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*5 Best Comedy Shows to See in L.A. This Week

*Our Latest Theater Reviews

*Our Calendar Section, Listing More Great Things to Do in L.A.

This week's dance shows include dancing by a fireside.

5. Two Nights of Dance at Santa Monica's Coziest Theater

Built in 1929, the historic Miles Memorial Playhouse is a hidden gem not far from Santa Monica's busy Third Street Promenade. Exposed wooden beams, decorative ironwork and an inviting fireplace adorn the theater's interior, which during the winter hosts intimate performances under the banner Fireside at the Miles. It's cozy on the couches and warm by the massive fireplace as the series showcases dance this weekend. On Friday, Amanda Hart and her HartPulse Dance Company display their distinctive brand of contemporary dance. Saturday may bring some surprises as String Theory, known for its blend of dance, music and sometimes expansive sonic sculptures, takes over the space. The evening includes a new arrangement of Purcell's Dido and the premiere of Ink Mouth, a short dance film. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. for refreshments and conversation before the show at Miles Memorial Playhouse, Christine Reed Emerson Park, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 25-26, 8 p.m.; $10, $5 students & seniors. (310) 458-8634,

4. Clairobscur Dance Company Takes on Bullies

Choreographer Laurie Sefton's newest work, Bully, takes a hard look at the hot-button subject.The program also includes repertory works and a guest appearance by Los Angeles Ballet principal dancer Allynne Noelle. At Diavolo Performance Space, 616 Moulton Ave., Los Angeles; Sat., Jan. 26, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 7 p.m., $20. 323-225-4290,

Clairobscur Dance Company; Credit: Photo by Denise Leitner

Clairobscur Dance Company; Credit: Photo by Denise Leitner

3. Doug Varone and Dancers Off Center and Undressed

Making their debut with the Off Center Festival, New York-based Doug Varone and Dancers contribute Stripped/Dressed. Stripped finds Verone acting as emcee, guiding the audience through the development of choreography with dancers in rehearsal garb. After a short Q&A, the curtain rises on the fully produced dance, Dressed, with costumes and stage lighting. At Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 25-26, 8 p.m., $20. 714-556-2787,

2. Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project Look at the Colors of Blues

A quartet of performers uses hip-hop movement, music and an art installation to explore environmental and social justice issues in red, black & GREEN: a blues. At REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 3, 3 p.m., $20-$25; $16-$20 students., 213-237-2800,

1. Shen Yun Returns

Backed by a live orchestra, this richly costumed spectacular celebrating Chinese culture returns to the last of three local venues. At the Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 26, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 2 p.m., $60-$200, (800) 880-0188,

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