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Entertainment & Arts

The week ahead in SoCal theater, July 22-29: ‘Hershey Felder: Beethoven’ and more

A promotional image for Hershey Felder: Beethoven
Hershey Felder stars in the bio-drama with music “Hershey Felder: Beethoven” at the Wallis.
(Christopher Ash)

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

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.

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

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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, The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St,. Santa Monica. Sun., 2 p.m. $35. (310) 434-3200.

Urban Death Hourlong collection of wordless, nonlinear horror vignettes; contains nudity and graphic content. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun.-Tue., 8:30 p.m. $15; advance purchase 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. Sun., 7 p.m. $12. (323) 455-4585.

Collected Stories Staged reading of Donald Margulies’ drama about a writer and her protégé-turned-rival. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 355-4318.

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The Pleasure Project Writer-performer Ava Bogle explores female sexuality in this multimedia-enhanced sci-fi comedy fable. Lyric Hyperion Theatre, 2106 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Tue.-Wed., 8 p.m. $12. www.thepleasureprojectshow.com.

School of Rock Stage musical based on the 2003 Jack Black comedy about a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

The 2018 She L.A. Summer Theater Festival Inaugural showcase for new works by female theater artists features two plays and two musicals. The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., L.A. Opens Wed.; ends next Sun., July 29. $20. www.shenycarts.org.

The Wizard of Oz Musical based on L. Frank Baum’s classic fantasy novels. First United Methodist Church, 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 796-0157.

New Original Works Festival 2018 15th-annual three-weekend showcase for L.A.-based theater, dance and multimedia artists continues; 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.

The Tony Martini Variety Hour A Las Vegas lounge singer (Mark Fite) performs with special guests in this monthly music-and-comedy show. Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge, 1123 Vine St., Hollywood. Thu., 8 p.m. $20. (323) 866-9994.

What Happened When An all-new cast performs in a remount of Daniel Talbott’s immersive thriller about three siblings who gather around a flashlight to share a spooky tale. Echo Theater Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Thu., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 23. $34. (310) 307-3753.

Annie A star-studded cast that includes Broadway veterans Roger Bart, Megan Hilty and Lea Salonga performs a fully staged production of the classic musical based on the comic strip about a plucky Depression-era orphan; Michael Arden directs. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. July 27-29. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7:30 p.m.; ends July 30. $14-$202. (323) 850-2000.

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Roger Guenveur Smith’s Frederick Douglass Now — Lula Washington Theater artist Roger Guenveur Smith and dancer-choreographer Lula Washington salute the famed 19th-century abolitionist and supporter of women’s suffrage. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave. L.A. Fri., 8 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.

Hershey Felder: Beethoven Felder explores the life and work of the legendary composer in this one-man bio-drama with music. Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 19. $35-$125. (310) 746-4000.

Famous Secrets spill as a Hollywood star’s party spins out of control in Michael Leoni’s new drama. The 11:11, 1107 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 pm.; ends Aug. 19. $35, $50. (323) 378-6969.

Radio Play Double Feature Vintage radio-style presentations of the WWII-era romantic drama “Casablanca” and the classic detective thriller “The Thin Man.” Coldwater Canyon Park, Taper Amphitheatre, 12601 Mulholland Dr., Beverly Hills. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. $20. (818) 623-4877.

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours Immersive multi-sensory event explores the intersection of science and art and features performance art, live music, art installations, DJs, dancing, and more. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. Fri., 11:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. $20, $30. (213) 972-0711.

Their Finest Hour: Churchill and Morrow Return engagement of Willard Manus’ historical drama about British prime minister Winston Churchill and journalist Edward R. Murrow during the early days of WWII. Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove St., North Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 6 p.m.; ends Aug. 5. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Under Milk Wood Stage adaptation of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ whimsical radio play about the inhabitants of a sleepy seaside town. Open Fist Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 25. $20. (323) 882-6912

West Bollywood A gay man from India introduces his American boyfriend to his immigrant family in Aruna Harjani’s new comedy with music. Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 and 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $25. (323) 960-7822.

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Haiti, a drama of the black Napoleon First-ever revival of William DuBois’ historical fable, created as part of the Federal Theatre Project in 1938, about revolutionary leader Toussaint L’Ouverture and the overthrow of the colonial Haitian government in 1802. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 29. $10-$38.50; 4 and under, free. (310) 455-3723.

Introducing: John Lloyd Young The Tony winner (“Jersey Boys”) sings classic pop tunes from the 1950s-’60s. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Sat., 8:30 p.m. $30-$55; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.

The MisMatch Game Host Dennis Hensley’s campy, off-color parody of the 1970s-era game show returns. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends July 29. $15. (323) 860-7300.

What’s Going On Vocalist Dorian Holly pays tribute to R&B singer Marvin Gaye. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$0. (323) 964-9766.

Bucket List Cabaret An evening of comedic songs and show tunes. Theatre 40, Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S. Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $25. (310) 364-0535.

Nom, Nom, Nom Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band present a kid-friendly show highlighting the importance of healthy eating. Grand Performances, 300 S. Grand Ave. L.A. Next Sun., 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free. www.grandperformances.org.

Summer Playwrights Festival 9 Ninth annual weeklong showcase at two separate venues features readings of 30 new works; details at www.roadtheatre.org. The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-8838. And, The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 761-8838. Opens next Sun.; ends Aug. 5. $15 suggested donation.

Critics’ Choices

Arrival & Departure Noel Coward’s 1945 screenplay for “Brief Encounter” inspires playwright Stephen Sachs’ tale of two present-day Manhattan commuters, a hard-of-hearing woman and Deaf man, who meet by chance and begin to fall in love. Problem is, they are already married to others. Moral and emotional conundrums add twist after twist to this sadly beautiful yet hopeful romance, which is gracefully directed by Sachs and gorgeously performed by Deanne Bray and Troy Kotsur. (D.H.M.) The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. L.A. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $20-$40; Mondays, pay what you want (subject to availability). (323) 663-1525.

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. Ends Sun., 8 p.m. $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. $25-$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. Ends Sun., 7 p.m. $40, $55. www.cuckoosnestla.com.

Three Days in the Country Antaeus Theatre Company’s newest revival is an adaptation of Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country” by Patrick Marber, who adds a refreshingly contemporary flavor and pace to this romantic comedy without displacing it from its 19th-century Russian setting. Turgenev’s tale of unrequited love among aristocrats on a country estate is said to have inspired Chekhov to write plays, and uncannily prefigures his work in both tone and action. There are two alternating casts, packed with Antaeus favorites, who have a contagiously good time with the silly, poignant melodrama. (M.G.) Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway. Sun., next Sun., 2 p.m.; Mon., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $30, $34. (818) 506-1983.


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