Theater in L.A. this week: ‘A Bronx Tale,’ ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Orphée’ and more

Daniel Durant and Natasha Ofili costar in Deaf West Theatre's staging of Jean Cocteau's "Orphee" at Odyssey Theatre.
(Nick Agro)

Here is a list of new plays, Critics’ Choices, etc., in L.A. for March 8-15. 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).


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

The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel Al Pacino stars in a benefit staged reading of David Rabe’s Vietnam War-themed drama. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m. Sold out; wait list available. (310) 746-4000.

Dinosaur World Live Kid-friendly show features large-scale dinosaur puppets. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 1, 4 and 7 p.m. $10-$20. (562) 916-8500.


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 Joseph. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Sun., 7 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 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. 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. 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. Sun., 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 Highway, Malibu. Sun., 2 p.m. $27.50-$55. (310) 506-4522.

Jason Robert Brown The Tony winning composer and lyricist (“Parade,” “The Bridges of Madison County”) performs. The Bourbon Room, 6356 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd Floor, Hollywood. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $35-$70.

The Living Room Series Staged reading of Lisa Langford’s “How Blood Go.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827.

ABBArama Sing-along show celebrates the Swedish pop group. The Bourbon Room, 6356 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd Floor, Hollywood. Tue., 9 p.m.; ends May 19. $20, $50.


A Bronx Tale An Italian American teen in 1960s New York falls under the sway of a local mobster in this musical based on the 1991 film starring Chazz Palminteri and Robert De Niro. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends March 22. $26 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Twisted Broadway 3 Fundraiser features send-ups of famous show tunes. Feinstein’s at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Tue., 8 p.m. $35, $40; food and drink minimums apply. (818) 769-0905.

Ann Hampton Callaway: The Streisand Songbook The jazz vocalist salutes the singer-actress. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E Atherton St, Long Beach. Wed.-Thu., 7 p.m. $45-$55. (562) 985-7000.

IAMA Theatre Company Fundraiser Star-studded, tune-filled benefit with performers including Skylar Astin, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Sharon Lawrence and others. Formosa Café, 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Wed., 7 p.m. $150-$500. (323) 380-8843.


Pam Ann Returns Australian comic Caroline Reid’s flight-attendant alter ego sends up flying the friendly skies. Catalina Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Wed., 8:30 p.m. $25-$35; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.

Clock Tower Comedy An evening of stand-up and improv includes a performance of comedy troupe Baby Wants Candy’s ad-libbed musical spoof “Shamilton.” Union Station, North Patio, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown L.A. Thu., 7 p.m. Free.

Hamilton The national tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical about the fiscally savvy Founding Father returns for an extended stay. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 22. $55 and up. (800) 982-2787.

La Vie en Rose Julia Migenes celebrates the classic music of Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, et al.; all songs sung in French. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Thu., Sat., 8 p.m.; ends April 5. $25-$40. (310) 477-2055.


Man of God Members of a Korean Christian girls’ youth group make a shocking discovery while on a mission in Thailand in Anna Moench’s darkly comic thriller. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis 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 April 12. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454.

Taming the Lion An openly gay silent-film star challenges the studio system that would prefer he stay closeted in Jack Rushen’s fact-based drama. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 12. $35. (310) 364-0535.

Cabaret Macabre Dark and twisted late-night burlesque show; for ages 16 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; ends April 4. $15. (818) 202-4120.


Confessions of a Queer ... Blue Vanity Productions presents this comedy about a gay 20-something trying to get his act together. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre (upstairs), 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $15. (562) 494-1014.

The Eric Seppala Cabaret Show — Let’s Make Believe The entertainer and special guests offer an evening of music and comedy. The Cavern Club, Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $30. (800) 838-3006.

LA Fest 2020 Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA presents this showcase featuring staged readings of new works by local playwrights, plus storytelling, short films and more. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 22. $15. (818) 839-1197.

Luis Valdez’s Actos Staged reading of five of the playwright’s politically themed sketches about the lives of Latinx farm workers. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd, Pasadena. Fri., 8 p.m. $20-$50.


Orphée Deaf West Theatre stages a revival of Jean Cocteau’s fantastical 1926 fable inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice; in English and American Sign Language. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 5. $35, $50. (818) 762-2998.

Our Man in Santiago The CIA enlists an inexperienced agent to aid in the 1973 overthrow of the democratically elected government in Chile in Mark Wilding’s comedic thriller. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 5. $25, $30. (323) 851-7977.

Rodney & John and The Meaning of Life Actors and musicians John Hawkes and Rodney Eastman share songs and stories. The New American Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Pl., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $15-$35. (310) 424-2980.

Toying with Science Kid-friendly show with Garry Krinsky; for ages 5 and up. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Fri., 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. $18-$25. (949) 854-4646.


A Tribute to Johnny Cash Tribute artist James Garner and his band shares songs and stories about the country-music legend. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Fri., 8 p.m. $22.50-$49. (562) 944-9801.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Kentwood Players stages Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning comedy, inspired by the works of Chekhov, about the contentious relationship among three adult siblings, one a famous actress. Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 18. $20, $22. (310) 645-5156.

Veils: The Musical Musical tells the stories of African American women who lost loved ones in police shootings and during the struggle for civil rights. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m. $35, $45. (323) 957-4656.

Beep A village comes together to help a wayward robot in this family-friendly fable. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $20. (714) 556-2787.


Chance-A-Thon 2020 Weekend-long theater festival/fundraiser features staged readings, storytelling, stand-up comedy, cabaret performances and more. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sat.-next Sun., various showtimes. $15-$40 per individual performance. (888) 455-4212.

The Clairvoyants Experience The magicians/mentalists from “America’s Got Talent” perform. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$50. (562) 944-9801.

Hitler’s Tasters Michelle Kholos Brooks’ dark comedy about four young German women chosen to sample the Nazi leader’s meals before he eats them to make sure his food hasn’t been poisoned. Electric Lodge, Kelman Theatre, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 30. $25, $35.

Jim Jefferies The Aussie comic performs. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Fred Kavli, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m. $45-$185. (805) 449-2787.


The Late Wedding Christopher Chen’s theatrical exploration, inspired by Italian fabulist Italo Calvino, of the rituals of love and marriage. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends April 5. $20, $25; some pay what you can tickets available. (213) 351-3507.

Matty: An Evening with Christy Mathewson Writer-performer Eddie Frierson portrays the legendary baseball player in this solo bio-drama. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $15. $20. (310) 394-9779.

Mummenschanz: You & Me The veteran Switzerland-based physical-theater troupe returns with its latest show. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State LA, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$50. (323) 343-6600.

Outside Mullingar A 40-something farmer in rural Ireland is oblivious to the long-held affections of a female neighbor in John Patrick Shanley’s comedy. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends March 29. $23 and up. (714) 708-5555.


Passion A dashing young army officer in 19th-century Italy finds himself caught up in a romantic triangle in this Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends April 19. $25-$55. (626) 683-6801.

Picture This! Multimedia show hosted by Brandie Posey mixes live comedy and animation. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Sat., 7 p.m. $8, $10.

Playhouse Celebrity Game Night: Speed Charades Annual gala, followed by a star-studded competition with Jason Alexander, Amy Brenneman, Sharon Lawrence, Alfred Molina, John C. Reilly, Amber Riley, et al. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena.Gala: Sat., 6 p.m.; game: Sat., 8:15 p.m. Gala and game: $1,000 and up; game only: $135. (626) 356-7529.

Poor Clare A noblewoman in medieval Italy undergoes a spiritual awakening in the world premiere of Chiara Atik’s comedic fable. Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends April 20. $20, $34; Mondays, pay what you can (at the door only). (310) 307-3753.


Rockin’ the Legends Musical revue salutes the Beatles, Elton John, et al. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum Theatre, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; $38-$48. (805) 449-2787.

Sex, Addiction & Love in the 21st Century Performers explore modern love in this salon-style show presented by Jewish Women’s Theatre. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica; other area venues. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 24. $45, $50. (310) 315-1400.

Trixie Mattel The drag artist and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” regular performs with a live band. The Novo, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $35-$125.

The Wild Party A soiree in Roaring 20s Manhattan gets out of hand in Andrew Lippa’s darkly comic musical; for mature audiences only. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 11. $23-$30. (310) 828-7519.


Worst-Case Scenario A budding attraction between two people in a tiki-bar in Hawaii is interrupted by an incoming missile alert in D.M. Conte’s new romantic comedy; with C. Thomas Howell. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 11. $42. (800) 838-3006.

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

The Pack Staged readings of new short comedies by Eugene Pack. The Groundlings Theatre, Gary Austin Space, 7280 Melrose Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $10. (323) 934-4747.

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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $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. Ends Sun., 3 p.m. $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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $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. Ends Sun., 3 p.m. $20 and up; discounts available. (866) 811-4111.