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The week ahead in L.A. theater, March 18-25: ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ and more

Independent Shakespeare Co. stages the Bard’s classic comedy “All’s Well That Ends Well.” With April Fitz.
(Mike Ditz)

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

Chicanas, Cholas y Chisme VI: Stand Up! Speak Out! A dozen short plays exploring the lives of Latinas; contains strong language and adult themes. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Sun., next Sun., 5 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends April 15. $18-$23. (323) 263-7684.

Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! The animal expert introduces a few of his friends and shares stories and footage. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sun., 4 p.m. $25-$45. (562) 944-9801.

The Mousetrap A murderer is among a group of strangers trapped in a snowed-in boarding house in Agatha Christie’s classic thriller. Crown City Theatre Company, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 6. $25. (818) 605-5685.

The Magic City Manual Cinema uses shadow puppetry, vintage projectors, etc., in this tale about an imaginative young girl. Plaza del Sol Performance Hall, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sun., 3 p.m. $33 and up. (818) 677-3000.

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Night with Oscar Staged reading of Eugene Pack’s new comedy; with Rob Morrow, Joely Fisher, et al. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. Sun., 2 p.m. Free; reservations required. www.eventbrite.com

Petra and the Wolf Family-friendly reworking of the classic tale; for ages 5-20. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Sun., 2 p.m. $21. (949) 854-4646.

Arabian Nights Cast members from the national tour of “Aladdin” perform in this benefit. Upstairs at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Mon., 8 p.m. $40. www.ticketfly.com

The Book of Mormon Hit musical about two Mormon missionaries posted to Africa. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 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 April 1. $34.75 and up. (714) 556-2787.

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A Chorus Line Classic musical about dancers auditioning for a Broadway show. The Granada Theatre, 1214 State St., Santa Barbara. Tue.-Wed., 7:30 p.m. $44 and up. (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 p.m.; ends Feb. 25. $34 and up. (800) 745-3000.

Clean Stand-up Comedy With comic Mark Schiff. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Tue., 2 p.m. $20. (562) 944-9801.

DNA New Work Series Readings of four new new plays. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends March 25. Free; reservations required. (858) 550-1010.

PostSecret Live! Blogger Frank Warren shares stories and secrets from anonymous postcards he’s received in this interactive show. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. Thu., 7 p.m. $35 and up. (562) 985-7000.

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Through the Eye of a Needle A family copes with a tragedy involving their Iraq War-veteran daughter at Christmas time in Jami Brandli’s new drama. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 13. $15, $34. (818) 761-8838.

Cowboy Mouth Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s 1970s-era one-act about a woman who kidnaps a young man in hopes of turning him into a rock star. Broadwater Theater, 1078 Lillian Way., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 30. $10-$20. www.eventbrite.com

Keith Moon: The Real Me Writer-performer Mick Berry portrays the hard-partying drummer for the legendary British rock band the Who in this solo show. The Hudson Theatre Mainstage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 15. $25, $30. (323) 965-9996.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor Neil Simon’s classic comedy based on his early career as a writer on a TV show. The Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 22. $45-$65. (818) 955-8101.

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New Works Festival Staged readings of two new plays. The Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10. (562) 494-1014.

Alik Julio Vera’s fact-based drama about Lee Harvey Oswald’s time living in the Soviet Union before the JFK assassination. Wende Museum of the Cold War, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends March 30. $28. (800) 838-3006.

All’s Well That Ends Well Independent Shakespeare Co. stages the Bard’s romantic adventure tale as the inaugural offering in the troupe’s new space. ISC Studio, Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex, 3191 Casitas Ave., #130, L.A. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 22. $25, $35. (818) 710-6306.

Come As You Are: Music of the ’90s The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles celebrates the decade in song. Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $20-$90. (818) 243-2539.

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Damaged Furniture An L.A. actor returns to Brooklyn to work in the family business in Howard Skora’s new comedy. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 26. $30, $40. (800) 838-3006.

The Gruffalo Based on the children’s pop-up book about a mysterious creature. Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 10 a.m. (sensory friendly performance) and 1 p.m.; next Sun., 3:30 p.m.; ends April 23. $20 and up. (714) 556-2787.

Mulatto Math Writer-performer Monique DeBose explores race, family and identity in this solo show with music. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends May 6. $22. (323) 965-9996.

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.

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Cambodian Rock Band South Coast Repertory presents the world premiere of Lauren Yee’s raucous, heartwarming new play about a rock band in Phnom Penh in 1975 — just before the infamous Khmer Rouge seized control. The adventurously structured script switches between the 1970s and 2008, when a young Cambodian American woman stumbles onto a secret about her father’s past. The talented actors double as the band, performing songs by the real-life Cambodian and American band Dengue Fever. (M.G.) South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. March 10-25. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:45 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends March 25. $23 and up. (714) 708-5555.

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., 2 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; ends May 7. $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., 2 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends March 24. $17.50, $34. (818) 761-8838.

El Niño After two decades of writing a play a year, Justin Tanner dropped from sight six years ago. He’s returned, thank goodness, with another laugh-out-loud tale of dysfunction. This one, presented by Rogue Machine, involves the sniping reception that a down-on-her-luck writer receives when she tries to set up camp on her parents’ couch. Director Lisa James and a cast of Tanner regulars know precisely how to mine the humor. (D.H.M.) Rogue Machine, the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends April 2. $40. (855) 585-5185.

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Forgotten Under the direction of his long-time collaborator, Jim Culleton, Irish actor Pat Kinevane displays the meditative absorption and suppleness of a yoga master in this solo show, an examination of society’s shabby treatment of the elderly as seen through the perspective of four nursing home residents. Kinevane captures the desolation of old age with an uproarious gallows humor that is distinctively Irish, shattering conventional theatrical molds in a unique theatrical experience that challenges the mind — and the heart. (F.K.F.) In repertory with Kinevane’s “Underneath” (opened March 8) and “Silent” (opened March 15). Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 1. $30; all three plays, $75. (310) 477-2055.

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 and 7 p.m.; Thu., 7:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends April 6. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Somewhere in Hollywood a Jo-Ann fabrics and a 99 Cents Only store must be seriously depleted. Their stock seemingly can be found in a spectacularly dressed Celebration company production of a beloved tale about Australian drag queens on a road trip across the outback, adapted from the 1994 movie. Director Jessica Hanna, set designer Pete Hickok and costume designer Allison Dillard somehow fit this big musical onto a postage stamp of a stage. “Glittery” doesn’t begin to describe the results. (D.H.M.) Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 6. $35-$80. (323) 957-1884.

Sell/Buy/Date The writer and performer Sarah Jones (best known for her Tony-winning “Bridge and Tunnel”) has brought her latest solo show to the Geffen. Even if “Sell/Buy/Date weren’t a compelling piece of theater and a provocative examination of the effects of pornography and prostitution on our society, watching Jones repeatedly disappear into a series of diverse and utterly persuasive characters would be worth the price of a ticket. (M.G.) Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends April 8. $65-$85. (310) 208-5454.

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A Streetcar Named Desire Michael Michetti’s revitalizing production shakes out the cobwebs of this Tennessee Williams classic. Before the play even begins it’s clear that this is not the New Orleans of yore but an updated version that’s more diverse and technologically with it. The drama, of course, lives or dies by the quality of the acting, and Jaimi Paige’s Blanche, Maya Lynne Robinson’s Stella and Desean Kevin Terry’s Stanley are all extraordinary. (C.M.) Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends April 1. $39. (626) 683-6801.


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