SCENE IN LA

 

BY 

 

STEVE ZALL AND SID FISH

 

March 2020

 

 

 

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

 

OPENING

 

“Barefoot in the Park” Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. Fresh off a honeymoon at the Plaza Hotel, free-spirited Corie and her buttoned-down husband Paul find themselves struggling to adjust to married life in their too expensive, run-down New York walk-up. Throw in a loopy meddling mother, an eccentric Bohemian upstairs neighbor, and a double date that goes disastrously wrong, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for laughter! Comedy legends Rita Rudner and Paul Rodriguez star. Written by Neil Simon, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs March 1 through March 22 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

 

 

 

“Home” starts with an empty stage. A house appears from nothing. It goes up fast, choreographed like time-lapse photography. Residents move in, move out, get evicted, burn it down, loot it, rent it, remodel it, get married and divorced in it, grow up in it, die in it, haunt it — and all the while, they live among traces of residents present, past, and future. They throw a party, as if everyone who ever lived there could cohabitate, transcending the logic of time and space. Written by Geoff Sobelle, and directed by Lee Sunday Evans, it runs March 4 through March 8 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-434-3200 or visit www.thebroadstage.org.

 

 

 

“Passion” first produced in 1994, is based on Ettore Scola's brooding neo-romantic movie Passione d'Amore (1981), which in turn was based on Fosca, an 1869 Italian novel by Iginio Tarchetti. Passion tells the story of Giorgio, a handsome young army captain in 1860s Italy, who finds himself torn between Clara, his beautiful young lover, and Fosca, the unattractive, sickly woman who challenges his notion of what love is. With an achingly beautiful score, Passion delves into the mystifying tangle of desire, obsession, lust and madness that comprise love. Written by Stephen Sondheim, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs March 5 through April 19 at the Boston Court in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-683-6801 or visit www.bostoncourtpasadena.org.

 

 

 

“Death and Other Girly Things” In the play, a young woman takes a road trip with her new ... baby ... learning about life, death, and everything in between. Written by J Fontaine, and directed by Mitch Rosander & Madylin Sweeten Durrie, it runs March 7 through April 12 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.

 

 

 

“Murder Mafia” The party game “Mafia” is the inspiration for this improvisational murder mystery/comedy where the audience is trying to find the murderer. Ten suspects. One of them is a member of the Murder Mafia. Can you find the killer? How good are you at finding a Mafioso (or Mafiosa)? From the producers of Deadventure (the zombie improv show) comes the murder mystery comedy show where the audience tries to catch the killer…. before it’s too late. Directed by Derek Jeremiah Reid., it runs March 7 through March 28 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-392-7327 or visit www.edgemarcenter.org.

 

 

 

“The Serpent” Go ahead – take the apple. A work of experimental theater that explores the biblical Book of Genesis while comparing it to the modern experience, The Serpent remains a prime example of the innovative nature of the period. It was developed in 1968 by van Itallie in collaboration with Joseph Chaikin and the Open Theatre. Written by Jean-Claude van Itallie, and directed by Ron Sossi, it runs March 7 through May 3 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

 

 

“La Vie en Rose” Her fans can’t bear to say goodbye! Responding to popular demand, Grammy award-winning chanteuse Julia Migenes re-opens her farewell series of concert performances for five additional weeks. Join Migenes for this evening of French chansons by Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferre, Jacques Brel, Michel Legrand and others. (All songs performed in French.). Written by Julia Migenes, with music by Victoria Kirsch, and directed by Peter Medak, it runs March 12 through April 5 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

 

 

 

“Man of God” During a mission trip to Bangkok, the four members of a Korean Christian girls’ youth group discover that their revered pastor has hidden a camera in their hotel bathroom. Samantha is personally wounded that Pastor would do this to her. Jen is worried about how this might affect her college applications. Mimi’s out for blood, as usual. And Kyung-Hwa thinks everyone needs to have lower expectations for men. Their communal rage and disillusionment fuel increasingly violent revenge fantasies amidst the no-holds-barred neon bubblegum sex-tourism mecca of Bangkok. Written by Anna Moench, and directed by Maggie Burrows, it runs March 12 through April 12 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

 

 

 

“Taming the Lion” William Haines acted in 50 films between 1922 and 1934 and was the number one box-office draw at the end of the silent era. He was also the first openly gay movie star, a fact that the MGM studio attempted to conceal, fearing that Haines’ gayness would prove to be box-office poison. Studio executives Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg attempt to force Haines to marry a woman, to please the fans. But Haines is devoted to his male lover, Jimmie Shields. Mayer sends Haines’ best female friend, Joan Crawford, to try and persuade Haines to marry a woman. Mayer gives Haines an ultimatum: marry a woman and continue to be a movie idol, or turn his back on his movie career and lose everything so that he can stay with Jimmie. What will Haines do? Written by Jack Rushen, and directed by Melanie MacQueen, it runs March 12 through April 12 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

 

 

 

“Orphée” Orpheus, Eurydice, a trouble-making horse and Death herself converge in this very funny and irreverent reimagining of the Greek myth by surrealist poet, playwright and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. A celebrated poet with writer’s block, Orpheus sequesters himself in the countryside with his wife Eurydice, where he seeks inspiration. Deaf West Theatre views Cocteau’s whimsical, magical and highly visual French play, first performed in Paris in 1926, through a unique lens: translated from the French into Spoken English and American Sign Language, and slated for a run at the True Colors Festival in Tokyo, Japan at the end of April. Described by Cocteau as “part farce, part meditation on death,” the playwright continued to explore the same themes throughout his ensuing career, culminating with his seminal “Orphic Trilogy” of films: Le Sang d'un Poete, Orphée and Le Testament d'Orphee. Written by Jean Cocteau, translated into Spoken English by John Savacool, and directed by Deena Selenow, it runs March 13 through April 5 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-762-2998 or visit www.deafwest.org.

 

 

 

“Our Man in Santiago” A comic spy thriller inspired by the true story of a spectacularly botched U.S. attempt to overthrow Chile’s democratically elected leader. In this new political farce, the CIA enlists an inexperienced, unsuspecting agent to follow up with a last-ditch, poorly conceived and wildly dangerous effort to hasten the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. Written by Mark Wilding, and directed by Charlie Mount, it runs March 13 through April 5 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-851-7977 or visit www.TheatreWest.org.

 

 

 

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” Set in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia live a quiet life in the farmhouse where they grew up and cared for their elderly parents, while mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities. When their often-wrong, fortune-telling maid warns of impending dangers, and their movie star sister, Masha, arrives unexpectedly with her young, sexy, boy toy, Spike, the family is launched into a rollicking weekend of one-upmanship, exposed nerves, and a lot of broken mugs. With wit and absurdity, the toils and troubles of celebrity, social networking, and age combine into a laugh-out-loud comedy that will tickle your funny bone and stimulate your mind. Written by Christopher Durang, and directed by Susan Stangl, it runs March 13 through April 18 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

 

 

“Poor Clare” A very funny modern spin on the Middle Ages that couldn’t feel more timely. Clare is just a regular noblewoman living in medieval Italy, trying out hairstyles and waiting to get married… until a man named Francis starts ranting in the courtyard. Based on the real story of St Clare of Assisi, a play about what happens when your eyes are opened to the injustice of the world around you, and you can’t look away. Written by Chiara Atik, and directed by Alana Dietze, it runs March 14 through April 20 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

 

 

 

“The Wild Party” tells the story of one tragic, decadent night in a New York apartment shared by Queenie and her menacing lover, Burrs. The couple decides to throw the party to end all parties where Queenie meets a handsome stranger who wants to lure her away. Lust, jealousy, deception, drugs, sex, and violence all play out against the backdrop of Manhattan during the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition, just one year before Crash of 1929. This darkly brilliant show won a slew of awards and its thrilling, pitch-perfect score has become a modern day classic. Contains adult situations and language, for mature audiences only. Written by Andrew Lippa, with music by Andrew Lippa, and directed by Kristin Towers-Rowles, it runs March 14 through April 11 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

 

 

 

“Worst-Case Scenario” What if you met the person you’ve been waiting for your whole life, just as a nuclear apocalypse was heading your way? Worlds collide in a tiki bar at the edge of Kauai when an aimless Silicon Valley dropout meets the bar’s brassy owner, who has a plan for all worst-case scenarios, except one… finding love. Written by D.M. Conte, and directed by Shana Betz, it runs March 14 through April 11 at the Hudson Comedy Central Backstage Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

 

 

 

“Romantics Anonymous” is the unusual love story of Angélique, maker of beautiful chocolates carefully infused with all the emotion that seems to overwhelm her in daily life, and Jean-René, who runs a chocolate factory that is running out of steam, rather like his own existence. Both seek help from the usual sources: Jean-René favors self-help tapes, and Angélique joins a support group, Les Émotifs Anonymes. When she takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. Written and directed by Emma Rice, with music by Michael Kooman, lyrics by Christopher Dimond, it runs March 17 through March 29 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Romantics.

 

 

 

“Cirque du Soleil VOLTA” is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others. Written by Bastien Alexandre, with music by Anthony Gonzalez, and directed by Bastien Alexandre and Jean Guibert, it runs March 18 through April 19 at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 877-924-7783 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta.

 

 

 

“Hair” In New York City for the first time while on his way to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Oklahoma farm hand Claude Hooper Bukowski meets up with a freewheeling group of Central Park hippies led by the irrepressible George Berger. When the unlikely friends meet upper-middle-class debutante Sheila Franklin, sparks fly between the country boy and the city girl, and Berger's troupe attempts to keep the young lovers together. Written by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, with music by Galt MacDermot, lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, and directed by Kate Sullivan, it runs March 27 through April 26 at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.

 

 

 

“Love and Politics” takes on familiar taboos through four passionately divergent characters as they try to make sense of everything from smartphones, to career paths, immigration, love, and, yes, politics. It’s all politics…until it’s personal. Written by Jon Klein, and directed by Maria Gobetti, it runs March 27 through April 26 at the Big Victory Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-841-5421 or visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.

 

 

 

“Mamma Mia!” You can dance, you can jive and you’ll have the time of your life when 5-Star stages this massively popular musical for the first time! The impossible-to-resist hits of the Swedish pop group ABBA power this sunny, funny show about a young woman’s search for her birth father. Whether you grew up bopping to the beat of hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me,” “Chiquitita” and “Money, Money, Money,” or you discovered ABBA on the big screen, 5-Star’s production will lift you higher than a pair of bedazzled platform boots. Written by Catherine Johnson, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs March 27 through April 6 at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 805-497-8613 Ext. 6 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.

 

           

 

CONTINUING

 

 

 

“Bright Star” Inspired by a true story, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. Written by Steve Martin, with music by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and directed by Brenda Dietlan, it runs through March 14 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

 

 

 

“A Body of Water” A couple in their 50’s, wake up in an isolated house above a body of water, with no idea where they are or why they are there. The arrival of a young woman with questionable explanations complicates the situation. Written by Lee Blessing, and directed by Nan McNamara, it runs through March 15 at the Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

 

 

 

“In My Mind’s Eye” Inspired by true events, this memory play chronicles the life and loves of a courageous, legally-blind female public school teacher. It also explores the delicate balance of how a parent can become dependent on caring for a child with special needs. Written by Doug Haverty, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs through March 15 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.theGROUPrep.com.

 

 

 

“Hot Tragic Dead Thing” Bekah, a teenage social outcast recovering from a failed suicide attempt, and Miles, a golden boy with a hidden thirst for violence, are thrust into the same house when their parents try to blend their families after disastrous marriages. Bekah and Miles express their budding attraction and increasing obsession with leaving a mark on the world by plotting a mass shooting at their high school. Written by Ashley Rose Wellman, and directed by Christopher James Raymond, it runs through April 4 at the Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-871-8018 or visit www.theblank.com.

 

            

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

 

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