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
RANDOM SHARP OBJECTS Two crazy mixed-up women: Esther Friedman and Hali Morell. WORKING STAGE THEATER, 1516 N. Gardner St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 19. (323) 851-2603 or www.workingstage.com.
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’ 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)
SKIN OF HONEY See New Reviews.
GO SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Creating a new, Sondheim-style musical every week is daunting. Yet an outstanding cast, under Dan O’Connor and Michele Spears’ direction, clearly understand the form they are spoofing and have the vocal power to sustain it. One hopes in the future that one of the suggestions they ask for is a time period, lest every evening turn into a redux of Company. Also, it’s nearly impossible to instantly invent Sondheim’s elaborate rhyme schemes. Fortunately, however, they have a powerful ally in musical director-accompanist Allen Simpson. Impro Theatre at THEATRE/THEATER, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Thurs., 8:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 11. (323) 401-6162. (TP)
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 In Faye Griffin’s look at a disparate group of African-American standups, the setting is “Urban Night” at a rundown comedy club, where a TV casting scout will be searching for talent. Griffin, who also directs, doesn’t exactly pull punches but subordinates her story’s debates to a melodramatic plot involving two estranged brothers, Benjamin and Goody (Antonio D. Charity and Kerie W. Edmead, respectively). While the duo embody opposing views of black participation in mainstream entertainment, their opinions get lost — or worse, reconciled — in an overheated and unpersuasive climax. LILLIAN THEATRE, 1076 Lillian Way, Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 960-4443. (SM)
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 SHOW Late-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.
TWELFTH NIGHT RUBY THEATER AT THE COMPLEX, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. www.complexhollywood.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 crossover 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)
#*@$$$%!!! EMOTIONAL GARAGE SALE Jacqi Bow’s one-woman show “about letting go.” ACTORS GROUP THEATRE, 4378 Lankershim Blvd., Universal City; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 5. (310) 729-7646.
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.
AND NEITHER HAVE I WINGS TO FLY Ann Noble’s Irish wedding drama. ROAD THEATRE COMPANY, Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 N. Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (866) 811-4111.
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. 22. (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 Nov. 4. (818) 508-7101. (LE3)