August 2023


It’s been really hot lately, so a good way to beat the heat is to go see one of these great live shows playing in our local theaters where they have air conditioning!

Covid protocols continue to be dictated by each individual venue, so bring a face mask to wear during the show in case the venue requires it. It’s a good idea to check with the theater before you attend a show to find out what their current policy is.

The information presented in this column is the latest available at the time of printing, however you should verify it with the theater to confirm it before making definite plans. Here are the shows that have announced opening dates for this month, or are already running:




“Pipeline” Nya is an inner-city high school teacher desperate to give her son opportunities that her students will never see. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. Written by Dominique Morisseau, and directed by Bryan Keith, it runs August 2 through August 19 at the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater in the Art of Acting Studio in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-601-5310 or visit


“Mr. Yunioshi” The title Mr. Yunioshi refers to the name of the character portrayed by Mickey Rooney in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, directed by Blake Edwards (Rooney’s former roommate). Rooney portrays Audrey Hepburn’s neighbor. It is a cringe-inducing characterization, in which Rooney dons yellowface and wears appliances to “play Asian.” Our play Mr. Yunioshi reverses the real-life event by casting Asian American actor J. Elijah Cho to play Mickey Rooney. Rooney is depicted here as something of a narcissist, at first believing he is being cast as the romantic lead opposite Ms. Hepburn. When it becomes apparent that he is being tapped to play the role of Mr. Yunioshi, Rooney has to deal with the question: Should he play the Asian character? We know from the cinematic record what he ultimately did, but our play shows how he arrived there. Written and directed by J. Elijah Cho, it runs August 4 through August 13 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit


“Venus in Fur” Set in modern New York City, Thomas Novachek, a beleaguered director/playwright, has suffered through a long day of abysmal auditions for his adaptation of the German sadomasochistic novel Venus in Fur, until Vanda, a crass and pushy actress, stumbles into his audition room. While Vanda shares the lead character’s name, she lacks her sophistication. However, when Thomas agrees to let Vanda read for the role, she displays a surprising understanding of the material. Working through the script with Thomas playing the masochistic male lead, the roleplay becomes intense, erotic, and less like acting. Written by David Ives, and directed by Mark Blanchard, it runs August 4 through September3 at the McCadden Place Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit


“Much Ado About Pooh” NOTE: This show is free, but you must have advance reservations to attend! A prince, Christopher Robin (Don Pedro), his two friends, Pooh and Tigger (Claudio and Benedick), and his disgruntled brother, Eeyore (Don John), decide to visit a lord and his family in the Hundred Acre wood. This lord, Owl (Leonato), has a daughter named Piglet (Hero) and a niece named Rabbit (Beatrice) who forge friendships with these visitors. Their adventures are rife with mistaken conversations – some innocently misinterpreted, some wrongly intended. There is jealousy, trickery and deceit, but just as in both classic tales, the truth comes out in the end, and everyone is better friends for it. Written by Rynn Vogel, and directed by Adam J. Jefferis, it runs August 5 through August 27 at the Media Park in Culver City. For tickets call 310-838-4264 or visit


“Contractions” Emma's been seeing Darren. She thinks she's in love. Her boss thinks she's in breach of contract. The situation needs to be resolved. In a series of cordial but increasingly tense conversations, the two dissect the differences between “sexual” and “romantic,” negotiate the nature of Emma’s interoffice relationship, and face the consequences of shrinking privacy and binding contracts. Written by Mike Bartlett, and directed by Brooke Williams, it runs August 9 through August 13 at the Broadwater (Black Box) in Hollywood. For tickets visit


“The Red Suitcase” follows the life of Pogue from his unusual birth to the death of his father. The play explores the sometimes difficult relationship between fathers and sons and the many moments, stories, and characters that build a person and a life. Pogue is led on a journey to unpack his memories that takes him from, “we are the sins of our ancestors” to “we are the hope of our ancestors.” A play of family, survival, and finding ourselves in the stories that made us. Written by Jiggs Burgess, and directed by Del Shores, it runs August 12 through September 3 at the Broadwater Theatre Main Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets visit


“I'm Not a Comedian… I'm Lenny Bruce” chronicles the life and death of the most controversial comedian and undisputed legend of all time…Lenny Bruce. His personal pain, sharply funny social commentary and completely original, freestyle comedy left a lasting impact on today’s poetry, politics, music, film - and of course - comedy. His unwavering commitment to, and passion for, free speech led to numerous obscenity charges and arrests. Bruce fought for freedom of speech all the way to the Supreme Court, and died of an accidental overdose in1966 while out on appeal. Lauded by fans and former friends of Bruce, Marmo’s crowd-shocking portrayal brings the notorious funnyman to life with all the electrifying, insightful and comedic brilliance as the one and only Lenny Bruce himself. Written by Kitty Bruce, and directed by Joe Mantegna, it runs August 17through August 19 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit


“Elephant Shavings” The stage is set for drama, humor and absurdity when one member of a theater’s acting ensemble finds herself challenged to confront the common dreams we have about the nature of reality. An engaging and fun introduction to both Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Sufism, and to modern Western teachers like Rupert Spira and Mooji, Elephant Shavings evolved out of Sossi’s enduring interest in the realm of metaphysics and his lifelong quest to understand the core essence of human consciousness, awareness, and “the meaning of life.” Written and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs August 18 through October 1 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit


“Kill Shelter” Colleen manages an open-admissions, government-funded animal shelter. This means her shelter accepts all animals. When animals prove unadoptable because of advanced age, illness, injury, or aggressiveness, they may be subject to euthanasia. Overcrowding at the shelter may also put animals in line for euthanasia. Colleen is a compassionate animal lover whose duties put her at odds with her instincts. Colleen is also the single mom to a teenager who disapproves of her mom’s job. When young Ellie finds herself pregnant by a boyfriend who withdraws his affection, her understanding of her mother’s work is suddenly brought into sharp focus. Complicating things further is Colleen’s burgeoning romance with a much-younger subordinate. Written by Ashley Rose Wellman, and directed by Shaina Rosenthal, it runs August 24 through October 1at the Theatre of Note in Hollywood. For tickets


“Exit Wounds” What was the tragic event that caused Linda Sadowski (Suanne Spoke) to become a hoarder? Why has she retreated from life and not seen her son (Michael Polak) for over 25 years? How can Linda stem the ripple effect of the family’s past and save the 17-year-old grandson (Hayden Kharrazi) she’s never met? Written by Wendy Graf, and directed by Caryn Desai, it runs August 25 through September 10 at the International City Theatre in the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit


“A Slight Ache” tragicomedy of manners is a funny, ominous and unsettling journey into the human psyche. As married couple Flora and Edward breakfast in their garden, a wasp circles menacingly overhead while Edward feels “a slight ache” in his eyes. And who is that derelict match seller hovering just beyond the garden gate? Written by Harold Pinter, and directed by Jack Heller, it runs August 26 through October 1 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit




“A Black and White Cookie” A black and white cookie is a classic New York deli treat, a large cookie with half-chocolate and half-vanilla frosting. It’s also a metaphor for the unlikely friendship between the two fellows who are the main characters of this new comedy. Harold Wilson is a 71--year-old Black veteran of the Vietnam conflict. A Republican, he voted for Nixon, Reagan and Dubya. He’s had a newsstand for thirty years but faces imminent eviction. He reopened his business after the pandemic lockdown only to find his rent has skyrocketed. Albie Sands, a burnt-out 60s radical, is nominally Jewish (he’s an atheist whose favorite sandwich is ham and Swiss). He wants Harold to fight his landlord to save his business. Carol, Harold’s antisemitic niece, distrusts Albie and wants Harold to take a buyout from his landlord. Will Harold and Albie stand up to the person that Albie calls a “corporate parasite?” Or will they stand down and be swept aside? Written by Gary Morgenstein, and directed by Tudi Roche, it runs through August 20 at the 905 Cole Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets visit


“Group Therapy” is a serious comedy about three people trapped in a therapist’s waiting room, where they learn things about one another they would rather not know. Running time is 85 minutes with no intermission. Written by Peter Lefcourt,and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs through August 20 at the Theatre 68 Arts Complex in North Hollywood. For tickets visit


Our local theme parks are operating at full capacity. Most require advance reservations online, as well as advance ticket, and possibly food, purchases. You will need an app in some to be able to take full advantage of all attractions and restaurants. Please check their websites for details, restrictions, and availability before planning a visit:


Disneyland Resort

Disney’s California Adventure


Knott’s Berry Farm

Legoland California


SeaWorld San Diego


Six Flags Magic Mountain


Universal Studios Hollywood





Some theaters still provide online offerings in addition to or in lieu of live performances, with many events you can experience on a virtual basis. A few of these online events are only available on a one-time basis, while others are ongoing and can be viewed on-demand anytime. Visit each of the web sites below to see what they are currently offering. You will find free content as well as pay-per-view to choose from. Here are the links to web sites with online offerings:


3-D Theatricals


“A Death-Defying Escape”


A Noise Within


Antaeus Theatre




Boston Court Pasadena




Chalk Repertory Theatre


Coeurage Ensemble


East West Players


Echo Theater Company


El Portal Theatre




For the Record Live


Fountain Theatre


Garry Marshall Theatre


Hero Theatre


IAMA Theatre Company


International City Theatre


“John Cullum: An Accidental Star”


Kentwood Players


Laguna Playhouse


L.A. Chamber Orchestra


L.A. Theatre Works (fee & free)


Loft Ensemble


Long Beach Opera


Morgan-Wixson Theatre


Moving Arts


Odyssey Theatre


Open Door Playhouse


Pepperdine University


Robey Theatre Company


Rogue Artists Ensemble


Rubicon Theatre


Sacred Fools


Santa Monica Playhouse


Segerstrom Center for the Arts


Shakespeare Center LA


Sierra Madre Playhouse


South Coast Repertory


The Blank Theatre (fee)

The Blank Theatre (free)


The Geffen Playhouse (fee)


The Latino Theatre Company


The Road Theatre Company


The Soraya


The Victory Theatre Center


The Wallis


Theatre 40


Theatre 68


Theatre West




Please help keep our theaters open by supporting live theater whenever you can. On behalf of the publisher Steve Zall, and the co-publisher& editor Sid Fish, we want to send our heartfelt thanks to the publicists who supply us with this content, the editors and publishers who deliver it to you, and most of all, to our readers who enjoy our columns. We wish everyone good health, prosperity, and happy times throughout the year.





Steve Zall, Publisher

Sid Fish, Co-Publisher and Editor