SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Spring is just around the corner, bringing many new shows, such as:
“Disinherit the Wind” In this riveting courtroom drama, a renowned neurobiologist sues a prominent university for the right to teach theories of evolution that challenge the scientific status quo. His argument: neo-Darwinian materialist thought, like Creationism — the biblical orthodoxy it once replaced — has itself become a kind of religion: just as rigid, just as resistant to change. Might further scientific inquiry, in light of new evidence, yield different and surprising answers? Should recent discoveries, including the extensive range of highly developed fossils that suddenly appear during the Cambrian period and our modern understanding of DNA, require a reevaluation of the scientific thought behind the Darwinian theory of evolution? An inspiring and uplifting play of ideas that asks, “Are we really no more than the sum of our physical parts?” Written by Matt Chait, and directed by Gary Lee Reed, it runs March 3 through April 9 at the Complex (Ruby Theatre) in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4420 or visit www.plays411.com/disinherit.
“Married People: A Comedy” examines the lives of four long-time friends who seem to be having a simultaneous (and often hysterical) mid-life marriage crisis. Group therapy brings out the secrets of two couples: Sex or lack thereof, gay children and religion are all topics of discussion. It also puts the institution of marriage and the challenge of parenthood under a microscope, revealing the truth about how we are all navigating the rough waters of twenty-first century relationships. Friendships are tested and long held beliefs are upended. The world is changing but love, relationships, acceptance and most of all humor are a constant in this funny, touching and poignant world premiere play. Written by Steve Shaffer & Mark Schiff, and directed by Rick Shaw, it runs March 3 through April 2 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-451-2813 or visit www.marriedpeople.bpt.me.
“Company” On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks, and even a wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. The habitually single Robert is forced to question his adamant retention of bachelorhood during a hilarious array of interactions. Written by George Furth, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Kristen Towers-Roles, it runs March 4 through April 1 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.
“Still Life” Living at an emotional crossroads, her career on the rise, celebrated photographer Carrie Ann scrambles to reconnect with her passion for the work. An unexpected inspiration arrives in the form of a trend analyst who becomes determined to help her move forward, even while facing his own uncertain future. Written by Alex Dinelarisv, and directed by Michael Peretzian, it runs March 4 through April 23 at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Ah, Wilderness!” focuses on the educated middle-class Miller family of New London, Connecticut. The plot deals with the teenaged middle son, Richard, and his coming of age in sweet days of early twentieth-century America. Inspired by the play’s many musical references and moments, Robman adds period songs to the staging and sound design. It opens with the whole family gathered around the piano singing a lilting ballad from the period. In the days before movies and television or even radio, families often entertained themselves by playing musical instruments and singing – and this togetherness underscores the warmth and congeniality of the Miller family and the play itself. Written by Eugene O’Neill, and directed by Steven Robman, it runs March 5 through May 20 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 Ext. 1 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“Our Great Tchaikovsky” Master pianist and storyteller Hershey Felder embodies the life and music of beloved Russian composer and master composer, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky is best known for his classical ballets, particularly Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. At age 53, Russia’s most famous composer was dead. And to this day, the how and why remain a mystery. Written by Hershey Felder, with music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and directed by Trevor Hay, it runs March 5 through March 26 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“At Home at the Zoo” combines Albee’s groundbreaking 1959 short play The Zoo Story with his acclaimed prequel Homelife written in 2004. Together these short plays form Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, the complete story of publishing executive Peter, his wife Ann, and Jerry, the volatile stranger Peter meets in the park. The Wallis’ Artistic Associate Coy Middlebrook revisits his celebrated 2007 Deaf West Theatre production of The Zoo Story, with the new addition of Homelife. The cast includes deaf and hearing actors including Troy Kotsur as Peter and Jake Eberle as the voice of Peter, as well as Amber Zion as Ann and Paige Lindsey White as the voice of Ann. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Coy Middlebrook, it runs March 7 through March 26 at the Lovelace Studio Theater at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org.
“Burners” The not-so-distant future. The privileged few live inside a high-tech fortified megacity while the majority struggles for survival in massive polluted slums. Liv arrives in a junk depot in a war-torn industrial zone seeking Nix, a smuggler who can get her past the barricades and into the restricted megacity. Both have hidden agendas, and when drone bombs trap them inside the depot and their true identities are revealed, Liv and Nix are plunged into a violent conflict that takes on many levels. BURNERS asks the question: In a dystopian future where all hope is lost, can humanity and compassion survive? BURNERS has a gritty science fiction feel and a tense action packed story that will grip you as it explores significant issues of our present - a disappearing middle class, a seemingly insurmountable gap between the privileged and everyone else, and social and environmental justice for impoverished communities. Written by Terence Anthony, and directed by Sara Wagner, it runs March 10 through April 2 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-472-5646 or visit www.movingarts.org.
“God’s Waiting Room” In this psychological drama, prejudices collide with the past and present in issues of sexuality, religion, intolerance and love. Written by Robert Austin Rossi, and directed by David Fofi, it runs March 10 through April 2 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7784 or visit www.plays411.com/gwr.
“West Side Story” As powerful, poignant, and timely as ever, the thrilling Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim score – including “Tonight,” “Maria,” “America” and the classic “Somewhere,” remains one of the best-ever written. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City, caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time. Written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs March 10 through March 12 at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge. For tickets call 818-677-3000 or visit www.ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org.
“A Wrinkle in Time” One dark and stormy night, the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit arrives at the home of Meg Murry, a young teen who doesn't fit in at her New England high school. Meg's scientist Father vanished over two years ago, under mysterious circumstances. Aided by Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, Meg, her gifted brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin are transported through time and space on a mission to rescue their Father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. Written by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by John Glore, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs March 10 through April 22 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“God and Sex” A bride. A groom. A maid of honor (who just happens to be the Bride's ex-lover). What could possibly go wrong?! Santa Monica Playhouse presents the titillating bi-venture GOD and SEX - when the road to normal is getting you nowhere, maybe it's time to take a detour, a comedy-drama by Wendy Michaels. After spending many years in a lesbian relationship, Amy decides it would be easier to "be straight." The groom is Tim, her best buddy from high school who has loved her since the day they met. Assuming marriage and living a "normal, straight life" would be as easy as it appears in the movies, Amy commits to her goal of getting married to Tim. The couple's vision of the special day seems destined to go well until important details begin to crumble. Both desperate for their individual sexual and spiritual dreams to be realized, they plow forward and cling desperately to what they think they want, but divine intervention propels change in directions neither of them could have predicted. Bisexual, gay, straight, spiritual, atheist - all need apply - because GOD and SEX has something for everyone. Written by Wendy Michaels, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs March 11 through May 13 at the Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/god-and-sex.html.
“It's Time” a young man lost in his teenage years finds his way to a successful future, by taking a chance and grabbing at the opportunities and strength that surround him. A wonderful reminder to all of us, that even when you think the world’s got you beat, hang on to what you are passionate about and something good will come of it. It’s about not quitting a second before the miracle happens. Written by Paul Linke, and directed by Edward Edwards, it runs March 11 through April 16 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or visit www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.
“Transition” Two days after the last Presidential election, President Barack Obama welcomed President-Elect Donald Trump for a 90-minute meeting at the White House, to initiate the peaceful transition of power. The future of Western Civilization depended upon the propitious conclusion of this meeting. So: What the hell exactly happened on Thursday, November 10, 2016? You won’t learn it from CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC World News, or The Wall Street Journal. You’ll have to see the new play Transition to learn the truth. Written by Ray Richmond, and directed by Lee Costello, it runs March 11 through April 16 at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4418 or visit www.Plays411.com/transition.
“Twelfth Night” Six actors, together with two musicians, perform the various roles. Olivia’s melancholic, puritanical household clashes head on with Sir Toby’s insatiable appetite for drunken debauchery. Orsino’s relentless pursuit of Olivia and Malvolio’s extraordinary transformation typify the madness of love in Illyria, Shakespeare’s mythical land of make-believe and illusion. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Sean Holmes, it runs March 14 through March 19 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org.
“April, May & June” April, May and June are fortyish sisters, born a year apart. They’re Jewish (although with one Gentile grandparent who made the best matzo ball soup). They’re temperamentally a bit different. April, the eldest, is the most dominant. Her marriage has crumbled beneath her husband’s infidelity. May, always conscious of being “the middle one,” has issues with her weight. June, the youngest, is a lesbian whose own partner has been wayward. The three siblings have convened to pack up the old family home after their mother has passed away. She was the parent who had been most present in the women’s lives. Their father had been an alcoholic. Mother had endured and persevered. Going through their mother’s possessions, the women come across items that will give them a shocking surprise. Everything they thought they knew about their mother and their family will be changed and impact their lives forever. How will these newly revealed developments affect their relationship with each other? Written by Gary Goldstein, and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs March 16 through April 16 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.
“The Cruise” set on board a Caribbean cruise ship, explores the fracturing of political, cultural and sexual identity in today’s society. Written by Jonathan Ceniceroz, and directed by Heath Cullens, it runs March 16 through April 19 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“Big Fish” centers on the story of Edward Bloom who has lived a full and fantastical life, populated by witches, giants, and mermaids, marked by true love that stops time in its tracks, and framed by heroics that push the limits of believability. His adult son, Will, is no longer amused by his father’s fantastical tales, insisting on a rational rather than a fantastical account of one’s life. When Edward’s health declines, and Will learns that he and his wife, Josephine, will have a son of their own, Will decides to find out his father’s “true” life story, once and for all. Written by John August, with music by Andrew Lippa, and directed by Catherine Rahm, it runs March 17 through April 22 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“Pie in the Sky” Starting with the crust and ending with the ping of a timer, two women bake an apple pie. Mama shares her recipe for life in the hopes that her daughter Dory will restart her own. Intimate, poignant, and often hilarious...you'll leave with a warmed heart...and maybe even a slice of warm pie! Written by Lawrence Thelen, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs March 17 through May 21 at the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.
“The Snow Geese” Sharr White (The Other Place) conjures an American family at the end of an era. On November 1, 1917, the newly widowed Elizabeth Gaesling (played by Melissa Chalsma) gathers her family together for a final shooting party before her charismatic eldest son heads off to war. By the next morning, the champagne’s all gone, the secrets are all out, and their world will never be the same. Written by Sharr White, and directed by David Melville, it runs March 17 through April 9 at the Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.
“The Belle of Amherst” of the title is Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a pioneering female American poet, who remains influential to this day. Although only ten of her poems were published during her lifetime, some 1,800 were published after her death, not including two new collections published since 2013 consisting of poems collected from scraps, chocolate wrappers and envelopes. Her concerns regarding her compositions extended beyond themes and the choice of words to the way the word visually appeared on the page. Dickinson, an educated woman from a prominent family, was considered an eccentric. Living in a house on Amherst, Massachusetts’ Main Street, she became gradually more reclusive as she got older. Neighborhood children referred to her as “the Myth.” Her closest associations were with her devoted sister, Lavinia, and her sister-in-law, Susan. Dickinson frequently wore white, and wrote often about death and immortality. Ferrell Marshall stars as Dickinson, and also portrays fourteen other characters from Dickinson’s life in The Belle of Amherst. Dickinson is brought vividly to life as a woman capable of experiencing both intense joy and deep melancholy, a woman of passion and extraordinary intellect. Ms. Marshall also portrays the men, family members and friends that Dickinson loved and who loved her in return. Written by William Luce, and directed by Todd Nielsen, it runs March 18 through April 23 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“Building the Wall” In the very near future, the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. As a writer interviews the former supervisor of a private prison, it becomes clear how federal policy has escalated to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion. Written by Robert Schenkkan, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs March 18 through May 21 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
“The Gun” You are who you pretend to be, until the day you wake up when the sun is shining just right and you look in the mirror and wonder…is this ALL I wanted? After a failed callback for a Broadway show, a struggling actor has a sudden change of fortune while heading back to his childhood friend’s upscale apartment. Now infused with his newly found confidence and honesty he, unapologetically, tries to save those around him. This wreaks havoc with his bid to find happiness. Is living a truthful life really possible? Written by Justin Yoffe, and directed by David Florek, it runs March 18 through April 30 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Harlequino: On to Freedom” celebrates a particular kind of theater created by Italians 500 years ago, the Commedia dell’Arte, and explores the 16th century actors’ limits of free expression in the authoritarian environment they lived in. As the story evolves, a conflict between a group of rogue actors and a Commedia dell’Arte expert becomes a battle for the soul of the Commedia, questioning the purpose of art, what is funny and who writes history. Ultimately the musical asks the question: What must the artist risk to live freely in today’s world? Written and directed by Tim Robbins, it runs March 18 through May 6 at the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit www.theactorsgang.com.
“Lili Marlene” This original musical love story of Rosie Penn, the famous cabaret singer, and Count Hans Wilhelm van Kleister Graff, is set in the last year of the Weimar German Republic and into the 3rd Reich period. As the dark clouds of Fascist takeover become clearer, the Count, as the head of the passport bureau of the State Department, works to get the VIP German cultural and scientific elite out of German. The Count realizes that he must leave and get his surviving family out before the shadowy inhumanity of anti-Semitism descends upon them as National Healthcare and Immigration Reform, Industrial Unity and National Pride become the motto of the new Nazi Party. Written by Michael Antin, and directed by Mark Blowers, it runs March 19 through April 16 at the Write Act Repertory in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 Ext. 1 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.
“Absinthe at L.A. Live” cocktail of circus, comedy, burlesque and vaudeville for a 21st century audience. Guests enter the seductively intimate environment of Spiegelworld’s tent where the artists perform on a central circular stage only 9 feet in diameter. In Las Vegas, ABSINTHE has been playing to sold-out audiences at the world’s most famous casino, Caesars Palace, since 2011 and celebrates its sixth anniversary there in April. Directed by Ross Mollison, it runs March 23 through April 23 at the Spiegelworld Tent at L.A. LIVE’s Event Deck in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.AbsintheLA.com.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” The Antaeus Theatre Company inaugurates its new home in Glendale with a fully partner-cast production of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. In the steamy Mississippi Delta on a hot summer evening, members of a prominent Southern family are pushed to the brink when tender memories are relived and life altering secrets are revealed. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs March 23 through May 7 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.
“Rules of Seconds” Matthew Elkins (Cock, A Permanent Image, Pocatello at Rogue Machine) stars as mild-mannered Nathanial “Wings” Leeds, who suffers from what we would now call OCD. When Wings is challenged to a duel by the most dangerous man in Boston (Harris), he enlists the aid of a renowned duelist, who just happens to be his estranged brother (Helman) — to the consternation of their mother (Brenneman) who harbors secrets from the past. Deep family tensions and old rivalries resurface. Blood is spilled. Written by John Pollono, and directed by Jo Bonney, it runs March 23 through April 15 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“Apocalypse Play” It's the end of the world in Los Angeles. Well, everywhere, but definitely in Los Angeles, where Jane is stuck in a cramped apartment turned shelter with her ex, Chip. They think they're the last living souls on earth, until others start showing up at their doorstep. Chip believes they should band together and save the race, build a new civilization from the ashes of the past. But Jane isn't so sure. The apocalypse isn't so bad - she can finally hear herself think. Written by Cory Hinkle, and directed by Darin Anthony, it runs March 24 through April 2 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-472-5646 or visit www.movingarts.org.
“Cat's-Paw” Torn from today’s headlines, what do you do when your enemy may be smarter than you? William Mastrosimone’s gripping drama about a terrorist who has wreaked madness and destruction on America and is about to use a news reporter to exploit just one more valuable hostage – the world’s supply of clean water. For mature audiences. Written by William Mastrosimone, and directed by Stephen Rothman, it runs March 24 through April 30 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.
“Elevator” When seven strangers—a CEO Woman, Business Man, Office Temp, Hot Girl, Musician, Maintenance Man and Goth Girl—get stuck in an elevator, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. When forced together, given nothing but four walls and each other, these archetypes prove to be anything but ‘typical.’ Their preconceived notions, stereotypes and judgments are challenged at every turn, as one by one, they shed their masks and reveal their truths. Laced with musical sequences and cinematic style, ELEVATOR is a comedic and emotional ride into the human psyche and asks the fundamental question: who are you behind closed doors? Written and directed by Michael Leoni, it runs March 25 through April 30 at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7787 or visit www.plays411.com/elevator.
“Punk Rock” A ferociously funny, complex and unnerving look at seven intelligent, articulate teens at an English prep school as they tangle with the pressures of love, sex, bullying and college entrance exams. Based on his experiences as a teacher and inspired by the 1999 Columbine shooting, playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) peels back the layers of the teenage psyche to look at the confusion, disconnect and latent savagery simmering beneath the surface. Written by Simon Stephens, and directed by Lisa James, it runs March 25 through May 14 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Waiting for Godot” is a hilarious, moving, disquieting exploration of human existence. The play follows two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, as they pass the time waiting for a mysterious figure who could save them from their troubles. This distinctive production will be staged in the round in a small black–box theatre, creating an intimacy between audience and performers that will offer a unique experience of the play’s empathy and humanity. Written by Samuel Beckett, and directed by Daniel J. Wilner, it runs March 25 through April 16 at the Other Space @ The Actors Company in West Hollywood. For tickets call 888-693-8507 or visit www.godotla.bpt.me.
“Woody's Order” When a nonverbal, highly intelligent, cerebral palsied 8 year old realizes that something might one day happened to his parents, he “orders” backup. Woody always plans ahead. His sister Ann, heeding the call for her magical birth, embarks on an extraordinary lifetime adventure to fulfill this order, while navigating the course of her own dreams and destiny. This true, and astonishing, story celebrates humanity and the way we all connect along the way. Written by Ann Talman, and directed by John Shepard, it runs March 25 through April 22 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA in Atwater Village. For tickets call 818-839-1197 or visit www.woodysorder.brownpapertickets.com.
“Man of La Mancha” The fictionalized author ‘Cervantes’ is the main character of Man of La Mancha. While in prison during the Spanish Inquisitions, he is forced to act out parts of Don Quixote for the other inmates. This story-within-a-story of Don Quixote’s musical misadventures – rife with love, chivalry, and of course, four-armed giants – unfurls into something more transcendent: a beacon of hope in a dire world. One of the most important hits of Broadway’s golden age, audiences have been dreaming “The Impossible Dream” for the past half century, with the wandering hidalgo in this quintessential tale about the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of storytelling when faced with insurmountable odds. Written by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs March 26 through May 21 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“The Accidental Club” Mira Dawson, a washed-up rock star, dies of an accidental overdose and finds herself on the other side, hanging out at The Accidental Club, swapping stories, secrets and songs about life, fame, addiction and death with Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse. Mira wins their Angel of the Month Award. When you win, you get the chance to come back to earth for one night only to spend it however and with whomever you like. Mira chooses one final concert with her faithful fans. Billie warns her not to go, “Get ready for the pain, girl.” Janis tells her, “If it feels good, do it.” She believes this is all just a crazy dream and that at any moment she’ll wake up. Throughout the concert, discoveries are made, As the clock ticks toward midnight, Mira becomes increasingly anxious as she realizes she’s not waking up. Will she? Will we? Written by Sherrie Scott, and directed by Trace Oakley, it runs March 31 through April 28 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.TheAccidentalClub.com.
“Romeo and Juliet” is the greatest and arguably the most popular love story ever told. People come to see it even knowing in advance the outcome for the “star-crossed lovers.” Many, perhaps most people have seen one version or another of it. So, why mount it again in 2017? There are a couple of reasons: 1. People never get tired of watching a great romance, especially the story of a love that’s pure and true, of a love pursued even against the threat of death. 2. There are fresh ways to approach this deservedly enduring classic. This new production, while respecting Shakespeare’s text, focuses on the humanity of the characters, giving audiences the opportunity to empathize with their predicament, their challenges, and the exaltation of new love. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Aaron Ganz, it runs March 31 through April 23 at the Elysium Conservatory Theatre in San Pedro. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.fearlessartists.org.
“The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith” Set in 1937 in Memphis, Bessie and her musicians have been turned away from performing at a “Whites-Only” theatre, then finding a hospitable gin joint where Bessie recounts her incredible journey from an impoverished childhood in Chattanooga, to her fortuitous rise as a show-stopping singer. Laughter, pathos and music all come together to deliver an electric, entertaining and surprisingly touching evening in which Bessie sings signature songs such as “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Baby Doll” and “T’ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do.” Starring singer and actress Miche Braden. Written by Angelo Parra, and directed by Joe Brancato, it runs through March 12 at the Rubicon Theatre Company in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.
“The Normal Heart” an unflinching, totally unforgettable look at sexual politics during the AIDS crisis and remains one of the theater’s most powerful evenings ever. Fueled by love, anger, hope and pride, a circle of friends struggle to contain the mysterious disease ravaging New York's gay community. Dismissed by politicians, frustrated by doctors and fighting with each other, their differences could tear them apart – or change the world. Written by Larry Kramer, and directed by Marilyn McIntyre, it runs through March 19 at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2816561.
“King Lear” tells the story of an elderly King who has decided to end his reign and divide his country among his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril. The corrupt and deceitful Regan and Goneril tell him what they think he would most like to hear; the daughter that truly loves him, Cordelia, flatly but sincerely tells him an unvarnished truth – that she loves him as a daughter should. Lear disowns Cordelia, and splits the kingdom between Regan and Goneril, setting in motion the great tragedy that befalls all of the characters. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs through May 6 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
So, make life bloom with a great show today!