Scene in LA

By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH

 July 2024


Summer is here and it’s getting hot so why not slip into the comfort of one of our local live theaters where you can cool off for a while? It’s time to treat yourself to the magic of live theater by going to see a show!

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 to confirm it before making definite plans. Here are the shows that have announced opening dates for this month or are already running:



 “Ink & Paint: A New Musical” Inspired by real events, “Ink & Paint” follows five women artists at Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s and beyond whose ranks included first- and second-generation immigrants, a single mother and architect, a record-breaking pilot, a concept artist and Disney’s first credited woman animator. They tell the true story of the company’s first all-women story unit in a madcap mashup of mid-century American history, the golden age of hand-drawn animation, and the wild, wisecracking women who fought tooth, nail and paintbrush for their place in it.

Written by Danielle Moore, with music by Danielle Moore, it runs July 5 through July 6 at the Santa Monica Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets, visit



“Design for Living” is a witty and charming romantic comedy by Noël Coward that was banned in 1930s London for its risqué content and bawdy themes. Otto loves Gilda. But … so does Leo. Gilda loves Otto … but she also loves Leo. And what’s going on between Otto and Leo? Filled with Coward’s scintillating dialogue, “Design for Living” is an emotional, dramatic, hilarious and scandalous love triangle. Or as the threesome’s longtime friend Ernest Friedman calls it, “A three-sided, erotic hotch-potch.” It’s a revolving door of passion, treachery and never-ending champagne. Can love prevail against the norms of society?

Written by Noël Coward and directed by Bart DeLorenzo, it runs July 6 through Aug. 25 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit



“The Bauhaus Project” is a world premiere theatrical event presented in two binge-worthy parts (Part 1: Bauhaus Weimer and Part 2: Bauhaus Dessau and Bauhaus Berlin). It looks at the rise of fascism and anti-Semitism in pre-war Germany and its effect on art, as well as at the artists who resisted, or – in some cases – contributed. A group of struggling Southern California art students creates a dramatic presentation on the history of the famous Bauhaus School.

Written by Tom Jacobson and directed by Martha Demson, it runs July 12 through Aug. 18 at the Open Fist Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, visit



“The Pitch” Tom Allen is a widower raising his 15-year-old daughter as a single dad. Desperate for money, he grabs a job in a boiler-room set-up, selling machine parts over the phone. He soon discovers that his job requires him to make ethical compromises, occasionally misrepresenting the products he sells. He finds himself in competition with his co-workers. His tension builds as he discerns that his boss may be under investigation by the authorities, endangering the job that Tom needs so much. Life at home is getting complicated as well as Tom becomes aware that boys notice that his daughter Michelle is becoming a woman. He faces disappointment as he discovers that his dreams for Michelle’s future do not match the aspirations that Michelle has for herself. How many compromises can Tom make if he wishes to remain a moral man and a good dad?

Written by Tom Alper and directed by Louie Liberti, it runs July 12 through Aug. 4 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 477-2055 or visit



“Tartuffe: Born Again” Translator and adaptor Freyda Thomas puts a contemporary spin on the original French play recasting Molière’s Tartuffe as a deposed televangelist who takes advantage of his naïve and gullible host to rook him and his family of their money. Moliere’s legendary comedic characters are wonderfully at home in this present-day version, which is set in a religious television studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and written wholly in delightful modern verse.

Written by Molière, adapted by Freyda Thomas, and directed by Melora Marshall, it runs July 13 through Oct. 13 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit



“Here Comes the Night” When Olivia, a musician’s wife and climate science advocate, invites Maggie, an old friend turned social media influencer, to spend the weekend while she has an at-home medical abortion, she doesn’t realize that Maggie is about to throw Olivia off course. And actually, these women of different generations are about to alter each other’s lives in ways they hadn’t expected or imagined. What happens when a woman’s right to choose becomes a litmus test for all of her life choices?

Written by Lisa Kenner Grissom and directed by Hailey McAfee, it runs July 16 through July 20 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



“Fools” is the comic tale of Leon, an enthusiastic young schoolteacher who seeks to cure the Ukrainian village of Kulyenchikov from the curse of chronic stupidity from which they have been suffering for 200 years. Hired to educate Sophia Zubritsky, the daughter of the town doctor, Leon falls in love with her at first sight, even though she just recently learned to sit down. Dr. Zubritsky is hopeful that this teacher will be the one to break the curse since the vendor sells fish instead of flowers, the shepherd is always losing his/her sheep and the postman keeps all the mail while the townspeople sweep dust from their stoops back into their houses and milk their cows upside-down to get more cream.

Written by Neil Simon and directed by Jeremy Palmer, it runs July 19 through Aug. 10 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 645-5156 or visit



“Irish Goodbye” In a small New Jersey pub, across the train tracks from the back of Saint Gertrude’s Catholic cemetery, a disgraced cop and ex-beauty queen take shelter from a frigid storm, forming an unlikely bond one lonely Christmas Eve. It will be a Christmas Eve that neither will ever forget.

Written and directed by Tom Dugan, it runs July 19 through Aug. 4 at Dugan’s Backyard Playhouse in Woodland Hills. For tickets, email dbptickets,



“The Sound of Music” Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, this play captures a personal tale of growth and hope amidst the horrors of World War II. “The Sound of Music” tells the tale of young postulant Maria Rainer whose free spirit has trouble fitting into the rules and regulations of Nonnberg Abbey. Commissioned by the Mother Abbess to serve as the governess for seven motherless children, Maria transforms the Von Trapp family home from a place of dour rules and regulations to one filled with joy, with laughter and with music.

Written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and directed by Richard Israel, it runs July 19 through July 28 at the Kavli Theatre at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks. For tickets, call (805) 449-2787 or visit



“Dido of Idaho” is a very dark comedy about the lengths to which a woman might go for the love of a good man. Nora, a lovelorn baroque musicologist with a drinking problem, is head-over-heels for Michael, an English professor. Unfortunately, this particular good man has already been claimed by Crystal, a former Miss Idaho, who has a penchant for home manicures. When the extramarital hijinks go brutally awry, Nora flees to the Rocky Mountains to seek comfort from her estranged mother Julie and Julie’s new partner Esther. In her desperate bid to find compassion, Nora risks losing the only family she’s ever had – maybe forever.

Written by Abby Rosebrock and directed by Abigail Dreser, it runs July 20 through Aug. 26 at the Echo Theater Company Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (747) 350-8066 or visit


“Into the Woods” intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella and several others. The musical is tied together by a story involving a childless baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, their interaction with a witch who has placed a curse on them and their interactions with other storybook characters during their journey.

Written by James Lapine, with music by Stephen Sondheim, and directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, it runs July 20 through Aug. 11 at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323-673-0544 or visit



“The Old Man and The Old Moon” takes audiences on an epic adventure across land, sea and sky – all in the name of love. Indie-folk music and ingenious staging transform this tall tale into a thrilling theatrical event like no other. The Old Man who keeps the moon filled with light wakes up one morning to find his wife has gone, lured away by a mysterious melody. In his quest to find her, he encounters colorful characters, gets caught in an apocalyptic storm and is swallowed by a giant fish. Can he find her before the moon runs out of light and the world plunges into darkness? “The Old Man and The Old Moon” is recommended for ages 7 and older.

Written by PigPen Theatre Co. with music by PigPen Theatre Co. and directed by Kim Martin-Cotton, it runs July 20 through Aug. 11 at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. For tickets, call (714) 708-5555 or visit


“Crevasse” Filmmaker and Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl meets Walt Disney in this world premiere. In 1938, German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl went to Hollywood to find American distribution for her award-winning film, “Olympia.” Only one studio head would meet with her: Walt Disney. Ann Noble and Leo Marks star in an astonishing true story of betrayal, Nazi propaganda and cartoons.

Written by Tom Jacobson and directed by Matthew McCray, it runs July 26 through Aug. 18 at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank. For tickets, visit



“Poems for Mary” After their father’s death, his two grown children find a box of poetry that they didn’t know he wrote. By reading the poems, they are surprised, moved and amused to discover things about the man they thought they knew.

Written and directed by Lloyd J. Schwartz, it runs July 27 through July 28 at Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 851-4839 or visit



“Camelot” Based on the King Arthur legend, it features the iconic characters King Arthur, Guenevere, Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table. This epic story centers on the quest for democracy, justice and the tragic struggle between passion, aspiration and kingdoms. Transport yourself to a world of romance, revelry and magic!

Written by Alan Jay Lerner, with music by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and directed by Jeffrey B. Moss, it runs July 28 through Aug. 11 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit



“Keely and Du” Set in a tense and controversial world, this compelling and emotionally charged story follows the incredible journey of two women whose lives collide under extraordinary circumstances. Keely, a pregnant woman, finds herself held captive by Du, a zealous pro-life activist. As their clash of ideologies unfolds secrets are revealed, alliances are tested and the profound complexities of choice, autonomy and compassion are brought to the forefront.

Written by Jane Martin and directed by Bryan Keith, it runs July 31 through Aug. 17 at the Art of Acting Studio in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 601-5310 or visit





“The Spy Who Went into Rehab” What happens when a James Bond-like spy gets sent to rehab for his excessive drinking, gambling, womanizing and anger issues? His journey to enlightenment gets derailed when his archenemy shows up for a final confrontation. A comedic look at how an outdated male relic, who still embodies toxic masculinity, learns to think differently, courtesy of a colorful group of “woke,” self-aware recovering addicts.

Written by Gregg Ostrin and directed by Cyndy Fujikawa, it runs through July 7 at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. For tickets, call (310) 822-8392 or visit



“The Year Without a Summer” Set in 1816, a band of European misfits hides and collides in an Alpine villa during the eponymous summerless summer of 1816 with salonnière Matilda Dembowski presiding over the mischief. Through games, stories and philosophical conversations, and with the help of a ridiculous cast of characters pulled from history and farce, the recently separated Matilda tries to determine her uncertain future.

Written by Greer DuBois and directed by Maia Luer & Daniel J. Parker, it runs through July 21 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 452-3153 or visit


“Footloose” The heartfelt story that pins a father longing for the son he lost against a young man aching for the father who walked out on him. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar- and Tony-nominated Top 40 score, augmented with dynamic new songs, “Footloose” celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people while guiding them with a warm heart and open mind.

Written by Dean Pitchford, with music by Dean Pitchford, and directed by Niko Montelibano, it runs through July 28 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets, call (310) 828-7519 or visit


“Unassisted Residency” Fritz Coleman has accrued a base of devoted fans throughout Southern California thanks to his four-decade, Emmy®-winning career as a weekday weathercaster for NBC4 Los Angeles, and his designation as honorary mayor of Toluca Lake. But he also had careers as an actor, writer and comedian. Fritz has done live solo comedy shows before (“The Reception;” “It’s Me, Dad!”). His newest show, “Unassisted Residency,” gives him a platform to talk about those topics that emerge from his current perspective: that of a still vital 70-something. His show for “boomers” will cover things like Zoom school, retirement, becoming vegan, pharmaceuticals, celebrating growing up and growing old. The show will also feature some of his favorite stories and observations about modern life. Fritz will share the stage with a special guest each month. For all upcoming dates, that guest will be A-list comedian and comedy fan favorite Wendy Liebman. The shows are all matinee performances. Fritz says, “The show starts early … because I’m trying to be sensitive to the needs of my particular demographic … old people and their parents … I promise to have you home by dark.” Plying his trade with a gentler touch than some of his contemporaries, Fritz performs comedy you will love.

Written and directed by Fritz Coleman, it runs through Nov. 10 at the El Portal Theatre Monroe Forum in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit


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