Troubadour Theater Company (better known as The Troubies) is a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred, Commedia Del Arte-flavored, slapstick-driven, Los Angeles-based ensemble of actors, musicians, and comedians that has been performing for audiences throughout Southern California and beyond since 1995. Over the past 12 years, the Troubies have collaborated with Getty on several occasions. Most recently they presented Getty’s first virtual theater presentation on YouTube with The ODDyssey, a whimsical retelling of Odysseus’s adventure after the Trojan War.
The Troubies fast-paced, laugh-filled, loose adaptations (some of the lines are still there) of classic plays, literature and film, as well as their original productions and hilarious sketch material, make this company a unique and exciting experience for theater-goers of any age, barring their latest show, LIZASTRATA, which is definitely strictly for adult audiences due to subject matter and language.
For those unfamiliar with Aristophanes’s classic Greek comedy Lysistrata, it tells the tale of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War by convincing the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace. In LIZASTRATA, The Troubies tell the same story in a very modern and bawdy adaptation during which I guarantee you will hear more ways to describe sexual relations than you thought possible, see a wide-range of inflated body parts, and laugh at the outrageously updated lyrics to well-known Liza Minelli songs. To get the general idea, think New York, New York redone as No Pork, No Pork sung by the effervescent Cloie Wyatt Taylor as Lizastrata as she attempts to convince several women from other local SoCal cities to go along with her plan. And what a fun bunch of followers they turn out to be as they offer the men a choice – make war or make whoopie!
Directed and adapted by Matt Walker, who energetically takes to the stage as gender-bending characters the Emcee, Lampito and the Magistrate via quick costume changes by designer Halei Parker, the LIZASTRATA cast also features, along with Walker and Wyatt Taylor as Lizastrata, the multi-talented L.T. Martinez, Rick Batalla, Suzanne Jolie, Amanda Pajer, Jess Coffman, Beth Kennedy (whose puppetry skills will have you roaring with laughter) and Michael Faulkner. Band members who also play several roles include Dave Wright (Banjo), Ryan Whyman (Piano), John Ballinger (Guitar, Clarinet, Banjo & Misc.) and Nick Stone (Percussion). Kudos to the entire production team for such an entertaining and welcome return to in-person theatre by The Troubies!
LIZASTRATA is the 15th annual outdoor theater production in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa. Performances, which as of this writing are totally sold out, take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, September 9 – October 2, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. For all the optimists out there, additional tickets may become available at www.getty.edu/LIZA or by calling (310) 440-7300. No admittance without advance reservation, and a ticket for the play does not include admission to the museum, which must be booked separately. Due to sexual language, situations, and imagery that are not recommended for persons under the age of 15. Run time is 90 minutes, no intermission, with on-site parking available. Masks are optional outdoors, but required in all indoor spaces including the café, elevators and restrooms, and proof of vaccination must be shown for admittance.
Actor/singer Robert Bannon has worked on Broadway and on TV’s “SNL.” He was scheduled to present his cabaret show “Unfinished Business” at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s April 14 (Feinstein’s is closed until further notice because of the Corona Virus.) In our conversation he tells us about his background and how his love of the “American Songbook” came to be.
Tell our readers why you are recording an album in salute to the American Songbook. You graduated from Juilliard Prep. What did you learn from the composers of these songs? Who are your favorites?
RB: Growing up in a good little Italian-Irish family in NJ, the music of Sinatra, Sammy, Dean, Johnny was reverent. The instrumentation, storytelling, and classic nature of these songs just spoke to me. I have always been a fan of the “story” and the build of a song. I love singing all music and listening to everything from hip hop to country (and sometimes that sneaks into the show) but all in all nothing beats the classics. They can be done and reimagined but the bones of them remain and will last forever.
I did go to Juilliard Prep, I was in the first music theatre class under Bertin Rowser and Diane Wilson. I am so grateful to them for seeing something in me, as a child, I didn’t see in myself. I learned that acting and musical theater are truly art forms. There is a difference between fame/celebrity and the art and the work it takes to serve it. That goes back to the classic element of the show. It is my story, but I serve the music and I hope that translates.
As far as composers, I learned it iss all in the melodies. Can you listen to a song and remember it? That is the magic of a good song. Also the saying that you don’t remember what you did or what you said but you will always remember how you FEEL! Does the music make you feel something? The universal themes of them all!
I have a bunch of favorites. I love Johnny Mercer. His vibe and style is just timeless. The poetry of his lyrics is second to none. Also I love Anthony Newley. He is often not thought of but I love the DRAMA of his music!! His arrangements and songs are full of drama. It makes a moment in my shows and hopefully emotes something we all can relate to!
You title your concert show Unfinished Business. You are so young. Usually artists use this term at the end of their careers. What is your intent?
RB: Thanks for this question and saying I’m young!
There is a story to the title. When I was in high school and at Juilliard, I ended up getting sick for 4 years. I had undiagnosed Lyme disease which turned into meningitis before Justin Bieber made it a newsworthy thing. I literally never had a chance to go to high school as a “normal” student. When I recovered I only knew one thing – singing. I started putting myself out there. I got called in to replace Roger in Rent on Broadway. I walked in, botched the audition and freaked out. I changed my major to Political Science and became a history teacher done with performing. After two Masters Degrees in Education, I felt something was missing. I would literally tear up at a curtain call or a concert.
So after 10 years of not performing, fate intervened. I met up with the amazing performers and writers Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews. They just did their show Witness Uganda at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. They helped me literally dust off the rust and get back out there. They told me I had something to say. The first day I sang again I said I had some “Unfinished Business” to do and it stuck. I called my show that in NY at 54 Below. It is the journey and the lesson that we all have something unfinished to do. Take a step and the path will FOLLOW!
Do you tell anecdotes in your show or just sing? As a principal in SNL, you must love comedy. Any comedic stories or skits we may look forward to?
RB: I think I talk as much as I sing! I have stories for days and have had such an interesting life thankfully! I love to talk about my journey, family, love, and some of the things that I’ve experienced. I love comedy! I grew up obsessed with SNL so being there is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I’m so grateful to just be in the halls of that American Institution!
I do have some fun stories. I talk about my childhood obsession with all things Manilow, being stuck on an elevator with singing legend Phoebe Snow, my personal life which is a show in of itself, etc! There are a lot of laughs. I am all Jersey all day so that totally comes across in the show.
Talk more in depth about SNL. What has this added to your career as a performer? Has improv strengthened your delivery and stamina onstage?
RB: I was first asked to be on SNL in a sketch about the TSA. In the sketch they let me through security with a sketchy bag and book bag while others were not allowed to come through as they had a travel ban. I had to shave my head for the part and I asked the Casting Director, if I shave my head, can I be on a live show? Please! It actually worked. Ask and you shall receive.
Since then I have had big roles, small roles and everything in between. Check out Electric Shoes with Kenan Thompson and see my bass playing wig debut. Seeing the way that show works and how talented they all are is inspiring. I’ve seen some of the best in the biz work up close to make that show fly. It’s always an honor. When I was first on, a friend from elementary school wrote me and said “You used to stay up and watch this show every Saturday and now you are on that stage!” It is a pretty surreal moment!
Improv is simply the best! It is scary which makes the payoff so much better. I am a graduate of Willian Esper for acting under the amazing Barbara Marchant. That program is Meisner acting technique which is mostly improv. That skill is something that makes you so present in your work as an actor and has certainly helped my stage show and listening to the audience moment to moment. It keeps you on your toes and ready for anything! Who knows what will come out of my mouth!?
What is your favorite Broadway show? It does not have to be one that you have done.
RB: That’s a tough question. I love Rent. I loved finally being able to be in Rent after my awful audition as a kid and being Roger. That show resonates with me so deeply about love and living each day to the fullest.
I would love more original musicals to be made on Broadway! Witness Uganda is BRILLIANT! That score is something that has stuck with me. It was genius at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. Matt Gould who co-wrote that show has a new show coming to La Jolla called Lempicka! Go SEE IT! I am hoping after California it takes over NYC!
Any particular role that you are yearning to play onstage?
RB: I would love to play Bobby in Company. I just relate so much to his character and the score is brilliant. I also love comedy and have been singing “My Girlfriend Who Lives In Canada” for years. So I would love to be fitted with a puppet to have some fun in Avenue Q! I am always down for some campy puppet moments.
Did you grow up with music in your family? What inspired you to be an actor and singer?
RB: My parents loved music. My dad loved placing big headphones on me and letting me rock out to Earth, Wind and Fire. My mom loved Carly Simon. We would listen to her when she made us breakfast every weekend but don’t ask them to sing! Ha! They are not singers. My parents are kinda shy and I am literally shot out of a canon 24-7. I think I always wanted to make people smile and entertain. I would take the sheets from my bed, make curtains, and put on shows for my family since I could remember.
I tell a story about trying sports and being dreadful (soccer goalie is not on my special skills on my resume) and finally being like “nope I quit!” Take me to singing lessons instead. Sixth grade hit, I was the Prince in Cinderella at my school, I was hooked. I wanted to sing and act anywhere and everywhere.
My parents were hip and loved music. I was the old soul. I got a karaoke machine for Christmas with the Hits of Manilow and I was sold. Hook line and sinker. I would listen and study him nonstop.
What was it like performing with giants like Patti LaBelle and Whoopi Goldberg? What did you learn from being in their presence?
RB: Wow! I had the pleasure at 12 years old to perform with Ms. LaBelle at a tribute concert for Laura Nyro (songwriter) at the Beacon Theatre. I have loved her since. She was so kind, humble, and a FORCE on stage. She brings 110% every time and is so authentically herself. Her kindness and authenticity are what makes people love her. I have had the pleasure to see her numerous times after and sing with her again, she is as amazing now as ever! OBSESSED!
Whoopi is such a wonderful performer, kind, and generous. She was such a wonderful person to be around. I think I learned that being kind matters. Being a good listener and remember that you matter and your art matters but you can’t do it without the people who support it.
Do you have a goal in LA? Are you looking toward more work in TV and roles in film? Will stage always remain a vital part of your performing life?
RB: It is so humbling to be booked at Feinstein’s in Studio City. No one is more surprised and honored than me. Three years ago, I had hung it all up and had not done a thing so I’m thrilled people are inspired and supportive. I am focusing on my new album which is on the way based on the one man show and journey. My first love will always be me, a stool, mic, and a piano player. It’s taken me decades to be comfortable sharing my story, and that will always be the one I want to tell first and foremost. I am just happy to meet some new friends in LA and spread my message and music! Therefore stage and the live show will always be the first love. We are always adding more dates so I’m so grateful for that. You can find all upcoming dates on RobertBannon.com.
I also love TV and film! I would love to do more straight up acting. That is such a fulfilling way to make a living to be the vessel for the text and project either comedy or drama-that is a blast. I am open to whatever surprises life has to to offer. One thing I learned is it’s gonna surprise me so let’s see where it goes!
Add anything you wish here that we did not already mention.
RB: Thank you so much for your time and platform! Come see me at the show and say hi! I am so excited to share this show with LA! Joining me is Michael Orland as Music Director! Michael was the MD on American Idol for 15 seasons. He’s worked with everyone and is as talented as he is kind. You don’t want to miss what surprises we both have in store. Also, LA has some of the best singers in the world and I happen to know them so expect a bunch of surprises and a lot of fun!
Unfortunately Feinstein’s is closed until further notice because of the Corona Virus.*
* I asked Robert Bannon what he is doing creatively during this time. Are you working on the CD of the “American Songbook?” When your appearance is rescheduled, will there be a CD release party?
RB: I am working on the album! It will be of the Great American Songbook. It is produced by Bob Magnuson and features arrangements by Tedd Firth and Rich DeRosa of songs you know but with my own twist. Thanks to technology we will hopefully do it all digitally and get it ready to be out as soon as possible. I am trying to be as creative as possible with this time out.
The new goal is once we have a new date for Feinstein’s in LA this summer it will be an album release with a whole new show! So I am definitely looking forward to what comes in the future. For now, just sending light and love to everyone to stay safe!
Rest your feet after all that shopping, get out of that L.A. holiday traffic for a few hours, and slip into a cozy theatre or concert venue during the Holidays!
Los Angeles theatre is alight with dozens of musicals, comedy, cabaret, magic, live radio plays, film and live mash-up productions, classic Dickens, music, dance, variety, and family-friendly shows themed to get you into the spirit of the season.
Here’s is a healthy collection of shows available now and until you are just about ready to ring in the New Year.
ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY (ETC) presents the second show of its 2019-20 Season, the can’t-miss, holiday event of the season, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, adapted by Joe Landry, from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra & Jo Swerling and directed by ETC’s Director of Education and Outreach, Brian McDonald.
Actors Co-op Theatre Company is proud to present the Los Angeles premiere of a new adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play, based on the 1947 Lux Radio Hour, adapted by Lance Arthur Smith, original songs and arrangements by Jon Lorenz, directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie.
“Miracle on 34th Street” brings a heartwarming and classic tale of faith, love, and the gift of miracles to the holiday season, featuring live Foley effects and a score of holiday carols this beautiful story is sure to ring in Christmas for all. OVATION RECOMMENDED PRODUCTION!!! At the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre.
A Christmas Carol: The One-Man Play – The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: The One-Man Play, directed by frequent Porters collaborator Drina Durazo. “Charles Dickens was known for being a performer of his own works; his novels were written with such vivid theatricality that they were almost like plays,” says Durazo. “We’re aiming to recreate the experience of Dickens’ public recitals with a A Christmas Carol, The One-Man Play, and it’s been a great joy exploring this beloved classic by way of Krieger’s dynamic performance.”
Having most recently taken on the roles of Theseus in The Two Noble Kinsmen and director of Romeo and Juliet, Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger portrays over thirty characters in this telling of Dickens’ classic tale. Having assumed iconic roles for the company including Richard III, Shylock, Benedick, and King John, Krieger is thrilled to return to the boards of North Hollywood.
A Los Angeles holiday tradition is back with some show veterans for just a few dates in a special engagement! It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play takes place at KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station that good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping alive. He calls on some old friends (with big personalities) and some less-than-professional station employees to offer up a live radio version of Frank Capra’s touching masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life in what might sadly be the station’s last live show. But it’s the holidays, a time when miracles can happen…
TROUBADOUR THEATER COMPANY continues its 25th SILVER ANNIVERSARY SEASON with “A CHRISTMAS CAROLE KING.” Musical Direction by Derrick Finely, Directed and Adapted by Matt Walker, in a limited Engagement opening Friday, December 13, 2019, at The El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood!
For their 18th annual holiday offering, The Troubies have combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – and the result is SO FAR AWAY from what you’d expect!
Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol, at A Noise Within, Directed by Geoff Elliott & Julia Rodriguez-Elliott.
ANW’s delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns! Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge—the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season, and beyond!
“Only a die-hard humbug could remain unmoved by so charming a yuletide treat.” – Los Angeles Times
A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory. This is the 40th year for the beloved Orange County holiday classic—and marks the final time that Hal Landon Jr. will portray everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Nineteenth-century London comes to life when your family joins the SCR family for the holidays. Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come. No children under the age of 6, please.
Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told — plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season! An outrageous holiday romp for the whole family (except those who still believe in Santa!) Written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. Music by Will Knapp. Directed by Gary Lamb. Musical director: Sean Paxton.
Yippie ki yay, theatre goers! We’re settling the debate, once and for all. Yes, “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie. But when John McClane meets Ralphie from “A Christmas Story,” let’s just say more than just your eye might get shot out! What better way to end the year than by mashing up classic Christmas movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” with characters from some of your favorite “Not A Christmas Movie” movies like “Batman Returns?” Mix in a few iconic movie props, a team of talented writers, directors and actors and let the holiday drama and hi-jinks ensue! The way only our RUSH play festival can! Great for the whole family!
Written by Tyler Bianchi, Evan Baughfman, Jeff Folschinsky, Holly Sidell, Samantha Grace, Adam Neubauer, Samantha & Lilia Marquis, Directed by Jonathan Fahn, Jennifer Novak Chun, Holly Witham, Corey Chappell,
Randy Marquis, Tom Jones & Stacy Ann Raposa. At the Actors Workout Studio.
Developed in the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, Eight Nights is the heartfelt, lyrical portrait of a German Jewish refugee haunted by her past…witnessed over the course of generations of the same family that inhabits a single apartment from 1949 to 2016. Set during the eight nights of Chanukah, and spanning eight decades of the protagonist’s life, Eight Nights weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East.
Dysfunctional Family Christmas – Misunderstandings, Mistaken Identities, and Holiday Chaos create a fun-filled Christmas Morning at the Logan Home.
Before they sell the family home, Dean and Joanne Logan want one perfect final Christmas with their adult children. Although, once Grandpa is found dead, their plans go haywire as they attempt to hide the body from the family.
“A sardonic, merrily subversive tale—just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!” NY Newsday. When it was first broadcast on National Public Radio, The SantaLand Diaries generated more requests for tapes than any story in This American Life’s history except the death of Red Barber. Timothy Olyphant brought the story to life on stage off-Broadway, and for the fourth year in a row Patrick Censoplano dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris about the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City, taking a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best – and the worst – in us all. Toast the Holidays! Your ticket includes a pre-show glass of champagne or non-alcoholic eggnog.
The story of Sugar Plum Fairy, based on Loh’s original tale on This American Life, follows a 12-year-old Sandra and her over-the-top dream of landing the lead in the inevitable dance school production of The Nutcracker. Loh and friends are pitted against the vicious hierarchy of desirable roles in this well-weathered ballet, while she desperately yearns to be recognized as a pre-teen queen in her own right. The play features Shannon Holt and Tony Abatemarco in a rotation of quirky characters from her misfit friends to a rigid Russian ballet instructor, as well as being co-conspirators in spreading some literal holiday cheer around the theater. Wittily set to a classical music score (a la Disney’s Fantasia’s hippopotamus ballerinas), Sugar Plum Fairy is knitted together with moments of audience participation, and attendees are encouraged to dress in their most festive outfits, prepare for sugary showers of candy, and get photos for the ‘gram with Yuletide-themed set designs that include reindeer, an animatronic Santa, and even, if you’re lucky, Frosty the Snowman.
Sixteen actors play nearly 30 characters in a holiday spectacular that will put you in a festive mood! A play-within-a-play, this fast-paced comedy follows a small, LGBTQ+ community theatre as it struggles to pull together its annual holiday pageant.
Written by Joe Marshall, directed by Bree Pavey. The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Cassandra Carmona, Matt Caudel, Noah Copfer, Andrew Cottrell, Madylin Sweeten Durrie, Dan Ellis, Javier Flores, Barbera Ann Howard, Sean James, Corey Klemow, Katy Laughlin, Ignacio Navarro, Alejandro Baquero Sanchez, Scottie Smith, Luke Sookdeo, and Bart Tangredi.
Rubicon Theatre audiences are invited to “rejoice and be plaid” this holiday season as Ventura’s non-profit professional theatre company presents the hilarious and heartwarming musical comedy PLAID TIDINGS in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District. The production is directed by the original creator STUART ROSS, and the cast for PLAID TIDINGS includes SEAN BELL, ADOLPHO BLAIRE, JOSHUA DAVID CAVANAUGH and ZACHARY EDWARDS, all making their Rubicon Theatre debuts. The show includes holiday favorites such as “Cool Yule,” “Let it Snow,” and “Joy to the World”; a hysterically funny speed-date version of “The Ed Sullivan Show” featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir; and other memorable hits from the era, like “Sh-Boom,” “Fever” and “Hey There.”
The Los Angeles Times called PLAID TIDINGS “a many splendored thing.” Variety described the show as Musical utopia…the perfect show. And the Daily News called the show “heaven-sent holiday fare.”
“SANTASIA – A Holiday Comedy” created by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, directed by Shaun Loeser, is celebrating its 20th year. At the Whitefire Theatre, this Off-Broadway Hit and Critics’s Pick laugh out loud annual holiday romp, is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to “The Carol Burnett Show”, “The Kids in the Hall”, “In Living Color”, “Saturday Night Live” and Vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass Claymation inspired movies, musical parodies, and heartfelt holiday moments.
The Wallis & For The Record’s biggest, record-breaking hit returns this holiday season! The multimedia concert celebration of one of the most beloved holiday films of all time is back by popular demand, now as a not-to-be-missed Los Angeles tradition. The team behind LA’s award-winning series For The Record transforms The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater into an immersive cinema, where the modern classic written by Richard Curtis is reborn as a revolutionary stage and screen event. To tell the story, the film and live action seamlessly intertwine throughout the London setting. Iconic scenes on screen share the stage with an all-star cast of singers and a 15-piece orchestra, as they reimagine the film’s hit soundtrack including “Christmas is All Around” and “Trouble With Love.” Love Actually Live is a first-of-its-kind, theatrical cinema experience.
WARNING: This production features theatrical haze effects, adult content, and brief nudity. It is recommended for ages 13+.
The San Fernando Valley Master Chorale is excited to bring back one of the most anticipated concerts of the season, our annual holiday sing-along concert! Joining us on stage this year will be the delightful San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus, under the direction of Sean Carney.
Led by Artistic Director Charlie Kim and accompanied by Bob Remstein, expect to hear your favorite holiday classics along with John Rutter’s “Gloria” accompanied by a brass quartet. And lots of audience participation! Join us for a night filled with fun, music, and holiday cheer for the whole family. All ages are welcome.
Ugly Sweater Contest: Oh, and don’t forget to bring your ugly sweater! This year SFVMC will give away free tickets for a future concert to the audience member who brings the ugliest holiday sweater.
The Merry Little Christmas Show – BroadwayWorld Critics’ Pick and StageSceneLA Award-winner Scott Dreier, star of last season’s acclaimed hit “Doris and Me,” returns to The Colony Theatre with his holiday concert. Featuring special guest Kurtis Simmons and music director Andy Langham. Dreier will take audiences back to the feel of cherished, classic, holiday TV specials hosted by Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and others — paying homage while also providing his modern take with pop and jazz interpretations of holiday treasures. The performance will include holiday classics including “Sleigh Ride,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “I’ve Got Your Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Merry Christmas Darling,” and many more. This show will transport you back to your living room sitting around the fireplace telling stories and sharing songs of the season.
How did a nice Evangelical Christian girl from Arizona wind up doing a one-woman comical cabaret show at Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) in Santa Monica? Audiences will laugh and maybe even sing along, as they learn the secrets of Anna Abbott’s dual life in her new solo show, “A Very Goyisha Hanukkah,” playing two performances only at The Braid, JWT’s art and performance space.
The Group Rep presents A Twisted Christmas Carol, a world premiere comedy written by Phil Olson, directed by Doug Engalla, produced by Alyson York, a Texas-style spoof of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Talk-backs are after Sunday shows 12/21 and 01/04. Upstairs at the Group Rep on the second floor of the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood 91601. The Upstairs venue is not handicapped accessible.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode, Directed by Jerry Pilato & Erica Livingstone
Santa’s Reindeer Tells All! With each deer’s confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer and seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. Don’t miss this expose of North Pole Naughtiness.
Starring David Janisch as Dasher, Eric Trigg as Comet, Christine McCoy as Dancer, Andrew Walters as Hollywood (Prancer), Mclain Parker as Cupid, Melanie Mino as Blitzen, Michael Adler as Donner and Kellen Gold as Vixen.
Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan returns to Catalina Jazz Club with his hilarious holiday show “Deck Them Halls, Y’All” for one performance only. Best known for his stand-out roles in “Sordid Lives,” “American Horror Story,” “The Help,” as the beloved Beverley Leslie on “Will & Grace” (for which he is currently shooting the final season), and most recently as Sid on the Fox series “The Cool Kids,” Leslie Jordan has charmed fans for over four decades.
His hilarious holiday tales are not to be missed. Jordan’s special guest will be country-pop singer Brandon Stansell.
Los Angeles Times calls Impro Theatre “Amazing!” One of the funniest evenings as the troupe spins an entire play into comedy gold right before your eyes. Starting with an audience suggestion, the troupe creates completely improvised, full-length plays in the styles of the world’s greatest writers. Join us this holiday season for a hilarious comedy inspired by the works of Charles Dickens. Comic portrayals, cruel melodrama and heartbreaking tenderness explode onto the teeming streets of Victorian London. A fun and festive evening of comedy.
Laguna Playhouse brings back its holiday tradition! A Special, Stripped Down to the Abs, Musical Event! “The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf” at Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach!
With Special Guest Appearances by Broadway’s Nick Adams, jackbenny and more! Ho, Ho, Ho, you don’t want to miss this show!
Broadway stars Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd) and Nick Cearley (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All Shook Up) return to the Laguna Playhouse for two nights of the most outrageous holiday show of the season. This undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo perform stripped-down, mashed-up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello and an array of zany instruments.
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are back in an all-new two-queen holiday extravaganza at The Montalbán!
After last year’s wildly successful “To Jesus, Thanks for Everything,” Jinkx and DeLa return to the stage this holiday season in a high-spirited scramble to maintain your interest! DeLa is all sugar and Jinkx is all spice — but how do these two very different gals deal with the stress of the holidays? A little song, a lot of eggnog, and theatres full of people looking at them. Yup … all they want for Christmas is attention!
Returning to Hollywood by popular demand, platinum-selling recording artist and Tony Award-nominated actor Sam Harris brings his new holiday show to Catalina Jazz Club for one performance only. Led by his longtime musical director Todd Schroeder, Harris will perform Broadway, pop, and holiday fare.
The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles M. Schulz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson Stage Adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, and by Special Arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
The Nutcracker from critically acclaimed Inland Pacific Ballet,celebrating 25 years. The Nutcracker comes to life with this magnificent ballet comprised of beautiful sets, dazzling costumes, and more than 80 dancers on stage. The Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl who receives a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve and sets out on a wondrous journey to the Land of the Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Toy soldiers, life-sized dancing dolls, and a fantastic dream with battling mice, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the delightful Sugar Plum Fairy stir the imagination. Meet the cast after the performance for photos and autographs. This is family entertainment at its best.
Experience the joy of the season as Jenny Wong, GMCLA’s interim Artistic Director and Associate Conductor of the LA Master Chorale, leads GMCLA in choral classics, timeless Christmas carols, a medley of hits from the beloved film Love Actually, Broadway bonanzas, and Mariah Carey’s anthem – it’s all you’ll want for Christmas. A Los Angeles tradition for the entire family, this concert will be truly Spectacular!
Curated by Performances à la Carte, Jazz ‘n Paz continues with its’ seasonal intimate jazz series showcasing some of Los Angeles’ finest jazz musicians. To ring in the holidays, the December concert, Carols of the Belles, features the vocals of the iconic Barbara Morrison, Jamie Perez, and Renee Myara, at Pasadena’s Neighborhood UU Church. In a jazzy program of standards and holiday favorites, the musicians behind the angelic voices feature Michael Ragonese on piano, James Yoshizawa on drums, Danny Janklow on sax and flute, and Luca Alemmano on bass…A Holiday Champagne Party will follow the concert and may be added to any concert ticket purchase online for an additional $12. The party will feature appetizers, desserts, champagne and non-alcoholic punch along with music, dancing, comedic holiday improv antics and capped off with a Holiday Sing-A-Long.
L.A.’s largest holiday spectacular celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019 is at The Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Join this year’s co-hosts, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actress Marissa Ramirez (Blue Bloods), for this free, three-hour holiday show featuring 25 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures that make up L.A. Once again, PBS SoCal will host a live broadcast of the event that has been a Los Angeles holiday tradition since 1959, while KCET will air the program twice on Christmas Day.
Legendary Cuban jazz trumpet player Arturo Sandoval, accompanied by his world-renowned band, will kick off this year’s celebration with a medley of holiday songs. Returning favorites include Hālau Keali’i o Nālani & the Daniel Ho Trio, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, gospel choir Greater LA Cathedral Choir, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy and folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company. Some of this year’s newcomers include Latin folk band Cuñao, the dancers and drummers of African Soul International and a cappella group Street Corner Renaissance.
All-female, two-time GRAMMY award-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea will team up with their “brother” band Mariachi Espectacular, and Jewish cultural revival band Mostly Kosher will share the stage with Urban Voices Project, a choir made up of men and women surviving homelessness on Skid Row. Those who can’t make it to The Music Center on Dec. 24 can watch the live broadcast on PBS SoCal starting at 3 p.m., with the rebroadcast on KCET on Christmas Day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., or online at pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration.
From a Penny Dreadful to family-friendly shows. From comedy and improv to interactive escape rooms. From Death Tours to dystopia, Shakespeare tragedies to Star Trek-Marlowe, improv to interactive escape room, or Chills & Thrills to Masoch and DeSade–the following is a list of theatrical, interactive and immersive experiences playing throughout Los Angeles in time to celebrate the Halloween season.
Based on his screenplay of the same name, Trace Oakley has adapted “The Manitou House” especially for Culver City Public Theatre and their annual Halloween production. Founded in 1998, now in its 22nd year, Culver City Public Theatre is committed to enriching the community by providing classic, contemporary, and original productions, for audiences of all ages. CCPT is known for its summer performances in the park, as well as for its more edgy and intimate productions the rest of the year.
A successful writer, looking for inspiration, moves back to his boyhood town and into the house where he grew up. After a series of very strange occurrences in the house, he finds it is haunted by the baby-sitter he terrorized as a child…
Brooke and Zeke, two students thrilled to learn that they’ve won the starring roles in the new school musical — a mysterious production called The Phantom. But when strange, seemingly supernatural events begin interrupting rehearsals, the friends begin to wonder whether the show they’re acting in might be cursed.
In the slightly spooky, family-friendly world of “Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium,” Brooke and Zeke must race to find out whether they’re being haunted by ghosts or hoodwinked by pranksters. This show is wonderful for the entire family, ages 4 and up.
“Absolutely Halloween is absolutely great!,” raves showmag.com. “An absolute family treat!,” Exclaims the Tolucan times. It’s the classic family theatre Halloween musical for kids 2 to 102 – the heartwarming Rudie-DeCarlo tale of the aptly-named Candy, a sweet young girl who learns some surprising lessons about life, love, laughter, and sugar, from a delightful array of characters who take her on a magical All Hallow’s Eve adventure. Help Cattypuss, Patty Patches, Stuffy Steve, Lester the Jester, and Fifika the French Fortune-teller happily save Halloween for one more year.
As witching hour approaches, kids, and parents, too, discover the value of team spirit, friendship, sharing, making choices and moderation, especially when it comes to treats and sweets. Halloween month special: come in costume, and get two-for-one tickets for any future family theatre show. Now an audience favorite holiday tradition and back by audience demand for its 13th October run, absolutely Halloween is one in a series of original Rudie-DeCarlo fairy tale musical comedies that make up the award-winning family theatre musical matinee series for kids 2 to 102 now celebrating its 50th year as it cuts across the imaginary generation gap by providing an experience the entire family can enjoy.
“An Excuse to Behave Badly – The Variety Show!” is a one-hour variety show with a mix of stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival hit and Encore! Producers’ Award-winner “An Excuse to Behave Badly” by Jenni Halina.
The short play is a hilarious tale of four women on Halloween getting into misadventures while waiting for an Uber. Directed by Emily Lappi, the ensemble will feature a diverse group of LA’s top up-and-coming talent. In alphabetical order, they are Farida Amer, Seth Austin, Jenni Halina, Jermaine Jackson, Emily Lappi, Matt Morillo, Nica, Katie Oliver, Jaret Sacrey, Alex Owens Sarno, Yvette Saunders, and Royce Shockley.
Taking a page from the cult classic “Dark Shadows”, Justin Sayre’s Ravenswood Manor brings audiences the gothic and hilarious goings-on of a small New England town during the spring of 1976. Directed by Tom DeTrinis and Jessica Hanna, Ravenswood Manor is an episodic theatrical event with two new episodes of the ever-unfolding adventure premiering each of the six-week run.
With a cast of comedic heavy hitters that includes, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Daniele Gaither, Leslie-Anne Huff, Ryan Garcia, Angela Cristanello, and Justin Sayre. Plus guest stars weekly! Join us this fall for the spooky, the silly, the glamour and the camp.
About: madam ruby has invited you and a few guests to participate in her séance and step beyond the veil. But who or what will be waiting for you? This is a frightening interactive theatre experience with live actors and special effects. You will be required to interact with your surroundings and others, living or dead, in the room. # of participants- up to 8. This is a public event. There may be people you don’t know in your show. Tickets: $45- $60 per person depending on the date and time of performance. The show is roughly 1 hour long. Ages- only age 16+ admitted.
Warnings- light touching, strobe lights, fog, and smells. The audience must be able to navigate stairs on their own.
An escape room with a fun twist! The psych ward is an interactive game of deduction, trust, and betrayal with escape room, board game, and immersive theatre elements. About- sane or insane? Trustworthy or not? These are the questions dr. Griffin wants you to answer. He has created a social experiment for a select group of patients. Some of these patients he believes are sane, others, completely insane. Like lab rats, he has put you inside his twisted experiment of paranoia and challenges you to figure out who to trust and who to betray. Difficulty- every game will have one winning and one losing team. # of Players- 5-8. This is a PRIVATE game. We will not put your group with strangers. A minimum of 5 players are required to play this game. Ages- This game is recommended for ages 16+. No one under the age of 14 will be admitted.
WARNING- This game contains loud noises, flashing lights, small spaces, and restraints. This game is not scary but you may be put in tense situations.
About –this is a real-life adventure game where you are in the center of the action! Can you survive a horror film? This murderous horror movie fan wants to watch you try. Each player will take a quiz before the game to find out which character they are: the nerd, virgin, jock, rebel, prom queen, or detective. Your team will be divided up into separate rooms where you must work individually and as a team. Not only do you need to escape, but you must also survive! Who will live? Who will die? Difficulty – very hard. 20% escape rate. 5% survival rate. # of players – 5-10. This is a private game. We will not put your group with strangers. If more than 6 tickets are purchased, some rooms may have 2 players. Having trouble finding enough people for the minimum # requirement? Try finding teammates on our facebook group here. Ages – this game is for ages 16+. This is an extreme horror experience. Anyone under the age of 16 will not be admitted and no refund will be given. Children can not be left unattended in the lobby. If you are under the age of 18 please have a parent/ guardian fill out a waiver before you arrive. Please find waivers at the bottom of the faq page.
For advanced players – in this game, your goal is to escape and survive! Every player will be given a unique set of puzzles to solve at any time during the game. If the player solves their personal hex puzzle and escapes the room, they will have “survived.”
The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults. If your party will have children under the age of 13 we recommend checking out fun house-kids! This is an interactive experience where you are put in the center of the action! Come one, come all! Step right up and see if you have what it takes to become a magnificent magician! In this room filled with trickery and illusions, you and your team will be put to the test. Work to beat the clock as you search for clues and solve mind-boggling puzzles in a topsy-turvy experience of a lifetime! Now all you need to do is ask yourself, do you have the wits of a magician? Or are you as clueless as a clown? Difficulty – medium. 40% escape rate. # of players – 4-8 players. This game is private- we will not group you with strangers.
Ages – The Fun House is open to all ages. Anyone under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+. The puzzles can be challenging and are designed to test adults.
The Group Rep presents George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” adapted for the stage by Gus Krieger, directed by Drina Durazo. Seven strangers barricade themselves inside a Pennsylvania farmhouse, attempting to escape the bloodthirsty, flesh-eating ghouls ravaging the countryside.
Beset by the walking dead outside, and ever-rising interpersonal tensions within, the group begins their desperate attempt to survive the night…October 4 – November 10. Fridays/Saturdays at 8:00 pm. Sundays at 2:00 pm. Special performances, Wednesday, October 30, 2019, and Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. Talkbacks after Sunday matinees October 13 and October 27, 2019.
Give Up the Ghost reverses the typical Halloween haunt—here, you play your dead self called back from the shore of Eternity to bear witness to the sorrows and terrors of the living. This is not a gore fest or jump-scare maze. You will interact with characters at the edge of life and death in scenes that can be violent, tragic, intense, and occasionally darkly humorous. The choices you make will haunt you, will change your own story, and just might change the entire narrative. What choices will you make, as your light grows dim?
Each show lasts approximately 80 minutes. Some scenes are open for viewing anytime, others require a Shadow to guide you. Some scenes are for large groups, some are for smaller groups, some are for one person only. You will likely not get to see all the scenes in one viewing, but that’s OK, your story is unique. Participants can choose to interact with the actors or not. You can touch some actors (from fingertips to elbow only, not roughly), actors will not touch you.
There will be a waiver to sign at check-in.
A portion of the box office goes both to the First Christian Church of Whittier (501c3) before they convert to low-income senior housing, and The Game Academy, a 501c3 that uses role-playing for education.
Winston Smith hates his job. He works in the Ministry of Information rewriting history to serve the interests of the powerful. Winston’s soul is stirring with rebellion and his heart alive with love. Welcome to a world of no privacy, where electronic screens create paranoia, divisiveness, and hatred for the ‘other’. Here, the state manufactures consent for perpetual war, truth is manipulated, and love itself is an act of rebellion.
Directed by Tim Robbins and adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, this acclaimed, wildly successful production of George Orwell’s classic returns to The Actors’ Gang Theater after touring throughout the world!
Zombie Joe’s underground theatre group proudly presents the 2019 7th Annual Urban Death Tour of Terror: Haunted Theatre Attraction! For ages 17 and up on Fridays & Saturday nights October 4-26, 2019, and November 1-2, 2019, plus Halloween Thursday, October 31, 2019
Warning: graphic content, trigger warnings, and full nudity.
**New for 2019: for ages 8 and up a family-friendly urban death tour every Saturday at 7 p.m. October 5-26, 2019, and November 2, 2019, plus 7 p.m. Halloween night Thursday, October 31, 2019.
World premiere musical! They were intelligent, ambitious, independent women. It just wouldn’t do. 1893. A time of hope and optimism as the World’s Fair turns the globe’s eyes toward Chicago. But within this cultural explosion of art and technology, a demon lurks beneath. Taking advantage of the modern woman’s adventuresome spirit, H.H. Holmes builds a hotel – a murder castle – to entrap and kill unsuspecting ladies new to the big city.
From the team behind the critical and box-office hit Stoneface, playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart (Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara), composer Ryan Thomas Johnson (Watson), and director Jaime Robledo (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play), “Deadly” examines one of the most famous true crime cases in history, through the unlikely lens of the victims’ experience.
Enter into the longer nights of autumn with Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep – A Penny Dreadful, directed by Carla Cackowski, a hilarious fright fest, complete with a cast of monsters and an Egyptian princess. This two-actor, multi-character show will spellbind audiences with its nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s.
House of Bards Theatre Company has announced the cast of their first production, Shakespeare’s dynamic drama “Macbeth” directed by Michael Richey. The new company, headed by television and film actors and producers Reneé O’Connor and Jed Sura, opens their inaugural show on October 11 at the Grand Annex located in the Arts District of San Pedro, California.
No stranger to iconic roles, O’Connor is taking on the formidable Lady Macbeth. O’Connor is best known as Gabrielle, Xena’s trusted sidekick on the tremendously popular fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess. Other credits include roles on Criminal Minds, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and NYPD Blue. On stage, she recently starred in the Los Angeles premiere of Steven Dietz’s On Clover Road and played Nurse in the Southern Shakespeare Festival’s production of Romeo and Juliet. O’Connor reprises the role of Lady Macbeth after a 2002 production with Shakespeare by the Sea.
The Complex Hollywood and The School of Night are thrilled to announce the return of Klingon Tamburlaine to the Ruby Theater in Hollywood beginning October 12th. The Klingon performance troupe, Gabh ghe’naQ, returns to earth after a sold-out run on Qo’noS to perform their unique take on Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great, parts I and II. Klingon Tamburlaine is an exciting new take on the seldom-produced classic that inaugurated the Elizabethan theatrical renaissance.
Tragedy! Romance! Mighty verse! Great battles waged on land and in space! Honor and glory! Qapla’!
Two archetypes walk into a bar–a bar at the edge of the New World–named for America’s first great poet, owned and operated by an African American.
The archetypes in question are, however, profoundly European.
A meditation/horror story on imperialism, paranoia, biblical violence, and perversion in the modern world in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.
This Halloween, Director Mikey Mulhearn, and Intimacy/Fight Director Celina Surniak, transform the space beneath EverBar into an arena of death. Laced with opaque tarp, horrific acts of violence, and inspired by classic Hollywood horror films- Shakespeare on the Deck brings you closer than ever to one of the Bard’s most experimental works.
Returning triumphantly to Rome, general Titus Andronicus brings with him the Goth Queen Tamora and her three sons as prisoners of war. Sacrificing the eldest Goth son to appease the ghosts of his fallen own; his refusal to accept the title of emperor; and his blatant disregard for Tamora’s pleas of mercy–Titus sets into motion a horrific cycle of mutilation, rape, and murder.
The evening will open with a “Costumed. Multi-Media, Concert Reading” of Sally Spectre the Musical. (Book, Music and Lyrics by David P. Johnson) This multiple award-winning Tim Burton-esque musical experience about the ghost of a little girl trying to find her way through purgatory is touching and charming and leaves viewers in a world of imaginative wonder. The presentation will feature video segments to accompany live performers to help tell the story in a very inventive fashion.
Romeo and Juliet, dead, wake up to find themselves stuck in their Personal Hell – forced to listen to “West Side Story” music for eternity. To escape, they must suffer through a production of their life story performed by the other inhabitants of Hell – Shakespeare’s dead characters – who butcher the story in hysterical ways! “Romeo And Juliet In Hell” is full of theatre-goer inside jokes, Broadway show tunes, and madcap madness! Recommended for ages 15 and up.
This show returns once again after premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2014.
To quote the Joker, ‘What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?’ ‘You get what you f-ing deserve.’ That about sums up the brilliant, dark, disturbing, profound film JOKER directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote it along with Scott Silver.
The film stars Joaquin Phoenix who gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck/Joker proving once again he may just be one of the top ten great actors of our generation. Phoenix lost a lot of weight to play the part. He looks thin, frail, hungry. Phoenix is in practically ever scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing.
Before he becomes the Joker, Arthur is one of societies freaks. He’s beaten up, made fun of, a misunderstood loner. All Arthur wants to do is make people laugh. After all he’s a clown and that’s what he’s paid to do.
Arthur tells us he ‘just doesn’t want to feel so bad anymore.’ But that’s not to be. We see the mental, moral, emotional and physical make up of the man who becomes the Joker. This is not a comic book movie. It’s a devastating film about one of the most iconic villains in cinema history but at the same time, it comments on our society and what’s happening in this country now. ‘Joker’ opens in theaters Friday, October 4th. Get your tickets now.
Speaking of powerful, Arthur Miller’s ALL MY SONS is just that. The play opened on Broadway on January 1947 and it’s still relevant today. ‘All My Sons’ is based upon a true story. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.
The Tony winning play starts in the middle of the action, abruptly in August 1947. Joe Keller, a self made businessman and his wife Kate are visited by a neighbor Frank. At Kate’s request Frank is trying to figure out the horoscope of the Kellers’ missing son Larry, who disappeared three years earlier while serving in the military during World War II.
The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Keller’s. Secrets of the past expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. ‘All My Sons’ is directed by Elina de Santos and she does an excellent job.
Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 705 1/2 Venice Blvd in Venice. The play is presented by the Co-op of PRT. This is an electrifying drama of family conflict, patriotic duty and personal greed and even though it is set in the aftermath of WW II I’m sure it’s very relatable for events occurring in 2019.
Now for something lighter. HARVELLS is a club that has been presenting Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Burlesque and more since 1931. I’ve seen a lot of great acts there, but one of the best is called THE TOLEDO SHOW. It plays every Sundays at 9pm.
As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Toledo is ‘the coolest Cat working in Hollywood.’ ‘The show is top notch and really must be experienced. Toledo is considered on of the hottest acts in modern music.’ Toledo is a Soul singer, Jazz man, poet, dancer, choreographer, connoisseur of haberdashery and probably one of the most dramatic and entertaining performers you will ever see.
He’s toured all over the United States and Australia always getting rave reviews. His vocal styling’s have been compared to Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Barry White. How could it be any better? I’m seeing him again this Sunday and I can’t wait. Oh if Burlesque is your thing, you will definitely get to see that as well. It’s part of the show and if you like sexy female dancers called ‘Dames’ in the show, you’ll love watching them hanging from rods installed near the ceiling of Harvelle’s during a song.
Harvells is located at 1432 4th Street in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-395-1676 or go to Harvelles.com
Lastly one of my favorite improv group takes place at the GROUNDLINGS. I’ve been going there for years and I’ve always laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Their new show entitled ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS opens this Friday, October 4th, and I promise you will love every minute of it.
For tickets call the box office 323-934-4747 or go to Groundlings.com/shows/all-the-leaves-are-groundlings. Some of our best comedians have come from The Groundlings School, including Kathy Griffith, Jon Lovitz and Laraine Newman just to name a few. ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS plays Fridays at 8pm and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.
The theatre is located at 7307 Melrose in West LA.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one.
Theatrical shows and Staged Readings NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.
Through A Magicians Eyes: Starring Blaise
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“The Montalbán & TAME Media Presents
T.A.M.E: Through A Magician’s Eyes
Starring: Blaise Serra
What if, for one night only, anything you imagined could be possible? Would you use that power for good?
Following the success of the first installment https://t.co/oXtvg718YSpic.twitter.com/bMUmV6XDO6
“The Music of Brian Gallagher” is an evening featuring Broadway stars singing Gallagher’s songs. Set to appear are Megan Hilty, Carly Hughes, Matt Cusson, and Carrie Manolakos, with more to be announced. https://t.co/4Lxn5bxyg0pic.twitter.com/JlaJGSAzpv
The 1992 Obie Award Winning play “Sight Unseen” will have a 3 week run in October in the NoHo Arts District. The story of an American mega-artist so successful he’s had the obligatory profile in Vanity Fair and can claim astronomical prices for his works https://t.co/CiNHOhF9Htpic.twitter.com/uwS3x3SJxY
Aleichem Sholom! The wit and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem
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Extended Once More and continuing through the Summer. Take a journey through the life, loves and laughter of the world’s most beloved Yiddish humorist, as you are treated to an in-depth look at the foolish philosophers, philosophical fools, comical https://t.co/mTHCj1ksXgpic.twitter.com/tG3TNL28ju
Each month, in The Pack, Drama Desk Award winner and Emmy® nominated writer Eugene Pack brings together an outstanding group of actors who perform staged readings of his new original short comedies in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. https://t.co/TdDbqRKMYapic.twitter.com/RlEeZz7ifK
The National Rifle Association is here to save the day – through song and dance! Praise the lord and NRA-men! Ron Barkley is the head lobbyist for the NRA, and his life is real tough — his daughter is a liberal socialist with a penchant for protests, and https://t.co/LaWvWXJUl9pic.twitter.com/GQa2Fovyv1
Saturdays & Sundays at 12 noon, this fast paced and high energy improv comedy show plays at The Second City in Hollywood. It’s a fun for all ages improv show now celebrating a 9 run! RAIS features improv games that rely on audience suggestions and https://t.co/wHwz9DrYC6pic.twitter.com/HONQzjWlso
This new comedic musical honors the milestones of women’s lives from training bras to breast cancer, through comedy and the power of all original songs. Life in Boobs highlights the true trials and tribulations of boobs everywhere. https://t.co/3uWXjltt6qpic.twitter.com/iGJr2whigK
When an Asian girl tells her parents she doesn’t want to be a doctor anymore, she wishes on a shooting star for supportive white parents. This Second City Hollywood original musical will love you no matter what. https://t.co/79mtwwMGaEpic.twitter.com/Pgo79FUam6
In a hilariously intimate reflection on taking T(estosterone) and his experiences transitioning, D’Lo shares his confusion with, and pushback to, what is expected when one passes as a cisgender, straight, man of color. https://t.co/jyQfeptkohpic.twitter.com/WLMgbIhTl2
The Nosotros 49th Annual Golden Eagle Awards at The Montalbán Theatre
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The Awards show serves as both a fundraiser and an awareness generator for Nosotros. From Actors, Producers, Television Executives to Local Businesses and Community Advocates; since 1970 Nosotros has recognized and honored those that have made an impact.. https://t.co/XW40iomqo4pic.twitter.com/6POVmyzJvk
Actress, Comedian, and local Politician, Kristina Wong, will be presenting a “UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom” workshop series at the Dream Resource Center in MacArthur Park, beginning September 3, 2019.
In the eighth year as recipient of this grant as Artist-in-Residence, Wong, who refers to her work as “mind-blowing social commentary with a little humor,” on a picture of her 2020 Census Form posted on her Facebook page, facilitated a similar workshop last year where DACA recipients, undocumented individuals, permanent residents, mixed-status families, and allies participated with a similar grant, which was increased this year from $8,000 to $12,000.
Participants in the “UndocuStories” workshops in 2018 in an exercise involving karaoke. (Photo courtesy of Kristina Wong/UCLA Dream Resource Center)
“Last year’s show was a combination of comedy sketches, poetry, movement work, first-person testimonials and a cover of Vanilla’s Ice Ice Baby called “ABOLISH Ice, Ice Baby,” she said. “This year’s workshop will specifically center on experiences of undocumented immigrants.”
“UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom” is a twelve-week theater workshop facilitated by Wong, that will feature guest artists Yosimar Reyes (2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry) and Kat Evasco (Working in the Theater) who will teach skills in comedy writing, Theater of the Oppressed (TO), movement, and performance, where participants will engage on issues that “impact the undocumented immigrant community, transforming those stories into an original theater piece for the public,” said Wong on the LAFPI site.
According to the Mandala Center for Change, TO is a form of community-based education that “uses theater as a tool for social change” that was developed by Augusto Boal. Theater of the Oppressed “is now used all over the world for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation. It is also practiced on a grassroots level by community organizers, activists, teachers, social workers, cultural animators, and more.”
Per Wong, as a public elected official in Koreatown in “a small, unpaid position, but very mighty,” a lot of her constituency and neighborhood is undocumented. In her first 100 days in office, and while still working as an actress, comedian, and writer, she wrote a community impact statement about supporting the abolishment of ICE (Integrations and Customs Enforcement), and that process may make it into a future show. Since then she has made it her goal to work and educate toward achieving social justice through her comedy, where she discusses social issues affecting people of color—especially women of color—, white privilege, and how to be an armchair social justice warrior (or a better one on foot). A great example of her approach is one of her earlier productions titled the “Wong Street Journal.”
“Last year, our allies were really great about stepping up to support the storytelling of our undocumented participants and de-centering themselves when necessary to keep the focus of storytelling on the experiences of undocumented participants,” said Wong in her blog.
Each week, for twelve weeks, with information provided by the Dream Resource Center, participants will explore a new topic that specifically affects the undocumented community, such as “Know your Rights” or healthcare options for undocumented communities and unaccompanied minors crossing the border, along with theater games, a mix of improv and sketch writing exercises, and performance work.
For some individuals who might be concerned about giving their identities with regard to the workshop and performances, they will establish community rules at the top of each meeting so that “everyone is on the same page about how to work together,” according to the LAFPI article, so participants may not be required to give full names if they are undocumented.
“Just let us know if you don’t want your name published on materials or if there are limits as to what you want to share with the group or publicly,” Wong wrote on the LAFPI site.
With regard to any fears about ICE roundups, Wong said, “they would have to have a warrant” [for an individual] and that there are staff members present who are “super trained on how to address ICE” if they were to show. But she feels confident that would not happen or be an issue.
“To those who are not undocumented, it seems scary, but the “Know Your Rights” training in the workshop prepares the undocumented as well as the allies so that we are all ready to put the knowledge to the task,” Wong said. “But also they have to ring a doorbell to come in, so we’d at least be able to confront them at the door.”
The “UndocuStories: Journeys of Justice and Freedom” workshop is located at UCLA Downtown Labor Center at 675 S Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, which will meet Tuesdays from September 3 – November 19, 2019, from 6 – 8 p.m., with the final performance on November 19th at 7 p.m. Participants do not need to be a UCLA student to attend, there are no age restrictions for the workshop, the workshop is free, and dinner will be provided at each session. For more information contact: email@example.com.
Better Lemons will close its virtual doors on June 1. Thank you for the Memories and the Love all these years! May all your Art continue to THRIVE!
Better Lemons will close its virtual doors on June 1. Thank you for the Memories and the Love all these years! May all your Art continue to THRIVE!
Better Lemons will close its virtual doors on June 1. Thank you for the Memories and the Love all these years! May all your Art continue to THRIVE!