EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

THE TRAGEDY OF MEDUSA @ Son of Semele

January 16, 2019 8:00 pm

The romantic relationship between the goddess Athena and her human priestess, Medusa is complicated when the other gods find out and intervene. This nuanced and challenging retelling of the classical Medusa myth is poetic ...read more


DEFINITION OF MAN @ Arena Theater

January 17, 2019 7:00 pm

A sexier, more violent Waiting for Godot, Definition of Man is a physicalized post-modern decreation myth. The one-act was created by Nikki Muller and Jason Rosario by synthesizing personal narratives, academic texts and Russian ...read more


THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN @ Antaeus Theatre at Kiki David Gindler Performing Arts Center

January 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Inspired by the real-life filming of the documentary Man of Aran, Olivier Award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh's dark comedy is set on the small Aran Island community of Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) off the Western Coast ...read more


IT IS DONE @ Theatre 40

January 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Hank's Bar is a roadside joint on a desolate highway in the middle of nowhere. Hank the barkeep (played by Kurtis Bedford) passes the time when he has no customers by perusing a porn ...read more


DOUBLE DOUBLE - A MEDITATION ON MACBETH @ The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

January 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Macbeth didn't die on the battlefield of Dunsinane — he entered witness protection and was relocated to 1950s Los Angeles to sell insurance.  Double Double collides Macbeth with the classic film noir Double Indemnity, delivering ...read more


GRAY PEOPLE (2019 EXTENSION)@ The Belfry Stage (Upstairs)

January 17, 2019 8:30 pm

Critics Lemonade: 100%
Audience Lemonade: 100%

Walter Kartman and Kyle Felts - Photo Credit: Carlos R. Hernandez Kyle Felts, Walter Kartman and Olivia Lemmon - Photo Credit: Carlos R. Hernandez...read more


BRILLIANT [email protected] Lounge Theatre

January 18, 2019 8:00 pm

Rosannah Deluce has been driving for days. Her car dies in a snowbound corner of Alaska. In distress, she seeks shelter in the only nearby structure, an old barn that is the home of ...read more


HOW TO PRODUCE A HOLLYWOOD FRINGE SHOW @ Studio C

January 19, 2019 1:00 pm

Excited about the thought of doing a show at HFF, but have concerns and questions? Get the answers to your questions and an overview of the Hollywood Fringe in this 3 hour workshop, taught ...read more


LIZZIE @ Bootleg Theater

January 19, 2019 7:30 pm

Critics Lemonade: 100%

EXTENDED! LIZZIE will now bring the axe down at the Bootleg Theater Jan. 19-27, 2019 On a sweltering summer morning in 1892, in a small New England city, a prominent businessman and his wife were ...read more


SHEENA [email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Grammy Award winning singer, recording artist and actress Sheena Easton is a versatile performer who is a top concert attraction around the world. Known for numerous hit songs, including “U Got the Look” with ...read more


THE 39 STEPS @ Morgan-Wixson Theatre

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Hitchcock meets hilarious in this fast-paced mystery/romantic comedy/adventure for everyone who loves the magic of theater. The Morgan-Wixson presents The 39 Steps, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan and based ...read more


HIR @ Odyssey Theatre

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

A darkly funny, shockingly absurd and endlessly surprising vision of a world in transition by MacArthur genius Taylor Mac. Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from Afghanistan with a dishonorable discharge, only to ...read more


AN EVENING WITH JOHN WILKES BOOTH @ Theatre West

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) was notable on several accounts. He was a successful and wealthy actor, and member of a celebrated show business family (son of Junius Brutus Booth and brother to Edwin and ...read more


FAMILY [email protected] Jewish Women's Theatre @ The Braid

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Moving and funny show of stories exploring secrets only whispered about, until now! ...read more


SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE FINAL PROBLEM (OLD TIME RADIO STYLE) @ Long Beach Performing Arts Center (Beverly O'Neill Theatre)

January 19, 2019 8:00 pm

When Holmes and Moriarty face off at Reichbach, one or both must fall! In the last of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first run of Sherlock Holmes stories, he wanted a dramatic showdown between the super-sleuth ...read more


CINDERELLA @ Santa Monica Playhouse

January 20, 2019 12:30 pm

The Los Angeles Times dubbed this Santa Monica Playhouse original family theatre musical  "An Enchanting Cinderella!…captivates its young audience, highlighted by fast pacing, fancy costuming and a lovely, unweepy Cinderella…she's no slouch with a ...read more


THE MARRIAGE ZONE @ Santa Monica Playhouse

January 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Critics Lemonade: 87%
Audience Lemonade: 100%

Cal and Beth are selling their home. They're visited by Skip and Ellie, an engaged couple, very much in love who are eager to buy their first home. They're joined by Mike and Liz, ...read more


ALEICHEM SHOLOM! THE WIT AND WISDOM OF SHOLOM ALEICHEM @ Santa Monica Playhouse

January 20, 2019 3:30 pm

Critics Lemonade: 92%

Extended Once More! Take a journey through the life, loves and laughter of the world's most beloved Yiddish humorist, as you are treated to an in-depth look at the foolish philosophers, philosophical fools, comical ...read more


ROD SERLING'S STORIES FROM THE ZONE @ Theatre 40

January 21, 2019 8:00 pm

Rod Serling's Stories from the Zone consists of stage adaptations of two classic episodes of his best-loved TV series. Mr. Garrity and the Graves: In the Old West circa 1890, a man and his ...read more


WELL @ Lindhurst Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 22, 2019 7:30 pm

"This play is not about my mother and me," begins Lisa Kron in this hilarious, moving story that combines the genres of solo performance and experimental theatre with the timeless story of mothers and ...read more


BILL FRISELL “WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR” FEATURING PETRA HADEN, THOMAS MORGAN, & RUDY ROYSTON @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 22, 2019 8:00 pm

With a career that has spanned more than 35 years, guitarist and composer Bill Frisell's diverse catalog has been described as “the best recorded output ...read more 


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

THE MANOR: MURDER AND MADNESS AT GREYSTONE @ Greystone Mansion

January 10, 2019 6:00 pm

The Manor- Murder and Madness at Greystone is by now a Los Angeles/Beverly Hills institution. The play, now in its seventeenth year, surpassed its 200th performance in 2014. The show is a roman a ...read more


JOHN [email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 10, 2019 8:00 pm

As the founder, singer, and songwriter of The Lovin' Spoonful, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Sebastian has made an indelible mark on the American musical fabric. Boasting numerous Top 10 hits ...read more


JOCASTA: A MOTHERF**KING TRAGEDY @ The Broadwater

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

An alcoholic tattoo artist, a kid who's been swimming laps for 25 years, an ex- con, and a woman who believes she can see the future help Jocasta when she is awakened from a ...read more


THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK @ The Complex

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

LATINX “THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK” RETURNS FOR LIMITED SIX WEEK LOS ANGELES RUN Directed By Stan Zimmerman Saturday, January 12, 2019 TDOAF - New Main Graphic - 12.13.jpg Best Selling Book - Pulitzer ...read more


LAST CALL @ Atwater Village Theatre

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

In this semi-autobiographical dramedy by writer/producer Anne Kenney (Outlander, Switched at Birth, L.A. Law), the Vaughn family's go-to defense mechanism of sarcasm and mordant humor falls short when the aging parents hatch a not-so-funny ...read more


BENDING THE SPOON @ Santa Monica Playhouse

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

Three generations of a family prepare to celebrate the upcoming birthday of the youngest member. Doing so, however, forces them to come to terms with past relationships, past decisions and past actions involving a ...read more


OUR TOWN @ Westchester Playhouse

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

The production is directed by Stanley Brown and produced by Kathy Dershimer for Kentwood Players with rights secured from Samuel French, Inc. Featured in the cast in alphabetical order are Dan Adams, Stephen Anthony ...read more


TWELFTH NIGHT @ Theatre Palisades (Pierson Playhouse)

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

This is Illyria, folks! Our heroine is shipwrecked. Her brother presumably drowned. Disguising herself as a boy, she joins Duke Orsino's court. She is sent as his emissary to the Countess Olivia, who's mourning ...read more


SOUL CRUSHING DISCO BALL @ Hudson Guild Theatre

January 11, 2019 8:00 pm

Anarchy Pictures and Gia Paladino are proud to present a World Premiere play by an award-winning playwright team, Travis Perkins and Chambers Stevens. Opening January 4, 2019. The new play will be at The ...read more


SHOW UP, KIDS! INTERACTIVE FAMILY COMEDY @ The Complex

January 12, 2019 2:30 pm

Following a sold out, critically acclaimed, 7-month run in NYC, Peter Michael Marino's interactive "Show Up, Kids!” makes it west coast premiere at Complex Hollywood, January 12-20. This entirely unique, improvised, family show for ...read more


JEFFREY OSBORNE @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 12, 2019 8:00 pm

Dubbed "the number one hit maker of the 1980s" (Radio and Records), R&B singer Jeffrey Osborne has unequivocally made his mark on contemporary music. With hit singles like "Stay with Me Tonight," "Only Human," ...read more


INDEPENDENCE @ Theatre West

January 12, 2019 8:00 pm

Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919) was the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army, a suffragist, an abolitionist, a prohibitionist, endured four months in a Confederate prison and remains, to this day, the only woman ...read more


ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

January 13, 2019 2:00 pm

The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, "the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling," and brilliant Californian cellist, Natalie Haas, spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. Over the ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

WICKED @ Pantages Theatre

November 29, 2018 2:00 pm

WICKED, the Broadway sensation, looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle.  Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing ...read more


COME FROM [email protected] Ahmanson Theatre

November 29, 2018 2:00 pm

This New York Times Critics' Pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but ...read more


DIXIE'S TUPPERWARE PARTY @ Kirk Douglas Theatre

November 29, 2018 8:00 pm

This hilarious Off-Broadway smash returns to Los Angeles, featuring Dixie Longate, the fast-talking, gum chewing, ginger-haired Alabama gal who is bringing your grandma's Tupperware party out of the living room and into the 21st ...read more


NICOLE HENRY, SET FOR THE SEASON @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

November 30, 2018 8:00 pm

Renowned for her potent combination of dynamic vocals, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance, acclaimed jazz singer Nicole Henry brings new life to classic holiday repertoire. Her expressive vocals and stage-commanding charisma have earned ...read more


WHITE NIGHTS, BLACK [email protected] Hudson Guild Theatre

November 30, 2018 8:00 pm

In 1978, People's Temple, a progressive, Black multiracial church, self-destructed in a Guyana settlement named after its founder, the Reverend Jim Jones. A riveting story of complicity and resistance; loyalty and betrayal; black struggle ...read more


A HARMONY BOYS CHRISTMAS – LIVE FROM WAIKIKI BEACH! @ The Broadwater

November 30, 2018 8:00 pm

The Boys are back! It's 1963 all over again and famed foursome The Harmony Boys are returning to spread Christmas Cheer all over your face in a new holiday special on the gay and ...read more


FIRST NIGHT BY JACK NEARY @ Point Loma Playhouse

November 30, 2018 8:00 pm

First Night by Jack Neary A bright, warm comedy about dreams, life and love, that had critics and audiences cheering at its premiere. Danny Flemming had convinced himself that life's dreams can't be anything more ...read more


IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE @ Theatre West

November 30, 2018 8:00 pm

"It's a Wonderful Life." Matt Johnson directs this radio-drama style staging of the holiday classic, based on the 1947 Lux Radio Theatre version, about a man who learns how important his life is to ...read more


ELF THE [email protected] Musical Theatre West, Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

December 1, 2018 2:00 pm

Based on the cherished 2003 hit film starring Will Ferrell, Elf the Musical is the story of Buddy the elf. Featuring songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, The Wedding Singer), with ...read more


THE SANTALAND DIARIES @ Santa Monica Playhouse The Main Stage

December 1, 2018 8:00 pm

"A sardonic, merrily subversive tale—just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!" NY Newsday. Patrick Censoplano  once again dons the ...read more


JAKE SHIMABUKURO @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

December 1, 2018 8:00 pm

In just over a decade of recording music and playing sold-out shows worldwide, Jake Shimabukuro has already redefined the ukulele. In his hands this diminutive Hawaiian instrument becomes a complex and bold new musical ...read more


A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ The Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center

December 1, 2018 8:00 pm

From award winning solo performer comes the classic Dickens tale of redemption and hope. Blanco's tour de force performance brings Dickens' wonderful characters to life with magic and audience participation. The lessons of forgivenes ...read more


DEATH HOUSE @ The Road Theatre Company

December 1, 2018 8:00 pm

On the night a death-house chaplain must hand over the reigns to the confident young pastor set to replace him, the men encounter an enigmatic inmate who challenges their convictions and changes their lives ...read more


HOW TO PRODUCE A HOLLYWOOD FRINGE SHOW @ Asylum (Inter)national House - Combined Artform

December 2, 2018 2:00 pm

How to Produce a Hollywood Fringe Show taught by Matthew Quinn Excited about the thought of doing a show at HFF, but have concerns and questions? Get the answers to your questions and an overview of ...read more


SUGAR PLUM FAIRY @ Skylight Theatre Company

December 2, 2018 3:00 pm

Skylight Theatre Company and Frier McCollister present Sandra Tsing Loh's “Sugar Plum Fairy” Directed by Bart De Lorenzo This offbeat and thoroughly original holiday treat offers festive cheer while engaging audiences to participate (think G-rated ...read more


A HOLIDAY COMEDY SHITSH*[email protected] The Complex

December 4, 2018 7:30 pm

A Holiday Comedy ShitSH*W LOS ANGELES PREMIERE New Banner - SJK 11.6.18.jpg An Original Sketch Comedy Walk Down A Hilarious Dysfunctional Santa Clause Lane December 4, 2018 @ The Complex Theatre Opening December 4 ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

IRISH FILM FESTIVAL @ A Noise Within

October 25, 2018 7:00 pm

Irish Screen America showcases contemporary media makers and their work in the US though screening, panels and receptions in New York and Los Angeles. ...read more


DESERT RATS @ Los Angeles Theatre Center

October 25, 2018 8:00 pm

A dark comedy about life and crime in America's contemporary West. In a squalid motel room on a hellish day in Barstow, brothers Frank and Jesse plan a kidnapping. When day turns into night ...read more


MEMBERS ONLY @ Los Angeles Theatre Center

October 25, 2018 8:00 pm

A roller-coaster ride to redemption. The year is 1982: the golden age of boxing, the dying gasp of disco, the flowering of identity politics — a time before AIDS had a name. Two decades ...read more


THE SHOOTER'S BIBLE @ Los Angeles City College

October 25, 2018 8:00 pm

Vietnam, March 14, 1970. For Lt. Jockey John and his men, tonight their war and their world comes down to this one room on this one last night. ...read more


THE [email protected] MiMoDa Studio

October 26, 2018 8:00 pm

The Constitution by Mickaël de Oliveira tells the story of four actors, who are invited by the government to write a new Constitution during troublesome political times. They are sequestered from society and given ...read more


PL.A.Y NOIR 2018 @ Actors Workout Studio

October 26, 2018 8:00 pm

Punk Monkey Productions returns with their homage to the beloved film genre with five new Noir-acts for the stage. The seventh season of PL.A.Y Noir presents an even keel of comedy and drama in ...read more


DOCTOR ZOMBA'S GHOST SHOW OF TERROR @ The Complex

October 26, 2018 11:45 pm

Critics Lemonade: 100%

Audience Lemonade: 86%

The award winning campy horror comedy returns to Hollywood this Halloween! "This Halloween treat will satisfy your horror craving and tickle your funny bone."-Hollywood Gothique Doctor Zomba revives the “Ghost Show” popular in the 1950's featuring ...read more


MEET THE CRITICS II @ Theatre West

October 27, 2018 10:00 am

On Saturday, October 27, from 10 am to 12 noon, Better Lemons and Theatre West will be hosting “Meet the Critics!” part 2, featuring several of LA's premier critics for a panel discussion of ...read more


THE WOMAN WHO WENT TO SPACE AS A MAN @ Son of Semele

October 27, 2018 8:00 pm

The Woman Who Went to Space as a Man – Part fact, part fever dream, and part musical, this captivating new work opens with Alice B. Sheldon – better known to sci-fi aficionados as ...read more


CRISTINA MONTES MATEO, HARP, AND SUSAN GREENBERG, FLUTE @ Raitt Recital Hall at Pepperdine University

October 28, 2018 2:00 pm

As the 1st Prize winner in the XII Edition of the Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Rome, 2006), and the 1st Prize winner in the International Harp Competition V. Bucchi (2009), Cristina Montes Mateo is ...read more


MACBETH, AN ALL-FEMALE CAST PRESENTED BY SHAKESPEARE ON THE DECK @ The Kimpton Everly Hotel, on the deck

October 28, 2018 8:00 pm

"Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair" Nothing is what it seems. When three witches tell Macbeth that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to become ...read more


VALLEY OF THE HEART @ Mark Taper Forum

October 30, 2018 8:00 pm

Luis Valdez, the legendary creator of Zoot Suit and hero of the Latino theatre (The New York Times), returns to the Taper with a sweeping new epic examining the difficult divide between America's ideals and its actions in ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

CIRQUE MECHANICS: 42FT – A MENAGERIE OF MECHANICAL [email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 16, 2018 7:30 pm

Thrills, laughs and excitement are on full display as Cirque Mechanics' 42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels transports audiences back to the timeless thrills of the big top circus ring. Deriving its name ...read more


CHEMO BARBIE – MY LADY BITS JOURNEY THROUGH BREAST CANCER @ Santa Monica Playhouse, The Other Space

October 16, 2018 8:00 pm

“Uniquely funny” exclaims LA Beat. In 2016, Heather Keller, a healthy young vegan runner, was diagnosed with breast cancer and her life changed forever. This is her heartbreaking, inspiring and ultimately uplifting story. Winner ...read more


THE BINGE FRINGE FESTIVAL OF FREE THEATRE (BFF) @ Santa Monica Playhouse The Main Stage

October 16, 2018 8:00 pm

Welcome to the Binge! Your new BFF! Two weeks of free theatre October 15 to 28, 2018 with encore performances through November 11! Santa Monica Group Theatre presents The BFF aka The BINGE Fringe Festival of Free ...read more


A SPLINTERED SOUL @ International City Theatre

October 17, 2018 8:00 pm

A gripping drama about war refugees haunted by the death of their loved ones — and by memories of the things they had to do to survive. It's 1947 in San Francisco, home to ...read more


COST OF LIVING @ The Fountain Theatre

October 17, 2018 8:00 pm

In this gripping, unexpectedly funny Pulitzer Prize-winning play, John is a rich, quick-witted grad student who has cerebral palsy. Ani is an hilariously foul-mouthed quadriplegic. The people who help them, Jess and Eddie, have ...read more


DEAR EVAN HANSEN @ Ahmanson Theatre

October 18, 2018 2:00 pm

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one ...read more


DOWNTOWN LA FILM FESTIVAL @ Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas

October 18, 2018 7:00 pm

Established in 2008, the festival has screened more 1,000 films, held more 200 events and partnered with more than 75 other profit and nonprofit business in DTLA. Our programming reflects downtown L.A.'s vibrant new ...read more


SHORT+SWEET HOLLYWOOD @ Marilyn Monroe Theatre

October 18, 2018 7:00 pm

Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. People's Choice Semifinalist short plays (audience favorites): Surprise.  Written by Mark Harvey Levine.  Directed by Luis Goyanes. Cast. Loren Lillian, Nathan Ondracek & Ryan Walsh. Peter is a psychic, but ...read more


RADIANT [email protected] Odyssey Theatre

October 18, 2018 8:00 pm

The Los Angeles premiere of an outrageous comedy with a killer heart by acclaimed British playwright and provocateur Philip Ridley. In this viciously funny satire flecked with horror, Ollie and Jill want to tell ...read more


WAITING FOR LEFTY BY CLIFFORD [email protected] The Complex

October 18, 2018 8:00 pm

Expertly written in 1935 by Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty exposes a downtrodden group of Laborers fighting back against the backdrop of The Great Depression. Drama of tough times and tougher people desperate for ...read more


THE LITTLE [email protected] Antaeus Theatre at Kiki David Gindler Performing Arts Center

October 18, 2018 8:00 pm

Lillian Hellman's provocative masterpiece continues to exert a captivating hold on American culture. Set in the Deep South of 1900, where women have scant options and men seem to hold all the power, Regina ...read more


WE BANJO 3 @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 19, 2018 8:00 pm

Pioneers of the innovative musical fusion style dubbed “Celtgrass,” We Banjo 3's unique blend of the traditional Irish and authentic Americana genres has made them one of the music world's most celebrated ensembles. With ...read more


THE TRIAL OF LIZZIE BORDEN @ Woodbury University Library

October 19, 2018 8:00 pm

"Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks...." It was the crime and trial and of the century! Two people savagely hatched to death in their own home in a quiet town ...read more


FIGHTING SHADOWS @ The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts

October 19, 2018 8:00 pm

FIGHTING SHADOWS is the true story of one man's search for love in a world meant for breaking, not bending. A brutal, truthful account of Emmy-nominated actor and star of FX's Mayans M.C. Richard ...read more


THE LITTLE [email protected] UCLA James Bridges Theatre

October 19, 2018 8:00 pm

Lillian Hellman's modern classic about a wealthy Southern family and the greed that tears them apart. Mamie Gummer (HBO's True Detective, CW's Emily Owens, M.D) stars as Regina Giddens, whose dying husband (Jared Harris, ...read more


EDGAR ALLAN [email protected] Generation DCD Studio

October 19, 2018 8:30 pm

Come celebrate All Hallows' Eve at Force of Nature Productions with a dark evening of tales and mystery from the Master of the Macabre himself, Edgar Allan Poe. Poe returns to us from the ...read more


SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS @ Theatre West

October 20, 2018 1:00 pm

Storybook Theatre's fun filled version of this famous story has lots of singing, dancing, audience participation, and a funny witch with a handsome prince. The children in the audience become the seven dwarfs who ...read more


FROM WHARF RATS TO LORDS OF THE DOCKS @ Theatre West

October 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Actor-playwright Ian Ruskin portrays the legendary union organizer Harry Bridges, capturing his passion, struggles and wicked sense of humor in this one-man play. This vivid dramatization brings to life the San Francisco labor leader ...read more


STEAMBATH @ Odyssey Theatre

October 20, 2018 8:00 pm

What if God turned out to be a Puerto Rican steam bath attendant, assisted by a butler named Gottlieb? Renowned stand up comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez stars in a revival of Steambath, the ...read more


QUACK @ Kirk Douglas Theatre

October 23, 2018 8:00 pm

Millions of women across America rely on Dr. Irving Baer and his daytime talk show to help them lose weight, manifest their destinies, and take their health into their own hands. Then, a take-down ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD @ A Noise Within

October 10, 2018 7:30 pm

Hamlet is turned topsy turvy in this brilliant, Tony Award®-winning comedy that thrusts Shakespeare's two minor characters to the frontlines with no rules except one: they are destined to die. Trapped in a universe ...read more


VILLAINY @ Whitefire Theatre

October 10, 2018 8:00 pm

Just in time for the Halloween season, Villainy, or H.H. Holmes' Own Story arrives at the Whitefire Theatre. It's the incredible true story of H.H. Holmes (1861-1896), America's first serial killer. Born Herman Webster ...read more


WC THORNBUSH & THE GREAT AMERICAN [email protected] Bootleg Theater

October 10, 2018 8:00 pm

W.C. Thornbush and The Great American Show, "The nation's salvation in a single night of entertainment". This comedic musical revue features classic Americana entertainment, peppered with biting humor, irreverent sketch comedy, and heartfelt moments. ...read more


REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL: LOS ANGELES @ various venues

October 11, 2018 6:45 pm

ReelAbilities Film Festival: Los Angeles October 11-14th, 2018 is a four-day festival which showcases new and classic films, conversations, and artistic programs. ReelAbilities Film Festival: Los Angeles 2018 explores, embraces, and celebrates the diversity ...read more


SILENCE! THE MUSICAL @ The Actors Company

October 11, 2018 8:00 pm

SILENCE! THE MUSICAL The Unauthorized Parody of The Silence of the Lambs Music & Lyrics by Jon Kaplan & Al Kaplan, Book by Hunter Bell ​ Adapted from the screenplay “Silence! The Musical” by Jon & Al ...read more


I'M WITH HER – SARA WATKINS, SARAH JAROSZ, AND AOIFE O'[email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 11, 2018 8:00 pm

Comprised of multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan, acoustic folk trio I'm With Her has garnered praise for their exquisite musicianship, family-like chemistry and “sweetly ethereal” indelible harmonies (the New York Times). ...read more


14TH ANNUAL LA FEMME INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL @ Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas

October 12, 2018 10:00 am

LA Femme International Film Festival is a premier festival that focuses on platforming women filmmakers “by women, for everyone”. Our Festival was created in 2005, when it became apparent that there was a need ...read more


SEñOR PLUMMER'S FINAL FIESTA @ Plummer Park

October 12, 2018 7:30 pm

Award-winning artists' collective Rogue Artists Ensemble takes over West Hollywood's Plummer Park through a commission from The City of West Hollywood's Arts Division for a site-specific immersive theater experience with Señor Plummer's Final Fiesta, ...read more


BABY EYES @ Atwater Village Theatre

October 12, 2018 8:00 pm

A gaggle of male harpies spin a cautionary tale of taboo, lust, and one tragic boy's search for manhood. ...read more


FOOL FOR LOVE BY SAM [email protected] Black Box Studios

October 12, 2018 8:00 pm

The scene is a stark motel room at the edge of the Mojave Desert. May, a disheveled young woman, sits dejectedly on a rumpled bed while Eddie, a rough-spoken rodeo performer, crouches in a ...read more


THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK @ LaCanada Pres

October 12, 2018 8:00 pm

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK By Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett Based upon the book Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl At LaCanada Presbyterian Church 626 Foothill Blvd, LaCanada Three performances only: October ...read more


POST APOCALYPTIC BUNKER [email protected] Stage 12

October 13, 2018 5:00 pm

Post Apocalyptic Bunker Comedy October 13th – October 28th Saturdays at 5:00pm and Sundays at 5:30pm The creative team behind The Awkward Party (Best Play of 2017, OC Weekly) and Pretendessee Williams we're proud ...read more


THE STUDY @ The Complex

October 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Critics Lemonade: 70%

Winner! Encore Producers Award Hollywood Fringe 2018 Winner! Critics Choice Award Better-Lemons 2018 We're listed as Immersive bu only because there is no “INTERACTIVE” option! THE STUDY takes place during a psychological clinical test of the flight-or-fight ...read more


REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES @ Garry Marsh Theatre

October 13, 2018 8:00 pm

In a tiny, family-run factory, fabric flies and tempers flare when Ana, fresh out of high school, rebels against the status quo with dreams of becoming a writer. But deportation and the pressure to ...read more


"I'M GONNA KILL THE PRESIDENT!" A FEDERAL [email protected] various venues

October 13, 2018 8:00 pm

The award-winning guerrilla-theater comedy “I'm Gonna Kill the President!” A Federal Offense will return to Los Angeles this fall, apropos of absolutely nothing happening in America. Performances take place in secret locations throughout Los ...read more


CAL IN CAMO @ VS. Theatre

October 14, 2018 3:00 pm

West Coast Premiere of "Cal in Camo" Presented by James Roday's Red Dog Squadron and VS. Theatre Company Written by William Francis Hoffman / Directed by Amy K. Harmon Do wounds from the past irrevocably impact our capacity to ...read more


JD SOUTHER @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 14, 2018 7:00 pm

Grammy-nominated writer JD Souther is an architect of the Southern California sound, whose lyrics defined the country rock songs of the '70s and '80s. He has penned countless hits for the Eagles (“Heartache Tonight,” ...read more


POSSESSION: AN AMERICAN SERIAL KILLER @ Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre

October 14, 2018 8:00 pm

It's not about lust, not about violence. This October it's about POSSESSION. Are you ready? Experience the Play... Possession: An American Serial Killer puts you up close to the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. ...read more


CIRQUE MECHANICS: 42FT – A MENAGERIE OF MECHANICAL [email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 16, 2018 7:30 pm

Thrills, laughs and excitement are on full display as Cirque Mechanics' 42FT – A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels transports audiences back to the timeless thrills of the big top circus ring. Deriving its name ...read more


CHEMO BARBIE – MY LADY BITS JOURNEY THROUGH BREAST CANCER @ Santa Monica Playhouse, The Other Space

October 16, 2018 8:00 pm

“Uniquely funny” exclaims LA Beat. In 2016, Heather Keller, a healthy young vegan runner, was diagnosed with breast cancer and her life changed forever. This is her heartbreaking, inspiring and ultimately uplifting story. Winner ...read more


THE BINGE FRINGE FESTIVAL OF FREE THEATRE (BFF) @ Santa Monica Playhouse The Main Stage

October 16, 2018 8:00 pm

Welcome to the Binge! Your new BFF! Two weeks of free theatre October 15 to 28, 2018 with encore performances through November 11! Santa Monica Group Theatre presents The BFF aka The BINGE Fringe Festival of Free ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

THE PEOPLE VS HELL KROSS @ Three Clubs

October 3, 2018 8:00 pm

Audience Lemonade: 100%

80s British rock band, Hell Kross, stands accused of hundreds of wrongful deaths, as their music leaves a wake of death and destruction. This heavy metal musical comedy rock opera extravaganza requires YOU to ...read more


THE TEMPEST @ Brand Park

October 4, 2018 7:30 pm

Exiled and left stranded to raise her young daughter on a deserted island, Prospero's chance for revenge has finally come. Aided by magic and the spirits of the island, will justice finally be won? ...read more


THE LONE [email protected] Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 4, 2018 8:00 pm

Americana country trio The Lone Bellow is known for their transcendent harmonies, serious musicianship and raucous live performances, which display their “open-hearted, vein-bursting conviction” (NPR Music). The group continues their introspective and poignant music ...read more


SAN PEDRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL @ Warner Grand Theatre

October 5, 2018 5:30 pm

The San Pedro International Film Festival was founded to celebrate the diverse culture and community of San Pedro with a wide spectrum of independent film, documentaries, and shorts. SPIFF is committed to exhibiting films that ...read more


FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL @ Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center

October 5, 2018 7:00 pm

A sophisticated evening for the fancy side in all of us Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” ...read more


5TH ANNUAL HIGHLAND PARK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL @ Highland Theatres

October 5, 2018 7:00 pm

The Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF) was founded by a group of filmmakers whose express mission is to promote the art of film in their  community. HPIFF is the first film festival of ...read more


THE SECRET IN THE WINGS @ Stage 12

October 5, 2018 8:00 pm

The Secret in the Wings October 5th, 2018 – November 4th, 2018 Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm Written by Mary Zimmerman Directed by Patti Cumby A captivating voyage into our collective ...read more


LA FASHION FILM FEST @ various venues

October 6, 2018 11:00 am

LAFFF has partnered with two venues with a combined history of 159 years at the forefront of fashion and technology in Los Angeles to host the two-day festival, taking place on October 5th and ...read more


TOWNE STREET THEATRE IN RESPONSE; YEAR OF THE WOMAN @ Stella Adler Theatre

October 6, 2018 8:00 pm

Towne Street Theatre's IN RESPONSE: Year of the Woman is the latest installment of the critically acclaimed IN RESPONSE series reflecting on the current State of the Union. Past and present issues of women ...read more


MICHAEL FEINSTEIN @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

October 7, 2018 2:00 pm

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting Michael Feinstein is an all-star force in American music. Over the three decades of his career, Feinstein's five Grammy Award nominations, Emmy ...read more


THE DOGS POND @ Whitefire Theatre

October 7, 2018 7:00 pm

After serving in the Iraq war, Carter's brother, Owen, has been withdrawn and mute. In the hopes of getting the brother he once knew back, Carter invites two of Owen's service buddies, Bergsey and ...read more


DR. BRADLEY'S FABULOUS FUNCTIONAL NARCISSISM @ Sterling's Upstairs at the Federal

October 7, 2018 7:00 pm

Hilarious and moving coming-of-age story with music from the theater, that chronicles Jones' childhood as a budding theater queen, ten years on Broadway in "A Chorus Line," through to the present and his successful, ...read more


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

AUTOPLAY @ Los Angeles City College

September 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Directed by Leslie Ferreira September 27 - October 6 AutoPlay 2018 is a devised work - a series of fifteen, original, intimate, site specific ten minute plays - each taking place in an automobile. ...read more


THE [email protected] The Gem Theatre

September 27, 2018 8:00 pm

Bialystock and Bloom! Those names should strike terror and hysteria in anyone familiar with Mel Brooks' classic cult comedy film. Now as a big Broadway musical, The Producers once again sets the standard for ...read more


SELL/BUY/DATE @ Los Angeles LGBT Center

September 27, 2018 8:00 pm

Written and Performed by Tony Award-winner Sarah Jones, "Sell/Buy/Date" is an exuberant show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Brimming with Sarah Jones' dazzling medley of masterful, multicultural ...read more


WAS IST DAS? SHOW 31 - THE LIVE AND LEARN SHOW! @ Crown City Theatre Company

September 27, 2018 8:00 pm

A Cabaret Circus Variety show set in the raucous days of Berlin 1924 that is dedicated to presenting lively and inventive performances ranging from the absurd to the sublime! On any given night you ...read more


SAMMY MILLER AND THE CONGREGATION @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

September 27, 2018 8:00 pm

Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission to put the generosity back into jazz and bring art back to the people. With their feel-good, joyful sound, they share the power of community ...read more


BLOODY [email protected] Little Fish Theatre

September 27, 2018 8:00 pm

In celebration of the bicentennial of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Little Fish Theatre presents Bloody Poetry by Howard Brenton. Opening September 27 at Little Fish Theatre and directed by Ovation Award winner ...read more


CHINESE WARRIORS OF PEKING @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

September 28, 2018 7:30 pm

Featuring a mixture of high-intensity martial arts and breathtaking acrobatics, The Chinese Warriors of Peking tells the tale of two rival martial arts disciplines competing in the ancient Chinese capital of Peking during the ...read more


THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE @ The Attic Theater

September 28, 2018 7:30 pm

"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" is a classic tale of love, hope, and revenge set against the vicious backdrop of a lawless society. A young scholar travels into the Wild West in search ...read more


SHOWPONY @ The Victory Theatre Center

September 28, 2018 8:00 pm

When the mostly, white employees from a large Ad Agency, reveal their unconscious racism through slips of the tongue and gender micro-aggressions, the tensions build as aggressions move into overt racism and misogyny. Both ...read more


EVERYTHING THAT NEVER [email protected] Boston Court Performing Arts Center

September 28, 2018 8:00 pm

Forget everything you think you know about Shylock; this world premiere fills the gaps in Shakespeare's tale and exposes the realities of Jewish history. Mantell's fresh and time-bending story is rich with humor and ...read more


BEYOND FEST @ Egyptian Theatre

September 29, 2018 10:00 am

A world genre film festival dedicated to delivering the best in horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and badass cinema. Created by a collective of film nerds/cultural innovators, our mission is to deliver an experience that builds ...read more


12 ANGRY [email protected] Harter Hall, Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse

September 29, 2018 7:00 pm

Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the dozen jurors try to ...read more


JUSTICE ON TRIAL FILM FESTIVAL @ Loyola Marymount University

September 30, 2018 11:00 am

The Justice On Trial film festival grew out of a conversation between award-winning author Michelle Alexander and Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project. The Justice on Trial Film Festival speaks to the challenges ...read more


TOMáS AND THE LIBRARY LADY @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

September 30, 2018 2:00 pm

Unable to read English, Tomás, a migrant boy, is terrified of school. When his family heads North for the harvest, he finds a refuge that may help ease his fears—the library. The compassionate Library ...read more


GLENN FEST @ The Downey Theater

October 1, 2018 7:00 pm

GlennFest Film Festival 2018 will run from Sunday, September 30, 2018 through Sunday, October 7, 2018 in Downey, California. Realizing the importance of introducing art and film to underserved areas, GlennFest founder, Glenn Stephens, concentrated ...read more


FALLEN SAINTS: DARK @ The Belfry Stage (Upstairs)

October 1, 2018 10:30 pm

Critics Lemonade: 88%

Audience Lemonade: 100%

**3 ENCORE PERFORMANCES ADDED BY POPULAR DEMAND** MONDAY OCTOBER 1, 8 & 15 at 10:30PM!! What are you afraid of? Find out as Force of Nature explores the Darkness with the latest chapter of their ...read more


Events Opening This Week

CHARLES DICKENS' A CHRISTMAS [email protected] Geffen Playhouse

September 19, 2018 8:00 pm

Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) breathes new life into the greatest ghost story ever told. While the heart of A Christmas Carol is evergreen, Mays ...read more


LA FILM FESTIVAL

September 20, 2018 4:00 pm

Taking place September 20-28, 2018, the LA Film Festival showcases compelling independent films, TV and episodic work from emerging storytellers, alongside filmmaker-driven studio titles. The Festival fosters valuable alliances and working relationships between independent artists ...read more


UK UNDERDOG @ Zephyr Theatre

September 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (START) in association with Pacific Resident Theatre presents writer/performer Steve Spiro's funny, refreshing and highly theatrical solo show, based on true events. A young Jewish boy in London transforms ...read more


RAG HEAD @ The Complex

September 20, 2018 8:00 pm

After premiering in Los Angeles this past spring to a sold out run, Rag Head returns to the stage. The show explores Sikhs and xenophobia in a post 9/11 America. Inspired by actual events, ...read more


BLOOD ROCK: THE MUSICAL @ Odyssey Theatre

September 20, 2018 8:00 pm

Described as “West Side Story with Vampires,” “Blood Rock: The Musical” To Make World Debut on Sept. 20 at The Odyssey Theater in West Los Angeles Beverly Hills, CA, SEPTEMBER 2018 – Described as ...read more


THE OTHER [email protected] Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center

September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

Juliana Smithton is a respected neurologist whose life has recently begun unraveling. Her husband is leaving her, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and even she's beginning to question her own ...read more


THE RESCUED @ The Road Theatre Company

September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

What happens to a human after being abused, forgotten, and living in a cage for years? Do we find the same compassion for them, that we might find for rescue animals? Follow six souls ...read more


REVOCABLE TRUST @ Studio C

September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

Revocable Trust, a melodrama set in the America of 1953. A gentle young teacher, expecting a generous bequest from her deceased father, suddenly finds out she's been disinherited. All the money she was counting ...read more


THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE @ Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center

September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

Presented by Studio C Performing Arts who brought SVCAC audiences ALL SHOOK UP last season. GIMMIE, GIMMIE THE TONY AWARD®-WINNER FOR BEST MUSICAL! Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE takes ...read more


ONE SLIGHT [email protected] Point Loma Playhouse

September 22, 2018 8:00 pm

This Lewis Black (yes that Lewis Black) farce is making it's San Diego premiere. It's Courtney's wedding day, and her mom, Delia, is making sure that everything is perfect. The groom is perfect, the dress is ...read more


SHE LOVES ME @ Morgan-Wixson Theatre

September 22, 2018 8:00 pm

With a melodic and witty score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and a wonderful book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret), She Loves Me is based on a play by Miklos ...read more


OLD CLOWN WANTED @ Odyssey Theatre

September 22, 2018 8:00 pm

Three aging clowns compete for a job in an absurdly comic look at man's fear of uselessness in society. Inspired by a 1970 Federico Fellini film, theater and circus arts are intertwined in this ...read more


JIMMY WEBB WITH ASHLEY CAMPBELL: THE GLEN CAMPBELL YEARS @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University

September 22, 2018 8:00 pm

The legendary Grammy-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb (with cross-genre hits including “Wichita Lineman,” “MacArthur Park,” and “Highwayman”) shares songs and humorous behind-the-scenes stories. Webb is joined by rising star Ashley Campbell, daughter of his best friend ...read more


ROPE @ Actors Co-op Crossley Theater

September 22, 2018 8:00 pm

Actors Co-op Theatre Company (Ovation Award-Winner 2017 Best Play, Intimate Theatre for 33 Variations) presents the first show in its 27th Season with the thriller ROPE, written by Patrick Hamilton, directed by Ken Sawyer, ...read more


FEI-FEI, PIANO @ Raitt Recital Hall at Pepperdine University

September 23, 2018 2:00 pm

Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (Plain Dealer), Chinese pianist Fei-Fei is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the Fourteenth ...read more


FALLING @ Lindhurst Theatre at Pepperdine University

September 25, 2018 7:30 pm

Falling boldly explores the complicated reality of a family with an autistic young man. When a relative comes to visit, the entire family is thrown out of equilibrium. This production bravely speaks a truth ...read more


Now Registered This Week on the Better Lemons Calendar - September 10 through September 16, 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 our Wakelet for more shareable stories on registered shows and festivals!


EPIPHANY EPIPHANY EPIPHANY AT THE FRINGE, PART II: A BUNCH OF MOTHERF*CKING PLAYS

For those scoring at home, here's a list of 5 plays I've seen at Fringe, that I'm going to talk about here.  (I'm going to discuss several others in Part III - so many shows, so little time!!!)

The Motherfucker with the Hat, Two Motherfuckers on a Ledge, A Vegas Kind of Love, Blackbird, The Interference.

"Epiphany, Epiphany, Epiphany..." That's what Ellyn Daniels chants in her stand-up show, Emotional Terrorism, as she waits for a former high school friend to describe the revelation she's had, that has changed her views about everything.  (See Part I of this article for a fuller explanation.)

It's also become my mantra during this Fringe Apocalypse of 375 shows, as I lurch from one fictional world to the next.  And I have been pleased and surprised by the number of times that my "epiphany" threshold has indeed been  crossed.

THE MOTHERF*CKER WITH THE HAT by Stephen Adley Guirgis

It helps to start out any production with a great script, and these actors have a spectacular one.   Stephen Gurgius's special talent is making vernacular speech sing like poetry and yet seem believably conversational too - something he may have learned from David Mamet, but unlike Mamet, Gurgius likes people, loves all his characters, refuses to judge them even at their worst and has a saint's empathy for the human condition. The Motherfucker with the Hat is designed to give actors with great rhetorical skills and street cred an outlet with unlimited potential to express their primal emotions of lust, love, rage, hate, frustration, pain, joy, and - especially - revenge.  There's also room for friendship, hope, trust and family alliances.  These actors, under the direction of Tony Gatto, do a very good job of venting their passions and searching for the happiness which mostly eludes them.  In a fine cast, Fayna Sanchez (who also co-produced) and Felipe Figueroa stand out for their inventiveness and ability to live in the dramatic moment.  The show is being done three more times this weekend, and then that's it for the Fringe.  I urge to see it if you can.

TWO MOTHERF*CKERS ON A LEDGE by Ronn Johnstone

Ronn Johnstone and Veronica Wylie, nice people, supposedly on a ledge

Destined to be referred to as "that other motherfucker play" - a sad fate to be sure - this is an intelligent and well-meaning exploration of what it really means to be a hero in one's own life as opposed to worshipping super-heroes in comic books and the films they give rise to.  The situation is this: Allyn is a patient with "a hero complex," that makes him feel like a failure unless he can "save the world."  Mattie is his doctor.  She is also a PHD candidate writing her thesis about "the hero complex as a narcissistic disorder."  Allyn goes through his doctor's desk, finds her thesis, freaks out and goes out on a ledge, driven to jump by despair - and Mattie goes after him.  Which would be fine, sort of, if the element of danger that this entails had even a shred of credibility. But it doesn't.  After a lot of back and forth about "Don't jump" - "I have nothing more to live for" - "I'm here for you, let's talk" - "what is there to talk about?" etc. - the two settle in for a conversation that could just as well be taking place in front of a fireplace as they toast marshmallows.  That is, the reality of their supposed situation is completely lost.  Even when a police siren sounds below them, there is no follow-up; no voice on a speaker telling him to go inside, no police presence on the ledge, nothing changes.  In the process of this cozy conversation, the main character switches from the patient who wants to end his life to the therapist who is suddenly resolving her own daddy issues.  Such a change in focus always signals an amateur to me, someone with lots of ideas and a lack of understanding of how to use the dramatic form.  The dialogue is pithy, though, and nicely delivered by Veronica Wylie and Ronn Johnstone (who also wrote and produced the piece).  My advice to him: next time you have this much on your mind, write an essay.

Matt Doherty and Nadiya Geldenhuys, not nice people, defintely on a ledge

A VEGAS KIND OF LOVE by Brendan Beseth

One thing that Brendan Beseth and director Eddie Kehler show here is that there is still some juice left in the femme fatale film noir crime drama.  Even stripped of all the fancy photography we're used to seeing in contemporary film treatments, stripped down to just five actors working without sets or props, it is still possible to set off some fireworks when you pluck down a sexy and somewhat amoral blond woman into a gaggle of horny guys.  The Vegas blond in this instance is played by Nadiya Geldenhuys, a 19 year old South African who comes off as early 20s and without a noticeable accent.  Her role is a series of crazy hairpin turns, and she does an excellent job of justifying these 0ften-contradictory motivations as best she can.  The guys are all good - Matt Doherty, Nicholas Read, Kofi Boakye and Henry LeBlanc - and they also do what they can to make us believe that Beseth's crazy twists and turns have some credibility.  But the performances are finally sunk by so many cliches piled on top of each other, until you start asking: why does the only black guy have to be the pimp?  Why does the cop have to have an old-fashioned drinking problem?  How are these two white guys "best friends" at work and yet they never have a scene together and the one "friend" doesn't even have a moment's hesitation before fucking his "best friend"'s girl?  The play actually ends up in an interesting place, but it travels through so many miles of bullshit to get there that it doesn't have the impact it might.  I do see some potential here - though I have to admit that my BL colleague, Enci Box, didn't, and I imagine that many women might agree with her.

BLACKBIRD by David Harrower

This is once again a great script with great opportunities for actors, and fortunately for us, Bradley Fisher and Charlotte Gulezian are very much up to the task, under the interestingly curious direction of Anna Stromberg. The play's setup is deceptively simple: Una was seduced and violated repeatedly at 12 years old by Ray, a family neighbor around 40.  Now, 15 years later, Una has tracked down Ray, now calling himself Peter, at his workplace.  In the previous production I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that this confrontation was happening in real time in a believable work rec room.  In this production, it seems more likely that we are in some kind of hell akin to Sartre's No Exit where two characters are linked in a way that can never be resolved, with behavior patterns of abuse that just keep repeating themselves.  Then a third character showed up, and I wasn't quite sure what to make of that.  In any case, this is a compelling and compulsive piece of work which has gotten under my skin both times I've seen it.  I have no patience with theatergoers who talk about shying away from plays that deal with supposedly "dark" subject matter - I mean, have you lived at all?  Are you human?  Isn't the purpose of art to shine light on the darkness, so we can better understand people and things that were confusing before?  If you have a beating heart in your chest, then come see this play.

THE INTERFERENCE by Lynda Radley

This ensemble piece about an undergraduate woman struggling for justice in her rape case against a star athlete was only here for a few performances, but it is still worth discussing.  The production by students from the Pepperdine Drama Department, directed by Drama Professor Cathy Thomas-Grant, is a powerful experience for the audience, as the many aspects of the campus rape case are dramatized by the 12 actors, some playing several different roles.  This is certainly a story of our time - though really it's been an ongoing issue for at least the last 30 years. And that's one of the problems.  The young actors faced the audience with a defiant demeanor, as if telling a forbidden story that people want to keep hidden, as if they were the Group Theatre presenting Odets's Waiting for Lefty for the first time.  (Yes, go look it up.)  But this is essentially the same story that's been told countless times on Movies of the Week and Lifetime movies and episodes of Law & Order SVU.  This is not to discount its importance or to say that such crimes are not being perpetrated with terrible frequency on college campuses, but the events depicted here have a familiarity to them and a predictability to the course they take.  The new play Actually, recently presented at the Geffen, does something far more original with similar subject matter.  Of course this is just my opinion - this production received several awards at the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the performers did a very good job of committing themselves fully to the project and its message of social bias against the rape victim.  I'm sure this play will be performed on many campuses, where it will very likely instigate important conversations.  But as a work of drama, it wearies me as a screed that is preaching to the converted.  There are no two sides here with equal validity, so there is no real conflict, only the simulation of such, calculated to make the liberal audience members feel that something important is being accomplished.  But is it?  Is it really?  Or is it just a group exercise in everyone patting themselves on the back?