The week ahead in L.A. theatre, Jan. 14-21: 'Shakespeare in Love,' 'Cabaret' and more

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

Openings

I Am My Own Wife Doug Wright’s Tony-winning solo drama about a 65-year-old German transvestite who survived the Nazi regime and then Communist rule. John Tufts stars. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Sun., 5:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 28. $45-$80. (949) 497-2787.

The Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA This city-spanning showcase featuring Latin American and Latino performance artists continues. Various indoor and outdoor venues around greater L.A. Ends Jan. 21. Many free events; most ticketed performances are $15 or less. Tickets and schedules at www.pacificstandardtime.org.

Pinkalicious, the Musical Family-friendly show based on the children’s book about a young girl who loves the color pink; for ages 3-8. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sun., noon and 3 p.m. p.m. $21. (949) 854-4646.

Solofest 2018 50 shows over 50 days featuring solo performers from around the world. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Ends March 3. Various dates and times. $18-$25. www.whitefiretheatre.com.

Stayin’ Alive — One Night of the Bee Gees Tribute show celebrates the pop trio. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 7 p.m. $50-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Company Creation Festival Annual showcase for unconventional new works by local ensembles, performed in repertory; details at www.sonofsemele.org. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $18. (213) 351-3507.

January Reading Series Staged readings of four new plays. IAMA Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Thu.-next Sun., 8 p.m. Free. (323) 380-8843.

The Last Wife L.A. premiere of Kate Hennig’s historical drama about England’s Henry VIII and wealthy widow Katherine Parr. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Thu, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 6:30 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 18. $30. (310) 364-0535.

tHis Is Very Important Writer-performer Rahvaunia tells the stories of three women living with HIV/AIDS. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Feb. 4. $22. (800) 838-3006.

Black Coffee Master sleuth Hercule Poirot investigates a case of espionage and murder in this Agatha Christie thriller. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 10. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

Camp Whitsit All-new immersive horror experience set at Scout camp. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-next Sun., 8:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 21. $15. (818) 202-4120.

The Car Plays New edition of this returning favorite features 15 short plays staged in automobiles; part of the Off Center Festival. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri., 5, 7:30 and 9 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 3:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 9 p.m.; ends Jan. 28. $25. (714) 556-2787.

A Delicate Ship West Coast premiere of Anna Ziegler’s dramedy about a woman and two men caught up in a love triangle. The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 11. $17.50, $34. (818) 761-8838.

Desert Warrior: A Benghazi Story Writer-performer Ross John Gosla discusses his role in a controversial film in this solo drama. The Complex Theatres, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $15. (800) 838-3006.

EST/LA’s Winterfest Readings of new plays in development. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-next Sun., various times; ends Feb. 11; schedules at www.estlosangeles.org. $15 suggested donation; passes available. (818) 839-1197.

Jersey Boys Hit bio-musical about the rise of 1960s vocal group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 21. $40.75. and up. (714) 556-2787.

Kill a Better Mousetrap A mentally unstable man has a bone to pick with Agatha Christie’s classic thriller in this one-act. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. $12, $15. (562) 494-1014.

Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret The drag artist and singer performs with a live band; part of the Off Center Festival. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Studio Performance Space, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. $25. (714) 556-2787.

The Merry Wives of Windsor Archway Company stages Shakespeare’s comedy about the scoundrel Falstaff’s attempts to scam two married women. Woodbury University Library, 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $28. (818) 980-7529.

Nothing Is the Same Double-cast production of Y York’s drama about the challenges faced by four young Asian Pacific Americans in 1940s Hawaii in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends March 4. $20-$30.(626) 355-4318.

Shakespeare, His Wife and the Dog Writer-performer Philip Whitchurch costars in the U.S. premiere of his comedy-drama exploring the Bard’s later years; with Sally Edwards. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 and 7 p.m.; ends Jan. 28. $45 and up. (310) 434-3200.

Sister Act Stage musical about a murder witness who hides out in a convent, based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 18. $18-$25. (805) 583-7900.

The Accidental Activist Jewish Women’s Theatre presents inspiring stories about unlikely do-gooders. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica; other area venues. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 30. $40. (800) 838-3006.

Animaniacs in Concert! Voice artist Rob Paulsen and composer Randy Rogel celebrate the ’90s-era animated series. Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita. Sat., 2 p.m. $34-$51. (661) 362-5304.

The Chosen Newly revised stage adaptation of author Chaim Potok’s tale of two Jewish boys coming of age in post-WWII Brooklyn. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 25. $20-$40. (323) 663-1525.

Cabaret Classic Kander & Ebb musical about the denizens of a seedy nightclub in pre-WWII Berlin. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $20-$70. (562) 944-9801.

8980: Book of Travelers CAP UCLA present singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane’s new show inspired by a railway journey he took around the U.S. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $29.50-$59.50. (310) 825-2101.

Jay Leno The comic and former “Tonight Show” host performs. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $80-$125. (562) 916-8500.

Moon Over Buffalo Ken Ludwig’s classic backstage comedy about two fading and feuding stars; for ages 13 and up. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $20, $23. (310) 828-7519.

Shakespeare in Love The young Bard struggles with writer’s block in Lee Hall’s adaptation of the hit 1998 romantic film comedy. 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 Feb. 10. $26 and up. (714) 708-5555.

To Begin the World Again — The Life of Thomas Paine Ian Ruskin portrays the Revolutionary War-era philosopher and pamphleteer in this solo show. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (323) 851-4839.

23rd Annual Hollywood Performance Marathon Benefit show features performance art, comedy, music, dance, etc. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Jan. 20. Sat., 3 p.m. till dawn Sun. $20. (323) 856-8611.

Critics’ Choices

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. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $35. (323) 960-5068.

Rotterdam A big change can knock any couple out of alignment. For Alice and Fiona, the change goes to the very core of their identities. In her late 20s and several years into the relationship, Fiona reveals that she feels she’s a man. With insight and humor, British playwright Jon Brittain charts the pair’s journey as they rediscover who they are in this Olivier Award-winning play. Michael A. Shepperd crisply directs a perceptive cast. (D.H.M.) Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 28. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
61°