By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH
Summer days by the beach in the sand are tons of fun, but so are these great shows appearing in our local theaters!
“Citizen: An American Lyric” A provocative meditation on race fusing poetry, prose, movement, music and the video image. Shirley Jo Finney directs the world premiere of Stephen Sachs’ stage adaptation of Claudia Rankine’s internationally acclaimed book of poetry about everyday acts of racism in America (winner, National Book Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, NAACP Image Award, PEN Open Book Award).
Written by Claudia Rankine, adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs, and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, it runs through Sept. 14 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets,, call (323) 663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
“Luka’s Room” After his father runs out of money, Luka is forced to transfer from Arizona State to Valley College and move in with his eccentric Grandma Franca. He shares the house with his recently paroled Uncle, an old-school thug ready to start earning again. When Luka falls hard for Uncle Nick’s beautiful and damaged “acquaintance” Angie, his loyalty, innocence, and self-worth are harshly tested.
Written by Rob Mersola and directed by Joshua Bitton, it runs through Sept. 20 at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets,, call (855) 585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“Tarzan the Stage Musical” tells the classic tale of a shipwreck that leaves an infant boy orphaned on the shores of West Africa. The child is taken in and raised by a tribe of gorillas – in particular the mate of an ape who is grieving the loss of her baby. As the child grows and matures into manhood, he thrives in his primitive environment, even though he yearns for approval from his gorilla father – and to discover the reason for his own uniqueness. That is … until the arrival of a hunting expedition, his first sighting of humans, and the realization of the world beyond his jungle home.
Written by David Henry Hwang, with music by Phil Collins, and directed by Rufus Bonds, Jr., it runs through Aug. 9 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach. For tickets,, call (714) 589-2770 Ext. 1 or visit www.3dtshows.com.
“The Winning Streak” A funny and moving two-character bittersweet comedy concerning a son who seeks out the father he never met. The father, a retired umpire and baseball fanatic, thinks his newfound son’s arrival has put his team on a winning streak. The son, in seeking out his father, is on a personal mission to find clues to his current troubles by discovering his past. With their goals within their grasp, they are exposed to a truth that neither one expected.
Written by Lee Blessing and directed by Sherry Netherland, it runs through Aug. 30 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 763-5990 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.
“Ghost Light” In this poignant and poetic rumination on love and loss, innocence and age, a lone woman materializes on the set of an unrelated play, illuminated only by the ghost light.
Written by Tommy Smith and directed by Chris Fields, it runs through Aug. 26 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (310) 307-3753 or visit www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
“The Phantom of the Opera” tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.
Written by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, and directed by Laurence Connor, it runs through Aug. 16 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. For tickets, call (714) 556-2787 or visit www.SCFTA.org.
“Conscious Getting Unstuck Homeless to Hollywood” A life-altering story for everyone about how one woman overcame drug abuse, homelessness, female-to-female HIV transmission and sexual abuse and ultimately learned forgiveness to leave a legacy. Born into an American Gangster family with no hope of escaping, and after receiving help from a therapist, who encouraged Conscious to remember lost memories, she excelled after forgiving those who tortured her and fell into the lap of her childhood friend Queen Latifah, then Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen media as a talk show host, then to Lady Gaga’s management and then to Mark Walhberg’s bodyguard, to now working for the biggest comedian in town Kevin Hart.
Written and directed by Dr. Merlè Conscious Soden, it runs Aug. 14 through Sept. 19 at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit www.plays411.com/unstuck.
“Climax” Max Madison, renowned Malibu restaurateur, unwittingly finds himself entangled in a warped love triangle with his devoted wife and the diabolical mistress who seeks revenge on his entire family. When Max’s adoring wife Olivia gets pregnant after years of unsuccessful attempts and thousands of dollars spent on fertility treatments, her ever-growing compulsion for motherhood sends Max into Jade’s arms. Jade, Olivia’s best friend and modern day femme fatale in a nurse’s uniform, has other plans for the baby.
Written by Lisa Phillips Visca and directed by Chris DeCarlo & Evelyn Rudie, it runs Aug. 15 through Nov. 1 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets, call (310) 394-9779 Ext. 2 or visit www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com.
“Sex, Love, & Yoga” Imagine that you’ve just met your soul mate. He’s smart, sexy, charming, and even spiritual. There’s just one problem: He’s gay and you’re not. “Sex, Love, and Yoga” tells the story of two people with a spiritual connection, who choose to push past their personal, physical, and spiritual boundaries in order to find out what lies beyond our labels.
Written and directed by Kate Sullivan Gibbens, with music by Kate Sullivan Gibbens, it runs Aug.15 through Aug. 30 at the MACHA Theatre in West Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.sexloveandyoga.com.
“Assassins” Stephen Sondheim, the great genius of contemporary musical theater, with standout shows such as Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and Company, leads audiences on a tuneful review of Presidential assassins and would-be killers from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley. Written by John Weidman, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Dan Fishbach, it runs Aug. 21 through Sept. 27 at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit www.assassinsmusicalLA.com.
“Fences” Troy Maxson has stepped up to the plate too many times in his life only to go down swinging. Shut out of the big leagues by prejudice, the former Negro League home run king is now a garbage collector with little future. He tries to do right by his family, but when his youngest son Cory shows promise on the high school football team, Troy must come to terms with his past disappointments or risk tearing his family apart. Set in the 1950s, Fences is the sixth entry in August Wilson’s “Century Cycle”, a decade-by-decade exploration of the black experience in 20th century America. Written by August Wilson, and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, it runs August 21 through September 13 at the International City Theatre – Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.
“Café Society” Five self-absorbed customers find themselves trapped in a West L.A. Starbucks in the latest offbeat comedy from Emmy Award-winning writer Peter Lefcourt. Packed with sly humor about life in L.A., Café Society takes an irreverent look at our obsession with social media and the way we connect in today’s world. Written by Peter Lefcourt, and directed by Terri Hanauer, it runs August 22 through October 11 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call 323-960-1055 or visit www.plays411.net/café.
“Zulu Time” Testosterone and jet aviation fuel can be a lethal mix—according to “Zulu Time”, a poignant and startlingly original drama set on an American aircraft carrier during the civil rights era. A Navy pilot’s refusal to apologize for voicing an urge to bomb the Watts rioters threatens to ignite mutiny on a warship headed for Vietnam…and awakens ghosts from the carrier’s past battles. While the play is in part an insider’s often-ribald chronicle (written by a Navy pilot) on how men and machines are readied for war, it is also a poetic and insightful revelation about the deadly but intricately beautiful ballet orchestrated on the decks of a vessel of stupefying power. Written by Chuck Faerber, and directed by Richard Kuhlman, it runs through August 9 at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call 323-960-7740 or visit www.plays411.com/zulu.
“A Permanent Image” As members of an estranged family from a small town in Idaho gather to bury the family patriarch, Mom delivers a surprising twist. The traditionally joyous and colorful holidays are approaching, and siblings Bo and Ally are stunned to see how their childhood home has been “decorated” for the occasion. We soon see a method behind this madness as the story paints a stunning picture of the interrelations in this broken family. Written by Samuel D. Hunter, and directed by John Perrin Flynn, it runs through August 17 at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call 855-585-5185 or visit www.roguemachinetheatre.com.
“9 to 5 the Musical” Three women an overworked office manager, a jilted wife, and an objectified secretary conspire to depose their smarmy boss and begin making woman friendly changes in the workplace. Based on the 1980 hit movie 9 to 5, Dolly Parton’s music is sensational, the story clever, and the entire evening is as fun and entertaining as any show we have ever done! Written by Patricia Resnick, with music by Dolly Parton, and directed by Martin Lang, it runs through August 22 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets, call 818-244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“The Porcini Test” The Porcini Test is a female centric play with three lead roles for women over the age of 40. They are not mother, girlfriend or wife roles. They are strong messed up women. A modern play about old friends with hidden truths, girlfriends with concealed weapons, and boyfriends who need to know their funghi. Written by Laureen Vonnegut, it runs through August 22 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets, visit www.buytickets,.at/theporcinitest/27010.
“El Grande Circus de Coca-Cola” Flush with the imagined success of his nightclub floorshow, El Grande Maestro de Show Business, Pepe Hernandez, ups the ante and sets his sights on international fame with his “Star-Studded Traveling Circus.” First stop – Hollywood. Pepe corrals his family into posing as multinational stars, but his celebrity gala opening, sidetracked by a flat tire, hassles at the border and a hungry tiger called Chupacabra, is already facing calamity. Pepe’s circus has come to Hollywood – and the town will never be the same. Written by Ron House, and directed by Alan Shearman, it runs through August 23 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call 213-761-7061 or visit www.skylighttix.com www.skylighttix.com.
“The Fabulous Lipitones” A barbershop quartet who’s been belting out close harmonies for twenty years suddenly loses its lead singer, who dropped dead at the Regionals on a heart-stopping high C. The three surviving members must cease their bickering and race to find a replacement in time for Nationals. They hear a tenor with a gorgeous voice, but when he shows up, he’s a dark-skinned Indian in a turban who is also an illegal immigrant. And one of the quartet is Archie Bunker. A wonderful comedy about the journey they take to find their voice together. Written by John Markus & Mark St. Germain, with music by Sam Kriger, and directed by John Markus, it runs through August 23 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets, call 818-558-7000 Ext. 15 or visit www.colonytheatre.org.
Make the most of your summertime fun by seeing a show tonight!