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.