SCENE IN LA
STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH
Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theatres this month:
“Big Shot” unfolds on the eve of what could be a giant break for two aspiring writers — a face-to-face meeting with one of Hollywood's heaviest-hitting producers. As the clock ticks — and with only one shot to pitch a winning idea — the two embark on a frantic all-night quest to find the perfect story. Written by Joe Napoli Jr. and John Scacco, and directed by Stan Zimmerman, it runs March 2 through March 17 at the Dorie Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3325702.
“A Man for All Seasons” tragic historical drama offers a brilliant portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. When Henry mandates his subjects to sign an “Act of Supremacy” making him both spiritual and temporal leader of England in order to obtain papal approval for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas cannot in good conscience comply. Written by Robert Bolt, and directed by Thom Babbes, it runs March 2 through April 15 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.
“Cambodian Rock Band” is set in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and moves back and forth in time. It’s the story of a young Cambodian American who has found evidence that could finally put away one of the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman, a man who oversaw the country’s most notorious prison. But her work is far from done. Her Dad shows up unannounced—his first time back in Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago— and it’s clear that this isn’t just a pleasure trip for him. Written by Lauren Yee, and directed by Chay Yew, it runs March 4 through March 25 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“The Graduate” Benjamin's got excellent grades, very proud parents and, having spent four years achieving a brilliant scholastic record, a clear uncertainty about this future, trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life? An unexpected diversion crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson. And even more unexpected, he finds himself falling in love with the one person Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her upbeat and optimistic daughter, Elaine. Starring Melanie Griffith as Mrs. Robinson. Written by Charles Webb, adapted by Terry Johnson, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs March 4 through March 25 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“The Tragedy: A Comedy” a wholly immersive theatrical experience, centering around three literary/talent managers – Larry (Malcolm Barrett, Timeless), Lisa (Tina Huang, Rizzoli & Isles), and Derek (Brandon Scott, Guerrilla), who go on a psychedelic mushroom trip, hoping they'll be struck with a brilliant idea that will save their failing business. Instead, the mushrooms reveal a chilling truth: their whole lives are the subject of a tragic play, with an audience of people watching their every move. As Larry slips deeper and deeper into his role as the tragic hero, Lisa and Derek undertake a mad quest to escape the confines of the play and save their friend. Greek goddesses, self-help cults, and inter-dimensional portals all set the stage for this interactive dark comedy about characters trapped inside a tragedy. Written by D.G. Watson, and directed by Ahmed Best, it runs March 8 through June 14 at the Pico Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.ammotheatre.com.
“Unemployed Elephants – A Love Story” A chance meeting in an airport lounge leads to a Burmese odyssey and a search for a missing monk… and maybe love. Written by Wendy Graf, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs March 9 through April 15 at the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5422 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.
“King Lear” is the story of a narcissistic ruler who craves adulation, casts out those who doubt his decisions, and neglects those on the fringes of society. Considered by many to be Shakespeare’s greatest masterpiece, KING LEAR is a haunting and epic saga of love, greed, family strife, and civil war. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by James O’Neil, it runs March 14 through April 1 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.
“Engaging Shaw” England, 1897. Charlotte Payne-Townshend, wealthy Irish heiress, meets George Bernard Shaw, the financially challenged but famous Irish playwright and political activist (He’s a Fabian Socialist). Will sparks fly? Shaw is a notorious flirt and heartbreaker. He enjoys romancing women, though not particularly interested in sex. The thrill of the hunt is the main attraction for Shaw: the pursuit of women, not the keeping of them. In present-day parlance, he’d be considered a sexist. But Charlotte is not quite like any other woman that Shaw has met before. She is a woman that he must consider to be his intellectual peer. They thrive in each other’s company, but can he resist her when she wants to take their relationship to the next level? “No man can resist a woman once she has set her sights on him, unless thwarted by another woman,” declares Charlotte. But Beatrice Webb, co-founder of the London School of Economics, who introduced the pair, also has strong feelings for Shaw. Will Charlotte get her man? Written by John Morogiello, and directed by Melanie MacQueen, it runs March 15 through April 15 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.
“No Exit” Three strangers are locked together in a belligerently distasteful room for eternity. Without the expected torture to occupy them, they are forced to simply exist. There is no escape: from the room, each other, and worst of all themselves. Written by Jean-Paul Sartre, and directed by Ye’ela Rosenfeld, it runs March 16 through April 8 at the Chromolume Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/noexit.
“Sister Act” takes place in Philadelphia in 1978, where disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder and is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with the rigid lifestyle imposed by uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community, but in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase, only to find themselves up against Deloris and the power of her newly-found sisterhood. Written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, with additional material by Douglas Carter Beane, with music by Allen Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and directed by Ben Lupejkis, it runs March 16 through April 21 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.
“An Undivided Heart” Set in 1992 Massachusetts against the backdrop of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal and a toxic drinking water scandal (the latter made famous by the book and film “A Civil Action”), An Undivided Heart is part thriller and part spiritual mystery. A series of otherworldly visions and an unlikely encounter with a Zen priest propel Father Mike Cleary into a collision course with his Archdiocese, while Lynne Callahan, a young widow, struggles to make sense of her life in a town whose water has been polluted with deadly chemicals. The two confront a universal problem: How do victims of suffering caused by others find a way to go on? Written by Yusuf Toropov, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs March 16 through April 22 at the Echo Theater Company in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
“Little Women, The Musical” follows the adventures of the four March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy, and their experiences growing up in Civil War America. It’s a coming-of-age tale filled with drama, romance, humor, and song, all under the watchful eye of the girls’ beloved Marmee while their father is away at war. Written by Allan Knee, with music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and directed by Anne Gesling, it runs March 17 through April 14 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.
“Through the Eye of a Needle” The Keen family is dealing with the recent tragedy concerning their daughter, Dana, a navy corpsman in the Iraq War. Larry copes with a tumbler of scotch, or five, Barbara sets an extra plate setting and Samantha, their teenage daughter, secretly uses Twitter to create a protest. Then Nasser, an Iraqi refugee, arrives at their door unannounced on Christmas Eve. As the family fights over whether or not to keep Nasser’s “gift”, tempers fly and secrets are revealed. Will the Keens be pulled further apart or will they find grace and redemption in this intriguing family dramedy? Written by Jami Brandli, and directed by Ann Hearn, it runs March 23 through May 26 at the Road Theatre on Lankershim in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-761-8838 or visit www.RoadTheatre.org.
“Chico's Angels: Love Boat Chicas” Kay goes undercover as Charo, (Fortunately, she is the spitting image of the Spanish classical guitarist) with Chita in tow, as her choreographer/manager (Chita has seen A Chorus Line 32 times...at the East LA Quienceanera Palace/cafetorium). Frieda joins the crew as the new Cruise director (cruising is one of her off-duty specialties.) Finally, Bossman provides back up, undercover as Isaac, your bartender (Bar...enough said). Written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, and directed by Kurt Koehler, it runs March 28 through April 8 at the Cavern Club Theater inside Casita Del Campo Restaurant in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.chicosangels.com.
“The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk” Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella are immortalized as the picture of romance. On the painter’s canvas they flew, but in real life they walked through some of the most challenging times in 20th Century history—navigating the devastation of war, the Russian Revolution and each other. Following the artistic heights of Brief Encounter and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Kneehigh and Rice return to The Wallis with a production that combines the visuals of Chagall’s paintings with the music and dance of the Russian-Jewish tradition. Written by Daniel Jamieson, with music by Ian Ross, and directed by Emma Rice, it runs through March 11 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Lovers.
“The Art Couple” Long before Felix met Oscar, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were ill-fitting roommates in the south of France; a fateful co-habitation that would change the face of art – and Van Gogh's face, too. It's a lesser-known tidbit of theatre history that these two masters were also the subjects of Neil Simon's original draft of The Odd Couple. Written by Brendan Hunt, and directed by Lauren Van Kurin, it runs through March 17 at the Broadwater Black Box in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.sacredfools.org.
“Antony & Cleopatra: The Musical” is rarely produced in Southern California, and it may be because the genre-defying play is one of the Bard’s most complex: It’s a history play, but it takes liberties with historical facts; It could be seen as a sequel to Julius Caesar, yet it stands on its own; Its heroine is a leader of men, but also an object of male sexual desire. Its complexity, however, may be the source of its appeal. This show has its all: Romance, passion, sex, heartbreak, the fascination of royalty, war, politics, the epic sweep of history and, at its center, one of history’s most celebrated love stories: that of Antony, a general and triumvir of the Roman Republic who defied his Emperor; and the woman for whom Antony was willing to risk all, the Macedonian usurper of the throne of Egypt, the mighty Queen Cleopatra. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs through March 18 at the Gray Studios in North Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.
“Six Characters in Search of a Play” Del Shores brings to life six one-of-a-kind characters he has met in real life that haven't quite made it into one of his plays, films or TV shows. In 90 minutes, the audience will hear the truth behind how he collected these eccentrics and their stories as he portrays his hilarious, off-the-rails encounters with them. The audience will meet “Yvonne”, the anti-vegetarian Dallas waitress; “Sarah”, a Trump-hating elderly actress with an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other; “Jimmy Ray”, the evolving, Magic Mike-loving latent Georgia redneck; “Loraine”, the once-brilliant drama teacher who has lost her damn mind and is now obsessed with porn; “Marsha”, the monkey-hating lesbian with COPD; and “Aunt Bobby Sue”, the racist Republican with a heart of gold. Written by Del Shores, and directed by Emerson Collins, it runs through March 25 at the Celebration Theatre @ the Lex Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.
“The Alamo” In the blue collar Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn sits a rundown neighborhood institution called The Alamo; the last great American bar. The owners, Munce and Carmen, along with some of their regulars watched, from the roof, as the World Trade Towers fell, taking down their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Today, with an aging clientele the place is fighting to keeps its doors open and the only hope seems to be the arrival of artist/gentrifiers who are moving into the neighborhood and wanting to adopt the bar as an entertainment hangout. Bay Ridge locals and The Alamo regulars don’t want to surrender their bar, much less their neighborhood, to these young neo-carpetbaggers without a fight. Touching on themes of, nativism, racism, and war, The Alamo paints a humorous yet heartbreaking portrait of eight working class Bay Ridge natives who always seem to find themselves on the front lines of change in America. Written by Ian McRae, and directed by Kent Thompson, it runs through March 31 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Experience this Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors at the Historical in-the-round Glendale Centre Theatre! Joseph is a boy blessed with prophetic dreams and being his father's favorite son. But when his jealous brothers sell him into slavery and he is taken to Egypt, Joseph endures a series of terrific adventures. This Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. One of the most popular shows we have ever produced. A must-see! Written by Tim Rice, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice, and directed by Lee Martino, it runs through April 7 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“A Raisin in the Sun” In pre-civil rights America, an unexpected windfall offers a life-changing option for the Youngers, an African-American family living in a cramped Chicago apartment. They struggle with competing dreams and racial intolerance in this timely drama. Written by Lorraine Hansberry, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs through April 8 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“The Wicked, Wicked Mae West” is a new comedy about the legendary actress, writer and sex symbol. Set in 1959, the play portrays the bigger-than-life, wise-cracking Mae when she was being interviewed by Charles Collingwood for a possible appearance on his popular “Person to Person” TV show. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Iris Merlis, it runs through May 25 at the Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328677.
Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!