EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

W.C. THORNBUSH AND THE GREAT AMERICAN SHOW - CHRISTMAS EDITION @ Bootleg Theater

December 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Once again, W.C. Thornbush is bringing his musical revue to Bootleg Theater to celebrate the Christmas Canon in the only way this group knows how. With bells ringing, birds singing, and all the cheer ...read more


IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY @ Pasadena Playhouse

December 12, 2018 8:00 pm

The holiday classic we all know and love takes the beloved George Bailey on journey to renew his spirit and restore his faith in mankind on one fateful Christmas Eve. Join George and all ...read more


SPECIAL @ Theatre of Note

December 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Special is the World Premiere comedy that commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the worst variety show in television history with a behind-the-scenes imagined look of how The Star Wars Holiday Special came to be. ...read more


BETTER LEMONS - "MEET THE PUBLICISTS" @ Thymele Arts

December 15, 2018 10:00 am

On Saturday, December 15, from 10 am to 12 noon, Better Lemons and Thymele Arts will be hosting “Meet the Publicists!” which will be featuring several of LA's premier performance art publicists for a ...read more


JULIUS CAESAR IRREVERENT SHAKESPEARE PROJECT @ Hudson Loft

December 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Irreverent Shakespeare Project presents Julius Caesar, directed by Heather Ann Gottlieb, produced by Steven Brandon, Mark Laird, Bradley Gosnell, Rachel Rios and Ari Stidham. An all-female cast of eleven tackles the Bard's political drama, ...read more


MEASURE FOR MEASURE @ New American Theatre

December 15, 2018 8:00 pm

The New American Theatre presents Shakespeare's story of impassable moral dilemmas, religious hypocrisy and he said/she said. ...read more


HERE'S JOHNNY @ Theatre West

December 15, 2018 8:00 pm

Johnny Ferretti in Here's Johnny! A Colorado boy whose first job was as a ranch hand, then became a newspaper reporter... then found himself working as an engineer in California. And then, suddenly, he's ...read more


AS ALWAYS, JIMMY STEWART @ Theatre West

December 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Steve Nevil in As Always, Jimmy Stewart. It's two-thirty in the morning at 911 Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, and Jimmy Stewart can't sleep. Steve Nevil's acclaimed one-person show presents the film legend late ...read more


Ashton's Audio Interview: The cast of “It's a Wonderful Life” at Theatre West

The brand new Theatre West “On The Air Players” is proud to present the beloved holiday classic It's A Wonderful Life. This will be a radio drama recreation of the famed 1947 CBS Lux Radio Theater production.*
Enjoy this interview with the cast of “It's a Wonderful Life” at Theatre West, running until Dec 9th. 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


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 AWAY@ 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 PARADISE@ 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 MUSICAL@ 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*W@ 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


Now Registered This Week on the Better Lemons Calendar – November 19 through November 25, 2018

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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Now Registered This Week on the Better Lemons Calendar - October 29, 2018 through November 4

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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EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

18TH ANNUAL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL @ Laemmle NoHo 7

October 31, 2018 8:00 pm

OCT 31st @ 8:00PM - OPENING NIGHT: 818 THE MOVIE Wed 10/31/18 08:00 PM 1 - NOT THAT STRONG Music Video, 5 min., Rated: Not Rated, English Dir: Gregory JM Kasunich, Prod: Gregory JM Kasunich, Gene Micofsky 2 - ...read more


BRIDE OF BLOOD@ Skylight Theatre Company

October 31, 2018 8:00 pm

King Solomon, the son of King David, was famed as the wisest King in all the world. With 700 wives and 300 concubines, his truest love may be the Queen of Sheba, and a ...read more


SKYPILOT ONE ACT FESTIVAL 2018 @ Oh My Ribs! Theater

November 1, 2018 8:00 pm

The award-winning SkyPilot Theatre Company will premiere seven original short plays during its inaugural SkyPilot One-Act Festival this November at Oh My Ribs! Entertainment, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. The plays (titled Series ...read more


THERE IS EVIL IN THIS HOUSE @ studio/stage

November 2, 2018 8:00 pm

Flat Tire Theatre Company presents There is Evil in This House Written by Natalie Nicole Dressel Directed by Sofija Dutcher A pop-culture obsessed Transgender woman copes with the realities of having grown up in a haunted house, the ...read more


SHE LOVES ME @ Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre

November 2, 2018 8:00 pm

Actors Co-op Theatre Company presents the three-time Tony Award-Winning Musical She Loves Me, with book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, directed and choreographed by Cate Caplin, produced ...read more


GRAY PEOPLE @ The Belfry Stage (Upstairs)

November 2, 2018 8:30 pm

Force of Nature Productions presents the World Premiere of Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm's GRAY PEOPLE. GRAY PEOPLE tells a story of constantly shifting trust and loyalties as James, Jenny and Adam tensely await a late-night delivery in ...read more


THE UPCYCLERS - AN EARTH SAVING MUSICAL @ Miles Memorial Playhouse

November 3, 2018 2:00 pm

Zoo Theatre Company will present the World Premiere of “THE UPCYCLERS – An Earth Saving Musical,” with Book, Music and Lyrics written by Daniel Sugimoto, created by Julia Lisa and Daniel Sugimoto, starring Julia ...read more


LONDON-PARIS-ROAM! @ MiMoDa Studio

November 3, 2018 8:00 pm

LONDON-PARIS-ROAM ! A new one-woman musical show starring Sarah Tullamore. Original music and lyrics by James Burn Book and additional music/lyrics by Sarah Tullamore Directed by Frederic Baptiste Accompanied on piano by Alan Steinberger ...read more


AROUND THE WORLD WITH SUZY LONDON @ Theatre West

November 3, 2018 8:00 pm

An evening of songs and stories from Suzy's travels around the world from the streets of Paris to the cabarets of Germany.... the rain forests of Brazil to the steppes of Eurasia ..... from ...read more


SHE IS HISTORY @ Theatre West

November 4, 2018 2:00 pm

Amy Simon in She Is History, a play about women who make and made history. Watch Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony multitask – just like today's mom - running the house, fixing ...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 CONSTITUTION@ 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


MEET THE CRITICS II - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH

LOS ANGELES, October 23, 2018 - LA's most talented and prolific Theatre Critics take to the stage to answer the questions that keep us up at night, "Who are these critics, what do they do, and how do we find them?"

Writers, Directors, Producers, Publicists, Performers, and anyone else who has struggled to get their work reviewed will benefit from this free workshop that bridges the gap between performer and critic.

This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP via Contact@Better-Lemons.com and to bring their questions, comments, suggestions, and elevator pitches.

Panelists will address strategies for connecting with reviewers, pitching productions, maximizing the benefits of a review, and building relationships with reviewers and critics.

The "Meet the Critics II" panel includes:

Vanessa Cate
Vanessa Cate is the Assigning Editor for Stage Raw and the Editor-in-Chief for @thisstage.la. Vanessa is a performance artist, writer, and jack of all trades, and can be found on stage, in strange audiences, and in interesting situations.

Ellen Dostal
Ellen Dostal writes for BroadwayWorld and Musicals in LA. She is also a Senior Editor and longtime writer for BroadwayWorld Los Angeles. She has covered the performing arts community, jazz, and classical music for KJazz 88.1 FM and K-Mozart 1260 AM. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Iowa. She is also the LA Show writer for TheThreeTomatoes.com (The Insider's Guide for women who aren't kids). Ellen joined the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle in 2017.

Ernest Kearney
Ernest Kearney is an award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note and has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for, among others, The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist three times in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His play Peddle was selected by the Midwest Theatre Network as one of the best plays of 1997. His most recent work 'The Salt Prince' was awarded honors from the Nathan Miller History Play Contest as well as the Fremont Center Theatre Play Contest. A passionate theatre and history buff, Mr. Kearney's reviews can be found on WorkingAuthor.com and TheTVolution.com.

David MacDowell Blue
David MacDowell Blue has been reviewing Los Angeles theatre via his blog "Night Tinted Glasses" since 2012. He has a degree in Theatre Arts and graduated from New York's National Shakespeare Conservatory. At different times, he has acted, directed, written plays and designed things from sets to lights to costumes. Born in San Francisco, he ended up raised in Florida (where he lived through twelve--yes TWELVE--hurricanes) then eventually landed in Los Angeles.

Tracey Paleo
Tracey Paleo is founder of Gia On The Move. Gia On The Move was established in 2009 as an arts & culture dialog site attracting influencer readers in a variety of industries. In addition to Gia On The Move, Tracey Paleo is the former Associate Editor of FootLights and has been a contributor to Discover Hollywood, FootLights, Tolucan Times, Extra Virgin: Under the Tuscan Gun, among other publications. In 2015, Tracey also spearheaded the groundbreaking 1st Stage Raw Los Angeles Theatre Awards live broadcast and Twitter Campaign, which trended regionally to an audience of over one million views alongside Drake, Madonna and The Avengers movie. Tracey was also a panelist on the 1st Stage Raw 'Visualizing The Invisible' Performing Arts Coverage Symposia.
'Gia On The Move' is Tracey's brand as well as her site and she is an influencer in other places under that moniker.
'Tracey Paleo' (alone) is mostly known as the actress from Scorsese's, 'The Departed'  among other things.

Rob Stevens
Rob Stevens began reviewing in 1973 for the monthly community theatre magazine Showcase, covering the professional theatres in Los Angeles. He served as editor/co-publisher of It's Showtime in 1996-98. He has also been a reviewer/interviewer for Dimension, Data-Boy Magazine, The Civic Star, Frontiers, Frontiers After Dark, Drama-Logue, Backstage West, L.A. Reader, Santa Barbara Independent and a few others. In 1988 he began writing the column West Coast Stages in the national publication Backstage. In recent years he has written for the websites ShowMag.com, TheatreMania.com, and StageHappenings.com. He is the founder of The Robby Awards which began as a listing in Showcase magazine in 1975 and has since grown into an annual awards show. The 30th Robby Awards were presented in February, 2016. He is a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

The "Meet the Critics II" panel will take place from 10am to 12 noon @ Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, LA, CA 90068
Arrive early, bring your coffee mug, and get ready to get connected!
Parking is available in the lot across the street and also on the street.

Audience reviews:

Meet the Critics was the event that I needed to help me learn how to network with prominent members of the Fringe community and the LA Theatre scene. I learned the best ways to contact critics, the do's and don'ts of a press release, and ways to draw an audience. I also met some critics who came to my show and gave me reviews that boosted my confidence as a performer and writer. It it wasn't for Better Lemons, I would have been totally lost trying to navigate the Fringe Fest. ~ John Brahan - actor, playwright “Ain't That America

Meet the Critics panel is akin to learning the trick behind the magician's illusions. Only in this case it's dream making instead of fantasy breaking. Any serious thespian would be a fool to miss it. ~ Cooper Bates - writer, performer “Black When I Was A Boy

Yes! Another Press Panel! At the Better Lemons' Fringe Critics panel, I was able to connect and form solid professional relationships with the people at the heart of support system for the LA theater community - it's Press. These events are a must for anyone producing and performing in Los Angeles. ~ Jonathan Tipton Meyers - actor, writer and filmmaker “We Are Traffic - A Rideshare Adventure

Critics' Review:

The supreme achievement of humanity finds expression in the word “community.”  By bringing together artists, producers, critics and all those who have a passion for L.A. theatre, Better Lemons serves to strengthen us individually and collectively. ~ Ernest Kearney, Playwright and Critic

Better Lemons is Home of the LemonMeter and LA's #1 Arts & Entertainment Calendar. Founded in 20016 by Enci Box, Better Lemons aggregates reviews from critics and audience members, and features news and opinion on LA's theatre.

Theatre West is an internationally acclaimed non-profit organization, founded in 1962 by movie star Betty Garrett, and is the oldest continually running theatre company in Los Angeles.

For more information, call Stephen Box at 323.864.7586 or email Stephen@Better-Lemons.com.

Fill out the form below to RSVP and add questions you want us to ask the critics.
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To listen to the Critics Panel from earlier this year, visit https://soundcloud.com/betterlemons/meet-the-critics-panel-june-2018.

To get connected, join us this Saturday, October 27, 10am-12noon at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, LA, CA 90068


EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

CIRQUE MECHANICS: 42FT – A MENAGERIE OF MECHANICAL MARVELS@ 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 VERMIN@ 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 ODETS@ 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 FOXES@ 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 FOXES@ 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 POE@ 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


Storybook Theatre is a Theatre With Heart

Barbara Mallory and Lloyd Schwartz are two of the most delightful people that you could ever meet. Though this might be expected of the couple who founded and continue to run the most successful children's theater company in Los Angeles, it is somewhat unexpected coming from Hollywood royalty! They are so disarming and unassuming that it is a joyous surprise. We enjoyed a meandering conversation seated in the house of the historic theater on Cahuenga Blvd. near Universal Studios, that Storybook Theatre calls home.

Theatre West was founded by movie star Betty Garrett in 1962. It is an internationally acclaimed non-profit organization and is the oldest continually running theatre company in Los Angeles. They have earned countless accolades including Tony Awards, Obies, Ovations Award Nominations, 9 LA Drama Critics Awards, Valley Theatre Awards, 7 NAACP Image Awards, and over 130 Drama-Logue Awards. Many shows have transferred to larger venues, in both Los Angeles and in New York. Most recent was The Babies, directed by Lloyd and starring Barbara, which ran from October 2016 through the first week of January 2017. In addition to creating awesome work, they support actors, paying Equity rates and helping many actors earn their cards through the points system.

Storybook Theatre was founded 36 years ago by Barbara and Lloyd when they realized that the Los Angeles Theatre community had nothing for their young sons. Lloyd was already an established writer and director and they were confident that they could create something worthwhile. Their first show was Little Red Riding Hood, which they staged at Studio City Park. They made a few mistakes; the wolf was too scary and the kids ran away at first, but overall it  was a huge success, earning over $2,000 with a ticket price of only $4.00. They were members of Theatre West and management invited them to partner with the theater and the rest is, as they say in fairy tales, a happily ever after!

Storybook Theatre has a very specific mission: They present non-threatening, interactive musical theater appropriate for children 3-9 years old. Their goal is “to be everyone's first theatrical experience.” The shows are funny and sweet, with lots of singing and dancing and interplay between the stage and audience. Charming stories abound. One little boy fell in love with Little Red Riding Hood, attending every performance of the run. On the last day, he presented her with flowers, candies and a marriage proposal (no word on her answer). When Aladdin asked what people would wish for, one little girl yelled out “that Josh would love me.” (no word on that outcome either....). Many kids come back over and over, telling staff that “I love this movie.” Grown ups who attended the theater as children are now bringing their own kids in for their first theatrical experience.

There is a formula to the plays. The lights stay up the whole time to keep the kids from being scared of the dark. To avoid the mistake made in that early production of Little Red Riding Hood, the villain always introduces themselves before the show, is always a misunderstood rather than evil force and always reforms by the end. The plays are interactive, with the audience becoming a part of the story in various ways from dancing in their seats to becoming actual characters onstage. As Lloyd and Barbara explain, “The actors present the play but the audience is a willing participant and so a lot of times the actors look to the audience for approval, asking do you think I should do this, do you think I should do that? We explain to the actors that the audience is smarter than you are and everyone in it is five!” There are always chases! They keep the famous beats, but take out the violence. It's often the kid's first play so sometimes the conflict is just getting into the theater. You don't want the play itself to be traumatic.

There are over eighteen plays in rotation at Storybook Theatre. Shows are reassessed every time they are mounted. For instance, during a recent performance of Sleeping Beauty, the issue of consent came up. Lloyd shares, “The prince comes in and asks the audience, 'what should I do', and the kids yell 'kiss her, kiss her!' He responds, 'but she is sleeping, you should only kiss people who you know want to be kissed' and the audience broke into applause, so he said, 'what should I do?' The princess jumped up and said 'kiss me already!'” They review plays over and over, looking through them really carefully to make sure that the plays are teaching appropriate lessons. In the Ugly Duckling, they added a line to decrease bullying, having the mom duck say, “words matter.” In Jack and the Beanstalk, they encourage kids to eat their veggies by having Jack eat the beans!

Outreach and community action fuel Storybook Theatre. Barbara states it beautifully, “We want to be used...I envy fame because if you have fame you can use it for something good, that is joyous. I don't personally have that but we have the theater, where we want people to use us.”

The list of people who “use” the theater is long! Matt Asner's Autism Speaks Foundation, one of the world's leading science and advocacy organizations, has recently partnered up with Storybook Theatre. They also work with Grandparents as Parents, helping bridge that gap. Storybook Theatre is actively looking into additional ways to work with special needs kids, including bringing a therapist onboard. They also go into the community, doing workshops in schools and camps. There are discounts, free tickets, and fundraising partnerships. Barbara said once again, ”People want to know that the theater is doing something for the community, that it is not just actors acting.” When they see that, they will match you. For example, Universal paid for title one schools to bus kids to the theater. The busses are so expensive that even when tickets are free, the cost can be prohibitive.

Lloyd shared some concrete examples of how these plays stimulate learning and acceptance. Two kids have spoken for the first time in the theater. One occasion really stands out to Lloyd. He recounts how at a performance of Little Red Riding Hood, a little boy said to the wolf, “You leave her alone, you leave her alone.” It was the first time that he had spoken. The physicality and musicality of the shows work really well for kids with special needs. They will bring wheelchairs on to the stage and give them lines. Because lights and sounds are kept to a minimum, kids with auditory and light sensitivity are still able to enjoy the shows.

Storybook Theatre opens its new version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on October 20. The show will run through March 2, 2019. Shows are Saturdays at 1 pm. This promises to be a fun filled version of the play with lots of singing, dancing, audience participation, and a funny witch with a handsome prince. The children in the audience become the seven dwarfs who help rescue Snow White. The book by Scott Martin, lyrics by Rob Meurer, with music composed by Richard Berent. The production is directed by David P. Johnson and produced by Barbara Mallory. Katie Katini stars as Snow White. Reservations: (818) 761-2203. Online ticketing: TheatreWest.org.


Now Registered This Week on the Better Lemons Calendar - September 17 through September 23, 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 Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
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Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information..
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Share on social media.

Visit their Better Lemons Registered Page for ticket and show information.
Visit our Wakelet for more shareable stories on past registered shows and festivals!


Events Opening This Week

THE GLASS MENAGERIE @ International City Theatre

August 22, 2018 8:00 pm

The iconic American classic that launched the career of American playwright Tennessee Williams, this autobiographical “memory play” captures the fragility and stifled yearning of characters clinging to hope against the harsh realities of a ...read more


A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE @ El Portal Theatre

August 23, 2018 7:30 pm

Thursday Night Theater Club presents Arthur Miller's famed play, A View From The Bridge. When two of Eddie Carbone's wife Beatrice's cousins from Italy come to stay with them, their neice Catherine falls in ...read more


THE MAN WHO SAVED EVERYTHING @ Theatre West

August 24, 2018 8:00 pm

Theatre West is thrilled to present the world premiere of Benjamin Scuglia's “THE MAN WHO SAVED EVERYTHING” – Directed by Michael Van Duzer, produced by Ernest McDaniel and Garry Kluger. THE MAN WHO SAVED ...read more


TURN OFF THE LIGHTS @ McCadden Place Theatre

August 24, 2018 8:00 pm

The McCallister family live in a modest house, in a nice neighborhood of Los Angeles. Charlotte and James have 4 grown up children. Daisy the selfie lover and Logan, the hopelessly in love kid; ...read more