Theater in L.A. this week: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and more

Erika Soto stars in a stage adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” at A Noise Within.
Erika Soto stars in a stage adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” at A Noise Within.
(Daniel Reichert)

Here is a list of new plays, Critics’ Choices, etc., in L.A. for March 1-8. Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.), Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.) and Nikki Munoz (N.M).


Barefoot in the Park Neil Simon’s classic comedy about young newlyweds in NYC; with Rita Rudner and Paul Rodriguez in supporting roles. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Sun., 5:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5:30 p.m.; ends March 22. $61-$101. (949) 497-2787.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: Neighbor Day Stage show based on the animated children’s TV series. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Sun., 2 and 5:30 p.m. $30.25-$81.50. (805) 449-2787.

A Beating Heart The Group Rep presents a staged reading of this musical inspired by Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m. Free. (818) 763-5990.


The Pack @ The Pico Staged readings of new short comedies by Eugene Pack. The Pico, 10508 Pico Blvd., L.A. Tue., 7:30 p.m. $10. (800) 838-3006.

The Finest Hour: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Music that Ended WWII Musical revue features classic songs by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, et al. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Wed., 3 p.m. $45-$100. (949) 854-4646.

Not a Genuine Black Man Writer-performer Brian Copeland stars in this autobiographical solo show. Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre, 5636 Melrose Ave., L.A. Wed., 7:30 p.m.; also April 22. $25.

100 Heartbreaks Staged reading of Joanna Garner’s new musical about a female country music star; contains adult language and themes; for ages 13 and up. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $15. (888) 455-4212.


Risk! The storytelling series returns; David Crabb hosts. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Wed., 8 p.m. $12, $15. (323) 660-4540.

Home Southern California premiere of Geoff Sobelle’s immersive, large-scale work about what makes a house a home. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $39 and up. (310) 434-3200.

Tarantina: Un-Valentine’s Day Burlesque/variety show inspired by the films of Quentin Tarantino returns. Club Bahia, 1130 Sunset Blvd., L.A. Thu., 9:15 p.m. $25-$300.

Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s Sacred Fools Theatre stages the West Coast premiere of Madhuri Shekar’s play about the drama club at an all-girls Catholic school trying to mount a production of Sophocles ancient Greek tragedy. The Broadwater Main Stage, 1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; ends April 11. $15.


Anxious & Dangerous Nadya Ginsburg, known for her impersonations of Madonna and Cher, returns in this queer-friendly comedy-and-music show. Cavern Club Theatre, Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Fri., 8 p.m. $20, $25. (800) 838-3006.

The Center Session: A Night With The Beatles with Christian James Hand The classic-rock radio host explores some of the Fab Four’s most beloved songs. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri., 7 p.m. $100-$200. (714) 556-2787.

Dinosaur World Live Kid-friendly show features large-scale dinosaur puppets. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Fri., 7 p.m. $24-$39. (805) 449-2787. Also at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Next Sun., 1, 4 and 7 p.m. $10-$20. (562) 916-8500.

One Night In Memphis Cast members from the show “Million Dollar Quartet” sing the songs of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cashn in this revue. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $55-$75. (562) 916-8500.


Alice in Wonderland A young girl undertakes a fantastical journey in Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus’ adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale; for ages 6 and up. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 18. $25 and up; student rush, $20; group discounts available. (626) 356-3121.

Death and Other Girly Things A young woman goes on a road trip with her newborn in RJ Fontaine’s new tale. Loft Ensemble, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends April 12. $10, $20. (818) 452-3153.

Terry Fator The Las Vegas ventriloquist, comic, singer and celebrity impersonator performs. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m. $36-$89. (562) 944-9801.


Ghosted! by Roz Drezfalez Live! The drag artist and paranormal-podcast host shares the stage with special guests. The Cavern Club at Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Hot August Night: A Tribute to Neil Diamond Dean Colley re-creates a concert by the singer-songwriter. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. $25-$39. (866) 811-4111.

Murder Mafia Audience members try to catch a killer in this interactive, improvised mystery comedy. Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St. #B, Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 28. $15. (310) 392-7327.

Parable of the Sower Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon’s musical drama based on Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed 1993 sci-i fable set in a near-future dystopian world of racial and income inequality, environmental devastation, etc. Royce Hall, UCLA, 10745 Dickson Court, Westwood. Sat., 8 p.m. $28 and up. (310) 825-2101.


The Serpent 50th-anniversary revival of Jean-Claude van Itallie’s Obie-winning ceremonial/celebratory work inspired by the biblical book of Genesis. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 3. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

Shenanigans Variety show mixes magic, comedy and music. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Sat., 2 and 7 p.m. $29-$39. (805) 449-2787.

Sister Act Stage adaptation of the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy about a lounge singer who hides out in a convent after witnessing a murder. Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 15. $30-$38. (909) 477-2752.

Wild Wild Christian Writer-performer Simone McAlonen revisits her teenage experiences living at a Christian summer camp in this solo show. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; also April 10-11. $10. (818) 839-1197.


You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown Classic musical comedy featuring cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” characters. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:15 p.m.; ends April 5. $20-$28. (805) 583-7900.

ABBA Mania Tribute act re-creates a concert by the Swedish pop group. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 3 and 8 p.m. $25-$39. (866) 811-4111.

Fly J.M. Barrie’s classic tale about Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook is reimagined in this new musical with music by Bill Sherman, lyrics by Rajiv Joseph and Kirsten Childs and book by Rajiv Joseph. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 29. $25-$81. (858) 550-1010.

Live From Laurel Canyon: Songs and Stories of American Folk Rock Tribute act celebrates the music of the Byrds, the Doors, CSN&Y, etc. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St. Long Beach. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $40. (562) 985-7000.


Studio: Spring 2020 Quarterly showcase features new works and works-in-progress by local theater artists, dancers, musicians, etc. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Next Sun.-Mon., 8:30 p.m. $12, $15. (213) 237-2800.

TMI Hollywood Sketch show riffs on celebrity gossip. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends June 7. $15.

We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The civil-rights icon is remembered in words and music. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theatre, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $27.50-$55. (310) 506-4522.

Critics’ Choices

The $5 Shakespeare Company A love letter to small theater and to theater goers, Matthew Leavitt’s comedy is sharp and cleverly crafted. It follows a small local theater troupe in the midst of a struggling run of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and hoping to grab the recently opened slot for Shakespeare in the Park. The ensemble shines in their respective roles, each vivid and distinct, depicting both the company’s backstage antics and various scenes from “Midsummer.” (N.M.) The 6th Act, Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 8. $35.


Fun Home A stranger lived in Alison Bechdel’s home. He happened to be her father. Her search through childhood memories to piece together the mysteries of her walled-off, tempestuous late father is the subject of a 2006 memoir and the Tony-winning musical made from it. The story is built of nuances best appreciated in a small theater like the Chance. The characters are electrically alive in this production, even if, here and there, singing voices aren’t all that one might wish. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, Cripe Stage, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends March 8. $25-$49. (888) 455-4212.

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.; Wed., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 8. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

West Adams If this play had been produced three or so years ago, it might have been dismissed as overwrought. Now, however, playwright Penelope Lowder has her finger firmly on the faltering pulse of American culture, and the patient is in dire need of resuscitation. What starts out as a comical send-up of the effects of gentrification on the inner city takes a dark turn, as two initially genial couples go to increasingly extreme measures to insinuate themselves into the mainstream of their newly adopted neighborhood. Suffice to say, genial though they may seem at first, monsters are at large on West Adams. Multiple award-winning director Michael A. Shepperd and a wonderful cast lift the rock off Lowder’s dishearteningly perfect play and let the creepy-crawlies squiggle freely. There are plenty of laughs to be had here — before the horror sets in. (F.K.F.) Skylight Theatre, 1816 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends March 8. $20 and up; discounts available. (866) 811-4111.