Advertisement

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Nov. 18-25: ‘Cost of Living,’ ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’ and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Nov. 18-25: ‘Cost of Living,’ ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’ and more
Katy Sullivan and Felix Solis costar in “Cost of Living” at the Fountain Theatre. (Geoffrey Wade)

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.).

Advertisement

Openings

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. Sun., Mon., 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. 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. Sun., 7 p.m. $10. (818) 760-0408.

Let Me Sing: An Evening of Broadway, Ballads, and Blues Theater veteran 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. Sun., 7 p.m. $35-$75. (562) 856-1999.

Simon & Garfunkel (Revisited) Vocalists Lee Lessack and Johnny Rodgers re-create the pop-folk duo’s famed 1981 concert in New York’s Central Park. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sun., 2 p.m. $40. (562) 985-7000.

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. Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (818) 763-5990.

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

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. Sun., 7 p.m. $29.50–$59.50. (310) 825-2101.

Broadway to Hollywood Aaron Lazar from the national touring company of “Dear Evan Hansen” sings favorites from stage and screen. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8:30 p.m. $25-$35. (866) 468-3399.

The Living Room Series Staged reading of Aliza Goldstein’s “All New Cells.” The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 suggested donation. (323) 661-9827.

Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas A veteran of the war in Afghanistan comes home to his family in this new musical inspired by the country star’s 1995 holiday album. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Tue., 8 p.m.; Wed., 7 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $39 and up. (619) 234-5623.

A Christmas Carol Dickens’ classic holiday fable. Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 N. Orange St., Glendale. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends Dec. 24. $25, $28. (818) 244-8481.

A Christmas Story Stage adaptation of the beloved 1983 holiday comedy based on the stories of humorist Jean Shepherd. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $25-$45. (626) 355-4318.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Long Beach Shakespeare Company stages the Arthurian tale. The Helen Borgers Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $12.50, $22.50. (562) 997-1494.

Advertisement

A Very Merry MagicMania Albie Selznick (“Smoke and Mirrors”) hosts this five-weekend showcase featuring a rotating cast on illusionists and variety acts. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $40. (310) 450-2849.

Bob Baker’s Nutcracker Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s adaptation of the classic ballet is performed for the first time outside of its original home. Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sat., next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $20 and up. (626) 356-7529.

A Carpenters Christmas Vocalist Lisa Rock and her band celebrate the sibling duo’s holiday specials and hits. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m. $15-$44. (562) 944-9801.

Chico’s Angels in Feliz NaviDivas The Latina drag trio presents a holiday show. Cavern Club Celebrity Theater @ Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; next Sun., 6 and 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 28. $25, $30. www.tix.com.

Vendetta Chrome The constrictions placed on young women during the Victorian era are satirized in the West Coast premiere of Sylvan Oswald’s mix of melodrama and farce. Coeurage Theatre Company, the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 15. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.

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 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., Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 2. $30; Mondays, pay what you will ($10-$30). (323) 472-5646.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Tony-winning virtuoso Jefferson Mays single-handedly reanimates Charles Dickens’ holiday chestnut through the incantatory power of his acting. The ingenious auteur Michael Arden (Deaf West Theatre’s brilliant “Spring Awakening,” the Tony-winning revival of “Once on This Island”) extends all the directorial care one might lavish on a precious antique music box. Mays, summoning the snooty, snarling and sniveling voices of Victorian England, is the rare gem that gives this production its mesmerizing glint. For true theater lovers, there can be no better gift this season. (C.M.) Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Mon.-Wed., Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 9. $30-$120. (310) 208-5454.

Cost of Living Playwright Martyna Majok has made it her mission to bring to the stage those characters who historically have played a subordinate role in the theater — the nameless, faceless workers who are hanging on by a thread in an economy that devours the weak, the marginalized and the unlucky. In her 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Majok examines the disabled and their caretakers, whose existences can be just as precarious as the people they’re paid to assist. Scrupulously directed by John Vreeke, the actors unflinching lay bare the scars, physical and emotional, of their characters, all of whom are struggling to bear the weight of their difficult lives. (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 Dec. 16. $25-$45. (323) 663-1525.

Dear Evan Hansen This beautifully acted touring production, under the aerodynamic direction of Michael Greif, reveals the true reason this Tony-winning musical has become such a cultural phenomenon: It’s one of the most evocative portraits of the inner turmoil of adolescence ever put on stage. The book by Steven Levenson and the score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul capture not only the emotional challenges of those arduous adolescent years but also the moral tests we sometimes flunk as we fumble toward adult graduation in this rich tale about a high school outcast who becomes under false pretenses a social media hero. Ben Levi Ross, a 20-year-old actor who grew up in Santa Monica, is bound for the theatrical big-time with his searing performance as Evan. (C.M.) Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue., 8 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $99-$285. (213) 972-4400. (Also at Segerstrom Center, Jan. 1-13)

Advertisement

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.; 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. Ends Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $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., 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 Drive, Costa Mesa. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Advertisement
Advertisement