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Theater Listings 

For the week of Jan. 18-24

Friday, Jan 18 2008
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Page 8 of 8

CHERRY POPPIN' PLAY FESTIVAL A series of one-acts presented by Alive Theatre. Garage Theatre, 251 E. Seventh St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Sun., 8-10 p.m.; thru Jan. 25. (562) 433-8337.

THE MANOR Kathrine Bates' gothic romance, loosely based on the tragic history of the Doheny family. Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills; Sat.-Sun., 1 p.m.; thru March 2. (No perfs Feb. 16, 17 & 24.) (310) 550-4796.

GO SPLATTER PATTERN (OR, HOW I GOT AWAY WITH IT) Neal Bell's dirge slowly enthralls. It features a time-bending gimmick: A grieving writer named Dunn (Jim Hanna) rewinds his conversations with everyone from his agent (Leslie Gilliam) to his realtor (Jake Elsas). After the death of his partner of 23 years, Dunn can't write a salable script; his career's future hinges on getting under the skin of his tabloid-famous new neighbor, Tate (Donald Robert Stewart), a professor who's been accused of — though not officially charged with — murdering his student (Lindsay Lauren Wray, understated and resonant). Initially, Dunn is drawn to Tate's loneliness and unapologetic emotional outbursts, but as Tate's pain sours from being comforting to repulsive, Bell's artificial world cracks open to reveal two men haunted by the dead, fixated on the morbid and aware that heroes are fading away. Derek Charles Livingston directs capably, but needs a firmer hand on Bell's temporal shiftiness and on the clash between Hanna and Stewart's naturalism and his supporting actors' jarring pertness. The uncredited set design is nicely evocative, with the skeletons of two Manhattan high-rise apartments fringed by black and blood-red paint that looks like it wants to worm its way inside the characters, and possibly the audience. ARK THEATRE COMPANY, 1647 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Feb. 23. (323) 969-1707. (Amy Nicholson).

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Special Events

COURAGE: THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER J.M. Morris' eclectic three-part presentation of performance, song and multimedia honoring Martin Luther King. HIGHWAYS PERFORMANCE SPACE, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 18-19, 8:30 p.m. (310) 315-1459, www.highwaysperformance.org.

AN INTIMATE PIQUE A star-studded cast including Allison Janey (The West Wing), Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and several others showcases dramatic material by a number of America's leading playwrights. Presented by the Ojai Playwrights Conference. Matilija Junior High School Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Rd., Ojai; Sat., Jan. 19, 5 p.m. (805) 640-0400, www.ojaiplays.com.

THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY Stanley Lambchop is your average kid until one day when he wakes up flat. It's not so bad — he can slide under doors and roll up like a mat. Pepperdine University Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Sat., Jan. 19, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. (310) 506-4522, www.pepperdine.edu.

MYSTERIES EN BROCHETTE The beachside hotel dishes out dinner and mystery delights in its Saturday shows with four different performances that alternate. Marina Del Rey Hotel, 13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey; Sat., 7 p.m.; $75, includes dinner. (310) 301-1000.

SPONTANEOUS FANTASIA J. Walt Adamczyk performs and creates visuals in this collaboration of special-effects art and the artist's original musical compositions. Glendale Community College Planetarium, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale; Fri., Jan. 25, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 8, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. (626) 688-0778, www.spontaneousfantasia.com.

STAGE ODYSSEY A festival of six short plays, ranging from comedy to drama to the bizarre, featuring work from First Stage's writer's workshop. First Stage Theatre, 6817 Franklin Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 18-19, 8 p.m.; $10. (323) 850-6271.

THING TO THING A musical collage and solo show of a woman's attempt to cure her own autistic children. The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., Jan. 18, 8-11 p.m. (323) 960-7612, www.Plays411.com/thingtothing.

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