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The week ahead in SoCal theater, Sept. 2-9: 'School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play' and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Sept. 2-9: 'School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play' and more
Jocelyn Bioh's comedy "School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play" is coming to the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. With Abena Mensah-Bonsu, left, Mirirai Sithole and Paige Gilbert. (Joan Marcus)

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

I Dig Rock & Roll Music Brand-new musical revue celebrates classic folk-rock tunes and protest songs from the 1960s and 70s. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $40-$65. (804) 667-2900. (Also in Laguna Beach, Sept. 19-23)

Infidel An American anthropologist in Baghdad is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in writer-director Christopher Vened’s suspense drama. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 7. $20, $35. (323) 960-7738.

True West Two long-estranged brothers reconnect in Sam Shepard’s drama; contains mature themes and adult language. Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 S. 7th St., Santa Paula. Sun.-next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 7. $22, $24. (805) 525-4645.

Around the World With Suzy London The actor shares songs and stories from her travels in this benefit show. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Tue.-Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 6. $25. (818) 763-5990.

Sweat Bonds between longtime friends working together at the same factory are torn asunder in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 7. $30-$99. (213) 628-2772.

The World Goes ’Round Reprise 2.0 stages this musical revue celebrating “Cabaret” and “Chicago” songwriting duo Kander & Ebb. UCLA’s Freud Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, Westwood. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $30-$110. (800) 982-2787.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show Aussie tribute band re-creates a concert by the British rockers. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $49 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Bacchae The king of Thebes makes an enemy of the Greek god Dionysus in New York-based SITI Company’s outdoor staging of Euripides’ ancient tragedy. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $36-$48. (310) 440-7300.

Good Enof Writer-performer Elisa Noemí combines spoken word, poetry, music and clowning to address bicultural identity, anorexia and recovery in this solo show. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $15, $20. www.bootlegtheater.org.

Bird Lives! Darryl Alan Reed portrays legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker in Willard Manus’ bio-drama. WACO Theater Center, 5144 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 6 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $35; opening night only, $100. (818) 400-1151.

Dangerous Obsession A well-to-do married woman is confronted by a mysterious stranger in her home in N.J. Crisp’s thriller. Kentwood Players, Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 13. $20, $22. (310) 645-5156.

Extremities Dynamo Studios stages William Mastrosimone’s off-Broadway drama about a woman who turns the tables on a would-be rapist. Broadwater Black Box, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 22. $26. www.dynamo-studio.com.

Inspecting Carol A struggling theater company staging Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” hopes to secure an NEA grant in Daniel Sullivan’s backstage farce inspired by the Gogol classic “The Inspector General.” Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $22, $25. www.panicproductions.org.

Love Connie in Purple Connie The drag artist pays tribute to Prince. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.; ends Sept. 15. $25. (800) 838-3006.

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Martians — An Evening With Ray Bradbury The late, great sci-fi/fantasy writer is celebrated in this new family-friendly show. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Fri., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 2. $20, $30. (800) 838-3006.

Play LA Festival Humanitas presents readings of new works by local playwrights. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 4 and 8 p.m. ; next Sun., 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. Free. www.playla.org.

Time Stands Still An injured photojournalist and her boyfriend, a foreign correspondent, return home to Brooklyn after a traumatic stint on assignment in Afghanistan in Donald Margulies’ drama. The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $25.(800) 838-3006.

Two’s a Crowd Rita Rudner and Broadway’s Davis Gaines star in this musical comedy written by Rudner and Martin Bergman, and featuring songs by Jason Feddy. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $75-$120. (949) 497-2787.

American Saga — Gunshot Medley: Part 1 Rogue Machine presents a double-cast production of Dionna Michelle Daniel’s fantastical new drama with music, set in a haunted graveyard in North Carolina, about the struggle against systemic racism. The MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept 23. $40. (855) 585-5185. (Also at WLCAC Theatre in Watts, Oct. 5-14)

Breadcrumbs A reclusive writer with dementia is forced rely on her troubled young caretaker to finish her autobiography in Jennifer Haley’s drama. Upstairs at the Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 2 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $15, $20. (818) 763-5990.

Cymbeline; or, the Trials of Imogen The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company offers a contemporary, gender-bent take on Shakespeare’s tale. The Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $22, $30. (800) 838-3006.

The Gin Game Two elderly nursing-home residents who pass the time playing cards in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 6. $25-$40. (626) 355-4318.

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Play UnScripted & Guests Impro Theatre and guest performers improvise contemporary two-act plays based on audience suggestions. Impro Studio, 1727 N. Vermont Ave., #208, Los Feliz. Sat.; 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $15. (323) 401-6162.

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play A new student upends the social order at an exclusive boarding school in Ghana in Jocelyn Bioh’s comedy. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $25-$72. (213) 628-2772.

Sense and Sensibility Jessica Swale’s stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romance about two sisters looking for love in late 18th-century Britain. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., next Sun., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Sept 29. $23 and up. (714) 708-5555.

Swansong André de Vanny stars in the West Coast premiere of Conor McDermottroe’s solo drama about a troubled Irish youth. Skylight Theatre, 1816 N. Vermont. Ave. Los Feliz. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 7. $15-$32. (866) 811-4111.

Black! Writer-performer Michael Washington Brown explores the lives of four different black men, from America, England, Jamaica and Africa, in the L.A. premiere of this solo show. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Native Gardens A young couple get into a property-line dispute with their affluent next-door neighbors in Karen Zacarías’ new comedy; “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander directs. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

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.; 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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $25-$65. (323) 957-1884.

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.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $35. www.Theatre68.com.

Man of La Mancha Set against a gritty, contemporary backdrop, this accomplished revival reminds us why the 1964 musical adaptation of the Don Quixote story endures as one of the most substantive entries in the musical theatre canon. (P.B.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

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.) Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Ends Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

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