The week ahead in L.A. theater, July 30-Aug. 6: ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ and more


Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.)


Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Excerpts from four solo works by female writer-performers. Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City. Sun., 7 p.m. $18-$25. (818) 760-0408.

Robin Hood World premiere of Ken Ludwig’s comedy about the hero of Sherwood Forest and his band of merry men. The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Sun., Tue.-Wed., 7 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 3. $39 and up. (619) 234-5623.

Shout Sister Shout! New bio-musical about gospel and R&B singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, known as the “godmother of rock and roll.” Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., 5 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 20. $25-$115. (626) 356-7529.


Summer Playwrights Festival Eighth-annual showcase at two venues features readings of 19 full-length plays and 14 one-acts. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Also, The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Opens Sun.; ends Aug. 6. Suggested donation, $15.

To Dad With Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen Kiki Ebsen honors her late father, the TV and film star, in this multimedia show. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $25, $35. (805) 583-7900.

Hershey Felder’s The Great American Songbook Sing-Along Classic tunes by the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, et al. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $25-$55. (310) 746-4000.

Joey Arias: Still Misbehavin’ The veteran vocalist and drag artist performs in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Mon., 8:30 p.m. $25-$40; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 466-2210.

Fun Home Tony-winning musical based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic novel about growing up in a dysfunctional family. 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 Aug. 6. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Britain’s National Theatre stages Simon Stephens’ Tony-winning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel about an autistic teen entangled in a mystery. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 10. $25-$130. (213) 972-4400.

The Dream on Royal Street Aspiring young performers are joined by professionals for this New Orleans-set reimagining of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with music by Alan Menken. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Thu., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 13. $12, $15.(626) 355-4318.

New Original Works Festival 2017 The 14th-annual performing-arts showcase continues; program details at REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $16, $20; festival pass, $40. (213) 237-2800.

Best of Pick of the Vine Best short plays from the past 15 years of the festival. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $23-$27. (310) 512-6030.

Camp Ragnarok Theatre Unleashed presents this comedic soap opera, set at a camp for survivalists, with a new episode each week. The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Fri., 10 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $10. (818) 849-4039.

The Fantasticks Classic off-Broadway musical about two young lovers and their meddling fathers. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $28, $30. (818) 884-1907.

On the Twentieth Century Classic musical comedy about showbiz types aboard a luxury passenger train traveling between New York and Chicago. Pan-Andreas Theatre, 5119 Melrose Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $30. (800) 838-3006.

Roma al Final de la Via (Rome at the End of the Line) Daniel Serrano’s decades-spanning drama follows the lives of two Mexican women who stay best friends from childhood to old age; in Spanish with English supertitles.. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Aug. 13. $15-$20. (323) 263-7684.

Wet: A DACAmented Journey Writer-performer Alex Alpharaoh explores immigration, the DREAM Act and life as an undocumented American in this solo drama. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $19.95, $26. (818) 839-1197.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona The Bard’s coming-of-age comedy gets a musical twist to close out the Independent Shakespeare Co.’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 3. Free. (818) 710-6306.

West Destiny Darkly comic horror tale about a mayor who launches a violent crackdown on criminality in her small western town; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Journey of the Monkey King Taiwan’s Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe makes its U.S. debut with this ancient Chinese folktale; Taiwan’s Lei Dance Theatre and Irvine-based Sun Musical Concert Choir also perform. Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $39 and up. (800) 653-8000.

Kill Local A woman and her two daughters work as professional assassins in Mat Smart’s world-premiere dark comedy. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $35 and up. (858) 550-1010.

Marlene Cindy Marinangel portrays actress Marlene Dietrich in this solo bio-drama written by Willard Manus. Write Act Repertory @ Brickhouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 27. $20. (800) 838-3006.

OPC Summer New Works Festival The Ojai Playwrights Conference’s 20th annual showcase includes workshop productions of new plays by Sandra Tsing Loh, Samuel D. Hunter, et al.; details at Zalk Theater, 703 El Paseo Road, and Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. Next Sun. through Sun., Aug. 13. Sun. through next Sun., Aug. 13. $30. (805) 640-0400.

Critics’ Choices

The Cake With understanding, respect and compassion for opposing points of view, “This is Us” writer/co-producer Bekah Brunstetter’s impeccably staged new dramedy explores the human repercussions when that quintessential symbol of union and hope — the wedding cake — becomes a flashpoint in the culture war over marriage equality. (P.B.) Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Mon., Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 13. $34. (310) 307-3753.

Fun Home Based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel about growing up as a lesbian with a closeted gay father, this deeply moving musical drama combines textured character psychology and nuanced storytelling with the enchantment of a score that can go from melancholy to zany in a heartbeat. Fun but never frivolous, this Tony-winning show by composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Lisa Kron shimmers with a Proustian glow. (C.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 Aug. 6. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Parade A man’s religion and origin mark him for scapegoating when the public needs an outlet for its collective frustration. Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown base this stunner of a musical on the 1913 trial of Leo Frank, a Jewish Northerner indicted for the murder of a 13-year-old girl at the factory he supervised in Atlanta. Director Kari Hayter and a committed cast deliver a fluid, coiled production that shakes the audience to its core. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Aug. 13. $40, $45; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.

Rhinoceros With darkly hilarious urgency, this superbly staged and disconcertingly timely revival illuminates playwright Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist warning about the seductively corrosive lure of herd mentality and the fragility of civilized norms we take for granted. (P.B.) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Sept 10. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.