Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in L.A. theater, May 20-27: ‘Noises Off,’ ‘The Ballad of Bimini Baths’ and more

A Noise Within Noises Off
A Noise Within’s remount of the Michael Frayn backstage comedy “Noises Off” closes on Saturday. With Deborah Strang, left, Erika Soto, Geoff Elliott and Jill Hill.
(Craig Schwartz )

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.).


Audra McDonald in Concert The six-time Tony winner, backed by the LA Opera Orchestra, sings show tunes, standards and more. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., 3 p.m. $19 and up. (213) 972-8001.

Lost and Found: A Guilt Trip Through Show Business Steven Shaw looks back on his life and career in this solo show. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m.; ends June 10. $20. (310) 364-0535.

The American Wife Staged reading of Stephen Fife and Ralph Pezzullo’s drama about a woman whose foreign-born husband is arrested on terrorism charges. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 355-4318.

New Works Festival Inaugural showcase features readings of eight new plays. Garry Marshall Theatre, 4252 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank. May 22-30. Tue.-Wed., 4 and 8 p.m.; ends May 30. Free. (818) 955-8101.


Wiesenthal Writer-performer Tom Dugan portrays the Holocaust survivor and famed Nazi hunter in this solo drama. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Tue.-Wed., 7 p.m.; ends June 13. $36. (310) 364-3606.

Cult of Love A highly competitive family of overachievers clashes during the holidays in Connecticut in this new black comedy, the final installment in Leslye Headland’s “Seven Deadly Plays” cycle. IAMA Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends June 24. $35, $40. (323) 380-8843.

FEELingpleasuresatisfactioncelebrationholyFORM luciana achugar’s performance installation explores art as a healing ritual; part of the feminist Latinx showcase “En Cuatro Patas.” The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Thu., 8:30 p.m. $25. (213) 232-6200.

All’s Well That Ends Well Long Beach Shakespeare Company stages the Bard’s tale of romance, seduction and deception. Goad Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach.Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 16. $12.50, $22.50. (562) 997-1494.


Constellations Nick Payne’s two-character romantic drama touches on concepts like string theory and quantum mechanics. Lyric Hyperion Theatre, 2106 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $10 suggested donation. (323) 928-2299.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Immersive staging of Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel about the patients and staff at a mental hospital. Six01 Studio, 630 S. Flower St., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 1. $55, $75.

Totally Looped Improvisers put new dialogue to old movie clips in this live comedy show. Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth Theater, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. $15.

The Ballad of Bimini Baths: Mexican Day A reporter and a civil-rights activist team up to battle segregation in 1940s L.A. in this installment of Tom Jacobson’s new fact-based trilogy that includes “Plunge” (see below) and “Tar” (opens June 9). Rogue Machine, the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sat., 4 p.m. p.m.; ends July 1. $40; passes for all three shows available. (855) 585-5185.

The Ballad of Bimini Baths: Plunge A priest shares a dark secret with an art historian in this installment set in 1918 L.A. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends June 17. $20, $25; passes for all three shows available. (213) 351-3507.

Hostage A Wisconsin mother travels to Tehran to reunite with her son, a U.S. Marine, during the Iran hostage crisis in Michelle Kholos Brooks’ new fact-based drama. Skylight Theatre, 1816 N. Vermont. Ave. Los Feliz. Sat., 8:30 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 17. $15-$40. (866) 811-4111.

Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair... L.A. premiere of Greg Kalleres’ comedy about superheroes at loose ends in a crime-free city. The New American Theatre, 1312 N. Wilton Place, Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends June 23. $15-$30.

A Very British Lesbian Writer-performer Fiona Goodwin explores her personal journey in this solo show. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends July 1. $20-$30. (800) 838-3006.


Critics’ Choices

The Baby Dance: Mixed With the same finely detailed specificity that distinguished Jane Anderson’s 1989 drama, the heightened racial emphasis in this substantially rewritten mixed-cast version opens up new opportunities to personalize and deepen the characters — surpassing the original in key respects. (P.B.) Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $30-$55. (805) 667-2900.

Bad Jews A dip in an acid-laced bubble bath, Joshua Harmon’s effervescently corrosive comedy about a fanatical Jewish ideologue and her more secular-minded cousin’s dispute over a religious artifact left behind by their Holocaust survivor grandfather receives a blissfully high-decibel staging from director Dana Resnick and a pitch-perfect cast. Harmon’s brilliantly caustic play frames serious issues of Jewish identity within a breathtaking blitzkrieg of invective guaranteed to make your eardrums smolder. (F.K.F.) Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 17. $30-$35. (310) 477-2055.

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.

Die, Mommie, Die! Part of the Center Theater Group’s second annual Block Party, director Ryan Bergmann’s superb remounting of the Celebration Theatre’s 2017 production of Charles Busch’s camp classic is lavishly realized in every particular. The blissful original cast, spearheaded by Drew Droege in a riotous drag turn as a murderous diva-on-the-skids, takes us on a two-hour-plus plunge into the playfully down-and-dirty. Take a deep breath before immersion. And enjoy. (F.K.F.) Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Ends Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends May 20. $25-$70. (213) 628-2772.

Native Son As profound as it is disturbing, Nambi E. Kelley’s adaptation of Richard Wright’s groundbreaking 1940 novel features a stellar cast in a surreal descent into a violent criminal protagonist’s internal consciousness, revealing the fractured black identity that remains an enduring tragic legacy of racism. (P.B.) Antaeus Theatre Company, Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 3. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.

Noises Off Director Geoff Elliott and a superb cast hit the banana peel running and never let up in their crowd-pleasing reprise of Michael Frayn’s 1982 farce-within-a-farce, a giddy glimpse of a theatrical hothouse populated by doddering drunks, vapid bombshells, and cue-challenged stars, where titanic egos and meager talents clash, hilariously. (F.K.F.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sat., 2 and 8 p.m. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

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