‘Virtual Monopoly’ Draws From Community’s Best


I’ve Got Park Place: A “Star Trek” sendup, two girls who draw a special “chance” card and get their wish, a kid who becomes a whiz on Wall Street, and the adventures of a lonely game board token--these short plays are part of “Virtual Monopoly,” family theater fare inspired by a certain famous board game, presented by the Virginia Avenue Project at UCLA’s Little Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

The original plays were written by such adult stage and screen professionals as Richard Coca, Mary Pat Gleason, Colin Ferguson, Leigh Curran and Geoffrey Rivas, who will perform them with children ages 6 to 18.

Based at the Santa Monica Police Activities League, the nonprofit mentoring Virginia Avenue Project is the West Coast replication of the venerable 52nd Street Project in New York City, bringing adult professional actors, directors, writers and others together with at-risk children in long-term acting and writing workshops.

* “Virtual Monopoly,” UCLA, Little Theatre (parking structure 3), West Los Angeles, Friday, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Free, but reservations required. (310) 330-8860.


Finding Their Voices: Voices in Harmony, another locally based nonprofit theater outreach mentoring program for youth, will present its program of plays this weekend too, at the Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills, in which young people ages 13 to 17 explore the themes of drug awareness and drug prevention. The roster of celebrity hosts for the performances include Lauren Holly on Friday, Bonnie Hunt and Noah Emmerich on Saturday, Salma Hayek at the Sunday matinee, and Renee Zellweger on Sunday evening.

* Voices in Harmony, Canon Theatre, 205 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 and 7 p.m. $10. (323) 660-8587.