Scene in LA

By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH

June 2023

It’s great to see that more of the theaters we feared had been lost during the pandemic closure are opening their doors again with new shows. 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 an event 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 making definite plans.

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


 “Tootsie – the Comedy Musical” This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theatre tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime.

Written by Robert Horn, with music by David Yazbek, and directed by Dave Solomon, it runs through June 3 at the Plaza Theatre in the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks. For tickets, call (805) 449-2787 or visit,/artist/2728443?venueId=90196&global=true.



“Back Porch” Life imitates art when Hollywood descends upon a small Kansas town in 1955 to shoot scenes for the classic film, “Picnic.” Sparks fly in more ways than one in Anderson’s delightful homage to both moviemaking and the play that inspired the Columbia film.

Written by Eric Anderson and directed by Kelie McIver, it runs June 2 through July 9 at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets, call (818) 533-1611 or visit



“Behind the Six” It’s 1947 in Hollywood. Nick has arrived on a bus to chase his dream – infiltrating the crime gang that murdered his brother. But he falls in love with a grifter partway through the con. Can Nick trust him or his heart?

Written by Dan Perry and directed by April Littlejohn, it runs June 2 through June 25 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 452-3153 or visit


“Bell, Book & Candle” Gillian Holroyd is a witch! She is one of the few modern people who can actually cast spells and performs feats of magic. She casts a spell over an unattached publisher, partly to keep him away from a rival and partly because she is attracted to him. He falls head over heels in love with her at once and wants to marry her. But witches, unfortunately, cannot fall in love and this minute imperfection leads to a number of difficulties. Ultimately, Gillian breaks with her companions in witchery, preferring the normal human love offered to her by the attractive publisher. But before the happy conclusion of the romance Gillian comes very close to losing him – but doesn’t. She realizes that one has to stop living in terms of “self” if love is ever to be realized.

Written by John Van Druten and directed by Brandon Polanco, it runs June 2 through July 8 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets, call (310) 454-1970 or visit


“Kiki Ebsen’s MY BUDDY: The Other Side of Oz” is an exciting new cabaret-style jazz show featuring singer, pianist and storyteller Kiki Ebsen. Buddy is Kiki’s iconic father Buddy Ebsen of “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Barnaby Jones” fame. But before TV, Buddy had a great career on stage and even had a brush with death as the original Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz!” Kiki shares this and other stories of growing up in a Hollywood household. Backed by a seasoned jazz trio, the show will feature standards from the Great American Songbook. Recorded originally on her critically acclaimed, “Scarecrow Sessions” released on Father’s Day 2014, each song sparks a different part of her father’s life and career. Augmented by family pictures and nostalgic video clips, this lighthearted show is a look back at an American icon that brought so many smiles to people’s faces. Family-friendly. No age limit.

Written and directed by Kiki Ebsen, it runs June 2 through June 30 at the El Portal – Monroe Forum in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 508-4200 or visit


“Starmites” A sci-fi fantasy musical adventure that’s a comic book come-to-life. Shy teenager Eleanor dreams her way into a comic book quest to save the galaxy where she teams up with Space Punk, The Starmites and a lizard man named Trinkulus to fight the evil Shak Graa and The Banshees – weird women with dangerous hair-dos – led by Diva.

Written by Stuart Ross and Barry Keating, with music by Barry Keating, and directed by Scott Peterman, it runs June 2 through July 8 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater. For tickets, call (323) 882-6912 or visit



“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a tuneful reimagining of the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers, and his coat of many colors. This sensational musical features Andrew Lloyd Webber songs that have gone on to become pop and musical theatre classics, including “Any Dream Will Do,” “Close Every Door to Me,” “There’s One More Angel in Heaven,” and “Go, Go, Go Joseph.” The multi-award-winning show has been performed in over 80 countries worldwide and has become one of the world’s most beloved family musicals.

Written by Tim Rice, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice, and directed by Gerry McIntyre, it runs June 3 through June 25 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets, call (562) 944-9801 or visit


“Murder on the Links” Something’s afoul on the private golf course at Merlinville-Sur-Mer – namely the body of Hercule Poirot’s newest client! Acclaimed playwright Steven Dietz brings the famed Belgian detective to life to solve one of Agatha Christie’s most intricate whodunits. Of course, there is the host of usual – and – unusual suspects. A cast of six versatile actors embodies myriad characters as they navigate the twists and turns of this lively and fun new adaptation. You won’t want to miss a thrilling moment of this brand-new comic mystery!

Written by Agatha Christie, adapted by Steven Dietz, and directed by Steven Dietz, it runs June 4 through June 18 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit



“Into the Breeches!” It’s 1942 and the leading men of Long Beach’s Oberon Playhouse are off fighting overseas. With “The Show Must Go On!” as their battle cry, a band of passionate, yet inexperienced, performers rally together to produce the theater’s season opener – an all-female version of Shakespeare’s ambitious “Henry IV” and “Henry V.” Will their production be a victory on the home front or a target for rotten tomatoes? A hilarious and moving story about what happens when we’re all in it together.

Written by George Brant and directed by Brian Shnipper, it runs June 9 through June 25 at the International City Theatre in the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach. For tickets, call (562) 436-4610 or visit



“Love, Dolly” For the first time ever, Sierra Madre Playhouse presents “Love, Dolly,” the No. 1 Dolly Parton tribute act on the West Coast, on its stage! Kim Eberhardt talks and sings like country legend Dolly Parton and performs her beloved hits like “9 to 5,” “Jolene,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “I Will Always Love You” with her live band of musicians. This is a country party you’ve just got to see!

Written and directed by Kim Eberhardt, it runs June 9 through June 18 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit



“Morning’s at Seven” focuses on four aging sisters living in a small Midwestern town in 1928 and it deals with ramifications within the family when two of them begin to question their lives and decide to make some changes before it’s too late.

Written by Paul Osborn and directed by Doug Engalla, it runs June 9 through July 16 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 763-5990 or visit



“Forever Brooklyn! A Kosher Comedy with Music” “Forever Brooklyn” is a one-man kosher comedy about a Jewish American comic growing up in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950s and 1960s. Telling his story through song, dialogue and comedy, a successful comic recounts the challenges of his rise to stardom and the challenges of assimilation in an ethnic neighborhood full of quirky and funny characters. It’s the heartwarming and hilarious story of a kid who dreams of becoming a star … and how he makes his dreams come true. Starring Yisrael Dubov, an ordained rabbi, son of a rabbi, and accomplished actor.

Written and directed by Mark Wesley Curran, it runs June 10 through June 25 at the El Portal Monroe Forum in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 508-4200 or visit



“Macbeth” Full of murder, treason, ambition and greed, “Macbeth” is a brilliant political thriller about the rise and fall of a brave warrior who would be king at any price. Haunted by prophecies and goaded by his ambitious wife, Macbeth sets in motion an evil and bloody rise to the throne. A grand and gripping tale of murder, treason, ambition and greed that follows Macbeth’s transformation from battlefield hero to bloody tyrant, Shakespeare’s supernatural thriller remains startlingly relevant in today’s political climate.

Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs June 10 through Sept. 23 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit



“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Shakespeare’s most entertaining and beguiling comedy, Dream has been an annual staple at Theatricum going back decades. Each summer, Theatricum’s wooded stage morphs into the enchanted woods of Athens where mortal lovers chase and are chased, players prepare, and fairies make magical mischief.

Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Melora Marshall, it runs June 11 through Sept. 21 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit



“The Mountaintop” It’s April 3, 1968 and Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to the Lorraine Motel after delivering his history-altering “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. When he orders room service, a young maid arrives with a revelation that calls Dr. King to confront unwelcome truths. As a lightning storm rages outside, the legacy of America’s most revered civil rights leader is laid bare to reveal his profound humanity. A single night’s reckoning with racism, righteousness and the rocky path toward justice, “The Mountaintop” imagines what Dr. King’s last night on Earth could have been.

Written by Katori Hall and directed by Patricia McGregor, it runs June 15 through July 9 at the Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 208-2028 or visit


“The Tempest” Antaeus Theatre Company brings out the musicality in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” presenting the Bard’s most poetic and magical comedy with original music, live musicians and on-stage Foley effects. An enchanted storm strands a banished Duke’s enemies on his isle of exile. Through magic, misadventure and forgiveness, the Duke, his daughter, his foes and the island spirits are all liberated from the prisons of their pasts to the glorious promise of their futures.

Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Nike Doukas, it runs June 16 through July 17 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. For tickets, call (818) 506-1983 or visit



“Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” Set in 1974, a group of queer women spend their summers together in a remote oceanfront town on Long Island. Their lesbian enclave is disrupted when Eva, a naïve straight woman recently separated from her husband, stumbles unaware into their circle and falls for the charming, tough-talking Lil. This heartfelt play, a landmark in lesbian history, is bursting with friendship, laughter, love and hope, bringing to the stage well-rounded, three-dimensional characters that transcend stereotypes and preconceptions.

Written by Jane Chambers and directed by Hannah Wolf, it runs June 17 through Aug. 27 at the Fountain Theatre Outdoor Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 663-1525 or visit



“Accommodation” A concerned parent whose son is in danger of failing one of his classes schedules a conference with Celeste Dawkins, her son’s high school science teacher. When accused of not honoring the state and federal-mandated modifications required for her son’s different learning style, Dawkins loses her cool in an explosive tirade, provoking a high-stakes lawsuit against the school district. With her job on the line, Dawkins raises questions about the inherent risks of making special considerations for students claiming to have unique needs in her classroom when the real world outside its walls doesn’t seem to care.

Written by Greg Burdick and directed by Brandon Baer & Garrett Baer, it runs June 18 through July 9 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit,?eid=96813.



“Queen Margaret’s Version of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses” follows 30 years of bitter infighting between the rival Lancaster and Plantagenet dynasties as they battle for power and the crown of England. Geer puts the focus on the women in court as they watch the bloody wars take the lives of their fathers, husbands and sons.

Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs June 24 through Oct. 1 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit



“The Ants” A breathtaking house on a hill – complete with the most state-of-the-art security that excessive wealth can buy – should feel like a refuge for Nami, whose recent firing and eviction have forced him to crash at his brother and sister-in-law’s luxury home. But on this dark and fateful night, a violent uprising outside leaves the three trapped in what they think is an impenetrable fortress. A horror play infused with darkly humorous social commentary, “The Ants” asks why we spend so much money protecting ourselves instead of investing in our shared humanity.

Written by Ramiz Monsef and directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, it runs June 29 through July 30 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 208-2028 or visit



“Mary Poppins” The story follows the Banks family as they receive a visit from the magical nanny Mary Poppins who takes them on a series of unforgettable adventures. Along the way, they learn the importance of family and the power of imagination. As audiences join the Banks family on their adventure, they’ll be swept away by classic songs such as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

Written by Julian Fellowes, with music by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, additional music and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles, and directed by Tim Nelson, it runs June 30 through July 16 at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. For tickets, call (714) 793-1150 Ext. 1 or visit





“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” Set in idyllic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, it presents the problems, aspirations and dreams of three aging siblings who hope for a better tomorrow in this rib-tickling and poignant play.

Written by Christopher Durang and directed by Victoria Pearlman, it runs through June 11 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets, call (310) 822-8392 or visit


“The Darkness: Goddess Revealed” is told through the perspective of three vastly different characters, all played by Gillie: Glory Banks was a surgeon, Patrick Bartholomey was an outlaw and Darrick Taylor was a Black slave in the Mississippi cotton fields. As these characters enter the afterlife, their understanding of their own lives is utterly transformed in the presence of The Darkness, the infinite beauty of life and creation.

Written and directed by Nick Gillie, it runs through June 17 at the Actors’ Gang Theater in Culver City. For tickets, call (310) 838-4264 or visit



“Twelfth Night” In this romantic comedy, Viola and her twin brother are shipwrecked and lose each other. Viola then pretends to be a man who goes by the name of Cesario and gets a job from Duke Orsino. Orsino then tells Cesario to win Olivia for him, but Olivia falls in love with Cesario. When Sebastian comes into town, it takes the confusion to new heights.

Written by William Shakespeare, it runs through June 17 at the Helen Borgers Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets, visit


“A New Brain” brings us into the world of this queer musical with an intimate experience of pathos, humor and just a little bit of magic – to bring us back to life. Composer Gordon Schwinn collapses into their lunch and awakens in the hospital, surrounded by their lover, mother, co-worker, doctor, and nurses. Coming face to face with their own mortality, Gordon sees their greatest fear: will they die with their greatest songs still unwritten? “A New Brain” reminds us that the power of music, love and the creation of art can never be lost.

Written by William Finn and James Lapine, with music by William Finn, and directed by Khanisha Foster, it runs through June 24 at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



          We wish everyone continued good health, prosperity and joyful times throughout the year.

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