It's Summer Theater, and Even Shakespeare Gets Into the Swing of Things

Summer theater continues in July with something for everyone: revivals, premieres, musicals, dramas, comedies, classics, moderns, children's plays, outdoor plays and free plays. The openings include:

* Today: "Silly Soup," Carol Korty's children's playlets, begin performances at the Waterfront Stage on the Santa Monica Pier.

* Thursday: John Fraser Cullen's "Jack of All Trades," a pop-rock-jazz-blues-ragtime musical set in Las Vegas, opens at the Shepard Theatre Complex in Hollywood.

* Saturday: Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" opens at Topanga Canyon's Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum.

* Saturday: Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is transported to about 1932 and set to the jazz-swing rhythms of the time in Shakespeare Festival/LA's free summer stagings, which begin at the John Anson Ford Theater in Hollywood.

* Saturday: The comedy and magic show "Trash"--a.k.a. "The Back Alley Illusions of Steve Trash"--comes to Hollywood's Theatre/Theatre.

* Saturday: "Fool for Love," Sam Shepard's steamy tale of sibling Angst, will play at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica.

* July 12: Neil Simon's farce "Rumors" makes its local debut at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood.

* July 12: Clifford Odets' drama "The Big Knife" opens as the maiden venture of the new Gene Dynarski Theatre in Hollywood.

* July 12: Burbank's Performing Arts Conservatory revives George Bernard Shaw's morality tale, "Mrs. Warren's Profession," at the Chapel Court Theatre at Hollywood's First Methodist Church.

* July 13: Another Shaw classic, "Don Juan in Hell," comes to the Celtic Arts Center in Hollywood.

* July 13: Murphy Guyer's "Loyalties" and Jason Miller's "Lou Gehrig Did Not Die of Cancer" open at Burbank's Third Stage.

* July 14: Peter Mellencamp's "Struggling Truths," on the idealistic clash between Buddhism and Communism in 1950s Tibet, makes its premiere at the Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles.

* July 14: Santa Monica's Highways kicks off its second national lesbian and gay performance festival with performances, readings, video, dance and workshops--plus a visual art exhibition and encore staging of "AIDS/US II."

* July 18: Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" long for Moscow at the outdoor Theatricum Botanicum.

* July 19: Padua Hills Playwrights Festival revisits Cal State Northridge with a dual bill of new works.

* July 19: Constance Congdon's engaging "Tales of the Lost Formicans" introduces aliens and a troubled human species at the Alliance Theatre in Burbank.

* July 19: The ever-enduring "Fiddler on the Roof" gets a revival at Burbank's Golden Theatre.

* July 19: Amanda Hillwood plays the title role in a new translation of Strindberg's "Miss Julie," a rental production at the Odyssey Theatre.

* July 23: Actress-singer Lisa Duke premieres her solo comedy, "Lisa Duke: Lost and Found," at the Gardenia in Hollywood.

* July 27: Lenore Carlson takes on the world of telemarketing in "Palladium Is Moving," opening at the Court Theatre in West Hollywood.

* July 27: Speaking of Huck Finn, Bernard Sabath reunites Tom and Huck in "The Boys in Autumn," opening at the Los Angeles Art Theatre in North Hollywood.

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