Zombie Joe's Underground will host the 35th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards on April 7 at Exchange L.A. Visit the Theater Awards website to buy tickets and also check out the nominees.

Want to get a head start on seeing next year's nominees for the L.A. Weekly Theater Awards? Check out these five great shows, currently playing around town:

Carmilla at Zombie Joe's Underground in North Hollywood
From our review: “If MacDowell Blue and co-director Mark Hein's conservative production is shy on stage fireworks or the Grand Guignol splatter typical of producer Zombie Joe's Underground, anybody weaned on Hammer Films' early-'70s Karnstein Trilogy of sapphic vampire films should find the results as irresistible as a siren's song.” Read more about Carmilla. ]

at Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village
“Director Chris Fields' stylishly sleight-of-hand staging (eloquently accented by Matt Richter's dynamic lights) and a disarmingly appealing ensemble (including Amanda Saunders and Zach Callison) strike just the right balance between uneasy laughter and unpalatable titillation to drive home Smith's unsettling portrait of a society whose most endangered species may be the moral and emotional anchor of the nuclear family.” Read more about Firemen

A Steady Rain at Odyssey Theatre in West L.A.
“Director Jeff Perry's staging of Huff's unique style of duologue – in which time periods and locations shift rapidly, as does the target of the characters' words – employs enough blocking to not seem static, while maintaining the focus on the actors' storytelling.” Read more about A Steady Rain

Carmilla; Credit: Photo by Richard M. Johnson

Carmilla; Credit: Photo by Richard M. Johnson

Disassembly at Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood
“Credit director Tom Beyer and this talented ensemble (in this L.A. premiere at Theatre of NOTE) for a smart comic rendering of material that, with less skilled performers, could easily backfire.” Read more about Disassembly

The Whipping Man at Pico Playhouse in Cheviot Hills
If Lopez's somewhat fusty dramaturgy errs on the side of the overly schematic, a powerful ensemble (particularly Ross, in a star-making turn) under Howard Teichman's effective direction decisively mutes such complaints into mere quibbles.” Read more about The Whipping Man

The Ugly One at Atwater Village Theatre
“Anybody can have Lette's dream face, and the surgeon is happy to clone it onto anybody willing to pay for it.” Read more about The Ugly One.

Tartuffe at A Noise Within
Tartuffe remains an important play, a comedy that deserves to be taken seriously. Oddly, the more seriously it's taken in production, the more somber its tones, the more powerful its reach.” Read more about Tartuffe.

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