This week: "The Merchant of Venice" takes a detour and "Beautiful – The Carole King Musical" returns for an encore.
The Devil You Know — A Rhythm & Blues Story A long-disbanded R&B group, once led by a now-divorced couple, tries to reunite in this new musical. Theatre of Arts/Arena Stage Theatre, 1625 Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. Sun., 4 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends Oct. 23. $30. (323) 546-4297.
The Quality of Life Staged reading of Jane Anderson's dramedy about two couples dealing with illness, grief and loss. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre, Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; donations appreciated. (626) 355-4318.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Tony-winning bio-musical about the singer-songwriter who found solo success with her Grammy-winning 1971 album "Tapestry." Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 16. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.
The Bitter Game Writer-performer Keith A. Wallace reprises his solo show about being black in America; part of La Jolla Playhouse's "Without Walls" series. Writerz Blok, 5010 Market St., San Diego. Tue.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 9. $10, $15. (858) 550-1010.
Paige Turner: Make America Gay Again! The drag artist is joined by Sutton Lee Seymour and Jackie Cox for show tunes, political satire and more. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m. $20, $25. (800) 838-3006.
Flash Festival The Chalk Rep presents three weekends of new mini-plays on the theme of religion and politics. St. John's Cathedral, 514 W. Adams Blvd., L.A. Thu.- Sat., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 22. $20. www.chalkrep.com.
The Lion Singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer explores his relationship with his father and his own journey to manhood in this solo musical. The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 30. $29 and up. (619) 234-5623.
Nevermore Theatre Unleashed presents Matt Ritchey’s new psychological thriller about 19th-century writer and poet
As You Like It A young noblewoman flees persecution and finds romance in Shakespeare's pastoral comedy. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 30. $26, $28. (818) 884-1907.
Dracula: Blood Before Dawn The titular vampire stalks Victorian-era London in Raymond Donahey’s reimagining of
Groundlings Hook-up App All-new sketch show. Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $20; opening night only, $50. (323) 934-4747.
Hollywood Premiere Party — The Show Immersive theatrical experience mimics a movie premiere with red-carpet arrivals, celebrity shenanigans, etc. Manor on Vine, 1718 Vine St., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 6:15 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $99, $129. www.hollywoodpremiereparty.com.
Night of the Living Dead Stage adaptation of George A. Romero's gruesome 1968 zombie thriller. Maverick Theater, 110 E. Walnut, Fullerton. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 and 9 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 30. $22. (714) 526-7070.
Unauthorized! A Bad Dream on Elm Avenue West Coast premiere of this musical sendup of a certain 1984 horror classic. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 26. $25. (800) 838-3006.
Urban Death Tour of Terror Immersive Halloween-themed theatrical attraction. Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $15. (818) 202-4120.
WestFest 2016 Four-week showcase for non-commercial and experimental plays; program details at www.theatrewest.org. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m; ends Oct. 30. $5, $10. (323) 851-7977.
District Merchants West Coast premiere of Aaron Posner's reworking of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" sets the action in America after the Civil War. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends Oct. 23. $22 and up. (714) 708-5555.
Life Expectancy: A Comedy in Three Trimesters A forty-something couple prepares for the arrival of their first child in Catherine Butterfield's new comedy. Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 23. $25. www.malibuplayhouse.org.
Schachner vs. Schachner Writer-performer Abby Schachner performs in this solo comedy. Asylum Studio C, 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Sat., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 28. $15. www.theencoreawards.com
Rock the Presidents Family-friendly multimedia musical celebrates U.S. presidents from Washington to Obama; for ages 8 and up. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sat., 6 p.m. $21. (949) 854-4646.
Siamese Sex Show Former pop stars join forces to battle an evil corporation in a dystopian future in John Papageorge's new hip-hop musical. Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 13. $30. (323) 960-7738.
Billy & Ray Director Billy Wilder and crime novelist Raymond Chandler struggle to make the classic 1944 film noir "Double Indemnity" in Mike Bencivenga's comedy. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 30. $35-$75. (949) 497-2787.
Fritz Coleman's Defying Gravity The local weatherman/comic salutes the aging baby-boomer generation. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $35. (818) 508-4200.