The week ahead in L.A. theater, April 15-22: ‘Native Son,’ Laurie Anderson and more


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.).


Miranda Sings Live... You’re Welcome Colleen Ballinger bring her YouTube alter-ego to the stage in this music-and-comedy show. The Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. Sun., 8 p.m. $71 and up. (818) 243-2539.

Nancy and Beth Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt perform their music-and-comedy show. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. Next Sun., 8:30 p.m. $30. (310) 855-0350.

Postmodern Jukebox Musical collective specializes in retro-styled covers of recent Top 40 hits. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sun., 7 p.m. $39 and up. (714) 556-2787.


Significant Other A gay man in his 20s searches for a lasting relationship in Joshua Harmon’s comedy-drama. Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Sun., next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends May 6. $25-$90. (310) 208-5454.

West Side Story New York City in the 1950s serves as the setting for Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s beloved musical update of “Romeo & Juliet.” Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 N. Orange St., Glendale. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; ends May 26. $20-$34. (818) 244-8481.

Marion Ross: My Days Happy and Otherwise The veteran actress shares stories from her new memoir. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Mon., 7 p.m. Free. (619) 234-5623.

Witness Theater Los Angeles: Voices of History New dramatic work written and performed by middle- and high-school students and Holocaust survivors. Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, 100 S. The Grove Drive, L.A. Mon., 7 p.m. $10, $15; reservations required.

Company Shorts 12 original short plays. Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Tue., 8 p.m.; ends May 22. $15. (818) 990-2324.

What Happened When Three siblings in a rural farmhouse gather around a flashlight to share a ghost story in an immersive staging of Daniel Talbott’s thriller. Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Tue.-Thu., 8 p.m.; ends April 26. $34. (310) 307-3753.


The Lighthouse Staged reading of Amanda Kohr’s surrealist play inspired by the Stanford rape case. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Wed., 9 p.m.; Thu., 8 p.m. Free. (323) 663-1525.

Brian Stokes Mitchell — Simply Broadway The musical-theater veteran sings classic show tunes. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine. Thu., 8 p.m. $60-$175. (949) 854-4646.

Colson Whitehead A conversation with the MacArthur Fellow and bestselling author of “The Underground Railroad”; presented by CAP UCLA. Royce Hall, UCLA, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Thu., 8 p.m. $29-$59. (310) 825-2101.

Disgraced L.A. Theatre Works records Ayad Akhtar’s drama about a Pakistani American attorney 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 April 22. $15-$60. (310) 827-0889.

Native Son Southern California premiere of Nambi E. Kelley’s stage adaptation of the classic Richard Wright novel about an African American youth living in poverty in 1930s Chicago. Antaeus Theatre Company, Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 3. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.

Scandal Cast members from the hit TV drama reunite for a live reading of the series finale in this benefit. El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m. $75-$500.


Death Before Cocktails An L.A. writer holds a wake in Palm Springs for her famous twin sister in Laureen Vonnegut’s new dark comedy. Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends May 13. $30.

Heartstorms With writer-performer Lady Bosco; part of the LA Get Down Festival 2018. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $10. (323) 673-0544.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 5-Star Theatricals presents the stage adaptation of the Disney animated musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic tale. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Kavli Theatre, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 29. $35-$83. (800) 745-3000.

The Immigrant Mark Harelik’s comedy-drama based on the stories of his Jewish grandfather who fled Czarist Russia and wound up in rural Texas. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends May 26. $25-$40. (626) 355-4318.

Laurie Anderson: All The Things I Lost in the Flood The performance artist examines her own creative process in this West Coast premiere. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bram Goldsmith Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $45-$125. (310) 746-4000.

Pacific Playwrights Festival Readings of five new plays by Qui Nguyen, Julia Doolittle, et al. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Fri., 1, 4 and 8 p.m.; Sat., 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; ends April 22. $18; all five, $75. (714) 708-5555.


Shakespeare UnScripted Impro Theatre improvises full-length plays in the style of the Bard. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 20. $45, $50. (310) 434-3200.

South Pacific Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical drama about a nurse, a GI and others on a remote tropical island during WWII. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 13. $20-$70. (562) 944-9801.

Ameryka Center Theatre Group’s second-annual “Block Party” series continues with a remount of Nancy Keystone and Critical Mass’ examination of American democracy. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 6:30 p.m.; ends April 29. $25-$70; series passes available. (213) 628-2772.

Bad Jews Two cousins fight over a family heirloom in Joshua Harmon’s dysfunctional-family comedy. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends June 17. $30-$35. (310) 477-2055.

ICE Two undocumented Mexican immigrants try to Americanize their L.A. taco truck in Leon Martell’s bilingual, family-friendly comedy. 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., L.A. Sat., 3 and 7:30 p.m; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends June 10. $10-$24. (213) 745-6516.

My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy Actor-comic Brad Zimmerman performs his autobiographical solo show. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends June 10. $45–$65. (855) 448-7469.


Next to Normal Award-winning rock musical about a suburban mom’s struggles with mental illness. Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 27. $22, $25. (805) 583-7900.

What Happens Next A young acting teacher leads a drama program for veterans in Cornerstone Theater Company’s staging of Naomi Iizuka’s new drama; part of La Jolla Playhouse’s “Without Walls” series. Challenged Athletes Foundation, 9591 Waples St., San Diego. Sat., 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends April 29. $10, $20. (858) 550-1010.

Belleville L.A. premiere of Amy Herzog’s Hitchcock-style drama about an American couple in Paris; with Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”) and Thomas Sadoski (“The Newsroom”). Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends May 13. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins Musical adaptation of the popular children’s book. Samueli Theater, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Next Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. $20 and up. (714) 556-2787.

The Passing Zone Comedy-juggling duo performs. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $15, $17. (310) 506-4522.

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. Ends Sun., 3 p.m. $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 Fountain gives this tale of an unexpected friendship between Brooklyn teens from different strains of Judaism a poignant staging. (D.H.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 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.

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.; ends May 13. $35. (323) 960-5068.

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. $40-$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. Ends Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $65-$85. (310) 208-5454.