The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 10-17: Impro Theatre's 'Jane Austen UnScripted' and more

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 10-17: Impro Theatre's 'Jane Austen UnScripted' and more
Impro Theatre brings its "Jane Austen UnScripted" to the Edye at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. (Impro Theatre)

Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).


Alisan Porter and Friends The Season 10 winner of “The Voice” and special guests perform in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $25-$50; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.


A Christmas Carol Parson’s Nose Theater stages the Dickens classic. The Parson’s Nose Abbey, 95 N. Marengo Ave., Suite 110, Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $10-$20. (626) 403-7667.

Darkness to Light: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice With Get Lit! Young poets and storytellers perform. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m. $15-$30. (310) 746-4000.

A Good Day at Auschwitz Fundraiser features Stephen Tobolowsky and Alan Mandell reenacting a story from Tobolowsky’s new book, “My Adventures With God.” The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 5:30 p.m. $40. (818) 761-8838.

Studio: Fall 2017 New works and works-in-progress by local theater artists, dancers, musicians, etc. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Sun-Mon., 8:30 p.m. $12, $15. (213) 237-2800.

Bus Stop Staged reading of William Inge’s classic drama about assorted characters at a snowed-in diner. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7:30 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 355-4318.

Rapid Development Series: Season 4 Competition-style reading series features new works by local playwrights under 30. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Mon.-Tue., next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. Free. (323) 663-1525.

Reykjavik Celebration Theatre offers a staged reading of Steve Yockey’s collection of vignettes about tourists interacting with locals in Iceland. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. Tue., 7:30 p.m. Free; donations appreciated.

Beauty and the Beast — A Christmas Rose Family-friendly update of the classic tale, in the style of a traditional British Panto. Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Wed.-Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 24. $29 and up. (626) 449-7360.

The Broadway Princess Party “Cinderella’s” Laura Osnes, “Beauty and the Beast’s” Susan Egan and “Aladdin’s” Courtney Reed share songs and stories. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Thu-Sat., 7:30 p.m. $89 and up. (714) 556-2787.

La Víspera Holiday show based on the stories of members of the local immigrant community. 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $2.40. (213) 745-6516.

Miracle on 34th Street Live staging of the original 1947 Christmas-themed radio play; with Alfred Molina and “Fraiser’s” Peri Gilpin. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$65. (626) 356-7529.

Titanique in Concert Celine Dion impersonator Marla Mindelle and company recount the tale of the Titanic in this mix of music and comedy. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu., 7 p.m. $20-$55. (310) 746-4000.

A Very Merry MagicMania Illusionist Albie Selznick (“Smoke and Mirrors”) hosts a holiday edition of this showcase for award-winning magicians and variety acts. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $40. (818) 558-7000.

Clint Holmes The veteran singer-songwriter performs standards and more. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7 p.m. $20-$50. (310) 746-4000.


The Hit Men Rock ’N’ Roll + Christmas Classics Classic hits and holiday favorites. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $35-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Jane Austen UnScripted Impro Theatre improvises tales inspired by the early 19th century English novelist. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $45. (310) 434-3200.

Winter Fete and Telethon Rogue Artists Ensemble stages its fourth holiday variety show. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $20-$50.

The Klezmatics: Happy, Joyous Hanukkah The musical group celebrates the Jewish holiday and Yiddish culture. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sat., 8 p.m. $33-$68. (818) 677-3000.

Love Actually in Concert For the Record stages a musical celebration of the holiday-themed 2003 romantic comedy. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7 and 9 p.m. $20-$55. (310) 746-4000.

The O’Jays’ Holiday Show The veteran R&B group performs seasonal tunes and classic hits. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr., Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $70-$110. (562) 916-8500.

A Piece of My Mind Writer-performer Eric Barr, who survived a series of devastating strokes, shares his story in this benefit show. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $50. (323) 663-1525.

Rocky the Renegade Reindeer Reindeer go on strike on Christmas Eve in this family-friendly holiday tale. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $10. (818) 763-5990.

Back From Broadway Lindsay Mendez (“Wicked,” “Godspell”) performs as part of Musical Theatre West’s “Broadway in Concert” series. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $50-$120. (562) 856-1999.

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show The veteran gospel group performs with the Preservation Hall Legacy Horns and singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster in this CAP UCLA presentation. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $29.50-$59.50. (310) 825-2101.

Eden According to Eve Jewish Women’s Theatre re-imagines the stories of Old Testament heroines and villainesses. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., No. 102, Santa Monica. Next Sun., 2 and 5 p.m. $40. (800) 838-3006.

Critics’ Choices

Bob’s Holiday Office Party Sporting its original creators and longtime cast members, this long-running yuletide parody of small town eccentricity thrives on the qualities that made it a staple of the L.A. theatre scene 22 years ago — it’s irreverent, crude and devastatingly funny. (P.B.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Mon., Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

Caught A gallery talk by a Chinese dissident artist is the beginning of a plunge down a rabbit hole in this art installation/theater piece. Christopher Chen’s wildly inventive play inspires further creativeness in director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and L.A. presenters Firefly Theater & Films, VS. Theatre Company and Think Tank Gallery. Ever-shifting frames of reality leave you with more questions than answers, which is good because they’re questions about perception and truth. (D.H.M.) Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., L.A. Ends Sun., 7:30 p.m. $65-$80.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Even the most jaded of “Christmas Carol”-inundated audiences may well find themselves pleasurably surprised by the Rubicon Theatre’s literate new version, owing to both the scrupulous textual fidelity to the source novella, as well as the allocation of narrative and dialogue among the cast to better illuminate their characters’ backstories, perspectives and interior mental states. (P.B.) 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.; ends Dec. 23. $25-$65. (805) 667-2900.

A Christmas Carol Amid many worthy area stagings of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic, this deftly performed, meta-theatrical edition stands out for fidelity to text, witty stagecraft and heartfelt embrace of message. There are fleeting oddities, but only a die-hard humbug could remain unmoved by so charming a yuletide treat. God bless us everyone. (David C. Nichols) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Fri. 8 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

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., 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $35. (323) 960-5068.

The Latina Christmas Special Under the direction of Geoffrey Rivas, the massively talented trio of Maria Russell, Diana Yanez and Sandra Valls, who all play themselves, hilariously and heart-wrenchingly recapitulate memories of Christmases past in this very special “Special” — which is most distinctively and most memorably a loving tribute to their feisty, funny Latina mothers. (F.K.F.) Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 7. $32-$37; discounts available. (866) 811-4111.

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., 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.

The Secret in the Wings Playwright Mary Zimmerman (“Metamorphoses”) offers up a richly horrific collection of little-known fairy tales, shuffling the stories so that we are left at the apogee of dread before the action “cuts away” to another story before eventually resuming — an ingenious device that requires a dizzying number of scene shifts and costume changes. Director Joseph V. Calarco handles the production’s intricacies with a sure hand, interspersing the general grimness with drollery at welcome intervals, while the seamless Coeurage Theatre ensemble is a dream team so perfectly in tune with one another, they could be a single organism. (F.K.F.) Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.