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Aleichem Sholom! The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem  
Santa Monica Playhouse Aleichem Sholom! The Wit and Wisdom of Sholom Aleichem
 
ake a journey through the life, loves and laughter of the world’s most beloved Yiddish humorist, as you’re treated to an in-depth look at the foolish philosophers, philosophical fools, comical shtetl folk and not-so-comical scoundrels that populated Sholom Aleichem’s real and fantasy worlds. This bold and bittersweet, raucous and romantic musical comedy celebrates the great man’s 102nd Yahrzeit, journeying through his loves and losses, the controversy surrounding his stories and plays, his fame and his failures. The new musical — the fifth in the Playhouse Sholom Aleichem quintilogy — stars veteran performer Chris DeCarlo, who once again takes on the role of the beloved author. Catch Aleichem Sholom! at The Other Space at Santa Monica Playhouse.
   
Andy Warhol's Tomato  
Pacific Resident Theatre Andy Warhol's Tomato
 
When a teenage Andy Warhol finds himself in the basement of a working-class bar in Pittsburgh, PA, he receives inspiration, guidance and friendship from a surprising source. Funny and poignant, Andy Warhol’s Tomato is a world premiere play by Vince Melocchi (himself a Pittsburgh native — as is Andy Warhol).
   
Blithe Spirit  
Westchester Playhouse Blithe Spirit
 
Kentwood Players proudly presents Blithe Spirit, the smash hit comedy by Noel Coward at the Westchester Playhouse. Blithe Spirit has continued to be a smash hit comedy since it first premiered on the London and Broadway stages in 1941. This hilarious supernatural farce centers on fussy, cantankerous socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric “kooky medium” Madame Arcati to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, who makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost during the séance or afterwards. Boundless laughs and constant pandemonium ensue.
   
The Caucasian Chalk Circle  
Antaeus Theater The Caucasian Chalk Circle
 
Set against a backdrop of violence and injustice, Bertolt Brecht's 1944 masterpiece is a play within a play. Farmers debating the best use of their land enact a parable about a peasant girl who rescues a nobly born baby during a bloody revolution and the unconventional judge who determines their fate.
   
Comfort Women: A New Musical  
The Los Angeles Theatre Center Comfort Women:  A New Musical
 
Dimo Kim Musical Theatre Factory presents Comfort Women : A New Musical, which tells a widely unknown history about thousands of young women forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. The issue was largely suppressed up until 1987, yet from then till now, survivors and activists continue to fight for global recognition. As the sensitive conversations around comfort women continue to cause conflict and polarize communities, at times it is easier to let them fall through the cracks, leading into taboo and secrecy. However, we believe this act of silencing is unjust to the memories of violence that these victims and their families must carry throughout their lives; instead, we make it our responsibility to respect them appropriately. For this reason, Comfort Women is a production that tells these women’s stories on their behalf. The featured characters are not merely victims; while they face unspeakable horrors, the vast emotional strength they carry moves them to protect themselves and other women. By allowing their performances to convey the true fear and trauma experienced by comfort women, the cast members work to amplify their voices to the audience in attendance.
   
Dancing at Lughnasa  
Atwater Village Theatre Dancing at Lughnasa
 
The beautiful, rolling hills of Ireland hold many stories and secrets. Set in the summer of 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa, Brian Friel’s Tony Award-winning play, loosely based on the lives of his mother and aunts, is a rich and deeply moving portrait of the everyday lives of five sisters, just as everything is on the brink of change.
   
Death of a Salesman  
Ruskin Group Theatre Death of a Salesman
 
Burdened by financial responsibilities and living on the edge of poverty, Willy Loman’s “American Dream” is slipping through his grasp as he continues to believe he is on the verge of a “big break.” Struggling to see beyond the illusions he has created for himself and his family, Willy is unable to understand his failure to achieve success and happiness.
   
Dope Queens  
Hudson Theatre Dope Queens
 
In 2012, three friends: Goldie, Blake, and Angel, move to San Francisco after meeting in protective custody at a men’s California state penitentiary where they were just serving time. Goldie and Angel are transgender women of color, outcasts from their families and the society they live in. Blake is a drug addict whose family begs him to go back to rehab but continues to relapse despite sincere attempts at sobriety. Twitter has moved in and the Google buses and Uber drivers swarm the streets as the Tenderloin slowly gentrifies. In a world where their reputation on the streets is everything, they must secure a position of respect and dignity. As they try to change their lives for the better, the trio settle in an SRO Hotel and support each other as their “chosen family.” Despite true love and friendship, desperate times sometimes lead to desperate measures in this world premiere play.
   
Driving Wilde  
Theatre of NOTE Driving Wilde
 
DRIVING WILDE is Jacqueline Wright’s very free, very contemporary, shockingly frank and surreal adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wright transforms the gothic horror story into a present-day meditation on the pursuit of beauty. In Wright’s version, the beautiful young Dorian awakens from a coma with amnesia, unaware of his past and seeing the perfection of nature with fresh eyes. But how long can innocence last in a corrupting, aging world? Can beauty be kept, or is its fading as inevitable as death? A trip hop fantasy with existential themes.
   
The Drowsy Chaperone  
Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center The Drowsy Chaperone
 
When wealthy widow Mrs. Tottenham hosts the wedding of the year, she gets a lot more than a write-up in the society pages: Janet Van de Graaff, glittering starlet of Feldzieg’s Follies, is leaving the stage for love, a turn of events which horrifies the angry and anxious Mr. Feldzieg, whose chief investor has sent two gangsters disguised as pastry chefs to make sure he stops the wedding. Hiring Aldolpho, a Latin lover more vain than virile, to seduce the bride, is unsuccessful, as Janet’s chaperone, a drunken diva, gets herself mistaken for the bride and seduced in Janet’s place. It is left to the eager best man, George, to quite by accident break up the happy pair, when he sends groom Robert Martin out to the garden, blindfolded, and in roller skates. Such are the antics of The Drowsy Chaperone, a fictitious 1928 musical comedy. This magical piece of meta-theatre and playful, heartfelt parody of the 1920s musical comedy features a chirpy jazz age score by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and a lively, clever book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, both of which were Tony winners in 2006. The score boasts such tunes as the scenery-chomping “Show Off,” the sizzling and silly “I Am Aldolpho,” the double-entendre laden “Toledo Surprise,” and “As We Stumble Along,” that rousing anthem to optimistic alcoholism.
   
Early Birds  
Atwater Village Theatre Early Birds
 
A heartwarming, irreverent comedy about two senior women, each at a crossroads, both escaping their past on a high-seas cruise. Together, they realize their strengths and celebrate their weaknesses, and understand that it's never too late for a new friend or a new adventure.
   
An Enemy of the People  
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum An Enemy of the People
 
Artistic Director Ellen Geer moves Henrik Ibsen’s powerful play from a small town in the south of Norway to a small town in the American South. It’s 1980 and a dinner party is interrupted at the home of Dr. Stockmann, the patriarch of a multi-racial family and medical officer at a popular new tourist spa. A letter brings the bad news that the water at the spa is contaminated, threatening the health of visitors and the town’s economy. Powerful people have difficult choices to make in Theatricum’s adaptation of this classic — and extraordinarily timely — struggle of the individual versus society.
   
Fefu and her Friends  
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble Fefu and her Friends
 
The signature work of early feminist theater by giant of the avant-garde María Irene Fornés, this splendidly surreal comedy-drama will be performed in multiple spaces in the Odyssey complex. Part of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble’s 50th Anniversary “Circa ’69” Season of significant and adventurous plays that premiered around the time of the Odyssey’s 1969 inception.
   
Firebringer: a new stone age musical  
Theatre Unlimited Firebringer:  a new stone age musical
 
At the dawn of civilization, one pre-historic tribe survives the many trials of life under the wise leadership of Jemilla, who taught her people to express themselves, rather than bashing each others’ heads with rocks. But one member of the tribe doesn’t seem to fit in: Zazzalil. She’s always trying to invent things and make life easier… for herself. While out hatching her latest scheme, Zazzalil stumbles upon the most important discovery in history; one that will pit her tribe against wooly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and change the world forever. She’ll travel from omega to alpha and become… the FIREBRINGER! Originally produced by the theatre troupe STARKID Productions, who have become “cult-fan famous” for their hilarious production of A Very (Harry) Potter Musical, FIREBRINGER will be presented by The FPAC (Foothill Performing Arts Council) for its L.A. premiere at the Theatre Unlimited Studios.
   
Frankenstein  
A Noise Within Frankenstein
 
This electrifying tale of a creature cast away by his creator into a hostile world — only to wind his way back in a dangerous game of destruction — has captivated audiences for over 200 years. The gothic story comes to life with Nick Dear’s adaptation of the chilling fable by Mary Shelley, animating the themes of social rejection, intellectual hubris, and the nascency of good and evil.
   
The Gin Game  
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum The Gin Game
 
Theatricum’s Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James star as two residents in an elder care facility whose heated rounds of gin rummy are made personal when the game begins to represent their own inner battles and struggle for dignity. This production of Donald L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is produced in partnership with Sierra Madre Playhouse.
   
Good Enough  
Lounge Theatre Good Enough
 
GOOD ENOUGH is the true journey of world renown author and story teller Ted McGrath. Playing 15 characters, McGrath takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride through addiction as he sabotages his family, his career and ultimately his life in the attempt to answer one question burning inside him his entire life: AM I GOOD ENOUGH? Now, having reclaimed his life and at the pinnacle of success, McGrath’s play asks each of us that same question: Are you "Good Enough?”
   

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