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The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 15-22: REDCAT's New Original Works Festival and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 15-22: REDCAT's New Original Works Festival and more
Animator and performance artist Miwa Matreyek, silhouetted, is among the many participants in this year's edition of REDCAT's annual three-week New Original Works Festival. (Miwa Matreyek)

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.).

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Openings

Alisan Porter in Concert The Broadway veteran and Season 10 winner of “The Voice” performs; “American Idol” finalist Anthony Federov opens the show. The Hotel Cafe, 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., 7 p.m. $12.50—$20. (866) 468-3399.

Alphabet Soup: LGBTTQQIAAP Storytelling for the LGTBQ community and others. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave. L.A. Sun., 3 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.

Antigone For its inaugural production, new theater company Vaulting Ambition stages a modern retelling of Sophocles’ ancient tragedy. Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia. Sun., 2 p.m. $15-$30. (626) 821-1781.

First Stab II: Wicked Lit! Staged readings of new plays. Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena. Sun., 3 p.m. Free; reservations recommended. www.unboundproductions.org.

Mutt House A quirky outsider fights to keep a rundown animal shelter from closing in this new family-friendly musical comedy; “Liv and Maddie’s” Ryan McCartan stars. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Sun., 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 8:30 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $39-$59. (213) 628-2772.

Shakespeare by the Sea Locally touring productions of the Bard’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “The Winter’s Tale” in repertory. Various venues, days and times; through Aug. 18. Free. www.shakespearebythesea.org.

Gender Fluids Drag artist Levonia Jenkins performs in this music-and-comedy cabaret show. Comedy Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Tue., 8 p.m. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Jungle Book Mowgli, Baloo the Bear and company return in this family-friendly, multimedia-enhanced take on Rudyard Kipling’s classic tales; for ages 5 and up. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Tue., 8 p.m.; Wed., 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Thu., 2 and 8 p.m.; Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 4 p.m.; ends July 29. $20 and up. (626) 356-7529.

14th Annual New Play Reading Festival Staged readings of new works, plus panel discussions, etc.; details at www.bostoncourt.com. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Thu., 7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; ends July 28. Free; reservations recommended. (626) 683-6801.

New Original Works Festival 2018 15th-annual three-weekend showcase for L.A.-based theater, dance and multimedia artists; details at www.redcat.org. REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 4. $16, $20; festival pass, $40. (213) 237-2800.

Screwball Comedy A woman tries to break into the male-dominated world of journalism in the 1930s in the U.S. premiere of Norm Foster’s retro-styled fable. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Thu., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $35. (310) 364-0535.

Beauty and the Beast Susan Egan, who originated the role of Belle on Broadway, stars in 5-Star Theatricals’ staging of this adaption of the Disney animated musical. 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 July 29. $35-$89. (800) 745-3000.

An Evening with C.S. Lewis Phil Crowley portrays the “Chronicles of Narnia” author in David Payne’s solo bio-drama. Actors Co-op, Crossley Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends July 29. $10 suggested donation. (323) 462-8460.

MenAlive: Heroes The Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus salutes Harvey Milk, et al., in the ensemble’s season finale. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. $39, $49. (949) 854-4646.

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Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance Composer Graham Reynolds and theater collective Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol explore the life and times of the famed Mexican revolutionary in this multimedia-enhanced bilingual rock opera. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave. L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.

Celebrity Autobiography Laraine Newman, Fred Willard, et al., read selections from memoirs by Oprah Winfrey, David Hasselhoff, etc. The Sorting Room, Lovelace Studio Theater, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Sat., 7 and 9 p.m. $30-$50. (310) 746-4000.

Mayakovsky and Stalin The personal lives of Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin are explored in the world premiere of Murray Mednick’s multimedia-enhanced drama. The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $25. (323) 960-4443.

Miss America’s Ugly Daughter: Bess Myerson & Me Writer-performer Barra Grant recalls her relationship with her famous mother in this two-character solo show. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $55. (800) 838-3006.

Side by Side by Sondheim Revival of this musical salute to the legendary Broadway lyricist and composer. Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. (310) 477-2055.

The Twentieth Century Way Tom Jacobson’s fact-based drama about police persecution of gay men in Long Beach in 1914. Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 18. $14-$27. (562) 494-1014.

Paula Poundstone The comedian and storyteller performs. Coldwater Canyon Park, Taper Amphitheatre, 12601 Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $35. (818) 623-4877.

Red Hen Press: At the Kitchen Table with Rinde and Ellen Theater artists Rinde Eckert and Ellen McLaughlin collaborate with poets Allison Joseph and Edoardo Ponti. East Wing Music Hall at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. Next Sun., 2 p.m. $35. (310) 434-3200.

Urban Death Hourlong collection of wordless, non-linear horror vignettes; contains nudity and graphic content. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun.-Tue., 8:30 p.m.; ends July 24. $15; reservations recommended. (818) 202-4120.

With My Eyes Shut Two young people with Asperger’s find ways to connect in Kira Rockwell’s dance-theater drama; for ages 12 and up. Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (323) 455-4585.

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Critics’ Choices

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., Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.; next Sun., 8 p.m. Ends July 22. $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.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $35-$60. (323) 957-1884.

On Your Feet! As all-American tales of self-made success go, you would be hard-pressed to name a better one than Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s. Actually, their story charts a double rise: their path to all-but-unheard-of crossover success with Miami Sound Machine, then Gloria’s determined return to wholeness after back injuries sustained in a 1990 accident in their tour bus. Driven by such songs as “Conga” and “Turn the Beat Around,” this musical explodes off the stage. (D.H.M.) Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; ends July 29. $39 and up. (800) 982-2787. Also: Aug. 21-Sept. 2 at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts in Costa Mesa.

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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends July 22. $35, $50. www.cuckoosnestla.com.

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