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.
Steve Zall and Sid Fish of Scene in L.A. know a lot about L.A. theatre and are ready to share with CV Weekly readers. You can read more at CVWeekly.com/LEISURE.