Entertainment & Arts

L.A. theater openings, Jan. 31-Feb. 7: ‘The Mountaintop’ and more

“The Mountaintop”

Danielle Truitt and Larry Bates star in the L.A. premiere of “The Mountaintop” at the Matrix Theatre.

(Daren Scott)

This week: New takes on plays by Shakespeare and Harold Pinter, plus the L.A. premiere of an award-winning drama about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? CAP UCLA presents cartoonist and storyteller Roz Chast in this show based on her graphic novel about the loss of her elderly parents. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Sun., 4 p.m. $19-$49. (310) 825-2101.

Fly West Coast premiere of Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s tap dance-inflected drama about the African American WWII fighter pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen. 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 p.m.; ends Feb. 21. $25-$125. (626) 356-7529.

The School for Wives Parson’s Nose presents Molière’s classic 17th-century satire; for ages 12 and up. Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena. Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. Pay what you will ($5-$25). (626) 403-766


Defying Gravity: The Music of Stephen Schwartz Tony winners Ben Vereen and Debbie Gravitte star in this salute to the lyricist-composer behind such shows as “Godspell,” “Pippin” and “Wicked.” Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Tue., 8 p.m. $25 and up. (310) 506-4522.

Dirty Dancing Hit musical based on the 1987 movie about one young woman’s eventful summer at a Catskills resort in the early 1960s; for ages 12 and up; children under 5 not admitted. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 21. $29 and up. (800) 982-2787.

The Illusionists — Live From Broadway Stage spectacular features magic, stunts, and more. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 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 Feb. 7. $25 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Through the Looking Glass Poet-playwright Jerry Quickley explores the stories of residents of Montebello and Leimert Park. Quiet Cannon, Crystal Ballroom I, 901 Via San Clemente, Montebello. Tue., 7:30 p.m. Also, Regency West, 3339 W. 43rd St., Leimert Park. Wed., 7:30 p.m. Free; reservations recommended.


Fiddler on the Roof Classic Tony-winning musical about a Jewish milkman and his five daughters living in a shtetl in czarist Russia. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 7. $44, $49. (818) 508-4200.

The Metromaniacs West Coast premiere of David Ives’ adaptation of Alexis Piron’s classic French farce about poetry and misplaced passions in 18th-century Paris. The Old Globe, San Diego, 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 6. $29 and up. (619) 234-5623.

The Room World premiere of the Wooster Group’s reimagining of Harold Pinter’s dark comedy about disparate characters in a run-down boarding house. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 14. $40-$55. (213) 237-2800.

Bed Echo Theater Company stages the world premiere of Sheila Callaghan’s romantic drama featuring original songs. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 and 7 p.m.; ends March 13. $25. (310) 307-3753.

Don’t Tell My Mother! Comedy/storytelling series offers its “Femmebruary” show. Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $16, $20. (323) 525-2615.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change Musical revue explores romance and relationships through a series of vignettes. Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. $25, $30; Valentine’s Day’s special available.

Jack and Jill Tanna Frederick and Robert Standley star in Jane Martin’s romantic drama. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 27. $20, $25. (323) 960-1055.

Lear West Coast premiere of Young Jean Lee’s reworking of Shakespeare’s tragedy. City Garage, Building T1, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 13. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.


The Other Place Sharr White’s drama about a neurologist who must confront a dark secret from her past; contains adult themes and language. Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 S. 7th St., Santa Paula. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends March 13. $18, $20. (805) 525-4645.

Prez World premiere of Willard Manus’ solo drama about legendary sax player Lester Young; with Leslie A. Jones. Chromolume Theatre at the Attic, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. $22. (323) 510-2688.

Salome World premiere of Christopher Adams-Cohen’s queer reinvention of the tale of the biblical temptress. The Basement at Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 9 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. $25, $32. (800) 838-3006.

Save to Draft A romantic triangle takes several twists and turns in David Watson’s one-act comedy-drama. The Lyric-Hyperion Theater & Cafeì, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 21. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Thicker Than Water Italian American relatives vie for control of the family’s construction business in Roy Battocchio’s comedy. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 13. $5-$20. (323) 851-7977.

Watching O.J. David McMillan’s drama explores how Angelenos of different races and social classes viewed the outcome of Simpson murder trial. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 28. $19.95; $25 at the door. (818) 858-0440.

Year of the Monkey All-new immersive show inspired by the Chinese zodiac’s mischievous primate. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 27. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Altman’s Last Stand U.S. premiere of Charles Dennis’ fact-based drama about the life and times of the Viennese-born owner of a second-hand shop in midtown Manhattan. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends March 13. $25. (323) 960-4412.


Ameryka Critical Mass Performance Group and writer-director Nancy Keystone present this world-premiere collaboration that explores parallels in American and Polish history. Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st St., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 6. $25, $30. (323) 993-7263.

Brian Stokes Mitchell The Broadway veteran performs classic show tunes. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $64-$126. (323) 850-2000.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 3D Theatricals stages the hit musical based on the animated 1991 film inspired by the classic fairy tale. Plummer Auditorium, 201 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 21; also in Redondo Beach, Feb. 26-28. $25-$85. (714) 589-2770.

I Am My Own Wife Ensemble Theatre Company stages playwright Doug Wright’s multi-character solo drama about a transvestite who endured life under the Nazi and East German regimes; John Tufts stars. The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 21. $35-$65; discounts available. (805) 965-5400.

The Mountaintop Roger Guenveur Smith directs the L.A. premiere of Katori Hall’s reimagining of the final hours of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 10. $30; Mondays, pay what you can. (323) 852-1445.

Pete Seeger: The Storm King Singers and musicians salute the folk-music legend. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Cal State Long Beach, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $35, $45. (562) 985-7000.

Staff & Friends Cabaret Long Beach Playhouse company members perform. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $10. (562) 494-1014.

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