The week ahead in SoCal theater: ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ 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.).
The Blade of Jealousy Henry Ong’s new modern-day adaptation of Spanish playwright Tirso de Molina’s classic comedy “La Celosa De Si Misma (Jealous of Herself).” Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $25. (800) 838-3006.
Constellations Nick Payne’s two-character romantic drama touches on string theory, quantum mechanics, etc. The Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 S. 7th St., Santa Paula. Sun., next Sun., 4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 29. $22, $24. (805) 525-9840.
The Eve of Jackie: A Tribute to Jackie Wilson Broadway’s Chester Gregory salutes the R&B legend. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., 7 p.m. $20-$40. (310) 746-4000.
exagoge theatre dybbuk offers a staged reading of this retelling of the biblical tale of Exodus. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. Sun., 2 p.m. Free; reservations required. www.eventbrite.com.
Hackers and Lovers Staged reading of David Datz’s new play. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Sun., 2 p.m. Free. (310) 364-0535.
Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 Ninth annual theater showcase concludes. Various venues, showtimes and prices; ends Sun.; details at www.hollywoodfringe.org. (323) 455-4585.
Legends, Movement and Memories The 5th Dimension’s Florence LaRue, “Next Friday’s” Kym Whitley and R&B singer Freda Payne are among the featured performers in this Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival presentation. Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 8 p.m. $18-$25. (818) 760-0408.
The Skivvies: Hollywood Stripped! The underwear-clad comedy-pop duo performs. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $25-$50; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.
Tuesdays With Morrie Staged reading of this drama based on Mitch Albom’s memoir about a professor diagnosed with ALS. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 355-4318.
Our Very Own Carlin McCullough A single mom (Mamie Gummer) learns her young daughter is a tennis phenom in Amanda Peet’s new drama. Geffen Playhouse, Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $60-$85 (310) 208-5454.
Marching On Eight military veterans share their personal stories of going off to war, returning home and transitioning back into society in this company-created work. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m. $15. (310) 746-4000. (Also in Culver City, July 13-22)
Shakespeare by the Sea Locally touring productions of the Bard’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “The Winter’s Tale” in repertory. Point Fermin Park, 807 Paseo del Mar, San Pedro; other Southern California venues. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; through Aug. 18. Free. www.shakespearebythesea.org
Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist “Buffy’s” Tom Lenk portrays the British actress in Byron Lane’s satirical comedy. Comedy Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m. $30, $40. (800) 838-3006.
2018 ComedySportz World Championship Improv-comedy teams compete. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Thu., 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 and 10 p.m.; Sat., 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. $15-$20. (323) 871-1183.
Desperately Seeking Love Various characters search for romance in Ryan Paul James’ new comedy; with Kate Linder (“The Young and the Restless”). Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Fri., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 3. $30 and up. (818) 990-2324.
Faustus Archway Theatre offers an immersive site-specific staging of Marlowe’s classic fable about a scholar who makes a deal with the devil. Woodbury University Library, 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 14. $30. (818) 980-7529.
The Magic of Adam Trent The illusionist performs in this stage spectacular. Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $35 and up. (800) 982-2787. Also, Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $49 and up. (714) 556-2787.
The Chalk Garden Revival of Enid Bagnold’s comedy about a British dowager who hires a mysterious woman as a gardener and governess. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $10-$38.50; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.
The Confounding Brothers: A Meetin’ of the Minds Family-friendly tale about Founding Fathers Franklin, Jefferson and John Adams. The International Printing Museum, 315 W. Torrance Blvd., Carson. Sat., 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. $15. www.printmuseum.org.
The Death and Life of Mary Jo Kopechne Peter Lefcourt’s new fact-based drama about the young campaign staffer killed in an auto accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 while a passenger in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s car. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $30, $34. (323) 960-4418.
Grease Sing-A-Long 40th-anniversary celebration of the 1978 musical comedy about high-school romance in the 1950s; Didi Conn hosts. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $12 and up. (323) 850-2000.
Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein: In Conversation and Performance The veteran entertainers and longtime friends share songs and stories. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat., 7:30 p.m. $79 and up. (714) 556-2787.
Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical Based on P.L. Travers’ children’s book and the Disney film about a magical nanny; for ages 4 and up. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 4. $23, $28. (310) 828-7519.
My Fair Lady A Victorian Era linguistics professor attempts to give a Cockney flower girl a high-society makeover in this classic musical. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 4. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.
Our Lady J’s Gospel of Dolly The singer-songwriter and “Transparent” producer celebrates country music’s Dolly Parton. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Lovelace Studio Theater, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7 p.m. $15, $30. (310) 746-4000.
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui A Chicago mobster ascends to power in Bertolt Brecht’s 1941 satire of Hitler’s rise in 1930s Germany. City Garage, Bergamot Station, building T1, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $20, $25; Sundays, pay what you can, at the door only. (310) 453-9939.
Sacred Resistance Writer-performer Vicki Juditz shares her spiritual journey in this solo show. The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends July 29. $34, $45. (800) 838-3006.
Dead Boys A young gay man and the former classmate who used to bully him are trapped in the basement of their old high school in Matthew Scott Montgomery’s apocalyptic drama. Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; $25. (323) 957-1884.
First Nations Now: Rhymes and Storytelling for Families Native American artists share folk tales and more. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave. L.A. Next Sun., 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.
The Wonderful Wizard of Song Musical revue salutes Harold Arlen, the songwriter behind such classic tunes as “Stormy Weather” and “Over the Rainbow”; with vocalist Karon Blackwell. Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. Next Sun., 3 p.m. $10, $15. (949) 480-4278.
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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 1. $30-$35. (310) 477-2055.
The Ballad of Bimini Baths: Mexican Day Tom Jacobson’s “Ballad of Bimini Baths” — a trio of plays inspired by L.A. history, all set at a natatorium popular in the first half of the 20th century — is at times puzzling and frustrating, but this final play in the group delivers the beautiful metaphor of people of all kinds working together to wash away sins. (D.H.M.) Rogue Machine, the MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.; ends July 1. $40. (855) 585-5185.
Cabaret The world is ending? What good is sitting alone in your room, where you’ll merely brood? Come see what director Michael Matthews has cooked up in an especially dark take on this ever-relevant musical. The dancing is sexy, the emcee is a bit magical, and everyone’s partying like there’s no tomorrow. (D.H.M.) Celebration Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $35-$60. (323) 957-1884.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Casa 0101 is currently waging a fund-raising battle to keep its doors open. Judging by this reprise of a production mounted earlier in the year, it would be a tragedy for the neighborhood — and for the larger theater community — if this valiant institution shuttered. The show may not have all the big budget Broadway bells and whistles, but it does feature lavish from-scratch production elements that, considering the constraints of physical space and budget, seem nearly miraculous. Director Rigo Tejeda helms the superlative performers, spearheaded by Omar Mata as a looming, authoritative Beast. Musical director Caroline Benzon oversees the blissful assemblage of singers, while choreographer Tania Possick marshal the troops ingeniously in a limited space. An achievement by any standards, this “Beauty” deserves to be seen — as this theater deserves to be supported. (F.K.F.) Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights. Sun., next Sun., 3 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 1. $25-$40. (323) 263-7684.
Henry IV Tackling both parts of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” in an outdoor staging with a company of actors not primarily known as Elizabethan specialists is a recipe for a long and bumpy night. So it’s a credit to the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles for not only averting disaster but getting so much right in this production, directed by veteran Daniel Sullivan and starring Oscar-winner Tom Hanks as an affectionately convivial Falstaff and Hamish Linklater as a Hamlet-esque Prince Hal. (C.M.) The Japanese Garden, West Los Angeles VA Campus, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., West L.A. Sun., Tue.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends July 1. $79-$500. (213) 481-2273.
Her Portmanteau First-generation Nigerian-American playwright Mfoniso Udofia’s moving drama defies preconceptions and expectations with a unique, deeply felt perspective on immigration and its unforeseen personal and family complications. (P.B.) Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends June 30. $20-$39. (626) 683-6801.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night There are two main reasons to undergo Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical drama in this Bristol Old Vic production directed by Richard Eyre. The first is Lesley Manville’s breathtaking performance as Mary Tyrone, who is played not as an excuse for flamboyant virtuosity but as a credible wife and mother imprisoned in addiction. The second is Jeremy Irons’ suave and subtle portrayal of James Tyrone — one consummate actor stepping into the raffish skin of another. Two masters in a singular masterpiece. (C.M.) Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends July 1. $35-$125. (310) 746-4000.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Audience members become participating patients in an elaborately immersive psychiatric-ward environmental staging wrapped around a solid production of the Dale Wasserman-Ken Kesey drama; the experience may induce a bit of multiple personality disorder but it’s benign — and thoroughly engaging. (P.B.) Six01 Studio, 630 S. Flower St., Burbank. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 22. $35, $50. www.cuckoosnestla.com.
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. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends June 30. $25-$34; student rush, $17, cash only. (323) 462-8460.
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