Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Inside and Out: Theater’s Evolving Return

Last Sunday I attended the venerable LA Café Plays at Santa Monica’s Ruskin Group Theatre. Indoors. With a full house. I gladly showed my vaccination card at the Will Call window and wore a mask throughout the show. Anything to get back into a theater! It was great fun to laugh, even into a face covering, surrounded by other theater fans.

Not everyone is willing to head back indoors. Heck, not everyone’s willing to get vaccinated. But for those in both categories (willing and vaxxed), options are expanding. Here are some notable examples, inside, outside and from your own home.


Indoor Options


Taming The Lion



Based on the true-life story of early film star William Haines, Taming The Lion pushes a lot of buttons. MGM executives Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg want to force Haines  to marry a woman. Haines, who’s gay, wants none of it. Written by Jack Rushen. Directed by Melanie MacQueen. At Theatre 40 on the campus of Beverly Hills High School. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased here. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00pm, through August 1. Theatre 40 will follow LA County-mandated safety protocols.


The Groundlings Return


The Groundlings Theatre on Melrose reopens its doors this Friday, July 23. The improv geniuses have a full slate of live performances, starting with the return of fan-favorite “Groundlings Bar Fight: Round 2,” New programming includes “Groundlings Lights Up,” “The Gale” and “Sundays Drive-Ins & Drives.” Purchase tickets here. See COVID safety protocols here.


Hollywood Fringe Festival Tickets



Tickets to the Hollywood Fringe Festival go on sale Friday, July 23 at 11:00am for shows from August 5-29. Shows are both live and virtual this year. Check out the lineup here and COVID safety protocols here.


The Importance of Being Earnest



Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena presents the Oscar Wilde classic comedy both in-person/indoors and livestreamed for home viewing. It’s happening Fridays and Saturdays from August 20-September 24. In-person tickets are $30 and a livestream pass is $40. Buy either here.

Fremont Centre Theatre is at 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030.


The Geffen’s Enigmatist



Tickets are on sale now for the Geffen’s upcoming interactive show The Enigmatist, running from September 23 through October 30. Magician and New York Times crossword constructor David Kwong, of Inside the Box fame, will step out of the Zoom screen and onto the Geffen stage for an immersive experience of puzzles and cryptology. COVID vaccination or negative test result required for admission.

This show launches the Geffen’s 25th anniversary season. Learn more and purchase subscriptions here.


Outdoor Options


You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown 


From July 30 through August 29, you can sit outside at Sierra Madre Memorial Park and watch live humans perform the classic family musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The show is presented by the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Tickets are $27.50. Showtime is 7:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, plus some Thursdays and Fridays. (Click here for specifics.) Lawn chair rental is available for $5.

Bonus: On August Sundays from 5:30-6:30pm, there’s a related family craft activity, with all materials provided free of charge. Extra Bonus: on Monday, August 16, the theater will host a screening of the documentary Good Ol’ Charles Schulz for $5. Tickets are available here.

The park is located at 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024.

Sierra Madre Playhouse’s Fall, 2021 season will be produced indoors at the historic Playhouse beginning in September. Find more information here.


The Last Best, Small Town



In addition to two Shakespeare offerings this summer, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon will present a world premiere play. The Last, Best Small Town, by John Guerra, tells the story of two neighboring families—one Latine and one White—who live in Fillmore in the first decade of the 21st century. Ellen Geer directs. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.


32 Acres, App and Experience



Center Theatre Group and UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television are behind a new outdoor soundwalk through Los Angeles State Historic Park. Immersive artist Marike Splint’s site-specific piece 32 Acres makes the park a canvas for a contemplative experience on the character of Los Angeles, its hidden histories and imagined futures. All that while exploring the paradoxes of urban nature. Running through September 29, it’s available as a free app and can be experienced during park hours, 8:00am through sunset. For more information, click here.

Los Angeles State Historic Park is located at 1245 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles CA, 90012.


Watch-From-Home Options


Until the Flood from 2020



Until the Flood, commissioned and produced by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and performed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in January 2020, explores a community in turmoil following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. As relevant now as it was then it’s available free through next year here.

A discussion about the show is available here.


Tribute to Tracy Letts



Nan McNamara of Actors Co-op Theatre Company in Hollywood performs a monologue from August: Osage County in honor of the birth and legacy of Tracy Letts. You can watch it here.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Theatre West.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }