The week ahead in L.A. theater, Nov. 5-12: ‘Something Rotten!,’ ‘Spamilton’ and more



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.).


Chisme y Queso Short sketches by local playwrights, plus improvisations based on audience suggestions; presented by Center Theater Group; 21 and up only. Eastside Luv Wine Bar, Boyle Heights, 1835 E. First St., Boyle Heights. Sun., next Sun., 7:30 p.m. Free.

Encuentro de las Américas Three-week festival continues; schedules at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun. through Nov. 19. Single show, $44; festival passes available. (866) 811-4111.

I’m Not Famous Return engagement of showbiz veteran Barbara Minkus’ musical memoir. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 26. $30; discounts available. (310) 394-9779.


The Original Country Roads: A John Denver Celebration With tribute artist Jim Curry. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 1 and 5 p.m. $35-$50. (866) 811-4111.

The Poets of Amityville Dana Delany, Rob Morrow, et al., take part in a reading of Eugene Pack’s new comedy. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. Sun., 2 p.m. Free; reservations required.

Underwater Bubble Show Family-friendly show features magic, mime, puppetry and more. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 3 p.m. $45-$65. (562) 916-8500.

Something Rotten! Southern California premiere of this musical comedy about two Shakespearean-era brothers who set about staging the very first musical. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 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 Nov. 19 (also at the Ahmanson, Nov. 21-Dec. 31). $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The family-friendly holiday musical returns. The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m., 4:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 24. $24 and up. (619) 234-5623.

Vincent Theo Van Gogh tells the story of his brother, the famous artist, in Leonard Nimoy’s drama. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $15, $25. (310) 286-0553.


Avenue Q People and puppets search for love and success in this off-color musical comedy; not appropriate for children under 16. Kentwood Players, Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $23, $25. (310) 645-5156.

deLEARious Open Fist Theatre Company stages a revival of Phil Swann and Ron West’s musical sendup/play-within-a-play inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy about a king gone mad. Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $30. (323) 882-6912.

Dueling Drag Divas Chi Chi Rones and Jo Anna impersonate Cher, Tina Turner, et al. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Hotel California — A Salute to the Eagles Tribute band salutes the classic-rock mainstays. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $35-$65. (562) 916-8500.

LA Noir UnScripted Impro Theatre improvises mystery tales based on audience suggestions. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 5 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $45. (310) 434-3200.

Letters From Home Workshop production of Kalean Ung’s new solo drama about life as a Cambodian American. Independent Studio, Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, 3191 Casitas Ave., #130, L.A.. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 18. $25, $35. (818) 710-6306.


The Night Before the Night Before Christmas A New Jersey man has had enough of the holidays in Cricket Daniel’s comedy. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $23-$27. (310) 512-6030.

Richard Rodgers Reimagined Kyle Riabko and his band put a pop-rock spin on some of the Broadway composer’s classic songs. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m. $25-$75. (310) 746-4000.

Wake A woman in cryogenic sleep wakes up in a future world controlled by a vast computer network in Gordon Dahlquist’s new drama. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.

The Flame 20th-anniversary revival of Miranda Spigener-Sapon’s drama about one woman’s experiences with life, love and loss. Metropolis Santa Monica, 603 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $10, $20.

Fortunate Son: America’s Tribute to John Fogerty & Creedence Clearwater Revival With tribute artist Brad Ford. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 5. $35-$50. (866) 811-4111.

Rotterdam West Coast premiere of Jon Brittain’s comedy about a lesbian whose girlfriend comes out to her as a transgender man. Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 11. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.


The Secret in the Wings Coeurage Theatre Company stages Mary Zimmerman’s fantasy drama inspired by lesser-known fairy tales. Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.

A Winter’s Tale Musical adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Sat.-next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $23-$28. (310) 828-7519.

King Charles III Mike Bartlett’s Shakespeare-inspired drama imagines a near future where the current Prince of Wales has ascended the British throne. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 3. $25-$96. (626) 356-7529.

The Long Run: Experience the Eagles Tribute band salutes the classic-rock mainstays. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m. $35-$50. (866) 811-4111.

Spamilton A cast of five spoofs Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical “Hamilton” in this parody from “Forbidden Broadway” creator Gerard Alessandrini. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Next Sun, 6:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Musical Theatre Guild presents the stage adaptation of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s edgy 1988 comedy-drama. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $45. (818) 243-2539.


Critics’ Choices

I Am Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce In this meticulously-researched solo biography tracing the life and prosecution of the groundbreaking early 1960s comic provocateur, actor Ronnie Marmo and director Joe Mantegna offer subsequent generations not only a sense of who Bruce was, but more importantly why he mattered. (P.B.) Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 5 p.m.; Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $35. (323) 960-5068.

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.) The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun., 2:30 and 7 p.m.; Wed., 5 p.m.; ends Nov. 17. $44; part of the Encuentro de las Américas festival. (866) 811-4111.

The Madwoman of Chaillot With this tricky balance of sharp-edged social satire and utopian fantasy, master stylist Stephanie Shroyer’s direction shows why Jean Giraudoux’s classic fable resonates most vividly in times of beleaguered idealism. (P.B.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sat., 2 and 8 p.m. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

Resolving Hedda Hedda Gabler has a bone to pick with Henrik Ibsen. After 126 years of being backed into a corner and left with suicide as her only freedom, she’s had enough. So she’s trying to wrest control of “Hedda Gabler” and disrupt its plot. In Jon Klein’s boisterous new comedy she is ferociously embodied by Kimberly Alexander. Maria Gobetti nimbly directs. Laughing audiences clearly are on Hedda’s side. (D.H.M.) The Big Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $24-$34. (818) 841-5421.

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. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $25-$34; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.

Taking Sides Does passive acquiescence in the face of an evil regime become tantamount to complicity in its atrocities? Art, politics, and moral accountability collide in Sir Ronald Harwood’s gripping 1995 drama based on a post-WWII inquiry into conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler’s possible Nazi collaboration. If anything, the questions seem all the more relevant today. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Wed., 2 and 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sri., 8 p.m.; Sat., s and 8 p.m.; ends Nov. 12. $50, $55. (805) 667-2900.