Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – January 6 - 12, 2020


Theatrical, One-Person, Improv, and Comedy shows, Staged Readings, Live Jazz, Music, Dance, and Award Shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

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


(IM)PERFEKT

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Selma with Live Score by Jason Moran

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The Stanley Clarke Band

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17 Border Crossings

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Gifted

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jackbenny: And on the 366th Day

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Arsenic and Old Lace

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John O’Hurley in A Man With Standards

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A Rockin' New Decade

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Three

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That's the End of Our Time: A Magical Tale from Group Therapy

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Unsung Sheroes

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MOVES at @ The Montalbán

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Dr. Venus Opal Reese - THE RAW TRUTH BOOK+ TOUR

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Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

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The Really Awesome Improv Show

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Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!®

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Supportive White Parents

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The Human Comedy

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THE BEST OF SHOWS ON BETTER LEMONS IN 2019

Better Lemons had a fantastic year and we couldn't have done it without the fantastic critics, publicists, and audience members who share their love of Los Angeles theater, by posting on Better Lemons and sharing their favorite shows and their reviews on social media.

We are especially grateful for all the Registered Critics who took their time this past year to rate shows they have reviewed to be included in our LemonMeter.

There were 1200 productions registered on Better Lemons in 2019! Out of those registered shows, over 600 received at least one review from a Critic and 201 were reviewed by Audience members. Out of these shows, we selected the winners that were most favored by Critics and/or Audiences.

Here is a list with all the Better Lemons SWEET productions of 2019:

The Better Lemons DoubleSWEET #LemonMeter Choice Awards for 2019
are going to the following productions:

(33 shows out of 1200 productions received
a DoubleSWEET #LemonMeter rating
from audience and critics)

TALES FROM THE POWDER ROOM at the Whitefire Theatre
41 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

IF WE RUN at the Lounge Theatre
32 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

RAISED BY WOLVES at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
32 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TO DAD WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO BUDDY EBSEN at Theatre West
30 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
14 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

FERTILE: A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE EXPECTATION OF PROCREATION currently at the Whitefire Theatre
27 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
8 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

HOLLYWOODN'T at the Santa Monica Playhouse
20 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

THE BULLY PROBLEM at the Arena Theatre - Theatre of Arts
17 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
9 Critics reviews - 94% Sweet

THE NARCISSIST NEXT DOOR at the Complex Theatre
15 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 75% Sweet

THE ELEPHANT MAN at the El Portal Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 96% Sweet
7 Critics reviews - 93% Sweet

MONO/POLY at the Odyssey Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
5 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

MASTERS OF THE DARK REALM at the Actors Workout Studio
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

BUNNY THE ELF LIVE! currently at the Stages in Fullerton
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

CRACK WHORE, BULIMIC, GIRL-NEXT-DOOR at the Complex Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 96% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

A BIT MUCH at the Lounge Theatre
12 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

(IM)PERFEKT at the Santa Monica Playhouse
11 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
5 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

BLACKBOXING at the Complex Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
5 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

MIL GRUS at the McCadden Place Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
5 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TRANSFERENCE at The Broadwater
9 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
6 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

SCRAPS at the Matrix Theatre
8 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
15 Critics reviews - 87% Sweet

SUPPORTIVE WHITE PARENTS at The Broadwater
8 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

NEIL SIMON'S MUSICAL FOOLS by the Open Fist Theatre Company
7 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
13 Critics reviews - 92% Sweet

ROMEO AND JULIET IN HELL at the Actors Workout Studio
7 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
8 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

FALLEN SAINTS: SALEM at the Actors Workout Studio
7 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
7 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

SAVING CAIN at the Hudson Theatres
6 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
5 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

THE LAST CROISSANT at The Broadwater
5 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
6 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TREYA'S LAST DANCE at the Hudson Theatres
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
10 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

OLIVIA WILDE DOES NOT SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE at the Complex Theatre
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
6 Critics reviews - 92% Sweet

CLARISSANT at the Atwater Village Theatre
4 Audience reviews - 88% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

CIRQUE DU GISELLE at the Assistance League Theater
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

BATTER UP: MY BRAIN ON BASEBALL at studio/stage
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
4 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

JOAN AND WHAT DID THEY SAY - AN EVENING OF ONE ACTS at Theatre Unlimited (T.U. Studios)
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TREASON at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
4 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

45 MILLIGRAMS at The Broadwater
3 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet
3 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

The Better Lemons Audience #LemonMeter Choice Awards for 2019
are going to the following productions:

(32 shows out of 1200 productions received
a minimum of 10 audience reviews
and have received a SWEET #LemonMeter rating by the Audience)

TALES FROM THE POWDER ROOM at the Whitefire Theatre
41 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

IF WE RUN at the Lounge Theatre
32 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

RAISED BY WOLVES at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
32 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

TO DAD WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO BUDDY EBSEN at Theatre West
30 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

FERTILE: A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE EXPECTATION OF PROCREATION currently at the Whitefire Theatre
27 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

AN EXCUSE TO BEHAVE BADLY at the Lounge Theatre
22 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

HOLLYWOODN'T at the Santa Monica Playhouse
20 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

THE BULLY PROBLEM at the Arena Theatre - Theatre of Arts
17 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

TELENOVELA at the Actors Workout Studio
16 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

AMERICAN STRANGER THE MUSICAL at Studio C
16 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

THE NARCISSIST NEXT DOOR at the Complex Theatre
15 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

MONO/POLY at the Odyssey Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

MASTERS OF THE DARK REALM at the Actors Workout Studio
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

BUNNY THE ELF LIVE! currently at the Stages in Fullerton
14 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

CRACK WHORE, BULIMIC, GIRL-NEXT-DOOR Complex Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 96% Sweet

THE ELEPHANT MAN at the El Portal Theatre
14 Audience reviews - 96% Sweet

MANDY PICKS A HUSBAND at the Actors Company
13 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

A BIT MUCH at the Lounge Theatre
12 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

ASK A BLACK WOMAN at Studio C
12 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
12 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

BIRTHDAY at the Actors Company
12 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

(IM)PERFEKT at the Santa Monica Playhouse
11 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

LEAVING PRINCE CHARMING at the Lounge Theatre
11 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

ENERJOYCE...EVOLUTION OF A PISCES BABY BOOMER at the Santa Monica Playhouse
11 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

YES. NO. MAYBE. at the Complex Theatre
11 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

BECOMING PEACE: A ONE WOMAN DRAMEDY ABOUT POWER, CULTURE, VIOLENCE AND NONVIOLENCE at the Lounge Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

CAT SH!T CRAZY...FROM HOT MESS TO HOT MAMA IN FOUR SIMPLE CATS at the Whitefire Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

OCTOPI WALL STREET at the New American Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

EMBRACE LOVE FREE at the Santa Monica Playhouse
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

BLACKBOXING at the Santa Monica Playhouse
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

MIL GRUS at the McCadden Place Theatre
10 Audience reviews - 100% Sweet

The Better Lemons Critics #LemonMeter Choice Awards for 2019
are going to the following productions:

(92 shows out of 1200 productions received
a minimum of 10 critic reviews
and have received a SWEET #LemonMeter rating by the Critics)

DANIEL'S HUSBAND at The Fountain Theatre
26 Critics reviews - 96% Sweet

WITCH at the Geffen Playhouse
21 Critics reviews - 93% Sweet

HANDJOB by the Echo Theater Company
21 Critics reviews - 79% Sweet

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at the Ahmanson Theatre
21 Critics reviews - 76% Sweet

THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by the Antaeus Theatre Company
20 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

SKINTIGHT at the Geffen Playhouse
19 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE by the Antaeus Theatre Company
19 Critics reviews - 97% Sweet

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at The Fountain Theatre
19 Critics reviews - 79% Sweet

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS at the Ahmanson Theatre
18 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

MATTHEW BOURNE'S SWAN LAKE at the Ahmanson Theatre
18 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

1776 THE MUSICAL at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
18 Critics reviews - 94% Sweet

BRONCO BILLY - THE MUSICAL at the Skylight Theatre Company
18 Critics reviews - 92% Sweet

AN INSPECTOR CALLS at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
18 Critics reviews - 81% Sweet

DEADLY at the Sacred Fools Theater Company
18 Critics reviews - 75% Sweet

ON BECKETT at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
17 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

HELLO DOLLY at the Pantages Theatre
17 Critics reviews - 97% Sweet

READY STEADY YETI GO at the Rogue Machine Theatre
17 Critics reviews - 82% Sweet

TOO MUCH SUN at the Odyssey Theatre
17 Critics reviews - 82% Sweet

SALVAGE at the Lounge Theatre
16 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

LOOT at the Odyssey Theatre
16 Critics reviews - 91% Sweet

ANNE, A NEW PLAY at the Museum of Tolerance
16 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES at the Geffen Playhouse
16 Critics reviews - 84% Sweet

NICK DEAR'S FRANKENSTEIN at A Noise Within
16 Critics reviews - 78% Sweet

RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL at the Pasadena Playhouse
15 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

INDECENT at the Ahmanson Theatre
15 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
15 Critics reviews - 97% Sweet

DANA H. at the Kirk Douglas Theatre
15 Critics reviews - 97% Sweet

EIGHT NIGHTS by the Antaeus Theatre Company
15 Critics reviews - 93% Sweet

FALSETTOS at the Ahmanson Theatre
15 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

A KID LIKE JAKE by the IAMA Theatre Company
15 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

LACKAWANNA BLUES at the Mark Taper Forum
15 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

HYPE MAN at The Fountain Theatre
15 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

SCRAPS at the Matrix Theatre
15 critics reviews - 87% Sweet

OTHELLO at A Noise Within
15 Critics reviews - 80% Sweet

PARADISE at the Matrix Theatre
15 Critics reviews - 77% Sweet

LINDA VISTA at the Mark Taper Forum
15 Critics reviews - 77% Sweet

AUGUST WILSON'S JITNEY at the Mark Taper Forum
14 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TO DAD WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO BUDDY EBSEN at Theatre West
14 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
14 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

DIANA OF DOBSON'S by the Antaeus Theatre Company
14 Critics reviews - 93% Sweet

MOBY DICK - REHEARSED at Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
14 Critics reviews - 89% Sweet

THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER by Deaf West Theatre
14 Critics reviews - 89% Sweet

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Pasadena Playhouse
14 Critics reviews - 75% Sweet

TWO TRAINS RUNNING AT MATRIX at the Matrix Theatre
13 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

IN CIRCLES at the Odyssey Theatre
13 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TWELFTH NIGHT at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
13 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

RAGTIME at the Chance Theater
13 Critics reviews - 96% Sweet

NEIL SIMON'S MUSICAL FOOLS by the Open Fist Theatre Company
13 Critics reviews - 92% Sweet

WITNESS UGANDA at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
13 Critics reviews - 92% Sweet

THE JOY WHEEL at the Ruskin Group Theatre
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

THE WOLVES by the Echo Theater Company
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

FAITH HEALER at the Odyssey Theatre
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

THE NICETIES at the Geffen Playhouse
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

ARGONAUTIKA at A Noise Within
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

THE PRODUCERS at the Celebration Theatre @ The Lex
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

FEFU AND HER FRIENDS at the Odyssey Theatre
13 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

LIGHTS OUT: NAT "KING" COLE at the Geffen Playhouse
13 Critics reviews - 85% Sweet

GRUMPY OLD MEN: THE MUSICAL at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
13 Critics reviews - 77% Sweet

HAPPY DAYS at the Mark Taper Forum
12 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

CANYON at theLos Angeles Theatre Center
12 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

THE VANDAL at the Chance Theater
12 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Ruskin Group Theatre
12 Critics reviews - 96% Sweet

NANCY F***ING REAGAN at the Secret Rose Theatre
12 Critics reviews - 88% Sweet

AMERICA ADJACENT at theSkylight Theatre Company
12 Critics reviews - 83% Sweet

DEFENDERS at The Broadwater
12 Critics reviews - 79% Sweet

ANASTASIA at the Pantages Theatre
12 Critics reviews - 75% Sweet

JULIUS WEEZER at the El Portal Theatre
11 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

ANDY WARHOL’S TOMATO at the Pacific Resident Theatre
11 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

BURIED CHILD at A Noise Within
11 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
11 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

HERSHEY FELDER: A PARIS LOVE STORY at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
11 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

ANNA IN THE TROPICS by the Open Fist Theatre Company
11 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

THE GLASS MENAGERIE at A Noise Within
11 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

AT THE TABLE at The Road Theatre Company
11 Critics reviews - 91% Sweet

MISS LILLY GETS BONED at the Rogue Machine Theatre
11 Critics reviews - 91% Sweet

SISTERS IN LAW at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
11 Critics reviews - 91% Sweet

THE GREAT LEAP at the Pasadena Playhouse
11 Critics reviews - 91% Sweet

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Odyssey Theatre
11 Critics reviews - 86% Sweet

M. BUTTERFLY at the South Coast Repertory
11 Critics reviews - 77% Sweet

THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER by The Group Rep/Lonny Chapman Theatre
10 Critics reviews - 100% Sweet

TREYA'S LAST DANCE at the Hudson Theatres
10 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

DAMES AT SEA by the Sierra Madre Playhouse
10 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

NEVER IS NOW at the Skylight Theatre Company
10 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

THE NEW ONE at the Ahmanson Theatre
10 Critics reviews - 95% Sweet

FRIENDS WITH GUNS at The Road Theatre Company
10 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA THE MUSICAL by 5 Star Theatricals
10 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

DISNEY'S FROZEN at the Pantages Theatre
10 Critics reviews - 90% Sweet

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by the 24th STreet Theatre
10 Critics reviews - 85% Sweet

SPECIAL at the Theatre of Note
10 Critics reviews - 85% Sweet

SWEENEY TODD - THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET at the South Coast Repertory
10 Critics reviews - 85% Sweet

FIFTEEN MEN IN A SMOKE-FILLED ROOM at Theatre 40
10 Critics reviews - 85% Sweet

LOOSE KNIT by The Group Rep/Lonny Chapman Theatre
10 Critics reviews - 80% Sweet


TICKETHOLDER AWARDS 2019 PART I

My 28th annual TicketHolder Awards are now posted on my TicketHoldersLA website in two parts. You can read it below and click here for photos.

Choosing my honorees this year is a real bitch. Almost as many tears shed as Carrie Ann Inaba eliminating a sports figure she finds hot. Yet there’s not much else good to write home about in 2019 besides theatre in El Lay. Between the mess we’re making of our planet and the eye-opening disintegration of everything I’ve championed and held dear all my life, thank Terpsichore it’s been a spectacular year for the creation of theatrical art to help ease the pain and frustration of living in our Trumpian nightmare. And even though I have a whole heap of productions to honor this year, with part of my time spent in New Orleans hosting an exhibit of my paintings and medical issues to tackle that seem to come with the territory at age 348, there were also a lot of noteworthy productions I sadly missed. In my world, it’s definitely been a year to praise some monumental directorial work and a plethora of spectacular ensemble casts; choosing winners in both categories has not been an easy task. And what do you think of the Geffen Playhouse? After too long a period of less-than exciting fare, the announcement in 2017 that Matt Shakman had been hired as the complex’s artistic director guaranteed a positive change and without a doubt, the turn around has been staggering. Two of the company’s casts are tied here for Best Ensemble, two of its masterful set designs are as well, and five of my top production choices for 2019 were presented at the Geffen, including my second, third, ninth, and tenth pick for Best Play and second choice of Best Revival. If I gave an annual award for Best Season, surely the Geffen Playhouse would win this year. As a matter of fact, maybe I should initiate such a thing. As a matter of fact, I think I will. 

THE 2019 TICKETHOLDER AWARD
FOR BEST SEASON

Geffen Playhouse; Matt Shakman, resident puppetmaster

BEST PRODUCTION OF 2019

Linda Vista, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum
The Thanksgiving Play, Geffen Playhouse
RUNNERS-UP: The Abuelas, Antaeus; Andy Warhol’s Tomato, Pacific Resident Theatre; Apple Season, Moving Arts; Dana H., CTG/Douglas; The End of Sex, Victory Theatre Center; For The Love Of (or the Roller Derby Play), Theatre of NOTE/CTG at the Douglas; 4.48 Psychosis, Son of Semele; Frankenstein, A Noise Within; Handjob, Echo Theatre Company; The Mountaintop, Garry Marshall Theatre; On Beckett, CTG/Douglas; The Play That Goes Wrong, CTG/, Ahmanson; Sisters in Law, Wallis Annenberg Center

BEST REVIVAL PRODUCTION

JitneyCenter Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum 
FalsettosCenter Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
RUNNERS-UP: The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company; Cats, Pantages; The Cripple of Inishmaan, Anteaus Theatre Company; Happy Days, CTG/Mark Taper Forum; Hello, Dolly!, Pantages; Jesus Christ Superstar, Pantages; Loot, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble; The Ruffian on the Stairs, Los Angeles LGBT Center; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Garry Marshall Theatre

BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION

Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

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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Audio Interview: Derek Chariton - Heinrich (Stargate Origins) stars in "Andy Warhol’s Tomato" at Pacific Resident Theatre

Pittsburgh folklore has it that there is a working class bar which has the reputation for being the place where a teenage Andy Warhol drew on napkins in exchange for Coca-Cola. While drinking at that same bar, playwright, Vince Melocchi, began to see it in a different way… as a creative, mysterious place. He noted, “Andy allowed us to see, think, and feel about art in a completely new way. I wanted to find out who and what were his real influences. Andy Warhol’s Tomato imagines a chance encounter between Warhol and a Pittsburgh bar owner, as one of the steps on Warhol's extraordinary journey in life”*

Enjoy this interview with Derek Chariton - Heinrich (Stargate Origins) and the cast of “Andy Warhol’s Tomato” at The Pacific Resident Theatre, running until Sep 29th. 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


JOAN OF ART - A theatre experience that makes you question what it is to be human, Grammy Award Winning Blues Man, Artisans and their wears and healthy delicious food

The weekend is here and the rain has stopped so it's time to step outside for some fun, starting with a play that, besides entertaining you, will definitely make you think.

Smart Love written by Brian Letscher and directed by Elina de Santos is about Artificial Intelligence and how humans, one day, will most certainly be faced with deciding what makes us truly human.

In this excellent production, now playing at the Pacific Resident Theatre located at 703 Venice Boulevard in Venice, the main character Sandy (the excellent Melissa Weber Bales) a woman in her 50's, is faced with exactly that question.

Thanks to her son Benji (Zachary Grant) who may or not be crazy arrives at her house with a surprise. He has brought back to life her husband, Ron (the wonderful Michael Mantell). It seems Benji has stolen Ron who is an A. I. (Artificial Intelligence) from MIT and the federal government who are hunting him in order to retrieve their merchandise. You can't blame them since Ron cost $20 million dollars to create.

Smart Love runs Thursday through Saturday at 8m and Sundays at 3 until Febuary 24, 2019. For tickets call 310-822-8392 or go to PacificResidentTheatre.com.

Now there is nothing like some really great music to make you feel good so Saturday night I will be at the Canyon Club located at 28912 Roadside Drive Agoura Hills CA, to see the legendary Taj Mahal and the Phantom blues Band.

Grammy Award winning Taj Mahal is not only a legend but he's a visionary whose blues/world music is known for trailblazing exploration of a variety of musical genres. This blues master's career spans fifty something years and includes influences from around the world, including the West Indies, India, South Asia, Africa, Latin America and more.

He has helped to reshape the definition and scope of blues music. He's released over twenty five studio albums plus live albums and complications and has worked with artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder, Van Morrision, Sammy Hagar, Wynton Marsalis, Eric Clapton and more. This is one show you do not want to miss.

To buy tickets go to CanyonClub.net or call 818-879-5016.

And now for some daytime fun. If you love jewelry, gemstones, textiles, and handcrafted beads, the place to be this weekend is the PASADENA BEAD AND DESIGN SHOW and I will be there on Sunday.

The show is open to the public. You can shop and buy direct from artisans and trades people at excellent prices - beads, art clothing, jewelry, gemstones, textiles and the largest selection of handcrafted beads, art jewelry and gems.

Many products offered for the first time-and by the artisans themselves, including an array of designer accessories such as felted hats, art wear, hand-dyed silks, hand tooled leather and eco-dyed and up cycled clothing.

The exhibitors, who are carefully chosen by invitation, include both traditional and contemporary artisans, high quality merchants and wholesale suppliers.

The show is being held at the Hilton Pasadena Hotel located at 168 South Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101. It runs January 18-20, 2019 from 10am-6pm Friday-Sunday.

For more information and to buy tickets go to BeadAndDesign.com or call 1-888-747-1123.

There are also 150 workshops offered daily 8am to 9pm. Admission at the door is $10.00. Advanced tickets are $8.00.

Now after all this shopping and since you are in Pasadena you might one to try one of my favorite restaurants TRUE FOOD KITCHEN a relaxed, eco-chic chain serving health conscious fare, including vegan options, plus cocktails. The resturant is located at 168 West Colorado Blvd in Pasadena.

The renowned physician and doctor of integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil founded True Food Kitchen with the simple belief that food should make you feel better, not worse. From day one, Weil and his team championed his vision to bring this new way of eating to each one of his kitchens located throughout the United States.

Don't get scared away by the word 'healthy'. Trust me I've eaten here several times and the food is absolutely delicious. To check out the menu go to Places.SinglePlatform.com. To read more about the restaurant go to TrueFoodKitchen.com.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend make it a fun one. I know I will.


Audio Interview: Corinne Shor stars in ‘I AM SOPHIE' at Pacific Resident Theatre

"I Am Sophie." is an exploration of identity in which YOU become the confidante to Sophie Carter, formerly known as Kate Carter. Sophie is a changed woman returning to the United States after living in France. She comes home to take care of her sick father and when she arrives, her loved ones meet Sophie for the first time. What follows is an existential adventure. With humor and an aching heart, Sophie has us all wondering – “Am I who I think I am?”*
Enjoy this interview about “I AM SOPHIE” staring Corinne Shor at the Pacific Resident Theatre, running until Jan 27th. 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


Now Registered This Week on the Better Lemons Calendar - November 12 through November 18, 2018

NEW! Theatrical shows, Musical Concerts, and Film Festivals registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Calendar Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Calendar Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Calendar Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Calendar Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Calendar Page for ticket and show information.


Director Michael Peretzian on Anthony Minghella, Changing Careers & Helming CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE/HANG UP

Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella's early radio plays CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE and HANG UP will receive their West Coast premiere at the Pacific Resident Theatre beginning July 15, 2017. Friend and former talent agent of Anthony Minghella, Michael Peretzian will be directing this edition. We jumped at the chance to delve into Michael's thoughts on forsaking his long and lucrative career that initiated his unique friendship with the prolific writer/director Anthony Minghella.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview!
Both CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE and HANG UP were written by Anthony Minghella as radio plays in the late 1980's. What year did he first ask you to direct CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE as a main stage production?
Actually, we never talked about it.  Anthony unexpectedly and sadly died at the age of 54 on March 18, 2008.  He was more than my client, he was one of my dearest friends. I miss him very much, so for me, doing these plays brings him back for a moment and I can hear his voice again. 
You were Anthony Minghella's theatrical agent at CAA. He must have known of your legit background studying at UCLA and teaching at the Pasadena Playhouse. What was his reaction to the non-agent side of you?
Anthony knew that I was moonlighting as a director while I was an agent, so when I decided to let go of my career as an agent to go back to directing plays, at my good-bye party thrown at CAA, he gave me a gift - a carry-on bag that was loaded with anthologies of plays written by Pinter, Brecht and Ibsen, to name a few. His agent (in the U.K.) Judy Daish and his widow Carolyn Choa were thrilled that I did these readings, so I think Anthony would be pleased, too, if only to keep his legacy alive.
Do you remember what notes he gave you on directing his play?
Never did that happen. His notes are from the anthology of his plays published as Anthony Minghella: Plays 2 by Methuen in 1997, and serve as my guiding notes from him.
Any major tweaks to your directing approach since the first time directing CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE and this current one?

Yes. We are doing them as an enhanced play reading - not as a radio broadcast, as though the actors are British actors doing these readings in the 1980's during the time of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. So the stage directions are not read by an actor on stage this time. The concept is closer to LOVE LETTERS, or VAGINA MONOLOGUES, but with the sound cues heard as they would have been heard in a broadcast, without a Foley technician. In other words, without a set per se, but with sound  being used primarily to set the location for each scene as indicated in the script.
You directed a staged reading of HANG UP for Pacific Resident Theatre in June of last year. What circumstances or factors inspired the pairing up of HANG UP with CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE for this current production?
All of these characters live in the time of Margaret Thatcher's government and her alignment with the "free market" philosophy of Ronald Reagan and each character in a way is a product of those times.
You brought back the entire cast from the June 2016 workshop production for this present one. Would you say it's more efficient/easier/advantageous/fun to work with creative talents you have experience with?

Yes, definitely, there is a shorthand that we have in our work which is a great advantage. But, what is interesting in our approach to the material now is how we have grown and discovered subtle undercurrents which were always there, but not as completely realized as we are finding them to be this time around.
As one who's been an active creative in the Los Angeles theatre community, do you believe actors in LA have a unique situation when it comes to performing in Equity-Waiver plays, different from theatres in other cities? A main reason, besides the experience and exercising their acting chops, is the hope that they will be seen by someone who will book them for a film or TV role.

In the Los Angeles Equity-Waiver theatre community, there exists a host of opportunities for actors, especially to tone and exercise their craft between chances to earn an income in television and film -  a unique asset not found as much in other major cities such as New York and Chicago. Certainly, actors in Off-Broadway can earn $600/week or more working in a production between plays, but other career opportunities with more potential income are rare, and Chicago actors primarily seem to enjoy working in the theatre exclusively. But in Los Angeles, while waiting to be cast in a pilot, there are many ways you can keep creatively fit until that break comes your way if you are lucky. 
I haven't had the chance to ask this question from any of my past interviewees: but did you as an agent at both William Morris and CAA ever go to Equity-Waiver productions to scout talent? Or did you know of any talent agents who did?
Not many agents do this, but yes, I did go to Equity-Waiver plays which is where I discovered and became the first agent for several LA artists. At a small theater downtown, called the Night House, I saw John Steppling's THE SHAPER. I attended Jon Robin Baitz' MIZLANSKY/ZILINSKY at a small theater on Melrose, Damon Intrabartolo and Kristin Hanggi's production of bare at the Hudson Theatres in Theatre Row, to name a few.
Any particular plays you would love to direct?
Yes, it has been done here already, but yes, I hope I can one day direct Stephen Karam's SONS OF THE PROPHET somewhere, as well as Will Eno's REALISTIC JONESES.
Any projects in the near future you can share with us?
On August 6,  I will be directing a reading of a new play DEATH HOUSE by a young playwright, Jason Karasev as part of The Road's Summer Playwrights Festival 8. And next year, I am to direct the world premiere of a wonderful new play BEDLAM by Zayd Dohrn at the Rogue Machine.
Do you recall any specific audience reaction you were not expecting in the original CIGARETTES & CHOCOLATE you directed?

Well, most audiences were taken by the skill of the actors in the original version which is why I insisted we only do this with them. We had more laughs than I expected then, and the new version adds a more human quality which we hope to make the experience even richer than the original version.
What Pacific Resident Theatre audience responses would you be thrilled with after the cast's curtain call?

It would be a recognition of Minghella's gifts as a writer, and their amazement how what affected him then to write these characters is so familiar in amazing and disturbing ways today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are in the end all humans, all leading messy lives who, as Minghella would say, are nevertheless capable of love and healing.
Thank you again, Sir! I look forward to re-experiencing Anthony Minghella's voice via your directorial vision.
For ticket availability and show schedule through September 10, 2017; log onto www.pacificresidenttheatre.com