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Entertainment & Arts

Theater in L.A. this week: ‘Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation’ and more

Margaret Odette in “Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation”
Margaret Odette heads the cast of “Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation” at the Geffen Playhouse.
(Jeff Lorch)

Here is a list of new plays, Critics’ Choices, etc., in L.A. for Feb. 9-16. 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 Father Alfred Molina stars in Christopher Hampton’s translation of French playwright Florian Zeller’s drama about a man navigating shifting realities. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., 5 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat, 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends March 1. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529. pasadenaplayhouse.org

A Little More Love Connie The drag artist salutes pop music’s Olivia Newton-John in this new show. Cavern Club Celebrity Theater, Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave. Silver Lake. Sun., Fri.-Sat., next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 22. $25. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com

In Vogue: Songs by Madonna Australian cabaret artist Michael Griffiths salutes the Material Girl. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8:30 p.m. $20–$40; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 466-2210. catalinajazzclub.com

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Center Theatre Group Library Play Reading Series Camila Villegas’ “Las Arañas Cumplen Años”; performed in Spanish. Benjamin Franklin Library, 2200 E. 1st St., L.A. Tue., 6 p.m. Also at Malabar Library, 2801 Wabash Ave., L.A. Wed., 6 p.m.; and Robert Louis Stevenson Library, 803 Spence St., L.A. Thu., 6 p.m. Free. CenterTheatreGroup.org

Frankenstein Four Larks mixes physical theater, live music and experiential design in this new work inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic novel about a mad doctor and his monstrous creation. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 and 7 p.m.; ends March 1. $60. (310) 746-4000. TheWallis.org

Pin Ups ‘N Pin Downs Lucha VaVoom’s annual Valentine’s show features Mexican masked wrestling, comedy and burlesque; 21 and over only. Mayan Theater, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown L.A. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m. $40-$55. luchavavoom.com

Beautiful — The Carole King Musical Tune-filled bio-drama celebrates the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter; for ages 11 and up. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $48-$103. (805) 449-2787. civicartsplaza.com

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The Christopher Boy’s Communion David Mamet wrote and directs this new mystery drama about a grisly murder in New York City’s Central Park; with Rebecca Pidgeon, William H. Macy, Clark Gregg and Fionnula Flanagan. The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $50. (310) 477-2055. ovationtix.com

Direct From Vegas — The Pack Is Back Musical revue salutes Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. 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. $50-$65. (949) 497-2787. lagunaplayhouse.com

Hurricane Diane The Greek god Dionysus returns to Earth as a modern-day lesbian gardener on a mission to restore the balance of nature in the West Coast premiere of Madeleine George’s comedy. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends March 8. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623. TheOldGlobe.org

Isabella Rossellini’s Link Link Circus The actress and filmmaker explores the connections between human and animal behavior in this family-friendly show. The Lodge Room, 104 N. Ave. 56, Highland Park. Thu.-Fri., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 19. $45 and up. lodgeroomhlp.com. Also at Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Sat.-next Sun., 8 p.m. $95 and up. malibuplayhouse.org

Law and Order: The Musical! Sendup of the prime-time police procedural. The Broadwater Second Stage Theater, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 15. $20. (800) 838-3006. brownpapertickets.com

Loves Me/Loves Me Not Five short plays about love. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Thu.-Sat, 8 p.m. $20. (310) 512-6030. littlefishtheatre.org

Revenge Song: A Vampire Cowboys Creation World premiere of Qui Nguyen’s drama, with songs by Shane Rettig, about queer 17th century French swordswoman and opera singer Julie d’Aubigny. Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends March 8. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454. geffenplayhouse.org

Tame: Up Close and Personal Magician and mentalist Blaise Serra performs in this intimate show. The Montalbán, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $55, $110. (323) 461-6999. themontalban.com

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Groundlings Bar Fight Improv and sketch comedy. Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; ends April 18. $18-$25; opening night only, $50. (323) 934-4747. groundlings.com

Hamlet: The Rock Musical Revival of this 1970s musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy of the melancholy Dane. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $49.50-$99.50. (866) 811-4111. elportaltheatre.com

Rorschach Fest Open Fist Theatre Company opens its 30th anniversary season with a selection of short works, performed in repertory. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 and 7 p.m.; ends April 5. $15-$30; passes, $40, $50. (323) 882-6912. openfist.org

Aleichem Sholom! The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem Musical inspired by the life and times of the Yiddish humorist. The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 3:30 p.m. $35. (310) 394-9779. santamonicaplayhouse.com

Can’t Pay? Don’t Pay! A protest by women against high prices at a local supermarket gives way to looting in Cam Deaver’s translation of Italian playwright Dario Fo’s satire. The Actors’ Gang Theatre, The Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 28. $25-$50. (310) 838-4264. TheActorsGang.com

Human Interest Story A newspaper columnist fabricates a story about a despondent homeless woman threatening to commit suicide on the Fourth of July in this new drama written and directed by Stephen Sachs. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 5. $25-$45; Mondays, $40, or pay what you want (subject to availability). (323) 663-1525. FountainTheatre.com

Kinky Boots 3-D Theatricals stages Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s Tony-winning musical comedy about a drag queen who comes to the aid of the owner of a failing shoe factory. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 1. $25-$90. (562) 916-8500. cerritoscenter.com

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LBP Staff & Friends Cabaret Fundraiser/variety show. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre (upstairs), 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $15, $30. (562) 494-1014. lbplayhouse.org

Out of the Eclipse Tony winner Joanna Gleason stars in the West Coast premiere of her solo show about recovering from the back-to-back loss of both parents. The Los Angeles LGBT Center, Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $35. (323) 860-7300. lalgbtcenter.org

Stomp! Long-running hit show mixes music, movement, percussion and physical comedy. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $39 and up. (818) 677-3000. thesoraya.org

Valentina The drag artist and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” regular is featured in an evening of song, dance and stories. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State LA, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$50. (323) 343-6600. luckmanarts.org

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Family-friendly musical fable based on Grace Lin’s children book, inspired by Chinese folklore, about a young girl on a mission to save her village. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $24 and up. (714) 708-5555. scr.org

The Winter’s Tale A king’s jealousy sets events in motion in Shakespeare’s decades-spanning romantic drama. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 11. $25 and up; student rush, $20; group discounts available. (626) 356-3121. anoisewithin.org

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

It Shoulda Been You Musical Theatre Guild offers a concert staging of this musical comedy about a Jewish bride, a Catholic groom and their respective mothers. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $45, $49. (818) 243-2539. musicaltheatreguild.com

Looking for Leroy The Robey Theatre Company presents a staged reading of Larry Muhammad’s new drama about poet-playwright-activist Amiri Baraka, also known as LeRoi Jones. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $10 suggested donation. (213) 489-7402. robeytheatrecompany.org

Critics’ Choices

Disposable Necessities Neil McGowan’s play is set in the not-so-distant future, when society’s privileged have become essentially immortal, able to download their identities into new “modules” — i.e., bodies of the recently deceased — while have-nots must content themselves with providing premium carcasses for the affluent. Director Guillermo Cienfuegos and a lively cast nail down the laughs – or, conversely, the pathos — in this richly imaginative world premiere, which challenges our expectations at every twist of its deliciously disturbing plot. Just don’t lay bets on where the story ends up. You’ll lose. (F.K.F.) Rogue Machine Theatre, Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $25, $40. (855) 585-5185. roguemachinetheatre.com

Jitney Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Tony-winning revival of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” a triumphant melding of acting and drama, puts the audience in the unique position of eavesdroppers on the colloquial music of life. This early Wilson play, the first to be written in his 10-play cycle exploring the 20th century African American experience, takes place in the 1970s at a gypsy cap station threatened by the city’s urban renewal program. Wilson takes us inside the drivers’ lives to reveal the way history has challenged and changed their destinies. What was once dismissed as a minor Wilson drama is now considered major. And it’s not because our standards have plummeted. Rather, it’s that the play, when fully realized by a company of actors working in communal concord, satisfies our growing hunger for complex and compassionate character truth. (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.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623. TheOldGlobe.org

Red Ink In a beleaguered newsroom, the top editor huddles under a desk, shuddering with fear. Declining revenues, corporate consolidation and staff cuts are just a few of the factors that have sent him there. The waking nightmare of journalists across America is given bleakly humorous expression in Steven Leigh Morris’ new play, in which shifting realities are a vivid metaphor for media’s changing circumstances. Nike Doukas directs some of L.A.’s premier actors. (D.H.M.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 24. $30, $40. (800) 838-3006. playwrightsarena.org

The Unseen Hand / Killer’s Head Resurrected Old West gunslingers, extraterrestrials, and other outcasts take absurdist aim at midcentury American conformity in these neglected, often hilarious chestnuts from Sam Shepard’s early career, showcasing the underground playwright at his gleefully irreverent best. (P.B.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 8. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055. OdysseyTheatre.com

What the Constitution Means to Me At a time when the Constitution is being assailed by those who have sworn an oath to defend it, this buoyant and often-stirring civics lesson is the theatrical curriculum Americans desperately need now. As much a play as a performance piece, this category transcending offering by Heidi Schreck took Broadway by storm last spring. Schreck is no longer performing in the work, which reveals with courageous poignancy the way our nation’s founding legal document intersects with the choices, opportunities, relationships and destinies of those who have had to fight for their foothold in our imperfect democracy. For the L.A. premiere, Maria Dizzia takes over the role of Heidi. Schreck’s autobiographical confidences about her family history and reproductive choices may not have the same emotional rawness in Dizzia’s portrayal, but the larger story about the ongoing legal struggle for gender equality is powerfully served. (C.M.). Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. $25 and up. (213) 628-2772. centertheatregroup.org


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