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Entertainment & Arts

Theater in L.A. this week: ‘Anastasia,’ ‘Macbeth’ and more

Lila Coogan in “Anastasia”
Lila Coogan plays Anya in the national tour of the musical “Anastasia,” coming to the Pantages this week.
(Matthew Murphy)

Here is a list of new plays, Critics’ Choices, etc. for Oct. 6.-13. Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).

Openings

The Everly Brothers: Live at Royal Albert Hall [Revisited] Lee Lessack and Johnny Rodgers re-create the sibling duo’s 1983 reunion concert in London. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St. Long Beach. Sun., 2 p.m. $40. (562) 985-7000. carpenterarts.org

Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium Family-friendly show based on the children’s books by R.L. Stine. Chance Theater, Fyda-Mar Stage, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., 5 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $24-$30; discounts available. (888) 455-4212. ChanceTheater.com

The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? Robert Dubac portrays five none-too-bright characters in this solo comedy. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 3 and 7 p.m. $40, $50. (866) 811-4111. elportaltheatre.com

Where Is Your Groom? II Taleen Babayan’s sequel to her comedy about an Armenian American family; performed in English with some Armenian. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Sun., 6 p.m. $20-$50. (818) 243-2539. alextheatre.org

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The Living Room Series Staged reading of Dean Bruggeman’s “Beautifully Broken Things.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827. theblank.com

Anastasia A young woman with a mysterious past finds herself in 1920s Paris in this romantic musical with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $49 and up. (800) 982-2787. hollywoodpantages.com

Dear Jerry Seinfeld New rock musical inspired by the comic’s classic TV sitcom; contains mature themes and language; for ages 21 and up. Three Clubs, 1123 Vine St., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 21. $20, $25. dearjerryseinfeld.com

Sharon McNight: Gone, But Not Forgotten The Tony nominee salutes legendary female performers including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin and Patsy Cline. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave, Fullerton. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $20, $30. themuck.org

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Swines Irish sketch comedy trio Foil Arms & Hog performs. Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Thu., 7 and 10 p.m. $35. foilarmsandhog.ie

TST Sum Poetry Towne Street Theatre presents spoken-word by local artists as part of its “Autumn Nights” series. Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 24. $10; series passes available. townestreetla.org

The Abuelas West Coast premiere of Stephanie Alison Walker’s drama about the personal toll of the Argentine government’s brutal crackdown on political dissent during the so-called “Dirty War” of the 1970s-80s. Antaeus Theatre Company, Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $35. (818) 506-1983. Antaeus.org

Ain Gordon: 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous Writer-director Gordon re-imagines the story of the pioneering gay psychiatrist whose work made a profound impact on the movement for LGBTQ rights. CAP UCLA at Freud Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, UCLA, 245 Charles E. Young Dr. East, Westwood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. $28-$59. (310) 825-2101. cap.ucla.edu

Brandonna Summer: Healing Through Living The drag artist mixes music and comedy in this inspirational show. The Cavern Club, Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com

Good Fishermen Know a Lot About Sex A family recovering from a tragedy books a Hawaiian vacation in hope of finding healing in this new musical. Hudson Theatre, Guild Stage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. $26, $36. onstage411.com

Half Truths, Full Plate Towne Street Theatre presents Dara Harper’s drama about three generations of women as part of its “Autumn Nights” series. Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m. $10; series passes available. townestreetla.org

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Hassan Hajjaj: My Rockstars Experimental Live CAP UCLA co-presents this multicultural musical art installation. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m. $25-$50. (323) 461-3673. FordTheatres.org

Ghostwalk 2019: Muerte Brothers Circus — The Greatest Show Not On Earth! The Santa Paula Theater stages its annual walk-through theatrical event. Fumigation Building, 822 E. Santa Barbara, Santa Paula. Fri.-Sat., 6 to 9 p.m.; next Sun., 6 to 8 p.m.; tours depart every 30 minutes; ends Oct. 27. $10, $15; reservations recommended. (805) 525-3073. www.ghostwalk.com

In Trousers A man recalls his struggles with issues of identity and sexuality in this musical installment in William Finn’s “Marvin Trilogy.” Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. $30. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Radio-style presentation of the Washington Irving terror tale about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Long Beach Shakespeare Company, Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $12.50. (562) 997-1494. LBShakespeare.org

Macbeth House of Bards Theatre Company stages Shakespeare’s tragedy of the power-hungry Scottish warlord and his scheming wife for its inaugural production. Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. $20-$40. grandvision.org

Picasso at the Lapin Agile The painter meets up with physicist Albert Einstein at a cafe in 1904 Paris in Steve Martin’s absurdist comedy. West Valley Playhouse, temporary space, 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $28, $30. (818) 884-1907. wvplayhouse.com

Respect Your Elders! Comedy Fest Asian American sketch and improv comedy troupes perform. East West Players, David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $25-$45. (213) 625-7000. eastwestplayers.org

Barrymore Robert Benedict portrays legendary star of stage and screen John Barrymore in William Luce’s comedy; for mature audiences. Upstairs at the Group Rep (not handicapped accessible), Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., Burbank. Sat., 4 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. $17, $20. (818) 763-5990. thegrouprep.com

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Binge Free Festival Fourth-annual event features live performances, workshops, readings, music, poetry and more. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Various dates and times; starts sat., ends Nov. 15. Free; reservations required. (310) 974-9779. santamonicaplayhouse.com

Don’t Tell My Mother! Coming Out Show “Schitt’s Creek” costar Emily Hampshire and others share LGBTQ+ stories; Nikki Levy hosts. Catch One, 4067 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $25-$35. dtmm-show.com

4.48 Psychosis Mental illness is explored in Sarah Kane’s stream-of-consciousness drama, the final work written by the British playwright before her suicide in 1999. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. $20, $25; some pay-what-you-can tickets available, $10 minimum. (213) 351-3507. sonofsemele.org

Hair Revival of the classic rock musical about the 1960s counterculture. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre (upstairs), 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 16. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014. lbplayhouse.org

Hollywood on Stage 5-Star Theatricals, New West Symphony and Pacific Festival Ballet join forces for a salute to movie classics. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m. $39-$90. (805) 449-2787. civicartsplaza.com

La Marisoul: Un Homenaje to Mexican-American Music From Lalo Guerrero to Today The La Santa Cecilia vocalist performs with special guests. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sat., 8 p.m. $36-$71. (818) 677-3000. TheSoraya.org

Neil Simon’s Musical Fools A tutor arrives in a cursed village in 19th century Ukraine in this new tune-filled adaptation of Simon’s comedy; for ages 8 and up. Open Fist Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 17. $10-$35; gala on Sun., Oct. 13 only, $100. (323) 882-6912. openfist.org

Once 3-D Theatricals stages the hit romantic musical based on the 2007 indie film about an Irish busker who meets a young Czech pianist in Dublin; performed in the round. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $25-$90. (562) 916-8500. cerritoscenter.com

The Tragedie of Macbeth — An Immersive Experience Audience members follow the action from scene to scene in this site-specific production of the Bard’s tragedy; for ages 9 and up. Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st St.; downtown L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 3. (213) 481-2273. $49. shakespearecenter.org

Dear One: Love & Longing in Mid-Century Queer America Staged reading of Josh Irving Gershick’s fact-based epistolary drama. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Next Sun., 1:30 p.m. $10-$20. (626) 356-3121. anoisewithin.org

Fritz Coleman’s Defying Gravity The comic and local weatherman performs a benefit show. Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $50. (818) 955-8101. garrymarshalltheatre.org

Story Pirates Musical sketch comedy show for ages 5 and up. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Promenade Terrace, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 11 a.m. Free. (310) 746-4000. TheWallis.org

Critics’ Choices

Almost Famous Spun from Cameron Crowe’s autobiographically inspired 2000 film about a teenage rock journalist’s freewheeling sentimental education while on the road with an up-and-coming band, this new musical (with original music by Tony winner Tom Kitt complementing the selection of 1970s rock classics) is as shimmering as a stadium of lighters during a Led Zeppelin encore. Crowe has adapted his Oscar-winning screenplay into the musical’s book, which preserves much of what was so appealing about the film without insisting on perfect fidelity. What is perfectly distilled is the chaotic, communal spirit of ’70s rock in a musical that seems destined to conquer Broadway. (C.M.) The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue., 7 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 27. $70 and up. (619) 234-5623. TheOldGlobe.org

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., 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. ends Oct. 27. $25-$34. (310) 822-8392. pacificresidenttheatre.com

In Circles David Schweizer directs a tantalizing revival of this 1967 work created by composer Al Carmines, a seminal figure in the off-off-Broadway movement, from Gertrude Stein’s 1920 “A Circular Play.” The austerity of this playful collage of wordplay is unusually amiable when set to music: Imagine Dr. Seuss as a cubist poet with a taste for avant-garde performance and a love for old-fashioned musical showmanship. The game cast and sharp design keep us in the eternal present, which was Stein’s theatrical goal in jettisoning all that we’ve come to expect from theater: definable character, linear dialogue and developing plot. What’s left is a shimmering sensibility that gambols freely in a new age. (C.M.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 10. $32-$37; discounts available; $10 tickets on select dates. (310) 477-2055. OdysseyTheatre.com

Little Shop of Horrors If “Sweeney Todd” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” mated, the offspring would look something like “Little Shop of Horrors,” the off-off-Broadway camp-thriller musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken that became a long-running off-Broadway hit in the 1980s. This new revival, directed by Mike Donahue, finds more realism than usual in this over-the-top doo-wop-infused tale about a clerk at a flower shop who makes a pact with a carnivorous, talking plant (powerfully voiced by “Glee’s” Amber Riley) that promises fame, fortune and romantic bliss for the price of his soul and flora world domination. The touching leads, George Salazar as Seymour, the nerdy flower shop drone with an unusual horticultural flair, and Mj Rodriguez (“Pose”) as Audrey, the delicate co-worker he would like to rescue from a malignant relationship, draw out the full humanity of their characters. (C.M.) The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 20. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org


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