Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes and Charles McNulty.
Madness, Mayhem and Other Stimulants … When Women Write! Three-week festival spotlighting works by local female playwrights gets underway with a selection of seven short plays by Linda L. Rand. Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Oct 1. $15; festival pass, $30. (800) 838-3006.
My Motown: Music, Memories and More R&B singer Thelma Houston (“Don’t Leave Me This Way”) shares songs and stories. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Sun., 8:30 p.m. $44 and up. (323) 461-3673.
The Orange Garden Staged reading of Joanna Garner’s drama about a Peace Corps volunteer in 1972 Iran. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sun., 11 a.m. Free. (310) 455-3723.
Shattered Writer-performer Diana Varco plays more than 35 characters in this solo drama about being a sexual-assault survivor. Level Ground, 638 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 301, Pasadena. Sun., 8 p.m. $10. www.onlevelground.org
Pterodactyls Pop Up Theater Inc. presents Nicky Silver’s dark comedy about the demise of one peculiarly dysfunctional family. The Commissary at the Culver Studios, 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 24. $25. www.thepopuptheater.org
All in the Timing David Ives’ collection of six fantastical, comedic short plays about life, love, romance, etc. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $14-$20; opening night only, $27. (562) 494-1014.
Bill Engvall The “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” veteran performs. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Sat., 8 p.m. $165-$185. (310) 544-0403.
Somewhere in the Middle, or … Guess Who’s Coming for Passover A college student brings her Muslim boyfriend home to meet her middle-class Jewish-Christian family in writer-director Gary Lamb’s comedy-drama. Crown City Theatre, St. Matthew’s Church, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $10, $20. (818) 605-5685.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Simon Stephens’ Tony-winning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel presents the world of Christopher Boone as this young accidental detective uniquely experiences it. Marianne Elliott’s acclaimed staging continues to impress with the way it dynamically theatricalizes the relationship this 15-year-old, whose condition is unnamed but has many of the hallmarks of Asperger’s syndrome, has with the world. (C.M.) Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 10. $25-$130. (213) 972-4400.
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. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept 10. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.