L.A. theater openings and critics’ choices, June 11-18: 'King Richard II' and more

L.A. theater openings and critics’ choices, June 11-18: 'King Richard II' and more
Robert Sean Leonard plays the title role in Shakespeare's "King Richard II" at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. (Jim Cox)


Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.), Charles McNulty (C.M.), Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.) and David C. Nichols (D.C.N.) Compiled by Matt Cooper.


The Conduct of Life Hero Theatre stages Maria Irene Fornés' drama about women living under a totalitarian regime; José Luis Valenzuela directs. The Rosenthal Theatre at Inner City Arts, 720 Kohler St., L.A. Sun., 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 25. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.


Hollywood Fringe Festival The eighth open-access performing-arts showcase features more than 300 shows at over two dozen area venues; tickets and schedules at Ends June 25. (323) 455-4585.

StoryTime Personal stories of joy, sadness and humor; for ages 14 and up. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (818) 763-5990.

An Evening With Alan Alda The "MASH" star discusses his new book. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $50-$100. (310) 746-4000.

Pop-Up Magazine Writers, filmmakers and others share stories. The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, L.A. June 13. Tue., 8 p.m. $32.

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Staged reading of Tony Kushner's drama. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Wed., 7 p.m. Free. (626) 356-3100.

Constellations L.A. premiere of Nick Payne's romantic drama about a beekeeper and a physicist; with Ginnifer Goodwin and "Downton Abbey's" Allen Leech. Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $32-$90; rush tickets available. (310) 208-5454.

The Mitchell Sanitorium Cabaret Musical mashup of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends June 25. $30. (800) 838-3006.

The Pride L.A. premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell's Olivier-winning drama about the change in attitudes toward sexuality since the 1950s. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends July 9. $40-$75. (310) 746-4000.

The Space Between Millennials explore finding common ground in this Jewish Women's Theatre production. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., No. 102, Santa Monica; other area venues. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.; ends June 25. $10. (800) 838-3006.

Shakespeare by the Sea Locally touring productions of the Bard's "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Macbeth." Various locations; details at June 15-Aug. 19. Free. (310) 217-7596.

Shine Storytellers share tales about turning points in their lives. Promenade Playhouse, 1404 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321.

Art Party Fugitive Kind presents an immersive evening of theater, drag, dance and more. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A Fri.-Sat., 7 p.m. $10, $15.

The Back 9 LAPD (Los Angeles Poverty Department) takes a satirical look at issues facing skid row in the age of Trump. Skid Row History Museum & Archive, 250 S. Broadway, L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 p.m.; ends June 17. Free.

Bloomsday Celebration of James Joyce includes a staged reading of the Irish author's only extant play, "Exiles." Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. June 16. Fri., 7:30 p.m. Free. (310) 443-7000.


E.D. Blues: The Musical New musical comedy about erectile dysfunction. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends June 18. $35, $45. (818) 508-4200.

The Good Doctor Neil Simon's series of Chekhov-inspired short plays. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 15. $23-$27. (310) 512-6030.

Long Beach Playhouse Radio Hour Annual variety show and fundraiser. Offices of Keesal, Young & Logan, 400 Oceangate, Long Beach. Fri., 6 p.m. $65. (562) 494-1014.

Oklahoma! 3-D Theatricals stages the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 E. Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 25 (also in Cerritos, June 30-July 9). $25-$100. (714) 589-2770.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Christopher Durang's contemporary, Chekhov-inspired farce. Edgemar Center for the Arts, Alexander Theater, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 24. $35. (310) 392-7327.

Animal Farm New staging of Peter Hall's drama with music based on George Orwell's allegorical fable about totalitarianism; for ages 10 and up. Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $10-$38.50. (310) 455-3723.

The Last Men on Earth The two characters in the title must find a way to repopulate the planet in Richard Nathan's comedy; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood., Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends July 8. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Love Is a Dirty Word Writer-performer Giovanni Adams' new solo drama with music about his life as a black, queer, Christian man. VS. Theatre, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 15. $30. (323) 739-4411.

Lovers, Haters & Others Benefit show features scenes and monologues from works by Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and others. The Found Theatre, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends June 18. $15. (562) 433-3363.

An Evening With Stephen Tobolowsky The veteran character actor ("Groundhog Day") reads selections from two of his books. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $30. (310) 364-3606.

I Want to Be! Benjamin Franklin New dark comedy about a delusional man who thinks he's one of the Founding Fathers; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 9. $15. (818) 202-4120.

King Richard II Tony winner Robert Sean Leonard stars in Shakespeare's historical drama. The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends July 15. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

Critics’ Choices

The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey If you're the kind of person who enjoys human-centered stories, who can't resist a detective yarn and who enjoys watching an actor impersonate a town full of kooky yet hilariously recognizable characters, James Lecesne's off-Broadway sleeper about the disappearance of a teen whose fabulousness doesn't conform to restrictive Jersey Shore gender expectations is what you've been waiting for. (C.M.) Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Sun., 5:30 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends June 25. $60-$65; 21 and under, free (ID required). (949) 497-2787.


Dogfight Based on a 1991 film by the same name, this musical — which features a book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the songwriting team who wrote the Broadway hit "Dear Evan Hansen" and won an Academy Award for "La La Land" — centers on three Marine buddies about to ship out to Vietnam in 1963 who compete in a cruel tradition of a "dogfight," a high-stakes contest to see which one can score the ugliest date for the evening. Payson Lewis and Nicci Claspell deliver stunning turns as two lonely people who find romance at the end of an ugly ritual, while co-directors Jennifer Strattan and Jennifer Oundjian craft a staging that is a miracle of purposefulness and intention, hitting all the high notes, low notes and the notes in between of a complicated era. (F.K.F.) Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Today, next Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 25. $40.

The Other Mozart Creator-actor Sylvia Milo's dazzling multi-sensory solo performance is uniquely suited to this historically accurate portrait of the lonely life of Maria Anna Mozart, sister of Wolfgang Amadeus and in her own right a musically gifted woman ahead of her time. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Today, next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends June 18. $30-$55. (805) 667-2900.