Entertainment & Arts

SoCal theater listings, March 24-31: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and more

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The national tour of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” arrives at the Hollywood Pantages.
(Joan Marcus)

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.).


Carney Magic Magic and comedy with illusionist John Carney. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Sun., 3 p.m. $40 and up. (866) 811-4111.

Hamiltunes Fans are encouraged to sing along to favorites from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical “Hamilton.” La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. Free, limit one ticket per person; no box office sales; advance reservations required.


Love Letters Barbara Eden and Hal Linden star in A.R. Gurney’s decades-spanning two-character drama. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 3 p.m. $40-$65. (562) 916-8500.

MTG Rewind Musical Theatre Guild offers highlights from past productions in this benefit show. Rockwell Table and Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Mon., 8 p.m. $25-$45; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 669-1550.

Ben Rimalower: Patti Issues & Bad With Money The writer-performer returns with his comedic solo shows about his obsession with Broadway’s Patti LuPone (Tue., 8 p.m.) and his addiction to spending (Tue., 9:30 p.m.). The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. $20, $25; separate admission for each.

American Moor Hamilton Cobb’s solo drama inspired by Shakespeare’s “Othello.” A Noise Within, 3352 E Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Wed., 7 p.m. $10-$40. (626) 356-3121.


Blood/Sugar Writer-performer Diana Wyenn explores living with diabetes in this solo drama. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Wed.-Fri., 7:30 p.m. $25.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl tale about a young boy who wins a tour of an eccentric candy maker’s fantastical factory. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 2 and 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends April 14. $35 and up. (800) 982-2787.

Corteo Cirque du Soleil returns with this carnival-style fantasy tale. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Wed.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 3:30 and 7;30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m. $59 and up. (800) 745-3000.

Cirque Éloize — Saloon The Montreal-based troupe offers a family-friendly, western-themed show. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $45-$85. (562) 916-8500. Also at Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $30-$65. (818) 677-3000.

Famous: The Play A Hollywood star’s party spins out of control in Michael Leoni’s 1990s-set drama. The 11:11, 1107 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood. March 29-April 28. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends April 28. $20-$60. (323) 378-6969.

I Dream of Jackie Drag artist Jackie Cox plays a genie exploring the modern world in this mix of music and comedy. The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Life After U.S. premiere of Britta Johnson’s musical drama about a teen grieving the death of her father. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends April 28. $32 and up. (619) 234-5623.

The Meatball Chronicles Writer-performer Debrianna Mansini’s celebration of relationships, family and Italian food. The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 14. $30. (323) 960-7788.


The MisMatch Game Host Dennis Hensley’s campy, off-color parody of the 1970s-era game show returns. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $15. (323) 860-7300.

The Secret of Chimneys The Group Rep presents stages this adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery about an adventurer who uncovers a deadly conspiracy. Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 5. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.

2019 New Works Festival Staged readings of J. Stephen Brantley’s “Shruti Gupta Can Totally Deal” (Fri., 8 p.m.) and Raegan Payne’s “The Dying Declaration of Madge Oberholtzer” (Sat., 8 p.m.). Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. $10. (562) 494-1014.

a .n V.n.c. Writer-performer Mary Jo Deschanel portrays multiple characters in 1973 Venice, Calif., in this new solo drama. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends May 12. $25-$30. (310) 822-8392.

Brushes: A Comedy of Hairs The complicated relationship that women have with their hair is explored in a series of comedic vignettes by Cathy Hamilton and Carol Starr Schneider. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 4. $30. (800) 838-3006.

Catch Me If You Can Musical Theatre West stages Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s musical adaptation of the fact-based 2002 Steven Spielberg film about a teenage con man and forger. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends April 14. $20 and up. (562) 856-1999.

Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: The Scared Scriptless Tour Improv comedy with two of the stars of TV’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $45-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Emily Brown and the Thing A young girl has a magical adventure in this adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s children’s book. Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 1 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $20 and up. (714) 556-2787.


Fan-Favorite One Act Plays Selected shorts from 2005-18. The New American Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Pl., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $15.

Critics’ Choices

Canyon Jonathan Caren’s latest dark comedy, having its world premiere at Los Angeles Theatre Center in a coproduction with IAMA Theater Company, gathers four thirty-something liberals in a woodsy L.A. backyard over wine and lets them bemoan the difficulty of making a real difference in the world for a while. Then it lowers the boom on them. When helping someone else means risking their own comfort, the well-meaning idealists aren’t quite so eager to upend the status quo. It’s fun to watch them squirm. And if you squirm yourself with tragic recognition, at least you’ll be sitting in the dark. (M.G.) The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Ends Sun., 4 and 7 p.m. $38. (866) 811-4111.

Heisenberg A bold new interpretation eliminates much of the uncertainty in Simon Stephens’ one-act, transforming an ambiguously quirky May-December romance into a moving meditation on the need for connection across the full spectrum of humanity. (P.B.) Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends April 14. $56-$86. (949) 497-2787.

The Judas Kiss Michael Michetti’s sensitive staging of David Hare’s philosophically dense play features Rob Nagle as Oscar Wilde, seen on the precipice of disgrace and, later, in exile, following his purgatorial incarceration. In a role he was born to play, Rob Nagle portrays Wilde as Nature’s gentleman and Fortune’s fool, a tragic figure who puts his authentic self on display in defiance of his time. Nagle shows us the internalized anguish behind Wilde’s deceptive passivity — the thwarted brilliance and loss behind his valiant savoir-faire. It’s a performance not to be missed. (F.K.F.) Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $20-$39. (626) 683-6801.

Lackawanna Blues Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s theatrical memoir, about being raised by the big-hearted proprietor of a boardinghouse for castaways and strays in an industrial upstate New York city near Buffalo, was turned into a TV movie that won S. Epatha Merkerson an Emmy Award. But the compact stage version at the Mark Taper Forum — written, directed and performed by a harmonica-wielding Santiago-Hudson, who’s accompanied by Chris Thomas King on guitar — is still the most potent way of experiencing this beautiful story of gratitude. (C.M.) Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 1 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; ends April 21. $30-$99. (213) 628-2772.

Rotterdam A big change can knock any couple out of alignment. For Alice and Fiona, the change goes to the very core of their identities. In her late 20s and several years into the relationship, Fiona reveals that she feels she’s a man. With insight and humor, British playwright Jon Brittain charts the pair’s journey as they rediscover who they are in this Olivier Award-winning play. Michael A. Shepperd crisply directs a perceptive cast in a remount of Skylight Theatre’s 2017 production; part of Center Theatre Group’s “Block Party” series. (D.H.M.) Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6:30 p.m.; ends April 7. $25-$77; series passes available. (213) 628-2772.

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 31. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.

The Wolves Sarah DeLappe’s stunning debut drama, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, presents the world through the prism of girls soccer. In this superb Echo Theater Company production directed by Alana Dietze, the play revolves around the overlapping exchanges during the pre-match warm-up sessions of a group of high school juniors who play for the Wolves. The talk is fast and fragmentary — routine banter of girls confronting the same social pressures as their minds and bodies transition into adulthood. By the end of the season, each of the girls is given a rigorous Chekhovian education in life. (C.M.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends April 22. $34; Mondays, $20 in advance, pay-what-you-want at the door. (310) 307-3753.

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