Scene In LA

By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH

September 2023

It’s still pretty hot, so why not beat the heat by seeing one of these great live shows playing in local theaters where there’s air conditioning?

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:



“The Andrews Brothers” features a small cast of great singers performing the big band numbers from the ’40s. Backstage hands with the USO suddenly get their chance at greatness when the famous Andrew Sisters can’t perform at the U.S. military base in the Pacific because they have the chicken pox! Three men step forward in their best Patty, Maxene and LaVerne form. The play offers plenty of fun for everyone!

Written by Roger Bean with music by Roger Bean, and directed by Jennifer Novak Chun, it runs through Oct. 8 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets, call (310) 454-1970 or visit


“Lewis and Tolkien” Set in Oxford, England in the autumn of 1963 at the famous “Rabbit Room” of the Eagle and Child Pub, this play is something of a return to the familiar for C.S. Lewis (author of “The Chronicles of Narnia”) and J.R.R. Tolkien (who wrote “The Lord of the Rings”). Filled with humor, rousing debate and reconciliation, the two men learn the true value of their friendship with a little help from a few pints of beer and the energetically curious barmaid Veronica.

Written and directed by Dean Batali, it runs through Oct. 29 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theater in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 462-8460 or visit



“The Sound Inside” Not everything is as it seems behind the ivy-covered walls of Yale where an unlikely bond leads to an unthinkable favor. Writing professor Bella Baird is looking for answers, but a fateful encounter with a mysterious student could lead to life-changing consequences for both of them.

Written by Adam Rapp and directed by Cameron Watson, it runs through Oct. 1 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit


“Measure STILL for Measure” Boston Court’s first-ever immersive play, utilizing the entire building, will take audiences on a journey behind the curtain to experience the layered and intimate complexities of creating theatre. In this play-within-a-play, a renowned director rehearses a spectacular new production of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” “the original #metoo story.” But backstage there’s an even bigger drama playing out as the power dynamics of the play and the rehearsal blow up in the course of the night. At a time when American theatre as a collective is still struggling to find its new normal post-pandemic, Kubzanky’s “Measure STILL for Measure” is both a love letter to the art form as well as an examination of the challenging gray areas that theatre-making demands. “Measure STILL for Measure” lovingly skewers the delicious behind-the-scenes oddities of the rehearsal behaviors that actors, directors and stage managers find routine, and the code switching that happens as they oscillate between being fully immersed in the imaginary world of the play to being pulled back to the mundane stressors of the real world. It simultaneously examines the insidious and problematic power dynamics that are inherent in the world of theatre.

Written and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, it runs Sept. 7 through Oct. 15 at the Boston Court Pasadena in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 683-6801 or visit


“Freud on Cocaine” Trust me, I’m a doctor.” Jonathan Slavin (“Santa Clarita Diet,” “Dr. Ken,” “Better Off Ted”) stars in “Freud on Cocaine,” an outrageous new comedy based on the documented letters, notes, dreams and recollections of neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud that attest to his decade-long use of cocaine, both in his practice and personal life.

Written and directed by Howard Skora, it runs Sept. 8 through Nov. 4 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets, call (818) 687-8559 or visit


“An Infinite Ache” A fresh and heartfelt play about love, time and the infinite directions in which two lives can travel. Hope and Charles is a pair of lonely 20-somethings about to end a supremely uninteresting first date. But just as they say good night, the myriad possibilities of their futures and a life shared together come rushing to meet them. From their first kiss to their first child, from a horrible tragedy to a second chance, each moment moves with breath-taking speed. A love story told with theatrical flair, “An Infinite Ache” is as dazzling as it is insightful.

Written by David Schulner and directed by Mia Christou, it runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 1 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets, visit,.



“Room Service” A perpetually penniless theatrical producer and his pals are rehearsing a play they think will be a huge hit but their mounting hotel bills threaten to overwhelm the enterprise before opening night. They must rehearse and secure a backer while trying to outwit the hotel efficiency expert who is trying to evict them. The astounding sum these dreamers must attain to get their 22-member cast onto Broadway is $15,000!

Written by John Murray and Allen Boretz, and directed by Mareli Mitchel-Shields, it runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 15 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre Main Stage in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 763-5990 or visit



“A Streetcar Named Desire” After losing her Mississippi home to creditors, Blanche du Bois relocates to the New Orleans home of her younger sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. Undermined by romantic illusions, Blanche is unable to cope with life’s harsh realities. Though she finds a glimmer of hope while connecting with Stanley’s gentlemanly friend Mitch, Blanche cannot face the truth of her own troubled past. She also finds herself simultaneously repulsed by and attracted to Stella’s husband, the brutish and sensual Stanley, only adding to the stress of her current situation.

Written by Tennessee Williams and directed by Steve Jarrard, it runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 1 at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit,-681862437907?aff=oddtdtcreator.



“The Value” While hiding out in a motel room, a trio of thieves learns the real worth of the art they stole. They must face the truth within themselves, their place in society and what they really value.

Written by Nicholas Dunn and directed by Calvin Picou, it runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 1 at the Sawyer’s Playhouse at Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 452-3153 or visit


“Walking in Space” In 1972, there was no Betty Ford Clinic. When the prescription drug-addicted, single mother of an upper-middle class Jewish family in suburban Baltimore finally hits rock bottom, it falls on her children to take control. Inspired by true events, this fictionalized, autobiographical tragicomedy by multiple award-winning playwright Garry Michael Kluger is an affectionate portrait of four siblings who arm themselves with fierce tenacity, good humor and their love for one another to save their mother – and themselves.

Written by Garry Michael Kluger and directed by Arden Teresa Lewis, it runs Sept. 8 through Oct. 8 at the Theatre West in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 851-7977 or visit



“Blood at the Root” is a “choreopoem” infused with hip-hop and movement, written by Dominique Morisseau and inspired by the true case of the “Jena Six.”

Written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Michael A. Shepperd, it runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 28 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (323) 882-6912 or visit



“The Real Black Swann: Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen” While under anesthetic euphoria, a Black gay artist named Les is visited by the effervescent spirit of William Dorsey Swann, aka “The Queen.” Surviving antebellum enslavement, Swann rises from the ashes of racial oppression to become the first “Queen of Drag” and queer activist on record. During their journey, Swann guides a complacent Les through time, popping his Glinda-esque pink bubble of self-preservation, and provokes him to challenge all too familiar modern-day monsters.

Written by Les Kurkendaal-Barrett and directed by Tom Trudgeon, it runs Sept. 9 through Sept. 24 at the Davidson/Valentini Theatre at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



“Man of La Mancha” The musical takes audiences on an unforgettable adventure into the mind of an aging, eccentric knight-errant. Imprisoned during the Spanish Inquisition, Cervantes captivates his fellow prisoners by transforming into the chivalrous Don Quixote. Embarking on a daring quest to right all wrongs and become a true “Man of La Mancha,” Quixote’s journey becomes a tapestry of hope, honor and the pursuit of dreams.

Written by Dale Wasserman, based on a story by Miguel de Cervantes, with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion and directed by Tim Nelson, it runs Sept. 10 through Sept. 23 at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. For tickets, call (714) 793-1150 Ext. 1 or visit



“Every Brilliant Thing” A boy’s handwritten list to cheer up his despondent mom becomes a surprisingly funny and poignant ode to humanity. Daniel K. Isaac takes audiences on a transcendent and tender coming-of-age journey that reminds us to pay attention to life’s smallest joys – and to each other.

Written by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe, and directed by Colm Summers, it runs Sept. 14 through Oct. 15 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 208-2028 or visit


“An Inspector Calls” centers on the Birling Family – Arthur, Sylvia, Sheila and Eric – who live in a comfortable home in the fictional town of Brumley, “an industrial city in the north Midlands.” The family is visited by Inspector Goole who interrogates the family about the suicide of a young working-class woman in her mid-20s, Eva Smith. During questioning, all members of the family are lightly or deeply implicated in the girl’s undoing, including Sheila’s fiancé Gerald Croft. What begins as a parlor drama with polite banter quickly becomes acid and hateful. Everyone is not who they seem to be, including the inspector, thanks to a “Twilight Zone”-inspired plot twist.

Written by J.B. Priestley and directed by James Rice, it runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 7 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 645-5156 or visit



“How It’s Gon’ Be” is a poetic exploration of missed connections and feelings too great to speak aloud. With adulthood looming in the distance, Jahaan and his friends enjoy the last precious moments of summer vacation. When Jahaan’s father returns after a year away, the world stops spinning for a moment – and lines are drawn in the sand.

Written by JuCoby Johnson and directed by Ahmed Best, it runs Sept. 16 through Oct. 23 at the Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (310) 307-3753 or visit



“This Is Not a True Story” is an exhilarating new comedy that tackles, head-on, the fetishization and anti-Asian racism of Orientalist works. Tired racist tropes are upended as the fictional worlds of “Madame Butterfly,” “Miss Saigon” and “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter” collide with modern reality. Three Asian “tragic heroines” find themselves trapped in a loop they can’t control – until they claim agency over their lives, determined to break the cycle.

Written by Preston Choi and directed by Reena Dutt, it runs Sept. 16 through Oct. 15 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or visit



“Almost Made” Mister L’s is a popular restaurant and mob hangout in Yonkers. It’s operated by Charles Liberti. Charles lives the life of a “made man” … without officially being made. In mob lingo, a “made man” is a man who is a full member of the mob. “Buttons” and all. The mob will never let Charles be a made man because his mother was Jewish. His status will peak as “almost made.”

Like all young boys who worship their fathers, Louie Liberti sees his dad Charles as a larger-than-life character. Charles had the charm of a Sinatra, the class of a Di Maggio and the toughness of a Marciano. He is the most important man in Louie’s life. Admired as a hard worker, Charles gives in to certain excesses that will earn him the disapproval of the mob, the law and ultimately his family! To earn his father’s approval, Louie gets involved with certain financial improprieties, ensuring his own trouble with the law. Louie eventually finds a better path for himself to travel though the memory of his father still casts a long shadow.

Written by Louie Liberti and directed by Richard Israel, it runs Sept. 21 through Oct. 26 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. For tickets, visit



“Towards Zero” When a house party gathers at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of Lady Tressilian, Neville Strange finds himself caught between his old wife Audrey and his new flame Kay. A nail-biting thriller, the play probes the psychology of jealousy in the shadow of a savage and brutal murder. Superintendent Battle and his nephew are called in. A carefully unpeeled investigation before our eyes brings the story to a pointed ending.

Written by Agatha Christie, adapted for the stage by Agatha Christie and Gerald Verner, and directed by Craig Hissong, it runs Sept. 21 through Oct. 22 at the Theatre Forty n the Mary Levin Cutler Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 364-0535 or visit


“The Travelers” Humorous and poignant, “The Travelers” takes place in a monastery alongside Highway 99 in Grangeville, California, population 496, and home to migrant workers. When a stranger stumbles in with a gunshot wound, he is nursed by the brothers of the 936-year-old Carthusian Order – even as the archdiocese is cutting financial support, casting a shadow. Funny and heartfelt, filled with ritual and absurd touches, “The Travelers” explores the brothers’ struggles against poverty and the complexities of human connection.

Written by Luis Alfaro and directed by Sean San José, it runs Sept. 23 through Oct. 15 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or visit



“The Rainmaker” A classic tale of Americana, set against the backdrop of a western drought, “The Rainmaker” brings lonely souls together as they traverse the struggles of finding who they truly are and how they fit into the world. Laced with humor and charm, “The Rainmaker” still resonates today with poignancy, hope and courage. A firm part of the canon of 20th century dramatic literature, revisiting this story will prove to be a satisfying and uplifting theatre experience encouraging audiences to believe in the unbelievable.

Written by N. Richard Nash and directed by Andrew Barnicle, it runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 8 at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach. For tickets, call (949) 497-2787 or visit



“Bisexual Sadness” is about just that. Faye used to be with Genevieve. Now she’s getting married to Alex and though she really truly loves him, she’s starting to have questions about what it means for the rest of her life. How will she be viewed by the queer communities that have always been her home? “Bisexual Sadness” is about that specific loneliness of being a bisexual woman in love with a man, staring down the barrel of a lifetime of feeling that way. “Bisexual Sadness” explores love, commitment, the security blanket of identity and the inconvenience of fluidity. Is it BS?

Written by India Kotis and directed by Carlyle King, it runs Sept. 28 through Nov. 5 at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 761-8838 or visit



“Sea of Terror” Life is a relentless sea of terror and peril. And nothing is scarier than impending social plans. When a couple is faced with an evening hosting friends for a casual get-together, their anxious unraveling around this routine socialization takes us on a gut-busting ride we can all identify with.

Written and directed by Sam Catlin, it runs Sept. 29 through Oct. 29 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 856-4249 or visit


“Life Sucks” In “Life Sucks,” a bold and inventive reimagining of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, Uncle Vanya, Aaron Posner plumbs the quiet chaos of seven people locked together in the bonds of friendship and family as they wrestle with the ridiculous, humiliating vagaries life imposes: unrequited love, the indignities of aging, the insult of mortality and the eternally flummoxing quest for a meaningful, satisfying existence. Amidst their irrepressible desires and lingering dissatisfactions, this troupe of hapless yet hopeful souls embark on a comedic, heartfelt and sometimes tumultuous quest, stumbling upon new perspectives that challenge their core beliefs.

Written by Aaron Posner and directed by Barry Heins, it runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 29 at the Broadwater Main Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets, visit



“Tacos La Brooklyn” Chino, a young and ambitious Korean American who grew up in a foster family on Los Angeles’ Eastside, hopes to grow his successful taco stand, Chino’s Underground Tacos, into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. When Yesenia Tapia, a Mexican American social media influencer, accuses Chino of cultural appropriation and pandering to a gentrifying neighborhood, he must convince the community of his cultural authenticity in a multi-faceted and complicated city.

Written by Joel Ulloa and directed by Fidel Gomez, it runs Sept. 30 through Oct. 29 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 489-0994 or visit






“The Winter’s Tale” Love, betrayal, and the power of redemption collide in Shakespeare’s enchanting tale of family, loss, renewal and reunion in “The Winter’s Tale.”

Written by William Shakespeare, it runs through Sept. 16 at the Helen Borgers Theatre in Long Beach. For tickets, visit



“Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” In this fierce and feverish comedy, a gang of teenage girls gathers in an abandoned treehouse to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or are they really just messing with each other? Intimate in nature yet universal in its ability to explore the need to connect, the play is an unflinching and powerful reminder of what it means to be human. As it races to its startling conclusion, audiences will be left catching their breath. A rollercoaster ride through the danger and damage of girlhood ­– the teenage wasteland has never been so much twisted fun. This group ends up being a pivotal way for these young women to cope with the grief and lack of control in their lives.

Written by Alexis Scheer and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh, it runs through Sept. 17 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets, call (213) 628-2772 or visit




And Here is a Special Announcement for October

“La Cage” A high-energy, immersive live theatrical experience will launch on Oct. 5 at Hollywood Roosevelt’s iconic Cinegrill Theatre. Inspired by the legendary La Cage Aux Folles nightclub in LA, the variety show promises to bring back the golden age of Hollywood supper clubs to a new generation while paying homage to its rich history. Secretly hidden behind a bookcase at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, audiences will be transported to a world of glitz and glamor, where performers will dazzle with their live vocals and incredible dancing, all accompanied by the electrifying rhythms of a live band.

As a tribute to the original “La Cage,” the show will celebrate the groundbreaking performers who blazed a trail for drag culture. Original “La Cage” cast member and international entertainer Tommi Rose will serve as the emcee. Additionally, guests will be treated to a surprise celebrity performer at each show. Cheyenne Jackson and Ada Vox are among the special guests with additional performers and cast to be announced. To round out the one-of-a-kind extravaganza, audiences can dine at the opulent Cinegrill Theatre offering modern takes on classic cocktails, and a delicious supper club-inspired menu.

Directed by T.J. Dawson, the show opens Oct. 5 and runs Friday nights at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. indefinitely. For tickets or more information visit

Steve Zall, Publisher
Sid Fish, Co-Publisher and Editor
Scene in LA