This week: Rock music's Courtney Love costars in a new two-character musical. Plus, two very different shows explore two very different sides of Shakespeare.
Dead Men Tell No Lies A famed Chinese detective probes a murder and more in this interactive comedy-mystery. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sun., 7 p.m. $20. (626) 355-4318.
A Lovely Lineage Kristin Towers-Rowles shares songs and stories about growing up in Hollywood in this cabaret show. The El Portal Theatre's Monroe Forum, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $30. (818) 508-4200.
Kansas City Choir Boy Courtney Love and Todd Almond star in the West Coast premiere of Almond's musical drama about love and loss. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 and 9 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 8. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.
Oxymorons Ed Asner and Mark Rydell star in a benefit performance of Brian Connors' one-act comedy; a second one-act, "Park Strangers," features Marilu Henner. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 6 p.m. $50-$75. (818) 763-5990.
Shine Storytellers explore fears and phobias in "Spooked." Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St., Santa Monica. Sun., 7 p.m. $10. (310) 452-2321.
The Stand Benefit performances of Jim Reyland's one-act drama inspired by his decade-plus friendship with a homeless man. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Mon.-Tue., 7:30 p.m. $12-$15. (866) 811-4111.
Love, Locs and Liberation Ella Turenne portrays multiple characters in this new solo show about African American women and their hair. The Speakeasy at the Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. L.A. Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 29. $20. www.lovelocsliberation.com.
Rise 'n' Shine with Bette & Juliette Comedy-variety drag show. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Tue., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.
Blacktop Highway Veteran performance artist John Fleck spins a dark tale inspired by classic horror movies and the theories of Sigmund Freud. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 25. $16-$25. (213) 237-2800.
God: The Early Years Satan goes on a call-in show to promote his tell-all memoir in Saul Ilson's new satire. Renegade Theater, 1514 N. Gardner St., L.A. Thu., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends Dec. 13. $20. www.eventbrite.com.
Not That Jewish Monica Piper's autobiographical solo comedy. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica. Thu., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 31. $35. (310) 315-1400.
Safe at Home: An Evening With Orson Bean The veteran actor shares stories from his life and career. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 29. $25-$30. (310) 822-8392.
Weird on Top Improv comedy troupe. Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m. $10. (818) 508-3003.
Caged World-premiere drama by Dermot Davis about two strangers, a man and a woman, trapped in a high-rise's elevator after hours. Theatre Banshee, 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 22. $20. (800) 838-3006.
Disinherit the Wind A neurobiologist loses his professorship for mixing science and spirituality in Matt Chait's new drama. Ruby Theatre at the Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Nov. 29. $15, $25. (323) 960-4420.
A Feast of Snacks Theatre Unleashed presents Michael Gordon Shapiro's new collection of musical shorts. The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 10 p.m.; ends Nov. 21. $10. (818) 849-4039.
Horror UnScripted Impro Theatre improvises comedic tales inspired by 1980s-era horror movies. Impro Studio, 1727 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 31. $30. (323) 401-6162.
My Motown: Music, Memories and More Veteran R&B singer Thelma Houston ("Don't Leave Me This Way") stars in this new cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. $20-$50. (866) 468-3399.
The Procrastinator's Cabaret Benefit show features SiouxSanna Ramirez-Cruz and Terra Taylor Knudson. Found Theatre, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20 at the door; reservations encouraged. (562) 433-3363.
Push Play 3 Los Angeles Rock Opera Company showcases new works-in-development. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 25. $12. (800) 838-3006.
Scott and Hem Literary greats F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway banter and spar in Mark St. Germain's comedy; contains mature language. Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank. Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Nov. 15. $29-$59. (818) 955-8101.
Shakespeare's Night of Terror The Ensemble Shakespeare Theater explores the Bard's dark side in this new show. Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 10:30 p.m.; next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 1. $14-$22. www.ensembleshakespeare.org.
The Shoplifters A security guard and his trainee deal with a shoplifter and her accomplice in Morris Panych's comedy. The Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 12. $22, $34. (818) 841-5421.
Steel Hammer Composer Julia Wolfe, SITI Company, Bang on a Can All-Stars and a quartet of playwrights join forces to retell the tale of American folklore's John Henry in this CAP UCLA presentation. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $19-$69. (310) 825-2101.
Tyler Perry's Madea on the Run The actor-writer-director stars as his famous female alter-ego in this new musical comedy. Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., noon, 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 25. $59-$109. www.ticketmaster.com.
Abundance 25th anniversary revival of Beth Henley's drama about the lives of two women in the late 19th century American West. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 15. $22 and up. (714) 708-5555.
Henry V Community reading of the Shakespeare's historical drama. University Art Museum, Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach. Sat., 10:45 a.m. Free; reservations encouraged. (562) 985-7000.
My Fair Lady Musical Theatre West opens its season with the Lerner & Loewe classic about a professor and a Cockney flower girl. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 8. $20 and up. (562) 856-1999.
Rent Tony-winning musical about impoverished young artists and others on New York's Lower East Side; contains mature content. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 15. $20-$70. (562) 944-9801.
The Sparrow Coeurage Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of this fantastical drama about a young woman who returns to her hometown several years after a tragic accident there. The Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 21. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.
Strange Eventful History Independent Shakespeare Company stages David Melville's new backstage farce inspired by the works of the Bard and Christopher Marlowe. Independent Studio, 3191 Casitas Ave., No. 168, L.A. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 22. $20 and $35, with a limited number of free tickets available for each performance. (818) 710-6306.
Two Characters and the Golddigger Three veteran performers share stories from their lives in showbiz. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Sat., 3 and, 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.
Wiesenthal Tom Dugan portrays the Holocaust survivor turned Nazi hunter in this solo show. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 8. $40, $50. (310) 746-4000.
Need to Know A couple uses the Internet to learn more about their new next-door neighbor in the world premiere of Jonathan Caren's dark comedy. Rogue Machine Theatre, 5041 Pico Blvd., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 13. $30-$35. (855) 585-5185.