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
THE OUTSKIRTS OF PARADISE The parameters of playwright Jamie Virostko’s tale of family dysfunction will at first seem quite familiar — a family get-together over a holiday weekend gradually turns into a veritable No Exit of backbiting, recriminations and burnt dinner entrées. Virostko’s dialogue is heartfelt and poignant, hanging in limbo on a formless plot. Director Adam Legg’s laggardly paced production adds inappropriate weight and listlessness at times. Still, by the end of the show, we’ve started to feel we’ve been with wonderfully familiar people whom we actually know. Alliance Theater at THE MET, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept 15. (323) 223-6564. (PB)
PIRATES AND NINJAS: An Extravagant Adventure See New Reviews.
PROOF David Auburn’s drama about a mathematician’s daughter. ACTORS CIRCLE THEATRE, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 8. (323) 882-8043 or www.actorscircle.net.
RESTING IN PIECES Sam Bobrick’s wacky funeral comedy. THEATRE 68, 5419 Sunset Blvd., Suite D, Hlywd.; perfs Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 4. (323) 960-7827.
RUMOURS OF OUR DEATH The allegory for our political society concocted by playwright George F. Walker may be too literal, but its wackiness liberates producer-director Michele Lainevool’s zippy production from this venue’s claustrophobic confines. When the King (the commanding Stone Van Gorder) leads the country into an imminent war, the common people, already struggling to make a livelihood, are forced to pay the Princess’s ransom to terrorists. At least Walker’s dialogue is thought provoking, and the production contains some high points. Ethos Theatre Company at TRES STAGE THEATRE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 15. www.theatrehollywood.com. (Sophia Kercher)
SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Impro Theater improvs Sondheim-style opuses based on audience suggestions. THEATRE/THEATER, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 11. (323) 401-6162 or www.improtheatre.com.
A SONG FOR VANYA Robin Eschner, Bret Martin and John Shillington’s musical version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. THEATRE/THEATER, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 6. (323) 954-9795.
SPOOK NIGHT See New Reviews.
SYLVIA A.R. Gurney’s comedy about a man, his wife and his dog. META THEATER, 7801 Melrose Ave., L.A.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 993-7113.
THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T SAY PAST MIDNIGHT Peter Ackerman’s “comedy in three beds.” LYRIC-HYPERION THEATER, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; perfs Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 27. (323) 906-2500.
THE TOMORROW SHOWLate-night variety show created by Craig Anton, Ron Lynch and Brendon Small. STEVE ALLEN THEATER AT THE CENTER FOR INQUIRY–WEST, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., mid.; indef. (323) 960-7785.
WALKING INTO TRAFFIC Kyle T. Wilson’s comedy about a radio newscaster who cracks. UNKNOWN THEATER, 1110 N. Seward St., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Oct. 13. (323) 466-7781 or www.unknowntheater.com.
GO ZANNA DON’T There’s something strange about a gay-friendly musical in which the characters are homosexuals at the beginning, but magically turn straight by the end. Is this lurking gay self-hatred, or perhaps a cross-over strategy? Writer-composer Tim Acito (with additional material by Alexander Dinelaris) has created a clever, fast-moving show that relies more on charm than logic. Director Nick DeGruccio shepherds a young cast through a crowd-pleasing romp. Musical direction, choreography and technical credits are all top-notch. West Coast Ensemble at the LYRIC-HYPERION THEATRE, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m.; indef. (323) 906-2500. (NW)
ALICE IN WONDERLAND THRU THE LOOKING GLASS Lewis Carroll’s dream with songs (by Christopher Reiner), is re-imagined by Alice’s great-granddaughter (Jessica Amal Rice). “Dream your own dreams,” Alice’s Sister (Jana Wimer) counsels the kid before Alice takes a nap, and we’re off. The 70-minute production’s arch and unmodulated presentational style becomes something of a shriek fest, The piece nonetheless flies to dystopia on the cleverness and the whimsy of co-directors Denise Devin and Zombie Joe’s adaptation, in conjunction with their blazingly theatrical impulses. ZOMBIE JOE’S UNDERGROUND, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 8. (818) 202-4120. (SLM)
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN Adaptation of Robert Fulghum’s inspirational best-seller, musical direction by Daniel Gary Busby. WHITEFIRE THEATRE, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (818) 990-2324 or www.plays411.com.
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Joseph Kesselring’s comedy about lethal spinsters. LONNY CHAPMAN GROUP REPERTORY THEATRE, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (818) 700-4878 or www.lcgrt.com.
GO CESAR & RUBEN Most of Ed Begley’s spirited musical tribute to labor activist Cesar Chavez (Danny Bolero) and L.A. Times labor reporter Ruben Salazar (Mauricio Mendoza) essays Chavez’s story. In Act 2, we learn of Salazar’s tragic shooting by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy at a 1970 Vietnam War protest. For the sake of balance and the underlying reasons that these two men meet, more needs to be dramatized about the Latino journalist. Under Begley’s smart direction, Bolero and Mendoza are rock solid, and the lives of their characters unfold with compelling interest. NOHO ARTS CENTER, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 8 p.m.; thru. Sept. 9. (818) 508-7101. (LE3)
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