The week ahead in L.A. theater, Nov. 12-19: Four Larks' 'Undine,' 'Chasing Mem'ries' and more

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Nov. 12-19: Four Larks' 'Undine,' 'Chasing Mem'ries' and more
Four Larks returns to downtown L.A. with the new aquatic-themed musical fable "Undine." With Sharon Chohi Kim. (Michael Amico)

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., 7:30 p.m. Free.


Encuentro de las Américas Latinx and Latin American theater festival continues and concludes; schedules at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun.-next Sun. Single show, $44; festival passes available. (866) 811-4111.

The Long Run: Experience the Eagles Tribute band re-creates a concert by the classic-rock mainstays. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 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 created by Gerard Alessandrini. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 7. $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. Sun., 7 p.m. $45. (818) 243-2539.

Jody Arias The veteran singer and drag artist performs. Cavern Club Theater, Casita del Campo Restaurant, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Mon.-Wed., 9 p.m. $30, $40.

First Look Festival Staged readings of Anne Kenney’s “Last Call” and Laura Campbell’s “Thanksgiving Clog.” Open Fist Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. “Last Call,” Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.; “Thanksgiving Clog,” next Sun.-Mon., 8 p.m. $10 suggested donation. (323) 882-6912.

Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical Tony winner Tyne Daly stars in this musical drama from writer-director Josh Ravetch, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, about a woman looking back on her life; Robert Forster also stars. 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 Dec. 17. $32-$90; rush tickets, $10, $35. (310) 208-5454.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily The detective, his friend Dr. Watson and playwright Oscar Wilde try to foil a plot against the British crown in Katie Forgette’s mystery thriller. Theatre 40, Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $30. (310) 364-0535.

Shine Storytellers share tales of kindness and forgiveness. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7 p.m. $12; discounts available. (310) 452-2321.

Between Riverside and Crazy L.A. Theatre Works records Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Manhattan-set, Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy for its radio program. James Bridges Theater, UCLA, 235 Charles E. Young Drive, Westwood. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $15-$60. (310) 827-0889.

Channeling the King An insurance salesman channels rock ’n’ roll legend Elvis Presley in Robert Watman and Greg D’Allesandro’s one-man musical comedy; Rick Pasqualone stars. Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd.,L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $35. (323) 965-9996.

A Christmas Story Stage adaptation of the nostalgic 1983 holiday comedy based on the writings of humorist Jean Shepherd. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$36. (626) 355-4318.

Classic Albums Live Musicians re-create the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $45-$65. (562) 916-8500.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Ancient Rome is the setting for this classic musical comedy featuring songs by Stephen Sondheim. The Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $45-$75. (818) 955-8101.


Levi! The life and times of jeans maker Levi Strauss are recalled in the Sherman brothers’ new musical. Los Angeles City College, 855 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 2. $10, $15.

The Marvelous Wonderettes Jukebox musical about an aspiring girl group features classic tunes from the 1950s and ’60s. Crown City Theatre, St. Matthew’s Church, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Jan. 7. $25. (818) 605-5685.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream The Group Rep stages Shakespeare’s romantic fantasy-comedy. Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.

Millennium Magic XVIII Magicians from the Magic Castle perform. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $20. (818) 761-2203.

One Way Ticket to Oregon An elderly Southern belle is diagnosed with terminal cancer in B.C. Caldwell’s drama. The Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $15, $20.

Undine Music, movement and theater company Four Larks returns with this immersive fable inspired by tales of mythological sea creatures. Secret location, address provided to ticket holders, downtown L.A. Fri.-next Sun., 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; Mon., 8:30 p.m. $19-$42.

Unitard Off-color comedy trio from NYC performs. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Village Wooing and Overruled Two one-act relationship comedies by George Bernard Shaw. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park.Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $26, $28. (818) 884-1907.

Yerma in the Desert Urban Theatre Movement co-presents Oliver Mayer’s new drama about the private lives of the custodians and public-safety personnel at an elite university. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $15-$40. (323) 673-0544.

bled for the household truth Ruth Fowler’s new drama about cohabitation, intimacy and desire. Rogue Machine, the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 18. $40. (855) 585-5185.


Champions of Magic Five illusionists from Britain perform. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $40-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Journey to Oz Family-friendly take on by L. Frank Baum’s fantasy tales includes audience participation. Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 1 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $20 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Magic Fruit Cornerstone Theater Company presents this post-apocalyptic fable, inspired by Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” about hunger in L.A. The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, 1238 W 1st St., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. Pay what you can ($20 suggested donation).

Sibling Revelry Tony nominees and sisters Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway share the spotlight in this cabaret show. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Nov. 19. $35-$55. (805) 667-2900.

Stars & Shakespeare This benefit for Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum features assorted celebrities performing selected scenes and monologues; Edward Asner and Wendie Malick host. The Mountain Mermaid, 20421 Callon Drive, Topanga. Sat., 5:30 p.m. $150, $200; reservations required. (310) 455-3723.

La Belle, Lost in the World of the Automaton Imago Theatre uses puppetry, animatronics, etc., in a family-friendly reimagining of the classic fairytale “Beauty and the Beast.” Plaza del Sol Performance Hall, Cal State Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $33 and up. (818) 677-3000.

Once Upon a Mattress Musical Theatre West offers a staged reading this classic musical comedy. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $27, $32. (562) 856-1999.

A Special Evening of Music and Song Singer Mary Normann and pianist Jim Furmston perform songs by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, et al., in this benefit show; harpist Dorothy Victor also performs. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $25. (310) 364-3606.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical New tune-filled bio-drama celebrates the life and times of the Queen of Disco. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 24. $58 and up. (858) 550-1010.

Sunday Concert Series Vocalist Adam Turney performs in this cabaret show. Pacific Resident Theatre, 705 Venice Blvd., Venice. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $20-$30; discounts available. (310) 822-8392.

What’s Going On Dorian Holly salutes R&B legend Marvin Gaye. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $40. (323) 964-9766.

Critics’ Choices

Caught A gallery talk by a Chinese dissident artist is the beginning of a plunge down a rabbit hole in this art installation/theater piece. Christopher Chen’s wildly inventive play inspires further creativeness in director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and L.A. presenters Firefly Theater & Films, VS. Theatre Company and Think Tank Gallery. Ever-shifting frames of reality leave you with more questions than answers, which is good because they’re questions about perception and truth. (D.H.M.) Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., L.A. Sun., Fri.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $65-$80.

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., 5 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 p.m.; ends Nov. 25. $35. (323) 960-5068.

King Charles III British playwright Mike Bartlett’s “future history play” (nominated for a Tony Award last year) fills us in on the machinations of the Royal Family after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Written in a buttery blank verse, the drama is more concerned with the theatrical charade of politics than the gossip that’s regularly splashed on the cover of the Daily Mail. Michael Michetti’s fine-grained staging doesn’t oversell the drama. These larger-than-life figures are intimately approached. And Jim Abele, in one of the finest performances of the year, reveals the inner workings of Charles’ conscience, which throws Britain’s system of government into crisis. (C.M.) Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., 5 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 3. $25-$96. (626) 356-7529.

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. Ends Fri., 8 p.m. $44; part of the Encuentro de las Américas festival. (866) 811-4111.

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play Making spectacular use of Sacred Fools’ triple-stage complex, Anne Washburn’s dark futurist epic traces three phases in the 70-year post-apocalyptic mutation of a pop culture artifact — “The Simpsons’” “Cape Feare” episode — from nostalgic amusement to structuring narrative for a rebuilt civilization. (P.B.) Sacred Fools Theatre Company, 1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 9. $15. (323) 207-5605.

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 Dec. 3. $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. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8 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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $50, $55. (805) 667-2900.