Scene In LA

By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH


November 2023


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 their current policy is.

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:



 “Inherit the Wind” Two of the nation’s leading lawyers go head-to-head in the ultimate battle of wit, wisdom and will in this powerful drama. With freedom of speech hanging in the balance, will this small-town courtroom bring us together or tear the nation apart? In a fresh production boldly reimagined for today, this will make you rethink what you know and dare you to question just how much society has evolved.

Written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and directed by Michael Michetti, it runs through Nov. 26 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena. For tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or 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. A carefully unpeeled investigation before our eyes brings the story to a pointed ending.

Written by Agatha Christie and Gerald Verner, and directed by Hannah Jackson, it runs Nov. 3 through Dec. 10 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets, call (310) 454-1970 or visit


“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” When the low-born Monty Navarro finds out that he’s eighth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family, he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are slight and sets off down a far more ghoulish path. But can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the ninth Earl of Highhurst? And what of love? Because murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind…

Written by Robert L. Freedman, with music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman, and directed by Catherine Rahm, it runs Nov. 10 through Dec. 9 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 645-5156 or visit



“Mama, Mama, Can’t You See” There is no “I” or “me” in combat. Dangerously imaginative Coin & Ghost theater company presents “Mama, Mama, Can’t You See,” an explosive new play about human connection and the mythology of war. Highly physical, sensual, funny, angry and surreal, it is inspired by playwright Stan Mayer’s life as a U.S. Marine. But don’t get it twisted: this is not a play about war. Rather, it’s a play about how to tell a war story.

Written by Stan Mayer and Cecilia Fairchild, and directed by Zachary Reeve Davidson, it runs Nov. 10 through Dec. 10 at the Studio/Stage in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (818) 925-4928 or visit



“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” Follow the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom – from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation, with countless classics like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “It Might as Well Rain Until September,” “Up on the Roof” and “The Locomotion.” Don’t miss this smash Broadway hit that ran for six years!

Written by Douglas McGrath, with music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, and directed by David Ruttura, it runs Nov. 11 through Dec. 3 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in La Mirada. For tickets, call (562) 944-9801 or visit



“The Talented Tenth” portrays graduates of Howard University who have succeeded (the big house, the new cars, the lavish vacations, the families). Bernard in particular feels conflicted about betraying his original principles. Bernard is a hard-driving executive at a small chain of Black radio stations. His programming decisions have boosted the stations’ ratings and significantly increased its commercial value. Now the owner of the chain, Griggs, is considering selling the chain to an international White corporation, which would ravage Bernard’s plans for the company. Bernard’s life outside of work is becoming problematic, too. He has a beautiful, capable wife of many gifts who has given him four children. He also has a smart, hot, younger mistress who is making increasing demands on him. Bernard has had plans for these Black radio stations that would serve and uplift his community. What will happen to them now? What will Bernard do about the two beautiful women in his life?

Written by Richard Wesley and directed by Ben Guillory, it runs Nov. 11 through Dec. 10 at the Robey Theatre Company at Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 489-7402 or visit



“Freight: The Five Incarnations of Abel Green” An African American everyman travels through time in different incarnations, including a 19th century minstrel, a faith healer, an FBI informant, a struggling actor and an out-of-work mortgage broker. In each life, Abel is guided, distracted, helped or hindered by a handful of characters with whom his destiny is forever intertwined. We meet each new iteration of Abel Green on a train, which changes in appearance in accordance with each time period and serves as a link between dimensions.

Written by Howard L. Craft and directed by Joseph Megel, it runs Nov. 12 through Dec. 16 at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 663-1525 or visit



“The Half-Light” is a drama with warmth and humor. After an intriguing encounter with a psychic, a college secretary asks herself: Can certain people be trained to see the dead? Iris’s pursuit of an answer leads to a more earthbound challenge when her beloved colleague Andrew is suddenly stricken by grief. Armed with her own intuition and the garrulous enthusiasm of her friend Helen, Iris attempts to coax Andrew back to the land of the living. In the meantime, Helen faces off with her daughter Teresa who believes her house is haunted. These four characters’ entwined journeys all tilt toward the same goal: to be fully seen in the light and the half-light by another living being.

Written by Monica Wood and directed by Ann Hearn Tobolowsky, it runs Nov. 16 through Dec. 17 at the Theatre Forty in the Mary Levin Cutler Theatre in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 364-0535 or visit



“Radical or Are You Gonna Miss Me?” What do you do when the people you call family are the ones who hurt you the most? This is the sweeping story of three women on the Mexican American border who, more than anything, desperately want to be seen – and who will do anything in their power to make themselves known, no matter how great the cost.

Written by Isaac Gómez and directed by Jess McLeod, it runs Nov. 16 through Dec. 11 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (323) 380-8843 or visit


“A Family Business” Rose Klein, a budding talented chef, and her boyfriend Julio are cooking dinner tonight for Rose’s mother Harmony, a spiritual psychologist, and her father Seth, an unrepentant child of the ’60s. Joining them will be Julio’s parents: Max Gold, the feared tyrannical head of Gold Studios, and Julio’s mother Elena, Max’s brilliant, acerbic, trophy wife. Rose and Julio hope this will be a night to remember. It will be, although not in the way that any of them could have imagined.

 Written by Matt Chait and directed by Brian Shnipper, it runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 31 at the Hudson Main Stage Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, visit



“Frozen Fluid” In a mythic Antarctica (but one resonant with our current climate crisis), two scientists study glaciers and whales. When a third phytoplankton scientist arrives – Tay, who identifies as nonbinary – Herman and Terra begin to confront their own ideas of gender and their control of the natural world. As things unravel for all three of them, a new world begins to take shape – one where gender, identity, religion, climate and time itself become new, expansive and free of human interference.

Written by Fly Jamerson and directed by Amanda McRaven, it runs Nov. 18 through Dec. 17 at the Los Angeles LGBT Center Davidson/Valentini Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, visit



“Cori Cable Kidder’s Holiday Spectacular. A 1940s Christmas Revue” The decade was a rich one for memorable songs remembered fondly decades later. The first half of the decade reflected the fact that so many of our brave young men and women were overseas, fighting to ensure that a free America would endure. The second half of the ’40s celebrated an America flush with victory, with a booming economy, a booming population and a vision of an ever-brighter future. The music was performed by crooners, small combos and big bands. The songs touched upon the world at war (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “We’ll Meet Again,” “I’ll Be Seeing You”) marked our coming home (“It’s Been a Long, Long Time”) and celebrated the holidays (“White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Let It Snow!”). The music varied from ballads to boogie to swing. Some of it we call The Great American Songbook and much of it we still want to hear when the holidays approach.

Written and directed by Cori Cable Kidder, it runs Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit



“The Very Hungry Caterpillar Holiday Show” Each performance features four Eric Carle stories brought to life by a menagerie of 75 eye-popping, award-winning puppets. Audiences will meet the colorful characters of Brown Bear, Brown Bear; travel the world with 10 Little Rubber Ducks; get whisked away to a winter wonderland in Dream Snow; and, of course, spend time with the star of the show, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Each story features a variety of enchanting puppets and audience participation elements, brought to life by a captivating cast of storytellers, sweeping original music and stunning puppetry. The pre-show experience includes a free activity station for little ones plus all attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a photo with The Very Hungry Caterpillar himself.

Written by Eric Carle and directed by Jonathan Rockefeller, it runs Nov. 25 through Jan. 21 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 508-4200 or visit



“Love Actually Live” transports friends and families into a three-dimensional world where the film and live action seamlessly blend, immersing audiences in the heartwarming London setting. Iconic scenes from the movie are displayed on screens that move throughout the set complemented by an all-star cast of singers and a live orchestra, delivering a reimagined soundtrack featuring beloved songs such as “Christmas is All Around,” “Trouble with Love” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”

Written by Richard Curtis, adapted by Anderson Davis, with music by Jesse Vargas and directed by Anderson Davis, it runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 30 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 746-4000 or visit






“The Sound of Music” Join Maria Rainer, a free-spirited young woman, and the von Trapp family as they find love and hope in an uncertain time. Based on the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers and later adapted into the hit movie starring Julie Andrews, “The Sound of Music” has been a cultural staple for decades. Audiences of all ages will be charmed by classic hit songs including the titular “The Sound of Music” and “My Favorite Things.” The incredible sets, costumes and powerful vocal performances from the Nun Chorus are also sure to delight ticket holders.

Written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, it runs through Nov. 5 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. For tickets, call (562) 856-1999 or visit


“Monster” Hannah’s life is a total mess. To get back on track, she must face the Monster who haunts her every thought, trying to destroy her and everyone who loves her.

Written by April Littlejohn and directed by Bree Pavey, it runs through Nov. 12 at the Loft Ensemble in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 452-3153 or visit



“Outrage” Ethan is an acting and writing teacher who runs a prestigious school. He confronts increasing tensions in his life as friends and students seem eager to lash out in anger and recrimination over the election of a controversial President, all while Los Angeles anxiously awaits the verdict in an incendiary criminal trial involving a racially charged police shooting. The midnight beeping of a defective smoke alarm is the harbinger of all that is about to sweep life away as Ethan knew it. As the city takes in the verdict, Ethan’s world is quite suddenly changed forever. Forced to look at life from the other side of cancellation, Ethan attempts to reconcile relationships while determining where his creative life went and how it might re-emerge.

Written and directed by Allen Barton, it runs through Nov. 12 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse (Main Stage) in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (323) 657-5992 or visit,.



“A Raisin in the Sun” Each of the Youngers, a Black family, has a different view of how to spend their father’s life insurance settlement to better the family. Will they open a business, send Beneatha to medical school or move to an all-White suburb? Hansberry’s masterpiece seeks answers to the still-relevant questions posed in Langston Hughes’ poem Harlem: What happens to a dream deferred?

Written by Lorraine Hansberry and directed by Khanisha Foster, it runs through Nov. 12 at the South Coast Repertory Julianne Argyros Stage in Costa Mesa. For tickets, call (714) 708-5555 or visit


“Romeo and Juliet – Love is a Fire” A young lovesick boy falls instantly in love with a young girl and she passionately and momentarily loves him back. Their love is bigger than life. Alas, their influential rich families are locked in a decades-old vendetta. This leads to tragedy. We all know this basic plot of Romeo and Juliet. We know how and where it starts and how it ends. We all recognize it as one of the great love stories. Yet, we do not know – why? Why do these young lovers have to die? Why do their respective families hate each other so much? Shakespeare did not tell us. We will try to find out. We respect the Bard’s timeless verse, but we are creating our own Verona. Our Romeo and Juliet, and their Love, are on Fire.

Written by William Shakespeare, adapted by Neno Pervan, and directed by Nenad “Neno” Pervan, it runs through Nov. 18 at the Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage in Santa Monica. For tickets, visit


“Baby Foot” Two seemingly mismatched souls find themselves on the cusp of a life-changing connection. Blackie’s first night in rehab intersects with Alexis’s 90-day release. A long night’s journey into day drives their sensation seeking impulsivities full throttle into the same lane where hearts and minds are torn between the seductive allure of the drug and an elusive promise of a brighter, sober future.

Written and directed by Tim Venable, it runs through Nov. 20 at the Rogue Machine in the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (855) 585-5185 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 Dec. 3 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theater in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 462-8460 or visit



Please help keep our theaters open by supporting live theater whenever you can. We wish everyone good health, prosperity, and happy times throughout the year.


Steve Zall, Publisher

Sid Fish, Co-Publisher and Editor