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The State of Theater: Must the Show Go On?

Many local theaters are hitting the pause or reschedule button again. (Photo courtesy of the Skylight Theatre)

Note: Theaters’ schedules remain in flux. This article is updated as new information comes in.

Got theater tickets? Just like Santa’s list, you’d better check them twice. Shows are being postponed, canceled and taken virtual, as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 re-re-redefines the new normal. But for many of our intrepid local theaters—now almost all dark—the show must go on.

This week a friend and I “attended” a livestream of Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s on Broadway and enjoyed seeing star Uzo Adubo adapt brilliantly to an out-of-control prop—and hearing the live audience’s reaction. Pre-recorded performances lose some of that immediacy, but are the third best thing to being there.

Here, in chronological order, is a rundown of how battered local theaters are both adapting and staying the course. Of course, attending any in-person event right now requires showing a vaccination card and photo ID, and wearing a mask.


Broadwater Theatre


POSTPONED two weeks due to a cast member’s positive COVID-19 test opening day–premiered Jan. 29. Anxious to get out there? Singing Revolution: The Musical premieres  at the Broadwater on Santa Monica Blvd. It’s a new Europop musical inspired by the true story of Estonia’s 1987 song-filled, peaceful uprising against the Soviet Union and features 20 triple-threat performers and a live, five-piece band. For more information and tickets, click here. (The Buzz’s review is here.)


The Wallis

Kate Flannery and Jane Lynch belt ’em out


CANCELLED due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery bring their Two Lost Souls cabaret show in person to the Wallis one night only. They put a hilarious spin on songs from the ‘60s to Broadway. Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $59 to $125 and are available here.


The Ahmanson

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, aka Layton Williams


Currently in previews, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is set to open at the Ahmanson Theatre on Friday, Jan. 21 and run through Feb. 20. Layton Williams and Roy Haylock (also known as Bianca Del Rio, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race) will reprise their roles in the hit West End musical. Inspired by a true story, the show celebrates acceptance, belonging and the power of unconditional love of a mother for her child. Tickets range from $35-$145 and are available here.


Theatre 40

Theatre 40’s new play Death, With Benefits is a dark comedy in the tradition of Arsenic and Old Lace. It was inspired by the true story of the Killer Grannies of Santa Monica and is scheduled to open Jan. 27. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets are $38 and are available here.

A staged reading of Basement Follies by playwright David Datz at Theatre 40 has been indefinitely postponed.


The Group Rep



To Grandmother’s House We Go, by Joanna McClelland Glass, is about children returning to the nest and the emotional toll their extended childhoods exact on parents and grandparents. It’s scheduled to run Jan. 28-March 6 at the Group Rep in North Hollywood on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00pm. Talkbacks with cast and staff are scheduled after the Sunday shows on Feb. 6 and Feb. 20. Tickets are $30. For more information on this and the entire 2020-22 season, and to purchase tickets, click here. See the Buzz’s review here.

The Geffen

In Power of Sail, Bryan Cranston plays a distinguished Harvard professor who invites an incendiary white nationalist to speak at his annual symposium. This new play by Paul Grellong examines the insidiousness of hate disguised as free speech, and the question of who ultimately pays the price. Previews start Feb. 8 and opening night is Feb. 17. Tickets, at $30-129, are available here.

Three- and six-play Geffen packages are also available, for a season that includes Trayf, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Man of God.


The Mark Taper Forum

Playwright Jeremy O. Harris pulled Slave Play from the Taper over Center Theatre Group’s lack of female inclusion in its line-up. After some negotiations that will affect the Taper’s next season, the play is back in and opens Feb. 9 for a five-week run. It’s a shocking “antebellum fever-dream” set in 21st-century America. Tickets to the play that broke the record for Tony nominations are $30-90 and are available here.

The Pantages and the Dolby Theatre

For the intrepid, multi-show “Broadway in Hollywood” ticket packages are available for shows that have played Broadway. There’s Hamilton at the Pantages, currently closed due to a COVID outbreak but now set to resume Feb. 9-March 20, as well as Rent (the Dolby, opening April 12), Tootsie (the Dolby, April 26), Pretty Woman (the Dolby, June 16), and Moulin Rouge! (the Pantages, June 30). Purchase tickets and packages here.


Theatre West

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Storybook Theatre production, returns to Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Feb. 12 through June 4 on Saturdays at 1:00pm. All seats $15. (Read our review here.)

For grownups, This Joint Is Jumpin’, a new revue, plays Saturday, Feb. 26, Sunday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, March 5, all at 7:00pm, and Sunday, March 6 at 2:00 pm. Admission is $35.

Theatre West has delayed the opening of Classic Couples Counseling by a month, until April 1. Dr. Patricia Cataldo is a psychotherapist with a special celebrity clientele: Shakespearean couples. She analyzes Kate and Petruchio, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Desdemona and Hamlet and Ophelia, plus orchestrates group sessions.

The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00pm.Tickets are $40. Tickets for both shows are available here.


Actors Co-op Theatre Company


The troupe at Actor’s Co-Op Theatre will present a postponed Marvin’s Room from Feb. 18 through March 27. The show was originally slated for 2020. Shows take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets are $35.


Antaeus Theatre Company

Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale returns to in-person performances in 2022 with two reading series and two full productions at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center.

The season kicks off with the company’s signature ClassicsFest series, Feb. 24 through March 1. Over the course of six days, Antaeus presents multiple staged readings of the Sarah Ruhl adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, The Hot L Baltimore by Lanford Wilson; and Mud by María Irene Fornés.

April will see Lab Results, staged readings of five new plays developed in the Antaeus Playwrights Lab.

In May, Antaeus opens a new, streamlined production of Hamlet, with Shakespearean scholar Elizabeth Swain at the helm. For more information, click here.


Skylight Theatre

Skylight cancelled Fluff, scheduled to open in February, but the theater’s collaborative 2021/22 season with Playwrights’ Arena continues with several new plays. Next up is Apartment Living by Boni B. Alvarez about the eerily familiar subject of how behaviors changed in forced captivity during the pandemic in Los Angeles. Opening date is March 12.

A show-to-be-named-later will open in May, followed by Lavender Men – An Emancipation Play by Roger Q. Mason, opening in August. It’s billed as a “historical fantasia of Taffeta,” who invades the private world of Abraham Lincoln to confront issues of LGBTQ+ inclusion and visibility.

For more information and tickets, click here.


Pasadena Playhouse

The upcoming Pasadena Playhouse production of Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick, a modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III, has been replaced with a streaming performance recorded in Boston during the play’s recent run. Digital access to Teenage Dick will be available for purchase soon; click here for details.

Two productions still scheduled to be performed onstage with an audience are: a return engagement of Holland Taylor’s self-penned solo show about Texas Governor Ann Richard, Ann (March 22–April 24), and hip hop musical freestyle love supreme from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale (July 12–August 7).


Rogue Machine Theatre

Our neighbor Rogue Machine Theatre (located in the Matrix Theatre on Melrose) has decided to postpone the opening of On The Other Hand, We Are Happy until at least February 19. During the downtime, the Matrix has upgraded the air conditioning system and installed air purifiers in public areas. Stay tuned for updates at RMT’s website.


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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.

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