As theaters prepare for yet another confused fall season, they haven’t ignored summer. There are plenty of thought-provoking shows to sample during these dog days.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival, the “annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community,” which stages a huge, often off-beat selection of productions in “fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places,” is now running (from August 12-19) with 129 shows. Check out the entire lineup here. Some highlights:
Worth It is a time-traveling musical comedy written, produced and performed by Carla Delaney—who plays more than 40 characters. Jessica Lynn Johnson directed and developed. Original music and retro videos campy enough to harken back to the best days of MTV punctuate the.
Worth It follows Casey Dawning, a talented songstress, who’s content to sing back-up when life beckons her to take the lead! Raised to think penny-pinching is practical, her stinginess is spilling into unexpected areas of her life. When Casey stumbles into a Bank of the Future, with vaults filled with conscientious cabaret singers instead of cash, she begins to question whether her self-worth is at the root of her net worth.
The show plays on Friday, August 13 at 9:00pm and Wed., August 25 at 7:00pm at Broadwater Black Box, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Carey Matthews was an actor in Los Angeles, achieving some success, but still needing to take on different jobs. He dates women, but the relationships don’t last. Something’s wrong, and he tries to deal with his pain with substance abuse. What is wrong, exactly? It’s gender dysphoria. He’s been born a man, but there’s a woman inside of him.
Carey Matthews transitioned to writer-performer Veronica Carey Matthews and takes audiences through the journey in TransSetter. The show seeks to educate and inform about transgender people while telling an entertaining narrative.
Transsetter will be performed in front of live audiences at Studio/Stage. Performances will also be livestreamed on Tuesday, August 17 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, August 22 at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $12. For more information and for tickets, click here.
If you’re up for something literary and a bit out there, try the world premiere of GATSBY an Immersive Illumination. The outdoor show was created by 2cents Theatre Group’s Kristen Boulé and Tiffany Asta, who presented Unreal, based on T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” in 2018 (see our review here). It’s performed at The 905 Cole, unsurprisingly located at 905 Cole Ave, just up from the Hollywood DMV. It runs at various times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 22. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets ($20) here.
Shakespeare returns to Griffith Park with The Tempest, produced by Independent Shakespeare Co. The group is in a temporary location while the city builds a permanent stage at the Griffith Park Performing Arts Stage. The result is a smaller audience capacity. In the enchanting dell that is the 2021 location, the producers are planning a site-specific production using the natural beauty of the park to conjure up Prospero’s island.
Opening night is Saturday, Aug. 14. The show plays Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 5. For additional information and tickets, click here.
Theatre West is presenting the CHANGE Festival, a collection of short plays exploring “that elusive phenomenon called ‘change.’” Each week, starting August 16, a new instalment will be available for viewing on the Theatre West YouTube Channel, here. Viewing is free, but donations are gratefully accepted at http://theatrewest.org
Outdoor Play Readings at Greystone Mansion
Theatre 40 and The City of Beverly Hills will present a series of free outdoor play readings in the pool area of Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, in Beverly Hills. Each play in the series will be performed on two dates, by actors from the Theatre 40 company. The plays are:
- August 11 and 12: Camping with Henry and Tom
- August 18 and 19: Incident at Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- August 25 and 26: They’re in the Trees
All readings start at 5:00 pm. To reserve seats, phone (310) 364-3606.
Closely Related Keys, Opening August 27
Just in time for the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, International City Theatre of Long Beach returns to the stage after 18 months with a compelling family drama by Los Angeles-based playwright Wendy Graf.
Living in New York shortly after September 11, Julia Dolan (Mason) is an up-and-coming corporate attorney whose carefully constructed life begins to crumble when she learns she has a half-sister (Mohammadi) — a Muslim who has fled Iraq. Neyla plays the violin and wants to audition for Julliard, but Julia is wary. Is there more to Neyla’s story?
Closely Related Keys runs Thursdays through Sundays from Aug. 27 through Sept. 12. Tickets are $49-55. Two low-priced previews ($37) are set for Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.
Special mention to…
It doesn’t really fit the live theater category, but It’s likely to be quite the spectacle: Tuesdays through October the Cinelounge Outdoors will be showing Jane Fonda’s Workout on the big screen. Bring a mat and join the fun! There will be a juice bar, fruity popsicles, special guests and free swag given to best-dressed in the exercise category. So break out those leg warmers!
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Workout runs about 8:15-10:15. Age 21 and over only. Cinelounge Outdoors, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave.. Discounted parking is available across the street (mention Cinelounge). Tickets are $20 and are available at http://arenascreen.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Greenpeace.