By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
GREETINGS! It’s unhappy holidays for a Catholic mom and dad when their son brings home his Jewish atheist fiancée. Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theater, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Feb. 4. (800) 700-4878.
HOW I RUINED EVERYTHINGSee New Reviews.
IN SEARCH OF ME Thirteen true-life stories. NoHo Actors Studio, 5215 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; indef. (818) 759-8201.
THE ITALIAN IN ME Catholic girl moves to Italy to study cinema, only to end up navigating “a sexual obstacle course,” in Dina Morrone’s play. Globe Playhouse, 1107 N. Kings Road, Hlywd.; previews Thurs., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.; opens Fri., Jan. 27, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., thru Feb. 11; then Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru March 5. (323) 960-5521.
LOVE IN THE DMZ A military husband in 1968 Vietnam and his Kansan wife recite from their flood of correspondence in Julia Cameron’s play. Their glut of rambling letters is so stuffed with symbolic dreams and history lessons on napalm and brothels that, even though the running time is twice as long as needed, there’s no room for nuance, inference or accessibility. Actor’s Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Jan. 29. (866) 811-4111. (AN)
SMELL OF THE KILL At the monthly dinner party of three college buddies, the plates have been cleared and the putters unsheathed, while in the kitchen, the wives debate knocking them off before dessert. Their husbands’ crimes are numerous, familiar and well-documented by Betty Freidan: infidelity, ennui, obsession and their uniform contributions to the missus’ feelings of unfulfillment.The sustained gossipy frission of Michele Lowe’s script drags here and there, never quite reaching venomous suspense, yet the ladies’ sharp performances give buoyancy to Lowe’s fleet of one-liners. NoHo Arts Center, Second Stage, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Jan. 29. (818) 765-8732. (AN)
SYLVIA A.R. Gurney’s comedy about a married man’s preoccupation with a stray dog. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Feb. 18 (added perf Feb. 16, 8 p.m.). (626) 256-3809.
TORRID AFFAIRE A new comedy by Andrew Moore. Two Roads Theater, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City; Sun., Jan. 22, 7 p.m. (213) 251-9670.
WIFE SWAPPERS Orange County swingers get down and dirty, in Justin Tanner’s play. Third Stage, 2811 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Jan. 28. (818) 842-4755.
GO THE BATTLE: ABC Four actors playing multiple roles, and sharing the narration, depict scenes from cities, German and Japanese, broken by war. A boy remembers his father taken away in the night, and later visits him in prison, and, decades later, in an old-age home. A gentle wave goodbye through a suspended window frame is about as devastating an image of loss and separation as one is likely to find. David E. Frank, Bo Roberts and Paul M. Rubenstein effortlessly carry the play with sometimes arch style, but Sharon Gardner is particularly fine, with her pained, pale face, her throaty voice and unrelenting poise. City Garage, 1340½ Fourth St. (alley), Santa Monica; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m.; thru Jan. 29. (310) 319-9939. (SLM)
BREAKING LEGS A playwright seeks funding from the Mafia in Tom Dulack’s comedy. Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theater, 5021 E. Anaheim St.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Jan. 21. (562) 494-1014.
CINDERELLA The Rudie-DeCarlo musical fantasy, “for kids 2 to 102.” Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica; Sat.-Sun., 12:30 & 3 p.m.; thru Jan. 29. (310) 394-9779.
45 SECONDS FROM BROADWAY Neil Simon’s behind-the-scenes study of theater folk. Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Feb. 18. (310) 645-5156.
MADE IN TAIWAN Michelle Krusiec’s one-woman show about an Asian-American daughter’s experiences with sex, dating, and her controlling, insensitive mother. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 26-28, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 29, 7 p.m. Resv required, (310) 823-0710.
NIGHT OF THE BLACK CAT Magical musical cabaret, set in Paris circa 1881. Note: Acts change every week. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; call for Sun. perfs; thru Feb. 4. (310) 392-7327.
GO RAYMOND CHANDLER’S THE BLUE DAHLIA Pacific Resident Theater, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Feb. 5. (310) 822-8392. See Stage feature.
SHADOW DANCE IN TOYLAND The Fabulous Monsters turn the Brothers Grimm’s “Ferdinand the Faithful” and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Girl Who Trod Upon a Loaf” into shadowplay. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 20-21, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. (310) 315-1459.
THE TURN OF THE SCREW Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of the Henry James ghost story. Pacific Resident Theater, 705½ Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru March 12. (310) 822-8392.
THE 50-HOUR DRIVE-BY THEATER FESTIVAL Five new plays “written, directed and performed in a speedy two days.” ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sat., Jan. 21, 8:30 p.m.; Sun.-Mon., Jan. 22-23, 7:30 p.m. (818) 202-4120.
FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: The Jewish Edition A parody of Broadway plays, with “a Jewish twist.” University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Dr., Bel Air; Sun., Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. (310) 440-1246.