Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Sept. 10-17: ‘Runaway Home,’ ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ and more

Camille Spirlin, left, and Maya Lynne Robinson costar in the post-Katrina drama “Runaway Home” at the Fountain Theatre.
(Ed Krieger)

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

Betty White The sitcom star appears in conversation with Valerie Bertinelli. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 2 p.m. $75-$200. (562) 916-8500.

The Pirates of Penzance Shakespeare Orange County stages the classic Gilbert & Sullivan musical comedy. Garden Grove Amphitheater, 12762 Main St., Garden Grove. Sun., Thu.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $25, $40. (714) 590-1575.

Wild Goose Dreams A woman who defected from North Korea begins an online romance with a lonely South Korean man in the world premiere of Hansol Jung’s drama. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Sun., 7 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $35 and up. (858) 550-1010.


Grey Nomad Australian Theatre Company stages Dan Lee’s comedy about two retired couples traveling around Australia in an RV. Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Mon., Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $29-$39. (866) 811-4111.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City Playwright Halley Feiffer costars in the West Coast premiere of her comedy-drama about two people who connect while visiting their respective ailing mothers in the hospital. 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.; ends Oct. 8. $25-$90. (310) 208-5454.

The Broad Stage 10th Season Celebration with Josh Groban The superstar singer-songwriter performs in this fundraiser. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $500 and up. (310) 434-3200.

Heartbreak Help Four women attend a spiritual retreat in Joshua Tree in a revival of Justin Tanner’s comedy; Melissa Peterman and Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur star. Dorie Theatre, The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $25, $30. (800) 838-3006.


I’d Enjoy Being a Girl … On Broadway! Writer-performer Mark C. Reis imagines what his life would have been like as a woman in the musical theater in this solo show. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $35. (866) 811-4111.

See/Saw Intimate magic show with illusionist Siegfried Tieber. Civic Center Studios, 207 S. Broadway, L.A. Thu., 7 pm.; Fri., 7 and 10 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 7 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $74.

Shine Storytellers share tales about following their hearts. Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321.

Alsop for Adults Peter Alsop and friends perform comedic songs about politics. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Fri., 8 p.m. $20. (310) 455-3723.

Andy: The Red-nosed Warhola 35-minute piece explores the mystique of artist Andy Warhol. LA-LA Land Gallery, 6450 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $15.

Benny & Joon World-premiere musical based on the quirky 1993 romantic comedy that starred Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson. The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 22. $36 and up. (619) 234-5623.

Big Night An actor deals with demands on his time and attention from family and others on Oscar night in this world-premiere comedy from Paul Rudnick. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.

Democracy(sic) Don K. Williams’ new comedy skewers hypocrisy in America in a series of vignettes. The Art of Acting Studio, 1017 N. Orange Drive, Hollywood. Sat.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $20 in advance; pay what you can at the door.


The Drowsy Chaperone Tony-winning send-up of classic musical comedies of the 1920s. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 24. $35-$55. (818) 508-4200.

Let’s Create: A New Play Festival Eight new short plays by up-and-coming local playwrights. The Found Theatre, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 24. $10, $12. (800) 838-3006.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Contestants strive to be letter-perfect in this Tony-winning musical comedy. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $30-$70. (310) 544-0403.

Walking to Buchenwald Open Fist Theatre Company presents Tom Jacobson’s fantastical new dark comedy about American tourists who make an unexpected side trip to the former concentration camp. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 14. $30. (323) 882-6912.

What’s Going On Dorian Holly salutes Marvin Gaye. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $40. (323) 964-9766.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ Tony-winning musical review set in 1920s-’30s Harlem features the songs of “Fats” Waller; “American Idol’s” Frenchie Davis stars. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $20-$70. (562) 944-9801.

in a word Southern California premiere of Lauren Yee’s dramedy about a woman coping with the disappearance of her young son two years earlier; for ages 13 and up; contains adult language. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sat., 7:45 p.m.; next Sun., 2:45 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $21-$35. (888) 455-4212.

Incognito Four actors play multiple characters seeking to understand themselves and others in the West Coast premiere of Nick Payne’s drama. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Oct. 1. $50, $55; opening night only, $125. (805) 667-2900.


Runaway Home Three years after Hurricane Katrina, a runaway teen returns to her still-distressed neighborhood in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward in Jeremy J. Kamps’ new drama. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun, 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $20-$40; Mondays, pay what you want. (323) 663-1525.

Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast Sandra Bernhard returns in her latest cabaret show. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $60. (562) 985-7000.

A Weekend With Pablo Picasso Writer-performer Herbert Siguenza of Culture Clash portrays the famed Spanish artist in this solo show. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Oct. 8. $25-$30. (323) 263-7684.

We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered The 1970s-era pop-music duo is celebrated with songs and stories. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $45-$65. (562) 916-8500.

Fixed New comedy-drama by local playwright Boni B. Alvarez about a ladyboy masseuse working at a massage parlor in L.A’s historic Filipinotown. Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends Oct. 22. $20, $34. (310) 307-3753.

Pipe Dream Musical Theatre West offers a staged reading of this Rodgers & Hammerstein musical based on the writings of John Steinbeck. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $27. (562) 856-1999.

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

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. Ends Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. $25-$130. (213) 972-4400. Also, 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 Sept. 17. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

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., Fri.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Oct. 15. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.

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