Scene in LA – November 2022

By Steve ZALL and Sid FISH

 November 2022


Most theaters have returned to normal operations again; however, county mandates for mask requirements are still being decided as we go to press, so check the current guidelines before leaving to attend any performances. COVID protocols also vary from venue to venue, so proof of vaccination may still need to be shown and/or a facemask might need to be worn during a show. Please communicate with the theater before attending an event to find out what is its current policy.

The information presented in this column is the latest available at the time of printing, but it should be verified with the theater to confirm before making definite plans. Here are the shows that have announced opening dates for this month, or are already running at this time:




“44: The Unofficial, Unsanctioned Obama Musical” Barack Obama’s election changed history. And as we can clearly see, it also ended racism forever! But “44: The Unofficial, Unsanctioned Obama Musical” is the story of Obama you won’t read about in history books … because history books are now banned in most states. But also because “44” is the story of Obama as Joe Biden kinda sorta remembers it … “44” is a melting pot of music that delivers everything you’d come to expect from a musical about the Obama Era: Sarah Palin scream-singing “Drill Me Baby” like Ozzy Osbourne, President Obama crooning “How Black Is Too Black?” over a smooth Motown groove and, of course, a ’90s R&B Slow Jam where Mitch McConnell declares his unquenchable passion for his beloved musket.

Written and directed by Eli Bauman, with music by Eli Bauman and Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, it runs Nov. 3 through Nov. 15 at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. For tickets, visit


“The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” This story is of five Southern women whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team who set aside a long weekend every August to recharge their relationships with each other. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage, the “Sweet Delilah on North Carolina’s Outer Banks,” to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club” is a hilarious and touching comedy about friendships that last forever.

Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, and directed by Martha Hunter, it runs Nov. 4 through Dec. 11 at the Theatre Palisades in Pacific Palisades. For tickets, call (310) 454-1970 or visit


“Warrior Queen Anahit the Brave” is a world premiere, family-friendly musical inspired by an Armenian fairy tale. Filled with song, multi-media, interactive elements and spectacle, the story of Anahit’s transformation from peasant rug weaver to sword-wielding Queen of the Armenian Highlands is sure to empower girls and transfix boys ages 6 and up.

Written and directed by Armina LaManna, with music by Shahen Hagobian, it runs Nov. 5 through Nov. 18 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. For tickets, call (818) 649-9474 or visit



“Mindplay” Drama Desk Award–nominated theatermaker and mentalist Vinny DePonto leads a raucous romp through the back channels of our innermost thoughts, exploring the fragmented and flawed nature of our memories, and asks us to question whether we can trust the voice inside our heads. In the spirit of the Geffen’s long tradition of magic comes an entirely new theatrical event in which your thoughts play a leading role.

Written by Vinny DePonto and Josh Koenigsberg, and directed by Andrew Neisler, it runs Nov. 8 through Dec. 18 at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater – Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. For tickets, call (310) 208-2028 or visit



“9 to 5 the Musical” Based on the hit 1980 movie starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, “9 to 5 the Musical” tells the story about three workmates pushed to a boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss. Outrageously funny, thought-provoking and even a little romantic, this musical is about friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. And remember, long before there was #MeToo, there were #WeThree.

Written by Patricia Resnick, with music by Dolly Parton, and directed by Kirk Larson, it runs Nov. 11 through Dec. 10 at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (310) 645-5156 or visit



“Smile” A kid from the inner city whose mother moved her in order to attend a White, affluent public school in Philadelphia’s Main Line, Rachel is a young girl still dreaming of her first kiss; she’s ill-equipped to navigate a world that defines her solely by gender, race and class. When an “incident” at school lands Rachel in the guidance counselor’s office, her situation sparks the young mother’s own questions and insecurities. Soon, Rachel and Helen find themselves developing a complicated relationship.

Written by Melissa Jane Osborne and directed by Michelle Bossy, it runs Nov. 12 through Dec. 5 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 380-8843 or visit



“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” A progressive White couple’s proud liberal sensibilities are put to the test when their daughter brings her Black fiancé home to meet them in this fresh and relevant stage adaptation of the iconic film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Blindsided by their daughter’s whirlwind romance and fearful for her future, Matt and Christina Drayton quickly come to realize the difference between supporting a mixed-race couple in your newspaper and welcoming one into your family – especially in 1967. But they’re surprised to find they aren’t the only ones with concerns about the match, and it’s not long before a multi-family clash of racial and generational difference sweeps across the Draytons’ idyllic San Francisco terrace. At the end of the day, will the love between young Joanna and John prevail? With humor and insight, the play begins a conversation sure to continue at dinner tables long after the curtain comes down.

Written by Todd Kriedler, adapted from the screenplay by William Rose, and directed by Cate Caplin, it runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 18 at Theatre Forty in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 364-0535 or visit



“Anatomy of Gray” Set at the end of the 19th century in the small town of Gray, Indiana, “The Wizard of Oz” meets “Our Town” in the Open Fist Theatre Company production of “Anatomy of Gray,” a funny and touching “children’s story for adults.” Following the death of her father, 15-year-old June prays for a “healer” so no one in town will ever have to suffer again. When a man literally blows into town in a hot air balloon, she thinks her prayer has been answered. At first, the new doctor cures anything and everything; but soon his presence leads to a clash between faith and science.

Written by Jim Leonard and directed by Ben Martin, it runs Nov. 19 through Jan. 21 at the Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. For tickets, call (323) 882-6912 or visit


“The Brothers Paranormal” After a nationwide increase in sightings of “Asian-looking ghosts,” two Thai brothers struggle to launch a ghost-hunting business. In this supernatural thriller the two brothers – one born in Thailand and the other in the American Midwest – are called to investigate the paranormal hauntings at the home of an African American couple displaced by Hurricane Katrina. This is a suspenseful, humorous and compassionate exploration of the trauma of leaving home, whether crossing the country, the globe or over from the other side.

Written by Prince Gomolvilas and directed by Jeff Liu, it runs Nov. 20 through Dec. 11 at the East West Players in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (213) 625-7000 or visit


“Invincible – The Musical” This inventive new work weaves the four-time Grammy® Award and 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees’ legendary catalogue and inspired new songs throughout a reimagining of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” “Invincible – The Musical” is set in the modern, war-torn metropolis of Verona where the newly elected Chancellor Paris vows to destroy the progressive resistance and return the city to its traditional roots. The star-crossed lovers’ story, exploring how love and equality battle for survival in times of great transformation, envisions peace in a divided world.

Written by Bradley Bredeweg, with music by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene, it runs Nov. 22 through Dec. 18 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Bram Goldsmith Theater in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (310) 746-4000 or visit



“Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation” In a new story from the Hundred Acre Wood, this fresh stage adaptation is told with impressive life-size puppetry featuring exciting new stories with characters that have played iconic roles in the lives of children for generations. Accompanying the magical, modern narrative is an original score from Nate Edmondson, which features some of the songs written for the animated feature from The Sherman Brothers’, including “Winnie the Pooh,” “A Rather Blustery Day,” “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,” “Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce” and A.A. Milne’s “The More It Snows.”

Written and directed by Jonathan Rockefeller with music by Nate Edmondson, it runs Nov. 23 through Dec. 30 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. For tickets, visit

“Patsy Cline Holiday Concert” One of the biggest box office hits and critical successes in the history of Sierra Madre Playhouse was its 2015 production of the musical “Always … Patsy Cline.” Now, the Playhouse is bringing back that show’s dynamic star and musical director, reuniting them for an extraordinary concert entertainment, “Patsy Cline Holiday Concert.”

Written by Cori Cable Kidder, it runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 23 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse in Sierra Madre. For tickets, call (626) 355-4318 or visit





“Farragut North” is about behind-the-scenes election intrigue. No trick is too dirty, no lie is too outrageous, no spin is too ingenious … if it gets your candidate over the top. Titled after the Metrorail stop closest to Washington, D.C.’s geographic center for think tanks, lobbyists, power plays and spin-doctoring, “Farragut North” is a classic tale of hubris set against a contemporary landscape.

Written by Beau Willimon and directed by Peter Allas, it runs through Nov. 5 at the Theatre 68 Arts Complex – The Rosalie in North Hollywood. For tickets, visit



“In the Heights” is a heartfelt, hopeful, high-energy musical about community, neighborhood and finding where you belong. The story takes place over three days in a close-knit neighborhood in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, New York City – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythms of three generations of music.

Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes, and directed by Luis Salgado, it runs through Nov. 13 at the Karyn Jackson Theatre in Ventura. For tickets, call (805) 667-2900 or visit



“Rent” follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. How these young bohemians negotiate their dreams, loves and conflicts provide the narrative thread to this groundbreaking musical.

Written by Jonathan Larson, with music by Jonathan Larson, and directed by Reena Dutt, it runs through Nov. 19 at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 576-8193 or visit


“Belleville” A newly married American couple seems to be living an enviable life in the colorful, multi-ethnic neighborhood of Belleville, Paris. But when a series of small, unexpected encounters escalates the tension between them some surprising cracks in the foundation of their isolated yet idyllic life begins to show. What do you believe when you aren’t even sure of those whom you trust most?

Written by Amy Herzog and directed by Benjamin Burt, it runs through Nov. 20 at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in Beverly Hills. For tickets, call (323) 657-5992 or visit