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
SPLIT SECOND See New Reviews.
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.
A TUNA CHRISTMAS Holiday hijinks in Tuna, Texas, by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard. ACTOR’S ART THEATER, 6128 Wilshire Blvd., No. 110, L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Dec. 15; then Fri.-Sat., Jan. 4-5, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 6, 4 p.m. (323) 969-4953.
TWELFTH NIGHT ACTOR’S PLAYPEN, 1514 N. Gardner St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (310) 560-6063.
USEDTA BE Benesha Bobo’s story of “a battered woman caught in limbo somewhere between life and death.” ACME COMEDY THEATRE, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., Dec. 7-8, 7 & 9 p.m. (323) 525-0202 or www.plays411.com/usedtabe.
VALET Bradon Breault and Matthew Morgan’s comedy about parking cars. FLIGHT THEATER AT THE COMPLEX, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., 7:30 p.m.; thru Dec. 9. (323) 251-6930.
A VERY GRAND GUIGNOL CHRISTMAS Featuring The Laboratory of Hallucinations by André de Lorde and These Cornfields by Georges Courteline. “Due to violence, this show is inappropriate for children.” (Part of the Physical Theatre Arts Festival with comedy troupe Ten West; call for schedule.) ART/WORKS THEATRE, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Dec. 22. (323) 960-4418 or www.grandguignolers.com.
THE DANCE OF THE LEMONS In her solo show, Karen Kay Woods flies through her saga as a substitute music teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Perky and with blond curls, Woods has a kind of dimpled can-do charm in the face of a charmless bureaucracy. But one wishes Woods would occasionally take a breath, not only to allow acting moments to settle in, but a philosophical breath that would reveal some change of heart rather than merely a change of career. PAUL E. RICHARDS’ THEATRE PLACE, 2902 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 8. (866) 811-4111. (SLM)
THE DESK SET William Marchant’s 1956 comedy centers on Bunny Watson (Michele Bernath), the resourceful head of the research department. However, she’s threatened by efficiency expert Sumner (Robert Gallo), who hints that her department might be replaced by the new “electronic brain” called Emmarac. The play climaxes with a clever face-off between Bunny and the humongous computer. Unfortunately, the rest of the play fails to live up to its climactic scene, and director Doug Engalla’s lackluster production offers little help. LONNY CHAPMAN GROUP REPERTORY THEATRE, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (Dec. 7 perf at 7 p.m.); thru Dec. 29. (818) 700-4878. (NW)
THE FABULOUS DIVAS OF BROADWAY Alan Palmer portrays 18 of Broadway’s leading ladies. OPEN STAGE WEST, 14366 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; indef. (323) 259-5713 or www.berlique.com.
GO THE GLORY OF LIVING “White trash” is a status that the low-rent Southerners in Rebecca Gilman’s bleak yarn aspire to climb up to. Lisa (Rachel Style), the 15-year-old daughter of a prostitute (Saige Spinney), runs off with a smooth-talking drifter named Clint (Martin Papazian), who soon embroils her in a world of rape, murder and cheap motel rooms. Gilman finds humanity and something like humor, if not hope, in her diorama of predatory living. Director Carri Sullens’ ear is finely tuned to this harrowing play’s more nuanced moments, and Style is luminous as the scarred innocent, Lisa. VICTORY THEATRE CENTER, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Dec. 22. (818) 841-5421. (SM)
KAPUTNIK! It’s 1957, and as Sputnik beeps overhead, two American astronomers, Myles (Fleet Cooper) and his assistant Blaine (Christopher B. Smith), have their lab infiltrated by three Russian spies (Patricia Rigney, Diedre Moore and a menacing Adrian Colon) posing as the perfect nuclear family. Playwright Frank Semerano can’t resist a bad pun or innuendo. Director Curtis Krick puts the energetic Cooper through his paces, falling and sweating and sputtering and strangling his subordinate — Myles is like Homer Simpson, complete with lab coat. But the broader the comedy, the flatter it falls. Lost Hollywood Players at GTC-BURBANK, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (818) 238-9998. (AN)
GO LOYAL WOMEN Belfast playwright Gary Mitchell takes us on an unsentimental tour of Protestant Ireland. His play is set in a working-class neighborhood during a Christmas season. It begins shortly after Terry (Dan Conroy) returns home to a Northern Ireland that is tenuously embracing reconciliation, after 16 years in prison for a politically motivated murder. His wife, Brenda (Rebecca Marcotte), however, will have nothing to do with this blustering, unfaithful layabout. Act 2 seems a bit overheated, though director Sean Branney gets strong and convincing performances from his actors. THE BANSHEE, 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Dec. 8. (818) 846-5323. (SM)
NARNIA Perhaps this production lacked the resources to present a more elaborate staging of this 1986 Jules Tasca, Ted Drachman & Thomas Tierney musical based on C.S. Lewis’ 1950 fantasy novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But in presenting it as a re-creation of a live radio play broadcast from a blitz-plagued London circa Christmas, 1940, director Alison Kalmus has created a few dilemmas. Among them, expecting a movie-savvy youth audience to thrill to the performance format lacking in dance, movement and fantasy costumes. SIERRA MADRE PLAYHOUSE, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Dec. 23. (626) 256-3809. (MH)