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GO LA OFRENDA (THE OFFERING) Mix a TV afterschool-special plotline with magic realism and you get writer-director José Casas’ melodramatic yet tender tale of family reconciliation. When Marta Torres (Miriam Moses) loses her only daughter in the 9/11 attacks, she takes her grandson, Alex (V. Rodriguez), into her East L.A. home. Grief-stricken, homesick and angry, Alex spurns Marta’s attempts at consolation as the Mexican Day of the Dead approaches. Despite thinly drawn characters and stilted staging, Casas’ deft blend of humor and pathos saves the day. CASA 0101, 2009 E. First St., Boyle Heights; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. Note: no perf Sept. 22. (323) 263-7684. (MH)
ONE FLEW WEST Taking its title from the same children’s folk rhyme as its source material (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Josephine Schekert’s world-premiere “thrance” (a cross between theater and dance) adapts the story from a mental asylum, but with a cross-gender twist. Under Jessica Schroeder’s direction the performance doesn’t pick up until near the end of Act 1, and the few emotionally charged scenes can be attributed to the source material. The Outlaw Style Thrance Co. at STUDIO STAGE, 520 N. Western Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 860-6503. (MK)
OUT OF YOUR MIND! Theatergoers sip wine at a tasteful private home until a pushy assistant director (Patrick Censoplano) announces the first of Steven Kane’s two short plays, In the Night of the Bed. The man (Andrew Macbeth) claims to be an extra, only this isn’t a movie, but Molly’s (Kelly Anne Ford) dream, and the rest of the cast are the regrets and pains she revisits every night. Less pat and engaging is Rhinovirus, a chipper sci-fi saga set in a future New New York where pain, suffering and disease have been criminalized. Under Jane Lanier’s direction, the staging is intimate, but the acting is as broad as the Grand Canyon. GuerriLA Theatre at a PRIVATE RESIDENCE, 2806 Nichols Canyon Place, L.A.; schedule varies, call for info; thru Dec. 8. (818) 972-2467. (AN)
PAINTED ALICE William Donnelly’s study of art versus commerce. ELEPHANT THEATER, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (323) 960-1057.
PIRATES AND NINJAS: An Extravagant Adventure A gymnastic theatricality weaves three one-acts into a clown show with live music — all spun from comic book/video game depictions of . . . you guessed it (if not, go back to the title). Writer-director Maria DeLuca’s “Pirates & Ninjians” and Eva Anderson’s metaliterary romp, “The Orb of the Seven Dragons” (directed by DeLuca), are whimsical etudes in search of a purpose. But in writer-director Lissa Sherman’s “Pirates and Ninjas,” the parallel lives of a Pirate (Daniel Gallai) and a “faceless” Ninja (Aly Mawji), living across the hall in rented rooms, play themselves out in mostly nonverbal clowning with vivacious hilarity. The Blue House Theater Co. & Big Mama Farm Productions at THEATRE OF NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (866) 219-4944. (SLM)
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)