SCENE IN LA

BY 

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

November 2018

 

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theatres this month:

           

OPENING

 “Cleo, Theo & Wu” Lucy is a modern Angeleno gal just trying to be her best self. The Cool Girl, Lady Boss and all around getting sh*t done Boss Bitch. But, suddenly, the fate of the universe is in her hands and she's gonna need to do better than self-help books and inspirational Insta-quotes. Never fear, space creatures from the future and the forgotten women of ancient history are teaming up to get Lucy on the right track. Careening through time and place, it takes Lucy on a heroine's journey with the remarkable women who were so much more than the power hungry, sex-obsessed obstacles that history books would have you believe. Written by Kirsten Vangsness, and directed by Lisa Dring, it runs November 1 through December 8 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or www.theatreofnote.com.

 

“SIGNing the Song” Through American Sign Language paired with singing, William Martinez shares the true story of a boy who grew up in a deaf household with little exposure to TV, radio, or movies. Because of his incredible 8th grade music teacher and the love and support of his parents, he came out of his silent world and discovered his voice through music. ASL (American Sign Language) and song lyrics meld together into a beautiful unique art form. This immersive one-man show celebrates the extraordinary impact educators and parents have on each child's life … regardless of their struggles. Written and directed by William Martinez, with music by David Bawiec, it runs November 1 through November 4 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.colonytheatre.org.

 

“Parfumerie” feuding employees George Horvath and Amalia Balash have each fallen in love with their secret pen pal. What will happen on Christmas Eve when they discover their true lover's identity? Written by E. P. Dowdall, and directed by Brandon Ferruccio, it runs November 2 through December 9 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.

 

“She Loves Me” tells the beloved story of two feuding shop clerks who are unaware that they are the recipients of each other’s love letters. Written by Joe Masteroff, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and directed by Cate Caplin, it runs November 2 through December 16 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

 

“Bliss (or Emily Post is Dead)” It's 1960 and America is in the midst of a civil upheaval. But in North Orange, NJ, an immaculate suburb with all the trappings of a prosperous, modern society: afternoon tea parties, electronic appliances, and JELL-O! "Progress and Science" are the buzzwords of the day. In this farcical, domestic tragicomedy, the classical Greek heroines, Clytemnestra and Medea, have been recast as pill-popping housewives, and Antigone is the lovelorn, teenage girl next door. Their “blissful” lives are upended when Cassandra, a colored girl new to town and cursed with the gift of prophecy, arrives with a mind to free them from their dark destinies. Written by Jami Brandli, and directed by Darin Anthony, it runs November 3 through December 2 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-472-5646 or visit www.movingarts.org.

 

“A Mile in My Shoes” we meet Ester, an omniscient “shoe whisperer,” as she walks us through a day in her life on Skid Row. We meet a variety of characters: a transgender teen, a young mom, a mentally ill substance abuser, a high school valedictorian, a police officer, concerned citizens at a city council meeting and others as they put a face on the homeless epidemic. Written by Kathryn Taylor Smith, and directed by Zadia Ife, it runs November 4 through December 9 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/mileinmyshoes.

 

“Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays breathes new life into the greatest ghost story ever told. While the heart of A Christmas Carol is evergreen, Mays brings fresh perspective to Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the rest, playing every role in this whirlwind one-man show. Written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jefferson Mays, Susan Lyons and Michael Arden, and directed by Michael Arden, it runs November 7 through December 2 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

 

“Anatomy of a Hug” Amelia has a job selling memberships to a charity that rescues kids in countries overseas. She’s invested the rest of her life in her beloved television shows, which provide her an emotional haven. Sonia is Amelia’s mother. She’s been given Compassionate Release from prison as she is terminally ill. She was convicted of murdering Amelia’s father. She’s moved into Amelia’s apartment with the aid of a social worker, Iris. Amelia has attracted the attention of a decent, sincere co-worker named Ben, who introduces her to a wonderful human invention called a hug. Can Amelia possibly bridge the emotional chasm with her mother while there’s still time? Will the wounds of the past prevent Amelia from returning Ben’s affection? Written by Kat Ramsburg, and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs November 9 through December 2 at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-6569 or visit www.anatomyofahug.bpt.me.

 

“Blacktop Highway” Renowned performer John Fleck reinvents the gothic horror genre in this horrifyingly hysterical tale of taxidermy, transformation and caged creatures. Fleck continues to break new ground playing all the parts (both human and animal) in this brilliantly staged screenplay. Written by John Fleck, and directed by Randee Trabitz, it runs November 9 through December 15 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

“The Color Purple” is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. The story spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, it is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life. Written by Alice Walker, book by Marsha Norman, with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, and directed by Jeffrey Polk, it runs November 9 through December 9 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-673-0544 or visit www.GreenwayCourtTheatre.org/THECOLORPURPLE.

 

“Curtains” It's the brassy, bright, and promising year of 1959. Boston's Colonial Theatre is hosting the opening-night performance of a new musical. When the leading lady mysteriously dies on stage, the entire cast and crew are suspects. Enter a local detective, who just happens to be a musical-theatre fan! Curtains is the final musical from the American musical theatre composing giants Kander and Ebb, who brought us such works as Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Written by Rupert Holmes, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Tony Cason, it runs November 9 through November 17 at the Smothers Theatre Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

 

“Death and Cockroaches” Meet Eric. He’s an aspiring playwright who’s trying to break into TV writing when his Dad interrupts his plans by suddenly getting sick with a terminal illness. Instead of stepping up to his familial duties, Eric runs away from his sadness straight into a ‘Wall of Dicks’. Fortunately, there’s a hot, imaginary Cockroach who’s there to help him to confront his grief and his family’s disappointment. Written by Eric Reyes Loo, and directed by Jennifer Chang, it runs November 9 through December 1 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-379-9583 or visit www.chalkrep.com.

 

“Disney's the Little Mermaid” is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. This fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea”, “Kiss the Girl” and “Part of Your World”. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Written by Doug Wright, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and directed by Catherine Rahm, it runs November 9 through December 15 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

 

“In a Booth at Chasen’s” In November 1949, a nervous 29 year-old starlet - Nancy Davis - went to a dinner at Chasen’s restaurant with the President – of the Screen Actors Guild – movie star Ronald Reagan, while Reagan is still nursing a broken heart from his divorce from Jane Wyman. There is an attraction, and the two hit it off. Several weeks later, the two have become closer, but not yet exclusive. Nancy helps Ron paint the fences at his ranch in the San Fernando Valley, and starts to get to know his children. She even loves his dumb jokes. Over the next two years, the couple confide in one another, turn up the heat, bicker and rage against the gossipy tabloid press, and even battle the threat of Communism. The drama is in how Nancy plays hard to get, and how long it takes Ron to propose. The marriage of Ron and Nancy Reagan continues to be written about, talked about, analyzed and scrutinized. To some, Ron’s unyielding devotion to his wife is to be admired and Nancy’s fierce protection of her husband is applauded. To others, their relationship seemed odd, old-fashioned and even corny. Either way, it cannot be denied that few, if any, marriages had more of an impact on the 20th century. Written by Sam Bennett, with music by Al Kasha and Phil Swann, and directed by Kay Cole, it runs November 9 through November 25 at the El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.elportal.com.

 

“Remembering Boyle Heights” Contemporary gentrification debates unlock the early history, stories and memories of Boyle Heights revealing the mythical and human dimensions of L.A.’s own Ellis Island of the West. Written by Josefina López and Corky Dominguez, and directed by Corky Dominguez, it runs November 9 through December 16 at the CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights. For tickets call 323-263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.

 

“My Date With Death - A Musical Romance” Link finds himself at the end of his rope, drinking the remainder of his life away at a bar when he is visited by a Spirit from the beyond. This Spirit reveals herself to be a Soul Collector sent to keep Link from ending his energy too soon. Strap in and take a Dickensian sprint across the universe with Link, an isolated soul, as he falls in love with Lady Death, and her never-ending knowledge of the cosmos. Written by Daniel Sugimoto, with music by Daniel Sugimoto, and directed by Julia Lisa, it runs November 10 through December 2 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 323-301-9002 or visit www.thezootheatreco.com.

 

“Bus Stop” tells a story of a group of people thrown together by a blizzard to spend a long night snowbound at a diner/bus stop in rural Kansas. It is especially the story of Bo, a young cowboy who has grown up on an isolated ranch in Montana. The wild young man has fallen for a nightclub chanteuse named Cherie while competing in a rodeo in Kansas City. He will need to be taught a lesson in humility and lose a fight before he can win the heart of the love of his life in what has become a classic American romance. The other characters all have their own agendas, too, including the diner’s two waitresses, the bus driver, the local sheriff, an itinerant educator, and Virgil, Bo’s ranch foreman and mentor. Written by William Inge, and directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, it runs November 15 through December 16 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

 

“Chico’s Angels Five-O: Waikiki Chicas” This is one hurricane of a case! Hula dancers have gone missing from Waikiki’s hottest night club The Hula Ho. This is job for the three sexiest detectives alive, but since Sabrina, Jill and Kelly are busy, Chico’s Angels will take it! Come to paradise with Kay Sedia, Frieda Laye and Chita Parol as they go undercover in grass skirts, coconut bikinis and cha-cha pumps to solve the case of the missing Hula Hos. Chico's Angels are three beautiful and comedic Latina drag queens as the leads: Kay Sedia, Chita Parol & Frieda Laye - Who work for pennies for their unseen boss. Think of the 70s series, Charlie's Angels starring a Latino Three Stooges in drag. Written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, and directed by Kurt Koehler, it runs November 15 through November 18 at the Colony Theater in Burbank. For tickets call 818-558-7000 or visit www.web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/993027.

 

“A Carol Christmas” Instead of a man named Scrooge we have a woman named Carol, the successful, demanding host of a home-shopping show who cares nothing for Christmas and wants her staff to work right through the holidays. 17 new songs and all of the characters you know and love. Written by Doug Haverty, with music by Bruce Kimmel, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs November 16 through December 30 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

 

“A Christmas Story” The Parker family gets its Christmas tree. Ralphie’s dad, The Old Man, wins a very special prize in a contest. Ralphie is pursued by a girl in his class. Ralphie is pursued by the class bully. And, most famously, Ralphie sets off on a campaign to acquire his most-desired Christmas present, a Red Ryder BB air rifle, only to be warned repeatedly, “You’ll put your eye out, kid”. Written by Philip Grecian, based on the screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and also on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs November 23 through December 30 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

 

“Dixie's Tupperware Party” Dixie Longate is the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. Audiences howl with laughter as Dixie demonstrates the many alternative uses for the iconic plastic kitchen staple. Filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, audience participation and a little bit of empowerment and homespun wisdom, Dixie’s Tupperware Party leaves your heart a little bigger and your food a little fresher. Written by Kris Andersson, and directed by Dixie Longate, it runs November 28 through December 30 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 213-628-2772 or visit www.dixiestupperwareparty.com.

 

“The SantaLand Diaries” Patrick Censoplano dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR's well-loved humorist David Sedaris about the author's experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy's department store in New York City, taking a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best - and the worst - in us all. Written by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, and directed by Chris DeCarlo, it runs November 30 through December 16 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.

           

CONTINUING

 

“The Tragedie of Macbeth” nine actors perform all the roles. They guide audience members from the Witches Heath, down the haunted hallways of Macbeth’s castle, and to the unsuspecting Macduff family’s peaceful home. Audiences pay a visit to the lair of the “double trouble” witches brewing around their cauldron and finally witness a fateful battle where a confrontation between rival adversaries pitches good against evil. The 360-degree performance ranges through five separate locations staged throughout SCLA’s Downtown LA facility, located on the corner of 1st Street and Bixel. To maximize suspense and intimacy, the number of audience members per performance is limited. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Kenn Sabberton, it runs through November 3 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-710-8942 or visit www.shakespearecenter.org/macbeth.

 

“Return to the Forbidden Planet” follows the adventures of the dashing spaceship captain Tempest and his crew, who hit a meteor shower and are then mysteriously drawn off course to the planet D’Illyria. There they discover the mad scientist Dr. Prospero and his beautiful daughter Miranda, along with the robot Ariel. As a romance develops between Captain Tempest and Miranda, a monster threatens the spaceship, and a sacrifice is made to ensure everyone’s safety. Written by Bob Carlton, and directed by Kirby Ward, it runs through November 4 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.

 

“Bride of Blood” King Solomon, the son of King David, was famed as the wisest King in all the world. With 700 wives and 300 concubines, his truest love may be the Queen of Sheba, and a ruler of power in her own right. The King attempts to plumb occult Hebrew mysteries, but his understanding is challenged by Exodus 4:24. A perplexing passage in which Moses, his wife Zipporah and their child are endangered by the wrath of God. In his quest and mastery of occult secrets, Solomon is overtaken by his own pride and commits a serious infraction against the will of the Almighty. This opens a path for Solomon’s arch-enemy, Asmodeus, The Demon of Wrath, to enter the land of the living. Seeing into the future, Solomon embarks on a desperate attempt to avert the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Written and directed by Amit Itelman, it runs through November 8 at the Skylight Theater in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.trepanyhouse.org.

 

“Kings” The story follows Sydney Millsap, who wins a seat in Congress and is determined to drain the swamp. Then she meets Kate, a whip-smart lobbyist who gets her clients whatever they want. When Kate helps Sydney try to unseat a powerful senator steeped in cronyism, the result, is a sleek, fast-paced, absorbing and very funny look at the corrosive effect of money on politics. It’s a play that lets audiences laugh, think and hope. Written by Sarah Burgess, and directed by Dámaso Rodríguez, it runs through November 10 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

 

“Talking Trees” is a therapeutic tale centered around a mixed race couple and their refusal to effectively communicate, giving race permission to be the silent killer of their relationship. This absurd dark comedy compares the couple's relationship to the irony of nature and the balance of its four seasons. Nature has no problem navigating the changes and messages sent within those seasons, but what is it with humans? Written by Lonnie Hughes, and directed by Marjorie LeWit, it runs through November 11 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.TalkingTreesPlay.com.

 

“The Animal Monologues” Fast-moving, entertaining, and full of heart, the piece features the hopeful perspective of a young descendent of last living 9/11 Search and Rescue dog, Bretagne, who worked twelve-hour shifts at Ground Zero and became an international symbol of 9/11 heroism. When researching the story, Raasch learned that over 300 dogs from all over the world had worked the World Trade Center site, many entering spaces too tight for firefighters. As the mission turned from rescue to recovery, firefighters hid in the rubble to give the dogs a reason to keep looking. Written by Amy Raasch, with music by David Poe, and directed by Matthew McCray, it runs through November 18 at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.TheAnimalMonologues.com.

 

“Letters from Home” Kalean Ung’s multimedia solo show weaves together her Cambodian family’s refugee story; her own story as a bi-racial, first-generation American; and Shakespeare’s iconic female characters into a unique theatrical experience. In 2016, Kalean learned of a drawer in her father’s study, filled with letters from family and friends living in desperate circumstances in refugee camps and detailing their lives during the genocide with the rise of the Khmer Rouge. This story examines her own life through the stories her father (acclaimed composer Chinary Ung) told her of arriving in America in the 1960s as a young music student, and his subsequent quest to rescue his family members. Written by Kalean Ung, with music by Chinary Ung, and directed by Marina McClure, it runs through November 18 at the Independent Studio in Atwater. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

 

“Vietgone” spins a modern twist on the classic boy-meets-girl story: Quang and Tong are refugees fleeing the Vietnam War, who hook up and fall in love in a relocation camp in Arkansas. Bold, and fearless, Vietgone takes audiences on a hilariously rip-roaring ride across 1970s America with a hot soundtrack that serves up hip-hop, sass, and revolution. Written by Qui Nguyen, with music by Shammy Dee, and directed by Jennifer Chang, it runs through November 25 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

           

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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