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Theater Listings

Opening This Week

A BLACK TRILOGY 2007 Spencer Scot’s Call Out My Name, Bill Harris’ He Who Endures and N.R. Davidson Jr.’s El Hajj Malik. STELLA ADLER THEATRE, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (323) 860-3208.

BUNNY BUNNY Alan Zweibel’s “sort of romantic comedy” about his relationship with Gilda Radner. HUDSON GUILD THEATER, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Tues., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; perfs Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 24. (323) 960-5774.

CHEKHOV MANIA: A Russian Vaudeville Comedians, singers, a bear, and three Chekhov one-acts: On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco, The Marriage Proposal and The Boar. THE ATTIC THEATRE AND FILM CENTER, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., L.A.; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 525-0600.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO Sam Roberts’ adaptation of Dumas’ revenge tale. EDGEMAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (877) 986-7336 or www.edgemarcenter.org.

DEAD WRONG Funeral comedy, by Roy Battocchio. LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 27 (no perf Sept. 23). (562) 494-1014.

A DELICATE BALANCE Edward Albee’s drama about an old WASP couple, their family and friends. RUBICON THEATER, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; schedule varies, call for info; thru Oct. 14. (805) 667-2900.

DOWN IN THE BASEMENT William Mesnik’s “metaphorical re-imagining of the story of Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes.” TANGIER, 2138 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; Thurs., 8 p.m.; also at MOLLY MALONE'S, 575 S. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (818) 434-0611.

EVEL KNIEVEL THE ROCK OPERA Musical autobiography of the daredevil, by Jef Bek. BOOTLEG THEATER, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (213) 381-7118 or www.ekrockopera.com.

THE GAS HOUSE Ex-celebrity shock jock deals with life after radio, in William Donnelly’s play. SACRED FOOLS THEATER, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd.; opens Tues., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; perfs Tues.-Wed. & Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 31. (310) 281-8337.

GOBLIN MARKET Polly Pen and Peggy Harmon’s musical about Victorian sisters transported to a world of goblins. GTC BURBANK, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 20 (added perfs Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11 & 18, 8 p.m.). (800) 838-3006.

I KILLED PANCHO VILLA Ruben Amavizca Murua’s retelling of the Mexican Revolutionary general’s final days. FRIDA KAHLO THEATER, 2332 W. Fourth St., L.A.; opens Thurs., Sept. 27, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (213) 382-8133.

THE MALTESE FALCON Dashiell Hammett’s thriller, adapted by Helen Borgers. RICHARD GOAD THEATRE, 4250 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (562) 997-1494.

MARIA LA O Lyrical opera about a Cuban mulatta, by Ernesto Lecuona. ALEX THEATRE, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; then, at TEATRO CARMEN ZAPATA, 421 N. Avenue 19, L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (818) 243-2539 or www.alextheatre.com.

MUST DON’T WHIP ’UM Cynthia Hopkins’ “swirling tapestry of music, theater, video and dance” that “blurs lines between confession and performance, concert and play, memory and creation.” REDCAT, W. Second & Hope sts., dwntwn.; Wed.-Sat., Sept. 26-29, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 30, 7 p.m. (213) 237-2800 or www.gloriadeluxe.com.

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Rupert Holmes' musical comedy based on Charles Dickens' unfinished story. SACRED FOOLS THEATER, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd.; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (310) 281-8337.

NEVAH-EH: Prince of Black Angels Epic fantasy musical, by Lonnie L. Henderson. STELLA ADLER THEATRE, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (310) 712-3995 or www.neva-eh.com.

SPRING AWAKENING Frank Wedekind’s 1890 tragicomedy about adolescent sexual longing. CHANDLER STUDIO, 12443 Chandler Blvd., Valley Village; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (310) 869-7546.

SUBURBIA Slackers hang out, in Eric Bogosian’s suburban satire. WHITMORE-LINDLEY THEATRE CENTER, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; opens Fri., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (818) 728-1693 or www.myspace.com/suburbianorthhollywood.

THIS LIME TREE BOWER Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s dark yarn. ODYSSEY THEATRE, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 4 (added perfs Oct. 3, 10, 17 & 24, 8 p.m.; Sun. perfs Oct. 7 & Nov. 4, 7 p.m.). (310) 477-2055.

 

TWELFTH NIGHT HAYWORTH THEATER, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; opens Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 20. (323) 960-1054.

Larger Theaters

Reviews by Paul Birchall, Lovell Estell III, Mayank Keshaviah, Deborah Klugman, Steven Mikulan, Steven Leigh Morris, Amy Nicholson, Tom Provenzano and Neal Weaver.

THE ADDING MACHINE Elmer Rice’s 1923 play about an accountant laid off after his company buys an adding machine. LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE, 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla; Tues.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (858) 550-1010.

ART Yasmina Reza’s examination of art and friendship, translated by Christopher Hampton. LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 14 (added perfs Sept. 27, 2 p.m., & Oct. 7, 7 p.m.). (949) 497-2787.

AVENUE Q Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s amiable and witty Tony Award–winning musical is a romantic satire about a colony of mostly unemployed NYC liberal-arts college grads, in search of a purpose. Several but not all characters come in the form of stick puppets (by Rick Lyon) — who masturbate, copulate, perform oral sex and say “pussy.” Some of the songs are pleasingly bittersweet (“It’s a fine, fine line/Between love and a waste of time”). For all its virtues of cleverness and invention, however, Avenue Q turns both wispy and sentimental, betraying its quasi-pornographic defiance. AHMANSON THEATRE, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (213) 628-2772. (SLM)

BLACK WATCH The National Theatre of Scotland performs Gregory Burke’s work based on interviews with soldiers in Iraq. UCLA FREUD PLAYHOUSE, Macgowan Hall, Wstwd.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (310) 825-2101.

BLITHE SPIRIT Noel Coward’s comedy about a socialite haunted by a ghost. WILL GEER THEATRICUM BOTANICUM, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; schedule varies, call for info; thru Sept. 29. (310) 455-3723 or www.­theatricum.com.

GO CALLING APHRODITE See New Reviews.

CAMELOT Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s King Arthur tale. ROYCE HALL, UCLA, Wstwd.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (213) 365-3500 or www.­UCLALive.org.

CLAY Matt Sax’s hip-hop solo show. KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 14 (no perfs Oct. 2-5). (213) 628-2772.

GO CORTEO Daniele Finzi Pasca’s creation for Cirque du Soleil features 61 aerialists, tightrope walkers, dwarfs and clowns spinning out a circus act of jaw-dropping visual beauty and physical precision around a clown (Jeff Raz), who imagines his own death and funeral procession. With Martin Labrecque’s ethereally beautiful lighting design, this is as close a depiction of a dream as you’re likely to find in the theater. Most of the clowning falls flat, and Act 2 concentrates on the Olympian gymnasts. Under the Grand Chapiteau in the parking lot of THE FORUM, 3900 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood; Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 5 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (800) 678-5440. (SLM)

GO DRACULA Live bats and a gigantic summer moon are co-stars in director Ellen Geer’s assured and imaginative outdoor staging of her adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel. The woodsy Theatricum Botanicum theater space provides a perfectly atmospheric, ghost story–like backdrop, particularly the hillside set, decorated with shadowy gravestones. The performers address the histrionic material with indelible commitment, rendering even the most bizarre situations with ironic humor and a genuine horror. WILL GEER THEATRICUM BOTANICUM, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 29. (310) 455-3723. (PB)

DURANGO Julia Cho’s Korean-American road trip. DAVID HENRY HWANG THEATER, Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (213) 625-7000.

LEAP See New Reviews.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Stephen Sondheim’s musical, book by Hugh Wheeler, based on Ingmar Bergman’s film. SOUTH COAST REPERTORY, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; schedule varies, call for info; thru Oct. 7. (714) 708-5555.

 GO THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES Missy, Suzy, Betty Jean and Cindy Lou (Kim Huber, Bets Malone, Julie Dixon Jackson and Kirsten Chandler) are pleased as punch to entertain at their senior-class prom. As it’s 1958, tonight’s track list is pure bubblegum, 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. EL PORTAL THEATRE, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (888) 505-7469. (AN)

medEia Dood Paard’s postmodern take on the Greek tragedy of Medea. MACGOWAN LITTLE THEATER, UCLA, Wstwd.; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 21-22, 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 23, 7 p.m. (310) 825-2101 or www.UCLALive.org.

 

GO A MATTER OF HONOR In 1880, Johnson Whittaker, the second African-American admitted to West Point, was ferociously assaulted while asleep in his quarters. The incident made headlines, rattled the corridors of power, and was “thoroughly” investigated by the U.S. Army. Michael Chepiga’s extended one-act drama revisits this incident in a manner that is artful and compelling. Scott Schwartz’s insightful direction is complemented by superb performances: Cedric Saunders is a revelation as Whittaker, while Doyle’s Schofield is a study in inner turmoil and conflict. PASADENA PLAYHOUSE, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (626) 356-PLAY. (LE3)

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Rupert Holmes’ Victorian musical madness. THOUSAND OAKS CIVIC ARTS PLAZA, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; Sun., Sept. 23, 3 p.m. (805) 449-2775.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM WILL GEER THEATRICUM BOTANICUM, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; schedule varies, call for info; thru Sept. 30. (310) 455-3723 or www.­theatricum.com.

THE TEMPEST WILL GEER THEATRICUM BOTANICUM, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (310) 455-3723 or www.­theatricum.com.

THIRD Wendy Wasserstein’s hypocrisy tale of a New England university professor. GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Wstwd.; Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 208-5454 or www.­geffenplayhouse.com.

GO TUG OF WAR Meryl Friedman has directed, adapted and choreographed Plautus’ Rudens, here named Tug of War (in Amy Richlin’s translation, which floats like silk), with rollicking good cheer, crisp physical precision and Friedman’s own songs. The plot concerns a “virgin” (Cortney Wright), whose marriage to a narcissist (Albert Meijer, playing a hot-tempered, “flaming” Spaniard) gets sabotaged by the efforts of a pimp (Antoine Reynaldo Diel) to sell the virgin into slavery. Friedman’s irony-laced adaptation is a deceptively airy mingling of gender relations with themes of human bondage. GETTY VILLA, 17895 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 29. (310) 440-7300. (SLM)

TWELFTH NIGHT THE GLOBE IN TOPANGA, 1909 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat.-Sun., 5 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 455-9400.

GO WICKED In this musical riff on the witches of Oz (by Stephen Schwarz 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. PANTAGES THEATER, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6:30 p.m.; indef. (213) 365-3500. (SLM)

Smaller Theaters

Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown

AFTER JULIET By Sharman Macdonald. THE COMPLEX, 6470 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 440-0673.

GO BAD SEED Director-performer Danny Schmitz’s low-tech remake of Maxwell Anderson’s 1954 Broadway play about a psychopathic 8-year-old tyke traffics in such high camp that Schmitz positions a gymnast-dramaturge (Kyle Blitch) — script in hand — on top of the living-room fridge. From that height, like a referee, he throws down a white tissue whenever the uproarious cast veers off text. Most surprising is how every syllable of the ludicrous exposition is word perfect. Except for a few slack bits, the audience is kept laughing to the risk of asphyxiation. Buzzworks Theatre Company at the LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Aug. 25. (323) 960-5563. (AN)

THE BATTLE OF WOUNDED ME Heather Le Roy’s autobiographical solo show, about her family of “Native American, Baptist preachin’, moonshine drinkin’, Alabama hillbillies.” HUDSON GUILD THEATER, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 19. (323) 960-1056.

BURN THIS Lanford Wilson’s romantic drama about young New York artists. 2100 SQUARE FEET, 5615 San Vicente Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 960-4420.

GO BUTTERFLIES OF UGANDA See Stage feature.

GO THE COMPLICATIONS OF PURCHASING A POODLE PILLOW The brilliance of Mary Lynn Rajskub’s standup act stems from a kind of bewildered, inarticulate persona who goes off on digressions and deliberately neglects to finish stories. The disarray is a con; by show’s end, it all adds up. Because of Chloe — her character on Fox’s 24 — she says she was invited to a counterterrorism panel hosted by Rush Limbaugh, who, in a moment of introduction, accidentally kissed her on the lips. After rumors of their affair spread around the country, she says she e-mailed Limbaugh, asking for a date — the response was blistering. STEVE ALLEN THEATER at the Center for Inquiry–West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., 8 p.m.; indef (no perfs first Sun. of the month). (800) 595-4TIX. (SLM)

 

CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY Steven Fales’ one-man play about a Utah gay man turned New York City call boy. ELEPHANT THEATER, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 960-4446.

GO DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA I’m not ­really a fan of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, John Patrick Shanley’s 1984 “Apache dance” for two actors. A richly textured examination of generic emotions, it’s been done here so often because it offers a showcase for a man and woman who meet in a Bronx bar to play the walking wounded from the lower depths, slide into a moonlit fantasy of love and marriage in her modest bedroom, and then wake to find themselves in a wrestling match with that same fantasy. But as actors Deborah Dir and Daniel De Weldon play out Shanley’s Apache dance with scrupulous honesty and attention to the details of blackened knuckles and bruised pasts, we see the art and craft of being, the sacred authenticity of it in a world of fakery. ELEPHANT PERFORMANCE LAB, 1076 N. Lillian Way, Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 6. (323) 960-7753. (SLM)

DEAD BRIDE RUNNING See New Reviews.

FOOTSTEPS Roger Rodd’s solo show traces his abortive decadeslong quest for professional gridiron glory. Outfitted in full game-time regalia, Rodd begins with the somber, cryptic statement that “December 28, 1984, was the day I died.” Bracketed with silence, the moment immediately commands attention. But as the narrative progresses, the dramatic impact steadily dissipates. Devoid of continuity and compelling content, Rodd’s show, with its intriguing concept, still needs a lot of attention. Michael Kearns directs. THE HAYWORTH THEATRE, 2509 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (323) 960-5772. (LE3)

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW John Patrick Shanley’s exploration of art and women. McCADDEN PLACE THEATER, 1157 N. McCadden Pl., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (818) 765-8732.

GO GIRL, 20 See New Reviews.

GO GROUNDLINGS YEARBOOK Director Deanna Oliver returns the Groundlings to the classic, irreverent content, creative élan and manic energy that put this house on the map. The sketches all yield laughs; even the customarily hit-and-miss improv segments deliver the goods. Complementing the material is a skilled cast of comics who are as funny as they are relaxed onstage. For example, “Yanni” features a befuddled and mustachioed Andrew Friedman as a flamboyant Greek composer struggling desperately to get it right for a PSA on behalf of victims of multiple sclerosis. GROUNDLINGS THEATRE, 7307 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 & 10 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (323) 934-9700. (LE3)

GO HAIR See New Reviews.

GO HAVANA BOURGEOIS Politics is “just a bunch of old rich white men fighting over money,” proclaims Manuel (Theodore Borders), the Afro-Cuban errand boy at an advertising agency in 1958 Havana. The statement portends the communist revolution, which slowly but surely transforms the life of each employee in the agency’s art department during the course of Carlos Lacámara’s play. Despite the at times heavy and political nature of the drama, humor undercuts the tension. Director Jon Lawrence Rivera brings to life the well-delineated characters of Lacámara. A Fixed Mark Production at THE HAYWORTH THEATRE, 2509 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (213) 389-9680. (MK)

GO HEADS EM Lewis’ intense drama portrays the nightmare of four Western hostages in Iraq. American engineer Harold Wolfe (James Eckhouse) has been held in isolation for six months when Caroline (Beth Broderick), a British Embassy employee, is tossed into his tiny, dank holding cell, gagged and blindfolded. Meanwhile, in a neighboring cubicle, two journalists (Jeremy Gabriel and J. Richey Nash) clash over whether to attempt an escape. Under Darin Antony’s direction, the question of who we are beneath our posturing lands with such force, it jangles the nerves long after the play has ended. THE BLANK THEATRE, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 661-9827. (DK)

HENRY V All-female production of Shakespeare’s history play. THE NEXT STAGE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Fri., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 5. (323) 874-8630.

GO THE IDIOTS Somewhere between the insanity of Monty Python, the cynicism of Penn and Teller, and the stupidity of the Three Stooges exists this bizarre comedy by writer-performers Craig Anton and Ron Lynch. The conceit framing their wild physical and verbal antics is the reunion of two rivals — respectively the sons of Watson and Crick, who discovered DNA. With the appearance of a guest comic, the hour show flies by with humor and even some human insight and pathos beneath the Idiots’ smug stupidity, a sadness that stems from their emotional slavery to their much smarter and famous fathers. STEVE ALLEN THEATER at the Center for Inquiry–West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; last Thurs. of the month, 8 p.m.; indef. (800) 595-4TIX. (TP)

 

GO INVASION! THE MUSICAL After a mysterious light appears in the sky, the inhabitants of Tucker County, New Mexico, panic and demand answers from Sheriff Brewster (Will Harris), a potbellied mountain of a man who loves liquor and X-rated jokes. Things get stranger when old man Fletcher (Ben Giroux) turns up without genitals, walking like a zombie and chanting the names of menu items from a Mexican restaurant. Playwright-director Aaron Matijasic’s book and lyrics leave no ethnic group unskewered, and the fine ensemble’s physical comedy stays at just the right pitch. HUDSON BACKSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 960-7612. (LE3)

JIM MORRISON: Swimming to the Moon Gary Flaxman’s story of the rock star's life. ART/WORKS THEATRE, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-4412.

JOURNEY TO DOLLYWOOD Jessie McCormack’s play about a waitress who idolizes Dolly Parton. MATRIX THEATRE, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 960-4418.

JULIUS CAESAR KNIGHTSBRIDGE THEATER, 1944 Riverside Dr., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (323) 667-0955.

GO JUNK: A ROCK OPERA Scandinavian band Brainpool’s decade-plus career ranges from sugary pop to this anticorporate musical that draws on influences as varied as ELO, Meatloaf, Madame Butterfly and Michael Moore. At the headquarters of Junk Inc. (a fascist conglomerate with a tabloid and nightclub), the office drones live in ecstatic fear of The Man, who struts around in Lucifer’s red suit and preys on their self-esteem. The winsome, fanciful music overwhelms the lyrics and plot, which seems to be that diva Martina has big ambitions, but her boyfriend Hanes keeps singing about quitting Junk to work with his hands. The large ensemble invests in the show’s simplistic, agreeable politics with passion, whirling around in neon brights to director Shakina Nayfack and co-choreographer Raime Becker’s mash of moves that recall capoeria, cheerleading and, of course, marionettes. LYRIC THEATRE, 520 N. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (AN)

GO IT’S JUST SEX Writer-director Jeff Gould’s clever comedy relies on the familiar device of a dangerous party game to send its plot spinning, but that familiarity turns provocative and surprisingly enlightening. When Joan (Carolyn Hennesy) finds her husband, Phil (Eric Lutes), in flagrante with a hooker (Tiffany Ellen Solano) in their living room, she’s doubly furious because she’s expecting guests for a party. Gould steers his terrific cast with an unerring eye, and designer Gary Guidinger provides the handsome set. ZEPHYR THEATRE, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 960-7721. (NW)

THE LARK This production of Jean Anouilh’s play about Joan of Arc, translated by Lillian Hellman and directed by Robert Craig, is well done. Amanda Karr is an eloquent, spunky Joan, and the clerical forces lined up to destroy her are forcibly presented. The play shows a barbarous assault by a horde of self-righteous Catholics on a naive girl, who, if a man, would surely have been hailed as a hero. Brian Reindel’s set, Vicki Conrad’s costumes and Mike Mahaffey’s fight choreography are all first-rate. The play sounded fresh in 1953, but in a new century of shorter attention spans, it drowns in verbosity. KNIGHTSBRIDGE THEATRE, 1944 Riverside Dr., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; indef. (323) 667-0955. (NW)

THE MAGIC STRING Egomaniacal would-be writer Cody (Eric Patton) is more inclined to harangues than normal conversation. His self-obsession and logorrhea drive away his roommate (Ron Moon) in Scene 1. His therapist (Cynthia Haagens) tells him his blockage is due to selfishness, and urges him to live for others. He obediently complies by adopting Arnold (Isaac Wade), an obsessive-compulsive carpet-sweeper salesman addicted to marathon apologies. After too many jumpy scenes about Cody’s literary constipation, playwright/director Nicole Hoelle engineers an arbitrary happy ending. THE TRE SPACE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs., 8 p.m., thru Sept. 27. (323) 243-5051. (NW)

MODELOGUES Writer-director Sarah Happel’s evening of sketches and monologues inspired by her stint as a fashion model skewers the love-hate relationship between the “beautiful” and the short and plain, who slander their rivals as “skinny bitches” and then copy their cucumber diets. Happel’s funny and enthusiastic ensemble vogue and preen their way through behind-the-scenes revelations: models are dumb, stage moms are pushy, designers are insufferable queens, and agents and casting agents are villainous. DORIE THEATER AT THE COMPLEX, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (323) 960-4424. (AN)

 

GO LA OFRENDA (THE OFFERING) Mix a TV afterschool-special plotline with magic realism and you get writer-director José Casas’ melodramatic yet tender tale of family reconciliation. When Marta Torres (Miriam Moses) loses her only daughter in the 9/11 attacks, she takes her grandson, Alex (V. Rodriguez), into her East L.A. home. Grief-stricken, homesick and angry, Alex spurns Marta’s attempts at consolation as the Mexican Day of the Dead approaches. Despite thinly drawn characters and stilted staging, Casas’ deft blend of humor and pathos saves the day. CASA 0101, 2009 E. First St., Boyle Heights; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. Note: no perf Sept. 22. (323) 263-7684. (MH)

ONE FLEW WEST Taking its title from the same children’s folk rhyme as its source material (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Josephine Schekert’s world-premiere “thrance” (a cross between theater and dance) adapts the story from a mental asylum, but with a cross-gender twist. Under Jessica Schroeder’s direction the performance doesn’t pick up until near the end of Act 1, and the few emotionally charged scenes can be attributed to the source material. The Outlaw Style Thrance Co. at STUDIO STAGE, 520 N. Western Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 860-6503. (MK)

OUT OF YOUR MIND! Theatergoers sip wine at a tasteful private home until a pushy assistant director (Patrick Censoplano) announces the first of Steven Kane’s two short plays, In the Night of the Bed. The man (Andrew Macbeth) claims to be an extra, only this isn’t a movie, but Molly’s (Kelly Anne Ford) dream, and the rest of the cast are the regrets and pains she revisits every night. Less pat and engaging is Rhinovirus, a chipper sci-fi saga set in a future New New York where pain, suffering and disease have been criminalized. Under Jane Lanier’s direction, the staging is intimate, but the acting is as broad as the Grand Canyon. GuerriLA Theatre at a PRIVATE RESIDENCE, 2806 Nichols Canyon Place, L.A.; schedule varies, call for info; thru Dec. 8. (818) 972-2467. (AN)

PAINTED ALICE William Donnelly’s study of art versus commerce. ELEPHANT THEATER, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (323) 960-1057.

PIRATES AND NINJAS: An Extravagant Adventure A gymnastic theatricality weaves three one-acts into a clown show with live music — all spun from comic book/video game depictions of . . . you guessed it (if not, go back to the title). Writer-director Maria DeLuca’s “Pirates & Ninjians” and Eva Anderson’s metaliterary romp, “The Orb of the Seven Dragons” (directed by DeLuca), are whimsical etudes in search of a purpose. But in writer-director Lissa Sherman’s “Pirates and Ninjas,” the parallel lives of a Pirate (Daniel Gallai) and a “faceless” Ninja (Aly Mawji), living across the hall in rented rooms, play themselves out in mostly nonverbal clowning with vivacious hilarity. The Blue House Theater Co. & Big Mama Farm Productions at THEATRE OF NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (866) 219-4944. (SLM)

RANDOM SHARP OBJECTS Two crazy mixed-up women: Esther Friedman and Hali Morell. WORKING STAGE THEATER, 1516 N. Gardner St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 19. (323) 851-2603 or www.workingstage.com.

RESTING IN PIECES Sam Bobrick’s wacky funeral comedy. THEATRE 68, 5419 Sunset Blvd., Suite D, Hlywd.; perfs Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 4. (323) 960-7827.

RUMOURS OF OUR DEATH The allegory for our political society concocted by playwright George F. Walker may be too literal, but its wackiness liberates producer-director Michele Lainevool’s zippy production from this venue’s claustrophobic confines. When the King (the commanding Stone Van Gorder) leads the country into an imminent war, the common people, already struggling to make a livelihood, are forced to pay the Princess’ ransom to terrorists. At least Walker’s dialogue is thought-provoking, and the production contains some high points. Ethos Theatre Company at TRES STAGE THEATRE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 15. www.theatrehollywood.com. (Sophia Kercher)

SKIN OF HONEY See New Reviews.

GO SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED Creating a new, Sondheim-style musical every week is daunting. Yet an outstanding cast, under Dan O’Connor and Michele Spears’ direction, clearly understand the form they are spoofing and have the vocal power to sustain it. One hopes in the future that one of the suggestions they ask for is a time period, lest every evening turn into a redux of Company. Also, it’s nearly impossible to instantly invent Sondheim’s elaborate rhyme schemes. Fortunately, however, they have a powerful ally in musical director-accompanist Allen Simpson. Impro Theatre at THEATRE/THEATER, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Thurs., 8:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 11. (323) 401-6162. (TP)

 

A SONG FOR VANYA Robin Eschner, Bret Martin and John Shillington’s musical version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. THEATRE/THEATER, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 6. (323) 954-9795.

SPOOK NIGHT In Faye Griffin’s look at a disparate group of African-American standups, the setting is “Urban Night” at a rundown comedy club, where a TV casting scout will be searching for talent. Griffin, who also directs, doesn’t exactly pull punches but subordinates her story’s debates to a melodramatic plot involving two estranged brothers, Benjamin and Goody (Antonio D. Charity and Kerie W. Edmead, respectively). While the duo embody opposing views of black participation in mainstream entertainment, their opinions get lost — or worse, reconciled — in an overheated and unpersuasive climax. LILLIAN THEATRE, 1076 Lillian Way, Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (323) 960-4443. (SM)

SYLVIA A.R. Gurney’s comedy about a man, his wife and his dog. META THEATER, 7801 Melrose Ave., L.A.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 993-7113.

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T SAY PAST MIDNIGHT Peter Ackerman’s “comedy in three beds.” LYRIC-HYPERION THEATER, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; perfs Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 27. (323) 906-2500.

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., mid.; indef. (323) 960-7785.

TWELFTH NIGHT RUBY THEATER AT THE COMPLEX, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. www.complexhollywood.com.

GO ZANNA DON’T There’s something strange about a gay-friendly musical in which the characters are homosexuals at the beginning, but magically turn straight by the end. Is this lurking gay self-hatred, or perhaps a crossover ­strategy? Writer-composer Tim Acito (with additional material by Alexander Dinelaris) has created a clever, fast-­moving show that relies more on charm than logic. Director Nick DeGruccio shepherds a young cast through a crowd-pleasing romp. Musical direction, choreography and technical credits are all top-notch. West Coast Ensemble at the LYRIC-HYPERION THEATRE, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m.; indef. (323) 906-2500. (NW)

The Valleys

#*@$$$%!!! EMOTIONAL GARAGE SALE Jacqi Bow’s one-woman show “about letting go.” ACTORS GROUP THEATRE, 4378 Lankershim Blvd., Universal City; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 5. (310) 729-7646.

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN Adaptation of Robert Fulghum’s inspirational best-seller, musical direction by Daniel Gary Busby. WHITEFIRE THEATRE, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 7. (818) 990-2324 or www.plays411.com.

AND NEITHER HAVE I WINGS TO FLY Ann Noble’s Irish wedding drama. ROAD THEATRE COMPANY, Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 N. Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (866) 811-4111.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Joseph Kesselring’s comedy about lethal spinsters. LONNY CHAPMAN GROUP REPERTORY THEATRE, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (818) 700-4878 or www.­lcgrt.com.

GO CESAR & RUBEN Most of Ed Begley’s spirited musical tribute to labor activist Cesar Chavez (Danny Bolero) and L.A. Times labor reporter Ruben Salazar (Mauricio Mendoza) essays Chavez’s story. In Act 2, we learn of Salazar’s tragic shooting by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy at a 1970 Vietnam War protest. For the sake of balance and the underlying reasons that these two men meet, more needs to be dramatized about the Latino journalist. Under Begley’s smart direction, Bolero and Mendoza are rock solid, and the lives of their characters unfold with compelling interest. NOHO ARTS CENTER, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (818) 508-7101. (LE3)

GO THE COMPOUND DOG Ready to submit his postgraduate thesis project, Steve (Daniel Getzoff) is taken aback when his faculty advisers from the San Fernando Valley Life Studies Institute insist that the thesis be performed as a play. Steve’s thesis/play concerns the story of “Magic Pete,” owner of a litter of pups with alleged supernatural powers. While the story of Pete and his dogs is as hokey as the institute itself, playwright Haynes Brooke’s innovative comedy is consistently amusing. Director Kiff Scholl moves the action briskly and with hilariously awful choreography. ECLECTIC COMPANY THEATRE, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (818) 508-3003. (SR)

CONFESSIONS OF A CATHOLIC CHILD In Elizabeth Appell’s melodrama, 70-something Regina (Sandra Lafferty) lives tormented by recollections of abortion, adultery and a shattered marriage. Her suicidal thoughts are interrupted by ghosts from the past and the fantastical apparition of a pleasure-loving, free-will-spouting Pope (Paul Strolli). Directed by Lauren McCormack, the piece stumbles on Lafferty’s too-deliberate performance but comes vividly to life around Kinberly Atkinson’s vivacious, fun-loving phantom from the past. Virtual Theatre Project at DEAF WEST THEATRE, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (323) 663-0112. (DK)

 

DANCE OF THE LEMONS In her solo show, Karen Kay Woods flies through her saga as a substitute music teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Perky and with blond curls, Woods has a kind of dimpled can-do charm in the face of a charmless bureacracy. Under the direction of Ann Starbuck, who helped create and develop the piece, one wishes Woods would occasionally take a breath, not only for the sake of allowing acting moments to settle in, but a philosophical breath that would reveal some change of heart rather than merely a change of career. MADRID THEATER, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park; Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m. Then at PAUL E. RICHARDS’ THEATRE PLACE, 2902 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (818) 705-8758. (SLM)

DEEP TISSUE COMEDY RELEASE New late-night sketch show. SECRET ROSE THEATER, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; thru Oct. 12. (323) 769-5858.

DYNAMITE KABLAMMO! Zombie Joe presents an all-new hour of comedy. ZJU THEATER GROUP, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 29. (818) 202-4120.

GO ECCENTRIC Ernest Hemmings’ gruesomely funny play is a cynicism-fest about promiscuity and marital frustration. The Winkermans (James Thomas Gilbert and Rachel Sorsa Khoury) are a caustic pair — highly sexual and bitterly acidic with each other. The solution to their woes, they believe, is to bring in another woman to spice things up. David L. Stewart’s smart, focused direction captures the play’s every nasty moment, resulting in a hilarious evening that makes one feel a bit dirty for having enjoyed it. RIPRAP STUDIO THEATRE, 5755 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 29. (818) 990-7498. (TP)

THE FABULOUS DIVAS OF BROADWAY Alan Palmer portrays 18 of Broadway’s leading ladies. OPEN STAGE WEST, 14366 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; indef. (323) 259-5713 or www.­berlique.com.

THE GINGERBREAD LADY Neil Simon’s dramatic comedy about a post-rehab cabaret singer. SIERRA MADRE PLAYHOUSE, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (626) 256-3809.

I WAS A TEENAGE HOMO See New Reviews.

KING OF THE CITY: An Evening With Al Capone Robert Gallo’s one-man show. LONNY CHAPMAN GROUP REPERTORY THEATRE, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (818) 700-4878 or www.lcgrt.com.

LIZARD THEATER COMEDY FESTIVAL LIZARD THEATER, 230 W. Main St., Alhambra; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 10 (no perfs Oct. 12-13). (626) 403-1177 or www.lizardtheater.com.

GO LUCY & THE WOLF When needy Lucy (Tara Hunnewell) returns home after work, she cuts through a dark alley and comes upon Johnny Wolfe (Scott Conte), preparing to blow his brains out. The chemistry between them is intense, and suddenly they’re having violently satisfying sex. He’s apparently a hit man, but Lucy marries him anyway. Act 2 reveals how the first act was merely a performance, and the two characters are actors appearing in a small not-for-profit theater. The play, written and directed by Stefan Marks, is strange and intriguing; Hunnewell and Conte are terrific. TWO ROADS THEATRE, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 23 & 30, 7 p.m.; thru Sept. 30. (888) 210-3649. (NW)

GO THE MISANTHROPE Writer Martin Crimp’s diabolically funny adaptation of Molière’s classic transposes the action from the 17th-century French court to contemporary London’s celebrity stage. Alceste (Nick Cagle), the play’s pivotal character, is a British playwright who hates people and society. Written in verse and as witty and wickedly mocking as the original, the play parodies many of our own cultural icons, from David Hare to Steven Spielberg. John DeMita directs a strong ensemble that includes Dakin Matthews as a talentless critic who’s written a pointless play. NEW PLACE THEATRE, 10950 Peach Grove St., N. Hlywd.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (866) 811-4111. (DK)

THE PING PONG PLAYERS/HELLO OUT THERE William Saroyan’s one-acts both turn on the emotional intricacies between a man and a woman (Alex Kalognomos and Karine Chakarian, who are featured in both plays). The better known Hello Out There is a naturalistic melodrama about a young drifter jailed in a small Texas town on a false rape charge, and his bond with the jailhouse’s smitten 17-year-old female cook. A more obscure, absurdist work, The Ping Pong Players, is about an estranged married couple who filter their insecurities through cryptic parlance over endless games of pingpong. Both plays are stage-worthy explorations of loneliness and isolation, under Tamar Hovannisian’s direction. LUNA PLAYHOUSE, 3706 San Fernando Rd., Glendale; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (818) 500-7200. (DK)

 

THE ROOT Greed is the vice in Gary Richards’ drama. ARK THEATER COMPANY, 1647 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 969-1707.

THE SPOT Danny LeGare’s coming-of-age dramedy set in a bar. THE BANSHEE (FORMERLY THE GENE BUA THEATRE), 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 22. (818) 761-6551.

GO SUFFRAGETTE KOANS See New Reviews.

Westside, Beaches

GO GULLIVER’S TRAVELS Joshua Zeller’s bawdy, scatological adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s political satire rockets by, yet loses none of its Augustan bite. Lemuel Gulliver (the likable Keythe Farley) is the ship surgeon who voyages to four “remote nations of the world,” finding, along the way, increasingly unflattering reflections of contemporary human behavior. Zeller’s telling of the classic only rarely strains to draw direct parallels with the 21st century, but by evening’s end, we don’t feel some sense of a larger story. P. Adam Walsh directs the enthusiastic ensemble. Actors’ Gang at the IVY SUBSTATION THEATER, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (310) 838-4264. (SM)

GO THE HASTY HEART In John Patrick’s sentimental play, produced on Broadway in 1945, director Michael Rothhaar offers such a restrained yet detailed staging, the three acts move swiftly. In a British army hospital in Burma during World War II, Yank (Keith Stevenson), Digger (Nathan Mobley), Kiwi (Michael Balsley) and Tommy (Ron E. Dickinson) cheerfully endure tropical heat and slow recoveries until the arrival of Lachy (the excellent Scott Jackson), a laconic, grumpy Scot. Only hard hearts will be able to resist the playwright’s belief in the redemptive power of friendship. PACIFIC RESIDENT THEATER, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 14. (310) 822-8392. (David Mermelstein)

PRIVATE LIVES Noel Coward's comedy about exes honeymooning in the same hotel. LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Sept. 29 (added perf Sept. 23, 2 p.m.). (562) 494-1014.

GO QUARTET German Heiner Müller’s adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ 18th-century novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a dense and poetical sequence of arias and dialogues spoken by two characters (Troy Dunn and Sharon Gardner), terrified of aging and playing out a jealousy duet. Set against the sky-blue backdrop of Charles A. Duncombe’s elegant production design, director Frederique Michel’s spectacle is as beautiful to watch as it is to hear. Michel’s overlay of Kabuki formalization helps elevate the lusty melodrama from a poem about the meaning of sex to one about the meaning of life. CITY GARAGE, 1340½ (alley) Fourth St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m.; thru Sept. 23. (310) 319-9939. (SLM)

SYLVIE See New Reviews.

WATERMELON: Git It While It’s Hot! CeCe Antionette’s semiautobiographical one-woman show. FOUND THEATER, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., Sept. 21-22, 8 p.m. (562) 433-3363.

Special Events

DANCING QUEEN Cabaret dinner theater history of the Queen Mary cruise liner. Aboard the QUEEN MARY, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (562) 435-3511 or www.tibbiescabaret.com.

MUSICAL REVUE Same-day-created play incorporating songs from three different musicals. CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LDS, 3400 Sawtelle Ave., L.A.; Sat., Sept. 22, 9 p.m.; free. (310) 397-3876.

NO SHAME THEATRE Fifteen scripts go from page to stage an hour before showtime. POWERHOUSE THEATRE, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica; Fri., Sept. 21, 11 p.m. (310) 396-3680.

ONE NIGHT STANDS UPRIGHT! Cabaret presents David Burnham. MARK’S RESTAURANT, 861 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., Sept. 22, 9 p.m. (310) 652-5252 or www.marksrestaurant.com.

SPONTANEOUS FANTASIA J. Walt Adamczyk’s musical-visual-theatrical extravaganza. GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLANETARIUM, 1500 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 6:30 & 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (626) 688-0778 or www.spontaneousfantasia.com.

WHEN DIVAS WERE DIVAS: Remembering . . . Their Lives, Their Way Tribute to Lena Horne, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and Sarah Vaughan. PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY, SMOTHERS THEATRE, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Sat., Sept. 22, 8 p.m. (310) 506-4522 or www.pepperdine.edu/arts.

—Compiled by Derek Thomas

Theater listings are also online at www.laweekly.com/stage.


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