Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Nov. 11-18: ‘The Bitter Game,’ ‘UnCabaret’ and more

The Bitter Game
Keith A. Wallace brings his solo drama “The Bitter Game” to the Wallis.
(Jim Carmody)
Listings Coordinator


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.).


¡Gaytino! Made in America Showbiz veteran Dan Guerrero shares stories from his life and career in this solo play with music. East L.A. College Recital Hall, 2225-2241 Collegian Ave., Monterey Park.Sun., 1 and 5 p.m. Free; RSVP required.

In a Booth at Chasen’s New musical drama, with songs by Al Kasha and Phil Swann and book by Sam Bennett, about the courtship of Hollywood stars and future U.S. president and first lady Ronald and Nancy Reagan. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 5 p.m.; Thu., 3 and 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $29-$65.

In the Mood Celebration of the Big Band era. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 2 p.m. $35-$70. (562) 916-8500.


Kindertransport Jane Kaczmarek and Kate Burton star in a reading of Diane Samuels’ historical drama about efforts to save Jewish children in Europe from the Holocaust. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 2 p.m. $25-$35. (310) 746-4000.

Past & Present: Russian Jewish American Stories Presented by Jewish Women’s Theatre. The Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 6 p.m. $50.

Simon & Garfunkel (Revisited) Lee Lessack and Johnny Rodgers re-create the pop-folk duo’s 1981 concert in New York’s Central Park. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. Sun., 3 p.m. $37, $45. (949) 480-4278. Also at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $40. (562) 985-7000.

Zorba Musical Theatre Guild presents the Kander & Ebb musical based on the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek.” The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $45. (818) 243-2539.


Luna & Ginsburg Burlesque performer Selene Luna and comic Nadya Ginsburg share the stage. Cavern Club Celebrity Theater @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Tue., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

The Bitter Game Writer-performer Keith A. Wallace portrays multiple characters in this immersive solo drama about the black experience in America. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Promenade Terrace (outdoors), 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. $40. (310) 746-4000.

Bus Stop Disparate characters are stranded together in a Kansas diner during a snowstorm in William Inge’s classic drama. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $35. (310) 364-0535.

Chico’s Angels: Five-0: Waikiki Chicas The Latina drag trio celebrates its 15th anniversary with this comedy-mystery. The Colony Theatre Company, 555 N. 3rd St, Burbank. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $35. (866) 811-4111.

En Cuatro Patas: Feminist Latinx Performance With Nao Bustamante and Gina Osterloh. The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Thu., 8:30 p.m. $15. (213) 232-6200.

Exit Wounds Wendy Graf’s new drama examines the impact of a national tragedy on the perpetrator’s family. Grove Theater Center, 1111-B W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 15. $38; two-show package with “Confederates” (opened Nov. 9), $60. (800) 838-3006.

Hughie & Krapp’s Last Tape Tony winner Brian Dennehy stars in a double bill of Eugene O’Neill’s two-character short play and Samuel Beckett’s solo one-act drama. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454.

Jack & An ex-convict (Cornell Alston) tries re-enter society in Kaneza Schaal’s multimedia-enhanced comedy. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $16, $20. (213) 237-2800.


A Night in JJ’s Shorts Staged readings of short plays by local playwright Jonathan Josephson. The Belfry Stage (Upstairs), 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m. $15.

Shine Storytellers share inspirational tales. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12. (310) 452-2321.

Tears of Joy Theater The puppet-theater troupe offers kid-friendly versions of Mercer Mayer’s “There’s a Nightmare My Closet” and Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”; for ages 3 and up. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Thu., 6:30 p.m. $10, $15. (310) 286-0553.

A Carol Christmas The Group Rep presents a new musical version of Dickens’ classic holiday fable; for ages 4 and up. Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.

A Christmas Cactus A down-on-her-luck detective tries to solve a mystery in Eliot Byerrum’s holiday-themed comedy. Little Fish Theatre, 777 S. Centre St., San Pedro. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $15-$27. (310) 512-6030.

David Sedaris: New and Unpublished Work The author and humorist returns; presented by CAP UCLA. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Fri., 8 p.m. $49-$99. (310) 825-2101.

Forever Plaid An ill-fated 1950s-era vocal group returns from beyond to perform a final concert in this hit musical comedy. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $30-$70. (310) 544-0403.

Pretty Things Peepshow Burlesque, magic, puppetry and more. Cavern Club Celebrity Theater @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.


Redemption of a Dogg Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg portrays himself in this bio-drama written and directed by Je’Caryous Johnson; with Tamar Braxton. Microsoft Theater, 777 Chick Hearn Court, L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $44.50-$130.

Sisters Matsumoto L.A. Theatre Works records Philip Kan Gotanda’s drama about a Japanese American family returning home after being forced into an internment camp during WWII; a Q&A with the playwright and actor/activist George Takei follows the Sat. matinee. UCLA’s James Bridges Theater, 235 Charles E. Young Drive, Westwood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m. $15-$65. (310) 827-0889.

I Am Sophie A woman reinvents herself after she undertakes a journey of self-discovery in writer-performer Corinne Shor’s solo drama. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Nov. 17; discounts available. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $25, $34. (310) 822-8392.

Jane Lynch: A Swingin’ Little Christmas The “Glee” actress and company celebrate the holidays in this mix of music and comedy. Lewis Family Playhouse at Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga. Sat., 8 p.m. $53-$60. (909) 477-2775.

Shadow Play A boy searches for his missing shadow in Trusty Sidekick Theater Company’s interactive, multimedia-enhanced family-friendly show. Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $20. (714) 556-2787.

This Broad’s Way Musical-theater veteran Lesli Margherita shares songs and stories. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St. Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $55. (805) 667-2900.

Down to My Last Egg A woman races her biological clock in writer-performer Remy O’Brien’s solo comedy. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 26. $20. (310) 364-3606.

Exposed Emmy winner Leslie Jordan (“Will & Grace”) shares stories from his life and career. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $25-$60. (866) 468-3399.

Hot Off the Press Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival presents new solo works by female writer-performers. Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $10. (818) 760-0408

Let Me Sing: An Evening of Broadway, Ballads, and Blues Veteran entertainer Sam Harris opens a new season of Musical Theatre West’s “Broadway in Concert” series. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $35-$75. (562) 856-1999.

StoryTime The Group Rep presents personal stories of joy, sadness and humor; for ages 18 and up. Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (818) 763-5990.

UnCabaret 25th Anniversary Show & Celebration Beth Lapides’ groundbreaking comedy showcase returns for one night only, with special guests including Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, Laura Kightlinger, Bob Odenkirk, Jill Soloway and Julia Sweeney. CAP UCLA at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $29.50–$59.50. (310) 825-2101.

Critics’ Choices

Bliss (Or Emily Post Is Dead!) Four women from Greek mythology – Clytemnestra, Medea, Antigone and Cassandra – have been reincarnated through time, doomed to repeat bloody acts of revenge, until reaching 1960 North Orange, N.J. Cassandra, though, is determined to break the cycle by addressing its cause: diminishment and abuse by men. The amusing yet powerful script by North Hollywood-based Jami Brandli is a terrific spirit-rouser at a time when women and their allies everywhere are doing just that. (D.H.M.) Moving Arts, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 2. $30; Mondays, pay what you will ($10-$30). (323) 472-5646.

Johnny Got His Gun Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 novel plunges readers into the mind of a 20-year-old soldier badly injured in World War I. Yet this buoyant stage adaptation dwells not so much on the nightmare of his situation as on the joys stored in his memories and the exhilaration of reconnecting with the everyday world. Life resiliently pulses in Tim Robbins’ remarkable staging for the Actors’ Gang, which is driven by Nathan Woodworth’s riveting portrayal of the soldier. (D.H.M.) The Actors’ Gang Theatre, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 14. $25-$34.99. (310) 838-4264.

The Little Foxes Antaeus Theatre Company opens its new season with a bracing revival of Lillian Hellman’s 1939 play about the Hubbards, three avaricious siblings in the post-Civil War Deep South all scheming to cheat each other and anybody else who might come along. Cameron Watson directs a wonderful cast including L.A. favorites Deborah Puette, Jocelyn Towne, Rob Nagle and Mike McShane, among others, in evoking a long-past America with unnerving similarities to the one we know. (M.G.) Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $35. (818) 506-1983.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Existential quandaries and philosophical riddles bedevil two bit players in “Hamlet” as they await their brief scenes in Shakespeare’s play. Do they have any power to influence events or are they mere pawns to more powerful players? (And don’t we all wonder such things every day?) Tom Stoppard’s 1966 breakthrough play is given a buoyant, artful, thoughtful staging by Geoff Elliott, with Rafael Goldenstein and Kasey Mahaffy delivering poignant, compelling performances in the title roles. (D.H.M.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Nov. 18. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3121.

Showpony Long-time husband and wife producing team Tom Ormeny and Maria Gobetti have a keen intuition when it comes to scouting worthy new plays, and this world premiere by Judith Leora is a real gem, a rollicking entertainment, set in a New York advertising agency, that addresses the current political climate from a fiercely feminist perspective. The play’s valiant women workplace warriors — three African American, two Caucasian — straddle the divide of unconscious racism as they bicker, bond and do battle against a rigged corporate system. In a slam-bang, briskly calibrated staging, Ormeny melds his gifted performers into an impressively organic ensemble that does full credit to Leora’s pithy, timely play. (F.K.F.) The Big Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $22-$34. (818) 841-5421.

Waitress To get through each hardscrabble day, a small-town waitress turns to pie-baking, where she finds stillness. Adrienne Shelly’s unusual 2007 movie is now a rousing stage musical created by a team of women, including recording star Sara Bareilles, writing her first theater score. It’s too bad the creators dialed the comedy to extremes rather than trust the original’s quietness. Still, the audience whoops as if it’s on a sugar high. (D.H.M.) Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.