The week ahead in SoCal theater, Jan. 6-13: ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ ‘The Manor’ and more


Capsule review by Charles McNulty (C.M.).


Solofest 2019 Seventh-annual showcase features solo writer-performers from around the world. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Various dates and times; now through March 15. $15-$30.

Soul Crushing Disco Ball An all-male cast performs Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens’ new coming of age tale. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 20. $30. (323) 960-7822.

Hear Word! Naija Woman Talk True Nigerian women shares stories of struggle and triumph in this ensemble work; part of the Off Center Festival. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (714) 556-2787.


The Manor — Murder and Madness at Greystone Theatre 40 presents the return of Kathrine Bates’ immersive site-specific mystery drama, inspired by actual events. Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu.-Fri., 6 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $65; advance reservations required. (310) 364-3606.

Pick of the Vine 17th annual showcase for original short plays. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $15-$28. (310) 512-6030.

Rita Wilson’s Liner Notes The singer-songwriter and special guests share songs and stories. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $39-$149. (310) 208-5454.

Golden Girlz The drag-show send-up of the hit 1980s-90s sitcom returns; with Jackie Beat, Sherry Vine, Sam Pancake, Drew Droege and special guest Alec Mapa. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; next Sun., 7 and 9 p.m; ends Jan. 20. $35. (800) 838-3006.

Jocasta: A Tragedy The Ghost Road Company stages Brian Weir’s darkly comic update of the Greek myth of Oedipus. The Broadwater Main Stage, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 10. $25. (310) 281-8341.

Mamma Mia Hit romantic musical based around the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Cupcake Theater, 11020 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends March 3. $39-$79.


Sherlock Holmes and the Final Problem The famous detective faces off against his archnemesis, Prof. Moriarty, in Long Beach Shakespeare Company’s radio-style presentation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s thriller. The Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Jan. 20. $12.50. (562) 997-1494.

Trump in Space A future descendant of the current president tries to find humanity a new home among the stars in this musical sci-fi satire. The Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre. 6560 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; ends April 26. $12. (323) 464-8542.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will Theatre Palisades stages Shakespeare’s romantic farce about twins separated by a shipwreck. The Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; next Sun. 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $20, $22. (310) 454-1970.

The Diary of Anne Frank A predominately Latinx cast performs a stage adaptation of the true story of a young Jewish girl and her family hiding from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic during WWII. The Dorie Theatre at The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 24. $30, $35. (800) 838-3006.

Hamlet California Shakespeare Company performs the Bard’s tragedy of the melancholy Dane. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $18-$25. (805) 583-7900.

I Go Somewhere Else Return engagement of Inda Craig-Galván’s drama about a young woman’s relationship with her deeply troubled mother. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $25, $30. (800) 838-3006.


Independence, The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker Kathie Barnes portrays the Civil War surgeon, women’s rights advocate and Congressional Medal of Honor winner; part of “Portraits of Humanity 2, a Solo Series.” Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.

Jerry Herman: The Broadway Legacy Concert Musical-theater veterans salute the Tony-winning composer whose credits include “Hello, Dolly!” and “La Cage aux Folles.” Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sat, 8 p.m. $40-$100. (949) 854-4646.

More Guns! Musical satire about the NRA. Second City, Studio Theater, 6560 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends April 27. $12. (323) 464-8542.

Natural Shocks Four local companies perform staged readings of Lauren Gunderson’s darkly comic fable as part of the “FemFest” series; with Fountain Theatre (Jan. 12-13), Rogue Machine (Jan. 19-20), Echo Theater Company (Jan. 26-27) and Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble (Feb. 2-3). The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $20. (323) 663-1525.

1776 The Musical John Adams tries to persuade the other Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence in Sherman Edwards’ Tony-winning tale. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $15-$84; discounts available. (562) 944-9801. (Also at the Soraya in Northridge, Feb 8-10)

Smart Love An MIT student brings a surprise home with him in the West Coast premiere of Brian Letscher’s comedy about artificial intelligence. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 24. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.


Soul Crushing Disco Ball An all-male cast performs Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens’ new coming-of-age tale. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 24. $30. (323) 960-7822.

Spider’s Web A diplomat’s wife uncovers murder most foul in Agatha Christie’s comedic thriller. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 9. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

Stockholm A couple’s relationship unravels in the West Coast premiere of Bryony Lavery’s drama set in the Swedish capital; presented by Triptych Theatre Group. The Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 28. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

To All the Lights in the Windows Chris Haas’ new comedy set in a Philadelphia mental institution. Loft Ensemble Theater, 13442 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $20. (818) 616-3150.

Driving Miss Daisy Michael Learned (“The Waltons”) stars in Alfred Uhry’s decades-spanning Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about a Jewish woman and her black chauffeur in the South. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $55-$85. (949) 497-2787.

Have You Met Miss Jones? Writer-performer Ivy Jones’ solo show about a veteran actress forced to change her stage name; part of “Portraits of Humanity 2, a Solo Series.” Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.


Story Pirates Musical sketch comedy show geared especially for toddlers; 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.

Critics’ Choices

Dear Evan Hansen Under the aerodynamic direction of Michael Greif, this beautifully acted touring production of Tony-winning musical reveals the true reason the show has become such a cultural phenomenon: It’s one of the most evocative portraits of the inner turmoil of adolescence ever put on stage. The book by Steven Levenson and the score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul capture not only the emotional challenges of those arduous adolescent years but also the moral tests we sometimes flunk as we fumble toward adult graduation in this rich tale about a high school outcast who becomes under false pretenses a social media hero. Ben Levi Ross, a 20-year-old actor who grew up in Santa Monica, is bound for the theatrical big-time with his searing performance as Evan. (C.M.) Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Ends Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 13. $35.75 and up. (714) 556-2787.