By Catherine Wagley
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
ALL THIS, & HEAVEN TOO “I stopped believing in things when Diana Ross started playing rodeos,” laments aging queen Terry (Sammy Williams), who along with his band of gay brothers has seen better days. Now all over 40, they’ve assembled to honor the just-deceased Boomie (James Warnock). Over the course of Dick DeBenedictis’ 10 breezy musical numbers, they mourn the end of the disco era and wax nostalgic for the bathhouses of yore. Though its heart is in the right place, Bill Dyer’s play seems like a time capsule, a comfort food buffet of soft shoe numbers and references to the Andrews Sisters. MACHA THEATRE, 1107 N. Kings Rd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Dec. 30. (323) 960-7776. (AN)
ANYTHING See New Reviews.
GO ATTEMPTS ON HER LIFE Playwright Martin Crimp’s pastiche of cultural perceptions and judgments is composed of 17 disparate sketches united by the attempts of their various characters to describe an unseen woman named Anne. Crimp’s script doesn’t specify who exactly speaks the lines. This gives a show’s director wide latitude for creativity, or a very long rope with a noose at its end. This production, fortunately, showcases the talents of two capable helmers, Bart DeLorenzo and Chris Covics, who use 17 explosively energetic actors in a tightly paced 90 minutes. Evidence Room and UNKNOWN THEATER, 1110 N. Seward St., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Dec. 15. (323) 466-7781. (SM)
BILOXI BLUES Basic-training story by Neil Simon. FLIGHT THEATER AT THE COMPLEX, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Dec. 9. (323) 960-1056.
BOB’S HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY Small-town insurance agent throws his annual Christmas bash, in Joe Keyes and Rob Elk's comedy. LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 22 (323) 960-7714 or www.bobsofficeparty.com.
BURY THE DEAD In Irwin Shaw’s anti-war drama, first staged when the author was 23, dead soldiers rise from the grave to castigate the living about the waste and injustice of war. The script, updated by the playwright’s son, Adam Shaw, makes mention of the war against terror and turns one of the martyred GIs into a woman (otherwise, much of it appears unchanged). Directed by Anthony Di Pietro, this well-intended production unfortunately comes across as more stagey than visceral, despite some good performances. PARK LA BREA ACTIVITIES CENTER, 475 S. Curson Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Dec. 9 (no perf Dec. 8). (323) 549-5458. (DK)
CHICAGO THE MUSICAL The Kander and Ebb Prohibition-era musical. HUDSON BACKSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (323) 960-4424 or www.plays411.com/chicago.
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 THE COMPLICATIONS OF PURCHASING A POODLE PILLOW The brilliance of Mary Lynn Rajskub’s standup act stems from a kind of bewildered, inarticulate persona who goes off on digressions and deliberately neglects to finish stories. The disarray is a con; by show’s end, it all adds up. Because of Chloe — her character on Fox’s 24 — she says she was invited to a counter-terrorism panel hosted by Rush Limbaugh, who, in a moment of introduction, accidentally kissed her on the lips. After rumors of their affair spread around the country, she e-mailed Limbaugh, asking for a date — the response was blistering. If none of this is actually true, it’s even more impish and delightful. Steve Allen Theater at the CENTER FOR INQUIRY–WEST, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., 8 p.m.; indef. (no perfs first Sunday of every month). (800) 595-4TIX. (SLM)
THE CRUCIBLE Arthur Miller’s Red Scare allegory about the Salem witch trials. MATRIX THEATRE, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Dec. 23. (323) 960-7712 or www.plays411.com/crucible.
DOMINICANISH Josephina Baez’s solo show, incorporating poetry, dance, music and spoken-word. (In Theatre 4.) LOS ANGELES THEATER CENTER, 514 S. Spring St, dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 2, 3 p.m. (323) 461-3673.
FRANCISCO’S FIRE Adapter-director Keith Watabayashi has adapted Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck from Germany to contemporary Los Angeles, building his script around a tormented hotel worker (Eli Hernandez) who is driven to commit murder. As a paradigm of working-class woes and man’s existential plight, the play lends itself to stylized performances that, in this production, are sometimes sufficient and other times not. Dorie Theater at THE COMPLEX, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (323) 960-4420. (DK)
THE GAY MAFIA: NU-QUEER WINTER All-new improv and sketch comedy. LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Jan. 23 (no perfs Dec. 26 & Jan. 2). (323) 634-2820 or www.thegaymafia.net.
GRAND DELUSION David Rock’s relentlessly childish burlesque imagines a series of meetings between Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II and some fictional and fictionalized plenipotentiaries on the eve of the First World War. Rock speculates how, with just a little more intelligence and less selfishness, the great powers may have avoided the catastrophe that befell Europe after Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo. It’s clear Europe never had a chance, however — at least under the playwright’s heavy hand. Director Larry Biederman invests the show with a footlit, Ubu-meets-music-hall fervor. LOST STUDIO, 130 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Dec. 15. (323) 960-4441. (SM).