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
GO HAIR Director-choreographer Bo Crowell could have presented Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot’s Summer of Love rock & roll gem as a period piece. Instead, he cannily opts for a spiritual take that gives the material an unexpected timelessness. In this 40th-anniversary production, this is Hair by way of Burning Man. Christian Nesmith’s musical direction is perfect — and Crowell’s free-spirited choreography contains an intricate grace. The ensemble’s heartfelt renditions of “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In” induce the show’s bona fide chills. MET THEATRE, 1089 Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Dec. 2 (no perf Nov. 22). (323) 960-4442. (PB)
A HANDSOME WOMAN RETREATS Kim Wayans gets therapy. 2100 SQUARE FEET, 5615 San Vicente Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 4 (added perfs Oct. 28 & Nov. 4, 3 p.m.). (323) 769-6395.
HARVEY FINKLESTEIN’S SOCK PUPPET SHOWGIRLS Although its tinsel-and-posterboard aesthetic looks sweet, Harvey Finklestein and Jimmy McDermott’s all-puppet salute to Joe Eszterhas’ camp classic film Showgirls has enough aggressive sex and double D’s sprouting out of wrists to frighten Lambchop, Elmo and Big Bird back to TV. Oddly, however, there are diminishing returns in trying to satirize the movie’s outré sincerity, and each time one sock calls the other a whore, the joke gets less funny. Harvey Finklestein Productions at THEATRE ASYLUM, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., 11 p.m.; thru Nov. 2. (323)962-0046. (AN)
GO HOLLYWOOD HELL HOUSE 2007 Just like in an old-fashioned spook house, audience members travel from room to room while viewing all sorts of scary creatures. But because this script is a compilation of previous works by the Abundant Life Christian Center, the focus is on evangelical horrors: raves, gay people, premarital sex. Compiler Maggie Rowe has retained the heavy-handed didacticism of the original works, while director Jaclyn Lafer has lightened it up, tongue firmly in cheek, with the large cast delivering their message of Christian salvation in complete deadpan. ACAPULCO, 385 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. & every 15 minutes until 11 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 960-7822. (SR)
GO THE IDIOTS Somewhere between the insanity of Monty Python, the cynicism of Penn and Teller, and the stupidity of the Three Stooges exists this bizarre comedy by writer-performers Craig Anton and Ron Lynch. The conceit framing their wild physical and verbal antics is the reunion of two rivals — respectively the sons of Watson and Crick, who discovered DNA. With the appearance of a guest comic, the hour show flies by with humor and even some human insight and pathos beneath the Idiots’ smug stupidity. STEVE ALLEN THEATER at the Center for Inquiry–West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; last Thurs. of the month, 8 p.m.; indef. (800) 595-4TIX. (TP)
I KILLED PANCHO VILLA Ruben Amavizca Murua’s retelling of the Mexican Revolutionary general’s final days. FRIDA KAHLO THEATER, 2332 W. Fourth St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (213) 382-8133.
JIM MORRISON: SWIMMING TO THE MOON Few stars of Rock’s Golden Age had personalities more inscrutable than The Doors’ Jim Morrison. Still, it’s hard to believe that Morrison had much in common with the one-dimensional character depicted in playwright Gary Flaxman’s dreary metaphysical bio-drama. Flaxman’s script is suffused with a commendable affection for Morrison. Yet, the play is also long-winded and static to point of being one lengthy drone — a problem that’s exacerbated by director Judy Rose’s humorless and anemically paced staging. 44th St. Productions LLC at the ART/WORKS THEATRE, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-4412. (PB)
THE JOLLY ROGER A pair of lawyers, a sexy businesswoman, a cop gone bad and a drug kingpin mix it up in Louis Felder’s play. MET THEATRE, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 957-1152.
JOURNEY TO DOLLYWOOD In playwright Jessie McCormack’s sprightly, Southern-fried dramedy, the author plays the role of Jolene, a hard-bitten young waitress who is toiling her life away. Trapped in a dead-end relationship with her dim-bulb boyfriend (Erick Van Wyck), and forced to tend to her hateful, ailing trailer-trash mama, Jolene finds solace in an obsessive passion for the music of Dolly Parton. McCormack’s plot-lite story line falters with an awkward and strangely irresolute finale, but the piece goes a long way on the charm of its snappy dialogue and flashes of pathos, under director Rod McLachlan’s intimate staging. MATRIX THEATRE, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A.: Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (323) 960-4418. (PB)
THE LAST SCHWARTZ Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Yarzheit story. ZEPHYR THEATER, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (323) 852-9111.
THE LEANING TREE Christmas nears, in J. Michael Ferniany’s family drama. META THEATER, 7801 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 666-6453.
GO LIMONADE TOUS LES JOURS In Charles Mee’s delectable romantic confection, Ya Ya, a French nightclub singer in her early 20s, protests to Andrew, the middle-aged American tourist whom she not-so-subtly hit upon in a Paris café, that a relationship between them could never work; and he says the same. Still, they plunge into a passionate May-December romance. The script’s main tension comes from the contrast — blueprinted with savvy by Mee and artfully depicted under Michael Connors’ direction. HUDSON MAINSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 10 (added perf Nov. 10, 3 p.m.). (323) 960-7785 or www.plays411.com/limonade.
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