The latest NEW REVIEWS are embedded in this week's COMPREHENSIVE THEATER LISTINGS

Also, this week's STAGE FEATURE on improvised musicals

Photo by Josh Heisler

Theatricians Theater Group — a new company consisting of mostly university students and recent grads from U.C. Santa Barbara — joins Woodland Hills' Class Act Musical Children's Theatre for benefit performances of Charles Mee's bobraushenbergamerica August 7-9 and 14-16 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.) at the Class Act Theatre in Woodland Hills, 5345 Wilhelmina Ave.

Mee's bobrauschenbergamerica is a celebration of the

artist Bob Rauschenberg as well as the history and identity of America in dozens of short scenes.

The fundraiser is for Class Act, a kids theater school, to help compensate for the budget cuts to school programs that bring in theater companies. Class Act has been going into the public schools for years.

Revenue raised will help “provide public schools free theatrical enrichment programs,” says the PR for this event

I think that means Class Act used to get fees from the public schools to go into those schools, and funds raised will compensate for the loss of those fees due to budget cuts. If that's incorrect, I'll post an update.

For a list of productions scheduled to be reviewed this weekend, plus more local stage happenings, press the Continue Reading tab directly below.

Local theater productions slated for review this weekend:

Henry Murray's new play, Treefall, presented by Rogue Machine at Theatre/Theater; six one-acts by Helena Wellman under the umbrella title, Love Sex Violence etc. at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks; Alretha Thomas' play, One Woman, Two Lives, at the Imagined Life Theatre in Los Angeles; Patricia Parker's new family drama, Don't Forget To Remember, at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood;  Karen Hartman's new play Goliath, which is part of Open Fist Theatre Company's “First Look” series; Amy Heidish' “reinvention of a children's classic,” Say Goodbye, Toto, presented by the Ark Theatre Company at the Hayworth in Westlake; Moliere's The Miser, at Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga; the second weekend of REDCAT's new works performance festival, Now Festival 09; Katselas Theatre Company's production of Michael V. Gazzo's A Hatful of Rain at the Skylight Theatre in east Hollywood, and Eugene Ionesco's The Chairs at City Garage in Santa Monica


Brian Stokes, Jessica Biel, Scott Bakula, Ellen Greene and others “sing and dance beneath those 'stars in the sky' in an original, fully-staged production.” July 31-August 1, 8:30 p.m.; August 2, 7:30 p.m. Information here


Lauren Lewis' world premiere visits Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City;  Fri.-Sat., Aug. 31-July 1, 8 p.m. (818) 510-8083

SUMMER CAMP: CarnEvil In Concert!

Sacred Fools Theatre Company continues its Summer Camp fest this Friday and Saturday, July 31-August 1, 9 p.m., with Michael Teoli's comedy. Info here.


Broadway in the Park will be held Saturday, August 8, 2009 in the Park Estates area of Long Beach, CA.  MTW hopes to raise $125,000 to benefit programs including the Youth Education and Outreach Program, which reaches over 17,000 young people each year. VIP tickets for Broadway in the Park, which include a private cocktail party, are available for $225.   General admission tickets are available for $150.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the Musical Theatre West box office at (562) 856-1999  x 4 or visiting the box office at 4350 E 7th Street in Long Beach.


Saturday, August 15, That's Sooo Vegas! is a benefit concert and all proceeds will go toward East West Players' arts and education programs. Various levels of sponsorships are available and single tickets are $250 for VIP, $100 in the orchestra and $60 in the balcony. For more information on tickets and sponsorships, contact the Development Manager Lisa Tang at ltang@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000 x17.


Prom Nights Productions presents The Farm, A free evening of 4 original short plays by Hank Bunker, Guy Zimmerman, Wes Walker and Sharon Yablon, as well as a dance performance by the dance troupe bodycity.  Original, live music will accompany each piece, by musicians Andrew Pask and Steven Rowe.

WHEN:  8 PM, Saturday August 1
WHERE:  FOLLY BOWL, www.paintedsurfaces.net
1601 E. Loma Alta Dr., Altadena, CA  91001
BRING seat cushions, a picnic & beverage of your choice & your sweater
ARRIVE between 7 & 7:30 PM to ensure a seat and enjoy your picnic!
DIRECTIONS:  134 Freeway to Pasadena, Exit Lake Ave.
Go North 2.7 miles, Right on Alta Dena  Dr.
Go .8 mile, Left on Porter.  Entrance is at Porter & Loma Alta, Street Parking


Barefoot Theatre Company presents a reading of  Israel Horovitz's  6 Hotels, as part of an international theater project celebration Horovitz's 70th birthday. Sunday, August 2, 2 p.m., Secret Rose Theatre, 12246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. RSVP here 


One-night-only fundraiser and raffle to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Monday, August 3rd at 9pm at Hollywood's Gardenia Cabaret and Supper Club, 7066 Santa Monica Boulevard, at La Brea Ave.  Doors open at 7pm for dinner, there is a $15 cover charge, and reservations are recommended at (323) 467-7444.

Among those scheduled to appear are Broadway's Mary Stout (Beauty and the Beast), Erik Liberman (LoveMusik), Rena Strober (Les Miserables), Leslie Alexander (The Boy from Oz), Rick Pessagno (42nd Street), Joanne Borts and T. Doyle Leverett (Fiddler on the Roof), in addition to David Gilleo, Matthew Marks, Deborah Grausman, Katie Babb, Gary Brintz, and Jessica Scholl.

LA Weekly