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Join the second annual Center Theatre Group Block Party and discover exceptional new theater from the past year that you may not even know you missed.
Every night, performers take the stage at over 250 theaters across Los Angeles. The abundance of talent and innovative work being produced is a theater lover's dream. To celebrate all that L.A.'s intimate theater scene has to offer, CTG is once again presenting encore productions from three outstanding companies — showcasing their remarkable work at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
The plays selected for the inaugural Block Party were Coeurage Theatre Company's production of Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins, the Echo Theater Company's production of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, and the Fountain Theatre's production of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs.
A Noise Within's delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns. Families love the inspirational story of Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge — the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season.
Producing artistic directors Geoff Elliott (who adapted the play directly from the Charles Dickens' novella) and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott codirect this masterpiece about the redemptive and transformative power of love. In this production, Dickens' poignant tale is matched by evocative original music by composer Ego Plum.
In what has become a holiday tradition, the Independent Shakespeare Company (ISC) re-creates (with a little artistic license) the experience of a public reading given by Charles Dickens himself. Based on the novelist's own adaptation, A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens is performed by ISC cofounder David Melville as Dickens and nearly every other character in the story. This production features musical accompaniment and dramatic interjections by a young American actor, Kalean Ung. With the two of them conjuring a magical evening full of wry humor, ghosts, romance, and redemption, the performances are full of the acting pyrotechnics Dickens was famous for.
Tragedy meets hilarity and King Lear gets a happy ending in a madcap musical romp à la Mel Brooks and Monty Python. Open Fist Theatre Company revives its hit production of this award-winning play-within-a-play by Second City's Ron West and composer Phil Swann. Ron and Phil are writing about King James I and Shakespeare — who in turn are writing about the legendary King Lear. Phil gets sick of Ron's laziness and womanizing; King James gets sick of Shakespeare and demotes him to a position working on the Bible; King Lear gets sick of everyone and goes crazy. Delearious comes complete with great songs, a clever story, and lots of laughs!
A haunting love triangle triggers an unexpected chain of events in this poetic play. In the early stages of a new relationship, Sarah and Sam are lovers happily discovering each other. Sarah and Nate know everything about each other, best of friends since childhood and maybe something more. But when Nate shows up unannounced on Sarah's doorstep, she's left questioning what and whom she wants in this humorous and heartbreaking look at love, memory, and the decisions that alter the course of our lives.
Return of the UN-Holiday tradition
We just couldn't shut them up…so for the 14th straight year, accusations, rumors, and all-out attacks are (still) flying fast and furious around the toy shop. Hear the truth straight from the reindeer who know Santa best. When a doe says "no," she means "no."
WARNING!! This show contains FOUL-MOUTHED REINDEER and very inappropriate ADULT HUMOR! Definitely no kids or anyone who doesn't want to see the dark side of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the North Pole!
What kind of tango partner are you looking for — one that will glide with you above all of life's messiness, or someone who will stay with you on the ground? It's only their first date, but Ramona and Khalil's time is already running out. Ramona has cancer. Khalil is selling his identity to a corporation. Typical relationship stuff. While they both seem set to vanish off this earth, they unexpectedly find themselves preparing to give love one more try. This warm, witty, and wise romantic comedy asserts that even in the potentially hazardous, high-stakes game of love and relationships…the risk is worth it if it means finding your favorite dancing companion.
Recommendation: ages 13 and above. Contains adult language.
Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, Deep Sea Dances. Nancy is positive, that's fancy for 100 percent sure, that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn't the one she wanted?
Cow. Slob. Pig. How many insults can you hear before you stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who also happens to be plus-sized. Forced to explain his new relationship to friends who think that size does matter, Tom faces an impossible choice in this play by Neil LaBute.
Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall are immortalized as having one of the most romantic marriages of the 20th century. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk traces the young couple as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. Following the artistic heights of Brief Encounter and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, the Kneehigh theater company and director Emma Rice return to the Wallis with a production that combines the visuals of Chagall's paintings with the music and dance of the Russian Jewish tradition.
The haves and the have-nots come face-to-face in this Broadway hit. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), this Tony-nominated dramatic comedy finds struggling single mother Margie Walsh coming to terms with the reality that her South Boston neighborhood offers the same lack of opportunity it always has. For most people, it's a place where this month's paycheck covers last month's bills — and church bingo is a big night out on the town. Facing eviction, Margie's forced to turn to an old high school flame for help. But he's now a successful physician living in the suburbs…and Margie is way out of her element there. With a keen eye for character and an uncanny sense of humor, Good People explores the struggles, shifting loyalties, and unshakable hope that comes with having next to nothing in America.
Recommendation: ages 13 and above. Contains adult language.
A classic tale goes rogue in Vesturport's bold new twist on the world's most infamous outlaw. Forget everything you ever knew about Robin Hood. In writer David Farr (The Night Manager) and acclaimed directors Gisli Örn Gardarsson and Selma Björnsdóttir's reimagining, Robin and his unmerry gang of cutthroats steal from the rich, but it's never occurred to them to give anything back to anyone. When wicked Prince John threatens all, bold Marion steps in to protect the poor and transform a thuggish Robin from hood to good.
Note: This show is suitable for ages 10 and up.
The dogs of war are unleashed, and a charismatic warrior king emerges in Shakespeare's breathtaking depiction of the Battle of Agincourt. But the events before and after the decisive victory temper the fervor of nationalism — and paint a nuanced portrait of the introspective Henry, who learns that the attributes that make an inspirational leader often come into conflict with those that make a good man.
Henry V, the history play by William Shakespeare written around 1599, tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II; Henry IV, Part 1; and Henry IV, Part 2. Audiences may know the title character from Shakespeare's earlier Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad called "Prince Harry" or "Hal."
Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle prewar duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for best play.
Humorous and heartrending, Ironbound spans 22 years in telling the story of Darja, a Polish immigrant getting by on a cleaning job, aggressive pragmatism, and sheer will. Through this wry drama, award-winning playwright Martyna Majok points out that sometimes survival is the only measure of success.
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…
Jane Austen's enduring love story is brought to life as a romantic-comedy musical. The story revolves around Emma, a well-meaning but disaster-prone matchmaker who ignores her own romantic feelings while setting out to find a suitor for her friend Harriet. Her efforts go awry, of course, leading to comic complications. We invite you to fall in love again with one of Jane Austen's most adored characters, featuring an intelligent and buoyant score from Tony-nominated composer Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre).
Recommendation: Wonderful for the entire family!
Bursting with laughs, music, and escandalo ("scandal")! You thought your holidays with the family were dramatic? Wait until you hear these touching and hilarious Christmas stories of holidays past from three first-generation Latinas: Texas-born, Mexican American Sandra Valls; Miami-born, Cuban-American Diana Yanez; and Maria Russell, the daughter of "an over-dedicated Mexican mother and compliant Lithuanian father." When these three sassy friends get together, they drink plenty of tequila, dish about everything from moms to cucarachas to Farrah Fawcett, and share their funny and surprisingly personal stories of childhood Christmas "dramas."
Winner of Drama-Logue awards for outstanding playwright and outstanding direction, A Love Affair is a hilarious, daring, and more-than-a-touch-racy comedy that takes you on the roller-coaster ride of a 38-year (and counting) marriage — the successes, the disappointments, the sex, the traumas, the traumas about sex, and the budget and the children and the adventure of casting your lot with another human being…for life. Whatever your state of affairs, A Love Affair will tickle your funny bone and warm your heart. From the team that brought you the smash hits Almost Perfect, Aspirin & ELEPHANTS, and 2 Across, A Love Affair is "FLAWLESS! This theatre just never disappoints!" (The Tolucan Times). Back by audience demand after a sold-out 2017 run.
When a department store Santa claims he's the real thing, it takes him all the way to the supreme court. Watch what happens as this classic story finds new life on stage in a live performance of the original 1940s radio broadcast, complete with a live foley artist and a twinkle of holiday cheer.
A Noise Within's most requested production returns! ANW favorites are ready to rein in the chaos of this joyfully out-of-control British farce about the auspiciously titled play-within-a-play Nothing On. Noises Off invites the audience to step backstage and meet the under-rehearsed, overworked cast and crew with a penchant for drama more personal than professional. As the production progresses, the bumbling cast brings down the house — literally!
Juliana Smithton is a respected neurologist whose life has recently begun unraveling. Her husband is leaving her, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and she's even beginning to question her own good health. A compelling and acclaimed drama in which nothing is quite what it seems, The Other Place is an intimate mystery that blurs fact with fiction, past with present, and Juliana's perception with ever-elusive truth. An elaborately crafted theatrical work, this Outer Critics Circle Award nominee will likely keep you talking long after the curtain has closed.
Recommendation: ages 13 and above. Contains adult language.
In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which debuted on Broadway in 1959, the prospect of life insurance money from their late father offers life-changing options to the Youngers, an African-American family living in a cramped apartment on Chicago's South Side. However, competing visions of how to use the money — for the grandmother Lena, her son Walter (with wife Ruth and son Travis), and her daughter Beneatha — threaten to tear apart a family already facing a pre-civil-rights-era America.
In her new solo show, Tony Award-winning writer, performer, and chameleonic comedian Sarah Jones brings to life an entire cast of characters, all of whom have something to say about gender, sex work, and the times in which we are living.
Significant Other, a dark comedy by Bad Jews playwright Joshua Harmon, is the story of twentysomething Jordan, who's the life of the wedding party until it dawns on him that he is "always a groomsman, never the groom."
As the Great Recession begins, a makeshift family of four factory workers in Detroit toil while their industry flirts with failure. With their future uncertain, Faye, Shanita, Dez, and Reggie, the foreman, must decide how they will balance their own desires, their loyalty to one another, and their survival. More than half a century after Willy Loman struggled for success, this fresh, off-Broadway play shows audiences that the quest for the American Dream endures.
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play asks how we address life's biggest questions when words fail us.
Elysium Conservatory Theatre's fall production of Three Sisters rattles the boundaries of truth in performance. Anton Chekhov's tour de force celebration of fate and family becomes the next, great ECT immersive production. Presented in two extraordinary parts, see one, or both, in either order.
Note: Separate tickets are required for each part.
A janitor. A software mogul. A college grad. An IRS paper-pusher. Although they live thousands of miles apart, these four people share a secret: they're recovering addicts who have found a safe haven in an online chat room. There, with liberal doses of jokes and bullying, they help each other navigate the broken terrain of their lives. But when an Iraq War veteran's tragedy spills over into their cyberhome, everything changes. In this fearless Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights), worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community, and courage.
Complete with the humor, confusion, and excitement that follows great sex, Neil LaBute's surprisingly sweet comedy brings audiences Beth and Doug, an unlikely pair who struggle to find common ground in an uncommon conundrum.