Entertainment & Arts

SoCal theater listings, May 26-June 2: ‘Exit the King,’ ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ and more

Exit the King City Garage
Troy Dunn and Natasha St. Clair Johnson costar in Eugene Ionesco’s drama “Exit the King” at City Garage.
(Paul M. Rubenstein)

Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.) and F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.).


Drag Queen of the Year Drag artists from around the world vie for the title. The Montalbán, 1615 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $20 and up. (323) 461-6999.

LA’s Next Great Stage Star 2019 Aspiring musical-theater performers compete. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 1 p.m.; ends June 30. $15-$25. (866) 811-4111.


Shooting Star Semi-autobiographical musical about a struggling Hollywood actor turned adult-film star. Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 30. $35. (323) 960-7787.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl tale about a young boy and others who win a tour of an eccentric candy maker’s fantastical factory. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends June 9. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Dinner With Sinatra Vocalist Pete Chinelli and his big band salute the singer known as Old Blue Eyes. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Wed., 8:30 p.m. $25; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 466-2210.

The Show With Two Heads With veteran comics Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Gould. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. Wed., 8:30 p.m. $30.


Tailleur pour dames A doctor’s little white lie has unintended consequences in Feydeau’s classic farce; in French without subtitles. Théatre Raymond Kabbaz, Le Lycée Francais de Los Angeles, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m. $10, $15. (310) 286-0553.

Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist “Buffy’s” Tom Lenk portrays the British actress in Byron Lane’s satirical comedy. The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; next Sun., 8 p.m. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

Avenue Q Tony-winning off-color musical comedy with puppets set in N.Y.C.; contains adult themes and language; not recommended for young children. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 7. $20-$30. (818) 763-5990.

Femmecestor Journies Stories celebrating female wisdom, curated by theater artist Shruti Bala Purkayastha. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. $10-$25.

Herland A recent high school grad gets a summer job working for her elderly neighbor in Grace McLeod’s new queer coming-of-age comedy. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends June 23. $20, $34. (323) 673-0544.

Inaugural Rogue Lab Readings Series Rogue Artists Ensemble presents readings of seven new plays. Plummer Park’s Community Center, Room 5, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m.; next Sun., noon, 3 and 7 p.m.; next Mon., 7 p.m.; ends June 3. $5 suggested donation; passes, $25. (213) 596-9468.

Lend Me a Tenor An opera company in 1930s Cleveland scrambles to fill an important role in Ken Ludwig’s classic backstage farce. Theatre Palisades, Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; next Sun. 2 p.m.; ends July 7. $20, $22. (310) 454-1970.

Lummis Days Festival 14th annual family-friendly event features theater, music and dance performances and more. Thorne Hall, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Eagle Rock; Avenue 50 at York Blvd., Highland Park; other area venues. Starts Fri.; ends Sun. Free.


Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Hit stage adaptation of the romantic 1991 animated musical based on the classic fairytale. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 23. $15-$99; discounts available. (562) 944-9801.

Exit the King New translation of Ionesco’s darkly comic fable about the last days of a megalomaniacal monarch. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends July 21. $20, $25; Sundays: pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.

Ladies Kit Steinkellner’s new fact-based comedy-drama about a proto-feminist movement in 18th-century London. Boston Court Pasadena, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 30. $20-$39. (626) 683-6801.

Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go Two young people begin a romance as their town grapples with the aftermath of a hate crime in David Jacobi’s new play; Guillermo Cienfuegos directs. Rogue Machine, the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $40. (855) 585-5185.

Twelfth Night Outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy about twins separated in a shipwreck. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 28. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

The Velveteen Rabbit Family-friendly adaptation of Margery Williams’ beloved children’s book. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 11 a.m., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 4:30 p.m.; ends June 9. $34, $40. (714) 708-5555.

What’s Going On Vocalist Dorian Holly salutes R&B singer Marvin Gaye. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $35. (323) 964-9766.

Cabaret Night Company members perform show tunes and more. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $40. (310) 512-6030.


Catalinaland Humorist and pop-culture historian Charles Phoenix recalls the island’s past in this retro slide show. Avalon Casino Theatre, 1 Casino Way, Avalon, Catalina. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $35, $39. (310) 510-2414.

Dana H. A hospice chaplain is held captive for several months by a mentally unstable ex-convict in Lucas Hnath’s drama based on the experiences of his own mother. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Next Sun., 6:30 p.m.; ends June 23. $25-$79. (213) 628-2772.

nHarvey French Stewart stars in Mary Chase’s classic comedy about a man and his imaginary friend, a 6 1/2-foot-tall invisible rabbit; with Vanessa Claire Stewart. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends June 16. $60-$85; group discounts available. (949) 497-2787.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Annual outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s romantic fantasy. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

One Night In Memphis Cast members from “Million Dollar Quartet” sing the songs of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash in this musical revue. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $40-$80. (310) 544-0403.

Studio: Spring 2019 Quarterly showcase features new works and works-in-progress by local theater artists, dancers, musicians, etc. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Next Sun.-Mon., 8:30 p.m. $12, $15. (213) 237-2800.

Critics’ Choices

Boxing Lessons John Bunzel has always specialized in the outrageous, but this audaciously quirky play about a family that gathers to sort through a dead dad’s hoarder’s trove goes so over the top that it’s a watershed for the playwright. “Lessons” isn’t a perfect play by any means, but it is enormous fun, and the fine cast navigates the wild plot twists like kids on a carnival ride. Frequent collaborators since their Juilliard days, Bunzel and director Jack Stehlin are obviously enjoying themselves immensely. And so are we. (F.K.F.) The New American Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Pl., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 30. $15, $35. (310) 424-2980.

Daniel’s Husband This absorbing drama by Michael McKeever, which was a hit off-Broadway, explores the debate on same-sex marriage from a less obvious angle. Set in the “perfectly appointed” home of a gay couple, the play examines the conflict between Daniel and Mitchell, committed partners in their 40s who have polarized views on holy matrimony. As gleaming as a coffee table book, what begins as a contemporary gay comedy takes an unexpected turn that can’t be revealed, but it changes the stakes of the marriage debate and turns comedy into serious drama. Gaining strength from the intimacy of the Fountain Theatre and the general excellence of the production, “Daniel’s Husband” begins in laughter, culminates in tears and leaves off in contemplation of the dangers in putting off for another day what matters most. (C.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends July 28. $25-$45. (323) 663-1525.

Happy Days Dianne Wiest is riveting as a woman who chatters away while buried up to her waist in a dirt mound in Samuel Beckett’s 1961 classic of absurdist theater. The metaphors hint at mortality. Wiest delivers them with nuance and humor, the merest shift of her eyes or inflection of her voice revealing unexpected layers. (D.H.M.) Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., 1 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6:30 p.m.; ends June 30. $32-$115. (213) 628-2772.

Noises Off That a play in which things go so horribly wrong can get things so hysterically right is the fundamental paradox at the screwball heart of Michael Frayn’s classic comedy that returns to A Noise Within for another run. The enduring popularity of this production, once again co-directed by the wife-husband team of Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott, lies in its spot-on performances, surgically-precise slapstick and ingenious deconstruction of the conventions of farce even as it faithfully executes them — from slamming doors to bawdy double-entendres. (P.B.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue.-Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends June 9. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

Violence: The Misadventures of Spike Spangle, Farmer A naïve farmboy’s dream of middle-class normality cruelly exploited by a rigged system — time has only sharpened the biting social satire in this 1985 protest play by Tim Robbins and Adam Simon, revived with signature Actors’ Gang impassioned commedia dell’arte physicality. The pop cultural references may have aged but the message has not — which is exactly the point. (P.B.) The Actors’ Gang Theatre, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 22. $25-$34.99; Thursdays, pay what you can. (310) 838-4264.