Here are some of the shows you can see in our local theaters this month:
“A Kid Like Jake” is about a mother and father trying to do right by their son is a study of intimacy and parenthood, and the fantasies that accompany both. On the eve of the admissions cycle for New York City kindergartens, Alex and Greg have high hopes for their son Jake, a precocious four-year-old who happens to prefer Cinderella to G.I. Joe. But as the process continues, Jake’s behavior becomes erratic and perplexing, and other adults in his life start to wonder whether his fondness for dress-up might be cause for concern. Written by Daniel Pearle, and directed by Jennifer Chambers, it runs October 3 through November 3 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets call 323-380-8843 or visit www.iamatheatre.com.
“The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful” a hilarious fright fest, complete with a cast of monsters and an Egyptian princess. This two-actor, multi-character show will spellbind audiences with its nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s. Written by Charles Ludlam, and directed by Carla Cackowski, it runs October 4 through November 10 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-462-8460 or visit www.ActorsCo-op.org.
“Night of the Living Dead” Seven strangers barricade themselves inside a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls ravaging the countryside. Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the night. Written by George A. Romero, and directed by Drina Durazo, it runs October 4 through November 10 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“To T, or not to T” In a hilariously intimate reflection on taking T(estosterone) and his experiences transitioning, D’Lo shares his confusion with, and pushback to, what is expected when one passes as a cisgender, straight, man of color. Fusing stand-up comedy and storytelling, it confronts D’Lo’s quest to embody a beautiful masculinity that upholds his queer and feminist politic. Written by D’Lo, and directed by Adelina Anthony, it runs October 4 through October 27 at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets call 323-860-7300 or visit www.lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.
“Art is Useless When You’re Being Mauled by a Bear” In the play, a woman must see the truth and find acceptance in a fantastical adventure through grief and loss, fairy tales, and realities. And, yes … there’s a bear. Written by Alisa Tangredi, and directed by JJ Mayes and Bree Pavey, it runs October 5 through November 10 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-452-3153 or visit www.loftensemble.org.
“Love in Bloom” Magic and mayhem, fops and fairies, mistaken identity, romance and humor abound in this tongue-firmly-in-cheek evening of theatre. The eight-member cast, in the renowned Actors’ Repertory Theatre commedia-carnival style, creates a host of over thirty characters, bringing to the stage all the stuff that dreams (and musicals) are made on. Written and directed by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, with music by Evelyn Rudie with Matthew Wrather, it runs October 5 through November 23 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-394-9779 Ext. 1 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.
“Mono/Poly” Two monogamous couples encounter a polyamorous triad at a costume party. The triad becomes entwined in the business and personal lives of the first two couples, forcing them to examine their long-held beliefs about love and marriage. Although sexually free, the members of the triad adhere to their own fairly rigid ethical code. Who’s moral now? Will the couples and the triad live happily ever after? Although the new sex comedy does not contain nudity, there are frank discussions of sexuality, straight and gay, with some suggestive depiction. This play is suggested for audiences 18 to Adult. Written and directed by Brian Reynolds, it runs October 5 through November 10 at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.monopolytheplay.com.
“Perra de Nadie” In the deepest part of everyone, where the underworld of vulnerability, madness, tenderness and fragility exist, lives Lili and her night watchmen, and her endearing vastness blooms. The topics she deals with are close to the darkness and imperfection of the human being. Presented in Spanish with English supertitles. Written and directed by Marta Carrasco, it runs October 10 through October 20 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“The Abuelas” In March of 1976, a military junta seized control of Argentina. Those opposed to the new government were told “to make themselves invisible, or they would be made to vanish.” By September of that year, the regime was already responsible for an average of 30 abductions each day. From these abductions, a new word came into common usage: desaparecidos, the “disappeareds.” Among those detained and tortured were young pregnant women who rarely survived, and whose babies were then stolen and illegally adopted out to “politically acceptable” parents. Despite the atmosphere of fear promoted by the junta regime, two groups of women — representing the mothers and grandmothers of the disappeared — began protesting the disappearances of their relatives and striving for the reunification of their families. “The Madres” embarked on a crusade to obtain information about their missing children, demanding both the return of their children and punishment for their captors; “The Abuelas” have a sharper focus: to find the living. They call them los desaparecidos con vida (“the living disappeared”), referring to the babies who had been taken from their murdered daughters and sons. Written by Stephanie Alison Walker, and directed by Andi Chapman, it runs October 11 through November 25 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets call 818-506-1983 or visit www.Antaeus.org.
“Good Fishermen Know a Lot About Sex” To try to heal from a tragic event that occurred in the previous year, a recovering family spring for a therapeutic Hawaiian vacation. For Ally, the trip is an opportunity to foster a more “normal” relationship with her family again. Of course what family is actually ever normal, especially when trapped on a fishing boat together for several hours? On the boat, the family learns about fishing, sex, love, and how to cope with a “new normal” now that one of the members is openly struggling with addiction. Written by Alexa Karas, with music by Konner Scott, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Guild Stage at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets visit www.onstage411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=5051.
“In Trousers” the opening chapter of the “Marvin Trilogy,” follows Marvin’s exploration of his sexuality and identity through his interaction with the three most important women in his life: his high school sweetheart; his teacher; and his wife. Torn between his natural inclination and his desire not to upset his family life as he knows it, Marvin ultimately makes the decision he feels is best for him. Ages 14+. Sexual content. Written by William Finn, and directed by Corey Lynn Howe, it runs October 11 through November 3 at the Lounge Theatre – Front in Hollywood. For tickets visit www.introusersla.brownpapertickets.com.
“Once, The Musical” is about a heartbroken Irish guitarist who has given up on love and music until an immigrant girl inspires him to keep going. Their shared love of music draws the two together and the unexpected friendship quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story. Written by Enda Walsh, with music by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and directed by Kari Hayter, it runs October 11 through October 27 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets call 562-916-8500 or visit www.3dtheatricals.org.
“Barrymore” In this uncensored comedy, we share an evening with legendary actor John Barrymore, who arrives with the intent of recreating his critically acclaimed performance of Richard III, but would rather amuse his audience with whimsical tales about his life. He recalls the triumphs, the struggles, and the scandals that surrounded his career, his loves, and the Barrymore family. Experience the iconic actor in this no holds barred portrait of early Hollywood’s number one Bad Boy. Not recommended for minors. Written by William Luce, and directed by Robert Benedict, it runs October 12 through November 3 at the Upstairs at the Group Rep in North Hollywood. For tickets call 818-763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“Fools the Musical” The musical version of Simon’s play, like the original, is set in Ukraine in 1893. A young tutor arrives in Kulyenchikov following a harrowing journey — only to discover that the village is cursed, rendering every resident as dumb as a bag of rocks. Will Leon fall victim to the curse, or can he save himself and the village too? Just how dumb are the villagers? Let us count the ways: smart-dumb, naïve-dumb, bully-dumb, literal-dumb, professionally dumb, bureaucratically dumb… and just plain old stupid. Written by Neil Simon, with music by Phil Swann and Ron West, additional lyrics by Neil Simon, and directed by Ron West, it runs October 12 through November 17 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets call 323-882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.
“The Tragedie of Macbeth – An Immersive Experience” created by a director from England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and a retired Disney Imagineer, this is a fast-paced immersive production that moves from the foggy Scottish Heath and the wind-whistling castle in Invernesss to the witches coven and the doomed Macduff’s house. The audience moves through SCLA’s 22,000 square-foot building encountering floating daggers, tapestries that come to life, and bleeding walls while 9 actors tackle 20 characters. Written by William Shakespeare, and directed by Kenn Sabberton, it runs October 12 through November 3 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets call 213-481-2273 or visit www.shakespearecenter.org.
“Buried Child” details, with wry humor, the disintegration of the American Dream. When 22-year-old Vince unexpectedly shows up at the family farm with his girlfriend Shelly, no one recognizes him. So begins the unraveling of dark secrets. A surprisingly funny look at disillusionment and morality. Written by Sam Shepard, and directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, it runs October 13 through November 23 at the A Noise Within in Pasadena. For tickets call 626-356-3121 or visit www.anoisewithin.org.
“Little Women” of the title are spirited, loving, and artistically or intellectually gifted. Jo writes and gets stories published. Meg, the eldest, is the best actress. Amy draws. Beth has musical talents. Set during the Civil War, this production will focus on the first part of the novel, beginning in 1863 and ending at Christmastime in 1864. Written by Louisa May Alcott, adapted by Christian Lebano, and directed by Christian Lebano, it runs October 17 through November 3 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“Death with Dignity…Comes in A Milkshake” A Therapy session erupts into full-blown mental anarchy, as a “Doctor’s” office is suddenly commandeered, by patients without appointments, insurance, homes, and an ability to survive in the real world. Politics, social issues, and show biz are all topics that are attacked with blasphemy and rapid fire retorts, that somehow is reminiscent of Beckett on steroids. Written by Sam Henry Kass, and directed by Ronnie Marmo, it runs October 18 through November 9 at the Theatre 68 in North Hollywood. For tickets visit www.Theatre68.com.
“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” Turn back the hands of time for an intimate evening with legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday: Lanie Robertson’s play with music treats the audience to one last performance by the iconic singer. In 1959 in a seedy Philadelphia bar, just four months before her death at age 44, “Lady Day” takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of her tumultuous life, interspersed with stunning renditions of her beloved repertoire. Written by Lanie Robertson, and directed by Wren T. Brown, it runs October 18 through November 3 at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“The Music Man” Con man Harold Hill promises a boys’ band to counteract the possibility of a pool table coming to River City. His persuasive patter fools everyone except the town librarian, Marian Paroo. Meredith Willson’s score includes the timeless, “Goodnight, My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” and “Till There Was You.” Written by Meredith Willson, with music by Meredith Willson, and directed by Larry Raben, it runs October 18 through October 27 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks. For tickets call 805-497-8613 Ext. 6 or visit www.5startheatricals.com.
“Between Riverside and Crazy” Former beat cop and recent widower Walter “Pops” Washington has made a home for his newly paroled son, Junior, in his sprawling, rent-controlled New York City apartment on Riverside Drive. But now the NYPD is demanding his signature to close an outstanding lawsuit, the landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed, and the church is on his back — leaving Pops somewhere between Riverside… and crazy. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos, it runs October 19 through December 15 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
“I Never Saw Another Butterfly” Over 15,000 Jewish children passed through Terezin, and only about a hundred were still alive when Terezin was liberated at the end of the war. One of the survivors, Raja, having lived through it all, teaching the children when there was nothing to teach with, helping to give them hope when there was little enough reason for hope, creating a little world of laughter, of flowers and butterflies behind the barbed wire, tells the true story of the children. It’s her play and it’s theirs. There were no butterflies at Terezin, of course, but for the children, butterflies became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to live on and play happily while waiting to be transported. Written by Celeste Raspanti, and directed by Donna Inglima, it runs October 19 through October 27 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets call 949-497-2787 or visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com.
“Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers” A sci-fi “Latino noir” satire, inspired by interviews with immigrants who crossed the border to escape economic despair and war, that spotlights anti-immigrant hysteria. In a visually dynamic, profoundly moving and provocatively funny tour de force, New Orleans-based performance artist José Torres-Tama confronts the immigration issue head-on with a genre-bending multimedia performance incorporating film projections, personal stories and poetic texts, humanizing people in search of a dream, and putting a heart and face on today’s immigrant. Written and directed by José Torres-Tama, it runs October 24 through November 3 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets call 866-811-4111 or visit www.thelatc.org.
“The Double V” is about activism, a dramatization of true events. How a simple letter to a newspaper initiated a series of changes that gave black Americans their first taste of equality in a society that had always denigrated them. The Double V campaign, early in the years of World War II, campaigned for both Victory in the war and Victory in the battles for racial equality in the United States. Written by Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s, and directed by Michael Arabian, it runs October 25 through November 24 at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets call 323-960-7776.
“Matilda the Musical” the story of an extraordinary girl who – armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind and a love for books – dares to take a stand against the tyranny of adults who seek to crush her imagination. Watch how she and her classmates save the day! Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and featuring a gifted young actress, it’s a joyous girl-power romp! Written by Dennis Kelly, with music by Tim Minchin, and directed by Michael Matthews, it runs October 25 through November 17 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets call 562-944-9801 or visit www.lamiradatheatre.com.
“The Art of Dining” The play takes place in the late 70s in upscale New Jersey at the shore. Ellen and Cal have opened a restaurant, The Golden Carrousel, and after four weeks, the place is taking off with the dinner crowd. Ellen is the passionate gourmet chef, and Cal is the passionate Maitre’D, host, waiter and bartender. They have been married for eight years and this restaurant is their baby. Tonight, we join them and their very eccentric guests as Cal worries about paying off their $75,000 business loan, impressing the diners for future reservations, and Ellen lovingly and sensually creates gourmet meals. Tonight’s guests are the married people who are gourmands and cannot control any of their appetites; the women who show up to eat and diet at the same time; the shy, neurotic, romantic female writer hoping for everything who is meeting the charming, debonair publisher who has an appetite for life. Everyone craves and eats and laughs, and the audience will smell the food, join in the laughter, and feel the passion, and eat. Written by Tina Howe, and directed by Gloria Gifford, it runs October 26 through December 8 at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood. For tickets call 800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4404222.
“The Thanksgiving Play” How does one celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month at the same time? In this biting satire, this is the question facing three “woke” white thespians tasked with devising an elementary school pageant about the first Thanksgiving while avoiding any culturally appropriative missteps. A roast of the politics of entertainment and well-meaning political correctness alike, it puts the American origin story itself in the comedy-crosshairs. Written by Larissa FastHorse, and directed by Michael John Garcés, it runs October 31 through December 1 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets call 310-208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.org.