Scene In LA

by Steve ZALL and Sid FISH


January 2024

 It’s a new year and our local theaters have lots of new offerings to partake. It’s time to treat yourself to the magic of live theater by going to a local production!

COVID protocols continue to be dictated by each individual venue so bring a facemask to wear during the show in case the venue requires it. It’s a good idea to check with the theater before attending a show to find out what is their current policy.

The information presented in this column is the latest available at the time of printing; however, it should be verified with the theater before definite plans are made.

Here are the shows that have announced opening dates for this month, or are already running:


“An Evening with Groucho” Starring Frank Ferrante, the two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including “Hooray for Captain Spalding” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints us with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields and Marx foil Margaret Dumont. A show perfect for all ages!

Written and directed by Frank Ferrante, it runs today, Jan. 4 through Jan. 7 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit



“Beau Jest” Sarah Goldman is worried that her Jewish parents will not be accepting of her WASP boyfriend, so she hires an actor to pose as a Jewish doctor she’s dating. However, he turns out not to be Jewish either, but is so convincing in a role that he could just win over her parents … and quite possibly Sarah as well.

Written by James Sherman and directed by Jonathan Fahn, it runs Jan. 12 through Feb. 18 at the Theatre Palisades Playhouse in Pacific Palisades. For tickets, call (310) 454-1970 or visit


“Mercury” Three stories cross outside of Portland, Oregon in a pitch-black comedy with an illicit affair, a couple hanging on by a thread, bears at the window, the deadliest curiosity shop on the west coast and a missing dog named Mr. Bundles. No one is happy, people stop being nice and blood spills. This mash up of myth, missing empathy and “good neighbors” explore what happens when the mercury rises.

Written by Steve Yockey and directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, it runs Jan. 12 through Feb. 18 at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 761-8838 or visit



“Pretty Woman the Musical” centers on the relationship between Vivian Ward, a free-spirited Hollywood prostitute, and Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman who hires her for a week to be his escort for several business and social functions. Before long, the two learn that their connection goes beyond a simple transaction.

Written by Garry Marshall, with music by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and directed by Jerry Mitchell, it runs Jan. 12 through Jan. 14 at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks. For tickets, visit



“Sukkot” is the hilarious and heartwarming story of the Sullivan family, a half-Jewish-half-Irish-Catholic family attempting to rejoice by celebrating an obscure Jewish holiday that no one has ever heard of. One year after losing his wife to cancer, Patrick Sullivan is still unable to overcome his overwhelming grief until a rabbi introduces him to the little-known Jewish holiday of Sukkot ­­– the only holiday when God directly commands us to rejoice! Suddenly energized by the holiday, Patrick builds a sukkah (a Jewish hut) in his yard and forces his three grown children to celebrate with him as they gather at the family house to attend their mother’s unveiling ceremony.

Written by Matthew Leavitt and directed by Joel Zwick, it runs Jan. 13 through Feb. 4 at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



“Kate” In her widely celebrated one-woman show, revered comedian Kate Berlant explores the events of her life that have brought her to this moment. Embodying many characters in this tour de force performance, she expertly morphs before our eyes and exposes a truth she has, until now, kept hidden.

Written by Kate Berlant and directed by Bo Burnham, it runs Jan. 17 through Feb. 11 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit



“The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone” The show is a roman a clef, a fictionalization based on real events with the actual historical characters given new names. To lend authenticity to the presentation, the show is presented in the grand and glorious architectural landmark in which the events of 95 years ago actually took place. Audience members are led from room to room in the lovingly restored marvelous Greystone Mansion as different scenes of the narrative are portrayed, leading up to a shocking and apparent murder and suicide. “The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone” depicts momentous changes in the fortunes of the fabulously wealthy MacAlister Family (fictional surrogates of the oil-rich Doheny Family). Family patriarch and mining tycoon Charles makes an illegal if well-intentioned loan to Senator Alfred Winston (a stand-in for Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall). Both men face imminent disgrace and worse in the oncoming Teapot Dome bribery scandal, which will engulf the Warren Harding administration. A scion of the MacAlister family faces violent death.

Written by Kathrine Bates and directed by Martin Thompson, it runs Jan. 18 through Feb. 3 at the Greystone Mansion in Greystone Park in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 364-3606 or visit



“Strangers on a Train” Two young men meet on a train: one an ambitious architect, the other a playboy with a taste for danger. As the train takes them to their destination, the two travelers speculate on what it would be like to commit the perfect murder. With a private investigator on their case, little do they know that their lives will soon become forever fatally linked.

Written by Craig Warner, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, and directed by Jules Aaron, it runs Jan. 18 through Feb. 18 at the Theatre Forty in the Mary Levin Cutler Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 364-0535 or visit


“Confessions of a Prairie B*tch” Alison Arngrim offers a riotous evening of anecdotes, stand-up comedy and multimedia content about life as the scorned yet beloved devious pre-teen, complete with frilly petticoats and curls. The one-woman stage show made its debut in New York City in 2002 and has since become a global sensation, drawing packed houses in the U.S. and abroad.

Written and directed by Alison Arngrim, it runs Jan. 19 through Jan. 28 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit


“(Im)migrants of the State” An unflinching, emotional, thought-provoking evening of theater, weaving together self-reflection and humor through authentic voices on their journey toward redemption and healing. An original new work, created and performed by an ensemble of Prison Project alumni with over 240 years of combined incarceration, telling powerful, inspirational stories that speak to anyone who has ever lost hope or lived their life in fear and regret.

Written by Jeremie Loncka, Richard Loya and members of The Actors’ Gang Alumni Advocacy Project, and directed by Jeremie Loncka and Richard Loya, it runs Jan. 19 through Jan. 28 at the Actors’ Gang Theater in Culver City. For tickets, call (310) 838-4264 or visit



“La Cocina” “La Cocina” looks at the back of house of a modern-day NYC restaurant kitchen as cooks and waitstaff juggle orders, dishes and their own dreams of a better life.

Written by Tony Menéses and directed by Adam Chambers, it runs Jan. 19 through Feb. 11 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 452-3153 or visit



“Private Lives” centers around Amanda and Elyot, a divorced couple who, while honeymooning with their new spouses Victor and Sibyl, discover that they are staying in adjacent rooms at the same hotel. Despite a perpetually stormy relationship, Amanda and Elyot realize they still have feelings for each other – and it soon becomes clear they cannot live with each other but also cannot live without each other!

Written by Noël Coward and directed by Richard Perloff, it runs Jan. 19 through Feb. 10 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 645-5156 or visit



“Mystic Pizza” A new musical you’ll love at first slice! Based on the classic 1988 Julia Roberts rom-com, “Mystic Pizza” is a new musical about three working-class girls who navigate the complexities of life, love and family in a small-town pizza joint. The infectious score features mega-hits of the ’80s and ’90s, from “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Addicted to Love,” to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Take My Breath Away” and many, many more!

Written by Sandy Rustin, with music by Carmel Dean, and directed by Casey Hushion, it runs Jan. 20 through Feb. 11 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets, call 562-944-9801 or visit



“POTUS: Or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive” A derogatory comment, a summit gone awry, an anal abscess – it’s a bad day at the White House. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, it inevitably falls on the seven women he relies on most to clean up the mess. Take a raucous romp through the halls of the West Wing in a riotous and irreverent farce about the men who hold the power vs. the women who get the job done.

Written by Selina Fillinger and directed by Jennifer Chambers, it runs Jan. 25 through Feb. 18 at the Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 208-2028 or visit


“Twelve Angry Jurors” Following the closing arguments of a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen – still amazingly relevant today. The democratic jury system is meant to be impersonal but it ultimately becomes personal, revealing and passionate, as anger rears its dramatic head.

Written by Sherman L. Sergel, based on the television movie by Reginald Rose and directed by Tom Lazarus, it runs Jan. 26 through March 3 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre – Main Stage in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 763-5990 or



“Brushstroke” The Lower East Side, 1956. Marvin (Malcom Barrett), a young art patron with a secret, meets Ted (James Urbaniak), a middle-aged painter with a secret. Enter a world of espionage, abstract expressionism and egg creams.

Written by John Ross Bowie and directed by Casey Stangl, it runs Jan. 27 through March 3 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit,/?eid=111850.



Please help keep our theaters open by supporting live theater whenever you can. On behalf of the publisher Steve Zall, and the co-publisher & editor Sid Fish, we wish everyone good health, prosperity and joyful times throughout the new year!



Steve Zall, Publisher
Sid Fish, Co-Publisher and Editor