OTHER DESERT CITIES

Real-life sisters Ellen Geer and Melora Marshall and Geer’s daughter Willow play characters with matching family ties in Theatricum Botanicum’s superb outdoor revival of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities.
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ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

The Brewster Sisters are at it again, bumping off their elderly male lodgers in the name of human kindness, in Odyssey Theatre Ensemble’s delectably performed, gorgeously designed intimate revival of Joseph Kesselring’s 1941 Broadway hit Arsenic And Old Lace.
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TROUBLE IN MIND

Pioneer African-American playwright Alice Childress takes a surefire theatrical genre (the backstage comedy à la Moss Hart’s Light Up The Sky or Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo) and transforms it into an examination of mid-20th-century race relations in Trouble In Mind, every bit as relevant at Theatricum Botanicum in 2017 as it was in its 1955 off-Broadway debut … and every bit as hilarious as it is thought-provoking.
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CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE & HANG UP

And now for something completely different, Pacific Resident Theatre treats L.A. audiences to the West Coast Premieres of Cigarettes & Chocolate and Hang Up, a couple of Anthony Mighella-penned BBC radio plays from the ‘80s that add up to considerably more than a staged reading, slightly less than the “fully designed/staged production” that’s been advertised, yet one that’s every bit as gorgeously acted as PRT’s compelling best.
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SEQUENCE

Lightning from up north strikes Beverly Hills for the second time this year as Theatre 40 follows January’s challenging-but-rewarding Late Company with another thrilling Canadian import, the West Coast Premiere of Arun Lakra’s brain-teasing, mind-blowing Sequence.
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BORN FOR THIS: THE MUSICAL

Gospel/R&B Grammy winner BeBe Winans tells his story, and his sister and recording partner CeCe’s as well, in Born For This: The Musical, a Broadway-scale crowd-pleaser now earning exuberant audience cheers at Santa Monica’s The Broad Stage as it did last year in Atlanta and DC.
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KING OF THE YEES

Chinese-American playwright Lauren Yee pays affectionate, rib-tickling, ultimately quite touching tribute to her dad Larry in King Of The Yees, a Center Theatre Group World Premiere now both delighting and illuminating audiences of all racial-ethnic-cultural persuasions at Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.
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JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS

Great voices are what’s needed to pull off Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, and though there is much to admire in the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble revival of the 1968 off-Broadway megahit, particularly Dan Fishbach’s imaginative direction and Anthony Lucca’s terrific four-piece combo, the cast mostly fails to do Brel vocal justice.
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