Please see below for comprehensive theater listings that replicate the global format found in the print edition, compiled by Derek Thomas. This new stage blog -- to be posted once a week -- is till in the works, Suggestions are welcome.
A memorial service hosted by Madelaine Shaner was held at the Odyssey Theatre on Tuesday evening for theater critic David DePino, who succumbed to a nine year battle with cancer on July 28. DePino's distraught cousin, "Linda" and her husband drove up from San Diego before getting lost on L.A.'s west side and staggering in to find a full crowd of friends, neighbors and local drama critics waiting at theater. The tech of a service-opening slide show utterly misfired in a display of sweet ineptitude that would surely have had the late subject cackling, were he around. Some suggested he was.
Most of the evening consisted of personal testimonies with the the descriptions "kind," "sweet," "caring," "generous" being repeated in a kind of mantra that obviously defined Mr. Depino's most conspicuous qualities.
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TicketsWed., May. 31, 10:00pm
The Everything Show with Jake Adams, Jonathan Morvay & More
TicketsWed., May. 31, 10:00pm
TicketsFri., Jun. 2, 7:30pm
Carrie: the Musical
TicketsFri., Jun. 2, 8:00pm
Hollywood Babble-On with Kevin Smith & Ralph Garman
TicketsFri., Jun. 2, 10:00pm
For This Week's New Theater Reviews go to:
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (comedy)
THE GROUNDLINGS, YOUR BODY AND YOU All-new sketch and improv, directed by Ted Michaels., $21.50. Groundling Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 & 10 p.m.. (323) 934-9700, www.groundlings.com.
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (Larger Theaters)
GO ALICE IN ONE-HIT-WONDERLAND 2: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Goofy, good-natured and outlandishly entertaining, this latest romp from director Matt Walker and his inspired ensemble plucks characters and themes from the Lewis Carroll classic and scrambles them with elements of contemporary pop culture into a satiric hodgepodge of, well, "everything." (Deborah Klugman) Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Oct. 12. (818) 955-8101.
GO AS YOU LIKE IT Directors Ellen Geer and Melora Marshall set this evergreen Shakespearean comedy in the years after the American Civil War, but, fortunately, they apply the concept with a light, tactful hand. Ameena Maria Khawajas musical direction, Mike Peeblers exciting fight choreography and Shon LeBlancs handsome costumes add to the fun. (Neal Weaver). Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28, (No perf Sept. 14.). (310) 455-3723, www.theatricum.com.
BABY Parenting musical, book by Sybille Pearson, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., music by David Shire. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 7. (818) 884-1907.
BEETHOVEN, AS I KNEW HIM: THE MUSIC OF LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN $35-$74. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood; Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (310) 208-5454, www.geffenplayhouse.com.
DR. FAUSTUS goes to hell, and J. Paul Boehmer's portrayal of the title character in a 90-minute version of Christopher Marlowe's tragical history is so deliciously smug and grandiloquently preening, it's a pleasure to wave him goodbye as he sails downstream. This is certainly fun for the family, but it largely drains the tragedy of import for the sake of a well-executed execution. Antony Sandoval's bare-bones staging is a stylish, macabre affair. (Steven Leigh Morris). Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 7:30 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 660-4254.
KING O'LEARY The Actors' Gang sets "King Lear" during the Gold Rush. Media Park, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.; thru Aug. 31. (310) 838-4264.
LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT doesn't seem to be able to avoid unpleasant topics," sighs Edmund Tyrone (Aaron Hendry) to his father, James (William Dennis Hunt), in Act 4 of Eugene O'Neill's genre-creating family melodrama. The claustrophobic parlor drama is an odd fit for the Theatricum Botanicums forested stage, as the ensemble, when not shouting, are perilously close to being drowned out by crickets. (Amy Nicholson). Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat., 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 26. (310) 455-3723, www.theatricum.com.
GO THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES In their cotton-candy chiffon dresses, songbirds Missy, Suzy, Betty Jean and Cindy Lou (Kim Huber, Bets Malone, Julie Dixon Jackson and Kirsten Chandler) are pleased as punch to entertain their senior-class prom. As it's 1958, tonight's track list is pure bubblegum pop, soured up by cat fights over stolen songs and stolen boyfriends. Playwright-director Roger Bean, however, is only half-successful in manufacturing drama and character development from the story's personality clashes and a looming prom-queen vote. Under playwright-director Roger Bean's hand, the ladies are fine comedians and even finer singers, and the show gets a punch of energy in Act 2. (Amy Nicholson). Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach; Tues.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (949) 497-2787.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Shakespeare's romantic comedy. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Thurs., 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 1, 6 p.m.; thru Aug. 28. (310) 455-3723, www.theatricum.com.
RESPECT: THE GIRL EM-POWERED MUSICAL Musical history of the female experience throughout the 20th century, by Dorothy Marcic. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Sun., 3 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (818) 508-0281, www.elportaltheatre.com.
ROMEO & JULIET, TOGETHER AND ALIVE AT LAST Sandra Fenichel Asher's story of a school play. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 7. (562) 494-1014.
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 18th-century comedy of manners. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 22, 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.; thru Sept. 27. (310) 455-3723, www.theatricum.com.
THE SPIN CYCLE David Rambo's world-premiere comedy. Rubicon Theater, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura; Sun., 2 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (805) 667-2900.
TWELFTH NIGHT Presente al fresco by Independent Shakespeare Company (In rep with "Henry IV" and "Doctor Faustus"). Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 7:30 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 660-4254.
GO WICKED In this musical riff on the witches of Oz (by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Hollzman), Joe Mantello directs a marvelous spectacle that looks like a diversion but is actually quite the opposite. Eden Espinoza as the green-skinned, bespectacled girl-witch Elphaba has a contagiously smart appeal. After recognizing that Elphaba's not going to power-play along with the Wizard's (John Rubinstein) Stalinist shenanigans, Mrs. Morrible (the delightful Carol Kane), starts a witch hunt for the girl, and the whole thing starts to resemble some of the tawdrier chapters in American history. (SLM). Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; thru Jan. 11. (213) 365-3500.
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (Smaller Theaters: Hollywood, Westside and Downtown)
THE ACCOMPLICES Bernard Weinraub's documentary drama reminds us of WWII's less benevolent aspects. He tells the story of Peter Bergson, born Hillel Kook (Steven Schub), who devoted his life to attempting to rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe. Political complexities inevitably overshadow Bergson's personal life, but they are fascinating in their own right. Deborah LaVine skillfully melds a fine cast into a gripping production. (NW). Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 14. (323) 663-1525, www.fountaintheatre.com.
GO AMERICAN DEAD Brett Neveu's play places its focus on the plain talk of Midwesterners whose farms are being foreclosed. Director Dado stages the kaleidoscope of scenes with meticulous attention to subtext and the language of facial ticks and flinches. A long-ago shooting of a local sheriff's deputy (Deborah Puette) still haunts the woman's partner, (Paul Dillon), and brother (Mark St. Amant). Overcoming the venue's echoey qualities, the ensemble work is finely tuned. (SLM). Theatre/Theater, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 960-7726, www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
GO ASSASSINS When composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and writer John Weidman look at assassins, their vision is wayward, tough, ambiguous, sympathetic and bitterly satiric. Richard Israel's on-target production is stark and lively; Johanna Kent's music direction is sure-footed, and the entire cast is splendid. (NW). El Centro Theatre, 804 N. El Centro Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (323) 460-4443, www.tix.com.
THEATER PICK (see New Reviewshttp://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/) BEVERLY WINWOOD PRESENTS THE ACTORS SHOWCASE Groundling Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Mon., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 25. (323) 934-4747, www.groundlings.com.
BODY POLITIC Jessica Goldberg's story of a screenwriter attempting to access a veteran's hospital. Zephyr Theater, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (800) 413-8669. (See New Reviews)
BOUNCERS John Godber's discoteque play. Lost Studio, 130 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Sept. 27. (323) 933-6944.
GO CARNY TRASH A burly man named Aye Jaye spins yarns from his life in the carny. Jaye has a rich background in the art of con art. His lecture-demonstration paints a vivid portrait of Americana, mid-20th-century, a rare blend of garishness and romanticism, a study in how Minnesota farmers were dazzled and tricked before there was TV. (SLM). Steve Allen Theater, at the Center for Inquiry-West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.. (323) 666-4268.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS is a reminder that even the father of our modern mother tongue had to learn while he earned. So it is with director Ron West and his Open Fist ensemble's creaky, modern-dress version of Shakespeare's mistaken-identity protofarce. West moves the action from ancient times to "the beach community of Ephesus, circa 1964," a bare-bones setting consisting of little more than grips dressed as beach cops on bicycles, which is more of a non sequitur sight gag than fully realized production concept. Certainly, it's no help to West's cast members, who must resort to desperate mugging rather than a thorough mastering of their text. (Bill Raden). Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Aug. 30. (323) 882-6912, www.openfist.org.
THE COMICAL TRAGEDY OR TRAGICAL COMEDY OF MR. PUNCH This lavishly mounted, highly ambitious adaptation of writer Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKeans 1995 graphic novel is a marvel of expressionistic spectacle. Unfortunately, no amount of scenic splendor can camouflage a torpid, overly elliptical script lacking even rudimentary character shadings or conflict-driven scenes. (Bill Raden). Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (213) 389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.com.
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON Interpretive piece set to the music of Pink Floyd. Next Stage Theater, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, L.A.; Sun., 8 & 9:30 p.m.. (323) 850-7827.
DELEARIOUS Lyricist-playwright Ron West and composer Phil Swanns overly ambitious travesty about King Lear, modern musicals and the King James Bible is often fun, always energetic but ultimately overbearing. West and Swann also stage, musically direct and play featured roles in this rollicking, far-too-long exercise. (TP). Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Aug. 30. (323) 882-6912, www.openfist.org.
DESERT SUNRISE At the heart of Misha Shulman's flawed rumination on humanity's struggle to achieve peace is a well-orchestrated pas de deux by performers Dominic Rains and Oren Dayan. Up to a point, we're caught up in the fierce dynamic ignited by Rains and Dayan's deftly nuanced portrayals, under Ellen Shipley's direction. Unfortunately, the appearance of the unrestrainedly strident Layla marks a sharp downturn in the plot's credibility. (DK). Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way, L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (323) 960-7784, www.plays411.com/desertsunrise.
THE DIVINE MADNESS OF ISABELLA Wendy Gough as commedia dell'arte actress Isabella Andreini. Write Act Theater, 6128 Yucca St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 469-3113, www.writeactrep.org.
FABLES DU THEATRE Adaptation of three classic French fables, by Brenda Varda. Unknown Theater, 1110 N. Seward St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Sept. 27. (323) 466-7781, www.unknowntheater.com.
GO FINALLY Stephen Belber's haunting “Rashomon”-styled drama is powered by Morlan Higgins' strong, emotionally nuanced performance. He plays four characters: a washed-up semipro football player; a damaged, miserable wife; a dog with a penchant for Byron and Tennyson; and a football coach. These people are linked by a common thread of guilt, violence and betrayal. Matt Shakmans staging is simple but forceful. (LE3). Black Dahlia Theatre, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.. (800) 838-3006, www.thedahlia.com.
GRANNY DEAREST Viktoria Bozsoki's play about "life, loss, acceptance, and pearls of wisdom form the other side.". The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Through Aug. 24, 8 p.m.. (323) 206-1842.
GROOVE AU GOGO Brilliant shards sparkle in whats otherwise a broken plate-glass window -- what creator Jason M. Solomon calls “an acid vaudeville/variety show.” Beat-poet “rants” against social contradictions of modern society (performed by Mike Estim and Jonathan Kite) get mired in the wafer-thin lighting design that plagues the evening. The shadows, echoes and lingering moments of an empty stage betray the abundant talent on the stage, under Kal Clarkes direction. (SLM). Theatre/Theater, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Mon., 8 p.m.. (323) 954-9795.
GO JUST LIKE WHITE PEOPLE 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors' Asian-American sketch comedy. The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (818) 754-4500, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/38603. (See New Reviewshttp://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/)
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES The French farce by Jean Poiret. Knightsbridge Theater, 1944 Riverside Dr., L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 667-0955, www.knightsbridgetheatre.com.
MACBETH Chris Berube turns Shakespeare's play into a modern-day political thriller. Next Stage Theater, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 30. (323) 850-7827, www.berubians.com.
THE MAGIC STRING Nicole Hoelle's story of a writer, a salesman and a waitress. Mount Hollywood Congregational Church, 4607 Prospect Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 30. (323) 663-6577.
MAGNUM OPUS THEATRE: ABI'S CHOICE Late-night "Masterpiece Theatre" parody. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., L.A.; Fri., 11 p.m.. (310) 281-8337, www.sacredfools.org.
MEN FAKE FOREPLAY Michael Dugan's comedy. Actor's Art Theater, 6128 Wilshire Blvd., No. 110, L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (323) 969-4953, www.plays411.com/menfake.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Chris Berube's take on Shakespeare's romantic comedy. Next Stage Theater, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 5. (323) 850-7827.
GO MONEY & RUN Wayne Rawley's popular Seattle serial, inspired by “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Miami Vice,” debuts with its first installment, "Money, Take Run," in which two hot-blooded criminals, Money (Johanna Watts) and Run (Joshua Sliwa), meet-cute when holding up the same liquor store. When the narrator tells us to "stay tuned for scenes from the next episode," we can only hope that theater's fun is less disposable than this show's TV origins. (AN). Lyric-Hyperion Theater, 2106 Hyperion Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 10:30 p.m.. (800) 595-4TIX, www.moneyandrun.net.
THE PAVILION Craig Wright's comedy-drama about a high school reunion. Lyric Theatre, 520 N. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 5. (323) 939-9220.
PLASTIC CRYSTAL Jason Greenfield's play about a salesman with OCD and his affair with a married woman. Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23, 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 28. (323) 882-6912, www.openfist.org. See New Reviewshttp://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/.
POINT BREAK LIVE! Jaime Keeling'merciless skewering of the 1991 hyper-action flick starring Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey is loaded with laughs as well as surprises, like picking an audience member to play Reeves' role of Special Agent Johnny Utah. The citys banks are being hit by a gang of robbers known as the Ex Presidents, surfers who always wear the masks of former chief executives while making their withdrawals (in this version Ms. Condi Rice makes an appearance). Utah gets his man, but not before a Grand Guignol scene of blood and guts that's so hideously over the top you cant stop laughing. (LE3). Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.. (866) 811-4111, www.theatermania.com.
POUR SOME SUNDAY ON ME All-new sketch and improv by the Sunday Company. Groundling Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Sun., 7:30 p.m.. (323) 934-9700, www.groundlings.com.
PROBLEM CHILD Part one of George F. Walker's "Suburban Motel" series. Tres Stage Theatre, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.. (323) 461-3673, www.fordamphitheatre.org.
SERIAL KILLERS Late-night serialized stories, voted on by the audience to determine which ones continue. Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., L.A.; Sat., 11 p.m.. (310) 281-8337, www.sacredfools.org.
SOME KIND OF LOVE STORY Arthur Miller's tale of a detective and a prostitute. Hayworth Theater, 2509 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (213) 289-9860, www.plays411.com.
SONA TERA ROMAN HESS Dennis Miles' story of a family's "strange infidelity.". Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 21. (323) 960-7864, www.plays411.com/roman.
SUFFER THE LONG NIGHT Greg Glienna and Mary Ruth Clarke's comedy about a theater troupe sick with the flu. Meta Theater, 7801 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 14. (323) 960-7745. (See New Reviewshttp://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/)
GO SUMMER CAMP AT SACRED FOOLS The late-night shows change every week, but if “Fun Time With Quirk & Rayner” is an accurate indication of the standard, the rest of the run is worth a visit. Magician, mind-reader and charlatan Rob Zabrecky opened the evening, with the appearance and temperament of your local undertaker. Droll comedian Moira Quirk followed with a slide show about her two kids with hubby and main act 's Michael Rayner, whose oddity is a source of self-respect. (SLM). Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., L.A.; Fri., 10 p.m.; Sat., 9 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (310) 281-8337, www.sacredfools.org.
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., L.A.; Sat., midnight. (323) 960-7785.
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (The Valleys)
THE FOREIGNER Larry Shue's farce. Lincoln Stegman Theatre, 6020 Radford Ave., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (818) 509-0882.
GO FREEDOM OF SPEECH Written and performed by Eliza Jane Schneider. Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Dr., Burbank; Sat.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 7. (818) 754-4264. (See New Reviewshttp://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/.)
GO GULLS Playwright Nick Salamone and composer Maurice McIntyre have loosely adapted Chekhov's “The Seagull” to America of the 1950s, handily transforming the Russian classic about artistic idealism and despair into an American musical about commerce and repression. Its a savvy move, translating the artistic tensions of late-19th-century Russia into those of mid-20th-century America. Jessica Kubzanskys textured staging includes wonderful performances. (SLM). Boston Court Theatre, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (626) 683-6883.
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., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.. (818) 942-6684, www.crowncitytheatre.com.
ICEBERG AHEAD! Jay Parker's backstage comedy about an heiress and a theater producer. Lizard Theater, 230 W. Main St., Alhambra; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.. (626) 371-0014, www.lizardtheater.com.
LOST ON LANKERSHIM This slate of several one-acts, written by John Falchi, offers its share of entertaining moments. Cowboy Goodbyes is a minivignette, with a cowboy costume being the highlight. Falchi directs the dangerously funny "Closing," the riotous gem of the evening. Tommy Mastak (William Norrett) is the epitome of the smooth-talking pitchman who can talk his way into a deal or contract for just about anything, including sex. (LE3). ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (818) 202-4120, www.zombiejoes.com.
GO MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION Banned and reviled, George Bernard Shaws 1893 satire concerns a modern Victorian girl, Vivie (Joanna Strapp), who discovers that her estranged mother, Kitty (Gillian Doyle), is a wealthy whore. Somethings slightly off in director August Viveritos pacing. Yet the ensemble is strong, underscoring Shaw's insinuation that well-married girls are the true prostitutes. (AN). Chandler Studio, 12443 Chandler Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (800) 838-3006, www.theprodco.com.
SCAREDYCATS Cheryl Bascom's comedy about a neighborhood watch group. Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (866) 811-4111.
GO SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER In Tennessee Williams' 1958 melodrama, Catherine (Elaine Kao) is lobotomized by her niece, Violet Venable (Kim Miyori), in order to silence Catherine's scandalous report about Violet's late son. Though its initially disconcerting to see an Asian cast speaking in Southern drawls, as director Chil Kong suggests, the play reflects Chinese and Korean preoccupation with saving face and honoring the dead. (NW). GTC Burbank, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (323) 993-7245.
YOU WILL MOST LIKELY DIE Dynamite Kablammo's San Fernando Valley comedy. ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; Tues., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 2. (818) 202-4120, www.zombiejoes.com.
ZASTROZZI George F. Walker's quirky comedy thriller, loosely based on a novel by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is about a mismatched conflict between bland sweetness and dark malice. The production, co-directed by Sara Botsford and Christopher Brown, crackles with villainous betrayals. Yet the directors' decision to set the play in the 1940s, with gallons of liquid-ice smoke creating the murky mood of a film noir movie, imposes ideas on the drama. (PB). NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (818) 508-7101, www.nohoartscenter.com.
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (Westside, Beaches)
ALLEY CAT Marnie Olson and Caroline Marshall's one-act about a confused slut. Psychic Visions Theatre, 3447 Motor Ave., L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (310) 535-6007.
BAD PENNY consists of speeches and dialogues by Mac Wellman that accrue into an existential theatrical poem/meditation on American life. Production designer Charles Duncombe and director Frederique Michel provide a beautiful NYC scenic backdrop and well-coordinated presentation style. They're working with a largely young company that makes the language perfectly intelligible, but the interpretation fails to reach the needed depths of experience. (SLM). City Garage, 1340 1/2 Fourth St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 7. (310) 319-9939.
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: BEYOND RETIREMENT Cynthia Galles' Social Security comedy. Found Theater, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Aug. 30. (562) 433-3363.
BLITHE SPIRIT Noel Coward's farce. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 23. (562) 494-1014.
BURY THE DEAD Irwin Shaw's antiwar story. Actors' Gang at the Ivy Substation Theater, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 13. (310) 838-4264.
GO GREAT EXPECTATIONS Margaret Hoorneman's delightful adaptation of Charles Dickens' saga (book by Brian VanDerWilt and Steve Lozier, music by Richard Winzeler, and lyrics by Steve Lane) remains so faithful to the novel that the epic twists and turns of fate, and of social ascension and decline, emerge. They emerge at the cost of the musical's impetus, but it may be worth that sacrifice. (SLM). Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (310) 477-2055, www.greatexpecationsmusical.com.
THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT Stephen Adly Guirgis puts Jesus' disciple on trial. Garage Theatre, 251 E. Seventh St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 6. (866) 811-4111.
GO LOST IN YONKERS Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize winner. (In rep with “Pen,” call for schedule.). Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theater, 241 Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills; Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 28. (310) 364-0535. (See New Reviews.http://www.laweekly.com/stage/theater/theater-reviews-freedom-of-speech-just-like-white-people/19399/)
GO MY ANTONIA Playwright Scott Schwartz's compelling adaptation of the Willa Cather novel clocks in at nearly three hours, but the work's elegant sprawl allows us to become fully immersed in Cather's powerful and nuanced elegy to the nature of memory. Although director Schwartz's production occasionally suffers from lackadaisical pacing, the work's intimacy and a strong ensemble craft an experience that's as passionate and as personal as the memory of young love. (PB). Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (310) 822-8392, www.pacificresidenttheatre.com.
PEN David Marshall Grant's story of a wheelchair-bound mother and her zero-gravity pen. (In rep with
GO ROSE Playwright Martin Sherman and actor Naomi Newman combine forces to tell the tale of Rose, born in an obscure shtetl near Chernobyl. Though a fictional character, the 80-year-old is endowed with an almost documentary life story that embraces many of the 20th century's major events. The piece is intimate and epic, compassionate and tough, tragic and funny. Newman plays it with magnificent eloquence, passion and restraint. (NW). Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 31. (310) 477-2055.
TURPENTINE JAKE Set in the Florida Turpentine camps of the 1930s, this gritty tale of black workers under the debt peonage system is dramatized by the grandson of one of these workers, James E. Hurd Jr. (who also directs and stars), and Linda Bannister. The play starts from a traditional dramatic premise of racial tensions fueled by an accidental stabbing, before dissolving into a a series of vignettes. (MK). Loyola Marymount University, Del Rey Theater, 1 LMU Dr., North Hall, L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (310) 338-7588.
CONTINUING PERFORMANCES (Special Events)
CELEBRATE THE WORLD Eight days of spoken-word, performance, plays and film. Greenway Court Theater, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Through Aug. 26. (323) 655-7679, www.greenwayarts.org.
HURRICANE SEASON 2008 The fifth annual competition/festival of short plays. Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (818) 508-3003, www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
MYSTERIES EN BROCHETTE The beachside hotel dishes out dinner and mystery delights in its Saturday shows with four different performances that alternate., $75, includes dinner. Marina Del Rey Hotel, 13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey; Sat., 7 p.m.. (310) 301-1000.
PAPA SPEAKEASY'S BURLESQUE Lovely ladies entertain you. Stages Theatre Center, 1540 N. McCadden Pl., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.. www.theatreyawp.com.
PUPPET UP! UNCENSORED Naughty improv by Henson Alternative puppeteers. Avalon, 1735 Vine St., L.A.; Sat., Aug. 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 20, 8 p.m.. (213) 480-3232, www.avalonhollywood.com.
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE LIVE EXPERIENCE Theatrical arena show about prehistoric creatures, based on the BBC television series. Honda Center, 2695 Katella Ave., Anaheim; Wed.-Sat., 7 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m. & 3 p.m.; thru Aug. 24. (213) 480-3232.
UPCOMING (Larger Theaters)
AS U2 LIKE IT The Bard's As You Like It set to the music of U2. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank; opens Aug. 22; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Sept. 14. (818) 955-8101.
EDUCATING RITA Teacher-student comedy, by Willy Russell. Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; opens Aug. 23; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 21, (Added perfs Aug. 30 & Sept. 6, 3 p.m.; Sept. 11 & 18, 8 p.m.). (818) 558-7000, www.colonytheatre.org.
THE BONES OF LESSER MEN Yves Lola St. Vil's drama set in an African-American-neighborhood diner. MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A.; opens Aug. 22; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28, (Added perfs Aug. 26-28, 8 p.m.). (323) 957-1152, www.theMETtheatre.com.
BOYLE HEIGHTS Josefina Lopez's play about a family's fear of gossip. Casa 0101, 2009 E. First St., L.A.; opens Aug. 22; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 14. (323) 263-7684, www.casa0101.org.
CRAVE Sarah Kane's "fantasia of love, lust, pain, humor, sadness, hope and resignation.". Sierra Stage, 1444 N. Sierra Bonita Ave., West Hollywood; opens Aug. 27; Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 12. (213) 905-2727.
INHERIT THE WIND Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee's courtroom drama. Art/Works Theatre, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; opens Aug. 23; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Sept. 14. (323) 908-7276.
LONG DAY CUT SHORT wo one-acts by Tennessee Williams: "The Unsatisfactory Supper" and "Hello From Bertha." Actor's Art Theater, 6128 Wilshire Blvd., No. 110, L.A.; opens Aug. 27; Wed., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 21. (323) 969-4953, www.plays411.com/longstay.
LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna's romantic comedy. Theatre 68, 5419 Sunset Blvd., L.A.; opens Aug. 22; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (323) 960-7827, www.plays411.net/lovers.
SISSYSTRATA Adapted from Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" by Allain Rochel, set in a future West Hollywood. Celebration Theatre, 7051-B Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; opens Aug. 22; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 28. (323) 957-1884, www.tix.com.
SUBURBIA Eric Bogosian's play set in a 7-Eleven parking lot. Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.; Aug. 22-31, 8 p.m.. (323) 465-4446.
THE SOUND OF MURDER William Fairchild's thriller about a children's book writer and his trophy wife. Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood; opens Aug. 22; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 5. (818) 700-4878, www.lcgrt.com.
ABIGAIL'S PARTY Mike Leigh's dark comedy about a doomed soiree. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; opens Aug. 23; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 24, 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 19, (7 p.m. perfs, Aug. 24 & 31, Sept. 28.). (310) 477-2055.
UPCOMING (Special Events)
BEDLAM AT THE BALLPARK Plus “Extra Innings: A Vaudeville Revue.” All American Melodrama Theater and Music Hall, 429-E Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach; opens Aug. 28; Thurs.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 4:30 & 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 23. (562) 495-5900, www.allamericanmelodrama.com.
DIVAS VS. TENORS Celebrating Ting Dang's 15th anniversary as the Asian-American theater organization's producing artistic director. East West Players, 120 N. Judge John Aiso St., L.A.; Sat., Aug. 23, 6 p.m.. (213) 625-7000.
THE L.A. CONCERT DEBUT OF ALEXANDRA BILLINGS The drag artist debuts songs from her latest CD, “The Story Goes On.” Sacred Fools Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., L.A.; Aug. 22-23, 9 p.m.. (310) 281-8337, www.sacredfools.org.
MISS ONE-A-PUFF'S ALL-STAR REVUE "A kaleidoscopic cornucopia of music, comedy, and social commentary by comedy troupe The Puffs.". Playhouse Theater Playhouse, 600 Moulton Ave., L.A.; Fri., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m.. (323) 227-5410.
THE ODYSSEY "Family-friendly" version of Homer's epic, by Dr. Gary Stickel. Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Sat., Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.. (323) 934-9736.
ONEBODY Neale Donald Walsch's metaphysical musical. Agape Spiritual Center, 5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City; Fri., Aug. 22, 8 p.m.. (800) 867-7130, www.onebodytheatrecompany.com.
WAG THE DOG Staged reading of David Mamet's screenplay for his political satire. S. Mark Taper Foundation Ampitheatre, 12601 Mulholland Dr., Beverly Hills; Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m.. (818) 623-4877.
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