Advertisement
Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in L.A. theater, May 27-June 3: ‘Coriolanus,’ ‘Cabaret’ and more

David DeSantos Coriolanus Theatricum Botanicum
David DeSantos plays the title role in Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” at Theatricum Botanicum.
(Ian Flanders)

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

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

The Color Purple Tony-winning revival of the musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about the lives of African American women in rural Georgia in the 1930s. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m,; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends June 17. $35 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787.

Indigenous Now Poetry, spoken word, live music and more with local indigenous artists. Tongva Park, 1615 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Wed., 7:30 p.m. Free. www.tongvapark.smgov.net.

Advertisement

The Blank Theatre’s 26th Annual Young Playwrights Festival Four-week showcase features 12 new plays by aspiring young writers. Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 24. $15, $25; passes, $50, $80. (323) 661-9827.

Native Gardens A young couple move into an affluent neighborhood and get into a property-line dispute with their next-door neighbors in the West Coast premiere of Karen Zacarías’ comedy. The Old Globe, San Diego, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends June 24. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.

Bearing Witness West Coast premiere of Vietnam veteran Thomas Bird’s autobiographical solo drama his relationship with his father, a WWII veteran who helped liberate a concentration camp. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 17. $25–$35. (310) 477-2055.

Bullshot Crummond A British detective is hired to rescue a professor held captive by a dastardly super villain in this parody of pulpy 1930s thrillers. West Valley Playhouse, 7242 Owensmouth Ave., Canoga Park. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends June 24. $26, $28. (818) 884-1907.

Advertisement

Cabaret Classic Kander & Ebb musical about an American writer, a British singer and other denizens of a decadent nightclub in pre-WWII Germany. Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 15. $35-$75. (323) 957-1884.

An Evening of Betrayal The 6th Act Theatre Company pairs “Betrayal,” Harold Pinter’s classic drama about marital infidelity, with an abridged version of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 24. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Family, Schmamily This festival of original Jewish-themed short plays serves as the Eclectic Theatre’s final production before closing its doors for good. The Eclectic Company Theater, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m. $20. (310) 626-5532.

Parade 3-D Theatricals remounts its Ovation Award-winning staging of this fact-based musical drama about a Jewish factory manager accused of a shocking crime in 1913 Atlanta. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 10. $40-$85. (562) 916-8500. (Also in Redondo Beach, June 15-24)

All This Time Broadway veterans and married couple Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin perform show tunes, standards and classic pop songs in this cabaret show. Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St. Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $35-$55. (805) 667-2900.

Coriolanus A Roman general’s entry into politics has disastrous results in this outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $10-$38.50; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Two con men try to out-scam each other in this musical based on the 1988 comedy that starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine; parental discretion advised. Stage Door Repertory Theatre, 1045 N. Armando St., Anaheim Hills. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends June 23. $20, $25. (714) 630-7378.

Disney’s Newsies Young boys who sell newspapers go on strike in turn-of-the-last century New York City in this stage adaptation of the 1992 musical. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 24. $20-$84. (562) 944-9801.

Advertisement

Her Portmanteau A Nigerian immigrant and her two daughters confront their family’s legacy in the West Coast premiere of Mfoniso Udofia’s drama. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 30. $20-$39. (626) 683-6801.

L.A. Views X: Sanctuary An evening of short plays by local writers exploring the concept of sanctuary in today’s political climate. Comp inany of Angels, 1350 San Pablo St., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends June 25. $10-$20; Mondays, pay what you can. www.companyofangels.org.

Next to Normal Panic! Productions stages the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning musical about a suburban mother’s battle with mental illness. Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends June 17. $22-$40. www.hillcrestarts.com.

The Patron Saint of the Chicago Suburbs A man returns to his old neighborhood for the funeral of his best friend from high school in Max Marsh’s drama. Loft Ensemble Theater, 13442 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 15. $10-$20. (818) 616-3150.

John Waters The cult filmmaker (“Pink Flamingos,” “Hairspray”) discusses his life and career. Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Drive., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $25-$60. (323) 343-6600

The Soul of Richard Rodgers Tony winner Billy Porter (“Kinky Boots”) puts a twist on classic songs by the legendary Broadway composer. Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. Sat., 8 p.m. $38 and up. (818) 677-3000.

Bordertown Now Veteran comedy trio Culture Clash updates its hit 1998 satire about immigration, border policy and U.S.-Mexico relations. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends June 24. $25 and up. (626) 356-7529.

Do Re Mi Musical Theatre West offers a staged reading of the Jule Styne classic about a con man who gets into the music biz. Beverly O’Neill Theatre, Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $27, $32. (562) 856-1999.

Advertisement

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Theatricum’s annual outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s romantic fantasy returns. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Next Sun., 3:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 3. $10-$38.50; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Nickie Casiano Knows What’s Up... And It Ain’t All That Staged reading of Elixeo Flores’ comedy about an aging drag queen and her 9-year-old neighbor. The Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 S. 7th St., Santa Paula. Next Sun., 7 p.m. Pay what you can. (805) 525-9840.

Critics’ Choices

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.; Wed., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 24. $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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 10. $20-$40. (323) 663-1525.

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.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 3. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.

Ripe Frenzy A mass shooting at a high school performance of “Our Town” sends a mother on a ghostly quest to try to understand what happened and whether anything could have been done to prevent it. Playwright Jennifer Barclay addresses a pressing issue with restraint, lyricism and even beauty, adopting much the same the style as Thornton Wilder’s classic play. (D.H.M.) Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends June 17. $15-$34. (323) 673-0544.

Violet Hope, faith and a sense of adventure propel this 1997 musical, which is notable for featuring the first score by Jeanine Tesori (“Soft Power,” “Fun Home”). Its tale of a disfigured young woman’s journey to wholeness is vividly and quite movingly presented under Richard Israel’s direction. The exhilarating cast is led by Claire Adams as the title character. (D.H.M.) Actors Co-op, Crossley Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood. Sun.-next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends June 17. $25-$34; student rush, $17, cash only. (323) 462-8460.


Advertisement