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The week ahead in L.A. theater, April 1-8: Bedlam’s ‘Hamlet + Saint Joan’ and more

New York-based theater company Bedlam will perform stripped-down stagings of “Hamlet” and “Saint Joan” at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
(Charles King)

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

Hamlet + Saint Joan Four actors play multiple roles as New York-based theater company Bedlam stages stripped-down versions of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy and George Bernard Shaw’s historical drama in repertory. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. “Hamlet,” Thu., Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 14. “Joan,” Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m.; ends April 15. $45 and up. (310) 434-3200.

Wet: A DACAmented Journey Writer-performer Alex Alpharaoh explores life for undocumented Americans in this solo drama. Skylight Theatre, 1816 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Thu., 8 p.m. $22.50-$31. (866) 811-4111.

A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique) The Wooster Group salutes Polish avant-garde theater director Tadeusz Kantor in this multimedia-enhanced work. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends April 15. $40-$55. (213) 237-2800.

The Pursuit of Happiness Workshop production explores contemporary definitions of happiness. The Actors’ Gang Theatre, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 29. $20, $25. (310) 838-4264.

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Classic Albums Live Musicians re-create Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album (Fri., 8 p.m.) and Pink Floyd’s 1979 opus “The Wall” (Sat., 8 p.m.). La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. $25-$60. (562) 944-9801.

Confessions of a Mulatto Love Child Writer-performer Bellina Logan’s solo play about a mother and daughter on a cross-country journey. Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends May 6. $20. (323) 860-7300.

Deathtrap An established playwright with a bad case of writer’s block matches wits with a promising young student in Ira Levin’s hit thriller. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 20. $20, $25. (818) 763-5990.

Driving Miss Daisy Alfred Uhry’s classic drama about an elderly Jewish widow and her African American chauffeur. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends April 29. $26, $28. (818) 884-1907.

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Love Never Dies Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to his mega-hit romantic musical “The Phantom of the Opera.” Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends April 22. $49 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787. (Also at Segerstrom Center, April 24-May 5)

Midnight Requisition Three sisters must contend with their mother and her new husband when they gather for their father’s wake in Craig Jessen’s drama. Arena Stage, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 9. $15. (800) 838-3006.

Monsters Come Out at Night All-new horror-theatre spectacular about the things that lurk in the shadows; for ages 16 and up. Zombie Joe’ s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.; ends April 21. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Play On! A theater company desperately tries to pull a show together in Theatre Palisades’ staging of Rick Abbot’s family-friendly backstage farce. The Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Rd., Pacific Palisades. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; next Sun. 2 p.m.; ends May 13. $18, $20. (310) 454-1970.

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The silent PLAY experiment Immersive theater experience with facilitators guiding participants through a series of exercises and explorations performed in silence. Secret location, address provided to ticket holders, downtown L.A. Fri.-Sat., 7 and 9:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m.; ends April 15. $50; $90 for a pair. www.make-life-play.com.

There Are Worse Things I Could Do: An Evening with Adrienne Barbeau The veteran actress and “scream queen” shares stories from her life and career. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $35-$75. (866) 811-4111.

Waste Land The life and times of poet T.S. Eliot are recalled in Collaborative Artists Ensemble’s staging of Don Nigro’s new drama. studio/stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends May 6. $20. (323) 860-6569.

The Women Archway Theatre stages an immersive, site-specific production of Clare Boothe Luce’s classic satire about a group of Manhattan socialites. Pinup Girl Boutique, 3606 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends April 21. $32. (818) 980-980-7529.

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The Columbine Project Paul Storiale’s docu-drama about infamous 1999 school shooting. Loft Ensemble Theater, 13442 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends May 20. $10-$20. (818) 616-3150.

lost tribes theatre dybbuk examines issues of assimilation and cultural appropriation. Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (800) 838-3006.

Nice Work If You Can Get It Musical Theatre West stages Joe DiPietro’s screwball comedy set to the songs of George and Ira Gershwin. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends April 22. $20 and up. (562) 856-1999.

Peter and the Starcatcher The backstories of several characters from the J.M. Barrie classic “Peter Pan” are explored in Rick Elice’s fantasy tale. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 5. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

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Shakespeare Day LA Opera and the Guild of St. George present scenes and songs from some of the Bard’s classic plays. The Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $13-$29; children under 4, free. (626) 405-2100.

Spiritrials Writer-performer Dahlak Brathwaite examines the American criminal justice system in this solo show; part of the 2nd Annual LA Get Down Festival 2018 celebrating hip-hop, poetry and spoken word. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $10. (323) 673-0544.

Jim Curry Presents the Music of John Denver Tribute show salutes the 1970s-era singer-songwriter. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $37, $45. (949) 480-4278.

Nathan Gunn Flying Solo The baritone shares songs and stories from his life and career in this semi-autobiographical solo show written and directed by Hershey Felder. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends April 22. $55-$80. (949) 497-2787.

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Vote, Pray, Love Writer-performer Ryan O’Connor talks about life, relationships, politics, etc., in this cabaret show directed by Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur. Celebration Theatre at The Lex, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends April 16. $25. (323) 957-1884.

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 April 15. $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. Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; nest Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 10. $20-$40. (323) 663-1525.

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.; Mon., Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends April 22. $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.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $30. (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.; ends April 6. $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 important, why he mattered. (P.B.) Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends May 13. $35. (323) 960-5068.

King Lear Compelling lead performances and a deep understanding of the tragedy’s enduring relevance illuminate Shakespeare’s cautionary tale of an aging, tempestuous, narcissistic ruler who craves adulation, exiles those who question him, and neglects the suffering of those on the fringes of society. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $25-$65. (805) 667-2900.

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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. $70-$100. (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 and 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends April 15. $65-$85. (310) 208-5454.

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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $39. (626) 683-6801.


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