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Entertainment & Arts

SoCal theater listings, April 28-May 5: ‘Two Pints,’ ‘Daniel’s Husband’ and more

Abbey Theatre’s Two Pints
Liam Carney, left, and Philip Judge costar in Roddy Doyle’s “Two Pints.”
(Santa Ana Sites)

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.).

Openings

In These Times Folk singer and activist Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame performs. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., Mon., 7 p.m. $65. (805) 667-2900. www.rubicontheatre.org

Light Up the Night David Burnham, Tami Tappan Damiano and other Broadway veterans perform in this benefit. The City National Grove of Anaheim, 200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim. Sun., 8 p.m. $128.50 and up. (714) 712-2700. www.apacf.org

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Love’s Labour’s Lost Staged reading of the Bard’s romantic fable. The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W. 1st St., L.A. Sun., 3 p.m. $30, $40. (213) 481-2273. www.shakespearecenter.org

The One Day Plays IAMA Theatre Company presents new plays created and performed within a 23-hour period. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Sun., 7 p.m. $40, $100. (323) 380-8843. www.iamatheatre.com

Swing! A female factory worker in the 1940s develops feelings for another woman just as her husband returns from WWII in this new musical. Write Act Repertory, the Brickhouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 19. $20, $25. (800) 838-3006. www.brownpapertickets.com

Wild Son: The Testimony of Christian Brando John Mese portrays the troubled offspring of Hollywood icon Marlon Brando in Champ Clark’s solo drama. Santa Monica Playhouse, Main Stage, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sun., next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends May 26. $20. (800) 838-3006. www.brownpapertickets.com

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Women Beyond Borders New play inspired by the stories of the California-based artists who founded the nonprofit of the same name; with Meredith Baxter, Michael Learned, Sandra Tsing Loh, et al. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends June 2. $20-$55. (805) 667-2900. www.rubicontheatre.org

The Living Room Series Staged reading of Marilynn Barner Anselmi’s “Seven Bridges Road.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827. www.theblank.com

DNA New Work Series Readings of four new new plays. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. Free; reservations required. (858) 550-1010. www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org

Freaky Friday A teen and her mom magically swap bodies in this family-friendly musical based on the classic Disney film. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Scherr Forum, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Thu., 7 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 19. $32-$42. (800) 745-3000. www.civicartsplaza.com

Two Pints Two men in their 60s gab about life, death, politics, etc., in this site-specific work from Roddy Doyle and Dublin’s Abbey Theatre; presented by Santa Ana Sites. The Red Room, Chapter One, 227 N. Broadway, Santa Ana. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $12-$20. www.santaanasites.com

Anna in the Tropics A lector reads Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” to immigrant workers in a cigar-rolling factory in 1920s Florida in Open Fist Theatre’s staging of Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends June 8. $20-$35. (323) 882-6912. www.openfist.org

The Capitol Steps The veteran comedy troupe returns with more song parodies and political satire. Beckman Auditorium, Caltech, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. $10-$49; rush tickets, $25. (626) 395-4652. www.caltech.edu

Moving On: The 2019 One Acts Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles presents five new short plays by local playwrights. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 26. $17-$25. www.estlosangeles.org

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Sarah Silverman and Seth Rudetsky The actress and comic shares songs and stories with host and pianist Rudetsky. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7 p.m. $79, $89. (310) 746-4000. www.TheWallis.org

A Small Group An aspiring comic wakes up in rehab with no memory of how he got there in Taylor Gregory’s new play. The Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 18. $18. (323) 960–7773. www.onstage411.com

Thelma & Leweeze The Musical Drag sendup of the hit 1991 film starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.; ends May 11. $25. (800) 838-3006. www.brownpapertickets.com

Valley of the Dolls Star-studded staged reading of the screenplay for the 1967 film version of Jacqueline Susann’s bestseller about women climbing the showbiz ladder; with Joely Fisher, Laraine Newman, Alec Mapa, Bruce Vilanch, Joan Van Ark, et al. Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $70-$250. (323) 860-7300. www.lalgbtcenter.org

And Then There Were None Ten strangers are summoned to a remote island only to be murdered one by one in Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 26. $20, $23. (310) 828-7519. www.morgan-wixson.org

Bob Eubanks Backstage With The Beatles The local TV and radio personality celebrates the Fab Four assisted by tribute band Ticket to Ride. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Sat., 8 p.m. $25-$100. (818) 243-2611. www.alextheatre.org

Daniel’s Husband Southern California premiere of Michael McKeever’s comedy-drama about a gay couple contemplating tying the knot. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 23. $25 -$45. (323) 663-1525. www.FountainTheatre.com

The Emperor’s Nightingale Family-friendly adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale. Lewis Family Playhouse at Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga. Sat., 4 p.m.; ends May 19. $16, $18. (909) 477-2775. www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com

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The Long Gravel Road Writer-performer Abbott Alexander updates the myth of Parsifal in this Jungian-themed solo work mixing theater, music and dance. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 1. $25. (323) 851-7977. www.theatrewest.org

The Merchant of Venice Parson’s Nose stages a condensed version of Shakespeare’s tale about a Venetian businessman who borrows a substantial sum from a Jewish moneylender. The Parson’s Theater, 95 N. Marengo Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends June 2. $20-$35. (626) 403-7667. www.parsonsnose.com

Portrait of Charles White Roger Guenveur Smith and Marc Anthony Thompson celebrate the life and career of the artist, educator and activist. LACMA, Bing Theatre, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Sat., 7;30 p.m. Free; tickets required. (323) 857-6010. www.lacma.org

The Secret Garden 3-D Theatricals offers a family-friendly staging of the Tony-winning musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel about an orphaned English girl sent off to live with a reclusive uncle. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 19. $20-$85. (562) 916-8500. www.cerritoscenter.com

True Colors Jewish Women’s Theatre presents stories by and about Jews of color. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica; other area venues. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 16. $45, $50. www.jewishwomenstheatre.org

Sunday in the Park with George Musical Theatre Guild closes its season with a concert-staged reading of this Stephen Sondheim musical inspired by the life of French painter George Seurat. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $45. (818) 243-2539. www.musicaltheatreguild.com

Critics’ Choices

Argonautika Mary Zimmerman, known for her compilation of Ovid’s tales in “Metamorphoses,” isn’t on hand to stage her 2006 take on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts, but as directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, the show generates the eye-widening, gasp-inducing excitement that is characteristic of Zimmerman’s work. Everyday objects are repurposed as building blocks of the fantastical worlds encountered by Jason and his intrepid adventurers. In this enduring story, we see our own challenges, temptations, fears and transforming loves. (D.H.M.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 5. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3121. www.anoisewithin.org

Falsettos William Finn’s musical, set in 1979 and 1981, celebrates the resilience of family. Marvin leaves his wife and son to live with a man, but although their relationships keep rearranging, they remain, resolutely, a family. This is a series of songs with no connecting dialogue, so the storytelling is elliptical. Truth be told, the show can be a challenge. But James Lapine’s playful direction and resonant performances (note to “Wicked” fans: Eden Espinosa plays the wife) carry the audience through laughter and tears. (D.H.M.) Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends May 19. $30-$135. $30-$135. (213) 972-4400. www.centertheatregroup.org

Friends With Guns Although it may be misconstrued as a defense of gun ownership, Second Amendment issues are peripheral to Stephanie Alison Walker’s remarkable new play, which is actually a savage feminist parable, a cautionary tale of the peril that may await women who dare to venture outside their accepted roles. When an apparently stable, politically liberal couple splits over the question of gun ownership, the deceptively genial husband cannot handle his perceived loss of control over his wife. The progression from the initially humorous to the terrifying is so subtly charted by director Randee Trabitz and her superb cast that you are emotionally floored before you know it. (F.K.F.) The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 11. $15, $34. (818) 761-8838. www.roadtheatre.org

Native Son As profound as it is disturbing, Nambi E. Kelley’s adaptation of Richard Wright’s groundbreaking 1940 novel features a stellar cast in a surreal descent into a violent criminal protagonist’s internal consciousness, revealing the fractured black identity that remains an enduring tragic legacy of racism. This encore Antaeus Theatre Company production is presented as part of Center Theatre Group’s “Block Party” series. (P.B.) Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Ends Sun., 6:30 p.m. $25-$77. (213) 628-2772. www.CenterTheatreGroup.org

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.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 5. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392. www.pacificresidenttheatre.com

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 May 6. $20-$50; Mondays, pay-what-you-want at the door (subject to availability). (310) 307-3753. www.echotheatercompany.com


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