SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
School’s almost out, and summer is almost upon us with sun and surf fun and games bringing excitement to all, and just as exciting are all of the new and ongoing shows in our local theatres, including:
“Extraordinary Chambers” is about the consequences of a couple’s business trip to Cambodia, where they must rely on a native guide, as their deal with a high-powered Cambodian businessman and his wife unravels. Personal negotiations brim with political consequences, and the couple must decide if the salvation of one life is worth sacrificing the justice of many. Written by David Wiener and directed by Pam MacKinnon, it runs June 1 through July 3 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” Inspired by the farces of ancient Rome, it tells the bawdy story of a slave and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. Written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, music by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Scott Martin, it runs June 3 through July 10 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.
“Moose on the Loose” Gina left home to establish herself in the professional world of marketing and now she’s coming home to take a year off from work. The day she arrives, a moose wanders into their residential neighborhood. This arouses some concern, so Daddy Giuseppe decides to go after it with a gun, and the local police go after him. Written by Dina Morrone and directed by Peter Flood, it runs June 3 through July 10 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.
“The Old Settler” is a bittersweet comedy set in Harlem during World War II. Middle-aged sisters Elizabeth and Quilly have learned to put past differences behind them, but when a handsome young man named Husband takes a room as a boarder, old hurts and new tensions are brought to the surface. Written by John Henry Redwood and directed by Caryn Desai, it runs June 3 through June 26 at the International City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.internationalcitytheatre.org.
“The Poor of New York” involves the rise and fall of banker, Gideon Bloodgood, during the financial panics of 1837 and 1857, and chronicles the parallel lives of the Bloodgood and Fairweather families over the course of the twenty years. Written by Dion Boucicault and directed by Larry Eisenberg, it runs June 3 through July 10 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-700-4878 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“Sex and Education” a retiring school teacher who catches the star basketball player passing a note to his girlfriend during their final examination. She decides to teach him a final lesson to make up for a career of frustration with uncommitted students. Written by Lissa Levin and directed by Tom Ormeny, it runs June 3 through July 17 at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” Alan Blumenfeld stars as one of Shakespeare’s most beloved creations: the opportunistic schemer and womanizer Sir John Falstaff. When Falstaff tries to woo two wealthy women at once, they happily plot his comeuppance. Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs June 4 through September 10 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-2322 or visitwww.theatricum.com.
“A Midsummer Night's Dream” The play revolves around the adventures of four young lovers, a group of amateur actors, and their interactions with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Melora Marshall, it runs June 5 through September 25 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-2322 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Superior Donuts" is a sweets shop that has been a community hub for decades, and both the neglected storefront and its rundown owner are evidence to that. However, things change when a young fast-talking dreamer bounds into the shop, and the writing is on the wall that changes are happening, maybe even for the better. Written by Tracy Letts and directed by Randall Arney, it runs June 8 through July 10 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.
“Encounter” begins in New York on September 11, 2001. Jack has narrowly escaped death in one of the Twin Towers, and offers refuge to Doreen, whom he encounters in a park. A bond forms as they cope with the tragedy, and they seek comfort from each other, until Jack reveals a secret that might shatter their relationship permanently. Written by Ari Blake Wintraub and directed by L. Flint Esquerra, it runs June 9 through July 2 at the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-844-7008 or visit www.lineagedance.org.
“Life in the Middle Ages” The medieval-themed, multi-media, one-man show equates the realizations that initiate midlife crisis with receiving a terminal diagnosis that triggers the five stage grieving process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Addressing its subject matter through observation, storytelling, video and group participation, the show allows the audience to both commiserate and celebrate the universally dreaded concept. Written and directed by Steve Ochs, it runs June 9 through June 26 at the Theater Asylum in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7612 or visit www.plays411.com/middleages.
“A Memory of Two Mondays” a young man yearning for a college education and a life beyond the hopelessness of the 1930's Great Depression. It focuses on several working class characters diligently earning a living in a Brooklyn automobile parts warehouse, and depicts the way a common experience can bond people together. Written by Arthur Miller and directed by Amelia Mulkey, it runs June 10 through July 25 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Blackbird” Una shows up unexpectedly at the office of Ray, forcing him to come to terms with the effects of their relationship. Una pulls Ray into an encounter that is gripping, surprising and utterly unforgettable. Written by David Harrower and directed by Robin Larsen, it runs June 10 through July 24 at the Rogue Machine at Theatre Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Bakersfield Mist” A lively comedy, inspired by true events. Maude Gutman, an unemployed, chain-smoking ex-bartender living in a rundown California trailer park, believes the painting she bought in a thrift store for $3 is really an undiscovered masterpiece worth millions. When stuffy New York art expert Lionel Percy arrives to evaluate the work, a fiery battle erupts over class, truth, value, and the meaning of art. Written and directed by Stephen Sachs, it runs June 11 through July 31 at The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visitwww.fountaintheatre.com.
“The Barking Pig” When the patrons of a dingy dive receive news that a criminal has just broken out of a maximum-security prison and is coming to kill one of them, the drunks bite and claw their way to the bottom of life’s final mysteries to answer the ultimate question: is there time for one more drink? Written by Michael Shaw Fisher and directed by Michael Shaw Fisher, it runs June 11 through June 26 at the Theatre Asylum in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7770 or visit www.plays411.com/barkingpig.
“Margo Veil” is a cross between a surreal radio melodrama and wacky comedy filled with music and fantasy. Margo Veil is a young actress whose strange adventures lead her into an ever-changing landscape of dream and reality. Written by Len Jenkin and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs June 11 through July 31 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
“The Sum of My Parts” Michael has always been girly, REALLY girly. Thanks to his Catholic mother’s closet, his childhood was a wonderful world where he could dress up to his heart’s content and wait for his prince, Troy Aikman, to sweep him off his feet! Written by Michael Mullen and directed by Louise Hung, it runs June 11 through June 25 at the Elephant Studio Stage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/somp.
“Tartuffe” A beacon of piety, Tartuffe is a guest in the home of wealthy merchant Orgon, but all is not as it seems. As Orgon becomes more enraptured with his new companion, questions arise. Is Tartuffe a friend, a fraud, a miracle, or a hypocrite? Smelling a rat, the family hatches a cunning plan to outwit the wily deceiver before he brings their house crashing down. Written by Molière, adapted by Ellen Geer and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs June 11 through October 1 at the the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-2322 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Apocalypse, Not Now!” is the fictional story of Carla who has a shack in Tujunga, where she cocoons for her own safety after 9/11, until a fire forces her out, and she discovers her neighbors are as eccentric as she is. The torrential downpours and floods that later occur bring her nifty stuff for her home flowing in the water. Written by Clara York and directed by Jane Morris, it runs June 12 through June 24 at the ArtWorks Theater, Studio A in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-455-4585 or visit www.hollywoodfringe.org/project/view/402.
“Twist - An American Musical” is a timely adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic with a contemporary original score, set in New Orleans on the eve of the Great Depression. It tells the story of a young orphan boy who navigates the rough waters of street life and racial intolerance in his quest for love and his family. Written by William F. Brown and Tina Tippit, music by Tena Clark and Gary Prim and directed by Debbie Allen, it runs June 14 through July 17 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.com.
“Solitude” Gabriel, a rich man, returns to his old neighborhood to attend to the funeral of Carmen, his poor mother. He abandoned her, his lover Ramona, and his best pal Johnny years ago, got rich, and married Sonia. Reunited by Carmen’s death, they are accompanied by Ramona’s son Angel, a limo driver, and a cellist, in Gabriel’s upscale home, where events that unfold change their lives forever. Written by Evelina Fernandez, music by Semyon Kobialka and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, it runs June 15 through June 19 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-237-2800 or visit www.redcat.org/radar-la/latino-theater-company.
“The Naked Army” Based on Aristophanes’ famous play, Lysistrata, the play takes place as the city-state of Athens enters its eighth year at war. A group of women decides to take matters into their own hands and deny sex to all the men until they can finally make peace and end the war. The men eventually must deal with their recalcitrant women to solve their physical discomforts. Written by Matthew James Weedman and directed by Matthew James Weedman, it runs June 16 through July 2 at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets visit www.latensemble.com.
“The Last Five Years” tells the story of the five years of a marriage, from intense love to a final, painful separation. However, there's an intriguing twist: the man lives the five years of the marriage from exuberant beginning to its heart-rending ending, but the woman lives the five years backward, from end to beginning. Their "times" correspond only once, signaled by a remarkable duet. Written by Jason Robert Brown, music by Jason Robert Brown and directed by William Hemmer, it runs June 17 through July 24 at the Lounge 2 Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-5770 or visit www.plays411.com/lastfiveyears.
“The Solid Gold Cadillac” At the mega-conglomerate General Products Corporation, a greedy board of directors is about to run a distinguished firm into the ground by looting the company and lining their own pockets. Laura Partridge, a former actress and young widow, has ten shares of stock in General Products, which is enough to make her voice heard at a shareholders’ meeting and get her plans started. Teaming up with the company’s former president, she finds a way to stop the corporate crooks from bleeding General Products dry by caring about other small stockholders like herself. Written by George S. Kaufman and Howard Teichmann and directed by Ken Salzman, it runs June 17 through July 30 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“1776” Sparks fly in the Continental Congress as John Adams begins the quest for independency. As the conflict grows between Adams and warring constituents, he continues to fight for our freedom with the assistance of some familiar faces: Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John’s always-loving wife, Abigail. A riveting musical filled with history, humor and romance! Written by Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards, music by Sherman Edwards and directed by Todd Nielsen, it runs June 23 through August 13 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visitwww.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“The Word Begins” follows the journey of two men as they explore race, faith and morality in America-from the inner cities to the heartland. They move through a chaotic landscape throughout their compelling journey, as they attempt to come to terms with the realities of this American moment. Written by Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews and directed by Robert Egan, it runs June 24 through July 24 at the Rogue Machine in Theatre Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Burn the Floor” This electrifying Latin and ballroom dance spectacular filled with the fire and passion of live ballroom will feature 20 champion dancers in an energetic theatrical experience, including So You Think You Can Dance alumni Anya Garnis, Pasha Kovalev, Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara, and Karen Hauer. Also featured is Vonzell Solomon, second runner-up in Season Four of American Idol, who is the female vocalist. Written by Harley Medcalf and directed by Jason Gilkison, it runs through June 12 at the Segerstrom Hall in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-556-2787 or visit www.scfta.org.
“Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” Johnny is certain he has found his soul mate in Frankie. She, on the other hand, is far more cautious and disinclined to jump to conclusions. As the night unfolds, they slowly begin to reveal themselves to each other as they take tentative steps towards the possible start of a new relationship, and try to salvage something that ought to last without self-destructing. Written by Terrence McNally and directed by Stephen Lieb, it runs through June 12 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visitwww.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Unmerciful Good Fortune” centers around two strong willed Latinas who discover the gift of friendship and the reward of sacrifice. A young assistant DA with a dying mother and a politically ambitious boss is forced to confront her feelings about love, death, and a clairvoyant fast food worker charged with multiple murders. The investigation takes a dramatic shift as the accused uses her psychic “gift” to manipulate the lives of everyone involved. Written by Edwin Sanchez and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it runs through June 12 at the Underground Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.
“The Happiest Millionaire” This zany comedy is the story of eccentric Philadelphia millionaire Anthony Biddle. The Biddle mansion is the gathering place for a boxing class, pet alligators and would-be opera singers. Biddle’s daughter wants to marry wealthy Angier Duke, but his parents are shocked by the Biddle’s freewheeling lifestyle. How this play resolves itself provides an evening of laughs and fun! Written by Kyle Crichton and directed by Mario DiGregorio, it runs through June 18 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visitwww.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“AfterMath” a comedic drama about a widow trying to help her children, and herself, deal with the mess her husband left behind when he jumped into the Hudson River. Written by Elliot Shoenman, music by Bennett Barbakow and directed by Mark L. Taylor, it runs through June 26 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 800-595-4849 or visitwww.aftermaththeplay.com.
“Locked and Loaded” is an aggressive, ribald burlesque of mortality – an edgy, biting, bitter bash, celebrating the comic side of suicide, prostitution and God. Written by Todd Susman, music by John Forster and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs through June 26 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 or visitwww.santamonicaplayhouse.com.
One way to be sure you won’t get too tired from all the outdoor recreation activities is to spend some time inside out of the sun, and what better way to do that then to spend that time taking in one or more of these amazing theatrical spectacles? Enjoy!