SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
School may be starting back up, but our local theatres are also starting up, with offerings including:
“My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a play based on the journals, letters and emails of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American peace activist who died protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza on March 16, 2003. Written by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner, and directed by Susan Angelo, it runs September 1 through September 22 at the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
“Preposterous” follows the troubled life of Allen and his close-knit group of friends as they struggle through the challenges of adulthood and human bonds. In the waning hours of a wake, the death of their friend John still a tragic cloud in the air, Allen and his ex-girlfriend Miranda are reunited and forced to confront the open wounds of their past and the mysterious future that lies ahead. Ultimately, their relationship with each other and their four other friends digs deeper, stretching backward in time to decipher the muddle of companionship, friendship and love---with plenty of drinks to go around. Written by Jason Britt, and directed by Taylor Ashbrook, it runs September 2 through October 9 at the Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village. For tickets call 818-508-3003 or visit www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
“The Comedy of Errors” tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus, and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities lead to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Drew Shirley, it runs September 3 through September 24 at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets visit www.latensemble.com.
“Stranger Things” somewhere in a corner of the world is a lonely, isolated place where cold winds whistle through the landscape and chill a body to the marrow. It may be the last place on earth where you would want to stay. Nevertheless, sometimes, a traveler needs a respite from the road. So, Helga and her Mother have transformed a dilapidated old farmhouse into an inn. Once, she had a brother who lived there too, but he fled the bleak surroundings. One day, two young men, Matt and Johan, stop at the inn. Matt has never been here before, but Johan knows these parts all too well. What secrets could have compelled him to return to this place of desolation? Written and directed by Ronnie Clark, it runs September 3 through September 25 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-281-8341 or visit ghostroad.secure.force.com/ticket.
“Jolson at the Winter Garden” Mike Burstyn stars as the one and only Al Jolson, and performs with a 7-piece band and three back-up singers in this crowd-pleasing show! Jolson at the Winter Garden is a recreation of Al Jolson's famous Sunday concerts and includes the greatest American songs ever written such as "Swanee", “Rockabye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody", "Sonny Boy", "Nothing Could Be Finer than to be in Carolina", "Toot, Toot, Tootsie" and more. Written by Mike Burstyn and Bill Castellino, with music by Christopher McGovern, and directed by Bill Castellino, it runs September 6 through September 25 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 877-733-7529 or visitwww.elportaltheatre.com.
“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” slams together thrilling spectacle, incredible characters and geopolitical allegory into an invigorating theatrical experience you can’t find on pay-per-view pro wrestling. This smack-down of a play tackles racism, drop-kicks globalization, and brings this championship tale into the ring. In wrestling, as in life, behind every winner lies the story of a really excellent loser. Written by Kristoffer Diaz, and directed by Edward Torres, it runs September 7 through October 9 at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village. For tickets call 310-966-2412 or visitwww.geffenplayhouse.com.
“Madame President” is a romantic comedy about a President like no other! Madison Montague is the first female President of the United States. She's Independent in every sense of the word. Calling herself a "Dateless Wonder”, the single president thrives on solving our Nation's problems, until Peter comes into her life - again. Join Madison in the Oval Office as she deals with the drama, love and back-stabbing... and that's just her family. Written by Elizabeth Montgomery, and directed by Rita Cofield, it runs September 8 through October 2 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.
“Laurel and Hardy” Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy reminisce about their lives, loves and careers in Vaudeville, Silent Movies, and the Talkies. Flashing back to some of their world-famous comedy sketches, slapstick, music and dance routines, as well as poignant glimpses behind the scenes, the charm and wit of Laurel and Hardy are reborn in this affectionate homage to the men behind the laughter and success of one of the most prolific comedy duos in Hollywood. Written by Tom McGrath, and directed by Dimitri Toscas, it runs September 9 through October 2 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.
“The Leopard” depicts Ernest Hemingway near the end of his life as he reflects back on a life filled with achievement and adventure in far-flung parts of the world. Here was a man of great appetites, for food, for alcohol, for sex. He married four times, in addition to enjoying erotic bouts with ladies of the evening, with a particular predilection for older women. His fondness for bullfights, hunting, camping, and fishing were alleged by a few to be overcompensation for insecurity. It was a life of event, and he was decorated with medals for bravery in two wars. He was, above all else, a writer, who reached the pinnacle of his profession, bringing him into contact with the other greatest artists of his time. Now at 61, the road ahead is shorter. Written by Yabo Yablonsky, and directed by T.J. Castronovo, it runs September 9 through October 9 at the Working Stage Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7784 or visitwww.Plays411.com/theleoprad.
“Seascape” Charlie and Nancy are an aging couple relaxing at the beach. They’re approaching retirement age, and Nancy wants to travel from beach to beach and have an active retirement, while Charlie wants to rest and do nothing. Leslie and Sarah are lizards who discover they can walk and talk like people. Their first contact with humans is with Charlie and Nancy, from whom they learn what life may be like for them, and must decide whether they want to take the next step or not. Written by Edward Albee, and directed by Charlie Mount, it runs September 9 through October 16 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.
“Richard III” recounts how Richard ascended to the throne and consolidated his power largely by accomplishing the murder of his perceived political adversaries, including members of his own family, in a story that resonates as surprisingly modern. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Lisa Wolpe, it runs September 10 through October 2 at the Studio Theatre, on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona. For tickets call 909-869-3900 or visitwww.class.csupomona.edu/th/oldsite/scsf.
“To Carry the Child” Ashley, a struggling young artist, finds herself confronted with cataclysmic events and abandoned by her lesbian lover, Diane. So Ashley decides to return from the big city to her family home on Carapace Isle, on the coast of North Carolina. She seeks comfort within the bosom of family, but there are frustrations: They’re all dysfunctional to one degree or another, perhaps none more so than Ashley herself. There’s father Bo, more than a little rough around the edges; There’s mother Lib, who blithely tries to plaster a pleasant face on everything, regardless of the circumstances; There’s seemingly favored sister Sissie, who is pregnant and hiding the true origins of her fetus from her parents. Written by Jon Courie, and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs September 10 through October 16 at the Raven Playhouse in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-6569 or visit www.plays411.com/thechild.
“The Unauthorized Afterlife of Eugene O'Neill” is a fictional exploration of how O’Neill tried to come to terms with the treatment of his family in his literary works as he journeys through the afterlife searching for the meaning in his own life – and maybe to settle a few scores. It is a view into the renowned playwright’s life with the portrayal of O’Neill as a “theatrical Flying Dutchman” sailing from theatre to theatre, searching for that one second of meaning, the one moment that would make everything in the world make sense. Written by James Cady, and directed by Brian Hansen, it runs September 15 through September 25 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
“The Vault: Unlocked” when a prominent real estate developer ends up dead, a tapestry of stories is discovered immersed deep in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. From the mouths, eyes and ears of business owners, loft dwellers, baristas, food vendors and street people, an intricate world unfolds, as people search for the elusive killer. Music by Jasmine Orpilla, with music by Jasmine Orpilla, it runs September 15 through October 8 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“Candide” in a lightning-paced romp, Candide is expelled from home, drafted into the Bulgarian army, brought before the Spanish Inquisition, swindled out of a fortune, shipwrecked on a desert isle, and separated time and again from his true love Cunegonde, who bears with remarkable dignity a variety of carnal besmirchments by almost everybody. Through it all, Candide remembers the lesson of his dear master Dr. Pangloss: that “everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds". Written by Hugh Wheeler, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim & John Latouche, and directed by Catherine Rahm, it runs September 16 through October 22 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“CarnEvil: A Gothic Horror Rock Musical” Danny, a young man with a troubled past, returns to his family's carnival after a long absence, and is thrust into the darkness he tried to leave behind him. An unspeakable horror is released, and he must face the long-kept secrets about himself and his family in order to save everything he cares about from doom. Written by Joe Fria and Michael Teoli, with music by Michael Teoli, and directed by Janet Roston, it runs September 16 through October 22 at the Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-281-8337 or visitwww.sacredfools.org.
“Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” this musical covers three generations of one family gather to clean out their grandmother's attic, triggering memories that play out through the narratives of Brel's evocative music, ultimately helping them to come to terms with the past. With more than 25 million records sold worldwide, Brel's romantic tunes brim with European flair, ranging from heartbreaking to hilarious to the absurd. Written by Jacques Brel, and directed by Hallie Baran, it runs September 16 through October 2 at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7740 or visit www.plays411.com/jacquesbrel.
“South Street” from an old firehouse to a strip joint to the now-celebrated location of the annual Full Moon Festival, Sammy’s Place has been a fixture on Philadelphia’s eclectic South Street for decades. It’s a place where the locals come to celebrate life and to discover the legendary magic of the rabbit that dwells in Sammy’s moon clock hanging over the bar. The club now lies at a crossroads with the ownership threatened and its future in jeopardy. Written by Craig Carlisle, with music by Richard Addrisi, and directed by Roger Castellano, it runs September 16 through October 16 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
“The Artificial Jungle” Chester Nurdiger lives in the back of his pet shop with his mother and his bored wife. One day a drifter comes along and they hire him to work in the shop. Sparks are ignited between the bored wife Roxanne and the slick Zachary Slade. They plot to murder Chester and feed him to the piranhas. Written by Charles Ludlam, and directed by Randee Trabitz, it runs September 17 through November 6 at the Lounge Theatre 1 in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7863 or visit www.plays411.com/jungle.
“Kvetch” a dark and decidedly adult comedy; an absurdist look at the secret, true thoughts that brew within us all, it not only exposes the deepest fears, desires, and prejudices of one Jewish family with hilarious results, but is a savage study of anxieties often caused by those who share our lives. Written by Steven Berkoff, and directed by Ian Vogt, it runs September 17 through October 16 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 818-745-5537 or visitwww.seaglasstheatre.org.
“Garbo’s Cuban Lover” the lover of the title is Mercedes de Acosta (1893-1968), a contract screenwriter for MGM who was also a playwright, poet and costume designer. She had affairs with some of the most illustrious actresses and writers in America, including Edith Wharton, Adele Astaire, Katherine Cornell, Pola Negri, Alla Nazimova, ballerina Tamara Karsavina, a young Tallulah Bankhead, Eva La Gallienne, dancer Isadora Duncan, Marlene Dietrich, and the love of her life, Greta Garbo. Born to a Cuban father and Spanish mother, de Acosta’s ability to move in social circles and her position as a writer for MGM put her in contact with many of the most beautiful and important women in Hollywood. “Garbo’s Cuban Lover” focuses on two of the most important relationships of her life---with Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, professional adversaries who become rivals for de Acosta’s love. Garbo holds an erotic power over de Acosta that the Cuban can neither resist nor control. She returns to Garbo no matter how often she is betrayed. But Garbo and Dietrich both have secrets from de Acosta. It will be many years before she learns the whole truth about her two greatest loves. Written by Odalys Nanin, and directed by Laura Butler and Odalys Nanin, it runs September 24 through October 23 at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4429 or visit www.plays411.com/garbo.
“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” this musical tells the story of the headstrong Adam Pontipee who comes to a small mountain town in search of a good wife. When he meets the equally headstrong Milly, it will change his life… for better or for worse. Written by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay, with music by Gene de Paul, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, it runs September 29 through November 19 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“Don't Hug Me, I'm Pregnant” takes place in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, in a little north woods bar called "The Bunyan," owned by Clara and Gunner Johnson. Clara is 8 1/2 months pregnant with their first child, and today she's looking forward to her baby shower. Suddenly, a freak snow storm hits Bunyan Bay and they find themselves snowed in. No one can get in or out. Gunner's worst nightmare comes true when Clara goes into labor and he realizes he's going to have to deliver the baby in the bar. Written by Phil Olson, with music by Paul Olson, and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs September 30 through November 20 at the Sacred Rose Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-822-7898 or visithttps://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/855905.
“Day Drinkers” as the family of bleary-eyed regulars descend on their dive bar and morning slouches into day, cocktail after cocktail is served, secrets are spilled and hearts are wounded. Love is in the air. Written by Justin Tanner, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs through October 9 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
“End Days” sixteen year old Rachel Stein is having a bad year. Her father hasn’t changed out of his pajamas since 9/11. Her mother has begun a close, personal relationship with Jesus. Her neighbor, a sixteen-year old Elvis impersonator, has fallen in love with her, and the Apocalypse is coming Wednesday. Her only hope is that Stephen Hawking will save them all. Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, and directed by Lisa James, it runs through October 16 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 or visit www.odysseytheatre.com.
So make sure your schedule includes one or more of these productions on it. Practice makes perfect!