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The week ahead in L.A. theater, Jan. 21-28: Orson Bean, 'Pirates of Penzance' and more

The week ahead in L.A. theater, Jan. 21-28: Orson Bean, 'Pirates of Penzance' and more
Orson Bean and wife Alley Mills share the stage in "Alright Then" at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. (Jeff Lorch)

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.).

Openings

8th Annual Company Creation Festival Showcase for unconventional new works by local ensembles, performed in repertory; details at www.sonofsemele.org. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 5 p.m.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $18. (213) 351-3507.

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EST/LA’s Winterfest Readings of new plays in development. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., Fri.-Sat., various times; ends Feb. 11; schedules at www.estlosangeles.org. $15 suggested donation; passes available. (818) 839-1197.

Sister Act Musical comedy about a murder witness who hides out in a convent, based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 18. $18-$25. (805) 583-7900.

Comfy Theater veteran Jeffrey Scott Parsons performs in this cabaret show. Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Mon., 8 p.m. $25; food and beverage minimums apply. (800) 838-3006.

A Life Behind Bars Writer-performer Dan Ruth shares tales of time spent in dive bars in NYC in this autobiographical solo comedy. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Mon., 8 p.m.; ends Jan. 29. $20. (800) 838-3006.

The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski Writer-performer Andrew Perez portrays the eccentric German actor in this solo drama. Studio C, 6448 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m.; open-ended run. $20. (800) 838-3006.

The Goodbye Girl L.A. Theatre Works records a stage adaptation of Neil Simon’s 1977 romantic comedy film 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 Jan. 28. $15-$60. (310) 827-0889.

The Hothouse Partner-cast staging of Harold Pinter’s classic political satire set in a government-run mental institution. Antaeus Theatre Company, Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 11. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.

Pirates of Penzance Chicago-based company the Hypocrites puts a beach-party twist on the classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Feb. 18. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

The Chinese Wall (Die Chinesische Mauer) The Trump administration is satirized in an update of Max Frisch’s 1946 anti-fascist fable. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 11. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.

Dina Martina: Fine Avec Me! The drag artist shares songs and stories in this new show. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; next Sun., 7 and 9 p.m; ends Feb 3. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Mark Twain Tonight Jaxson Brashier portrays the author in a re-creation of Hal Holbrook’s one-man show. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $15. (562) 494-1014.

On Golden Pond Stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1981 family drama that starred Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. Fri.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 18. $18, $20; opening night, $75. (805) 640-8797.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile Steve Martin’s comedy about a fictional encounter between the artist and Albert Einstein at a Paris bar. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 4. $30-$70. (310) 544-0403.

Shasta Geaux Pop Performance artist Ayesha Jordan mixes satire, hip-hop and songs when she takes the stage as her pop-star alter-ego; features non-traditional seating; part of the Off Center Festival. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Julianne and George Argyros Plaza, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $25. (714) 556-2787.

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Society of Seven Featuring Lhey Bella A troupe performs show tunes, pop hits and more in this Vegas-style revue. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m. $50-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Working Title: A Reading Series Ammunition Theatre Company offers staged readings of three new plays. Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m. Free; RSVP at www.ammunitiontheatre.com.

Alright Then Orson Bean and wife Alley Mills share their decades-long love story in this new show; Guillermo Cienfuegos directs. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 25. $25-$34. (310) 822-8392.

All the President’s Men Fountain Theatre and the city of Los Angeles present former “West Wing” cast members Bradley Whitford, Joshua Malina, Richard Schiff and Ed Begley, Jr. in a free reading of William Goldman’s screenplay for the fact-based 1977 drama. L.A. City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, 200 N. Spring St., L.A. Sat., 7:30 p.m. Free; limited seating, reservations required (no walk-ups allowed). (323) 663-1525.

Buyer & Cellar Brian McDonald stars in Jonathan Tolins’ solo comedy about a struggling actor who takes an unusual job working at a showbiz legend’s Malibu home. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 7 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $55; opening night only, $120. (805) 667-2900.

Chita & Tune: Just in Time Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune share the stage in this cabaret show. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine. Sat., 8 p.m. $65-$200. (949) 854-4646.

Golden Dragon Acrobats Touring company celebrates Chinese music, dance, art and culture. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $45-$65. (562) 916-8500.

Oh Freedom! The Story of the Underground Railroad Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe and other anti-slavery activists are saluted in this show for ages 10 and up. Lewis Family Playhouse, 12505 Cultural Center Drive, Rancho Cucamonga. Sat., 4 p.m.; ends Feb. 11. $16, $18. (909) 477-2752.

17th Annual 50 Hour Drive-by Theatre Festival Four all-new mini-plays created in a two-day period. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat.-next Mon., 8:30 p.m.; ends Jan. 29. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Lost & Found Veteran actor Steven Shaw recalls life and career in this one-man show. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7 p.m. Free. www.theatre40.org

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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. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 28. $35. (323) 960-5068.

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 Jan. 28. $25-$41. (866) 811-4111.

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