Entertainment & Arts

SoCal theater listings, June 2-9: ‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ ‘Phantom,’ ‘Henry IV’ and more

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Alexander Sheldon and Siera Williams costar in “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” at the Wallis.
(Jo Rodriguez)

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.).


Cabaret Night Company members perform show tunes and more. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. 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. 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. Sun., 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends June 23. $25-$79. (213) 628-2772.


Harvey 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. Sun., 5:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5:30 p.m.; ends June 16. $60-$85. (949) 497-2787.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream This annual outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s romantic fantasy returns. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sun., 4 p.m.; Sat., 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. 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. Sun.-Mon., 8:30 p.m. $12, $15. (213) 237-2800.


Controversy, Censorship and Klezmer: Jewish Theatre from “God of Vengeance” to “Indecent” A panel discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel and others. Stephen Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, L.A. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; RSVP at

15th Annual Spring Reading Series Circle X Theatre presents a reading of Will Arbery’s “Plano.” Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Mon., 8 p.m. Free.

Sucker Punch Coeurage Theatre Company presents a site-specific staging of the West Coast premiere of Michael A. Shepperd’s drama about two former friends who once trained together in the same London boxing gym. Tiger Boxing Gym, 708 N. Gardner St., L.A. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.; ends June 23. Pay what you want; no late seating. (323) 944-2165.

The Blank Theatre’s 27th Annual Young Playwrights Festival Four-week showcase features 12 new plays by aspiring writers age 14-19. YPF Pop-Up Playhouse, 6520 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 30. $12, $25; passes: $40, $80. (323) 661-9827.

The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Gender-bending, family-friendly stage adaptation of Douglas Adams’ satirical sci-fi fable features puppetry, live music and more; sci-fi costumes encouraged. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $20. (310) 746-4000.

What You Are A man struggling to provide for his family in a changing America comes to a crisis point in JC Lee’s new drama; contains adult language. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends June 30. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

The Assassination of Edgar Allan Poe Downtown Repertory Theater Company explores the life and times of the 19th-century poet and author in this immersive, interactive experience. Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., L.A. Fri.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 17. $30-$35; packages available.

Brown & Out V 11 new short plays and one short film celebrating the LGBTQ Latinx experience. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends July 7. $20-$65; limited pay what you can tickets, at the door only. (323) 263-7684.


Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 Archway Theatre Company offers an outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s action-packed historical dramas about England’s Henry IV, his son Prince Hal, the roguish Sir John Falstaff and others. Woodbury University, Library Plaza, 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 22. $28. (818) 980-7529.

#hysteria Festival presented by Santa Monica Rep features readings of plays by female playwrights including Lauren Gunderson, Karen Zacarias and Lynn Nottage. Skidmore Gallery, Bergamont Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., B-4, Santa Monica. Fri., 7:30 p.m. Also at Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica. Sat., 2 p.m.; next Sun., noon and 3 p.m.; and Santa Monica Playhouse Mainstage, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 7 and 8:30 p.m. $20 and up; passes: $90.

The Last Five Years After Hours Theatre Company presents an intimate multi-sensory staging of Jason Robert Brown’s musical romantic drama about two twenty-somethings in New York City. The Actor’s Company – The Other Space, 916 A N. Formosa Ave., West Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 14. $75, $115.

Me, Myself and Everyone Else Singer and impressionist Christina Bianco salutes iconic vocalists and pop culture personalities. Upstairs at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Fri., 8 p.m. $25-$45; food and drink minimums apply. (818) 769-0905.

The Phantom of the Opera A reclusive, disfigured musician is obsessed with a beautiful singer in 19th-century Paris in an updated production of the Tony-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends July 7. $42 and up. (800) 982-2787. (also at Segerstrom Center, Costa Mesa, July 10-21)

Diversity Festival Improv with current Groundlings members, alumni and special guests, plus several diversity-related workshops. The Groundlings School, 7280 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Sat., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free; workshops, $10.

The Hatmaker’s Wife A young woman experiences disappointment after moving in with her boyfriend in Lauren Yee’s comedy inspired by the Jewish folktales of Sholem Aleichem. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre (upstairs), 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 6. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

Katy Cruel: A Play with Songs Site-specific outdoor staging of Kathleen Cramer and O-Lan Jones’ drama about an independent woman and other camp followers during the Revolutionary War; for ages 13 and up. Private ranch, 10615 Art St., Sunland-Tujunga. Sat.-next Sun., 8 p.m. $25-$50.


Loot Two friends rob a bank then stash the cash in a coffin at the funeral home next door in Joe Orton’s darkly comic farce; Bart DeLorenzo directs. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 10. $32-$37. (310) 477-2055.

Moby Dick — Rehearsed A Shakespearean troupe rehearses a staging of Melville’s tale of the white whale in between performances of the Bard’s “King Lear” in Orson Welles’ drama. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Nine Winning One-Acts Festival features short plays from around the world. Upstairs at the Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 4 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 14. $17, $20. (818) 763-5990.

Playhouse Block Party Pasadena Playhouse’s annual family-friendly festival returns with entertainment on two stages that includes Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the NoteAbles Children’s Choir, Ballet Folklorico Quetzal and others, plus activity booths, theater tours, a silent disco and more. El Molino Ave. Ave. and Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., noon to 10 p.m. Free.

Put Your House in Order The night takes an unexpected turn for two Chicagoans on a first date in Ike Holter’s new mashup of romantic comedy and apocalyptic thriller. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends June 30. $25 and up. (858) 550-1010.

Roy Cohn / Jack Smith / Ron Vawter Tyler Matthew Oyer reimagines Vawter’s 1992 one-man exploration of homophobia in society. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 8:30 p.m. $15, $20.

Thinking Shakespeare Live! Globe artistic director Barry Edelstein explores the language of the Bard. The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Sat., 11 a.m. $10-$25. (619) 234-5623.

The Way Home Emerging theater artists explore the feeling of community and the sense of belonging in this locally touring production presented by Jewish Women’s Theatre. Various venues. Sat.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends June 18. $18.

Indecent Paula Vogel’s fact-based drama about a controversial 1920s Broadway production of Sholem Asch’s Yiddish theater fable “God of Vengeance.” Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 7. $30-$149. (213) 972-4400.

Long Beachland Humorist and pop-culture historian Charles Phoenix explores the city’s past in this retro slideshow; part of Long Beach Architecture Week. Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach. Next Sun., 11 a.m. $45.

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., 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. $5-$50. (323) 663-1525.

The End of Beauty Notions of beauty propel a fateful dinner get-together in a new play by L.A. writer Cory Hinkle. Conversation among married professors and their guest, a former student who’s become a famous painter, might hinge on art, but the play’s actual subject is relationships. Hinkle’s evocative language and artful metaphor are a meal unto themselves. (D.H.M.) Playwrights’ Arena, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m. ends June 17. $30, $40; discounts available. (800) 838-3006.

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., 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 2:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 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.; Wed.-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.

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