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The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 29-Aug. 5: 'Titus Andronicus' at Griffith Park and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 29-Aug. 5: 'Titus Andronicus' at Griffith Park and more
David Melville stars in Independent Shakespeare Company's "Titus Andronicus." (Mike Ditz)

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.).

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Openings

Bucket List Cabaret An evening of comedic songs and show tunes. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m. $25. (310) 364-0535.

The MisMatch Game Host Dennis Hensley’s campy, off-color parody of the 1970s-era game show returns. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $15. (323) 860-7300.

Nom, Nom, Nom Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band present a kid-friendly show to highlight the importance of healthy eating. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org

Shakespeare by the Sea Locally touring productions of the Bard’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “The Winter’s Tale” in repertory. Various venues, days and times; through Aug. 18. Free. www.shakespearebythesea.org

Summer Playwrights Festival 9 Ninth weeklong showcase at two venues features readings of 30 new works. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-8838. And the Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-8838. Opens Sun.; ends Aug. 5. $15 suggested donation. www.roadtheatre.org

Their Finest Hour: Churchill and Morrow Return engagement of Willard Manus’ historical drama about British prime minister Winston Churchill and journalist Edward R. Murrow during the early days of WWII. Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 6 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $20. (800) 838-3006.

edge of world party Immersive, interactive site-specific work; part of the inaugural Sea-Saw series. Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, West End, Santa Monica. Tue.-Wed., 6 p.m. Free; reservations at www.eventbrite.com.

Barefoot in the Park Newlyweds in a rundown Greenwich Village apartment try to adjust to married life in Neil Simon’s classic comedy. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

New Original Works Festival 2018 15th three-weekend showcase for L.A.-based theater, dance and multimedia artists concludes; details at www.redcat.org. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. $16, $20. (213) 237-2800.

Outlaw Former Hells Angel leader George Christie talks about his days with the notorious biker gang in writer-director Richard La Plante’s solo drama. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Thu., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 24. $25. (213) 713-9149.

Extremities Dynamo Studios stages William Mastrosimone’s off-Broadway drama about a woman who turns the tables on a would-be rapist. The New Collective Theatre, 6440 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $25; opening night only, $50. www.dynamo-studio.com

Mamma Mia! 3-D Theatricals stages the hit musical, featuring the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA, about a destination wedding on a Greek island. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 E. Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $25-$105. (714) 589-2770. (Also at Cerritos Center, Aug. 17-26)

Plaza Suite A famed Manhattan hotel serves as the setting for Neil Simon’s trio of comedic tales about love and relationships. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $23-$27. (310) 512-6030.

Together Again A casino-night party for doctors and others involved in medical research takes a dark turn in this interactive theatrical experience; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 25. $15. (818) 202-4120.

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Two by Two Revival of Richard Rodgers’ musical comedy based on the biblical tale of Noah’s ark. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $28, $30. (818) 884-1907.

Waitress Musical adaptation, with songs by Sara Bareilles, of writer-director Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 comedy-drama about an unhappily married small-town waitress and pie maker who yearns for a better life. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $49 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787. (Also at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, Nov. 13-25).

A Moon for the Misbegotten A tenant farmer in 1923 Connecticut enlists his daughter in a scheme against their landlord in Emerald Isle Production’s staging of Eugene O’Neill’s sequel to his classic drama “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., L.A. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $25. www.emeraldis.org.

Much Ado About Avengers The Actors’ Gang presents this family-friendly mash-up of Shakespeare’s rom-com and Marvel’s superhero franchise. Media Park at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sat., next Sun., 11 a.m.; ends Aug. 26. Free; reservations recommended. (310) 838-4264.

Shining City A Dublin man starts seeing a therapist following his wife’s tragic death in Conor McPherson’s drama. The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $20. (323) 960-7780.

Titus Andronicus Independent Shakespeare Company’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival continues with the Bard’s dark, violent tragedy about a Roman general who earns the enmity of Tamora, queen of the Goths. The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. Free. (818) 710-6306.

Longing Pinocchio Dark re-imagining of the fairy tale about a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 28. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Ojai Playwrights Conference New Works Festival The conference’s public events begin with a cabaret of stories and scenes by conference writers including Jon Robin Baitz, Bill Cain and Ruby Rae Spiegel. Other events include workshops of works in progress by Alice Tuan, Stephen Belber, Charlayne Woodard and others. Details at www.ojaiplays.org. Zalk Theater, 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, and Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. Next Sun. Ends Aug. 12. (805) 640-0400.

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Critics’ Choices

Arrival & Departure Noel Coward’s 1945 screenplay for “Brief Encounter” inspires playwright Stephen Sachs’ tale of two present-day Manhattan commuters, a hard-of-hearing woman and Deaf man, who meet by chance and begin to fall in love. Problem is, they are already married to others. Moral and emotional conundrums add twist after twist to this sadly beautiful yet hopeful romance, which is gracefully directed by Sachs and gorgeously performed by Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur. (D.H.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $20-$40; Mondays, pay what you want (subject to availability). (323) 663-1525.

Cabaret The world is ending? What good is sitting alone in your room, where you’ll merely brood? Come see what director Michael Matthews has cooked up in an especially dark take on this ever-relevant musical. The dancing is sexy, the emcee is a bit magical, and everyone’s partying like there’s no tomorrow. (D.H.M.) Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $25-$65. (323) 957-1884.

On Your Feet! As all-American tales of self-made success go, you would be hard-pressed to name a better one than Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s. Actually, their story charts a double rise: their path to all-but-unheard-of crossover success with Miami Sound Machine, then Gloria’s determined return to wholeness after back injuries sustained in a 1990 accident in their tour bus. Driven by such songs as “Conga” and “Turn the Beat Around,” this musical explodes off the stage. (D.H.M.) Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Ends Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $39 and up. (800) 982-2787. Also at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, Aug. 21-Sept. 2.

Three Days in the Country Antaeus Theatre Company’s newest revival is an adaptation of Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country” by Patrick Marber, who adds a refreshingly contemporary flavor and pace to this romantic comedy without displacing it from its 19th century Russian setting. Turgenev’s tale of unrequited love among aristocrats on a country estate is said to have inspired Chekhov to write plays and uncannily prefigures his work in both tone and action. There are two alternating casts, packed with Antaeus favorites, who have a contagiously good time with the silly, poignant melodrama. (M.G.) Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.

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