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Theater Listings

Theater Listings

For the week of Oct. 19-25

Opening This Week

ALWAYS . . . BUT NOT FOREVER Hanry Jaglom’s divorce story. EDGEMAR CENTER FOR THE ARTS, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica; opens Fri., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 5:30 p.m.; thru Dec. 9. (310) 392-7327 or www.­edgemarcenter.org.

. . . B4 I WAKE Rock & roll horror tale, by Barry Rowell. THEATRE OF NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Fri., Oct. 19, 11 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 856-8611 or www.theatreofnote.com.

BIRDY Study of the social impact of war, adapted by Naomi Wallace from the novel by William Wharton. LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Fri., Oct. 19, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 472-0200.

CHILDREN OF A LESSER GODDESS Dorothy Spirus’ one-woman comedy. FOUND THEATER, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. (562) 433-3363.

CITY KID, THE MUSICAL Urban musical about a new kid who wants to fit in, book and lyrics by Adrienne Anderson, music by Peter Bunetta and Rick Chudacoff. HUDSON BACKSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 25. (323) 960-7863 or www.citykidthemusical.com.

THE FORTUNE TELLER “Edward Gorey meets Tim Burton” in Erik Santo’s marionette show. UCLA FREUD PLAYHOUSE, Macgowan Hall, Wstwd.; Tues., Oct. 23, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 26, 8 p.m. (310) 825-2101.

¡GAYTINO! Dan Guerrero’s solo show. LOS ANGELES THEATER CENTER, Theater 4, 514 S. Spring St, dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 25, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 28, 3 p.m. (323) 461-3673.

THE ILLUSTRATED MAN Tobias Andersen’s one-man adaptation of Ray Bradbury stories. RUBICON THEATER, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura; Thurs.-Fri, Oct. 25-26, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 27, 2 & 8 p.m. (Part of the Ray Bradbury festival, thru Sun., Oct. 28.) (805) 667-2900.

THE JOLLY ROGER A pair of lawyers, a sexy businesswoman, a cop gone bad and a drug kingpin mix it up in Louis Felder’s play. MET THEATRE, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 957-1152.

KING LEAR/THE SEAGULL The classics by Shakespeare and Chekhov. ROYCE HALL, UCLA, Wstwd.; opens Fri., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.; in rep, call for info; thru Oct. 28. (310) 825-2101 or www.UCLALive.org.

THE LAST SCHWARTZ Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Yarzheit story. ZEPHYR THEATER, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A.; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Dec. 16. (323) 852-9111.

LOUDER! FASTER! FUNNIER! Sketch comedy by 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors. GTC BURBANK, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank; opens Thurs., Oct. 25, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (818) 754-4500.

THE LOVE TALKER Cody Henderson’s thriller about two sisters isolated in the woods versus a sensual, all-powerful entity and his wild-child succubus. HUB THEATER, 5245 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 960-5775 or www.plays411.com/lovetalker.

MAN IN THE BELLY OF A SLAVESHIP (FROM ANGOLA TO ANGOLA) International performance collective Hittite Empire’s view of African-American culture. HIGHWAYS PERFORMANCE SPACE, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 19-20, 8:30 p.m. (310) 315-1459 or www.highwaysperformance.org.

“MASTER HAROLD” . . . AND THE BOYS Athol Fugard’s South Africa story about a white teenager and his black servants. COLONY THEATRE, 555 N. Third St., Burbank; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (818) 558-7000.

THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO Filipino migrant worker falls in love with his pen pal, adapted by Lonnie Carter from the short story by Carlos Bulosan. LOS ANGELES THEATER CENTER, Theater 2, 514 S. Spring St, dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 25-27, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 28, 3 p.m. (323) 461-3673.

SOBRIETY, MATRIMONY AND OTHER ALTERED STATES Belinda Waymouth’s solo show. LOUNGE THEATRE, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; opens Tues., Oct. 23, 8 p.m.; perfs Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 7 (no perf Oct. 31). (310) 986-1953.

SPELLCASTERS One-woman sorceress musicals, Queen Mab’s Mandatory Bridal Shower and The Last Words of Sycorax, by Elise Dewsberry. SECRET ROSE THEATER, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sun., Oct. 21 & 28, 3:30 p.m. (866) 811-4111.

TAKING SIDES Ronald Harwood’s examination of the denazification trial of conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler. SIDEWALK STUDIO THEATRE, 4150 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake; opens Sat., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; perfs Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (800) 838-3006.

TOM, DICK AND HARRY Ray and Michael Cooney’s adoption farce. INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; opens Fri., Oct. 19, 8 p.m.; perfs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (562) 436-4610.

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.

 

 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)

DEAD WRONG Funeral comedy, by Roy Battocchio. LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (562) 494-1014.

THE FORTUNE TELLER Erik Sanko’s macabre marionette spectacle. UCLA FREUD PLAYHOUSE, Macgowan Hall, Wstwd.; schedule varies, call for info; thru Oct. 28. (310) 825-2101.

 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 Nov. 21. (888) 505-7469. (AN)

THE QUALITY OF LIFE See New Reviews.

THIRD Wendy Wasserstein’s final play takes place at a small but classy New England college, where Laurie (Christine Lahti), a tenured and conventionally liberal English professor, develops a visceral dislike of handsome, preppy freshman Woodson Bull III (Matt Czuchry). Wasserstein’s skills lie in crafting characters whose sympathetic interior qualities often offset glaring personality flaws. Here, though, the emotional juxtaposition never quite comes together. GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A. Tues.-Thurs., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 & 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 208-5454. (PB)

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

UGLY COCO Life story of Miss Coco Peru (Clinton Leupp). L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER, RENBERG THEATRE, 1125 N. McCadden Pl., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (323) 860-7300 or www.lagaycenter.org.

WAITING FOR GODOT Better than waiting in line at the DMV, courtesy Samuel Beckett. A NOISE WITHIN, 234 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale; schedule varies, call for info; thru Dec. 12. (818) 240-0910.

WHATEVER SHE WANTS Vivica A. Fox searches for the perfect man. KODAK THEATRE, Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., Oct. 19, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 3 & 8 p.m. (213) 480-3232.

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)

THE WINTER’S TALE Shakespeare’s romance. A NOISE WITHIN, 234 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; thru Dec. 8. (818) 240-0910.

Smaller Theaters

Hollywood, West Hollywood, Downtown

ANON Kate Robin’s story of a man, his cat, and his cat’s therapist. STAGE 52 THEATRE, 5299 W. Washington Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; indef. (800) 413-8669.

ANTHOLOGY VOL. 1 Fourteen one-acts, short plays and monologues, presented over four weekends, by contemporary Latino playwrights. EL GALLO PLAZA THEATER, 4545 Cesar E. Chavez Ave., E.L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (818) 554-8551.

BAGGAGE CLAIM An angry and bitter past must be resolved, in Michael Foley’s play. GARDNER STAGES, 1501 N. Gardner St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (323) 243-1890.

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

GO BUTTERFLIES OF UGANDA Darin Dahms and Soenke C. Weiss’ heartfelt documentary thankfully doesn’t wear its heart on its sleeve. The story unfolds episodically and begins with a Ugandan girl, Mercy (Nana Kagga-Hill), asking her mother, Mary (Alvina Carroll), about her absent father. The mother brings Mercy back in time 17 years, to when Mary herself was barely an adolescent. The complex issues that have driven Uganda’s civil war are, mercifully, dealt with sparingly here. Instead, the playwrights focus on one family’s tragic story. Dahms capably directs a first-rate cast. GREENWAY COURT THEATER, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 655-7679. (SM)

 

CARNIVALE OF THE UNASSUMING Tongue in Chic*ana’s tale of a young woman who wanders into a creepy carnival. CASA 0101, 2009 E. First St., E.L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (323) 263-7684 or www.myspace.com/tongueinchicana.

CHEKHOV MANIA: A RUSSIAN VAUDEVILLE The “Pan-Siberian Touring Co.” brings us three of Chekhov’s broadly comic one-acts (The Marriage Proposal, The Harmful Effects of Tobacco and The Bear — played here as The Boar), complete with vaudevillian interludes and even a dancing bear. The evening is emceed by Yakoff Chekhov (Mike Park), the supposed cousin of Anton, who bears a much stronger similarity to comedian Yakov Smirnoff. Unfortunately, the humor in the plays is so contextual that it is lost on modern audiences, turning comic exchanges into tedious tirades. THE ATTIC THEATRE, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 525-0600. (MK)

CINDERELLA New take on the classic tale, music and lyrics by Lloyd J. Schwartz. THEATRE WEST, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Hlywd.; Sat., 1 p.m.; thru March 29. (818) 761-2203.

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)

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. 20. (323) 960-7753. (SLM)

DEAD BRIDE RUNNING Nothing seems quite right about this comedy, from the title’s untopical film reference to its desperate attempt to find a theme, or even a story. Written by Rick Sparks and Alice Vaughn, it’s about John Jr. (Craig Anton) and Jennifer (Tamara Zook), a Florida couple who, after a year’s chaste courtship, approach their wedding day — only to have Jennifer get cold feet and vanish. The plot’s underlying assumptions are so over-the-top that the story scores no points for either political satire or simple laughter. Theater Mambo at the UNDERGROUND THEATER, 1312 Wilton Pl., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (323) 960-5773. (SM)

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.

EENIE MEANIE Teresa Willis’ one-woman show about “conditioned racism.” OPEN FIST THEATER, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon.-Tues., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 13 (no perf Oct. 23). (323) 882-6912 or www.openfist.org.

GO EVEL KNIEVEL THE ROCK OPERA The titular subject of composer Jef Bek’s muscular musical is the motorcycle daredevil (Chuck DiMaria) who was as iconic to 1970s America as leisure suits and shag carpeting. Bek’s score and libretto (Jay Dover provides additional music and lyrics) captures the period’s adrenalized vocals, though there is a detectable sameness about the numbers, with power ballads overwhelmingly favored over the few down-tempo numbers. Nevertheless, the evening is an appropriately supercharged 90 minutes brought to life by an energetic ensemble. BOOTLEG THEATER, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (213) 381-7118 or www.ekrockopera.com.

 

GO THE FASTEST CLOCK IN THE UNIVERSE 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)

FRIES ON THE SIDE Sketch-comedy show. SANFORD MEISNER CENTER, 5124 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sat., 9:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 20. (818) 509-9651 or www.friesontheside.com.

FULL MOON BLUES Linda Hopkins stars as the owner of an L.A. blues club, in Dwayne F. Alexander’s play. JEWEL’S CATCH ONE, 4067 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.; Sat. & Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (323) 960-1052 or www.plays411.com/fullmoonblues.

THE GAS HOUSE Don Berlin (Marc Jablon) is a third-rate radio shock jock who’s been bounced from his program because of an on-air freak-out. Don’s visited by his poet wife, Adria (Supatra Hanna), from whom he is, he insists, “separated, not divorced.” It’s a tribute to the talent and passion of Jablon and Hanna, and the skill of director Suzanne Karpinsky, that eventually we do care about these people. But it’s hard to grasp why playwright William Donnelly felt this man was worth his trouble — or ours. SACRED FOOLS THEATER COMPANY, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., L.A.; Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 31. www.sacredfools.org. (NW)

GO GIRL, 20 The core of Ellen Fairey’s mesmerizing first play is, strangely enough, a garden-variety love triangle. After composing an erotically charged essay in a writing class, Jade (Rachel Sondag) follows the advice of her professor and enters videotaped counseling sessions at the university. Behind the one-way mirror, a tightly coiled psychology major (Madison Dirks) tries to study Jade, while enduring the distractions of the needy, pot-head film major (Robert Belushi, yes, Jim’s son). Matthew Miller’s cinematic direction, in conjunction with the first-rank ensemble, exposes all three characters’ psychological nooks and crannies with keen insight and compelling tension. Serendipity Theatre Collective at THE HUDSON MAINSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 & 10:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 20. (323) 960-7726. (SLM)

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Real estate agents get their bubble burst, in David Mamet's play. EGYPTIAN ARENA THEATER, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (323) 969-4935.

THE GOD COMMITTEE Mark St. Germain’s hospital debate. CROSSLEY TERRACE THEATRE, 1760 N. Gower St., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Nov. 18 (added perfs Oct. 20 & 27, 2:30 p.m.). (323) 462-8460.

GO HAIR Director-choreographer Bo Crowell could have presented Gerome Ragni, James Rado and Galt MacDermot’s Summer of Love rock & roll gem as a period piece. Instead, he cannily opts for a spiritual take that gives the material an unexpected timelessness. In this 40th-anniversary production, this is Hair by way of Burning Man. Christian Nesmith’s musical direction is perfect — and Crowell’s free-spirited choreography contains an intricate grace. The ensemble’s heartfelt renditions of “Aquarius” and “Let the Sun Shine In” induce the show’s bona fide chills. MET THEATRE, 1089 Oxford Ave., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Dec. 2 (no perf Nov. 22). (323) 960-4442. (PB)

HARVEY FINKLESTEIN’S SOCK PUPPET SHOWGIRLS Although its tinsel-and-posterboard aesthetic looks sweet, Harvey Finklestein and Jimmy McDermott’s all-puppet salute to Joe Eszterhas’ camp classic film Showgirls has enough aggressive sex and double D’s sprouting out of wrists to frighten Lambchop, Elmo and Big Bird back to TV. Oddly, however, there are diminishing returns in trying to satirize the movie’s outré sincerity, and each time one sock calls the other a whore, the joke gets less funny. Harvey Finklestein Productions at THEATRE ASYLUM, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., 11 p.m.; thru Nov. 2. (323)962-0046. (AN)

HEAT & HOSTILITY Gender wars, courtesy playwright Kevin Delin. EL CENTRO THEATRE, 804 N. El Centro Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (323) 960-4484 or www.plays411.com/heatandhostility.

GO HOLLYWOOD HELL HOUSE 2007 Just like in an old-fashioned spook house, audience members travel from room to room while viewing all sorts of scary creatures. But because this script is a compilation of previous works by the Abundant Life Christian Center, the focus is on evangelical horrors: raves, gay people, premarital sex. Compiler Maggie Rowe has retained the heavy-handed didacticism of the original works, while director Jaclyn Lafer has lightened it up, tongue firmly in cheek, with the large cast delivering their message of Christian salvation in complete deadpan. ACAPULCO, 385 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. & every 15 minutes until 11 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 960-7822. (SR)

 

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. 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)

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.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (213) 382-8133.

JIM MORRISON: SWIMMING TO THE MOON Few stars of Rock’s Golden Age had personalities more inscrutable than The Doors’ Jim Morrison. Still, it’s hard to believe that Morrison had much in common with the one-dimensional character depicted in playwright Gary Flaxman’s dreary metaphysical bio-drama. Flaxman’s script is suffused with a commendable affection for Morrison. Yet, the play is also long-winded and static to point of being one lengthy drone — a problem that’s exacerbated by director Judy Rose’s humorless and anemically paced staging. 44th St. Productions LLC at the ART/WORKS THEATRE, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-4412. (PB)

JOURNEY TO DOLLYWOOD See New Reviews

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 LEANING TREE Christmas nears, in J. Michael Ferniany’s family drama. META THEATER, 7801 Melrose Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 666-6453.

LITTLE FISH Suggested by the short stories of Deborah Eisenberg, music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa. THE BLANK THEATRE, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (323) 661-9827 or www.theblank.com.

LITTLE SECRETS Pathological liar torments his college roommate, in Larry Maraviglia’s psychological drama. THE SPACE, 665 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (323) 661-2585.

GO LOST ANGELES See New Reviews.

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 Oct. 25. (323) 243-5051. (NW)

GO MAX MAVEN THINKING IN PERSON Max Maven cuts a figure that could have been carved by Edgar Allen Poe. In much of his solo performance — a magic and mind-reading act — Maven wields his intelligence, erudition and powers of memory over the audience with a blend of self-deprecation and haughtiness. I’m a poor judge of how impressed I should be that, in 20 seconds, Maven could identify the missing card from a full deck of playing cards. I was amazed by how he could remember the names of all five volunteers for a demonstration. Amit Itelman directs with keen attention to the crescendos of suspense. STEVEN ALLEN THEATER, 4773 Hollywood Blvd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (800) 595-4TIX. (SLM)

MIDSUMMER Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, re-imagined with “modern stereotypes.” THE NEXT STAGE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (323) 850-7827 or www.berubians.com.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM WRITE ACT THEATER, 6128 Yucca St., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 469-3113 or www.writeactrep.org.

 

GO THE MILK TRAIN DOESN’T STOP HERE ANYMORE Director Simon Levy and a terrific cast headed by Karen Kondazian do a magnificent job of bringing Tennessee Williams’ 1963 black comedy to life. In a passionate performance, Kondazian plays Flora Goforth, a drug-addled, wealthy widow holed up in an Italian villa. She’s visited by a young man nicknamed The Angel of Death in light of his past visits to aging divas. The production design is as superb as the cast. FOUNTAIN THEATRE, 5060 Fountain Ave.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (323) 663-1525. (Sandra Ross)

MURKY LAKE Jamie Paolinetti’s family drama about a socialite’s return home. ATWATER PLAYHOUSE, 3191 Casitas Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 556-1636 or www.­atwaterplayhouse.com.

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD Rupert Holmes’ musical comedy based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished story. SACRED FOOLS THEATER, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd.; 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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (310) 712-3995 or www.­neva-eh.com.

NUIT OBSCURITE! An evening of Grand Guignol. TRES STAGE THEATRE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Sat.-Sun., 8:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 383-4053.

OLD ACTOR FIGHTS!! Rock Stone’s showbiz satire. ELEPHANT THEATER, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (866) 811-4111.

ONE SOLUTION Researcher discovers a cure for cancer, in Allan Smith’s play. STELLA ADLER THEATRE, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Mon.-Wed., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 7. (323) 465-4446.

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)

GO POINT BREAK LIVE! See New Reviews.

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.

THE ROOM Tycoon Vincent Astor (Shawn MacAulay) establishes a salon for New York’s best and brightest — and the richest — to discuss the Great Issues that are leading up to WWII. This is the sort of drama in which characters sit around holding whiskey glasses, saying, “Ah, that Hitler fellow will never come to power!” Writer-director Michael Franco’s staging is both atmospheric and intimate, yet the pacing flags appallingly midway through and, with the lack of dramatic conflict and suspense, ultimately proves fatal. Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov 18. (323) 882-6912. (PB)

SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR GROUNDLINGS Sketch and improv, directed by Karen Maruyama. GROUNDLING THEATER, 7307 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; thru Jan. 26. (323) 934-9700.

SKIN OF HONEY The Cuban revolution provides the backdrop for Odalys Nanín’s play about lesbian lovers. Two school girls, Amelia and Isabel (Lidiya Korotko and Andrea Rueda) pledge eternal love, but after the brief imprisonment of Amelia’s father (Ray Michaels Quiroga) by Castro, Amelia reluctantly leaves Cuba for Miami with her family. In contrast, Isabel is a Fidelista, who eventually becomes one of Castro’s mistresses. Some of the dialogue is overly didactic, slowing the drama. Flashbacks are smoothly incorporated into the narrative thanks in part to Mia Torres’ clever set design. MACHA THEATRE (formerly The Globe), 1107 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (323) 654-0680. (SR)

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 Circus Theatricals at the HAYWORTH THEATER, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (323) 960-1054.

WILDBOY ’74 Caged kid turns self-help guru, in Eva Anderson’s play. BOOTLEG THEATER, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Mon.-Wed., 8:30 p.m.; thru Nov. 14. (213) 389-3856 or www.bootlegtheater.com.

GO WRECK OF THE UNFATHOMABLE See Theater Pick.

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

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.

THE BLACK CAT Edgar Allan Poe’s horror story. ZJU THEATER GROUP, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (818) 202-4120.

CANNED PEACHES IN SYRUP See Theater feature.

THE CEMETERY CLUB Three Jewish widows visit their departed’s graves, in Ivan Menchell’s play. WEST VALLEY PLAYHOUSE, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (818) 884-1907.

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)

THE 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 to allow 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. (866) 811-4111. (SLM)

DANDELION WINE By Ray Bradbury, based on his novel. FREMONT CENTRE THEATRE, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-4451.

GO DARK PLAY OR STORIES FOR BOYS See New Reviews.

DISPLAYS OF AFFECTIONCarnality by Mark Loewenstern, Riches by Lee Blessing. AVERY SCHREIBER THEATER, 11050 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-5571 or www.plays411.com/affection.

GO THE DRAWER BOY Michael Healy’s moving play, based on the true adventures of a Canadian acting troupe, uses storytelling as its central theatrical conceit, and theme. In 1972, some Toronto actors created a docudrama after living and working with family farmers. Chris Brown directs Healy’s often weighty script (leavened with flashes of bright humor) with a kind of meticulousness that perfectly draws out every moment of frivolity and gravitas. However, he does have a very gifted cast to work with. The physical production elements are superb, particularly Craig Siebels’ simple farmhouse set. NOHO ARTS CENTER, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (818) 508-7101. (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.

GO GOBLIN MARKET Based on a Christina Rossetti poem, composer Polly Pen and writing-lyricist partner Peggy Harmon’s beguiling — if initially impenetrable — operetta is about two Victorian-era sisters (Tami Tappan Damiano and Jennifer Pennington) saddled with social and motherhood responsibilities. A childish singing game transforms them back to a youthful horror as they are enticed by mysterious creatures in the woods. The performances and director Martin Bedoian’s sharp staging make this evening soar. Syzygy Theatre Group at GTC BURBANK, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 20. (800) 838-3006. (TP)

THE GOOD DOCTOR Vignettes by Neil Simon, based on stories from a Russian newspaper. SIERRA MADRE PLAYHOUSE, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (626) 256-3809.

LETTING GO Four-part drama depicting a variety of emotional challenges, by Elisa Dyann and Candice Martin RAVEN PLAYHOUSE, 5233 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (877) 714-7668 or www.­ravenplayhouse.com.

 

LIZARD THEATER COMEDY FESTIVAL LIZARD THEATER, 230 W. Main St., Alhambra; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (626) 403-1177 or www.lizardtheater.com.

LOVE LIKE BLUE Kristen Lazarian’s dark romantic comedy about three couples breaking up and getting it together. WHITEFIRE THEATRE, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Wed.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 15. (818) 759-7669.

LOVE ME DEADLY Matthew Sklar’s mystery, performed as an old-time radio drama. CELTIC ARTS CENTER, 4843 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (818) 760-8322.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING TWO ROADS THEATER, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 960-1053 or www.plays411.com/muchado.

MUSTANG SALLY Teacher has sex with her 13-year-old student, in Linda Felton Steinbaum's drama. WHITEFIRE THEATRE, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (866) 811-4111.

OUT OF THIN AIR: TALES OF A 21ST CENTURY WIZARD Brandon Scott combines stories, magic, mind-reading, music and quantum physics. ACTORS FORUM THEATRE, 10655 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (818) 506-0600.

THE ROOT Playwright Gary Richards sets out to prove the old saw that money is the root of all evil in this oddball crime melodrama involving a Queens gas station. Vinnie (Jon Manfrellotti) is a fundamentally decent guy whose participation in an illegal scheme has cost him his wife, his child and the respect of his father. The result is a comedy melodrama with a quartet of eccentric characters, efficiently staged by Ken Meseroll and acted with verve. ARK THEATRE COMPANY, 1647 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (323) 969-1717. (NW)

SPRING AWAKENING An ambitious production company and dedicated ensemble work with a translation and adaptation (respectively by Francis J. Zeigler and director August Viverito) of Frank Wedekind’s 1906 drama. The play’s main ideas concern the high cost of sexual awakenings among schoolchildren in a sternly moralistic and sexually repressed society. This production may have been inspired by the success of the rock musical adaptation on Broadway. The scale of woe (pregnancies and suicides) is operatic, so that in our age, at least, all that emerges from playing it as realistically as they do here is overwrought melodrama. The Production Company at THE CHANDLER STUDIO THEATRE CENTER, 12443 Chandler Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (310) 880-1016. (SLM)

SUBURBAN SHOWGIRL Palmer Davis’ one-woman, 28-character play. THEATRE UNLIMITED, 10943 Camarillo Ave., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (323) 960-7780 or www.­plays411.com/showgirl.

SUBURBIA Slackers hang out, in Eric Bogosian’s suburban satire. WHITMORE-LINDLEY THEATRE CENTER, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (818) 728-1693 or www.myspace.com/­suburbianorthhollywood.

YOU’RE FROM PHILLY, CHARLIE BROWN! Chris Loprete’s autobiographical solo show. LONNY CHAPMAN GROUP REPERTORY THEATRE, 10900 Burbank Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sat., 2 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 10. (818) 700-4878 or www.lcgrt.com.

Westside, Beaches

ABSOLUTELY HALLOWEEN All-Hallow’s Eve tale, book, music and lyrics by Chris DeCarlo, Evelyn Rudie and Matthew Wrather. SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica; Sat.-Sun., 12:30 & 3:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 394-9779.

ASSASSINS Stephen Sondheim’s presidential assassination musical. NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY, Seventh and Alamitos sts., Long Beach; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Oct. 20 (added perf Oct. 20, 2 p.m.). (562) 985-5526 or www.calrep.org.

GO THE CHICAGO CONSPIRACY TRIAL See New Reviews.

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

CRIMES OF THE HEART Sisters struggle in Beth Henley’s comic drama. LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE, Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach; call for schedule; thru Nov. 24. (562) 494-1014.

CUSTER Robert Ingham’s memory play about Custer’s last stand. LAAVAA THEATER, 10858 Culver Blvd., Culver City; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 28. (310) 559-2116 or www.laavaa.org.

DANGEROUS CORNER J.B. Priestley’s “psychological drawing-room comedic whodunit.” THEATRE 40 AT REUBEN CORDOVA THEATER, 241 Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills; in rep, call for schedule; thru Nov. 9. (310) 364-0535.

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; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 18. (310) 822-8392. (David Mermelstein)

GO INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM When Dan (Sab Shimono), a third-generation war veteran, suffers a debilitating stroke, playwright Ken Narasaki takes us inside Dan’s head, reliving a former romance; his service in the all-Japanese-American fighting unit that became the most decorated outfit in U.S. Army history; and his experiences with the prejudices and resentments of postwar America. Narasaki’s script is a moving, lingering glance at an intersection of history and memory. Director Alberto Isaac delivers a nuanced production with splendid performances. Timescape Arts Group at ELECTRIC LODGE, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 3 p.m., thru Oct. 28. (800) 838-3006. (NW)

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

A PIECE OF MY HEART Shirley Lauro’s Vietnam War story, based on the book by Keith Walker. MORGAN-WIXSON THEATRE, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (310) 828-7519 or www.morgan-wixson.org.

THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE New York couple’s life unravels, in Neil Simon’s black comedy. BEVERLY HILLS PLAYHOUSE, 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 4. (310) 358-9936 or www.­camelotartists.com.

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 terrified of aging and playing out a jealousy duet. Director Frederique 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; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 21. (310) 319-9939. (SLM)

SPIN Don Webster’s look at the seductive nature of politics. THEATRE 40 AT THE REUBEN CORDOVA THEATER, 241 Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills; in rep, call for info; thru Nov. 11. (310) 364-0535.

THIS LIME TREE BOWER See New Reviews.

VALPARAISO Don DeLillo’s multimedia meditation on media. GARAGE THEATRE, 251 E. Seventh St., Long Beach; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 3. (866) 811-4111 or www.thegaragetheatre.org.

Special Events

AN HOUR INSIDE MY BRAIN Kristine Zbornik’s musical-comedy cabaret. L.A. GAY AND LESBIAN CENTER, RENBERG THEATRE, 1125 N. McCadden Pl., Hlywd.; Mon., Oct. 22, 8 p.m. (323) 860-7300 or www.lagaycenter.org.

BITCHCRAFT! Marion Douglas’ one-woman improv comedy show. SECRET ROSE THEATER, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd.; Sun., Oct. 21 & 28, 7 p.m. (866) 811-4111.

BOB BAKER’S FIESTA: HALLOWEEN EDITION Marionettes get freaky in this musical fright fest. Resv. required. BOB BAKER MARIONETTE THEATER, 1345 W. First St., L.A.; Tues.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru Oct. 27. (213) 250-9995 or www.bobbakermarionettes.com.

CHARLES PHOENIX’S DISNEYLAND TOUR OF DOWNTOWN L.A. Guided tour of “the other Magic Kingdom,” with stops at Adventureland (Olvera Street), Fantasyland (Bob Baker Marionette Theater), the Haunted Mansions (Victorian homes on Carroll Street) and more. Meet at UNION STATION, 800 N. Alameda St., dwntwn.; Sun., Oct. 14 & 21, noon-6 p.m. (866) 754-3374 or www.charlesphoenix.com.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANA Tracy Esposito’s solo show about growing up Italian-American. STELLA ADLER THEATRE, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed., Oct. 24, 8 p.m. (818) 623-7022.

CINDERELLA Lloyd J. Schwartz’s musical based on the children’s classic. THEATRE WEST, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Hlywd.; Sat., 1 p.m.; thru March 29. (818) 761-2203.

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.

Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey Actors from the Guild of St. George bring to life more than a dozen haunting tales by Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Gorey (not suitable for children). HUNTINGTON LIBRARY, ART COLLECTIONS AND BOTANICAL GARDENS, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; Sat., Oct. 20, 6:30-10 p.m.; $30. (626) 405-2141.

DRAMA WEST AT THE EDENDALE Staged readings of five new plays. EDENDALE LIBRARY, 2011 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., Oct. 20, 2 p.m. (213) 207-3000.

 

THE LIFE OF GALILEO David Hare’s version of Brecht’s play, to be recorded for radio show The Play’s the Thing. SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; Wed.-Fri., Oct. 17-19, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 20, 3 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 21, 4 p.m. (310) 440-4500.

NO SHAME THEATRE Fifteen scripts go from page to stage an hour before showtime. POWERHOUSE THEATRE, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica; Fri., Oct. 19, 11 p.m. (310) 396-3680.

ODISSEE Reading by Gian Antonio Stella. Part of the weeklong festival, “Italian Language and the Sea.” ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE OF LOS ANGELES, 1023 Hilgard Ave., Wstwd.; Mon., Oct. 22, 7 p.m. (310) 443-3250 or www.­iiclosangeles.esteri.it/IIC_LosAngeles/.

THE STRAWBERRY ONE-ACT FESTIVAL Watch the plays and vote at www.­therianttheatre.com/video. THE COMPLEX, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; schedule varies, call for info; thru Oct. 28. (323) 960-7773.

TOWN WITHOUT PITY The Heartthrobs sing the songs of Gene Pitney. LYRIC THEATRE, 520 N. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Mon., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 5. (323) 939-9220.

UPPER REACHES THEATRE’S STAGED READING FESTIVAL This week: Future Love by Damon Chua. KOO’S ART CENTER, 530 E. Broadway, Long Beach; Sun., Oct. 21, 2 p.m. www.upperreaches.org.

—Compiled by Derek Thomas

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


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