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“Scene in LA” November 2017 by Steve Zall and Sid Fish

Here are the new shows opening in our theaters this month:

OPENING

 

“Yohen” In Japanese pottery, the term “yohen” refers to unpredictable changes that take place in the kiln. James and Sumi Washington are an interracial couple struggling to maintain their 37-year marriage after James retires from the US Army. The dramatic change in routine prompts questions about life, love, and aging, as the couple attempts to repair what’s broken and decide what is worth saving. Screen, stage, and television actor Danny Glover and Emmy Award-winning actress June Angela will star in the revival. Written by Philip Kan Gotanda, and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs November 1 through November 19 at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

“Caught” You walk into a gallery hosting District 798, a show of new work inspired by a legendary Chinese dissident artist who was imprisoned in China for a single, epic work of art. Recently profiled in The New Yorker, the Chinese artist himself is present, and begins his presentation by sharing the details of an ordeal that breaks your heart and stirs your sense of justice. But… his lecture is interrupted; then that interruption is broken. Soon, you find yourself in a labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice, and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears. Written by Christopher Chen, and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, it runs November 3 through December 10 at the Think Tank Gallery in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.thinktank.gallery.

“In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (That Should Be Shot)” It is 6 p.m. and the Douglas family is busily preparing to be invaded by their quirky relatives for their annual Christmas Eve dinner. After robbing a local liquor store, two bumbling crooks, Tony and Vinny, seek a place to briefly hide out. Using a ruse to gain entrance into the home, they soon find themselves in charge of an ever-growing list of zany family members. Who is holding whom hostage? This dysfunctional family holiday comedy will leave you quite merry! Written by Steve Franco, and directed by Ria Erlich, it runs November 3 through December 10 at the Theatre Palisades Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets call 310-454-1970 or visit www.theatrepalisades.com.

“The Man Who Came to Dinner” about the nightmare holiday guest who never leaves – or so it seems. Just before Christmas, Sheridan Whiteside, a noted radio personality, is invited to dinner at the home of Ernest W. and Daisy Stanley in Mesalia, Ohio. After slipping on ice and claiming to have dislocated his hip, he becomes an intrusive and outrageously demanding houseguest. Written by Moss Hart and George F. Kaufman, and directed by Linda Kerns, it runs November 3 through December 17 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.

“Driving Miss Daisy” takes place in the 1940s through 1970s at the height of the Civil Rights movement. The play delicately explores racial tensions when a warm friendship evolves between an elderly Jewish woman and her black chauffeur. Written by Alfred Uhry, and directed by Heather Provost, it runs November 4 through December 10 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.colonytheatre.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, and directed by Susan Morgenstern, it runs November 5 through November 26 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.

“Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical” Tyne Daly stars as a woman not quite ready to let go of the life she’s loved and the love of her life. Written and directed by Josh Ravetch, with music by Bill Cantos & Mari Falcone, Dave Grusin, Marvin Hamlisch, Michel Legrand and Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman, it runs November 7 through December 17 at the Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater in Westwood. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.

“King Charles III” The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, the prince ascends the throne. A future of power. But how to rule? Camilla, William, Kate and Harry join Charles in Mike Bartlett’s “future history play,” exploring the people beneath the crown. The Los Angeles premiere of the 2015 Olivier Award winning best new play. A contemporary Shakespearean drama. Written by Mike Bartlett, and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs November 8 through December 3 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

“BIG FISH – 12 Chair Version” is a fantastical new musical that follows the life of Edward Boom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest. Edward’s larger-than-life stories delight everyone around him—most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales of witches, giants, and mermaids. Overflowing with heart and shifting between present day and a storybook past, this musical brings a family together and reveals the true meaning of friendship. Written by John August, based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, with music by Andrew Lippa, and directed by Cathy Thomas-Grant, it runs November 9 through November 18 at the Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University in Malibu. For tickets call 310-506-4522 or visit www.arts.pepperdine.edu.

“Avenue Q” is an irreverent and hilarious musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that, although the residents seem nice, it’s clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, love and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Filled with gut-busting laugh-out-loud humor and a delightfully catchy score, not to mention puppets, AVENUE Q is a truly unique show that has quickly become a favorite for audiences everywhere. Not appropriate for children under 16 years of age. Written by Jeff Whitty, with music by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and directed by Susan Goldman Weisbarth, it runs November 10 through December 16 at the Westchester Playhouse in Westchester. For tickets call 310-645-5156 or visit www.kentwoodplayers.org.

 

“DeLEARious” There’s a new king in town. Queen Elizabeth is dead — all hail King James! In deLEARious, Ron and Phil are writing about King James I and Shakespeare — who in turn are writing about the legendary King Lear. Phil gets sick of Ron’s laziness and womanizing; King James gets sick of Shakespeare and demotes him to working on the Bible; and King Lear gets sick of everyone and goes crazy. Great songs, a clever story and lots of laughs! Written and directed by Ron West, with music by Phil Swann and Ron West, it runs November 10 through December 16 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.

“Letters from Home” In 2016, Kalean Ung learned of a drawer in her father’s study, filled with letters from family and friends living in desperate circumstances in refugee camps and detailing their lives during the genocide that befell Cambodia with the rise of the Khmer Rouge. This play examines her own life through the stories her father (acclaimed composer Chinary Ung) told her of arriving in America in the 1960s as a young music student, and his subsequent quest to rescue family members. Written by Kalean Ung, with music by Chinary Ung, and directed by Marina McClure, it runs November 10 through November 18 at the Independent Studio in the Atwater Crossing Arts + Innovation Complex in Atwater Village. For tickets call 818-710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org.

“The Secret in the Wings” is a witty, magical, and darkly mysterious collage of lesser–known fairy tales that explores simple parables in the context of a surreal, tempestuous dream. Written by Mary Zimmerman, and directed by Joseph V. Calarco, it runs November 11 through December 16 at the Historic Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood. For tickets call 323-944-2165 or visit www.coeurage.org/sitw.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily” England’s greatest actress and national treasure Lillie Langtry is the target of blackmail in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down the British monarchy. The perpetrator of this extortion is the vilest fiend ever to walk the streets of London, Professor Moriarty. Three men team up in an attempt to thwart the foul misdeed: The Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes; his friend, John H. Watson, M.D.; and the playwright, Oscar Wilde. Can these three succeed in stopping the arch-villain when Scotland Yard cannot? Written by Katie Forgette, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs November 16 through December 17 at the Theatre 40, in the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-364-0535 or visit www.theatre40.org.

“A Christmas Story” Back in the 1960s, humorist, writer, raconteur and TV and radio personality Jean Shepherd (1921-1999) was the undisputed king of late night radio on the East Coast. His live broadcasts from the Limelight Café in Greenwich Village late on Saturday nights on WOR-AM became appointment listening for millions of fans. (This was a decade before Garrison Keillor and Saturday Night Live made their way onto the airwaves. This was when people still listened to AM radio.) Written by Philip Grecian, based on the screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs November 17 through December 31 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” finds the Roman slave Pseudolus scheming his way to freedom by playing matchmaker for his master’s son, Hero, who is smitten with the blonde and beautiful Philia. However, things don’t go at all according to plan. The complications that ensue involve blackmail, funny disguises and long-lost children, while Pseudolus desperately tries to keep up with his end of the bargain. Written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie, it runs November 17 through December 31 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank. For tickets call 818-955-8101 or visit www.garrymarshalltheatre.org.

“Levi!” a classic fit new musical based on the life of Levi Strauss. Written by Larry Cohen and Janelle Webb Cohen, with music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, and directed by Bruce Kimmel, it runs November 17 through December 2 at the Los Angeles City College Camino Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-953-4999 Ext. 2990 or visit www.red.vendini.com/ticketsoftware.html?t=tix&e=b3d784085302c0056f5583711938c080.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes” At Springfield High School, you better believe that the female population has hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! This holds especially true for the Wondrettes — four gals with incredible voices who all want to make it big, and by the second act’s 10-year high school reunion, you’ll find out which of them did. The leading ladies keep this nostalgic romp rocking with their versions of ’50s and ’60s jukebox classics like “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Lipstick on Your Collar,” “It’s My Party” and many more. Written by Roger Bean, and directed by Robert Marra, it runs November 17 through January 7 at the Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-605-5685 or visit www.crowncitytheatre.com.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a romantic fantasy, set in royal court and enchanted forest, weaves together four plots all joined to the upcoming nuptials of the Duke and his Amazon queen. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Marc Singer, it runs November 17 through December 31 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.

“One Way Ticket to Oregon” takes place in Alexandria, Louisiana during the very hot and humid summer of 2010. At its core are two life-long friends, June Collins, an older no nonsense African American woman with an intuitive understanding of people, and Leigh Anne Rainey, a fiery and opinionated older southern belle living in an aging house that has been home to her family for over 150 years. When Leigh Anne receives the diagnosis that her cancer has returned and spread to her pancreas, she’s forced to confront her mortality and how it will affect her son Bobby, who relies on her stability, his unstable wife Eve, and her young grandson Duke, who has autism. With help from her friend June, Leigh explores her limited options, including the use of medical marijuana to curb her symptoms, and learns about doctors in Oregon who can legally help her to “die with dignity.” As she wrestles with her faith, unresolved issues of race and heritage threaten to unravel the core of Leigh’s fragile family, an emotional struggle taking place all too often around the world today. Written by B.C Caldwell, and directed by JJ Mayes, it runs November 17 through December 17 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets visit www.tinyurl.com/onewaytix.

“A Christmas Carol” visits from three ghosts help Scrooge to see the light and change his ways. This wonderful, optimistic Christmas message shows us that, the human spirit is capable of renewal and its hopeful message has earned a place of honor in the hearts of generations. Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the lively carolers will put you in the perfect holiday mood! Glendale Centre Theatre’s traditional dramatization of Ebenezer Scrooge’s life-changing Christmas Eve is entertaining, captivating, and touching. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by Tim Dietlein, it runs November 24 through December 24 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.

“A Christmas Carol” Nineteenth-century London comes to life and recaptures for audiences the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all the favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come—and everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Written by Charles Dickens, and directed by John-David Keller, it runs November 24 through December 24 at the South Coast Repertory Segerstrom Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets call 714-708-5555 or visit www.scr.org.

“We Are America” is a musical salute to our veterans! All performers are 60 or more years old. Special New Years Eve performance. Written by Pink Lady, and directed by Jack Failla, it runs on select dates from November 25 through December 31 at the Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3097240.

“The Heart of Robin Hood” Robin Hood and his unmerry gang of cutthroats steal from the rich, but it never occurs to them to give back. When a wicked Prince John threatens it all, the bold Marion steps in to protect the poor. Written by David Farr, and directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson and Selma Björnsdóttir, it runs November 29 through December 17 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets call 310-746-4000 or visit www.TheWallis.org/RobinHood.

“A Very Die Hard Christmas” a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages, and declared war. One man has managed to escape. An off-duty cop hiding somewhere inside. He’s alone, tired…and he doesn’t like Christmas. This is much more than a stage version of the holiday classic Die Hard, its parody at its best with Christmas miracles and familiar holiday friends galore. Yippee Ki-Yay, Father Christmas! Written by Josh Carson, and directed by Gregory Crafts, it runs November 29 through December 17 at the Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead’s whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmer sisters, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor’s wife have already RSVPed for this year’s event. Bob’s Holiday Office Party is a Los Angeles holiday tradition that has been making the season brighter with gut busting hilarity since 1995. Written by Joe Keyes and Rob Elk, and directed by Matt Roth, it runs November 30 through December 17 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.bobsofficeparty.com.

“It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play” takes place at KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station that good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping alive. He calls on some old friends (with big personalities) and some less-than-professional station employees to offer up a live radio version of Frank Capra’s touching masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life in what might sadly be the station’s last live show. But it’s the holidays, a time when miracles can happen…. Written by Jim Martyka, and directed by Jenn Scuderi Crafts, it runs November 30 through December 17 at the Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.

 

Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!

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