Entertainment & Arts

SoCal theater listings, June 30-July 7: ‘American Saga — Gunshot Medley: Part 1’ and more

Mildred Langford, Sha’Leah Nikole Stubblefield (in red), and Derek Jackson in “American Saga â
Mildred Langford, left, Sha’Leah Nikole Stubblefield and Derek Jackson costar in “American Saga — Gunshot Medley: Part 1” at Rogue Machine.
(Cristian Kreckler)

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.).


ABBA: The Concert A tribute band salutes the Swedish pop group; MenAlive, the Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus also performs. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $15-$112. (323) 850-2000.

Good Boys A popular prep-school student is caught up in a sex-tape scandal in the L.A. premiere of “Riverdale” creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s drama. The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., 5 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends July 21. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Knowing Not Knowing Audience members can interact with or observe performances by actors, dancers and musicians in this new work from director and choreographer Diana Wyenn; part of “Cross Sections III: A Day of Art Events.” American Jewish University, Familian Campus, Smalley Sculpture Garden, 15600 Mulholland Drive, L.A. Sun., 3 to 7 p.m. $15 suggested donation.


Naughty with a Band Actress-singer Pamela Shaw shares songs and stories in this autobiographical cabaret show. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Sun.-Mon., 7:30 p.m. $25-$35. (323) 673-0544.

Secrets and Illusions Illusionist Ivan Amodei performs in this new stage show. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sun., 4 p.m. $30-$80. (949) 854-4646.

Wet Hankies Writer-performer Michael Kearns and special guests explore LGBTQ issues. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. Sun., 5 p.m. $15, $20.

You’re a Grand Old Rag Paragon Ragtime Orchestra explores patriotism, immigration, etc., through the music of George M. Cohan. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sun., 2 p.m. $10-$27; discounts available. (562) 944-9801.


Peach Boy The Group Rep presents a staged reading of this new musical based on the fairy tale character Momotaro. Lonny Chapman Theatre, Main Stage, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m. $20. (818) 763-5990.

The Nerd A young architect’s dinner party is upended by an unexpected visitor in Larry Shue’s comedy. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Wed., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 27. $15-$28; July 12, pay what you can ($5 minimum). (310) 512-6030.

Apollo 11: An Immersive 360º Adventure Multimedia-enhanced show staged in a custom-built dome recreates NASA’s 1969 moon landing. The Rose Bowl, Parking Lot K, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 5 p.m.; ends Aug. 11. $45 and up. (833) 5-APOLLO.

American Saga — Gunshot Medley: Part 1 Rogue Machine remounts its production of Dionna Michelle Daniel’s fantastical new drama with music, set in a haunted graveyard in North Carolina, about the struggle against systemic racism. Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Sat., 5 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m; ends Aug. 11. $25, $40. (855) 585-5185.

Men on Boats A diverse cast of female and non-binary actors portray the white men who mapped the Colorado River as part of the 1869 Powell Expedition in Jaclyn Backhaus’ fact-based drama. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends July 28. $20, $25. (213) 351-3507.

Ragtime: The Musical Stage adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s sprawling novel about life in early 20th-century America; with book by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends July 28. $25-$49; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.

Scraps An African American teen’s family and friends cope in the aftermath of his fatal shooting by a white police officer in the West Coast premiere of Geraldine Inoa’s Brooklyn-set drama. The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 15. $35; Mondays, pay what you want. (323) 960-7711.

Twelfth Night Independent Shakespeare Co.’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival returns with the Bard’s romantic comedy about twins separated in a shipwreck. The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 1. Free. (818) 710-6306.


40th Birthday Cabaret! Members of Ensemble Theatre Company offer highlights from past productions. The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara. Next Sun., 6 p.m. $40 and up. (805) 965-5400.

The Luckiest World premiere of Melissa Ross’ drama about an independent young woman whose life is upended by a bleak diagnosis. La Jolla Playhouse, Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 28. $20 and up. (858) 550-1010.

Mamma Mia! A young bride-to-be hopes to uncover which of her mother’s old beaus is her real father in this romantic musical set on a Greek isle and built around the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 4. $65-$105; group discounts available. (949) 497-2787.

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. Ends Sun., 3 p.m. $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. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 28. $5-$50. (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. Ends Sun., 1 p.m. $32-$115. (213) 628-2772.

Moby Dick — Rehearsed Director Ellen Geer and a cast of 19 imaginatively bring to life Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of Herman Melville’s philosophical whaling novel, constructing the Pequod of little more than a bit of rope and sending it into the rolling Atlantic. The ghostly title cetacean isn’t physically manifested, but we see it nevertheless in the wonder and terror in the actors’ eyes. (D.H.M.) Next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $10-$42; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

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