Summer is in full heat this month, and our local theatres are burning up with these new shows:
“Shout, Sister, Shout” tells the story about the life and music of legendary gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose hits include “Down by the Riverside,” “This Train” and “Strange Things Happen Every Day.” Tharpe, known as The Godmother of Rock & Roll, was a trailblazer in the history of American music and influenced some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll and R&B singers of all time, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and Johnny Cash.
Written by Cheryl West and directed by Randy Johnson, it runs through Aug. 20 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
“The Dream on Royal Street” Egeus, who owns the hotel, wants his daughter Hermia to marry Demetrius, the assistant manager. Hermia loves Lysander, a lowly desk clerk, and the switchboard girl Helena loves Demetrius. When Oberon and Titania, the fabulous Las Vegas pop stars appearing in the hotel’s nightclub, have a failing out, the four lovers become involved in Oberon’s scheme for revenge.
Written by June Walker Rogers, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by David Rogers, and directed by Alison Kalmus, it runs Aug. 3 through Aug. 13 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.
“On the Twentieth Century” Oscar Jaffe, an egomaniacal Broadway producer who has sustained a string of recent flops and is now dodging creditors, boards the train heading to New York. On the train, he spots his former Broadway leading lady and muse, Lily Garland, now a Hollywood movie star, and schemes to have her signed to star in his new play and thereby save his career and stay out of jail. But she’s on her way to meet with his competitor, Max Jacobs, to sign up for his play.
Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and directed by Trace Oakley, it runs Aug. 4 through Aug. 27 at the Pan-Andreas Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.ProofDoubtCloser.com.
“Spamalot” Rude Frenchmen, cancan dancers, the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, killer rabbits, catapulting cows, and the somewhat odd knights who say “ni” are just part of the adventures and dangers awaiting King Arthur and his knights of the very very very round table in their quest for the Holy Grail.
Written by Eric Idle, with music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, and directed by Carol Bentley, it runs Aug. 4 through Aug. 13 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach. For tickets, call (714) 589-2770 Ext. 1.
It then continues Aug. 18 through Aug. 27 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos. For tickets, call (562) 916-8500. For more information or tickets, visit www.3dtshows.org.
“Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist” Walt is a gay wallflower. After a devastating break-up, Walt innocently places an ad on Craigslist for a new roommate. When other-worldly star Tilda Swinton shows up at his door and insists on moving in to “study” Walt for her next big movie role, things gets hysterically chaotic.
Written by Byron Lane and directed by Tom DeTrinis, it runs Aug. 10 through Aug. 31 at the Celebration Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.
“Rebel Without a Cause – The Sal Mineo Story” He was a prominent figure for gay rights before he was tragically murdered. Some say his murder was directly related to his gay activism. After living the high life of luxury with mansions, butlers, maids and fast cars, as well as providing an extravagant lifestyle for his parents, Sal Mineo died with only $20 in his pocket.
Written by Dean Ghaffari and directed by Tom Waters, it runs Aug. 11 through Aug. 26 at the Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica. For tickets, call (310) 656-8070 or visit www.promenadeplayhouse.com.
“MagicMania” An immersive four-day, five performance festival of magic featuring a rotating roster of over 25 world-class, master magicians and outstanding variety acts. Each performance is different – no repeats. Prepare for a weekend of amazement!
Written and directed by Albie Selznick, it runs Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets, call (818) 558-7000 or visit www.MagicManiaLA.com.
“Welcome to the White Room” We discover Ms. White, Mr. Paine and Jennings shortly after they have arrived in a completely white room, following their journey within as they attempt to figure out exactly what they are meant to do. Somewhere between throwing a party, suppressing sexual tensions and dancing a violent tango, this senseless world summons its puppeteer, and our three puppets are in for a big surprise.
Written by Trish Harnetiaux and directed by Megan A. McGuane, it runs Aug. 17 through Sept. 16 at the Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 856-8611 or visit www.theatreofnote.com.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” Two murderous old ladies, a Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, a Boris Karloff look-alike and a theater critic in love, make an infectiously funny black comedy about two little-old-lady aunts who see killing as an act of charity. Good, macabre fun!
Written by Joseph Kesselring and directed by Elina de Santos, it runs Aug. 19 through Oct. 8 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 477-2055 Ext. 2 or visit www.OdysseyTheatre.com.
“Blackbird” Inspired in part by the crimes of sex offender Toby Studebaker (though in no way a literal dramatization of actual events) the play depicts a young woman meeting a middle-aged man 15 years after being sexually abused by him when she was 12 years old.
Written by David Harrower and directed by Jeremy Adrianne Lelliott, it runs Aug. 19 through Sept. 17 at the GTC Burbank in Burbank. For tickets, call (571) 232-8894 or visit www.blackbirdplay.com.
“The Andrews Brothers” A USO show is threatened with cancellation when a certain famous trio of singing sisters fails to appear! Now it’s up to three earnest and determined stagehands to go on with the show! The Andrews Brothers is filled to the brim with over 25 songs made famous by the Andrews Sisters, including the show-stopper “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”
Written by Roger Bean and directed by Danny Michaels and Orlando Alexander, it runs through Aug. 12 at the Glendale Centre Theatre in Glendale. For tickets, call (818) 244-8481 or visit www.glendalecentretheatre.com.
“Welcome to Your Alternative Reality” Highlights in this evening of interwoven one-acts and sketches include a liberal journalist working for a right wing news program; an octogenarian stressing about the future of the planet; high-level government leakers in love; and a dry cleaner who might be our next president. Each is stuck in this strange new post-election world we live in.
Written and directed by Catherine Butterfield and Ron West, it runs through Aug. 12 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (323) 882-6912 or visit www.openfist.org.
“Nocturne” In this searingly honest journey, a man unwittingly causes the death of his younger sister in a tragic accident and his life is upended. Wracked with remorse he drifts to New York City and slowly puts the pieces of his shattered existence back together. This is the story of one man’s journey of redemption in a gut-wrenching yet hauntingly lyrical meditation on guilt and grief.
Written by Adam Rapp, and directed by James Eckhouse and Richard Schiff, it runs through Aug. 13 at the VS Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit www.triptychgroup.org.
“So Long Boulder City” Straight from the world of the almost-Best Picture winner “La La Land,” “So Long Boulder City” is comedian Jimmy Fowlie’s take on Emma Stone’s one woman show-within-a-movie that played to a barely-sold house. It’s a tale of determination, ambition, crushed dreams and Hollywood triumphs.
Written by Jimmy Fowlie and directed by Jordan Black, it runs through Aug. 19 at the Celebration Theatre at The Lex in Hollywood. For tickets, visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.
“Marlene” The play is set in Dietrich’s dressing-room at Berlin’s Tatiana Palast Theatre, where she is trying to decide whether she should go through with the recital. Threats have been made on her life by Nazi sympathizers who still resented her for having spent much of WW II entertaining American soldiers on the front lines.
Written by Willard Manus and directed by Judith Rose, it runs through Aug. 27 at the Write Act Repertory @ Brickhouse Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3034406.
“The Rainbow Bridge” At the intersection of real and satire, Jerry struggles to keep moving forward in his life while haunted by the ghosts of his family’s past. This fearless new comedy mercilessly seeks out and pushes any of those psychological hot buttons that aren’t hidden.
Written by Ron Nelson and directed by Michael Myers, it runs through Sept. 17 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica. For tickets, call (310) 397-3244 or visit www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.
“Trouble in Mind” This scathingly funny backstage drama about interracial politics follows an integrated theater company in rehearsal for a “progressive” anti-lynching drama. The play-within-a-play, titled “Chaos in Belleville,” marks the first opportunity for gifted African American actress Wiletta Mayer to play a leading lady on Broadway.
Written by Alice Childress and directed by Ellen Geer, it runs through Sept. 30 at the Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. For tickets, call (310) 455-3723 or visit www.theatricum.com.
Enjoy life more – see a show tonight!
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.