Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – October 28 - November 3, 2019

Theatrical shows, Musicals, Solo Shows, Panto, Live Radio Shows, Improv Sketch, and MORE, now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Legally Blonde

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THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME

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Nothing Ever Goes On Here

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Mamma Mia

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

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Waiting for Waiting for Godot

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Eight Nights

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Uncle Vanya

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MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET: A Live Musical Radio Show

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Chris Mann: From Gershwin to Gaga – A Holiday Special Celebrating the Legendary Tony Bennett

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A Christmas Carole King

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PETER PAN AND TINKER BELL: A PIRATES’ CHRISTMAS

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Saint Joan: Fundraiser celebrating the Downtown Women’s Center

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Mental Hell Sketch Show

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Musket and the Rat

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My Name is Mommy

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A Twisted Christmas Carol

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Anita Berber is dead

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StoryTime

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HOLLYWOODN'T

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Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – October 21 -27, 2019

Theatrical shows, Musicals, Improv, Workshops, and MORE, now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Skypilot One Act Festival

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The Goodbye Girl

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Tuesday Night Comics

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Dickens UnScripted by Impro Theatre at North Coast Rep

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How to Produce a Hollywood Fringe Show taught by Matthew Quinn

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Celebrity Autobiography

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Champ and His Four Women

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Eight Nights

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#HASH(TAG) AMERICA

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ORWELL'S 1984

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Elijah

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Film Maudit 2.0 - Highways Performance Space & Gallery

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Mope - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Lake Michigan Monster - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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DOLLHOUSE: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Flesh City - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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HAPPY FACE - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Sushi Girl Screening with Cast & Crew - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Macbeth

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Troy

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WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT LOVE

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THE BOOK THAT WON'T CLOSE (Confessions of A Love Addict)

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WAR OF THE WORLDS

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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O2

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The 7 Stages of Grieving

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THE BEST MAN

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L.A. Theatre For Halloween: Theatrical Shows and Interactive Experiences

From a Penny Dreadful to family-friendly shows. From comedy and improv to interactive escape rooms. From Death Tours to dystopia, Shakespeare tragedies to Star Trek-Marlowe, improv to interactive escape room, or Chills & Thrills to Masoch and DeSade–the following is a list of theatrical, interactive and immersive experiences playing throughout Los Angeles in time to celebrate the Halloween season.


THIS WEEKEND


The Manitou House - October 25 - 26, 2019

Based on his screenplay of the same name, Trace Oakley has adapted "The Manitou House" especially for Culver City Public Theatre and their annual Halloween production. Founded in 1998, now in its 22nd year, Culver City Public Theatre is committed to enriching the community by providing classic, contemporary, and original productions, for audiences of all ages. CCPT is known for its summer performances in the park, as well as for its more edgy and intimate productions the rest of the year.

A successful writer, looking for inspiration, moves back to his boyhood town and into the house where he grew up. After a series of very strange occurrences in the house, he finds it is haunted by the baby-sitter he terrorized as a child...


Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium - October 25 - 27, 2019

Brooke and Zeke, two students thrilled to learn that they’ve won the starring roles in the new school musical — a mysterious production called The Phantom. But when strange, seemingly supernatural events begin interrupting rehearsals, the friends begin to wonder whether the show they’re acting in might be cursed.

In the slightly spooky, family-friendly world of "Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium," Brooke and Zeke must race to find out whether they’re being haunted by ghosts or hoodwinked by pranksters. This show is wonderful for the entire family, ages 4 and up.


Absolutely Halloween - October 26 - 27, 2019

“Absolutely Halloween is absolutely great!,” raves showmag.com. “An absolute family treat!,” Exclaims the Tolucan times. It’s the classic family theatre Halloween musical for kids 2 to 102 – the heartwarming Rudie-DeCarlo tale of the aptly-named Candy, a sweet young girl who learns some surprising lessons about life, love, laughter, and sugar, from a delightful array of characters who take her on a magical All Hallow’s Eve adventure. Help Cattypuss, Patty Patches, Stuffy Steve, Lester the Jester, and Fifika the French Fortune-teller happily save Halloween for one more year.

As witching hour approaches, kids, and parents, too, discover the value of team spirit, friendship, sharing, making choices and moderation, especially when it comes to treats and sweets. Halloween month special: come in costume, and get two-for-one tickets for any future family theatre show. Now an audience favorite holiday tradition and back by audience demand for its 13th October run, absolutely Halloween is one in a series of original Rudie-DeCarlo fairy tale musical comedies that make up the award-winning family theatre musical matinee series for kids 2 to 102 now celebrating its 50th year as it cuts across the imaginary generation gap by providing an experience the entire family can enjoy.


An Excuse to Behave Badly – The Variety Show - October 25 - 27, 2019

"An Excuse to Behave Badly – The Variety Show!" is a one-hour variety show with a mix of stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival hit and Encore! Producers’ Award-winner "An Excuse to Behave Badly" by Jenni Halina.

The short play is a hilarious tale of four women on Halloween getting into misadventures while waiting for an Uber. Directed by Emily Lappi, the ensemble will feature a diverse group of LA’s top up-and-coming talent. In alphabetical order, they are Farida Amer, Seth Austin, Jenni Halina, Jermaine Jackson, Emily Lappi, Matt Morillo, Nica, Katie Oliver, Jaret Sacrey, Alex Owens Sarno, Yvette Saunders, and Royce Shockley.


NOW AND CONTINUING


Ravenswood Manor - October 24, 2019 – November 22, 2019

Taking a page from the cult classic "Dark Shadows", Justin Sayre's Ravenswood Manor brings audiences the gothic and hilarious goings-on of a small New England town during the spring of 1976. Directed by Tom DeTrinis and Jessica Hanna, Ravenswood Manor is an episodic theatrical event with two new episodes of the ever-unfolding adventure premiering each of the six-week run.

With a cast of comedic heavy hitters that includes, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Daniele Gaither, Leslie-Anne Huff, Ryan Garcia, Angela Cristanello, and Justin Sayre. Plus guest stars weekly! Join us this fall for the spooky, the silly, the glamour and the camp.



The Séance - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

About: madam ruby has invited you and a few guests to participate in her séance and step beyond the veil. But who or what will be waiting for you? This is a frightening interactive theatre experience with live actors and special effects. You will be required to interact with your surroundings and others, living or dead, in the room. # of participants- up to 8. This is a public event. There may be people you don’t know in your show. Tickets: $45- $60 per person depending on the date and time of performance. The show is roughly 1 hour long. Ages- only age 16+ admitted.

Warnings- light touching, strobe lights, fog, and smells. The audience must be able to navigate stairs on their own.


The Psych Ward - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

An escape room with a fun twist! The psych ward is an interactive game of deduction, trust, and betrayal with escape room, board game, and immersive theatre elements. About- sane or insane? Trustworthy or not? These are the questions dr. Griffin wants you to answer. He has created a social experiment for a select group of patients. Some of these patients he believes are sane, others, completely insane. Like lab rats, he has put you inside his twisted experiment of paranoia and challenges you to figure out who to trust and who to betray. Difficulty- every game will have one winning and one losing team. # of Players- 5-8. This is a PRIVATE game. We will not put your group with strangers. A minimum of 5 players are required to play this game. Ages- This game is recommended for ages 16+. No one under the age of 14 will be admitted.

WARNING- This game contains loud noises, flashing lights, small spaces, and restraints. This game is not scary but you may be put in tense situations.

Open all year long.


The Hex Room - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

About –this is a real-life adventure game where you are in the center of the action! Can you survive a horror film? This murderous horror movie fan wants to watch you try. Each player will take a quiz before the game to find out which character they are: the nerd, virgin, jock, rebel, prom queen, or detective. Your team will be divided up into separate rooms where you must work individually and as a team. Not only do you need to escape, but you must also survive! Who will live? Who will die?​ Difficulty – very hard. 20% escape rate. 5% survival rate. # of players – 5-10. This is a private game. We will not put your group with strangers. If more than 6 tickets are purchased, some rooms may have 2 players. Having trouble finding enough people for the minimum # requirement? Try finding teammates on our facebook group here. Ages – this game is for ages 16+. This is an extreme horror experience. Anyone under the age of 16 will not be admitted and no refund will be given. Children can not be left unattended in the lobby. If you are under the age of 18 please have a parent/ guardian fill out a waiver before you arrive. Please find waivers at the bottom of the faq page.

​For advanced players – in this game, your goal is to escape and survive! Every player will be given a unique set of puzzles to solve at any time during the game. If the player solves their personal hex puzzle and escapes the room, they will have “survived.”

Open all year long! Wednesday-Sunday.


The Fun House - October 24, 2019 – November 3, 2019

The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults. If your party will have children under the age of 13 we recommend checking out fun house-kids! This is an interactive experience where you are put in the center of the action! Come one, come all! Step right up and see if you have what it takes to become a magnificent magician! In this room filled with trickery and illusions, you and your team will be put to the test. Work to beat the clock as you search for clues and solve mind-boggling puzzles in a topsy-turvy experience of a lifetime! Now all you need to do is ask yourself, do you have the wits of a magician? Or are you as clueless as a clown? Difficulty – medium. 40% escape rate. # of players – 4-8 players. This game is private- we will not group you with strangers.

Ages – The Fun House is open to all ages. Anyone under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+. The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults.

Open all year long! Wednesday-Sunday.



Night of the Living Dead - October 24, 2019 – November 10, 2019

The Group Rep presents George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” adapted for the stage by Gus Krieger, directed by Drina Durazo. Seven strangers barricade themselves inside a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls ravaging the countryside.

Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the night…October 4 – November 10. Fridays/Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays at 2:00 pm. Special performances, Wednesday, October 30, 2019, and Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. Talkbacks after Sunday matinees October 13 and October 27, 2019.


Give Up the Ghost - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

Give Up the Ghost reverses the typical Halloween haunt—here, you play your dead self called back from the shore of Eternity to bear witness to the sorrows and terrors of the living. This is not a gore fest or jump-scare maze. You will interact with characters at the edge of life and death in scenes that can be violent, tragic, intense, and occasionally darkly humorous. The choices you make will haunt you, will change your own story, and just might change the entire narrative. What choices will you make, as your light grows dim?

Each show lasts approximately 80 minutes. Some scenes are open for viewing anytime, others require a Shadow to guide you. Some scenes are for large groups, some are for smaller groups, some are for one person only. You will likely not get to see all the scenes in one viewing, but that's OK, your story is unique. Participants can choose to interact with the actors or not. You can touch some actors (from fingertips to elbow only, not roughly), actors will not touch you.

There will be a waiver to sign at check-in.

A portion of the box office goes both to the First Christian Church of Whittier (501c3) before they convert to low-income senior housing, and The Game Academy, a 501c3 that uses role-playing for education.


Orwell's 1984 - October 24, 2019 – December 7, 2019

Winston Smith hates his job. He works in the Ministry of Information rewriting history to serve the interests of the powerful. Winston’s soul is stirring with rebellion and his heart alive with love. Welcome to a world of no privacy, where electronic screens create paranoia, divisiveness, and hatred for the ‘other’. Here, the state manufactures consent for perpetual war, truth is manipulated, and love itself is an act of rebellion.

Directed by Tim Robbins and adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, this acclaimed, wildly successful production of George Orwell’s classic returns to The Actors’ Gang Theater after touring throughout the world!


Urban Death Tour of Haunted Theatre - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

Zombie Joe’s underground theatre group proudly presents the 2019 7th Annual Urban Death Tour of Terror: Haunted Theatre Attraction! For ages 17 and up on Fridays & Saturday nights October 4-26, 2019, and November 1-2, 2019, plus Halloween Thursday, October 31, 2019

Warning: graphic content, trigger warnings, and full nudity.

**New for 2019: for ages 8 and up a family-friendly urban death tour every Saturday at 7 p.m. October 5-26, 2019, and November 2, 2019, plus 7 p.m. Halloween night Thursday, October 31, 2019.



Deadly - October 25, 2019 – November 2, 2019

World premiere musical! They were intelligent, ambitious, independent women. It just wouldn't do. 1893. A time of hope and optimism as the World's Fair turns the globe's eyes toward Chicago. But within this cultural explosion of art and technology, a demon lurks beneath. Taking advantage of the modern woman's adventuresome spirit, H.H. Holmes builds a hotel - a murder castle - to entrap and kill unsuspecting ladies new to the big city.

From the team behind the critical and box-office hit Stoneface, playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart (Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara), composer Ryan Thomas Johnson (Watson), and director Jaime Robledo (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play), "Deadly" examines one of the most famous true crime cases in history, through the unlikely lens of the victims' experience.


The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful - October 25, 2019 – November 10, 2019

Actors Co-op’s Season Opener (Hollywood)

Enter into the longer nights of autumn with Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, directed by Carla Cackowski, a hilarious fright fest, complete with a cast of monsters and an Egyptian princess. This two-actor, multi-character show will spellbind audiences with its nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s.


Macbeth - October 25, 2019 – November 3, 2019

House of Bards Theatre Company has announced the cast of their first production, Shakespeare’s dynamic drama "Macbeth" directed by Michael Richey. The new company, headed by television and film actors and producers Reneé O’Connor and Jed Sura, opens their inaugural show on October 11 at the Grand Annex located in the Arts District of San Pedro, California.

No stranger to iconic roles, O'Connor is taking on the formidable Lady Macbeth. O’Connor is best known as Gabrielle, Xena’s trusted sidekick on the tremendously popular fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess. Other credits include roles on Criminal Minds, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and NYPD Blue. On stage, she recently starred in the Los Angeles premiere of Steven Dietz’s On Clover Road and played Nurse in the Southern Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo and Juliet. O’Connor reprises the role of Lady Macbeth after a 2002 production with Shakespeare by the Sea.


Klingon Tamburlaine - October 25, 2019 – November 9, 2019

The Complex Hollywood and The School of Night are thrilled to announce the return of Klingon Tamburlaine to the Ruby Theater in Hollywood beginning October 12th. The Klingon performance troupe, Gabh ghe’naQ, returns to earth after a sold-out run on Qo’noS to perform their unique take on Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, parts I and II. Klingon Tamburlaine is an exciting new take on the seldom-produced classic that inaugurated the Elizabethan theatrical renaissance.

Tragedy! Romance! Mighty verse! Great battles waged on land and in space! Honor and glory! Qapla’!


Masoch and DeSade - October 25, 2019 and November 2, 2019

Two archetypes walk into a bar–a bar at the edge of the New World–named for America's first great poet, owned and operated by an African American.
The archetypes in question are, however, profoundly European.

A meditation/horror story on imperialism, paranoia, biblical violence, and perversion in the modern world in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.


Chills & Thrills - October 30, 2019 and November 3, 2019

LFT Company Members handpick a selection of off-beat short plays. They’re creepy, weird, and freaky tales that scream Halloween!


Titus Andronicus - October 31, 2019 and November 2, 2019

This Halloween, Director Mikey Mulhearn, and Intimacy/Fight Director Celina Surniak, transform the space beneath EverBar into an arena of death. Laced with opaque tarp, horrific acts of violence, and inspired by classic Hollywood horror films- Shakespeare on the Deck brings you closer than ever to one of the Bard’s most experimental works.

Returning triumphantly to Rome, general Titus Andronicus brings with him the Goth Queen Tamora and her three sons as prisoners of war. Sacrificing the eldest Goth son to appease the ghosts of his fallen own; his refusal to accept the title of emperor; and his blatant disregard for Tamora’s pleas of mercy–Titus sets into motion a horrific cycle of mutilation, rape, and murder.


Sally Spectre the Musical - November 1 - 2, 2019

The evening will open with a “Costumed. Multi-Media, Concert Reading” of Sally Spectre the Musical. (Book, Music and Lyrics by David P. Johnson) This multiple award-winning Tim Burton-esque musical experience about the ghost of a little girl trying to find her way through purgatory is touching and charming and leaves viewers in a world of imaginative wonder. The presentation will feature video segments to accompany live performers to help tell the story in a very inventive fashion.


Romeo and Juliet in Hell - November 1 - 23, 2019

Romeo and Juliet, dead, wake up to find themselves stuck in their Personal Hell – forced to listen to "West Side Story" music for eternity. To escape, they must suffer through a production of their life story performed by the other inhabitants of Hell – Shakespeare’s dead characters – who butcher the story in hysterical ways! "Romeo And Juliet In Hell" is full of theatre-goer inside jokes, Broadway show tunes, and madcap madness! Recommended for ages 15 and up.

This show returns once again after premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2014.



A Dark, Disturbing but Relevant Film, A Classic Play, Music That Will Have You Up On Your Feet and Get Ready To Laugh

To quote the Joker, 'What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?' 'You get what you f-ing deserve.' That about sums up the brilliant, dark, disturbing, profound film JOKER directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote it along with Scott Silver.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix who gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck/Joker proving once again he may just be one of the top ten great actors of our generation. Phoenix lost a lot of weight to play the part. He looks thin, frail, hungry. Phoenix is in practically ever scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing.

Before he becomes the Joker, Arthur is one of societies freaks. He's beaten up, made fun of, a misunderstood loner. All Arthur wants to do is make people laugh. After all he's a clown and that's what he's paid to do.

Arthur tells us he 'just doesn't want to feel so bad anymore.' But that's not to be. We see the mental, moral, emotional and physical make up of the man who becomes the Joker. This is not a comic book movie. It's a devastating film about one of the most iconic villains in cinema history but at the same time, it comments on our society and what's happening in this country now. 'Joker' opens in theaters Friday, October 4th. Get your tickets now.

Speaking of powerful, Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS is just that. The play opened on Broadway on January 1947 and it's still relevant today. 'All My Sons' is based upon a true story. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.

The Tony winning play starts in the middle of the action, abruptly in August 1947. Joe Keller, a self made businessman and his wife Kate are visited by a neighbor Frank. At Kate's request Frank is trying to figure out the horoscope of the Kellers' missing son Larry, who disappeared three years earlier while serving in the military during World War II.

The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Keller's. Secrets of the past expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. 'All My Sons' is directed by Elina de Santos and she does an excellent job.

Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 705 1/2 Venice Blvd in Venice. The play is presented by the Co-op of PRT. This is an electrifying drama of family conflict, patriotic duty and personal greed and even though it is set in the aftermath of WW II I'm sure it's very relatable for events occurring in 2019.

For tickets go to PacificResidentTheatre.com.

Now for something lighter. HARVELLS is a club that has been presenting Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Burlesque and more since 1931. I've seen a lot of great acts there, but one of the best is called THE TOLEDO SHOW. It plays every Sundays at 9pm.

As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Toledo is 'the coolest Cat working in Hollywood.' 'The show is top notch and really must be experienced. Toledo is considered on of the hottest acts in modern music.' Toledo is a Soul singer, Jazz man, poet, dancer, choreographer, connoisseur of haberdashery and probably one of the most dramatic and entertaining performers you will ever see.

He's toured all over the United States and Australia always getting rave reviews. His vocal styling's have been compared to Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Barry White. How could it be any better? I'm seeing him again this Sunday and I can't wait. Oh if Burlesque is your thing, you will definitely get to see that as well. It's part of the show and if you like sexy female dancers called 'Dames' in the show, you'll love watching them hanging from rods installed near the ceiling of Harvelle's during a song.

Harvells is located at 1432 4th Street in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-395-1676 or go to Harvelles.com

Lastly one of my favorite improv group takes place at the GROUNDLINGS. I've been going there for years and I've always laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Their new show entitled ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS opens this Friday, October 4th, and I promise you will love every minute of it.

For tickets call the box office 323-934-4747 or go to Groundlings.com/shows/all-the-leaves-are-groundlings. Some of our best comedians have come from The Groundlings School, including Kathy Griffith, Jon Lovitz and Laraine Newman just to name a few. ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS plays Fridays at 8pm and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.

The theatre is located at 7307 Melrose in West LA.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one.


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 9 - 15, 2019

Theatrical shows and Staged Readings NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Through A Magicians Eyes: Starring Blaise
Serra

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House Of Me

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The Music Of Brian Gallagher

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Thelma Houston: From Sunshower To Motown

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In Trousers

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Sight Unseen

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Aleichem Sholom! The wit and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem

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The Pack

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The Three Musketeers At North Coast Rep Theater School

Sh

More Guns!

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Opening Night: The Improvised Musical

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The Really Awesome Improv Show

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Canuck As F*ck

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Life In Boobs

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All My Sons

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Omniscope: Dance And Architecture Show

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Supportive White Parents

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To T, Or Not To T

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Steve Grand: The Pink Champagne Tour

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The Nosotros 49th Annual Golden Eagle Awards at The Montalbán Theatre

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Sherwood Award-winning Kristina Wong Brings 'UndocuStories' Through LA Department of Cultural Affairs Grants

Actress, Comedian, and local Politician, Kristina Wong, will be presenting a “UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom” workshop series at the Dream Resource Center in MacArthur Park, beginning September 3, 2019.

Sponsored by UCLA Dream Resource Center, Wong, and the UCLA Labor Center, the workshop is funded by an Artist-in-Residence grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

In the eighth year as recipient of this grant as Artist-in-Residence, Wong, who refers to her work as “mind-blowing social commentary with a little humor,” on a picture of her 2020 Census Form posted on her Facebook page, facilitated a similar workshop last year where DACA recipients, undocumented individuals, permanent residents, mixed-status families, and allies participated with a similar grant, which was increased this year from $8,000 to $12,000.

Participants in the "UndocuStories" workshops in 2018 in an exercise involving karaoke. (Photo courtesy of Kristina Wong/UCLA Dream Resource Center)

“Last year’s show was a combination of comedy sketches, poetry, movement work, first-person testimonials and a cover of Vanilla’s Ice Ice Baby called “ABOLISH Ice, Ice Baby,” she said. “This year's workshop will specifically center on experiences of undocumented immigrants.”

Wong, who is a newly elected Representative for Sub-District 5 Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, recently received the Center Theatre Group’s Dorothy and Richard E. Sherwood Award for her work as a “Boundary-Pushing Artist,” which was presented to her at the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards ceremony at this year.

"UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom" is a twelve-week theater workshop facilitated by Wong, that will feature guest artists Yosimar Reyes (2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry) and Kat Evasco (Working in the Theater) who will teach skills in comedy writing, Theater of the Oppressed (TO), movement, and performance, where participants will engage on issues that “impact the undocumented immigrant community, transforming those stories into an original theater piece for the public,” said Wong on the LAFPI site.

According to the Mandala Center for Change, TO is a form of community-based education that “uses theater as a tool for social change" that was developed by Augusto Boal.  Theater of the Oppressed "is now used all over the world for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation. It is also practiced on a grassroots level by community organizers, activists, teachers, social workers, cultural animators, and more."

Per Wong, as a public elected official in Koreatown in “a small, unpaid position, but very mighty,” a lot of her constituency and neighborhood is undocumented. In her first 100 days in office, and while still working as an actress, comedian, and writer, she wrote a community impact statement about supporting the abolishment of ICE (Integrations and Customs Enforcement), and that process may make it into a future show. Since then she has made it her goal to work and educate toward achieving social justice through her comedy, where she discusses social issues affecting people of color—especially women of color—, white privilege, and how to be an armchair social justice warrior (or a better one on foot). A great example of her approach is one of her earlier productions titled the “Wong Street Journal.”

“Last year, our allies were really great about stepping up to support the storytelling of our undocumented participants and de-centering themselves when necessary to keep the focus of storytelling on the experiences of undocumented participants,” said Wong in her blog.

Each week, for twelve weeks, with information provided by the Dream Resource Center, participants will explore a new topic that specifically affects the undocumented community, such as “Know your Rights” or healthcare options for undocumented communities and unaccompanied minors crossing the border, along with theater games, a mix of improv and sketch writing exercises, and performance work.

For some individuals who might be concerned about giving their identities with regard to the workshop and performances, they will establish community rules at the top of each meeting so that “everyone is on the same page about how to work together,” according to the LAFPI article, so participants may not be required to give full names if they are undocumented.

“Just let us know if you don’t want your name published on materials or if there are limits as to what you want to share with the group or publicly,” Wong wrote on the LAFPI site.

With regard to any fears about ICE roundups, Wong said, “they would have to have a warrant” [for an individual] and that there are staff members present who are “super trained on how to address ICE” if they were to show. But she feels confident that would not happen or be an issue.

“To those who are not undocumented, it seems scary, but the "Know Your Rights" training in the workshop prepares the undocumented as well as the allies so that we are all ready to put the knowledge to the task," Wong said. “But also they have to ring a doorbell to come in, so we'd at least be able to confront them at the door.”

The “UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom” workshop is located at UCLA Downtown Labor Center at 675 S Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, which will meet Tuesdays from September 3 - November 19, 2019, from 6 - 8 p.m., with the final performance on November 19th at 7 p.m. Participants do not need to be a UCLA student to attend, there are no age restrictions for the workshop, the workshop is free, and dinner will be provided at each session. For more information contact: [email protected].


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – April 29 - May 5, 2019

Theatrical shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

How I Became A Superhero

“...An ensemble comedy about a couple that leaves the world of online activism and leaps into the business of vigilante justice! Running at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival in June, this is a bright show for anyone who has ever dreamed about being amazing...a family friendly comedy that brings comic books to life, with comic book page sets, sound effects, and lights.”

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SugarFree: Foster Care Cognitive Dissonance

“SugarFree Foster Care combines the difficult journey of foster youth through my perspective as both a social worker and foster child...interspersed [with] poetry, personal narrative, humor, and real-life experiences for a theater experience that tugs at the heartstrings of our greatest human needs in the midst of the social welfare system's inadequacies.”

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Lend Me A Tenor

“Winner of 3 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards LEND ME A TENOR combines a chain-reaction of mistaken identity, plot twists, double entendres and the constant slamming of many doors to create one of the funniest farces to grace the American stage in the last 30 years. A sensation on Broadway and in London's West End, LEND ME A TENOR pays homage to the madcap screwball comedies of the 1930's, guaranteed to leave audiences howling hysterically with laughter and walking out the door with a warm smile. ”

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GEORGE.

“Told through the creation of his first three films, ‘George' is the story of how a young man from Modesto, California became George Lucas. With each act following a different film, George will learn all of the skills that eventual led to the creation of ‘Star Wars.' ”

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Raised By Wolves

“You learn to survive quick when you're being dragged behind a team of sled dogs. A comedy about a girl and her dogsled team navigating the rocky terrain of growing up and her quest to become the alpha of her own pack. ”

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Widows Anonymous

“In the circle that is Widows Anonymous, five characters come together to share stories, secrets and the brutal humor that is being a widow in modern times. As they discover, there is no short cut, no alternate route, and the only way out is through. Welcome to the front lines.”

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Bat Knight!

“The dynamic duo have finally made it to the Hollywood Fringe Festival! Little do Batman and Robin know, the Joker's latest scheme will give them the ride of a lifetime. Race through the streets of Gotham with Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Superman, Alfred the Butler, and many more members of the Bat Family in this dark and hilarious interactive musical parody that puts you, the audience, in the middle of the action. Bring the whole family to battle The Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, the Penguin, and the rest of the Dark Knight's rogues gallery, and celebrate the Batman universe in this side splitting night of Bat-Mania! ”

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Olivia Wilde Does Not Survive The Apocalypse

“A hack director and a snooty actress stumble 300 years into the future. America has been taken over by a fascist government, which believes that entertainment is the key to control. As the only remaining people on earth with any artistic talent the director and actress are forced to put on a play. But if they fail to entertain the masses they will be executed on live television. ”

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TOBINCON

“Actor and comedian Tobin Mitnick sheds light on three con men that are using their style-savvy to manipulate a generation of young Americans through the unregulated Wild West that is the Internet. In its world premiere, one-man comedy TOBINCON dives into the grotesque and hilarious world of online grifters—the Body Prophet, the Rhetorical Bad Boy, and the Compassionologist—with sketch and stand-up, in order to show us that the game may have changed, but the players are all still here. But Mitnick also answers a lingering question: When you spend so much time rubbing shoulders with these types, will it rub off on you? In other words, can you con yourself? Only TOBINCON has the answers!”

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CINDERELLA TOPSY TURVY – A Tender Gender Bender Romantic Musical Fairy Story for Pride 2019

“A Tender Gender Bender Romantic Musical Fairy Story. A delightful re-imagining of the classic Cinderella tale brings you upside-down casting – half original practices, half Gilbert and Sullivan, half just plain fun. Meet a handsome Prince, silly stepsisters, a befuddled king, and an out-of-the-box steampunk Fairygodmother. Added delights are the outrageously playful period costumes and the heart-warming romance that blooms with the assistance of a glass slipper, a feather duster, and a truly magical wand. A gentle prod at stereotypical gender roles, this light-hearted send-up is a hilarious twist on the classic tale.”

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La Traviata

“Giuseppe Verdi and Librettist Francesco Maria Piave's classic Italian opera based on the play La Dame aux Camélias adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas...Southern California native Christopher Job...makes his L.A. Opera debut. After a decade of work at the Metropolitan Opera, and making two appearances last season with the L.A. Phil.”

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The Same Room

“'A dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity…' Well, not quite. Thyma and Aspid find themselves trapped in a barren room with two locked doors, but where are they? What sets them free? And most importantly, what happens after this? 'The Same Room' explores human compassion in a new light and begs the question- What becomes of us when we refuse to heal?”

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Lincoln 2020

“Like a lot of people today, campaign manager Tess Baker is sick of politics. She's just about ready to throw in the when somebody wakes up a candidate she can work with – Abraham Lincoln. Will he be a good President in 2020 America? Will he even win? You decide! That's right, the play has two endings and your vote counts!”

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Bunny the Elf LIVE!

“A Musical Theatre Nerd, forced by her family to give up her dreams, gets a real job in the real world… as a toy store Christmas elf. An uplifting coming of age comedy about finding where one's talents, or lack thereof, fit in the world. Christi Pedigo's YouTube sensation Bunny the Elf will be sharing her elfing journey LIVE! On stage! With new material and a special update on what's next for Bunny.”

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FEELING LUCKY

“A comedy about men and women straddling the elusive line between true love and a broken heart who discover that in the game of love what you see is not always what you get.”

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Victress Burlesque Presents: ShipwRACKed

“Introducing Victress, the L.A.-based comedy burlesque troupe, flipping traditional burlesque on its head with a character-fueled strip show. The premise is simple: Comedic monologues lead into cheeky choreographed dance numbers that will make your heart go pitter-pat. Their newest show, “ShipwRACKed,” premieres in a 5-show limited run as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It's a naughty'cal adventure stacked with quips, ships, n' nips. Get ready for a burlesque show like you've never seen before.”

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And Now It's All This!

“A play about when John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus and the fallout that ensued.”

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A Walk in the Woods at North Coast Repertory Theatre

“What really goes on behind the scenes of tense arms negotiations between powerful nations? Set in the midst of the Cold War, Lee Blessing's gripping play, A WALK IN THE WOODS, is especially relevant today. With talks seemingly at an impasse, the American and Soviet negotiators agree to meet informally while strolling through the peaceful forest. Their revealing and absorbing conversations, laced with warmth and humor, evolve through debate and discord, exploring unexpected and uncharted territory. Nominated for a Pulitzer and a Tony Award, Blessing's dramatic comedy was inspired by historic conversations between negotiators Paul H. Nitze and Yuli A Kvitsinsky who left the official 1982 Geneva sessions for an unofficial “walk in the woods.” For those yearning for a more enlightened world, this play is shrewdly observant and resonates with the ring of political truth ”

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Impro Theatre's Twilight Zone UnScripted at North Coast Rep

“From the darkest corners of reality, to the land of the unexplained – Impro Theatre's Twilight Zone Unscripted pays homage to Rod Serling's breakthrough sci-fi series “The Twilight Zone.” Enter the wondrous dimension of imagination, as completely improvised episodes are created with every performance.”

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You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown

“Based on the beloved comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles Schulz, this revue of songs and vignettes tells the story of some typical days in the life of Charlie Brown. From running after the school bus to spying the cute little red-haired girl at lunch, Charlie Brown deals with the fun and frustrations of life with his friends Lucy, Linus, and Schroeder; his kid sister Sally; and his faithful companion, Snoopy. With charm, wit, and heart, “You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is fun for all ages.”

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Chico's Angels: Fly Chica Fly

“A live comedy production that parodies the 1976–1981 television series Charlie's Angels. Three of LA's favorite drag queens star in the title roles — Kay Sedia (Oscar Quintero), Chita Parol (Ray Garcia), and Frieda Laye (Danny Casillas). In this brand new episode written by Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, young hopeful stewardesses are disappearing, and it's up to Chico's Angels to fly the “not-so-friendly skies.” Can the Angels solve the case? Fasten your seat belts, turbulence was never this spicy!”

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BE A GOOD LITTLE WIDOW

“Young newlywed Melody has never been to a funeral – until her husband dies in a plane crash. Expected to instantly assume proper widowhood, Melody is left to wonder, what's the right way to grieve? Fortunately, her mother-in-law is a professional. Widow, that is. Under her guidance, Melody must try her best to be a good little widow.An emotional comedy about loss and longing from Peabody Award-winning Writer/Producer of NBC's Hit “This Is Us.” Bekah Brunstetter will be participating in a talk-back following the performance on Saturday, June 1st. ”

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ROOTS

“Theatre of NOTE continues its 2019 season with ROOTS:...four wonderfully strange world premiere short plays, written by four accomplished Theatre of NOTE-grown playwrights, which together usher audiences through the complexity of the human condition. A dark comedy for dark times unfolds at a wedding…in either a sitcom or just a disturbed mind (Deadpan). A one-night stand takes a Kafkaesque turn. Is this stranger the one? Or just something very strange (The Smell of Something to Eat)? A story of people who probably definitely love each other, as they encounter tectonic distress (Big Ones). Escaping Soviet Russia, a young woman goes on to found modern conservative philosophy before becoming the subject of her own musical theater production (Rand!). Everyone has their own journey, but we all start at our ROOTS. ”

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Thank You For Loving Me

“August and Bobbie have been broken up for weeks. Bobbie comes back to the apartment she left to pick up the last of her things. Like a manic, time-jumping fever dream- they recreate all of their highs and lows of their relationship. Only, they have differing memories and perceptions of the events. 'Thank You For Loving Me' explores still loving someone yet knowing it is time to say goodbye.”

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Town Brawl

“Inspired by the outrageous stories found on Nextdoor.com, Town Brawl is your chance to witness petty and absurd neighborly drama being settled in a no holds barred town hall meeting. If you hate your neighbors you'll love our show.”

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Daniel's Husband

“Daniel and Mitchell are the perfect couple. What isn't so perfect is that Daniel desperately longs to be married, but Mitchell doesn't believe in it. When a life-altering event throws the couple into crisis, Mitchell must use the laws of his own heart to fight the rules of law. Michael McKeever's funny, passionate and poignant play takes an unflinching look at how we choose to tie the knot — or not.”

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Bronco Billy - The Musical

“The country's going crazy; partisan politics, civil rights threatened, technology exploding. That's right, it's 1979! Somewhere in America's heartland, with more heart than sense, Bronco Billy struggles to keep his traveling Wild West show alive. But when Billy and his ragtag troupe of misfits meet Antoinette, a Manhattan heiress on-the-run, the ride gets even wilder as she turns Billy's world upside down.”

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The Taming of the Shrew

“Directed by Alicia Patterson and Rose Fliegel, the production's focus will be less about the masculine versus feminine and more about the imposed imbalance of power...to directly confront these issues and start a discussion by engaging the audience with a comedic show which portrays how power politics affect the dynamics of a dysfunctional love story.”

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Horny-The Musical

“In Horny-The Musical, we meet Emily. Social-climbing as quickly as possible away from her embarrassingly bohemian mother into the arms of the most eligible bachelor and heir to the Smitt Family Wineries, Emily is the luckiest girl in the world…until she starts to grow horns right before the wedding. Her new social circles could never accept such a thing, so she must resolve the problem before her new fiance––not to mention her new mother-in-law––finds out. Knowing her mother's sexually free nature, she wonders if its genetic and braces herself for the answer to the question: Who is my father? This simple question unleashes an avalanche of satyrs and nymphs from a different world…party-crashing her high-society wedding rehearsal and upending her carefully-constructed plans with wild debauchery and mayhem. If that weren't enough, as prudish Emily's horns continue to grow, so do new…feelings. ”

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Batter Up: My Brain on Baseball

“Brett Moore is totally enamored with baseball, and has been for 25 years. In that time, he's memorized more about baseball than anyone with access to the Internet could possibly need to know. Come watch him perform his amazing feats of baseball memory that are unnecessary, stunning, and highly entertaining and wax poetic about his favorite obsession in a unique solo show that connects patrons and the performer through the love of our national pastime! ”

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Sex With Strangers

“In 'Sex With Strangers,' failed novelist Olivia meets Ethan, a celebrated (and much younger) writer made famous by his sexcapade tell-all blog, at a snowbound bed and breakfast, and their mutual attraction quickly gets hot and heavy. As a weekend tryst develops into a long-term romance, their personal and professional lives collide. Ethan seeks legitimacy, dismissing his bad boy reputation as nothing more than an invented character. Olivia has her doubts, but craves for the literary fame Ethan can offer her. Ambition, identity and trust are in play when online personas clash with real world expectations in this smart, steamy take on modern love.”

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Captivated: You

“A warehouse sits alone at the edge of Silverlake. The story within its walls has already caused the disappearance of a dozen women and a reporter hot on the trail. Now you have come to help the reporter's friend find the truth.
Inside there may be danger. Inside there may be horror. But in the end, there will be one question for you to answer: Who is the actual monster here? Captivated is a modern retelling of the classic horror story Frankenstein. They Played Productions brings you this psychological-horror immersive production where you, the audience, become a character in a story based on the classic tale Frankenstein. YOUR decisions will matter. YOUR choices will lead to one of 45 different endings. YOU will decide who survives…and who dies.”

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A Falling Star At Buzzard's Roost

“A FALLING STAR AT BUZZARD'S ROOST follows hard-touring retro-Rockabilly band, MAUREEN & THE MERCURY 5, performing at a kitschy, Alabama Drive-Inn Diner (off-season). When Maureen plugs in her vintage Elvis mic, she triggers otherworldly powers from the famous “moon rock”, sending the band, their manager and even the diner owner back to the first days of Rock & Roll! The reluctant time-travelers find love and learn life lessons as they struggle to get back to present day — set to the music of Rockabilly Jump Swing Band Maureen & the Mercury 5 (aka M&M5) and Alt-Country Outlaws The Flutterbies.”

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Audio Interview: Jackie Learmond stars in ‘A HOLIDAY COMEDY ShitSH*W' at The Complex Theatre

Original Sketches written and performed by the cast will take you on a hilariously dysfunctional walk down Santa Clause Lane. You'll laugh like a bowl of jelly, you'll cringe just as the Grinch, you'll be merry all while remembering what the true spirit of Christmas is all about; which is to always be politically correct! Mazel Tov!*
Enjoy this interview about “A HOLIDAY COMEDY ShitSH*W” at the The Complex Theatre, running until Dec 12th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Comedians Cinema Club's 'Labyrinth' to Close Down Nerdmelt at Meltdown

Photos by Monique A. LeBleu
Eric Lampaert, as Jareth, entices with an orb of fruit in Comedians Cinema Club's "Labyrinth" at Nerdmelt at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, March 10, 2018.

UPDATE: April 8, 2018 - According to their Facebook page, Comedians Cinema Club's Labyrinth will be April 18, 2018, at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Rabbit Rose in Hollywood.

The Comedians Cinema Club has made the Nerdmelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood their home for nearly two years, taking classic, cult-y favorite films and mixing equal parts improv, movie-lore, music, and audience participation, stirring with alcohol to create a magical concoction to melt away the remains of any bad day, or top off a good one.

Their current improv version of the movie “Labyrinth”—featuring bilingual French-British stand-up comedian and troupe founder Eric Lampaert doing his best, well-endowed, drunken, and bewigged version of Bowie's Jareth, the Goblin King, along with troupe regulars Bryan Vokey, Caitlin Gill, Jeffrey Baldinger, Kara Klenk, Kevin Tienkin, Jared Logan, Ryan Singer, and show narrator, Caitlin Durante—takes the not-so-subtly sexualized film, and its audience, to new literal highs.

It's BYOB, the cast drinks, sometimes they share, nothing is off limits, the audience participates, some people get wet, a few win prizes, everyone laughs, the humorless stay home, the show ends on time (which was most unfortunate) and only designated drivers leave sober.

The improv club's version of the 1980's film “Labyrinth”—the David Bowie and Jim Henson vehicle that simultaneously applied the layered demographic appeal of Muppet fans, glam rockers, pre-teens, and Bowie fans—sold-out so quickly after its initial Facebook event announcement that the group needed to add three or more additional shows at their current Nerdmelt home within Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, all of which have since sold out at Nerdmelt.

But last week, all of it changed. With Meltdown Comics announcing it would be closing its doors “for the last time” on this coming Sunday, April 1, 2018, the closing leaves the Comedians Cinema Club with the dubious honor of hosting the venue's final closing show on Friday night.

Nerdmelt was born from a “recording studio in the building's attic” per a posted letter at their site, and a space which served as the springboard for Chris Hardwick's “sprawling media empire” and his podcast show, “The Nerdist.”

Caitlin Gill as Sarah quiets an audience participant as Toby in Comedians Cinema Club's "Labyrinth" at Nerdmelt at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, March 10, 2018.

A “shared community of creative, nerdy, wonderful people who came together to wear their passions on their sleeve in what felt like an oasis. As a cultural institution and a community center, Meltdown will be sorely missed,” said The Nerdist of Meltdown's closing.

Lampaert, said that the cast heard about the pending close through Gill, and the troupe wasted no time in finding a location for the forth “Labyrinth” show, with hope for their other pending shows.

The show this coming Friday, March 30,—which serves as a default goodbye party to Nerdmelt and Meltdown—will then head to the Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth for their April 21, 2018, show.

The show was initially borne out of what Lampaert found to be the lonely aspect of stand-up.

"My main job is stand-up, which is quite a lonely job. So I just decided to do something where all my friends just fuck around with each other,” he said of the move to a group improv format. “And I love movies. Like a lot. My second love, or equally important love, is movies. So I decided to combine the two. And in the U.K., improv is not that big of a thing."

The addition of the alcohol element to the show stemmed from a need to liven and warm-up U.K. audiences to improv.

Eric Lampaert, left as Jareth, and Caitlin Gill as Sarah in Comedians Cinema Club's "Labyrinth" at Nerdmelt at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, March 10, 2018.

"[Improv] is not respected like it is in America. In the U.K., they really don't give a shit,” laughed Lampaert. “But the concept is fun enough in the U.K. because of the chaotic and alcoholic element," where Lampaert admits he has found to be much milder here in the U.S.

"As comedians, we'd get smashed doing it. That was the really fun bit, which was seeing people out of control,” he continued. “Essentially it's just an adult panto."

Lampaert, as well as Vokey—who also performs at The Improv's Adrenaline—indicated that the movie quiz portion of the show will separate, perhaps expanding to “an hour or hour and a half show” where it will go to another venue, such as The Improv's The Lab Room.

Planned Comedians Cinema Club shows on movies like "The NeverEnding Story" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas," are still looking for a venue, as they too are now canceled with Meltdown/Nerdmelt's pending close.

Alcohol is a special player in Comedians Cinema Club's "Labyrinth" at Nerdmelt at Meltdown Comics, Hollywood, March 10, 2018.

Whether or not the drinking aspect of Comedians Cinema Club's improv'd movie shows will continue is also unclear.

Vokey, who's done stand-up at the Dynasty Typewriter, is hopeful on the potential in the new, larger space for “Labyrinth,” and possibly other shows, finds the move bittersweet.

"It has been one of the most reliable non-club places to do comedy,” said Vokey of Nerdmelt at Meltdown. “They 'get it' because so many comedians work there. They are easy to work with. It's nice to not have the corporate feel that the Comedy Store and The Improv have, so it's sad to see it go."

Follow @ComCineClub on FacebookTwitter, Instagram for updates on coming shows and venues.

4-1-18 Story updated to correct that the closing night show was Friday night and not Saturday.


Closure of iO West Opens Many Doors in the L.A. Improv Community

1270 words, about a 6 minute read.

When the Los Angeles improv community lost venue and teaching institution the iO West Theater in Hollywood on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, the folks at Mi's Westside Comedy Theater, Impro Theater, The Pack and The Nerdist, have stepped in and stepped up to help students seeking continuation in their programs by offering discounts, internship opportunities, and a new home.

Same famous alumni that have come from iO West include Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Kay Cannon, Seth Meyers, Kate Flannery, Stephen Colbert, John Favreau and recent Oscar winner Jordan Peele. Notably, alums Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser, and Matt Walsh, went on to found the Upright Citizens Brigade.

These established L.A. venues offering to help students in their transition not only already cater to the local improv teaching and performance community, but also have ties to, or are alumni of, iO West.

Photo courtesy of M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater

Mi's Westside Comedy Theatre Artistic Director and Actor Nick Armstrong (The Office/Grey's Anatomy), has “deep roots” in iO West, with 17 years as a member and with L.A.'s Critically acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. He and the staff at Westside Comedy plan to intake students in direct continuation from their last levels at iO West.

“Improv is all about support, so we thought 'Why not offer something? We need to do something to help our community,'” said Armstrong.

"We kind of just wanted to open our arms and say, 'Hey, we've got your back!' which is kind of a motto in improv,' and that we wanted to help these displaced improvisers, a lot of which we perform with,” he continued.

iO West was a six level program, so community concern was being able to enter into programs at equal levels so students wouldn't have to start over. Westside has seven core levels with training in different focuses, which Armstrong said is on par with comedy intensive training formats.

Photo courtesy of M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater

At Westside, iO West students can come in at one step level above their last level and those from upper levels offered a 25% discount. The program offers opportunities to workshop in shows on Sundays, and the House Teams pick from classes during daily weekly performances.

Former iO West student and L.A. native Marissa Madsen of online YouTube sketch comedy shows “Those Girls Comedy” and “20's vs. 30's” begins her transition to Westside this week, continuing from level 3. She sees improv as a “good workout as a comedienne” and in honing “gut instincts.”

"I wanted to jump back into classes just to keep my improv skills sharp again because I do a lot of sketch comedy,” said Madsen. “I do miss being somewhat in a performance setting or classroom setting just being able to have a live audience.”

Jacob Sorling, of Colorado, also comes to Westside in March from iO West, where he interned as Stage Manager working in trade for classes. Also working part-time at Second City in LA as a stage manager, and likely again for the upcoming Hollywood Fringe Festival at Fringe Central, Sorling comes to the Westside to not only join some of this fellow students and co-workers, but because the theatre will be honoring his earned credits toward improv classes.

“A lot of the interns at iO were going to be left out to dry because they worked for free for classes that they are no longer going to get any more,” said Armstrong. “So we've offered to honor their classes here at no price.”

The training will fuel Sorling's work on the “Buddy Puzzle” which plays every second Saturday at another Improv venue and school, The Pack, in a show that features ten improv duos performing in five minute monothemes which Sorling co-hosts with partner and girlfriend Anatasha Blakely.

"My intention going in is just to continue in a community that I love,” said Sorling. “Nick [Armstrong] has welcomed me with open arms. I immediately feel like I am welcome there."

Photos are courtesy of The Impro Theatre. Impro Theatre School's Conservatory class performs Tennessee Williams Improvised at Impro Studio on Vermont.

The Impro Theatre is also giving discounts on basic and core classes to students who were at IO West. The Impro teaches narrative and genre improv, using “literary styles as a way to teach improv.”

“I think people take improv for lots of different reasons,” said Producing Artistic Direct Dan O'Connor at Impro. “But those people who did genre who used to be at iO now have a place to come study with us."

With a show in residency at the The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, covering ten months of ten different genres over that times, the Impro Theatre offers students future opportunities to to perform in full length plays with sets, props, costumes, and music. Themed shows like “Chekhov unscripted,” “Sondheim Unscripted” or “Tennessee Williams Unscripted.”

"There's a lot of cross breeding between all of the improv studios in town and it seems like everybody is opening their doors and offering deals to those who are studying that,” said O'Connor.

The Impro does everything: “An all woman, dystopian, YA novel improv group … we have one group that does improvised Star Trek Next Generation ... Shakespeare, H.G. Wells, X-Files, [and] Stranger Things, named 'Stranger Suggestions,'” continued O'Connor.

The Impro is offering $85 off their 12-week courses to former iO students who wish to enroll within the next six months. Students who have completed iO West Level 2 can bypass the Impro Basics course and jump directly into their C.O.R.E. program.

The Pack Theater is offering iO West intern hours up one full free class and adding “additional Level 1's to cover interest” where the teachers will “teach for free” and cover rents.

Students who have completed a class at any level at iO West in the past year will get a 25% discount on their first class at The Pack, and those close to finishing the iO West program—completion of Level 4—can receive an eight week Master Class on Harold for free.

We will also make sure you get some shows up at The Pack. This won't get you the “diploma,” but I think it will finish out what you were pursuing in that program.

Because of the way The Pack's program is designed, they can't offer level transfers or intro levels, as all levels are advanced. IO West students needing discount codes to register online for classes can go to their Facebook page for detail info.

“Since this all has happened so quickly and without warning, these offers will remain in place for the March/April sessions as well as the May/June sessions,” per their Facebook post. “[But] you will all find a new home.”

The Nerdist Improv program is four class levels and offers classes in Improv, Sketch, and Acting. Each level ends with a class show on stage and instructors are trained actors, improvisers and writers.

Classes begin at level 1 and they have internships as well, but iO West students who wish more information can contact them at [email protected]

As The Pack reminds on their Facebook page, “The community is larger than a place. The process ends when we die.”

Photo courtesy of M.i.'s Westside Comedy Theater

To sign up for classes:

Mi's Westside Comedy Theater, 1323-A 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Go to westsidecomedy.com or contact Training Center Director Annie O'Connor at [email protected] for more details.

Impro Theatre, 1727 N Vermont Ave #211, Los Angeles, CA 90027. For more information go to improtheatre.com, [email protected] , [email protected], or call (323) 638-4196.

The Pack, 6470 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Go to packtheater.com, [email protected] or [email protected].

The Nerdist, 7518 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90046. For more information go to nerdistschool.com or email [email protected].

Featured image: Impro Theatre Main Company performs Twilight Zone UnScripted. Photos courtesy of The Impro Theatre