The week ahead in SoCal theater, Aug. 19-26: 'The Glass Menagerie,' 'Ain't Too Proud' and more

The week ahead in SoCal theater, Aug. 19-26: 'The Glass Menagerie,' 'Ain't Too Proud' and more
Jennifer Parsons, left, Lizzie Zerebko and Ty Mayberry costar in a revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" at International City Theatre. (Tracey Roman)

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.).



High Street Broadcast Old-fashioned radio-style show features original music, comedy sketches, and a tale of suspense with live sound effects. The DownStage at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. Sun., 7:30 p.m. $20, $25. (805) 583-7900.

The Most Happy Fella Musical Theatre West offers a staged reading of Frank Loesser’s musical May-December romantic fable about the budding relationship between a young city woman and a middle-aged Italian vintner. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. Sun., 7 p.m. $27, $32. (562) 856-1999.

Kalamazoo Staged reading of Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger’s romantic comedy about two baby boomers getting back on the dating scene. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Mon., 7 p.m. Free; donations accepted. (626) 355-4318.

Comfy Theater veteran Jeffrey Scott Parsons sings, dance and shares stories from his life and career in this cabaret show. Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Tue., 8:30 p.m. $26.50; food and beverage minimums apply. (800) 838-3006.

Floating In Between Our Dreams The Portalists present this performance-art piece inspired by the city of Los Angeles; 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

I Am Sophie A woman reinvents herself when she undertakes a journey of self-discovery in writer-performer Corinne Shor’s solo drama. The Pico, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $25. (800) 838-3006.

Marian, Or the True Tale of Robin Hood West Coast premiere of Adam Szymkowicz’s gender-bending comedy inspired by the legend of the bandit of Sherwood Forest. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 22. $20, $25. (323) 856-8611.

Prolonged Eye Contact Actress-comic Kristen Studard plays multiple characters in this interactive solo show about the search for love, connection and acceptance. Lyric Hyperion Theatre, 2106 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Thu.-Sat., 10 p.m. $10.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific An American nurse stationed on a tropical island during WWII is romanced by a local plantation owner in a fully staged production of the classic musical. Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Thu., Sat., 7 p.m. Free; reservations at

The Tony Martini Variety Hour A 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.

Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations ​​​​​​This Broadway-bound musical charts the rise of the Motown group behind such classic hits as “My Girl” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 30. $30-$145. (213) 972-4400.

The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams’ classic American drama, inspired by his own life, about a faded Southern belle and her two adult children living together in a rundown apartment in St. Louis. International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $47, $49; opening night only, $55. (562) 436-4610.

Hole in the Sky Circle X Theatre presents a site-specific staging of Octavio Solis’ new drama about a California ranching family’s fight with their local community over water rights during a severe drought. Courtship Ranch, 11270 Dominica Ave., Lake View Terrace. Fri.-next Sun., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $50-$55.

I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play The Attic Collective looks at the phenomenon of hoarding in this company-created work. Son of Semele Theater, 3301 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 2 $18, $25. (213) 351-3507.


The Man Who Saved Everything A hoarder faces eviction when his neighborhood undergoes redevelopment in Benjamin Scuglia’s new drama. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $25. (323) 851-7977.

A Whole Lotta Kay Drag artists Kay Sedia and Lotta Slots attempt to share the stage in this two-women show. Cavern Club Theater, 1920 Hyperion Ave., L.A. Fri., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m; ends Sept. 1. $25. (323) 436-0338.

Counter-Culture This new community-centered series kicks off with SCOTUS Theater’s reading of arguments in a Supreme Court case on immigration, followed the next day by “Feme (First Syllable Female)” featuring readings of new works by female playwrights. East West Players, David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. SCOTUS, Sat., 7 p.m. $15. And, “Feme,” next Sun., 7 p.m. Free. (213) 625-7000.

Here & Now: The Legacy of Luther Vandross With singer Terry Steele and special guest, Táta Vega. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$40. (323) 964-9766.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Stage adaptation of the animated Disney musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel. Stage Door Repertory Theatre, 1045 N. Armando St., Anaheim Hills. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 5 p.m.; ends Sept. 23. $20, $28. (714) 630-7378.

I Go Somewhere Else A young woman recalls her relationship with her deeply troubled mother in Inda Craig-Galván’s new drama. Playwrights’ Arena, Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends Sept. 17. $25, $30; discounts available. (800) 838-3006.

Seize the King Five actors play multiple roles in the world premiere of Will Power’s reimagining of Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” La Jolla Playhouse, Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $41 and up. (858) 550-1010.

She Is History Staged reading of Amy Simon’s full-length, family-friendly salute to women who made and make history. Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, L.A. Next Sun., 7:30 p.m. $20; ages 10-18, free.


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.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Sept. 16. $25-$65. (323) 957-1884.

I Am Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce In this meticulously-researched solo biography tracing the life and prosecution of the groundbreaking early 1960s comic provocateur, actor Ronnie Marmo and director Joe Mantegna offer subsequent generations not only a sense of who Bruce was, but more importantly why he mattered. (P.B.) Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun. 3 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $35.

Man of La Mancha Set against a gritty, contemporary backdrop, this accomplished revival reminds us why the 1964 musical adaptation of the Don Quixote story endures as one of the most substantive entries in the musical theatre canon. (P.B.) A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Sun., 2 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Sept. 9. $25 and up; student rush, $20. (626) 356-3100.

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.) Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Tue.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Sept. 2. $29 and up. (714) 556-2787.

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., Thu.-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., 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends Aug. 25. $20. (323) 882-6912.

Waitress To get through each hardscrabble day, a small-town waitress turns to pie-baking, where she finds stillness. Adrienne Shelly’s unusual 2007 movie is now a rousing stage musical created by a team of women, including recording star Sara Bareilles, writing her first theater score. It’s too bad the creators dialed the comedy to extremes rather than trust the original’s quietness. Still, the audience whoops as if it’s on a sugar high. (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 Aug. 26. $49 and up; children under 5 not admitted. (800) 982-2787. (Also at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, Nov. 13-25)