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
GO STUPID KIDS Playwright John C. Russell might have been a fly on the wall in the school cafeteria when he wrote this endearing and insightful teen drama about sex and power in a suburban American high school. Jim (Michael Grant Terry) and Judy (Tessa Thomson) are two blessedly beautiful people, attracted to each other and with enough quirkiness to keep them from running with the herd. They get tested when the ruling school clan demands that Jim and Judy cut their ties to their loyal, “geeky”and gay friends. Directed by Michael Matthews, the four-person ensemble is spot-on from first moment to last. (DK) Celebration Theatre, 7051-B Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru April 6. (323) 957-1884, www.celebrationtheatre.com.
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., midnight. (323) 960-7785.
VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM Charles Busch’s campy story of two vampiresses feuding through the ages. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Fri., 10:30 p.m.; thru March 28. (213) 389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.com.
THE WOMEN OF JUAREZ Ruben Amavizca’s story of murder and corruption. (Perfs alternate in English and Spanish; call for schedule.) Frida Kahlo Theater, 2332 W. Fourth St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru April 20. (213) 382-8133.
THE ALL-FEMALE 1929 SKIDOO REVIEW In writer-director Eugene H. Butler’s sentimental variety show, Meme (Audrey Marlyn), a former vaudeville star, and her great-granddaughter Jordanna (Jenna Zillman) visit the elder’s theater the day before it’s to be torn down to make way for a Starbucks. After a grating stretch of exposition where Jordanna ’fesses ignorance of Jack Benny, Playbill and the Great Depression, Meme closes her eyes and the curtain rises. Butler doesn’t initially make a strong argument for vaudeville’s right to life; the opening ditty’s high point is a girl pretending to be a rooster. Yet the cast has able voices and energy to spare. Some bits are too shrill for the small space and the dancing is tentative, but the comedy skits perk up the act, particularly a cornball serial melodrama about a wife (Marian Tomas Griffin) who ditches her broke husband (Heather Wood) for the landlord (Kristi Leigh Snyder). That back then white women sang the blues was news to me, given that two years earlier Al Jolson slipped on blackface to do the same. Nevertheless, nimble piano player Billy Revel plinks along without missing a beat. Actors Forum Theatre, 10655 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru April 13. (818) 506-0600. (Amy Nicholson).
DAUGHTERS OF HEAVEN Michelanne Forster’s play about the Parker-Hulme murder. Alexia Robinson Studio, 2811 Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru April 26. (818) 842-4755, www.brittaniajonesproductions.com.
THE ENTERTAINER John Osborne’s vaudeville metaphor for the decline of the British Empire. See Theater feature. NoHo London Music Hall, 10620 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru April 20. (818) 762-7883.
FOOL FOR LOVE Sam Shepard’s story of two transient lovers. Avery Schreiber Theater, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru April 5. (818) 231-7994.
GALAXY VIDEO “Snippets of life and art” written and directed by Marc Morales. NOHO ACTORS STUDIOS, 5215 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru April 26. (818) 309-9439, www.thenohoactorsstudio.com.
A GOOD SMOKE Writer-director Don Cummings adeptly captures the chaos enveloping a collapsing family in his dark one-act comedy. Eldest son Dave (Henry Gummer) has returned to his family’s home in the hopes of straightening out the latest mess. His direction is as fast-paced as the dialogue, and Barbara Gruen delivers a tremendous performance as a deceptive matriarch, a manipulative drug addict. (Sandra Ross) Chandler Studio, 12443 Chandler Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 29. (800) 838-3006.
THE HISTORY OF BOWLING Contrary to the title, Michael Ervin’s sloppily crafted comedy is actually about the lighter side of being disabled. We are on a contemporary college campus where Lou (Tara Samuel), who has epilepsy and a load of emotional baggage, is teamed with the paraplegic Chuck (Danny Murphy) to write a paper for a gym class, in lieu of their handicaps. The pair decides to write about bowling for the disabled, but what gradually evolves is an unlikely romance between them, which is later complicated by Danny’s blind but charismatic roommate, Cornelius (Lynn Manning). In one of the play’s poignant and convincing moments, Cornelius and Lou share an evening under the stars that turns lightly sensual, though Ervin’s script doesn’t offer much of a story. In fact, at times the cheerleaders (Kristin Arnold, Anya Profumo, Chris Scoles, Danyelle Weaver, Kimi Winker) doing their slick routines during scene changes provides some of the more gripping entertainment. Sara Botsford directs. NoHo Arts Center, 1136 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru April 27. (818) 508-7101. Open at the Top Theatre Company. (Lovell Estell III)
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME This adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel (book and lyrics by Gary Lamb, music by William A. Reilly) is more like an old-fashioned operetta (with a dash of 19th-century melodrama thrown in) than a modern musical. There’s something enduringly touching about the hopeless love of the hideous, deformed bell ringer, Quasimodo (Bill Mendieta), for the beautiful Gypsy girl Esmeralda (Amy Bloom). But the adapters have been too faithful to the original novel: The Gypsy is so deceived by the transparently vicious guardsman that she often seems like a ninny. (NW) St. Matthew’s Lutheran GLBT Church, 11031 Camarillo St., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. (818) 942-6684, www.crowncitytheatre.com.