The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 1-8: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Griffith Park 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.).
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. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Mon.-Tue., 8 p.m; ends July 31. $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. Sun., 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.
The Magic of Adam Trent The illusionist performs in this stage spectacular. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sun., 3 p.m. $49 and up. (714) 556-2787.
The Wonderful Wizard of Song Musical revue salutes Harold Arlen, the songwriter behind such classics as “Stormy Weather” and “Over the Rainbow.” Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. Sun., 3 p.m. $10, $15. (949) 480-4278.
Hungry Writer-performer Michael Mullen reprises his Hollywood Fringe show. Studio/Stage, 520 Western Ave., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends July 8. $12. www.hff18.org.
Camp Whitsit Scary, surreal immersive theatrical experience with a summer-camp theme; for ages 18 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.; ends July 28. $15. (818) 202-4120.
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax The title character tries to save a forest of Truffula trees in this U.S. premiere of this musical adaptation of the beloved children’s fable. The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., noon and 5 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $30 and up. (619) 234-5623.
Katy and Jennifer Two longtime friends lean on each other through devastating personal trials in Matt Morillo’s new drama. The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m. $15. (323) 455-4585.
On Your Feet! Bio-musical tells the story of Latin-pop power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan. 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 July 29. Fri $35 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787. (Also at Segerstrom Center, Aug. 21-Sept. 2.)
The Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular Classic tracks from the British rock band are accompanied by psychedelic visuals. The Montalbán Theatre, 1615 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Fri., 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m. $35-$55. (323) 871-2420.
Pledge Drive UnScripted Impro Theatre’s third annual fundraiser includes a 30-hour non-stop improvised marathon as well as a performance of the improv musical “Jane Austen Pop.” Impro Studio, 1727 N. Vermont Ave., #208, Los Feliz. Fri., 5:30 p.m. until Sat., midnight. Pay what you can. “Austen,” Fri., 8:30 p.m. $50. (323) 401-6162.
The Road-Trip Monologues Eight new short pieces by different authors on the theme of travel, each performed by a different actor. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m. $20. www.Plays411.com.
Big Fish Orange County premiere of this musical based on Tim Burton’s 2003 fantasy film about a son seeking the truth behind his father’s tall tales. Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim. Sat., 8 p.m. next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends July 29. $35-$35; discounts available. (888) 455-4212.
Fairytales Unscripted Family-friendly show presented by Impro Theatre. Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood. Sat., 10 a.m. $5; 12 and under, free; reservations recommended. (323) 461-3673.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Independent Shakespeare Co.’s annual Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival returns for another summer with the Bard’s fantastical romantic comedy. The Old Zoo at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., L.A. Sat.-next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. Free. (818) 710-6306.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Southern California Shakespeare Festival also stages the Bard’s tale. Reed Park, 1133 7th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 6 p.m. Free. www.smgov.net.
Yankee Doodle Dandy! Musical Theatre West presents the Southern California premiere of David Armstrong’s bio-musical about showman and songwriter George M. Cohan. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 p.m.; ends July 22. $20 and up. (562) 856-1999.
Million Dollar Quartet Jukebox musical about rock ’n’ roll pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 6 p.m.; ends July 29. $75-$105. (949) 497-2787.
Queens A recent arrival finds herself living in a tenement with other immigrants in the NYC borough in the West Coast premiere of Martyna Majok’s drama. La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $41 and up. (858) 550-1010.
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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $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 15. $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.; 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. Ends Sun., 3 p.m. $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. Ends Sun., 8 p.m. $79-$500. (213) 481-2273.
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. Ends Sun., 2 p.m. $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. Ends Sun., 7 p.m. $35, $50. www.cuckoosnestla.com.
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