Breaking out of their homes after two years, the casts and crews of Los Angeles theaters are bringing inspired and relevant shows back to local stages. Energy is high, audiences are welcome and the range of material is wide. So scan the offerings—surely there’s something for everyone.
Through April 10: The Lehman Trilogy at the Ahmanson
Director Sam Mendes weaves Stefano Massini’s story of a family and a company that changed the world in The Lehman Trilogy. Tickets range from $60 to $250 and are available here.
Through April 10: Trayf at the Geffen Playhouse, On the Other Hand at Rogue Machine, and Detained at the Fountain Theatre
Trayf at Geffen Playhouse (see details and our review here), On the Other Hand, We’re Happy from Rogue Machine (see details/review here) and Detained at the Fountain Theatre (see details/review here).
Anna in the Tropics, by Nilo Cruz, is now playing at A Noise Within. It’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama weaving the tale of a Cuban-American cigar factory in 1929 Florida. Cigars are still rolled by hand and “lectors” are employed to transport and inspire the workers as they toil on the factory floor. As a handsome and debonair new lector reads the words of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the lives of the workers begin to parallel the novel. Old traditions and new ways collide while longing, love, and betrayal spark a volatile flame that signals the end of an era. Tickets are $25-79 and are available here. A Noise Within is at 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena.
Through April 17: Silent Sky at Theatre 40
See details and our review here.
Through April 24: Apartment Living at Skylight Theatre
Neighbors in a Los Angeles apartment building are forced into tighter quarters and the walls of their comfort begin to close in. What happens when these relationships get too close? Skylight Theatre co-presents Apartment Living, by Boni B. Alvarez, with Playwrights’ Arena. Tickets are $20-38 and are available here. Skylight Theatre is at 1816½ N. Vermont Ave.
Through May 1: I’ll Be Seein’ Ya from Center Theatre Group
The premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s “I’ll Be Seein’ Ya” is available on CTG’S Digital Stage. Robert Egan, the Artistic Director/Producer of the acclaimed Ojai Playwrights Conference directed a cast that includes Christine Lahti. The play, set in 2020, features aging reclusive actress Allie Murchow (Lahti) in a clash of fantasy and reality.
The streaming production is presented as part of Center Theatre Group’s 53rd season at the Mark Taper Forum and is available to purchase for $25 here.
Through May 1: A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney at the Odyssey
See details and our review here.
April 1: L.A. Now and Then from Group Rep
In the traditional style of musical revues, L.A. Now and Then features: songs, sketches, dances and projections in a love letter to Los Angeles. The show runs from April 1 through May 8 at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. Tickets are $40.00.
April 1: Classic Couples Counseling at Theatre West
Dr. Patricia Cataldo is a psychotherapist providing couples counseling and group therapy to Kate and Petruchio; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet; Othello and Desdemona; Hamlet and Ophelia. This clever concept from playwright Lloyd J. Schwartz will be onstage through May 8. Tickets for Classic Couples Counseling at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., are $35-40 and can be purchased here.
April 2: Soccer Is Love from Cornerstone Theater Company
Cornerstone Theater Company heads to Rancho San Pedro for a staged reading and story-sharing event. The reading will feature local residents whose stories and conversations inspired Soccer is Love, El Amor es Fútbol, written by Jeanette Godoy and directed by Bruce Lemon, Jr. Other activities before and after the reading include conversation among audience and artists, a Record Your San Pedro Story Booth, and story sharing through visual art. Play soccer on the field afterward, hosted by resident Coach Carlos!
The 3:00pm presentation is informal. Attendees are encouraged bring their own chairs or a blanket to sit comfortably for the reading, about 30 minutes.
The event takes place outdoors at Rancho San Pedro Social Hall, 275 W. 1st Street, San Pedro.
It’s free. RSVP on Eventbrite to get more detailed info.
April 2: Kelli O’Hara and Seth Rudetsky at the Wallis
Part of the Broadway @ concert series, Seth Rudetsky brings out behind-the-scenes stories from Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara, and directs performances of music from her stellar Broadway career. Tickets for the 7:00pm show are $39-99 and are available here. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills.
April 2: Pacific Resident Theatre’s New Season
Pacific Resident Theatre is one of the only Los Angeles theater companies headed by a woman, Marilyn Fox, who has guided it through COVID times to emerge with a full season, opening with a world premiere musical. Stalled takes place in a high-end executive ladies room. Liesl Wilke expanded her own short story, “Stalled Symphony” into a show starring four women, all stuck but yearning to find their way forward. Wilke wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics with Andy Marsh.
The show is scheduled to run through May 15. Tickets are $35-$45 and are available here.
Next up in PRT’s season is Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo. The remaining plays will be selected from a wide range of classics and new works. For more information and to subscribe, click here.
April 6: Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Taper
In 1930 Harlem, a fired Cotton Club singer turns to her best friend, a costume designer. Phylicia Rashad directs Blues for an Alabama Sky, by Pearl Cleage. It runs through May 8; tickets are available here.
April 7: Both And (A Play About Laughing While Black) at Boston Court
Carolyn Ratteray conceived, wrote and performs Both And at Boston Court. As her mother is dying, Teayanna finds herself in a netherworld between life and death, struggling to help her mother cross over. The journey, a meditation on reconnecting with joy, reveals the wisdom of the ancestors, invokes the legacy of the Middle Passage, and unfolds the surprising secrets within her mother’s purse. Tickets for the run, which ends May 15, are available here for $39. Boston Court is at 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. (Like Pacific Resident Theatre, it is headed by a talented woman, Artistic Director Jessica Kubzansky.)
April 7: King Solomon’s Treasure at Whitefire
A world premiere comedy, King Solomon’s Treasure, runs at Whitefire Theatre April 7- May 12.
In 1990’s midtown Manhattan, King Solomon’s Treasure is a shop selling curios and vintage items. The shopkeeper is Franz Altman, a Holocaust survivor who teams up with a reporter to battle a developer for his store. The playwright, Charles Dennis, portrays Franz. Tickets are $25.00. Whitefire Theatre: 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.
April 9: A Heated Discussion from Robey Theatre Company
More than a dozen iconic Black figures have A Heated Discussion in a new play by Levy Lee Simon from the Robey Theatre Company. Ben Guillory, the Robey’s co-founder and Producing Artistic Director, directs.
A trio of Orishas (entities of the spirit world), dismayed and enraged at the state of the world today and the fates of African Americans in particular, convenes the spirits of famous departed Black iconic figures. Among them are Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Maya Angelou, Richard Pryor, Tupac Shakur and Nina Simone.
Performances through May 15 are at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St. downtown. Tickets are $35. Except Saturday, April 9, when all seats will be $50 (includes reception). Previews (April 7 and 8) $17.50. Tickets are available here. The opening date, marking the return of The Robey Theatre Company to live, in-person staging, coincides with the birthday of actor/singer/activist Paul Robeson (1898-1976), for whom The Robey is named.
April 9: Rapunzel Alone at 24th Street Theatre
Rapunzel Alone premiered last month as a joint venture of 24th Street Theatre and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. It returns to 24th Street Theatre for a run from April 9 to May 1. Mike Kenny wrote the story of Lettie, a mixed-race girl from London sent to the countryside for her own safety during the daily bombings of World War II. On an isolated country farm, Lettie faces her own battles with a strict new guardian. The show is appropriate for adults and children ages 7 and above.
April 9: True West Upstairs at Group Rep
Sam Shepard’s classic American play True West is a character study of two very different brothers. It runs through May 8 Upstairs at Group Rep. Tickets are $25. The theater is at 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood.
April 10: Library Girl at Ruskin Group Theatre
Library Girl is a monthly literary series at the Ruskin Group Theatre, located at Santa Monica Airport. This month the group presents “We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order To Live: A Tribute to Joan Didion in Words + Music.” The April installment takes place Sunday, April 10 at 7:00pm. Admission: $20. Purchase tickets here. All proceeds are donated to Ruskin Group Theatre.
April 10: Twirl at Theatre 40
Theatre 40 offers a free staged reading of Twirl, by Joe Sutton. It’s about hearings for a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and it’s the winner of the 2021 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Julie Harris Playwriting Award. The reading takes place Sunday, April 10 at 7:00 pm. No reservations are necessary. Theatre 40 is located at 241 S. Moreno Drive, on the campus of Beverly Hills High School.
April 10: Solo Flight from Unmuted Participants
Members of the collective Unmuted Participants honed their skills in virtual solo shows during the pandemic and now will hold their first solo show festival, Solo Flight. The performances will be available online on-demand throughout the month. You can see a trailer here. Tickets go on sale April 3: watch this space.
April 13: A Doll’s House Part 2 at ICT
International City Theatre launches its 37th season with Lucas Hnath’s imagined sequel A Doll’s House Part 2, running through May 1.A post-show talkback with the cast will take place after the April 24th show. For tickets, $37-55, click here. ICT is at 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach.
April 22: Cemetery Pub at Dugan’s Backyard Playhouse
The prolific Tom Dugan has written a dark comedy about a beautiful young New Jersey girl who enlists the help of her remarkably dysfunctional relatives to save the family bar… and her life. He even presents it in his own Woodland Hills backyard. (You’ll be given the exact address when you make your reservation, which you do by emailing [email protected].) Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, through May 21. Tickets are $25.
April 23: Three Tables at the Zephyr
Padua Paywrights presents the world premiere of Three Tables by Murray Mednick through May 22, at the Zephyr Theatre. Mednick employs quick repartee, dark Borscht Belt humor, and meta theatrical references as the underpinnings of a more serious, existential meditation on the advent of tyranny. Performances are $25. The Zephyr Theatre is located at 7456 Melrose Ave. Tickets can be purchased here.
April 23: Tea from Hero Theatre
In Tea, five Japanese women learn to adjust to a new life in rural Kansas alongside their American GI husbands following World War II. Hero Theatre presents a revival of Velina Hasu Houston’s exploration of the immigrant experience at the Rosenthal Theatre at Downtown L.A.’s Inner-City Arts, where performances will continue through May 15. Tickets are $35 and are available here. Hero Theatre is the company-in-residence at the Rosenthal Theater, 720 Kohler Street, just south of the Arts District).
April 24: The Shot at the Ebell
Sharon Lawrence plays Katherine Graham in a staged reading of The Shot at the Ebell of Los Angeles. Based on Robin Gerber’s book Katherine Graham: The Leadership Journey of an American Icon, the solo show incudes a talk-back focusing on domestic violence. Tickets for the single performance, at 2:00pm, are $20.
April 26: Hadestown at the Ahmanson
Broadway’s Tony-anointed Best Musical Hadestown is ae groundbreaking show intertwining mythic tales, of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and of King Hades and his wife Persephone. It’s at the Ahmanson through May 29. Tickets are $40-$179 and are available here. The next show in the Ahmanson Season is Come From Away, opening May 31.
April 28: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Geffen
In the Geffen’s (and Edward Albee’s) Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Zachary Quinto and Calista Flockhart star as George and Martha, the American theater’s most notoriously dysfunctional couple. Closing is May 22. The Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood. Tickets are $30-149.
April 30: Wakings! at the Odyssey Theatre
Ron Sossi and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble explore states of consciousness in sleep, awakeness, psychosis, enlightenment, coma. How thin is the veil that separates them? Odyssey Theatre Ensemble artistic director Ron Sossi explores some of the many states of human awareness with an evening of short “mind excursions” by Harold Pinter, Hermann Hesse and others. Collectively titled Wakings!, the metaphysical adventure runs through June 5.
The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Tickets are available here.
May 12: The Play’s the Thing at Theatre 40
The Play’s the Thing, by P.G. Wodehouse, was first produced on Broadway in 1926. It was adapted from a 1924 Hungarian play by Ferenc Molnar,
Play at the Castle. This time around, at Theatre 40, Melanie MacQueen directs. A playwright named Sandor Turai comes up with a plan to save the engagement between his nephew Albert and an actress named Ilona.
The show runs through June 12, 2022; tickets are $35 and are available here.
May 21: King of the Yees at Sierra Madre Playhouse
King of the Yees, Lauren Yee’s father-inspired creation, runs through June 12. It’s the story of a Chinese-American who starts off distant from her heritage and Chinese culture, connects with her family and her heritage, and learns how to embrace it.
June 9: Hollywood Fringe Festival
The Fringe Festival is back with a vengeance this year, running from June 9-26. Theater groups, actors and probably a mime or two are putting the finishing touches on their shows; the schedule will be announced shortly here.
June 11: Theatricum Botanicum’s New Season
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum has planned its 49th season with a mix of classical theater, new work and music set for its woodsy outdoor amphitheater in Topanga.
- The Merry Wives of Windsor, re-set in 1950s small-town America to a score of rockin’ soundtrack (June 11-Oct. 2)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream Theatricum’s signature production (June 12-Oct. 1)
Summer productions also include The West Side Waltz by Ernest Thompson and the world premiere of Trouble the Water, adapted by Ellen Geer, based on the novel by Rebecca Dwight Bruff.
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga For more information and tickets, click here.