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
LIBERATING JESUS! Leonard Jacobson’s one-man show reevaulating the Christian savior. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru April 6. (800) 838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com.
GO THE LONDON CUCKOLDS In Edward Ravenscroft’s Restoration comedy (adapted and directed by Richard Tatum), sex, infidelity and calamity are given free reign. Three gents (Quincy Miller, Herb Mendelsohn, Charles Pacello) are first seen having a discourse over whether a wife who is virtuous, foolish or witty would be more faithful. In short order, the spouses of this clueless trio (Jessica Mills, Julie Granata and Catherine Cronin) provide the answer. The cast turn in excellent performances, and Tatum keeps the physical comedy and shtick at a perfectly modulated level. (LE3). Ark Theater Company, 1647 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru April 12. (323) 969-1707.
NO CHILD ... Nilaja Sun’s one-woman show set in a New York City public school. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m.; thru April 13. (213) 628-2772.
ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS In playwright David Largman Murray’s penetrating dark comedy set in the year 6000, it’s still the cool kids against the dweebs, only this time, the cool kids are supersmart, superbeautiful robots, while the dweebs are, well, us. A godlike race of robots frolics in its own underground city, while its human creators live in squalor on the surface. Director Emily Weisberg’s production possesses a snap that draws us in from its first, dazzlingly choreographed moments, while the ensemble is enthralling. (PB). Powerhouse Theatre, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 15. (310) 396-3680.
GO THE SAINT PLAYS Playwright Eric Ehn’s quintet of playlets based on the lives of Joan of Arc (Rowena Johnson), Rose of Lima (Anna Steers), George (Arber R. Mehmeti), Barbara (Deborah Lazor), and St. Dymphna (Rowena Johnson) has been sculpted together by director Anne Justine D’Zmura onto a giant sand pit. Scaffolding abounds. With live percussion, shadow puppets, and a kind of raw, vivacious theatricality, the vigorous ensemble puts on something like a clown show, with tones ranging from the whimsical to the macabre. (SLM). National Guard Armory, 854 E. Seventh St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 15. (562) 985-5526.
TOP GIRLS Caryl Churchill’s study of career women. Promenade Playhouse, 1404 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru March 16. (310) 656-8070.
Theater Special Events
BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN Honoring Walt Disney CEO Robert A. Iger and actress Annette Bening. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Mon., March 17, 8 p.m. (310) 208-6500, www.geffenplayhouse.com.
BEFORE THE DAWN/BOB LABEAU The Charlens Company’s concerto of dramatic pieces and songs. Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, 4607 Prospect Ave., L.A.; Sat., March 15, 8 p.m. (323) 640-3823.
GO CONCRETE FOLK VARIATIONS: CHAPTER ONE: DEATH OF A SUGAR DADDY Los Angeles, 1947, and the last thing you want to be is communist or homosexual. And for the city’s lesbian community, persecution looms with the hushed-up murder of a 70-year-old millionairess who had kept the LAPD in her purse. Such is the setting for writer-director-designer Susan Simpson’s noir serial puppet show. Reluctantly, gray-haired ex-beat cop Loretta Salt — half wood, half clay, all tough broad — investigates, her face etched by wrinkles and her taciturn nature balanced by a puppeteer who clues us in that when Loretta rubs her neck, she’s thinking about her dad. Simpson’s set is the size of a car windshield, and the episodes unfold in half increments (Chapter 1.5 debuts March 21). But this tone-perfect first installment hooks our attention with a killer mystery, moody narration and fascinating historicity that occasionally tips into whimsy — for example, when Salt and the victim’s girlfriend take the Red Car past the old Lincoln Heights bird farm, an ostrich is wheeled across the stage. The Manual Archives, 3320 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; thru March 22. (323) 667-0156, www.manualarchives.org.
MUSIC FROM GODSPELL Free concert benefiting the church’s music department. Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley, 5730 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri., March 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 15, 4 & 8 p.m. (310) 854-9110.
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. (310) 301-1000.
RUTLEMANIA Tribute to the Pre-Fab Four. Ricardo Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine St., L.A.; Sat., March 15, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 16, 5 p.m.; Wed., March 19, 8 p.m.; March 20-21, 8 p.m.
GO SPONTANEOUS FANTASIA With a title that proffers a less-than-subtle nod to another innovative work of animation, artist and composer J. Walt Adamczyk blends computer technology, visual imagery and music into a head-spinning good time. Armed with self-designed software, a computer touchpad, color controls and a joystick, Adamczyk sketches abstract images and shapes in real time that are projected on a domed planetarium ceiling as we just lie back and enjoy. Accompanied by his own and others’ compositions, Adamczyk takes us on a trip — sans LSD — through playfully psychedelic virtual worlds. “Autocasm 2007” starts with color-shifting, almost 3-D tubular shapes that Adamczyk has us swoop around as if on a helicopter ride, so as to view their many angles and textures. In “Nocturnes,” Adamczyk’s doodle of one line morphs, kaleidoscope-like, into multiples of itself to shape-shift from apparent deep-sea creatures to a plethora of ethereal compositions. “Autocasm: Gardens of Thuban” starts with a sunrise, as pod-shaped objects pop out of a desolate landscape and create a cosmic forest that, as Adamczyk moves the joystick for us to zoom over his cosmic creations, reminds one of those 1950s artist renderings of what other planets looked like once our rocket ships had landed. Glendale City College Planetarium, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 6:30 p.m.; thru June 28. (626) 688-0778. (Martín Hernández)
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