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
. . . B4 I WAKE Rock & roll horror tale, by Barry Rowell. THEATRE OF NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 856-8611 or www.theatreofnote.com.
BIRDY Naomi Wallace’s stage adaptation of William Wharton’s 1978 novel results in a haunting spectacle that floats between intertia and propulsion. Effeminate daredevil Birdy (Jayk Gallagher) has an childhood obsession with flying like a bird. The play flashes forward to a post-WWII clinic where adult Birdy (Josh Mann) and his best friend Al (Eric Losoya) have been traumatized by the war. Birdy has regressed into a mute bird state and literally hovers at the precipice of being institutionalized, while Al tries to snap Birdy out of his derangement. Wallace’s haunting adaptation suffers from some bloated scenes And despite director Matt Wells’ full respect for the words, he’s largely unable to sculpt those words into dramatic crescendos. Needtheater at THE LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 12. (323) 472-0200. (SLM)
THE BLUEMOON BASTARD Shane Kearns’ Halloween-night dramedy. GARDNER STAGES, 1501 N. Gardner St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 2. (323) 960-7738 or www.plays411.com/bluemoon.
BOYS’ LIFE The psyche of the modern male has been well plumbed since Howard Korder’s 1988 Pulitzer winner, which predated primal drum circles, metrosexuality and Seth Rogan’s entire oeuvre. Korder’s three Manhattan dudes defy maturation with vigor: Married father Jack (Nick Mills at a barely controlled boil) craves affairs, and bachelors Don and Phil (Nick Niven and Nathaniel Johnson) declare love eternal while sleeping around. Though director Bill Heck attempts some updates, sitcom humor has usurped and defanged Korder’s biting insight into gender warfare. The play feels shallower, but still hits some of its targets. The women (Michelle Mulitz, Allison King, Liz Vital and Farah Bunch) tend to be emotionally protective and verbally unleashed. Vitality Productions and One Sock Productions at THEATRE ASYLUM, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (323) 960-1055. (AN)
BURY THE DEAD Irwin Shaw’s antiwar play, updated by his son, Adam Shaw. PARK LA BREA ACTIVITIES CENTER, 475 S. Curson Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Dec. 9 (no perfs Nov. 23-25 & Dec. 8). (323) 549-5458.
CINDERELLA New take on the classic tale, music and lyrics by Lloyd J. Schwartz. THEATRE WEST, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Hlywd.; Sat., 1 p.m.; thru March 29. (818) 761-2203.
GO CITY KID, THE MUSICAL A gang of exuberant teens, once occupied by stoops, basketball and stolen beers, now follows their charismatic leader Slick (Thomas Hobson) as he tries to conquer the Jefferson Street drug market currently dominated by a rapper thug (Senyo “DNA-1” Amoaku). The songs that Peter Bunetta and Rick Chudacoff have composed for Adrienne Anderson’s formulaic but rousing musical have the layered discordance of a busy street corner; the impressive 18-person ensemble whoops and croons over a very ’70s funk and groove sound that director Steve Tomkins updates with Groovaloo choreographer Bradley Rapier’s athletic combinations of strutting, backflipping, breakdancing and getting krunk. HUDSON BACKSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 25. (323) 960-7863. (AN)
DEAD BRIDE RUNNING Nothing seems quite right about this comedy, from the title’s untopical film reference to its desperate attempt to find a theme, or even a story. Written by Rick Sparks and Alice Vaughn, it’s about John Jr. (Craig Anton) and Jennifer (Tamara Zook), a Florida couple who, after a year’s chaste courtship, approach their wedding day — only to have Jennifer get cold feet and vanish. The plot’s underlying assumptions are so over-the-top that the story scores no points for either political satire or simple laughter. Theater Mambo at the UNDERGROUND THEATER, 1312 Wilton Pl., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Dec. 2. (323) 960-5773. (SM)
THE COMMON AIR Six characters in search of an airport departure, by Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill. LILLIAN THEATRE, 1076 Lillian Way, Hlywd.; Tues., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 27 (added perfs Nov. 12 & 19, 8 p.m.). www.thecommonair.com.
GO THE COMPLICATIONS OF PURCHASING A POODLE PILLOW See Arts feature.
EAVESDROPPER In Andrew Libby’s slightly funny, messy comedy, the mise en scène is an apartment where a large, clamant group of young people have gathered for some good times. Unbeknownst to the revelers, an uninvited guest (Pedro Shanahan) slips in and hides behind the shower curtain, his sinister presence embellished by a Mohawk hairdo, Goth makeup and drug-addled stare. The scenario is redolent of a wild frat party, with plenty of sex, drugs, booze and hell-raising. The rotating cast of 50-plus can’t do much good with this moribund material. No director is credited, and the reason is obvious. UNDERGROUND ANNEX THEATER, 1308 N. Wilton Pl., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Dec. 2. (323) 365-8305. (LE3)
EENIE MEANIE Growing up in racially segregated Valley Station, Kentucky, writer-performer Teresa Willis never saw a black person till her family’s all-beige living room was entered by an intriguing African-American piano tuner. Sent to a “Jigaboo High School” in the days of school busing, she was attracted by black men, partially because it scandalized her parents. In her solo show, so long as Willis views her autobiography through the prism of race, she is fresh, provocative and funny, and the piece has structural unity. Toward the end, she abruptly reveals her own lesbianism, and though the connection between gay rights and civil rights may have been her point, the narrative focus splits disconcertingly nonetheless. Say Tiger Productions and THE OPEN FIST THEATRE COMPANY, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon.-Tues., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 23. (323) 882-6912. (NW)