JOAN OF ART: A Musical Satire, A Musical Fantasy, Art Universe and an UnCabaret

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

I love Broadway musicals and this weekend there are two I'm going to see starting with the wonderfully outrageous satire THE BOOK OF MORMON. First staged in 2011 in New York, the play is a satirical examination of Mormon beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service.

The script, lyrics and music were written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Trey and Matt are best known for creating the animated comedy South Park. Lopez co-wrote the music for the musical Avenue Q. 'The Book of Mormon' won the ten Tony Awards including one for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.

I've seen it in New York City on Broadway and almost fell out of my chair laughing. It's that good. They go out of their way to break every boundary in the most unexpected ways.

The musical is playing at the Fred Kavli Theatre located at the Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza, 2100 East Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA. The show plays July 10th and 11th at 7:30, Friday July 12th at 8:00pm, Saturday July 13th at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, Sunday July 14th at 1:00pm and 6:30pm.

To buy tickets or for more information go to or call 805-449-2787.

Now for a very different kind of musical...The Musical Theatre West Production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID at Carpenter Performing Arts Center located at 4350 East 7th Street in Long Beach.

The musical is based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film of the same name.

This is a hauntingly beautiful love story for all ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will definitely capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including Under the Sea, Kiss The Girl and Part of Your World.

I loved the film so I know I'm definitely going to love this stage production. I've seen many productions by Musical Theatre West and they do great work.

The show runs Friday, July 12th at 8pm, Saturday, July 13th at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday, July 14th at 1pm and 6pm and the following two weekends. The last show is Sunday, July 28th at 6pm. For tickets or more information go to or call 562-985-7000.

A different kind of art entitled ART UNIVERSE can be found at Westfield Century City starting on July 12th and ending on July 21st. This is an original production by Likuid Art and 360Art, inspired by paintings and photographs which will take you on a visual journey that transports each viewer to a series of artistic worlds - bringing each piece to life through this animated, virtual spectacle.

Guests will enter a fully immersive, 360 dome theater, outfitted with surround sound where they can lay back and enjoy an experience that combines the future of art, entertainment and technology.

Art Universe features original score and sound design by Dynamite Laser Bean, showcases work by various artists including Android Jones, Greg 'Craola' Simkins, Karen Bystedt, Risk and Chris Saunders.

Their work has been reimagined using 3D modeling, animation and compositing to bring still images to life putting the audience inside of the art. How cool is that?

For more information including ticket prices, dates and time and tickets click HERE. The Westfield Century City is located at 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Finally the best way to end any weekend is by laughing and the best place to go for that is Beth LaPides UNCABARET. This Sunday, July 14th Beth will host comedians Julia Sweeney, Moon Zappa, Moses Storm, Byron Bowers, Debra DiGiovanni, Jamie Bridgers and Terra Naomi.

UnCabaret takes place the second Sunday of every month, 7:30 at the Rockwell.

The original 'alt-comedy show is now celebrating it's 25th year. Beth invites the most original voices in comedy to share the stories ripped from the headlines of their own lives for one-time-only nights, orchestrated to uplift and inspire. it's intimate, conversational and funny.

The Rockwell Table and Stage is located at 1714 North Vermont in Los Angeles. For tickets go to I guarantee you'll have a great time.

Whatever you do this weekend, make it a fun one.

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death.