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The week ahead in SoCal theater, Aug. 5-11: 'Yellow Face,' 'End of the Rainbow' and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Aug. 5-11: 'Yellow Face,' 'End of the Rainbow' and more
Roman Moretti, left, and Jeffrey Sun costar in David Henry Hwang's "Yellow Face" at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. (Megumi Smisson)

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

Longing Pinocchio Dark reimagining of the tale of the wooden puppet who became a real boy; for ages 13 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Sun., Tue., next Sun., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 28. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Much Ado About Avengers The Actors’ Gang presents this family-friendly mash-up of Shakespeare’s rom-com and Marvel’s superhero franchise. Media Park at the Ivy Substation, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Sun., Sat., next Sun., 11 a.m.; ends Aug. 26. Free; reservations recommended. (310) 838-4264.

Ojai Playwrights Conference New Works Festival The conference’s public events begin with a cabaret of stories and scenes by conference writers including Jon Robin Baitz, Bill Cain and Ruby Rae Spiegel. Other events include workshops of works in progress by Alice Tuan, Stephen Belber, Charlayne Woodard and others. Details at www.ojaiplays.org. Zalk Theater, 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, and Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai. Starts Sun.; ends Aug. 12. (805) 640-0400.

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.

Shining City A Dublin man starts seeing a therapist after his wife’s tragic death in Conor McPherson’s drama. The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 26. $20. (323) 960-7780.

Yin, An Invocation Performance artist Myriad Slits explores the different aspects of feminine energy; part of the Sea-Saw series. Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, West End, Santa Monica. Tue.-Wed., 6 p.m. Free; reservations at www.eventbrite.com.

Babes in Barnes (The Mickey and Judy Show) An all-juvenile cast performs this new musical inspired by a classic 1939 Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland movie. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Wed.-Thu., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $14, $16. (626) 355-4318.

Doris and Me, A Musical Tribute Scott Dreier celebrates showbiz legend Doris Day with songs and stories. The Colony Theatre, 555 N. 3rd St., Burbank. Thu., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $35. (866) 811-4111.

Sea Marks An Irish fisherman and a woman from Liverpool share a long-distance romance in Gardner McKay’s drama. Little Fish Theatre, 777 Centre St., San Pedro. Thu., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Aug. 30. $23-$27. (310) 512-6030.

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Calvin Berger Staged reading of Barry Wyner’s new musical update of the classic drama “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $27.50. (323) 628-1030.

Captivated: An Obsession in 3 Acts Remount of “Chapter One: Justine,” the first installment in Eric Blair’s intimate, immersive mystery drama; five audience members per show; for ages 21 and up. Private residence, address provided to ticket holders, North Hollywood. Fri.-next Sun., 7, 8:30 and 10 p.m.; ends Aug. 12. $40. www.theyplayed.com.

Golden Girlz The drag-show send-up of the hit 1980s-’90s sitcom returns. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.; next Sun., 7 and 9 p.m; ends Aug. 19. $35. (800) 838-3006.

Together Again A casino-night party for doctors and others involved in medical research takes a dark turn in this interactive theatrical experience; for ages 15 and up. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; ends Aug. 25. $15. (818) 202-4120.

Yellow Face Firescape Theatre stages David Henry Hwang’s satirical, semi-autobiographical tale about a playwright who inadvertently casts a white actor in an Asian role. Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 26. $30. (323) 960-7773.

Ada Vox The drag artist and “American Idol” finalist performs; with special guests, “American Idol’s” David Hernandez and Effie Passero. Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $25-$35; food and drink minimums apply. (866) 468-3399.

End of the Rainbow Entertainment legend Judy Garland prepares for a comeback concert in 1968 London in this bio-musical; Angela Ingersoll stars. Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Next Sun., 5:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $75-$105. (949) 497-2787.

jackbenny The musical-theater songwriting duo comprising twin brothers Jack and Benny Lipson performs a topical two-act show. The Lyric Hyperion Theatre, 2106 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. Next Sun., 7 p.m. $15. (323) 928-2299.

The Women Benefit reading of Clare Boothe Luce’s classic comedy. The Group Rep, Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m. $25, $40. (818) 763-5990.

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.

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. 19. $25-$65. (323) 957-1884.

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.

Under Milk Wood Dylan Thomas’ 1954 radio “play for voices,” later adapted for stage and screen, is a glorious exercise in poetical language, featuring some three-dozen plus characters, that could daunt the unwary interpreter. Fortunately, director Ben Martin and his accomplished cast emphasize the mischievous in Thomas’ feverishly meandering text without sacrificing an iota of its essential mystery and poignance. (F.K.F.) Open Fist Theatre Company, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 25. $20. (323) 882-6912.

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