Around the Town

by

Steve Zall and Sid Fish

August 2018

 

Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:




“Outlaw” During his years with the Hells Angels, Christie survived prison, multiple investigations, prosecutions and assassination attempts. Through it all, he considered himself to be a peacemaker in the outlaw biker community. With a reputation firmly established in popular culture, the Hells Angels have developed a modern mythology around themselves that presents as many questions about the group as answers. Are the Hells Angels organized criminals or compassionate givers to charity and the community? What really goes on behind closed club meeting doors? Written and directed by Richard La Plante, it runs August 2 through August 24 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets call 213-713-9149 or visit www.Clagoproductions.com.

“Mamma Mia!” unfolds on a Greek island paradise when on the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited twenty years ago. Non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers, along with the magic of ABBA's hit songs that include “Super Trouper,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Thank You for the Music,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” and “SOS,” combine to make this enchanting show a trip down the aisle you'll never forget! Written by Catherine Johnson, with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and directed by David F.M. Vaughn, it runs August 3 through August 12 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach, then August 17 through August 26 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets in Redondo Beach call 714-589-2770 Ext. 1, for tickets in Cerritos call 562-916-8500, or visit www.3dtheatricals.org for either venue.

“Shining City” is set in Dublin, where a guilt-ridden man reaches out to a therapist after the death of his wife in a car crash. Wrestling with his own demons, the therapist can only do so much to help. Routine visits between the two men quickly become a gripping struggle to survive, changing both of them for the rest of their lives. Written by Conor McPherson, and directed by Brian Foyster and Eddie Kehler, it runs August 3 through August 26 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-7780 or visit www.plays411.com/shiningcity.

“Titus Andronicus” Titus, a Roman general, returns from the war in triumph with Tamora, Queen of the Goths, as prisoner. What follows is a visceral story of temptation, political machinations, and the thirst for vengeance. It’s full of bloody spectacle, dark humor, and definitely not for the youngest audience members. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs August 4 through September 2 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“Yellow Face” is based on the author's own life. When Hwang mistakenly makes a disastrous casting decision, he quickly gets in over his head. As the situation spirals further out of control, he finds himself at the center of a government intrigue and investigation. Written by David Henry Hwang, and directed by Rob Zimmerman, it runs August 10 through September 26 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/yellowface.

“End of the Rainbow” It’s December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback….again. In a London hotel room, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. Featuring some of Garland’s most memorable songs, “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do it),” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Trolley Song,” ”The Man That Got Away,” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow,” this savagely funny play offers a unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of America’s most beloved figures. Written by Peter Quilter, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs August 12 through September 2 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.

“Man of La Mancha” The fictionalized author ‘Cervantes’ is the main character of Man of La Mancha. While in prison during the Spanish Inquisitions, he is forced to act out parts of Don Quixote for the other inmates. This story-within-a-story of Don Quixote’s musical misadventures – rife with love, chivalry, and of course, four-armed giants – unfurls into something more transcendent: a beacon of hope in a dire world. One of the most important hits of Broadway’s golden age, audiences have been dreaming “The Impossible Dream” for the past half century with the wandering hidalgo in this quintessential tale about the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of storytelling when faced with insurmountable odds. Written by Dale Wasserman, with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs August 16 through September 9 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.

“Pizza Man” CONSUMER ADVISORY: Includes material related to sex and sexual violence. Leave the kids at home. Alice and Julie are frustrated 20somethings, sharing an apartment in Los Angeles. They’re frustrated personally, professionally and sexually. Julie does not seem able to hold either a job or a man for an extended length of time. Alice has been in a dead-end relationship with a married man who she cannot seem to live without. Both women, tired of being harassed by men in every way, decide to hatch a scheme intended to reverse their power dynamic. Julie decides to drink herself into oblivion whilst Alice turns to food to squash her emotions. With too much alcohol and an empty fridge, they decide to order a delivery and find a man to fulfill their needs. When the “Pizza Man” arrives at their door, it seems their prayers were answered…. Or at least, that’s what they thought. What lies ahead, none of them ever could have imagined. Written by Darlene Craviotto, and directed by Natalie Sutherland, it runs August 16 through August 26 at the Dorie Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.pizzamancomplex.com.

“I Am Sophie” Have you ever wondered what it might be like to re-invent yourself – to start over as someone else? Sophie gives you a chance to sit court-side during one such adventure. To join her on an existential, down the rabbit hole, adventure of self-discovery. This piece aims to wake up your sleeping soul and remind you to go out and live life in whatever way feels best to you - others opinions be damned. That said, Sophie will soar to the highest heights and plummet to the lowest lows. But what journey of self-discovery doesn't have that? Beauty and pain so often occur at the same exact time, don't they? Written by Corinne Shor, and directed by Susan Angelo, it runs August 17 through September 2 at the Pico in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.iamsophie.brownpapertickets.com.

“Paradise” When a southern coal mining town goes from boom to bust, a charismatic preacher arrives to offer salvation…along with his bombshell sidekick who was rescued from a stripper pole. But, now there's a network reality TV producer from Hollywood who has different ideas about how to make the town great again. Written by Cliff Wagner, Bill Robertson & Tom Page, with music by Cliff Wagner, lyrics by Bill Robertson & Tom Page, and directed by Michael Myers, it runs August 17 through September 23 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

“Jews, Christians and Screwing Stalin” On the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 1967, Joey brings his pregnant, Christian fiancé home to meet the radical communist bubby who raised him. Minka Grazonsky is tough as nails — and why not? Her brother was the first president of Stalin's Soviet Union. When Joey's alcoholic father shows up at the table, alliances are challenged and new beginnings forged... maybe. Written by Mark Lonow and Jo Anne Astrow, and directed by Mark Lonow, it runs August 18 through September 23 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4412 or visit www.Plays411.com/Matzoballs.

“LYMAN, The Musical” follows a woman who meets a homeless man she thinks she recognizes. She ponders whether his homelessness was a cause of life choices or destiny, and she takes us on a journey through the various universes in which Lyman would have existed but for chance. With original songs performed by the cast, the show helps us learn the truth about how choices affect destiny and what it means to be a hero. Written and directed by Anne Johnstonbrown, with music by Anne Johnstonbrown, it runs August 18 through August 26 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-508-4200 or visit www.lymanthemusical.com.

“Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood” is a gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic Robin Hood myth. In Szymkowicz’s retelling of the tale, Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (a few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble? Modern concerns and romantic entanglements clash on the battlefield and on the ramparts of Nottingham Castle. A play about selfishness and selflessness and love deferred and the fight. Always the fight. The fight must go on. Written by Adam Szymkowicz, and directed by Christopher Johnson, it runs August 23 through September 22 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.

“The Glass Menagerie” this autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a rapidly changing world. Confined to a tiny St. Louis apartment on the eve of World War II, the Wingfield family struggles to find beauty amid the rough circumstances that surround them. Written by Tennessee Williams, and directed by John Henry Davis, it runs August 24 through September 9 at the International City Theatre Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

“Hole in the Sky” is a California story about how we live with fire, water, and family. A young woman returns home to find her family and community in a bitter fight over who owns the local groundwater during a devastating California drought. Caught between loyalty to her family’s ranch and fear – of wildfire, of loss of identity and culture, Connor finds her small town trying to figure out how to live with nature when nature doesn’t seem to want us there: “We’d get along with the environment a whole lot better if we didn’t have to live in it”. Written by Octavio Solis, and directed by Kate Jopson, it runs August 24 through September 23 at the Courtship Ranch in Lake View Terrace. For tickets visit www.circlextheatre.org.

“The Man Who Saved Everything” Before his life as an adult could begin, Barry left school and moved back home to care for his aging parents. When they died, he never left — literally. Barry became obsessed with holding onto every single possession and treasured item that might help keep alive the memory of his parents and his prior life. He saved everything. Decades later, Barry lives inside a massive hoard of possessions. But his neighborhood is being redeveloped and he faces eviction. Only his niece and a former friend from college care enough for his health and well-being to attempt to convince him to leave his longtime home. How can Barry abandon a collection that he has carefully curated and guarded for decades, a hoard of items that has literally become his home? What happens to his memories when the possessions that anchored them are gone? Written by Benjamin Scuglia, and directed by Michael Van Duzer, it runs August 24 through September 23 at the Theatre West in Studio City. For tickets visit www.theatrewest.org.

“BARK! The Musical” is a tuneful tribute to dogs and their intrepidly human hearts. Written by Mark Winkler and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, with music by David Troy Francis, and directed by Susan Stangl, it runs August 31 through October 7 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.




...and, if you hurry, there's still time to catch these ongoing productions:



“Lysistrata Unbound” In this newly imagined, dramatic version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, an aristocratic Athenian matron is crushed by fateful events and gradually transformed into the most celebrated anti-war activist of the ancient world. Written by Eduardo Machado, and directed by John Farmanesh-Bocca, it runs through August 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Mary Poppins” The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Mary takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises, “Anything can happen if you let it!” Written by Julian Fellowes, based on the stories by P.L. Travers, with music by Richard Sherman & Robert Sherman, and directed by Kristie Mattsson, it runs through August 4 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-828-7519 or visit www.morgan-wixson.org.

“Cabaret” Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. This is The Kit Kat Klub... the seediest, sexiest nightclub in Berlin. In here, life isn’t just beautiful - it’s downright dangerous. If you’re not careful, you could lose your perspective on the world outside. Fight that urge. RESIST. Celebration Theatre presents Kander & Ebb’s dark, eerily relevant masterpiece like you’ve never seen it before. Written by Joe Masteroff, based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs through August 5 at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

“Mutt House” Featuring 20 original songs and a cast of 10, Mutt House is the story of quirky outsider Eddie Corbin. Bullied all his life, Eddie has finally found a place to call home — a neglected downtown animal shelter. When the city threatens to close the shelter, Eddie must do something he’s never done before: stand up for himself and fight for what’s right. With the help of six zany mutts, he faces his fears and makes an unexpected human connection in the process. This life-affirming musical, in the tradition of Annie, is filled with singing and dancing fun for the whole family. Written by Tony Cookson, with music by John Daniel, Tony Cookson, Robb Curtis Brown, and directed by Ryan Bergmann, it runs through August 5 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets call 213-628-2772 or visit www.MuttHouseTheMusical.com.

“Their Finest Hour: Churchill and Murrow” This full-length play sheds light on the unique relationship between Winston Churchill and Edward R. Murrow during the early years of WW II when England was under attack by Hitler’s air-force. Murrow, who was covering the war for CBS Radio News, not only became friendly with Churchill, but had a passionate and adulterous love affair with the Prime Minister’s daughter-in-law. Written by Willard Manus, and directed by Stu Berg, it runs through August 5 at the Write Act Repertory @ the Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3328722.

“Pump Boys and Dinettes” Out there on Highway 57 in North Carolina, somewhere between Frog Leap and Smyrna, sits a gas station across from the Double Cupp Diner. The Pump Boys and Dinettes know what you want and they’ve got what you need: gasoline and comfort food. Fill your tank and fill your belly: The Energy Duet. They’ve also got a whole bunch of toe-tappin’, hummable country/pop tunes guaranteed to show you a good time. Written by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, with music by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, and directed by Allison Bibicoff, it runs through August 12 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“Trump in Space” Four hundred years from now, thanks to the stripping away of EPA regulations, the earth has blown up. Two human factions survive and are on the hunt for Polaris 4, a planet capable of sustaining human life. One faction, the United States of Commerce, lives by a motto of “opportunity at any cost.” Ruled by The Executive, his chief representative in space is starship Captain Natasha Trump, a lineal descendant of Donald J. Trump. Competing with her to reach Polaris 4 first is a resistance called The Separatists, gathered on the Starship California and led by President Gary Hart, Natasha’s ex-lover. Which faction will be the first to reach Polaris 4 and establish the New Cosmic Order? Written by Gillian Bellinger and Landon Kirksey, with music by Tony Gonzalez and Sam Johnides, and directed by Frank Caeti, it runs through August 17 at the Second City Hollywood Studio Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-464-8542 or visit www.secondcity.com/shows/hollywood/trump-in-space.

“Daddy's Dyin' Who's Got the Will” Set in a small Texas town, this comedy stages the reunion of a family gathered to await the imminent death of their patriarch, who has recently suffered a physically as well as mentally disabling stroke. They’ve wanted their father’s love, but they’ll settle for his money! It is not so much the story of the impending demise of the father or of the drafting of his will, but of a rebirth of the spirit of the family unit. Written by Del Shores, and directed by Kirk Larson, it runs through August 18 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

“The Death and Life of Mary Jo Kopechne” tells the story of an American tragedy from the point of view of the victim – a young woman who became famous one night in 1969 when the car she was in plunged off a bridge on Martha’s Vineyard on the way back from a midnight tryst on the beach. A prominent United States senator who’d had too much to drink was at the wheel. He survived. She didn’t. Mary Jo Kopechne was a Democratic campaign worker and idealist with ambitions of running for the Pennsylvania State Assembly. A demure Catholic with little experience with men, she was not the type to have an impulsive sexual adventure with a married man. But does she say no to a man of considerable power and influence, a man who could help advance her career, a man she also may have admired? A dilemma that has become particularly prominent in the #MeToo era we are living through. In his hotel room Ted Kennedy is frantically trying to devise some way out of this potentially career-ending disaster when his two dead brothers and his father miraculously show up to help him try to salvage not only his political future but the family’s reputation. They are deep in damage control scenarios when there is a knock at the door. They open it to discover Mary Jo Kopechne standing there, soaking wet, and very angry. The Kennedys try desperately to persuade her to help them cover up the incident. The decision that she has to make in the next few hours will determine not only Ted Kennedy’s fate but also that of the entire nation, perhaps for decades to come. Written by Peter Lefcourt, and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs through August 18 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-4418 or visit www.Plays411.com/MaryJo.

“Cry It Out” Cooped up on maternity leave and eager for conversation, Jessie invites the funny and forthright Lina for coffee in their neighboring backyards. They become fast friends, quickly bonding over their shared “new mom” experience—and arousing the interest of a wealthy neighbor hoping for a similar connection. This insightful comedy takes an honest look at the absurdities of new motherhood, the dilemma of returning to work versus staying at home, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship. Written by Molly Smith Metzler, and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh, it runs through August 19 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“Famous” Through the eyes of Hollywood’s biggest star, Jason Mast, we witness a world fueled by sex, money, and power, where image is everything. On the heels of Jason’s first Oscar nomination, he plans a hot party to celebrate. The night unfolds with an adrenaline-rushed pace, ultimately revealing one of Jason’s darkest secrets. His attempt to control the outcome ignites a chain of events that pushes the boundaries of real friendship and reveals the true cost of fame. Written and directed by Michael Leoni, it runs through August 19 at the 11:11 in West Hollywood. For tickets call 323-378-6969 or visit www.FamousThePlay.com.

“Mayakovsky and Stalin” is a dramatic character study incorporating historical footage and photos to explore two distantly connected relationships: that of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his wife Nadya, and of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married lover and “muse” Lilya Brik. Written and directed by Murray Mednick, it runs through August 19 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-960-4443 or visit www.plays411.com/stalin.

“Screwball Comedy” The year is 1938, and newly laid-off perfumier, Mary Hayes is trying to break into the male dominated world of newspaper journalism. Editor-In-Chief Bosco Godfrey sets a competition between his egotistical star reporter Jeff Kincaid and plucky Mary assigning them to cover a society wedding. If Jeff writes the better story, he gets to keep his job. If Mary wins, she will replace the ace newshound. Super-rich lady Delores suspects that her son Chauncey’s fiancée Gloria is a fortune hunter and wants the reporters to expose her. Chauncey is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and Delores suspects he’s being played for a patsy. Can Jeff or Mary dig up the dirt? Written by Norm Foster, and directed by Howard Storm, it runs through August 19 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“What Happened When” On a snowy night in a rural farmhouse, three siblings huddle together in the dark with a flashlight, while the audience (unseen by them) gathers closely around. Expect to be fully immersed in this beautiful, provocative and disturbing memory play. Written by Daniel Talbott, and directed by Chris Fields, it runs through August 23 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.

“Mary Poppins” is practically perfect in every way and includes all of your favorite songs including, “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite!” Mary Poppins is breathtakingly beautiful, and full of dancing and heart. It is simply Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Written by Julian Fellowes, based on a book by P.L. Travers, with music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, it runs through August 25 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com.

“The Motherf**ker with the Hat” Jackie is a former drug dealer out on parole who is trying to stay clean. His girlfriend is coke-addicted Veronica, whom he has loved since 8th grade. Visiting her, he sees a man’s hat in her apartment, a hat that does not belong to him. He surmises who the man might be and visits him with a gun (a violation of Jackie’s parole, among other things). Jackie asks his supportive cousin Julio to hide his gun. Jackie also visits his 12-step sponsor Ralph, whom he believes to be a friend. Ralph ingests healthy food, but his dedication to a clean body belies the fact that, underneath, he is entirely willing to backstab anyone for his personal gain. His unhappy wife Victoria rounds out the cast of characters. Will Jackie reconcile with his true love Veronica? Will he be able to stay out of jail? What will Ralph do? Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs through August 25 at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood. For tickets call 310-366-5505 or visit www.tix.com.

“Under Milk Wood” recounts the dreams, gossip and waking hours of the sleepy, Welsh seaside town of Llareggub — a name that seems innocent enough until you read it backwards. Unforgettable characters such as Captain Cat, Myfanwy Price, the Reverend Ely Jenkins, Organ Morgan, Polly Garter and Dai Bread populate this odd place, and their affectionate charm and humor still captivate and entertain 65 years after it was written. Written by Dylan Thomas, and directed by Ben Martin, it runs through August 25 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“The Blade of Jealousy” Dashing Melchor moves to Los Angeles to meet his online dating connection but unexpectedly falls in love with a mysterious veiled lady (Magdalena), and she with him. He later meets her sans veil but is unimpressed, thus igniting Magdalena’s jealousy – of herself! A farcical amalgam of disguise and deception ensues. Written by Henry Ong, and directed by Denise Blasor, it runs through August 26 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets visit www.thebladeofjealousy.brownpapertickets.com.

“Three Days in the Country” a handsome new tutor brings reckless, romantic desire to an eccentric household. Over three days one summer the young and the old will learn lessons in love: first love and forbidden love, maternal love and platonic love, ridiculous love and last love; the love left unsaid and the love which must win out. Written by Patrick Marber, and directed by Andrew Paul, it runs through August 26 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” It’s hard to tell where reality ends and dreams begin in this intoxicating joyride of a play. Otherworldly creatures, lovers on the run, and a group of amateur actors all converge in a deep forest outside of Athens. When their worlds collide, chaos ensues and nothing but magic has the power to set things right before the sun comes up. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Melissa Chalsma, it runs through September 2 at the Old Zoo at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“A Midsummer Night's Dream” Theatricum brings back its signature production, an audience favorite with a set design unrivaled by any other theater - because it's the real thing. The most magical outdoor setting in Los Angeles is once again transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human. Shakespeare conjures a world of wonder, magic and romance where comical misunderstandings and the pain of unrequited love are resolved, and all is reconciled through midsummer night revelries and the enduring power of nature. Buffet dinners with a costumed cast of fairies in attendance take place in the theater's adjacent gardens prior to Thursday evening performances on Aug. 2; Aug. 9; Aug. 16; and Aug. 23. (Separate admission, or combo packages available.). Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Willow Geer, it runs through September 3 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Side by Side by Sondheim” features a dazzling array of songs from landmark shows that revolutionized the art of musical theater with their masterful craft and astounding creativity, including Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle and Pacific Overtures — as well as songs from the classics Sondheim wrote with musical theater giants Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Richard Rodgers, such as West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? Written by Stephen Sondheim, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Dan Fischbach, it runs through September 16 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.

“Coriolanus” An allegory for today’s tumultuous times, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy is a cautionary tale of political manipulation and revenge. Rome, a city where the one-percenters rule, is led by a populist general who has nothing but contempt for the common people and is unable to reconcile his disdain for the citizens with his love of country. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Ellen Geer and Melora Marshall, it runs through September 23 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Sholom Aleichem” This new musical, performed in English with just a taste of Yiddish, follows the life of the beloved Yiddish story-teller and his mespoche, spinning tales of his loves and losses, his fame and his failures, his travels, his travails and the tremendous joy and optimism that kept him going against all odds. Written by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Ben Weisman, Emery Bernauer, Evelyn Rudie and Sholom Aleichem, and directed by Arthur R. Tompkins, it runs through September 23 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/aleichem-sholom.html.

“Haiti” is a melodramatic recounting of the same 1802 uprising, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, that Orson Welles used as a basis for his now-famous Voodoo Macbeth — but Haiti depicts the actual events that transpired to give the Haitians back their country and rule. Striking a sharp chord that still resonates today, it explores the devastating legacy left by colonialism and slavery that was overcome by the strength, resilience and urgency of those brave enough to fight for freedom. Written by William DuBois, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through September 29 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“Arrival & Departure” a Deaf man and a hard-of-hearing woman, two married strangers, meet accidentally in a New York City subway station. As their casual friendship develops into something deeper, each is forced to confront how their simmering relationship could forever change their lives — and the lives of those they love. The play is performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language with additional use of open captioning, so that both Deaf and hearing audiences can enjoy the production. Written by Stephen Sachs, inspired by the screenplay Brief Encounter, and directed by Stephen Sachs, it runs through September 30 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.

“The Chalk Garden” An outdoor production of Enid Bagnold’s unique comedy that blends witty humor with insightful truths. Dyed-in-the-wool British dowager Mrs. St. Maugham is an eccentric with two obsessions: caring for her troubled teenage granddaughter and growing a traditional English garden in the harsh chalk soil of the surrounding grounds. When the mysterious Miss Madrigal, with her keen knowledge of gardening, is hired as a governess despite her lack of references, she brings along a dark secret. Written by Enid Bagnold, and directed by Susan Angelo, it runs through September 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

“The Crucible” is a classic parable of mass hysteria that draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch hunts of 1692 and McCarthyism, which gripped America in the 1950s, remains eerily timely in today’s climate of fake news. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, its own history firmly rooted in the McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist — when actor Will Geer and his wife, Herta Ware, created the theater as a haven for blacklisted actors — opens a new production of Miller’s modern classic. Written by Arthur Miller, and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through September 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets call 310-455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!