Spring has arrived, and soon the Easter Bunny will too, but don’t miss out on these fantastic new shows in our local theatres:
“The Encounter” follows the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre as he finds himself lost in a remote area of Brazil in 1969, leading to a startling encounter that changed his life. Each seat in The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater will be equipped with a pair of Sennheiser headphones. Audience members will put them on and experience ground-breaking sound design, plugging into the power of the imagination while engaging everyone in new and breathtaking ways as McBurney leads listeners on an epic journey deep into the Amazon rainforests. As McBurney’s mesmerizing tale about McIntrye reaches its climax, this extraordinary performance asks some of the most urgent questions of today: about how we live and what we believe to be true. Written by Petru Popescu, and directed by Simon McBurney, it runs April 6 through April 16 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/Encounter.
“Of Mice and Men” is a tale of two migrant field workers looking for work on the California coast during the Great Depression—the intelligent but frustrated George, and Lennie, a sweet, strong man with a mental disability and a knack for getting into trouble. As they continue to chase the classic American Dream of settling down on their own piece of land, the unlikely pair soon comes across other characters who share in their desperate search for companionship and something greater out of life. Written by John Steinbeck, and directed by Aaron Lyons, it runs April 6 through May 13 at the Belfry Stage Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.
“Supper” The Koch Brothers are infamous, super-rich, right-wing reactionaries from Wichita, Kansas. Trained in business and politics at their father’s knee, and bestowed with his oil wealth and his company, Koch Industries, the brothers are litigious multibillionaires who fund ultra-right-wing causes and candidates in an attempt to shape America in their image. This play is definitely NOT about the Koch Brothers. Written by Phinneas Kiyomura, and directed by Alina Phelan, it runs April 6 through May 20 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.
“Goonie” Today is Goonie’s sixth birthday — her favorite number. Her father, Terry, is planning a day to remember: bouncy house, extinct animals, and a skywriting plane. With everything in place, what could possibly go wrong? Oh, that’s right — THE DREAM TEAM — Terry’s insane, needy, and borderline psychotic family could all show up, uninvited, and not only ruin Goonie’s party but put Terry in an asylum before he even gets to the piñata. Written by Terry Maratos, and directed by Jim Anzide, it runs April 7 through May 5 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets call 323-839-5086 or visit www.gonnietheplay.com.
“The Importance of Being Earnest” This wonderful, colorful comedy of manners and mistaken identities is truly one of the classic comedies of all time. Most theater-goes agree that it is probably the wealthy young men who pretend, among other things, that they are both named Ernest in order to impress their beloveds. A surprise ending caps off the evening and all’s well that ends well. We bring amazing energy and fun to our production and we guarantee you a great night at the theater. Written by Oscar Wilde, and directed by Zoe Bring, it runs April 7 through May 13 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“The Lady Was a Gentleman” An examination of love, identity, race, and gender that is sure to leave you laughing out loud as celebrated actress Charlotte Cushman goes on (another) farewell tour of the U.S. with her personal assistant Sallie, a free black woman, and an ever-expanding entourage of adoring younger women. Written by Barbara Kahn, and directed by Kate Motzenbacker, it runs April 8 through April 29 at the Dorie Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.ladygentplay.bpt.me.
“Pure Confidence” The high-stakes world of Civil War–era horse racing sets the stage for this captivating drama during a time of slavery and Reconstruction. Colonel Wiley Johnson owns both Simon Cato, a smart, cocky ‘colored’ jockey, and his horse, Pure Confidence. Cato uses his wits and his championship winnings to buy his and his wife’s freedom, but the Civil War changed everything. Written by Carlyle Brown, and directed by Marya Mazor, it runs April 8 through May 21 at the Sacred Fools Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7745 or visit www.lower-depth.com/on-stage.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” The story follows Nora, who in the final scene of Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children. A door slams. The curtain falls on a stunned audience. Lucas Hnath continues Nora’s story in this intriguing play with a decidedly modern perspective. Fifteen years have passed when there’s a knock on that same door. Why is Nora back—and what will her return mean to those she left behind? Written by Lucas Hnath, and directed by Shelley Butler, it runs April 9 through April 30 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.
“The Originalist” When a bright, liberal law school graduate embarks on a difficult and challenging clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. As the country waits for Scalia’s seat to be filled, this drama looks into the complexities of one of the most polarizing Supreme Court Justices of all times. This powerful work portrays the passionate people risking heart and soul to defend their interpretation of the truth, and the constitution. Written by John Strand, and directed by Molly Smith, it runs April 11 through May 7 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“The Legend of Georgia McBride” tells the story of Casey, who after years of struggling at a small-time club in the Florida Panhandle, realizes it’s now or never for his career as an Elvis impersonator. Enter Miss Tracy Mills, a self-proclaimed grand dame of drag who guarantees Casey’s life is about to get “all shook up.” Matthew Lopez’s hip-shakin’, heartwarming tale explores what happens when one man trades in his blue suede shoes for platform pumps and discovers he ain’t nothing but a drag queen. Written by Matthew Lopez, and directed by Mike Donahue, it runs April 12 through May 14 at the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.
“Lone Star” brothers Roy and Ray take a drunken stumble down a memory lane littered with cars, stars, women and bars. Roy, a brawny Vietnam vet many years removed from the war, still can’t find his place, so he spends his nights behind Angel’s bar trying to get back to a place in his mind. Written by James McClure, and directed by David Fofi, it runs April 14 through May 7 at the Zephyr in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.plays411.com/lonestar.
“Farragut North” A taut and plot-twisting story of political, emotional, and sexual intrigue. During a hotly contested presidential primary campaign a wunderkind press secretary, blinded by hubris, makes a wrong turn. After choosing to walk through “that door” his life, and the lives of others, spin out of control. Set against an all too familiar contemporary landscape, the story reveals the human struggle between ideologies and unbridled ambition. Written by Beau Willimon, and directed by Cathy Fitzpatrick Linder, it runs April 15 through May 21 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7788 or visit www.plays411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=4614.
“The 39 Steps” A young British gentleman named Richard Hannay befriends a beautiful spy. When he brings her back to his apartment, she is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect. He’s on the run, not only from the authorities, but also from a mysterious organization that has no good intentions for the fate of Western civilization. While evading hot pursuit, he falls in love with another beautiful woman. Only Hannay can stop a vile plot from an evil organization that threatens us all. Can he clear his name, save the world, and get the girl in time? Written by John Buchan, adapted by Patrick Barlow, and directed by Rebecca Lynne, it runs April 20 through April 29 at the Brand Park in Glendale. For tickets visit www.deanproductionstheatre.com.
“The Furniture” A new comedy about sex, lies, upholstery and the ways we hurt the ones we love. Old rivalries come to the fore and secrets are revealed when three sisters gather to divvy up the family furniture. Written by Marc Warren, and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs April 21 through April 23 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 805-381-1246 or visit www.hillcrestarts.com.
“Rabbit Hole” Becca and Howie, blindsided by a tragic accident, struggle to piece together what was once their picture perfect life in the suburbs. As they negotiate a return to their marriage and what is left of their family, they are forced to confront the depth of their loss and the new realities of life together. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, and directed by Eric Hunicutt, it runs April 21 through May 14 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 917-407-3346 or visit www.Plays411.com/rabbithole.
“Sister Act” is the feel-amazing musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet! Featuring original music by Tony and 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and The Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It’s Las Vegas in the 1970s, and when disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in one place the cops are sure she won’t be a found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and the uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but in doing so, blows her cover. Soon, the gang is giving chase only to find themselves up against Deloris and the power of her newly-found sisterhood. Filled with uplifting gospel music, outrageous dancing and a truly moving story, that will leave audiences breathless, it is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship. Written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and directed by Misti B. Wills, it runs April 21 through April 30 at the Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 800-745-3000 or visit www.cabrillomusictheatre.com.
“Uncanny Valley” explores the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, as well as ethical questions about our own mortality and how far we’ll go to live forever, in this fascinating and cerebrally challenging new play about artificial intelligence. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, a neuroscientist works closely with an artificial being to teach him how to become more human and to grow beyond the “uncanny valley” — a term used to describe the discomfort we feel when we see electronic recreations of human beings that are oh-so-close, but just not quite right. Written by Thomas Gibbons, and directed by Caryn Desai [sic], it runs April 21 through May 7 at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“West Side Story” As powerful, poignant, and timely as ever, the thrilling Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim score – including “Tonight,” “Maria,” “America” and the classic “Somewhere,” remains one of the best-ever written. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are transported to modern-day New York City, caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time. Written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs April 21 through May 14 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.
“Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington” Dr. Du Bois is intent on resigning from the NAACP, infuriated by the condescension and opposition he has received from white board members of the organization. Miss Ovington believes such a move would be disastrous both for himself and the organization, and she attempts to dissuade him from what she is convinced is a destructive course of action. Complicating matters is the pair’s evident attraction to each other, a relationship that would be widely condemned in 1915. Written by Clare Coss, and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs April 22 through May 21 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-489-7402 or visit www.robeytheatrecompany.org.
“The Hero Within” brings veterans’ personal stories to life through an artistic journey that gives voice to the difficulty of transitioning from the war zone back into society. After completion of a successful operation, the Joint Task Force of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines has gathered veterans to be recognized as heroes. However, the effects of trauma trigger one veteran in attendance to do the unthinkable. The Hero Within follows the trials and tribulations of seven brave men and women along their path from civilian life to joining the military to their return home, as they search for the hero within themselves. The show includes both lighthearted comedy and dramatic moments that will leave audiences on the edge of their seat. Directed by Greg Shane, it runs April 22 through April 23 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call www.TheWallis.org/Hero.
“Sylvia” Greg and Kate are empty-nesters in the big city. On a walk in the park, Greg is adopted by Sylvia, a bouncy, frisky poodle mix. But Kate comes to feel that she is losing Greg to his adoring new best friend who just loves to be petted, scratched, and talked to. This imaginative twist on Greg’s midlife crisis leads to lots of laughs and some thoughtful insights into the nature of love, marriage, jealousy, and dogs. Written by A.R. Gurney, and directed by Stephanie A. Coltrin, it runs April 22 through May 7 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. For tickets call 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.
“I’m Not Famous – a Musical Journey with Barbara Minkus” Join us for a funny, poignant and powerful evening of theatre as film, television and Broadway star Barbara Minkus shares private moments, personal tidbits, and a plethora of musical delights. Written by Barbara Minkus, with music by Ron Barnett, and directed by Susan Morgenstern, it runs April 23 through May 28 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/im-not-famous.html.
“King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story” Riding a wave of success triggered by his mega-hits, “Dang Me” and “King of the Road,” a string of gold records and 11 Grammy Awards, wisecracking country star and Tony-winning Broadway composer (Big River) Roger Miller is forced to face his demons, confront his self-destructive tendencies and to finally, accept love in this world premiere musical! Written by Cort Casady & Mary Arnold Miller, with music by Roger Miller, and directed by Andrew Barnicle, it runs April 23 through May 14 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!” Described as, “one part lasagna, one part kreplach, and two parts Prozac,” you don’t have to be Jewish or Italian to appreciate this show. All you need to know is what it feels like to leave a family dinner with heartburn and a headache! Written by Steve Solomon, it runs April 26 through June 25 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 855-448-7469 or visit www.PlayhouseInfo.com.
“The Foreigner” unfolds at a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSueur, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time Froggy has brought along a pathologically shy young Brit named Charlie, who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So Froggy tells everyone that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. In short order, Charlie overhears more than he should — hilarious and damaging revelations made with the belief that Charlie doesn’t understand a word of English. Written by Larry Shue, and directed by Sarah Gurfield, it runs April 28 through May 20 at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 844-486-2844 or visit www.santamonicarep.org.
“Kiss” Damascus, Syria: 2014. Two couples meet for dinner to take their minds off the war raging around them. An unexpected profession of love, an untimely proposal and one kiss later, one of the foursome lies dead on the floor. What starts out as a Syrian melodrama quickly takes an unexpected turn. Is anything really what it appears to be? Written by Guillermo Calderón, and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs April 29 through June 18 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)” From the high-brow to the low, this fast-paced ride covers comedy through the ages, from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Moliere to Vaudeville, Charlie Chaplin to The Daily Show. Find answers to the age-old questions, “Who’s on first?” and “Why did the chicken cross the road?” No joke is left untold as the talented trio deconstruct and put back together the entire history of comedy. Warning: The side effects of this play may include groan-worthy humor, uncontrollable laughter, and painful running-gags. Written by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor, and directed by Jerry Kernion, it runs through April 23 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.
“Roar” is a passionate tribute to protest, as expressed through the voices of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and other artists who’ve raised their voices to challenge authority through song. A musical revue in the vein of The Buddy Holly Story, ROAR stars Davitt Felder as the frontman of protest band The First Amendments and follows the group as they fight for causes of social justice with stirring folk and rock anthems. Directed by Antonia Bogdanovich, it runs through May 7 at the Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.