Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Sept. 3-10: ‘Once’ at South Coast Rep and more

South Coast Repertory presents “Once” book by Enda Walsh, music and lyrics by Glen Hansard & Mar
Amanda Leigh Jerry and Rustin Cole Sailors costar in the romantic musical “Once” at South Coast Repertory.
(Danielle Bliss / South Coast Repertory)

Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.) and Charles McNulty (C.M.).

Martha Ellen Melaver’s bio drama about modern-dance maven Martha Graham. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Wed., 8 p.m.; also Sept. 30. $25. (818) 687-8559.

Disney’s Aladdin — Dual Language Edition Condensed adaptation of the hit 1992 animated musical, performed in English and Spanish. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Thu., 11 a.m.; Fri., 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $39-$79. (866) 811-4111.

Iphigenia in Aulis Outdoor staging of Euripides’ classic tragedy about Agamemnon’s decision to sacrifice his daughter on the eve of the Trojan War. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $36-$45. (310) 440-7300.

Liner Notes Rita Wilson and special guests share songs and stories. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Thu., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $59-$149. (310) 208-5454.


The Pitch or How to Pitch a Latino Sitcom That Will Never Air Veteran comic Paul Rodriguez explores the experiences of Latinos in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tom Bradley Theatre, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $10-$25. (866) 811-4111.

Carmen Disruption Disparate characters seek love and connection in the U.S. premiere of “Heisenberg” playwright Simon Stephens’ re-imagining of Bizet’s tragic opera. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 15. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.

Farragut North Political operatives maneuver during a presidential campaign in Iowa in this drama from “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon. Kentwood Players, Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $18, $20. (310) 645-5156.

Lost in Yonkers Neil Simon’s Tony-winning comedy-drama about two brothers coming of age in the New York suburb. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 22. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.


Madness, Mayhem and Other Stimulants… When Women Write! Three-week festival continues with Susan C. Hunter’s movie-business farce “Kissinup to Mr. Bliss.” Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct 1. $15. (800) 838-3006.

Marion Bridge West Coast premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s comedy-drama about three adult sisters on a return visit to the old family home. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 24. $20. (310) 422-3462.

The Meeting Jeff Stetson’s drama imagines a conversation between civil-rights leaders Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $30.

Ricky Nelson Remembered The rock ’n’ roll pioneer is saluted by sons Matthew and Gunnar. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $70-$80. (310) 544-0403.

Blackbird David Harrower’s Olivier Award-winning drama about a young woman who encounters the middle-aged man who sexually abused her when she was 12. The Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 22. $25. (323) 960-4412.

Cabaret Classic Kander & Ebb musical about the denizens of a decadent nightclub in pre-WWII Germany. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 15. $22, $25. (805) 583-7900.

Daytona U.S. premiere of British playwright Oliver Cotton’s drama about two long-married Holocaust survivors. Rogue Machine Theatre, The Met, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 30. $40; Mon., Sept 11, pay what you can. (855) 585-5185.

Medea New adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy about the barbarian princess scorned by her husband, the hero Jason. Archway Studio/Theatre, 10509 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $30. (818) 980-7529.


Once Tony-winning musical based on the 2007 indie film about a romance between a Irish street musician and Czech immigrant. South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $26 and up. (714) 708-5555.

One Night Beyond Illusionist Abbott Alexander mixes magic, fantasy and drama; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $15. (818) 202-4120.

One Night Only: EWP Night Market Fundraiser features performances by George Takei, Gedde Watanabe and others. East West Players, David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $100 and up. (213) 625-7000.

A Tale of Two Cities Mike Poulton’s adaptation of Dickens’ classic novel set in Paris and London during the French Revolution. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. ends Nov. 19. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

The Taming of the Tension Drag artist Miss Coco Peru shares songs and stories. Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $30. (323) 860-7300.

Under the Jello Mold Writer-performer Jennie Fahn explores her relationship with her mother in this solo show. The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Betty White The sitcom star discusses her life and career with Valerie Bertinelli. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $75-$200. (562) 916-8500.

Wild Goose Dreams A woman who defected from North Korean begins an online romance with a lonely South Korean man in Hansol Jung’s new drama. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $35 and up. (858) 550-1010.


Critics’ Choices

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.

La Razón Blindada Presented in Spanish with English supertitles, this sharply political play sheds light on Argentina’s infamous “Dirty War” as filtered through the deeply personal perspective of writer-director Aristídes Vargas, who experienced the madness first-hand. Vargas’ harrowing, surprisingly funny piece centers around two political prisoners who escape into the world of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” during their incarceration. Hallucinatory, trance-inducing and surreal, this deeply humanistic production hammers home man’s gross capacity for inhumanity — and his transcendent ability to endure. (F.K.F.) 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., L.A. Sat., 3 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 15. $10-$24. (213) 745-6516.

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.

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