Before the craziness of the holidays, take time out for a local show. There’s a lot to see in November, from established playwrights like Terrence McNally and exciting new ones like Inda Craig-Galvan, plus world premiere plays and musicals featuring plenty of blues. It’s a sign of the times.
COVID controls are in place at all theaters, so be prepared to show proof of vaccination and matching ID, and to wear a mask throughout the show.
A Perfect Ganesh at The Pico
Two middle-aged women go on a tour of India, each hoping the trip will help lift her from a low point. One has just discovered a lump in her breast but hasn’t told her friend. The other has lost her son to a violent death. How will Ganesh, the Hindu god with an elephant’s head, intervene to bring relief to the pain in each woman’s heart? Written by Terrence McNally. Produced and directed by psychiatrist David W. Callander.
A Perfect Ganesh is currently at the Pico Theatre, 10508 W. Pico Blvd. (next to John O’Groats) through Nov. 21, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm. Saturdays at 3:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm. Tickets are $35 and are available here.
Salvage at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre
Harley, a singer-songwriter whose wife is expecting their first child, has decided to hang it up. On his way to pawn his guitar, he stumbles across the bar where his musical hero, Floyd Whitaker, died. Entering, he finds Johnson, the inhospitable bartender, and a single, surly customer, known as Preacher, who’s strumming the blues on an old guitar. Dueling words and songs ensue, dislodging uncomfortable truths, until an unexpected arrival turns everything on its ear.
Book, music and lyrics were written by Tim Alderson, a fifth-generation farmer/agricultural expert who created and runs the nonprofit Seeds of Hope, working to alleviate food insecurity for thousands of low-income households across Southern California. He also has extensive music business experience. Well worth catching.
Salvage plays at 8:00pm Fridays & Saturdays, 3:00pm Sundays through Nov. 14 at the Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. For more information (including a sample of the fantastic music) and tickets, click here.
A Hit Dog Will Holler at Skylight
In this world premiere by Inda Craig-Galvan, a social media influencer and a boots-on-the-ground activist form a complex bond of friendship to help each other survive as American racism manifests as a physical form. (A Buzz review is coming next week)
A Hit Dog Will Holler can be viewed live on stage at the Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave. in Los Feliz, from Nov. 6 through Dec. 12 and virtually beginning Nov. 20. Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission. Click here for more information, ticket availability and pricing.
The Children at the Fountain
With the outside world in chaos following a devastating environmental disaster, two retired nuclear engineers live a quiet life in a remote cottage on the lonely British coast — until a surprise visit from a former colleague upends the couple’s equilibrium and trust. Written by Lucy Kirkwood. (A Buzz review is coming next week.)
The Children runs at the Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. in Hollywood, from Nov. 6 through January 23, 2022. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00pm, with pay-what-you-wish performances on Mondays at 8:00pm. Tickets are $40, $35 for seniors. To purchase, click here.
Paradise Blue at the Geffen
It’s 1949 in Detroit, and trumpet-playing club owner Blue has a tough decision to make. Should he sell his jazz joint, the Paradise Club, as gentrification bangs on the door? The house band is desperate to stay, Blue’s demons are tempting him to leave, and the arrival of a seductive stranger turns everything upside down. In Tony Award-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau’s powerful noir-inspired drama, a makeshift family and their troubled bandleader find themselves fighting for the future of Paradise. (A Buzz review is coming later in the month.)
Paradise Blue runs at the Geffen Playhouse from Nov. 9 through Dec. 12. Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 7:00pm, matinees Saturdays at 3:00pm. Sundays at 2:00pm. Running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Click here for more information and tickets.
Also of note at the Geffen: The Enigmatist, written & performed by David Kwong, continues its successful in-person run after a successful virtual run. It’s in the Geffen’s intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater through Nov. 28. Tickets are $39-150.
Blues in the Night from Ebony Rep
More blues, these from Ebony Rep, in association with International City Theatre, at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center! Set in 1948 in a Chicago hotel that has seen better days, the interwoven stories of Blues in the Night evoke the misery and humor of life, love and the dogged determination to do more than just survive. The drama reveals itself through glorious songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more.
Blues in the Night runs from Nov. 12 through Dec. 5 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W. Washington Blvd. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets are $40-50. To purchase, click here.
Readings of Six New Plays at IAMA Theatre Co.
Staged readings of six new plays currently in development by IAMA Theatre Company will be presented over the course of one weekend, November 11 through 14, as part of the company’s annual New Works Festival.
Thursday, Nov. 11 at 8:00pm Lifeline by Robert Axelrod: After the death of a loved one, a mother begins working through her grief by volunteering at a suicide hotline.
Friday, Nov. 12 at 8:00pm Edward’s Elysium, Parts 1, 2, 3, by Larry Powell: Eddie Seales is on an adventure to find new love, but may have to leave his life’s work behind at a time when his community needs him most in order to find it.
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3:00pm Gusher by Jan Rosenberg: Davie and her girlfriend Jules are trying to enjoy their vacation — but Davie can’t stop bleeding. A storm is brewing, and when some unexpected visitors show up, things get more than a little freaky… and messy.
Saturday, Nov. 13 at 8:00pm Radical by Isaac Gomez: After a failed attempt at a massive act of domestic terrorism, a Mexican American millennial is held hostage by her sister, who hopes to de-radicalize her before it’s too late. But as she’s confronting the relationships and memories that got her here, she’s forced to reconcile the person she’s become with the person she left behind.
Sunday, Nov. 14 at 3:00pm The Play My Family Can’t Know Exists by Melissa Jane Osborne: Two “adult” children have to confront their present when they are summoned by their mother to purge their childhood home.
Sunday, Nov. 14 at 8:00pm Invisible by Douglas Lyons: Lifelong best friends Eemani and Jade decompress one afternoon over a good blunt. Unbeknownst to them, the blunt is laced with much more than weed, spiraling the duo into a wild hallucination where slavery and superpowers collide.
All readings will take place at the Broadwater Second Stage, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended. Click here for reservations.