By Catherine Wagley
By Catherine Wagley
By Wendy Gilmartin
By Jennifer Swann
By Claire de Dobay Rifelj
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Catherine Wagley
By Zachary Pincus-Roth
DUTCHMAN Amiri Baraka’s “trip into the underbelly of our culture.” Garage Theater, 251 E. Seventh St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 18. (562) 433-8337.
GO MR. KOLPERT Those in search of blood and nudity can’t do better than this West Coast premiere of German playwright David Gieselmann’s black comedy. Ralf and Sarah are an unmarried couple bored by life and in search of a catharsis to jump-start their emotions. Being Germans, they mitigate their condition by inviting another couple over for drinks and telling them they have just murdered a man for kicks. Supposedly his body reposes in a large trunk that dominates center stage, and much of this 70-minute evening is given to guessing the seriousness of Ralf and Sarah’s claims. Director Scott Cummins expertly guides a game cast through David Tushingham’s translation. Odyssey Theater Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m., except Sun., Feb. 12 & March 5, when 7 p.m. perfs replace mats; no Wed. perfs March 1-15; thru March 19. (310) 477-2055. (SM)
NIGHT OF THE BLACK CATMagical musical cabaret, set in Paris circa 1881. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; Sat., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. (310) 392-7327.
NO SHAME SEASON FOUR, PART DEUX: Declaring Victory and Pain All-new under-five-minute works, which may or may not include “dance pieces, rants, Dadaist constructions, serialized epics, corrupt magicians, chainsaw juggling, puppet abuse.” Powerhouse Theater, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica; Fri., 11 p.m.; thru May 19. (323) 646-0033.
THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE Neil Simon’s rat race comedy. Morgan-Wixon Theater, 2627 Pico Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Feb. 18. (310) 828-7519.
GO RAYMOND CHANDLER’S THE BLUE DAHLIA Director Dan O’Connor adapted Raymond Chandler’s Oscar-nominated 1946 screenplay in a production that premiered at this venue in 1989. This is a remounting with a different cast — or casts — of a production that opened last year. The story is a murder mystery about the shooting death of a dress-shop owner shortly after her hot-headed sailor husband returns from the war to find her getting a bit too cozy with a local club owner. There are red herrings and wrong turns, but the point is really a small mystery wrapped in a big bubble of atmosphere. The central character is Los Angeles, shrouded in cigarette smoke and Chandler’s noir wit — not so much the city as a myth of the city that paved the way for Dragnet, and is now part of an international, bygone mystique. Pacific Resident Theater, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Feb. 26. (310) 822-8392. (SLM)
THE SHELTER Set in a contemporary flophouse, Valery Belyakovich’s stylized reworking of Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depthsis a collection of the biographies of various “types” whose lives have been ruined by alcohol. These include a lawyer, an actor, a whore, a cardsharp — even a deli owner. They’ve lost everything and are reduced to living in a filthy room crammed with bunk beds, tyrannized by the flophouse’s owners. The overuse of a fog machine is one tip-off that we’re in for an evening of atmosphere masquerading as philosophy; another is the recurring use of calliope music to underscore reminiscences, and Wojciech Kilar’s theme from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to suggest menace. Black Square Productions at the Odyssey Theater, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru March 5. (310) 477-2055. (SM)
GO TURN OF THE SCREW Jeffrey Hatcher’s ascetic adaptation of Henry James’ eerie, heavily symbolic tale of a governess haunted by ghosts demands that the production use no props, no effects and no more than two actors. Tracie Lockwood plays the fledgling governess, which leaves the talented Matthew Elkins slipping between seven roles merely by shifting about his distinct features, which he does with aplomb. The audience’s awareness of the gulf between their eyes and the crumbling governess’s loses some of the novella’s tension and immersion, but Robert Bailey’s execution is first-rate. Pacific Resident Theater, 705½ Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru March 12. (310) 822-8392. (AN)
THE AFFAIRS OF ANATOL A bored newlywed gets his extramarital freak on, in Arthur Schnitzler’s play. Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland Ave., N. Hlywd.; Tues., Feb. 14, 1:30 & 7:30 p.m. (213) 683-3422.
BENEATH RIPPLING WATER Sybyl Walker’s work-in-progress. Company of Angels Theater, 2106 Hyperion Ave., L.A.; Sun.-Mon., 8 p.m.; thru March 6. (323) 883-1717.
FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE Dale Kristien and Michael Maguire perform a variety of show-tune love songs. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Sat., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. (310) 506-4522.
GARRISON KEILLOR Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos; Sun., Feb. 12, 3 p.m. (800) 300-4345.
HEARTS AFLAME II WordTheaterLA presents readings of “love and hate letters, from 18th-century missives to 21st-century e-mails.” M Bar, 1253 N. Vine St., Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. buffet dinner, 8 p.m. readings. (310) 398-9999.
A KINGDOM IN CONNECTICUT Staged reading of Estep Nagy’s play about a wealthy blind man. MET Theater, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Mon., Feb. 13, 8 p.m. (323) 957-1152.
PROJECT SIXStaged reading of Michael Holmes’ Blatchford Farm. Action/Reaction Theater Company at the Chandler Studio, 12443 Chandler Blvd., Studio City; Sat., Feb. 11, 3 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 12, 7 p.m. (818) 786-1045.
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