SoCal theater listings, Jan. 13-20: ‘The 39 Steps,’ ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and more


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.).


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. Sun., 5:30 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $55-$85. (949) 497-2787.

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. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $18-$25. (805) 583-7900.

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. Sun., 7 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.


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.

Story Pirates Musical sketch comedy show geared for ages 5 and up. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Promenade Terrace, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 11 a.m. Free. (310) 746-4000.

Bernadette Peters The three-time Tony winner sings show tunes, standards and more. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Tue., 8 p.m. $59-$132. (323) 850-2000.

Company Creation Festival Showcase features unconventional new works by various ensembles, performed in repertory; details at Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Feb. 10. $18; passes available. (213) 351-3507.

Linda Vista A divorced man in his 50s must come to terms with past mistakes if he is to move forward in this Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Tracy Letts’ comedy-drama. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $30-$99. (213) 628-2772.

Dark Dark Ride Ride All-new horror-themed pop-up theater experience; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Zoe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6 p.m. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Flaco Navaja: Evolution of a Sonero The Bronx-born writer-performer explores his creative evolution in this full-length show featuring live music by the Razor Blades; part of the Off Center Festival. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Samueli Theater, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (714) 556-2787.

It Is Done Three disparate people — a bartender, a troubled drifter and a mystery woman — are trapped in a remote roadside bar during a windstorm in Alex Goldberg’s drama; includes adult language and content; for ages 16 and up. 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 and 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $35. (310) 364-0535.

Brilliant Traces Red Sage Productions stages Cindy Lou Johnson’s Alaska-set tale about a runaway bride who finds herself on a hermit’s doorstep. Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 10. $20. (440) 465-8878.

Death House A chaplain and his young replacement encounter an enigmatic Death Row inmate in Jason Karasev’s drama. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 10. $15, $34. (818) 761-8838.

Last Call Open Fist Theatre Company stages Anne Kenney’s new dramedy about aging parents who hatch a scheme to avoid being sent to a retirement home. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 23. $25-$55. (323) 882-6912.

Nude/Naked Lightning Rod Theater stages Paul Hoan Zeidler’s new drama about a famous photographer and his daughter caught up in controversy. McCadden Place Theatre. 1157 N. McCadden Place, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $25. (310) 204-4883.

6th Annual Powers New Voices Festival Includes readings of work by San Diego residents plus new American plays by established playwrights; schedule at Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., next Sun., 4 and 7:30 p.m. Free; reservations required. (619) 234-5623.

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. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 9. $14-$20. (562) 494-1014.

Carmen Miranda Tribute Brazilian vocal group Ordinarius celebrates the sound and style of the legendary entertainer in this stage show. Moss Theater, New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $40. (818) 566-1111.

Chemo Barbie Writer-performer Heather Keller shares the story of her battle with cancer; part of Solofest 2019. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

An Evening with John Wilkes Booth Stephen Spiegel portrays the actor who assassinated Lincoln in Lloyd J. Schwartz and Clinton Case’s solo drama; part of “Portraits of Humanity 2, a Solo Series.” Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.

Family Secrets Jewish Women’s Theatre presents personal stories of indiscretions, inappropriate behavior, etc. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica; other locations. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 13. $45, $50. (310) 315-1400.

Hir A soldier returns from Afghanistan to find his mother has revolted against the patriarchy and his sibling has come out as transgender in the L.A. premiere of Taylor Mac’s darkly comic fable; Bart DeLorenzo directs. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends March 17. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

The Marriage Zone Return engagement of Jeff Gould’s comedy about three couples who interact at an open house. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sat, 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 31. $40. (800) 838-3006.

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.

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater Moscow Circus star and juggler Gregory Popovich and his menagerie perform in this family-friendly show. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sat., 2 and 7 p.m. $25, $35. (949) 854-4646.

Red Hot Mama — The Sophie Tucker Songbook Writer-performer Sharon McNight salutes the legendary entertainer in this solo show. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $30-$55. (805) 667-2900.

The 39 Steps A cast of four portrays multiple characters in this comedic adaptation of Hitchcock’s 1935 mystery thriller. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 10. $20, $23. (310) 828-7519.

24th Annual Hollywood Performance Marathon Benefit show features performance art, poetry, puppetry, comedy, juggling, dance, music, monologues and more. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20.

The Empty Nesters A couple take a road trip after dropping their youngest child off at college in the L.A. premiere of Garret Jon Groenveld’s new comedy-drama. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 17. $35-$45.

Etta Mae Mumphries Writer-performer Karen Bankhead’s solo comedy about an elderly African American woman and her encounters with various celebrities and historical figures; part of “Portraits of Humanity 2, a Solo Series.” Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $25. (323) 851-7977.

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., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $35.75 and up. (714) 556-2787.