‘Beast on the Moon,’ ‘Joy Luck Club’ and more theater to see this week in L.A.


Here’s a list of new plays plus critics’ recommendations for Aug. 18-25. Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).


Dirty Tricks The New Bad Boys of Magic, a.k.a. Daniel Donohue and Eric Siegel, mix magic and comedy; ages 21 and up only. The Three Clubs, 1123 Vine St., Hollywood. Sun., 8 p.m. $10.

Saugerties Weird Sisters presents Susan Eve Haar’s new drama exploring reproductive technologies and what it means to be human. Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 8. $30.

Barrymore Robert Benedict portrays star of stage and screen John Barrymore in William Luce’s bio-drama; for mature audiences. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., Burbank. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m. Free. (818) 763-5990.


Still at Risk Celebration Theatre presents a staged reading of Tim Pinckney’s drama about a veteran AIDS activist trying to find his place in contemporary gay culture. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. Tue., 7:30 p.m. Free; donations accepted.

Kristine W & Ada Vox The dance-club artist and the “American Idol” finalist share the stage for songs and stories. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Wed., 8:30 p.m. $25-$50; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 466-2210.

Back in Time — The Music of Huey Lewis & the News Tribute act salutes the 1980s and ‘90s-era rock band. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road., Laguna Beach. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m. $20. (949) 497-2787.

Driving Wilde A beautiful young man wakes from a coma in Jacqueline Wright’s modern-day update of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Bart DeLorenzo directs. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 21. $20, $25. (323) 856-8611.

Kiss Me, Kate Marina del Rey Symphony presents a fully staged production of the classic Cole Porter musical inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Thu., Sat., 7 p.m. Free. Reservations at

The Johnny Cycle The Speakeasy Society stages this immersive, interactive work inspired by “Johnny Got His Gun,” Dalton Trumbo’s classic novel about a grievously wounded young soldier reflecting on his life and his experiences during WWI; includes adult themes plus some physical contact with performers; for ages 14 and up. Mountain View Mausoleum, 2300 Marengo Ave., Altadena. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 21. $125.


The Lonesome West Two brothers in rural Ireland fight over an inheritance in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 15. $15-$28. (310) 512-6030.

Beast on the Moon Two survivors of the Armenian genocide in Turkey start new lives in 1920s America in Richard Kalinoski’s drama. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 8. $47-$55. (562) 436-4610.

Harry Potter & the Forbidden Rush Seven new unauthorized short plays inspired by J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels. Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 8 p.m. $20. (818) 934-1366.

The 2019 Paul Robeson Theatre Festival African American theater troupe the Robey Theatre Company celebrates its 25th anniversary with highlights from past productions, plus panel discussions, live music and more. Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre 4, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $35, $50. (866) 811-4111.

WestFest 2019 Five-week showcase for new works continues. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; series returns Oct. 11 though Oct. 27. $15. (323) 851-7977.

All in the Family Singer-actress Valerie Perri and her twin sons Jack and Benny Lipson share the stage for show tunes, standards and more. The Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $35-$55. (805) 667-2900.


A Body in the O Veteran performance artist Tim Miller presents this new autobiographical work. The Found Theatre, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. Pay what you can; $15 suggested donation.

Dear Yoko Writer-performer Anzu Lawson (“Chicago Med”) explores her life’s journey from Southern California to Tokyo to Hollywood in this autobiographical solo show. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m. $22. (800) 838-3006.

The Joy Luck Club Four Chinese women and their American-born daughters share life’s up and downs in Susan Kim’s adaptation of Amy Tan’s best seller set in 1980s San Francisco; Tim Dang directs. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 5. $25-$45. (626) 355-4318.

Now More Than Ever — An Afternoon of Humor Company members from Theatre 40 read humorous pieces by Saki, P.G. Wodehouse and others. L.A. Public Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sat., 3 p.m. Free.

Saturday Night Stand Up An evening of female comics featuring the Feminoles with special guest Angel Laketa Moore. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Sat., 8 p.m. $35. (866) 811–4111.

Titus Andronicus The Long Beach Shakespeare Company stages the Bard’s bloody revenge saga about a feud between the titular Roman general and Tamora, queen of the Goths. The Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 14. $12.50, $22.50. (562) 997-1494.


What Just Happened? Voice actress and puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (“Sesame Street”) shares songs and stories in this adults-only cabaret show. The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Righteous Among Us Staged reading of Amy Tofte’s new Holocaust-themed drama. Actors Co-op, David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

Celebrating Brunch: A ‘Queer As Folk’ Reunion Cast members from the original Showtime series reunite to reminisce in this Celebration Theatre fundraiser that also includes a preview of the company’s upcoming production “Ravenswood Manor”; Drew Droege hosts. Micky’s West Hollywood, 8857 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Next Sun., 11 a.m. $95, $150; 21 and over only.

The Coast Starlight A troubled young man riding the train from L.A. to Seattle comes to rely on the kindness of his fellow passengers in Keith Bunin’s new drama. La Jolla Playhouse, Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 15. $20 and up. (858) 550-1010.

Voyeur: An Immersive Drag Experience With Wilhelmina Slayer, Essence Monroe, Siracha and others. The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $20.

Critics’ Choices

Andy Warhol’s Tomato In this deftly staged debut, Vince Melocchi’s two-hander imagines an encounter in 1946 Pittsburgh between 18-year old Warhol (only an aspiring commercial artist at that point) and a blue-collar barkeep harboring secret dreams of becoming a writer. Carefully researched factual accuracy notwithstanding, the play isn’t so much a biographical portrait as a touching exploration of cultural division bridged by a fundamental human need to create. (P.B.) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 22. $25-$34. (310) 822-8392.


Fefu and Her Friends There are many reasons to recommend the new production of María Irene Fornés’ feminist theater classic, but chief among them is the rarity of this opportunity. This is play that’s taught more often than it’s performed — mostly because of the logistical difficulties it poses. Long before immersive theater was a trend, Fornés was experimenting with the form by having the middle section of “Fefu” take place in four different rooms. The audience breaks up into groups, with each group taking turns eavesdropping on a different set of characters. Director Denise Blasor handles this challenge ingeniously in a production that, fittingly for a work on the necessity of female community as a corrective to patriarchal culture, is distinguished by its teamwork. (C.M.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

Moby Dick — Rehearsed Director Ellen Geer and a cast of 19 imaginatively bring to life Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of Herman Melville’s philosophical whaling novel, constructing the Pequod of little more than a bit of rope and sending it into the rolling Atlantic. The ghostly title cetacean isn’t physically manifested, but we see it nevertheless in the wonder and terror in the actors’ eyes. (D.H.M.) Next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Scraps Beginning as a slice of inner-city life, Geraldine Inoa’s drama is set in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where Jay-Z famously rapped his way out of the projects. A stoop scrawled with graffiti is the site of the gripping first part of this 90-minute play about a group of black neighbors in their early 20s whose lives have been upended by the death of one of their own at the hands of a white police officer. The work radically shifts gears in the second part, shooting off into the surreal as a way out of the maddening historical loop. (C.M.) The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 15. $35. (323) 960-7711.