On Theater: Comedies all around

Theatergoers in Huntington Beach may be forgiven if they're unsure which way to turn next weekend.

All three local theater groups – the Huntington Beach Playhouse, Golden West College and the Academy for the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School – will be raising their curtains next Friday.

The playhouse will be presenting "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," the first full-length play by comic actor Steve Martin. It features the characters of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso. Terri Miller Schmidt is directing the comedy.

Golden West, meanwhile, will present Marc Camoletti's adult comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner." This farcical fable mixes a husband, his wife, the husband's best friend, the wife's lover, the husband's mistress and a few other characters. Marti Ramm is directing.

Finally, there is the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie," the season-opening production of the academy, with Tim Nelson directing and conducting the orchestra. It's based on the 1967 movie and is set in New York City in 1922 with frisky flappers, dashing leading men, a ton of tap dancers and a villainess who takes evil over the top.

In the playhouse's "Picasso," the two historical figures meet at a bar called the Lapin Agile (Nimble Rabbit) in Montmartre, Paris, in October 1904 with both men are on the verge of an amazing idea. Einstein will publish his special theory of relativity in 1905 and Picasso will paint "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" in 1907. Bystanders include Picasso's agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso's date, an elderly philosopher and an idiot inventor.

The show runs weekends through Nov. 7 at the theater in the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, with ticket information available at (714) 847-4357.

In Golden West's fast-paced comedy "Don't Dress for Dinner," the college advises the show contains adult content and is intended for mature audiences. The show plays for two weekends, closing Oct. 24, and more information may be garnered at (714) 985-8150.

"Thoroughly Modern Millie" will be performed in the Huntington Beach Union High School District Auditorium on the Huntington Beach High campus at 1905 Main St., Huntington Beach, also for two weekends. Ticket orders are available at (714) 536.2514, ext 4025.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Independent.

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