SoCal theater listings, Feb. 17-24: ‘The Bourgeois Gentleman’ at City Garage 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.).


The Obsession of Calvin Klein Ryan Rafferty’s semi-fictionalized musical about the fashion designer. Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun.-Mon., 8 p.m. $25-$45. (323) 669-1550.

The Road Theatre Fundraiser Features readings from “My Life in Yankee Stadium: 40 Years as a Vendor and other Tales of Growing Up Somewhat Sane in the Bronx” by Stewart J. Zully. The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 5:30 p.m. $15.

The Living Room Series Staged reading of Diane Baia Hale’s “The Rake of His Heart.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827.


Evita Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical about the iconic first lady of Argentina. The Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara. Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m. $44 and up. (805) 899-2222.

Kinky Boots A drag queen helps the owner of a failing shoe factory turn things around in this Tony-winning musical comedy from Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper. Hollywood Pantages, 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. 24. $35 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787.

The Pack at the Pico New monthly reading series features original short comedies by Eugene Pack. The Pico, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Tue., 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation: $5. (310) 204-4440.

These Violent Delights Reading of Jonathan Josephson’s “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired mashup of action, horror, adventure and romantic comedy. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Wed. Pay what you want. RSVP at

The Cemetery Club Three Jewish widows kvetch about their late husbands in Ivan Menchell’s comedy. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 17. $15-$27. (310) 512-6030.

Off the Top! Broadway veteran Jason Kravits returns in this improvised evening of musical comedy. Upstairs at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Thu., 8 p.m. $20; food and drink minimums apply. (818) 769-0905.


Unitard: Tard Core — Refreshed! The sketch-comedy trio returns with this adult-themed show. Cavern Club Celebrity Theater @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

What if they went to Moscow? Brazilian theater artist Christiane Jatahy reimagines the Chekov classic “Three Sisters” in this mix of theater and live cinema; in Portuguese with English supertitles. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m. $16-$30. (213) 237-2800.

The Clairvoyants Mentalist duo as seen on “America’s Got Talent” performs. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Fri., 8 p.m. $30-$52. (562) 944-9801.

God Help Us! Ed Asner stars as the Almighty in benefit performances of Samuel Warren Joseph and Phil Proctor’s political comedy. Robert S. Wentz Theater, 600 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m. $25-$40.

How We’re Different From Animals For its inaugural production, Élan Ensemble stages this new work based on a book of short stories by author and filmmaker Miranda July. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 24. $25. (310) 990-2023.

Life Could Be a Dream An aspiring 1960s doo-wop group enters a radio contest in this family-friendly jukebox musical. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 10. $47-$55. (562) 436-4610.


Othello Shakespeare’s tragedy of the Moor of Venice. The Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 16. $12.50, $22.50. (562) 997-1494.

The Bourgeois Gentleman City Garage revives its 2008 production of Moliere’s 17th-century satire about a would-be social climber. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends April 7. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.

Hype Man A hip-hop trio on the verge of stardom is shaken by the police shooting of a black teen in the West Coast premiere of Idris Goodwin’s drama. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 14. $25-$45. (323) 663-1525.

The Judas Kiss David Hare’s drama about the playwright Oscar Wilde’s ill-fated romance with Lord Alfred Douglas. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 24. $20-$39. (626) 683-6801.

Lend Me a Tenor An opera company in 1930s Cleveland scrambles to fill an important role in Ken Ludwig’s classic backstage farce. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 23. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

The Magic Theatre Five top magicians perform close-up magic in intimate settings. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 7 and 9 p.m. $45. (562) 944-9801.


Tuesdays with Morrie Stage adaptation of the Mitch Albom bestseller about his friendship with a former professor. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends March 31. $20-$40. (626) 355-4318.

Blues in the Night Musical revue created and directed by Sheldon Epps celebrates the classic torch songs, blues and ballads of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and others. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends March 10. $55-$85. (949) 497-2787.

Critics’ Choices

Hir Taylor Mac’s family drama doubles as a depiction of America in the midst of reassessing itself. Director Bart DeLorenzo and his four actors fearlessly propel this humorous/horrific tale of a young soldier who returns home to find it changed: His domineering, abusive father is debilitated; his mother is in charge; and his sibling is transitioning genders. Patriarchy is in decline, but Mac isn’t delivering liberal claptrap, instead pushing back against beliefs of all kinds in this age of antagonism. (D.H.M.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 17. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

Ragtime: The Musical Based on E.L. Doctorow’s sweeping historical novel, this stage adaptation, with book by Terrence McNally and score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, swings for the narrative fences. Dramatic subtlety can’t help getting lost in the swirl. But when “Ragtime” works, it’s glorious. A hugely ambitious undertaking for Pasadena Playhouse, the production I feared might overwhelm the company. But trust me, musical theater lovers: The show, pulled off with polish and panache, is one you won’t want to miss. (C.M.) The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends March 9. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Julia Sweeney: Older and Wider After spending 10 years in Chicago raising her daughter, Julia Sweeney returns to the local scene with this intensely personal, riotously funny solo show. Unguarded, uncensored, never holding back on her opinions about politics and religion, Sweeney mines comic gold from the ordinary — once again proving she is one of the most talented monologists of her generation. (F.K.F) Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $30-$60. (310) 208-5454.

Smart Love Fine performances and a strikingly original premise elevate a witty but at times convoluted comedy about romantic possibilities afforded by the brave new world of ever-accelerating technology. (P.B) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 17. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.


Two Trains Running The seventh in August Wilson’s deathless Century Cycle, a decade by decade dramatization of the 20th century African American experience, this play is set in 1969, as a catastrophic urban renewal project is blighting Pittsburgh’s once vibrant Hill District. In a faultless staging, director Michele Shay charts the fortunes of the hangers-on and survivors left in the aftermath, while the uniformly superb actors give such towering performances that to single out any one for praise would be a fool’s errand. They form an ensemble in the truest sense of the word — a family of equals who support one another generously and magnificently in this not-to-be-missed production. (F.K.F.) Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends March 3. $35. (855) 326-9945.

Witness Uganda: A Documentary Musical Don’t let the oxymoronic subtitle or even the subject matter — a young man’s struggle to found an educational nonprofit in Africa — scare you away from this new production in the Wallis’ studio space. The unlikely pairing of brutal disillusionment and musical theater results in an unusually vivid and unexpectedly uplifting show, with a dazzling cast. (M.G.) Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., next Sun., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; ends March 3. $50. (310) 746-4000.