Baby Doll, Forgotten, On Holy Ground and other new reviews . . .
This musical, written and directed by Michael Leoni with songs and lyrics credited to several composers, is unlikely to make the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sing with joy. Teens Hayden (Keli Price) and his girlfriend Luka (Rachael Page) flee abusive families to hit Hollywood and Vine, where they quickly wind up in thrall to a diabolical pimp, who puts them to work on the streets -- work that can inevitably lead to a tight schedule of doing drugs, turning tricks and becoming snaggle-toothed crack whores before you know it. For all the commendable attempts to engender a social conscience through this tale of hardship and youth, the plot itself strangely hews to the tropes of a 1970s exploitation movie, while also being hampered by a torpid pace, oddly awkward blocking and glum, identical-sounding musical numbers. Met Theatre, 1089 Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; through Dec. 18. (323) 960-7745, plays411.net/playground. (Paul Birchall)
POSING STRAP PIRATES Playwright Michael Van Duzer pays affectionate homage to the gay pulp novels and physique magazines of the 1950s and '60s. Nubile young Buck Toye (David Robert May) is aboard the ship Dorian Gray when it's captured by pirate captain Rake Matelot (flamboyantly hammy Kerr Seth Lordygan). Matelot immediately falls in love/lust with Buck, while Buck is equally smitten with cabin-boy Beau Ideal (Jeffrey Patrick Olson). Eventually they all strip down to the mandatory posing straps. This should amuse lovers of gay camp, but others may find it heavy-handed and predictable. Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 10 p.m.; Thurs., 8 p.m., through Dec. 10. (818) 508-3003, eclecticcompanytheatre.org. (Neal Weaver)
THE SECOND COMING: A ONE-WOMAN COMEDY OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS Imagine Erma Bombeck collaborating with Judy Chicago on a rewrite of Genesis and you'll have an idea of the whimsical feminist flavors in solo-performer Sherry Glaser's genial revision of the Judeo-Christian creation myth. According to the Gospel of Glaser, the Great Mother Goddess -- call her Ma -- has returned after a 5,000-year nap to set the biblical record straight: Her husband, God, did not create the cosmos alone. Ma's unlikely choice of a prophet is Miguel (Glaser in a moustache and soul patch), a 42-year-old waiter, who, aided by a bottle of tequila, physically transforms into Ma (Glaser in a spandex body suit), to spread Her word. Glaser, who is built like the Venus of Willendorf, certainly fills the bill. Yet while her Yiddish-spouting, Jewish-mother divinity is always amusing, the evening lacks the sharp edges needed for laugh-out-loud comedy. Gail Feldman directs. Two Roads Theater, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m.; through Dec. 18. (818) 762-2282, tworoadsgallery.com. (Bill Raden)
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