The week ahead in L.A. theater, Oct. 29-Nov. 5: 'Yohen,' 'King John' and more

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Oct. 29-Nov. 5: 'Yohen,' 'King John' and more
Danny Glover and June Angela star in a revival of Philip Kan Gotanda’s drama "Yohen," co-presented by Robey Theatre Company and East West Players. (Matthew Leland)

Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.), Charles McNulty (C.M.), Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.) and David C. Nichols (D.C.N.) Compiled by Matt Cooper.


All Shook Up Romantic musical based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and the songs of Elvis Presley. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sun.-next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $22, $25. (805) 583-7900.


CarneyMagic Sleight-of-hand artist John Carney performs. Grove Theater Center, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $25-$30. (800) 838-3006.

Double, Double Toil and Trouble Fundraiser features readings from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” a haunted maze and more; with Harry Hamlin. The Shakespeare Studio, 1238 W. 1st St., L.A. Sun., 6:30 p.m. $35-$75. (213) 489-1123.

Opening Doors Theatre veteran Robert Yacko performs in this cabaret show. Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $20; food and beverage minimums apply. (800) 838-3006.

Strays: We All Feel a Little Lost Sometimes Lisa Wharton explores abandonment and adoption, both human and animal, in this hourlong solo show. The Secret Rose, 11264 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun.-next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 3. $28. (800) 838-3006.

Encuentro de las Américas Three-week festival features theater companies and performers from across the U.S., plus Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia and Peru; schedules at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Starts Thu.-ends Nov. 19. Single show, $44; festival passes available. (866) 811-4111.

Yohen East West Players and the Robey Theatre Company present a revival of Philip Kan Gotanda’s drama about an interracial couple whose decades-long relationship is at a crossroads; with Danny Glover and June Angela. David Henry Hwang Theater, Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $40-$60. (213) 625-7000.

Amos An American in Kiev is befriended by an underground musician in Eva Anderson and Michael Cassady’s immersive musical thriller. Monkspace, 4414 W. 2nd St., L.A. Nov. 3-18. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.; ends Nov. 18. $40. (213) 389-3856.

Caught A famous Chinese artist and dissident makes an appearance at a gallery showing his latest works in the immersive L.A. premiere of Christopher Chen’s Obie-winning drama. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., L.A. Fri.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $65-$80.

The Man Who Came to Dinner Moss Hart and George F. Kaufman’s classic comedy about a holiday guest who overstays his welcome. Actors Co-op, David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $20-$30. (323) 462-8460.

Arsenic and Old Lace Joseph Kesserling’s classic dark comedy about two little old ladies with a penchant for poisoning lonely old men. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 2. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

Billie Holiday: Front and Center Writer-performer Sybil Harris portrays the legendary jazz singer in this musical bio-drama. Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Suite 101, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 3. $25, $30 general. (800) 838-3006.

Driving Miss Daisy Donna Mills stars in Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about an elderly Jewish woman and her African American chauffeur. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $39. (866) 811-4111.

Ella Enchanted: The Musical Family-friendly adaptation of author Gail Carson Levine’s reimagining of the tale of Cinderella. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 11 a.m., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $22 and up. (714) 708-5555.

King John The Porters of Hellsgate stage Shakespeare’s historical drama about the English monarch who brought his country to the edge of ruin. The Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $20. (800) 838-3006.


A Map of Virtue Barker Room Rep presents the West Coast premiere of Erin Courtney’s Obie-winning romantic drama about two people connected by the shared ownership of a small statue. Atwater Village Theater, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 and 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 18. $20, $25. (408) 858-3514.

Space Oddity: The Ultimate David Bowie Experience With tribute artist David Brighton. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m. $45, $55. (866) 811-4111.

Uncover the Moon A young girl comes of age in a twisted town in Susan Chambers’ new supernatural thriller; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Chisme y Queso Sketches and improv; presented by Center Theater Group; 21 and up only. Eastside Luv Wine Bar, Boyle Heights, 1835 E. First St., Boyle Heights. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. Free.

I’m Not Famous Return engagement of showbiz veteran Barbara Minkus’ musical memoir. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Next Sun.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 26. $30; discounts available. (310) 394-9779.

The Original Country Roads: A John Denver Celebration With tribute artist Jim Curry. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $35-$50. (866) 811-4111.

The Poets of Amityville Dana Delany, Rob Morrow, et al., take part in a reading of Eugene Pack’s new comedy. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. Next Sun., 2 p.m. Free; reservations required.

Underwater Bubble Show Family-friendly show features magic, mime, puppetry and more. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $45-$65. (562) 916-8500.

Critics’ Choices

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey If you’re the kind of person who enjoys human-centered stories, who can't resist a detective yarn and who enjoys watching an actor impersonate a town full of kooky yet hilariously recognizable characters, James Lecesne’s off-Broadway sleeper about the disappearance of a teen whose fabulousness doesn’t conform to restrictive Jersey Shore gender expectations is what you’ve been waiting for. (C.M.) The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Ends Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

I Am Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce In this meticulously-researched solo biography tracing the life and prosecution of the groundbreaking early 1960s comic provocateur, actor Ronnie Marmo and director Joe Mantegna offer subsequent generations not only a sense of who Bruce was, but more importantly why he mattered. (P.B.) Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 5 p.m.; Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $35.


La Razón Blindada Presented in Spanish with English supertitles, this sharply political play sheds light on Argentina’s infamous “Dirty War” as filtered through the deeply personal perspective of writer-director Aristídes Vargas, who experienced the madness first-hand. Vargas’ harrowing, surprisingly funny piece centers around two political prisoners who escape into the world of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” during their incarceration. Hallucinatory, trance-inducing and surreal, this deeply humanistic production hammers home man’s gross capacity for inhumanity — and his transcendent ability to endure. (F.K.F.) The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Next Sun., 2:30 and 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 17. $44; part of the Encuentro de las Américas festival. (866) 811-4111.

The Madwoman of Chaillot With this tricky balance of sharp-edged social satire and utopian fantasy, master stylist Stephanie Shroyer’s direction shows why Jean Giraudoux’s classic fable resonates most vividly in times of beleaguered idealism. (P.B.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

Resolving Hedda Hedda Gabler has a bone to pick with Henrik Ibsen. After 126 years of being backed into a corner and left with suicide as her only freedom, she’s had enough. So she’s trying to wrest control of “Hedda Gabler” and disrupt its plot. In Jon Klein’s boisterous new comedy she is ferociously embodied by Kimberly Alexander. Maria Gobetti nimbly directs. Laughing audiences clearly are on Hedda’s side. (D.H.M.) The Big Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $24-$34. (818) 841-5421.

Rhinoceros With darkly hilarious urgency, this superbly staged and disconcertingly timely revival illuminates playwright Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist warning about the seductively corrosive lure of herd mentality and the fragility of civilized norms we take for granted. (P.B.) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 26. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.