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The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 30-Jan. 6: ‘A Misunderstanding,’ ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Dec. 30-Jan. 6: ‘A Misunderstanding,’ ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and more
Bruce Katzman, left, and Matt Chait costar in Chait's "A Misunderstanding" at the Ruby Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. (Ed Krieger)

Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.) and F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.).

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Openings

The Annual One-Time-Only New Year’s Eve Musical Revue Family-friendly show features comedic sketches, sing-alongs and more. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Mon., 6 and 9:30 p.m. $29.50-$69.50. (310) 394-9779.

Groundlings New Year’s Eve Spectacular! Sketches, improv and more. Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Mon., 10 p.m. $100. (323) 934-4747.

New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini The eclectic ensemble led by pianist Thomas Lauderdale returns for a pair of holiday shows. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Mon., 7 and 10:30 p.m. $87-$226. (323) 850-2000.

Rita Rudner: Her Absolutely Positively Last Show of 2018 The veteran comedian’s annual New Year’s Eve show features special musical guests 92629 (Molly Bergman and Peyton Goss). Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Mon., 7 p.m. $107-$133. (949) 497-2787.

Dick Fox’s Golden Boys Former teen idols Frankie Avalon, Lou Christie and Bobby Rydell perform hits from the 1950s and ’60s. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $80-$110. (562) 916-8500.

A Misunderstanding A fundamental disagreement between two people leads to deeper questions about the nature of reality itself in Matt Chait’s new play. The Complex (Ruby Theatre), 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $15, $30; opening night only, $45. (323) 960-4418.

Culture Clash (Still) in America The veteran Chicano comedy trio returns in this satirical show; recommended for high school and above. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends Jan. 20. $30-$78. (714) 708-5555.

Desert Rats Return engagement of Nate Rufus Edelman’s dark comedy/crime fable set in Barstow. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Jan. 20. $24-$60. (866) 811-4111.

Forever Brooklyn: A Kosher Musical Comedy Danny DiTorrice stars in writer-director Mark Wesley Curran’s solo tale. Whitefire Thaetre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 7:30 p.m; ends Feb. 9. $30. (800) 838-3006.

Free Los Tres New play by Carmelo Alvarez, Alberto Ortiz and Miguel Lopez Vigil tells the fact-based tale of three Chicano activists jailed after a run-in with an undercover federal agent. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Jan. 27. $20-$24.99. (323) 263-7684.

Solofest 2019 Seventh-annual showcase features solo writer-performers from around the world. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Various dates and times; starts Fri.; ends March 15. $15-$30. www.whitefiretheatre.com.

Soul Crushing Disco Ball An all-male cast performs Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens’ new coming-of-age tale. Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Jan. 20. $30. (323) 960-7822.

Critics’ Choices

Dear Evan Hansen Under the aerodynamic direction of Michael Greif, this beautifully acted touring production of Tony-winning musical reveals the true reason the show 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.) Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 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 Jan. 13. $35.75 and up. (714) 556-2787.

The Year Without a Santana Claus For almost two decades now, the Troubadour Theater Company has been delighting audiences with their sell-out mash-ups that meld Christmas classics with contemporary rock music. Their current production features Santana’s classic hits, performed by an on-stage band and a dream cast that really rock the house, and while the source material, the 1974 Rankin-Bass animated special, is just plain discursive and weird, it’s the perfect vehicle for the Troubies’ signature blend of Christmas crudity. Buoyed by company stalwarts Rick Batalla and Beth Kennedy, director Matt Walker pulls off one of the company’s best holiday offerings to date. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, all you want for Christmas should be a ticket to the Troubies. (F.K.F.) El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Ends Sun., 4 p.m. $45-$75. (866) 811-4111.

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