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The week ahead in L.A. theater, Feb. 18-25: ‘The School for Wives,’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and more

City Garage restages its update of Moliere’s classic 17th-century satire “The School for Wives.” With Claire Pida and Bo Roberts.
(Paul Rubenstein)

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

Isaac Babel and the Black Sea Timothy McNeil’s new drama about the Soviet-era writer and artist. Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 11. $20. (800) 838-3006.

MatheMagic! starring Bradley Fields The magician explores the basics of math in this kid-friendly show. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $12. (562) 944-9801.

One Night of Queen A tribute band celebrates the British rock group. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sun., 7 p.m. $55-$75. (562) 916-8500.

Shattered Writer-performer Diana Varco plays 35 characters in this solo show about dating, frigidity and trauma recovery; part of SoloFest 2018. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sun., 7 p.m. $15, $20. (800) 838-3006.

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Kinky Boots A drag queen helps the owner of a failing shoe factory turn his business around in this Tony-winning musical comedy. The Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara. Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m. $59-$99. (805) 899-2222. Also, Fred Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $49-$94. (800) 745-3000.

Luzia: A Dream of Mexico Cirque du Soleil show inspired by Mexican myth and folklore. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 5 p.m.; ends March 25. $50 and up. (877) 924-7783.

Eddie Izzard: Believe Me Tour The veteran comic and actor performs. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $39 and up. and up. (714) 556-2787.

The Happiest Song Plays Last An Iraq War veteran works as a film consultant, while his cousin helps the needy in her Philadelphia community, in the L.A. premiere of the closing play in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ “Elliot” trilogy; with live Puerto Rican folk music by Nelson González. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tom Bradley Theater, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends March 19. $24-$52. (866) 811-4111.

The New Colossus Members of the Actors’ Gang explore their forebears’ immigration stories in this company-created work. The Actors’ Gang Theatre, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 24. $20-$34.99. (310) 838-4264.

Year of the Rooster A fast-food worker who still lives at home with his mother sees cockfighting as his path to success in the L.A. premiere of Olivia Dufault’s comedy. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 24. $15-$25. (323) 856-8611.

B-Movie Fundraiser Benefit for SkyPilot Theatre Company features five mini-plays, improv and more. Theatre of Arts, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m. $15. www.skypilottheatre.com

Chekhov UnScripted Impro Theatre improvises a full-length play in the style of the Russian dramatist. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $45. (310) 434-3200.

Daddy Long Legs A plucky orphan attends college, thanks to a mysterious benefactor, in this musical adaptation of the novel that inspired the 1955 Fred Astaire film; for ages 10 and up. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 11. $47, $49; opening night only, $55, $125. (562) 436-4610.

In Preview! Special guests perform original musical compositions written for the theater. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $15. (562) 494-1014.

Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Adaptation of the horror writer’s tale of a nameless narrator who uncovers an ancient, cosmic terror; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 18. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Million Dollar Quartet 3-D Theatricals stages this jukebox musical about rock ’n’ roll pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 4. $40-$85. (562) 916-8500.

Once in a Lifetime: A Musical Tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr. With Obba Babatundé. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $30-$40. (323) 964-9766.

Wicked Pagan Gays A believer and a skeptic, former acquaintances, reconnect in Jeff Dinnell’s satirical L.A.-set comedy. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 31. $25. www.plays411.com.

The Alamo The denizens of a local bar resist the gentrification of their Brooklyn neighborhood in Ian McRae’s new comedy-drama. Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 31. $17-$30. (310) 397-3244.

Antony and Cleopatra: The Musical Tune-filled adaptation of Shakespeare’s tale of politics and passion in ancient Egypt and Rome. Gray Studios, 5250 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $30. (310) 366-5505.

Bee Gees Gold: The Tribute Celebration of the sibling pop trio from Australia. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. $39-$59. (866) 811-4111.

El Niño Justin Tanner’s new comedy about love-hate relationships. Rogue Machine, the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 2. $40. (855) 585-5185.

An Evening with Eric Kunze The Broadway veteran (“Miss Saigon,” “Les Miserables”) shares songs and stories in this cabaret show. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St. Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $55. (805) 667-2900.

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk Britain’s Kneehigh theater company presents a multimedia-enhanced production of Daniel Jamieson’s drama about the artist Marc Chagall and his wife. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7:30 p.m; next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends March 11. $35-$125. (310) 746-4000.

lost tribes theatre dybbuk uses the legend of the lost tribes of Israel to examine issues of assimilation, cultural appropriation, etc., in this site-specific, multidisciplinary work that will tour area venues through April. LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (800) 838-3006.

Pack of Lies A middle-aged English couple learn that their best friends and neighbors may be part of a Soviet spy ring in Hugh Whitemore’s fact-based 1960s-set drama. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 24. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

The School for Wives City Garage remounts its 2009 update of Moliere’s classic comedy about a wealthy merchant’s efforts to create the perfect bride for himself. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 1. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.

A Streetcar Named Desire A reimagining of Tennessee Williams’ classic drama places the action in a contemporary, multicultural urban setting. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 25. $39. (626) 683-6801.

ABBAmania Tribute show celebrates the Swedish pop group. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $39-$59. (866) 811-4111.

Spitting in the Face of the Devil Writer-performer Bob Brader’s solo drama about discovering his father was a pedophile; part of SoloFest 2018. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

A Story Sampler The Adat Ari El Sisterhood presents a trio of female storytellers; appropriate for all ages. Adat Ari El Temple, 12020 Burbank Blvd., Valley Village. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $10. Tickets available at the door.

Critics’ Choices

Alright Then Orson Bean and Alley Mills, one of L.A. theater’s most visible couples, thank the heavens for their later-life marriage in a feel-good show about love and gratitude. They share stories from their at-times rocky upbringings to set the scene for the miracle of their meeting, making each other laugh and shedding grateful tears. (D.H.M.) Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 25. $25-$34. (310) 822-8392.

The Chosen Learning to see past differences and getting to know the person underneath is a lesson for all time in Chaim Potok’s 1940s-set novel, adapted by Potok and Aaron Posner. The tale of an unexpected friendship between Brooklyn teens from different strains of Judaism is given a poignant staging, with particularly fine performances by Sam Mandel as the youthful narrator and, unforgettably, Alan Blumenfeld as a charismatic rabbi. (D.H.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 14. $20-$40. (323) 663-1525.

A Delicate Ship Anna Ziegler peels away the layers of her characters to their pulsing human core in this practically perfect memory play, a fateful romantic triangle that commences in the simplest situation and escalates to the dire. Under Andre Barron’s appropriately delicate direction, the cast, which includes Paris Perrault and Philip Orazio, is superb, but it is Josh Zuckerman who dazzles in a tour-de-force turn as a wayward yearner whose cheekiness covers hidden depths of anguish. (F.K.F.) The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 11. $17.50, $34. (818) 761-8838.

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue The first play in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ celebrated “Elliot” trilogy focuses on three generations of military men in a family living in Philadelphia, dreaming of Puerto Rico and still grappling with the traumatic fallout of their wartime experiences. This powerful lyrical drama, organized on the musical lines of a fugue, tracks Elliot as he ships off to Iraq, following in the heroic footsteps of his father and grandfather. (C.M.) Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.

Henry V Co-directors Julia Rodriguez-Elliot and Geoff Elliott play fast and loose with the Bard in their breathlessly truncated production, which features an authoritative Rafael Goldstein in the title role. Intrepid vandals in the high church of Shakespeare, they may spray paint out a passage or two but keep the meaning intact in a richly articulate staging that never flags in energy and style. (F.K.F.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 6. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

Ironbound Pallid and careworn, Darja, an immigrant from Poland who calls the industrial wastelands of New Jersey home, is easy to overlook But as played by Marin Ireland, the protagonist of Martyna Majok’s bleak yet necessary drama won’t soon be forgotten. Reprising her touted off-Broadway performance in a play that records the story of one casualty of the American dream, Ireland creates a scrupulously honest portrait in a palette of grays. (C.M.) Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends March 4. $32-$90; rush tickets, $10, $35. (310) 208-5454.

Pirates of Penzance For those who have dreamed of being part of the merriment of a Gilbert & Sullivan light opera, this semi-immersive staging by the Chicago company The Hypocrites represents the opportunity of a lifetime. The stage, outfitted with kiddie pools, fairy lights and even a tiki bar that serves alcoholic refreshments, is where theatergoers congregate for this jocular, beach party update of a musical entertainment already overtopped with daffy cleverness. (C.M.) Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Sapo Wild and crazy guys for 30 years and counting, Culture Clash, backed by buoyant Los Angeles band Buyepongo, dishes up a fanciful melange, based on Aristophanes’ “The Frogs,” that takes dead aim at the country’s fractured immigration policies. The show is almost indescribable — hyper, nutty, bawdy, savagely hilarious — and unexpectedly wrenching. (F.K.F.) Getty Villa, Fleischman Theater, 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades. Ends Sun., 4 p.m. $20; advance tickets required. (310) 440-7300.

Violet Miracles abound in this musical, an underappreciated 1997 charmer that is notable for containing the first score by Jeanine Tesori (“Caroline, Or Change,” “Fun Home”). The story follows a disfigured young North Carolina woman on a 900-mile journey to seek out a televangelist she hopes can mend her. It’s given a spirited staging by director Kari Hayter and much of the rest of the team behind the Chance’s towering production of “Parade” last year. (D.H.M.) Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends March 4. $31-$45; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.


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