SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
With Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day looming on the horizon and the return of our wonderful warm weather, you may be drawn to the beach or the sea, but don’t ignore the new and ongoing productions this month in our local theatres, including:
"Three Sisters or Perestroika" Russia 1980’s: a new liberal President, the army leaving for Afghanistan, people dream of better lives. This play probes the lives and loves of the vibrant women of a Russian family, including a lesbian and a Jew, as wildfires ravage hundreds of miles of surrounding countryside. Written by Anton Chekhov and directed by Pavel Cerny, it runs May 1 through June 12 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visitwww.theatermania.com.
"The Malcontent" The usurped Duke of Genoa takes the disguise of the outrageous Malevole (the titular Malcontent) to spy on the corrupt foibles of the new Duke and his unctuous cronies. Disguises, false deaths, seductions, deceptions, and adulteries all drive the plot of this enormously entertaining play. Written by John Marston and directed by Elizabeth Swain, it runs May 5 through June 19 at the Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visitwww.antaeus.org.
"Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays" created to raise money and awareness in support of marriage equality, this funny, provocative evening of new plays brings together some of America’s most acclaimed playwrights including: Jordan Harrison, Jeffrey Hatcher, Moises Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, Kathy Najimy, Jose Rivera, Paul Rudnick and Doug Wright, in an effort to make a difference in the urgent civil rights issue of marriage equality throughout the United States; resulting in this new and engaging theatrical event. Directed by Brian Shnipper, it runs May 9 through June 27 at the Renberg Theatre in the LA Gay & Lesbian Center at Ed Gould Plaza in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.StandingOnCeremony.net
"ImagoFest 2011" Three original one-act plays: 'Red Poppies' - a victim of a violent sexual assault by soldiers of a government gone bad, has been released from a mental institution to attend her father’s funeral, where she meets the love of her life, who attempts to bring her back to life. 'Cyclical Conversations to Nowhere' - a shifting exploration of the dynamic between the male and female relationship, when the lines get crossed and blurred, in a realm where there are no names or places, two people journey to try to identify what they are and endlessly struggle to cut the strings that hold them together. 'Mother's Day' - a very dark comedy about the disintegration of the American family. Melody, the mother, has retreated into the comforts of coffee and illusion as the burdens of being a wife and mother overwhelm her, while her husband Ron spends his days buried in the newspaper rather than face the reality of his life. In the meantime, their daughter Becky finds refuge in her pom-poms and cheerleading skirt, and son Danny escapes into catatonia while he waits for a phone call that will never come. The only one who gets away unscathed is the family dog, who has had the good sense to jump the fence and who hasn't been seen since. WARNING: Male nudity. Written by Timothy McNeil, Alex Aves, and Mark Donnelly and directed by Yaitza Rivera, Alex Aves, and Milton Justice, it runs May 12 through June 12 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-465-4446 or visit www.plays411.com/imagofest.
"Four Clowns" Follow four clowns who represent the four clown archetypes; the sad clown, the mischievous clown, the angry clown and the nervous clown as they lament and reminisce about their past. As the old adage goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine’ but laughter comes most earnestly when reflecting on past sorrows. As the clowns tell their tales of woe and elation from childhood to adulthood, we discover that they are all the same, and so are we. The show contains graphic violence, strong sexual situations, and other wanton behavior. Written by Jeremy Aluma and directed by Jeremy Aluma, it runs May 13 through June 10 at the Sacred Fools Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-281-8337 or visitwww.SacredFools.org.
"Julius Caesar" Set in the 1940s, in a United States battered by the effects of World War II, a group of women whose male loved ones are off fighting gather in a community center and present the play as a way to help them understand and cope with the war, and the pain, suffering and loss it’s caused. Along the way, they find a new perspective on not just The Bard’s brilliant psychological drama, but also on their own lives and the conflicting demands of honor, loyalty, friendship…and community. Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Vance Roi Reyes, it runs May 13 through June 18 at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.com.
"No Word in Guyanese for Me" childhood in the small Caribbean nation of Guyana on the north coast of South America, and travel with her family to Queens, N.Y. to join a growing enclave of Guyanese émigrés. Deeply religious, Hanna comes of age in pre- and post-9/11 New York, where she finds herself tested by faith and family. From a disastrous arranged marriage to her sexual awakening, Hanna finally discovers that there can be someone for whom she is enough. Written by Wendy Graf and directed by Anita Khanzadian, it runs May 14 through June 12 at the Sidewalk Studio Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.
"The Emancipation of Alabaster McGill" A Civil War border town is gripped by controversy when the dreaded Emancipation Proclamation threatens to redefine freedom, as they know it. The city's most eligible sea captain, the deacon of the local church brothel and the friendly neighborhood Klansman are united by their mutual hatred of that liberal pantywaist Abraham Lincoln. And there’s only one way to stop him without using bullets. A play about gay marriage with no gays and no marriage. Written by Jeff Goode and directed by Eric Curtis Johnson, it runs May 14 through June 19 at the T. U. Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visitwww.skypilottheatre.com.
"Between Us Chickens" Meagan and Sarah are two small town Pennsylvania girls who move to Los Angeles post-college. Meagan goes out every night but Sarah won't leave the apartment. When Meagan brings home an intriguing L.A. native, Charles, he offers Sarah an “in” to the city -- if he can sleep on her couch. As a manipulative love triangle develops, we discover what everyone is hiding and that the City of Angels operates on its own moral code. Written by Sofia Alvarez and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs May 20 through June 19 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-644-1929 or visit www.atwatervillagetheatre.com.
"Squabbles" Jerry Sloan is a successful writer of advertising jingles and his wife, Alice, is an equally successful lawyer. Living with the happy couple is Jerry's wisecracking curmudgeon of a father-in-law, Abe Dreyfus, a retired New York cabbie. The situation is exacerbated when Jerry's mother, Mildred, loses her house in a fire and needs a place to stay. But Mildred and Abe don't like each other one bit, and that's a real problem for everyone. Written by Marshall Karp and directed by Gail Bernardi, it runs May 20 through June 25 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
"Sylvia" Greg and Kate are empty nesters in the big city. On a walk in the park, Greg is adopted by Sylvia, a poodle, who loves to be petted, scratched, and talked to. Kate feels threatened by this and becomes very jealous of the dog while Greg is having a midlife crisis. Written by A. R. Gurney and directed by Gary Imhoff, it runs May 20 through July 10 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.
"Three Days of Rain" A newly discovered journal, filled with enigmatic entries, recalls Greenwich Village in the early 1960s when two young architects, unaware they’re on the brink of fame, struggle with plans for an important commission. But it’s left to their children, thirty years later, to sort out the mystery behind their lives—and loves. Written by Richard Greenberg and directed by David Emmes, it runs May 20 through June 12 at the South Coast Repertory in the Folino Theatre Center in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visitwww.scr.org.
"South of Delancey" based on the true story of a Jewish arbitration court and the people who sought out its counsel in the early 1930‘s. It follows three of these cases: a young woman who marries the man she loves but doubts his feelings for her are true, two resentful sisters with drastically different lives who must learn to live together, and a lustful couple who marry to save face during the conservative times of the 1940s. Written by Karen Sommers and directed by Karen Sommers, it runs May 21 through June 26 at the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.fremontcentretheatre.com.
"The Diviners" takes place in rural Indiana during the depression, and is centered around the relationship between a young boy blessed with the magical ability to divine water and a former preacher who comes to town looking for work. The ex-preacher soon realizes his real purpose is to help the boy deal with the one traumatic experience that has caused him to fear the very water he divines. Written by Jim Leonard, Jr. and directed by Rozsa Horvath, it runs May 27 through June 19 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-850-3184 or visitwww.humanartstheatre.com.
"Still Life" is the story of the decades-long friendship between iconic artists, Georgia O’Keefe of the United States and Mexico’s Frida Kahlo, based on personal diaries, recollections and biographies, the narrative is a fascinating tapestry of fact and fiction, as the two women emerge from behind the shadows cast by their men (Hugo Stieglitz and Diego Rivera), to live their own lives of acclaim. The women reveal their secrets and their private lives in scenes interwoven with the music of cello and guitar in this remarkable work in development. Written by Harry Clark and directed by Dan Gurrero, it runs through May 7 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visitwww.thelatc.org.
"Cabaret" A cabaret performer and a young American strike up a relationship in the Kit Kat Klub just prior to WWII, testing the limits of social taboos. Overseeing this is the MC, who serves as a cultural metaphor to the ever-changing climate during the rise of the Nazi Party, and takes pleasure in reminding the audience how easily society falls prey to the chaos that surrounds them. Written by Joseph Masteroff, music by John Kander and Fred Ebb and directed by Marco Gomez, it runs through May 22 at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-5773 or visitwww.plays411.com/cabaret.
"The Chinese Massacre" Based on historical incident, the play chronicles the first race riot in Los Angeles history: the 1871 lynching of 18 Chinese men by a mob of 500 "people from all nations”. This fiercely theatrical re-telling brings to light the remarkable, culturally diverse 19th-century Wild West town that exploded into the metropolis we know today. Written by Tom Jacobson and directed by Jeff Liu, it runs through May 28 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-644-1929 or visit www.circlextheatre.org.
"House of the Rising Son" Tennessee Williams meets Anne Rice in a subversive, Southern gothic romance. A parasitologist at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Trent Varro brings his new lover home to meet the family in New Orleans. Populated with ghosts and parasites this play mixes the supernatural with science to illuminate hot button issues of gay marriage and equality in a whole new way. Written by Tom Jacobson and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs through May 29 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-644-1929 or visitwww.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org.
"Cat’s Cradle" A young girl in a small village plans to marry a very wealthy young man soon after a whirlwind courtship. Inspector Jack Frost returns to re-attempt to solve the mysterious kidnapping of her baby brother who was never found, only to find that no one will cooperate with him, including a woman once dear to his heart. Written by Leslie Sands and directed by Bill Mesnik, it runs through June 4 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
"Juno and the Paycock" classic tragicomedy of the trials and tribulations of an indomitable Dublin family set in a working class tenement during the Irish Civil War period of the 1920's. Written by Sean O' Casey and directed by Allan Miller, it runs through June 5 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visitwww.odysseytheatre.com.
So get out there and enjoy one of these exciting productions today, and don’t forget to include your favorite friends and family when you do go. Enjoy the show!