The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 3-10: 'Hamilton's' Leslie Odom, Jr. and more

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Dec. 3-10: 'Hamilton's' Leslie Odom, Jr. and more
Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. ("Hamilton") will perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)


Capsule reviews are by Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.), Charles McNulty (C.M.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.). Compiled by Matt Cooper.


Astroglyde 2017 Holiday show includes eight tales of terror and titillation; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $15. (818) 202-4120.


Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!” Kid-friendly show blends hip-hop, learning and fun. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $12. (562) 944-9801.

First Look Festival Showcase concludes with staged readings of Wendy Graf’s “Exit Wounds” (Sun.-Mon., 8 p.m.) and Liza Birkenmeier’s “Radio Island” (Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.). Open Fist Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. $10 suggested donation. (323) 882-6912.

Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat Family-friendly show based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sun., 3 p.m. $23 and up. (818) 677-3000.

IAMA Holiday Cabaret: Music from the Silver Screen Company members and celebrity guests perform songs from classic films. Rockwell Table and Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun., 8 p.m. $35-$100; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 380-8843.

Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour The singer performs holiday favorites. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 7 p.m. $80-$115. (562) 916-8500.

Vote, Pray, Love Ryan O’Connor shares songs and stories in this cabaret show. Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Mon., 8 p.m. $15 and up; food and drink minimums apply. (323) 669-1550.

All American Boy: Up Close and Personal YouTube star Steve Grand performs in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Tue., 8:30 p.m. $25-$50; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.

Growing Up Fisher Joely Fisher shares stories about her showbiz family in this cabaret show. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Dec. 6. Wed., 8:30 p.m. $25-$50; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.

The Toad Prince Puppetry troupe Tears of Joy Theatre stages this classic Chinese fable; for ages 3 and up. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles, 10361 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Wed., 6:30 p.m. $10, $15. (310) 286-0553.

A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens Independent Shakespeare Co.’s David Melville re-creates a performance of the holiday favorite by the author himself. Independent Studio, 3191 Casitas Ave., #168, Atwater Village. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25, $35. (818) 710-6306.

The Fruit Cake Follies 2017 This send-up of 1970s-era holiday TV specials is back for another year. Cavern Club Theater, Casita del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 23 $35, $40. (800) 838-3006.

Jason Robert Brown The Wallis’ “Sorting Room” series returns with the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist (“The Bridges of Madison County”) sharing favorite songs and new works. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu., 7 p.m. $25-$70. (310) 746-4000.

La Virgen De Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin The Latino Theater Company presents this 15th annual reenactment of the Virgin Mary’s visitations with peasant Juan Diego in 16th-century Mexico; in Spanish with English supertitles. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 7:30 p.m. Free; donations accepted; reserved seating, $40. (866) 811-4111.

The Magic of Christmas The Young Americans star in this multimedia-enhanced musical revue. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $18-$64. (562) 944-9801.


Rita Rudner The veteran comedian performs. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Thu., 8 p.m. $40. (310) 506-4522.

The Adoption Diaries Comedian Marty Fidelman discusses his search for his birth parents in this solo show. Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10. (818) 921-0480.

Aladdin and His Winter Wish The young hero of “Arabian Nights” is back in this family-friendly British panto-style musical comedy. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., noon and 4 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. (949) 497-2787.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Stage adaptation of the 1991 animated musical based on the fairytale. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Jan. 21. $25-$30. (323) 263-7684.

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues The holiday-themed dark comedy returns; for mature audiences. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Thu., 7:45 p.m.; Fri., 7:45 and 10 p.m.; Sat., 5 and 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2:45 and 5 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $35. (888) 455-4212

Holiday Dilemmas Four short plays celebrating the season. Studio C Artists, 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Luzia: A Dream of Mexico Cirque du Soleil returns with a spectacular inspired by Mexican folklore. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m.; ends Jan. 21. $50 and up. (877) 924-7783.

Leslie Odom, Jr. The Tony winner (“Hamilton”) sings show tunes, standards, pop songs and holiday favorites. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $52-$125. (323) 850-2000.

A Michael Feinstein Christmas The singer-pianist performs seasonal favorites. Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Fri., 8 p.m. $38-$98. (818) 677-3000.

Shaina Taub The actress and singer-composer performs. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7 p.m. $20-$40. (310) 746-4000.

Under the Streetlamp Former “Jersey Boys” cast mates perform pop hits from the 1950-70s. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $50-$85. (562) 916-8500.

Ashes to Ashes The Athena Cats present Debbie Bolsky’s romantic comedy about a liberal woman and a conservative man who must team to honor their recently deceased friends’ unusual request. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Jan. 14. $30. (310) 564-9410.


A Christmas Carol Dickens’ beloved holiday fable. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

A Christmas Carol Parson’s Nose Theater stages the Dickens classic. The Parson’s Nose Abbey, 95 N. Marengo Ave., Ste. 110, Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Dec. 17. $10-$20. (626) 403-7667.

Colors of Christmas Seasonal favorites with Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., Jody Watley and “American Idol’s” Ruben Studdard. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Dr., Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $55-$100. (562) 916-8500.

Sugar Plum Fairy Sandra Tsing Loh takes on the holidays in this autobiographical solo comedy; Bart DeLorenzo directs. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $23 and up. (714) 708-5555.

To Begin the World Again — The Life of Thomas Paine Ian Ruskin portrays the Revolutionary War-era philosopher and pamphleteer in this solo show. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A., 8 p.m. $20. (323) 851-4839.

Pia Toscano The “American Idol” finalist performs originals, standards and holiday classics. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7 p.m. $20-$50. (310) 746-4000.

Darkness to Light: A Celebration of the Winter Solstice with Get Lit! A troupe of young poets and storytellers performs. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $15-$30. (310) 746-4000.

A Good Day at Auschwitz Fundraiser features Stephen Tobolowsky and Alan Mandell reenacting a story from Tobolowsky’s new book, “My Adventures With God.” The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m. $40. (818) 761-8838.

Studio: Fall 2017 New works and works-in-progress by local theater artists, dancers, musicians, etc. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Next Sun-Mon., 8:30 p.m. $12, $15. (213) 237-2800.

Critics’ Choices

Bob’s Holiday Office Party Sporting its original creators and longtime cast members, this long-running yuletide parody of small town eccentricity thrives on the qualities that made it a staple of the L.A. theatre scene 22 years ago – it’s irreverent, crude, and devastatingly funny. (P.B.) Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 18. $25, $35. (800) 838-3006.

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., Wed.-next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 10. $65-$80.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Even the most jaded of “Christmas Carol”-inundated audiences may well find themselves pleasurably surprised by the Rubicon Theatre’s literate new version, owing to both the scrupulous textual fidelity to the source novella, as well as the allocation of narrative and dialogue among the cast to better illuminate their characters’ backstories, perspectives, and interior mental states. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $65; opening night only, $150. (805) 667-2900.

A Christmas Carol Amid many worthy area stagings of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic, this deftly performed, meta-theatrical edition stands out for fidelity to text, witty stagecraft and heartfelt embrace of message. There are fleeting oddities, but only a diehard humbug could remain unmoved by so charming a Yuletide treat. God bless us everyone. (David C. Nichols) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Dec. 23. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

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. Fri.-Sat., 10 p.m.; ends Dec. 30. $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. Ends Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $25-$96. (626) 356-7529.

The Latina Christmas Special Under the direction of Geoffrey Rivas, the massively talented trio of Maria Russell, Diana Yanez and Sandra Valls, who all play themselves, hilariously and heart-wrenchingly recapitulate memories of Christmases past in this very special “Special” — which is most distinctively and most memorably a loving tribute to their feisty, funny Latina mothers. (F.K.F.) Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 7. $32-$37; discounts available. (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. Ends Sun., 4 p.m. $24-$34. (818) 841-5421.


Rotterdam A big change can knock any couple out of alignment. For Alice and Fiona, the change goes to the very core of their identities. In her late 20s and several years into the relationship, Fiona reveals that she feels she’s a man. With insight and humor, British playwright Jon Brittain charts the pair’s journey as they rediscover who they are in this Olivier Award-winning play. Michael A. Shepperd crisply directs a perceptive cast. (D.H.M.) Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Dec. 31. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.

The Secret in the Wings Playwright Mary Zimmerman (“Metamorphoses”) offers up a richly horrific collection of little-known fairy tales, shuffling the stories so that we are left at the apogee of dread before the action “cuts away” to another story before eventually resuming — an ingenious device that requires a dizzying number of scene shifts and costume changes. Director Joseph V. Calarco handles the production’s intricacies with a sure hand, interspersing the general grimness with drollery at welcome intervals, while the seamless Coeurage Theatre ensemble is a dream team so perfectly in tune with one another, they could be a single organism. (F.K.F.) Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Dec. 16. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.