand how and why it came to be. Her guide in that quest is a man named Mr. Wolf. But when we meet her, the only life she has ever known is coming to an end. When the center of her world disappears, she must come to terms with how to find her place in it. Written by Rajiv Joseph, and directed by David Emmes, it runs April 12 through May 3 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“Guys and Dolls” introduces audiences to a cast of characters who have become legends in the musical theater world: Sarah Brown, the upright but uptight "mission doll," out to reform the evil-doers of Times Square; Sky Masterson, the slick, high-rolling gambler who woos her on a bet to Cuba and ends up falling in love; Adelaide, the chronically ill nightclub performer whose condition is brought on by the fact she’s been engaged to the same man for 14 years; and Nathan Detroit, her devoted fiancé, desperate as always to find a spot for his infamous floating crap game. Written by Joe Swerling and Abe Burrows, with music by Frank Loesser, it runs April 14 through April 19 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.
“Loopholes a Pain in the I.R.S.” is the ultimate David and Goliath story of a man who, despite having his entire net worth threatened, actually uncovered loopholes -- allowing him to have the last laugh at the United States' most hated government agency, the Internal Revenue Service! Written by Stan Rich, and directed by Kiff Scholl, it runs April 15 through May 17 at the Hudson MainStage in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7735 or visit www.loopholesthemusical.com.
“Dreamscape” a Hip-hop Theater production, depicts the death and inner life of a young woman, “Myeisha Mills”. The play is a meditation and reimagining of the night of December 28, 1998, when nineteen-year-old Tyisha Miller was shot by four Riverside Police Department officers and left unconscious, bleeding in the car. The play takes a clear-eyed look at the relationships between race, the body, and violence and is structured around an autopsy report recited by a dispassionate coroner. As each of the twelve bullet wounds is described in clinical detail, Myeisha reminisces about her life using each body part as a jumping off point, walking us through the impact of the twelve bullets that killed her, through spoken word, dance and beatboxing. Written and directed by Rickerby Hinds, it runs April 18 through May 17 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“Sunset Baby” A secret cache of letters brings together a former Black Power leader, his estranged daughter and her drug-dealing boyfriend in a powerful story of family and activism, revolution and estrangement. Written by Dominique Morisseau, and directed by Jeffrey Hayden, it runs April 18 through June 7 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Generation Sex” As its title implies, Generation Sex is about sex: straight sex, same-sex, androgynous sex, rough sex, sweet sex, romantic sex, celibacy, virginity, promiscuity, hooking up, feminist sex, but especially Millennial sex and the impact that new technology has had in the search for and acquisition of sex and, hopefully, connection. At selected intervals, in a reversal of the usual protocols of live performance, audience members will be invited to interact with the performance using their personal electronic devices. The producers also state that the show will also include “intoxicating games, satirical musical numbers, and temptingly honest stories told through dance, comedy, shadow-play, original video and music.” Written by Abigail Vega, and directed by Alexandra Meda, it runs April 19 through May 17 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“The Anarchist” 35 years ago, Cathy (FELICITY HUFFMAN) killed two police officers after inciting an act of anarchy. Now, she comes face to face with her parole officer, Ann (REBECCA PIDGEON), for the last time. This 70 minute, thought-provoking play comes to a head as Ann seeks a sign of true rehabilitation or at the very least regret, while Cathy bargains to be set free. Written by David Mamet, and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, it runs April 24 through May 23 at the Theatre Asylum in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7784 or visit www.plays411.com/anarchist.
“My Barking Dog” Two reclusive apartment dwellers’ unfulfilled lives take a turn for the bizarre when a starving coyote begins to frequent their fire escape. This brush with wildlife incites them to embrace their animal instincts as they bond with their untamed visitor. By turns highly poetic, exotic, and dangerous, Eric Coble creates a riotous, riveting exploration of the lengths to which our everyday lives have disconnected us from nature, and what happens when the wild life insists on encroaching on the city and challenging our human boundaries. Written by Eric Coble, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs April 25 through May 24 at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6883 or visit www.BostonCourt.org.
“Side Show” Violet and Daisy Hilton were, undoubtedly, two of the most scandalous and dramatic conjoined twins in modern history. They were born joined at the hip in Brighton, England on February 5, 1908. According to the official biography written as part of their stage act, their mother was unmarried, so the babies were quickly and quietly sold to a local midwife. Their guardian, Mrs. Mary Hilton, was a tyrant who held the twins against their will for nearly twenty years. She forced them into a life in show business where they sang, danced, and played the saxophone and violin. They spent their youth touring Europe and Australia. They were then taken to San Antonio, Texas, and by 1931 were a hugely popular act on the American vaudeville circuit. Following a dramatic escape and court case, Violet and Daisy finally gained their independence, and their career blossomed. They performed in the 1932 film "Freaks" and several years later starred in "Chained for Life," a lurid tale in which one sister stands accused of murder, but questions are raised as to the fairness of sending her to jail if her innocent sister must go as well. Both sisters eventually married, but neither of their marriages were successful. Daisy's marriage to performer Buddy Sawyer lasted ten days; Violet's wedding in The Cotton Bowl as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial was perhaps the peak of the Hiltons' fame. By the 1960s, their careers had ended. Violet and Daisy lived for several years in North Carolina, where they worked in a local grocery store as checkout clerks. In January 1969, Violet and Daisy died of complications from influenza. Written by Bill Russell, with music by Henry Krieger, and directed by T.J. Dawson, it runs April 25 through May 10 at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton. For tickets call 714-589-2770 Ext. 1 or visit www.3dtshows.com.
“Almost Perfect” Buddy falls for the perfect girl of his dreams. One small problem... he's married to Jenny. We watch his hilarious, guilt-ridden affair 'til he finally realizes his perfect dream girl is Jenny, his wife. Written by Jerry Mayer, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs April 26 through June 28 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.
“MY CHILD: Mothers of War” based on the true stories of mothers whose lives were radically changed when their sons and daughters were sent to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The mothers represent very different opinions about war, politics, social and cultural issues. Despite these strong differences, as mothers, they all share a limitless love for their children—children who have been killed, maimed, and are in daily peril of their lives or who had the courage to refuse service. These American mothers represent women throughout history and in every part of the world who have ever sent a child to war. They represent Nigerian Mothers, Kosovo Mothers, Israeli mothers and Iraqi mothers. They all share one common denominator: unconditional love for their child. Written by Angeliki Giannakopoulos, it runs April 26 through June 7 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/mychild.
“Next to Normal” tells the story of a mother, Diane Goodman, who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. This contemporary musical is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling score, this musical shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact. Written by Brian Yorkey, with music by Tom Kitt, and directed by Nicole Dominguez, it runs through April 4 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.
“Thieves” is a gritty portrait of a family in struggle and upheaval. When the family matriach dies, three wayward children are reunited with their estranged father at their East Texas estate, ready to stake their claim. In the emotional chaos that ensues, Miller exposes the wounds inflicted and the truths ignored in the search for belonging and understanding. Are they really here to say goodbye? Or to plunder what's left of a past that might be better forgotten? Written by Charlottte Miller, and directed by Daniel Talbott, it runs through April 4 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“The American Dream” This hilarious satire explores the dysfunction of the American family in a startling tale that rocks middle-class ethics and reveals the absurdity of what was considered America’s status quo fifty years ago. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Alyson York, it runs through April 12 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“Pygmalion” remains Shaw's most popular play, which is most widely known for being the inspiration behind the highly romanticized Broadway musical and film My Fair Lady. In this delicious and gritty interpretation of PYGMALION, phonetics professor Henry Higgins bets that after he finishes transforming Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, her flawless speech and delicate facade will allow her to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party. Centering on language as a defining characteristic, social satire about class barriers and the stifling of female independence, PYGMALION manages to be both playful and heartbreaking with a narrative whose relevance to our world today is as profound as ever. Written by George Bernard Shaw, and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs through April 12 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“Class” tells the story of Sarah (Callie Schuttera), a young Hollywood starlet seeking lessons from Elliot (Gildart Jackson), an esteemed acting teacher in New York City. In the course of their work together, they learn more about themselves than the craft - and in doing so change each other’s lives forever. Written by Charles Evered, and directed by Dimitri Toscas, it runs through April 19 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.FalconTheatre.com.
“Virgin” A woman is religiously guided to maintain her virginity until marriage. Along the way, she encounters numerous temptations to abandon her resolve, testing her boundaries. She learns that not all loss of innocence is related to sex. Her resolutions are brought into sharp focus when she goes home to Toronto as a wedding guest. Written by Alyson Renaldo, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs through April 19 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1277362.
“Of Good Stock” Legendary novelist Mick Stockton left his three daughters a house in Cape Cod, control over his books and a whole lot of issues. Years later, the men in their lives struggle to be part of this elusive family’s legacy. It’s not always easy keeping up with the whip-smart and very funny Stockton sisters, especially during a weekend filled with dramatic confrontations and surprising confessions. But good scotch helps. And, in the end, what matters most is family. Written by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, and directed by Melissa Ross, it runs through April 26 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“Corktown ‘57” A powerful family drama set in the Philadelphia Irish community of “Corktown”, a seething hotbed of pro-Irish Republican activity. Emotions run high and battle lines are drawn when family and political loyalties collide. Written by John Fazakerley, and directed by Wilson Milam, it runs through May 3 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5770 or visit www.plays411.com/corktown.
“Clutch” is ripped right from the headlines -- at least the sports headlines -- as it contends with the concussion injuries experienced by professional football players, and the ruined lives that result. A serious topic with very humorous moments, CLUTCH takes place at the funeral of one-time NFL wide receiver Gordon Beers. Guests to include his estranged family, a fantasy football addict, a neuroscientist who's hungry for brains, and the man who knocked Gordon out of the league. Written by Liz Shannon Miller, and directed by Kristina Lloyd, it runs through May 5 at the Oak Room at the Sportsman’s Lodge Event Center in Studio City. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.SkyPilotTheatre.com.
Have a wonderful Easter and while you’re at it – get out and see one of these great shows!