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 THE VIOLET HOUR Richard Greenberg’s 2002 play is set on April Fool’s Day, 1919. A young, novice New York publisher (Thomas Burr) and his gay office assistant (Kyle Colerider-Krugh) try to deal with a mysterious machine that has just arrived. Pages it has been spewing out are of book proposals and accompanying manuscripts from the future. They stand appalled and self-consciously naked as they read how their era — and Seavering himself — will be judged by academics not yet born. Director Stuart Rogers brings out all the nuances of this funny yet melancholy fable about decisions and consequences. (SM) Theatre Tribe, 5267 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru April 19. (800) 838-3006, www.theatretribe.com.
THE WORLD’S LARGEST RODENT The title of Don Zolidis’ comedy refers to a kind of guinea-pig colossus found in South America — the subject of a junior high school PowerPoint presentation that lands nerdy Billy (Andy Gobienko) in trouble from the start. PowerPoint title slides also introduce us to various low points of Billy’s existence, including a porn-model sister (Kim McKean), and a mother (Mary Carrig) whose failed suicide attempt has left her comatose. “Zany” is writ large. Mere desires don’t translate into a plot, however. The ensemble, under Tom Ormeny’s direction, has fun with the material. (SM) Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru April 13. (818) 841-5421.
GO ALICE SIT-BY-THE-FIRE J.M. Barrie’s 1919 comedy is a far more earthbound affair than his earlier success, Peter Pan, yet it still provides a sweet concoction of precocious observations, misinterpreted dialogue and send-ups of contemporary melodrama. Director Joe Olivieri delivers a production that is neither taxidermied relic nor overly precious giggle-fit, and gets a fine comic performance from Wigell. Barrie’s play floats through its three acts — a harmless bubble that perhaps stirred the ribald histrionics of Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and many another later farce. (SM) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru April 20. (310) 822-8392.
GO THE BRIG Kenneth H. Brown’s play depicts a U.S. Marine Corps jail in Japan, the setting for his 1963 play, first performed by New York’s Living Theatre. For nearly two hours we watch the robotic routines of 10 prisoners (later joined by an 11th) as they are loudly ordered about by a crew of sometimes sadistic, mostly bored guards. This production, directed by original cast member Tom Lillard, is a remount of a 2007 Obie-winning effort. While virtually interchangeable, the prisoner ensemble of 11 actors performs frighteningly well, at turns morphing into a giant green caterpillar of movement. (SM) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., April 6, 2 p.m.; Sun., April 13, 7 p.m.; thru April 13. (310) 477-2055.
CARNAGE, A COMEDY Playwrights Tim Robbins’ and Adam Simon’s ferocious satire on the hypocrisy of American televangelism crackles with philosophical awareness and imaginative stagecraft. Yet, even in director Beth F. Milles’ tightly paced production, the play hasn’t aged well since its 1987 premiere. To raise money, corpulent televangelist Cotton Slocum (V. J. Foster) commences a marathon “holy” walk through the desert. The piece’s scattershot storyline is part heavy-handed tirade against religion and part symbolically overburdened surrealism, despite the cast’s perfect comic timing. (PB) Actors’ Gang at the Ivy Substation Theater, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 29. (310) 838-4264.
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GODDESS Dorothy Spirus’ solo comedy. Found Theater, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru March 29. (562) 433-3363.
THE FULL MONTY Steelworkers go Chippendale, book by Terrence McNally, music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru April 12. (310) 828-7519, www.morgan-wixson.org.
JEST A SECOND James Sherman’s sequel to Beau Jest. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru April 6. (562) 494-1014.
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 turns 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.