BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (Hollywood)
Author Stephen Adly-Guirgis happens to be my favorite American playwright ever since I saw his “Last Days of Judas Iscariot” followed by other works. So, don’t miss it! In this Pulitzer-Prize-winning comedy, an elderly ex-cop in New York City, recently widowed, is facing eviction from his large rent-controlled apartment on Riverside Drive. He wants to make a home there for his newly-paroled son, but the landlord wants him out, the NYPD want to close a lawsuit, and the church is on his back. The Pulitzer committee called it, “a nuanced, beautifully written play… that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death.’ Director Guillermo Cienfuegos, another theatre favorite, warns that “The play explores issues of race, policing and gentrification…” subjects that are always potent in contemporary-realist Guirgis’ work. At the Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave (nr Normandie), in Hollywood. Tickets: (323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com
FIFTEEN MEN IN A SMOKE-FILLED ROOM (Beverly Hills)
In this timely play, The Republican National Convention is in full swing with a certain candidate feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of being the nominee for President. No, it’s not next year folks but set back in 1920 and Warren G. Harding is the one in question. His problems are an overly ambitious campaign manager, a superstitious wife, a star-struck mistress and what he fears is the frightening pull of inevitability. The play explores the extent to which fate appears to control our lives – but does it? Written by Connecticut-based writer Colin Speer Crowley and Los Angeles awardee Jules Aaron. Produced by David Hunt Stafford for Theatre 40. At Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 S Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills. Tickets: (310) 364-0535 or www.theatre40.org. Free parking.
This drama by Cailin Maureen Harrison is set in World War Two when three American G.I.’s are shipwrecked on Hrisey, a remote island off Iceland’s northern coast. With missing weapons, few supplies and a broken radio they must rely on the locals for survival. However, they are faced with the islander’s ancient fears of loss of culture, vulnerability of their women and suspicion of foreign invaders. Directed by Reena Dutt and produced by Racquel Lehrman of Theatre Planners for Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company. At Broadwater Black Box, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. Tkts: (323) 960-5770 or www.Onstage411.com/defenders
For all you Shakespeare aficionados this feel-good, bawdy musical comedy returns for another visit in tribute to the wenches and rogues of the Bard. They promise magic and mayhem, fops and fairies, mistaken identity, romance and humor, all in homage to Shakespeare himself, pantomimist Marcel Marceau, Commedia dell’arte and other classical theater. Written and directed by Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo. Reservations at www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/loveinbloom
NEIL SIMON’S MUSICAL FOOLS (Atwater)
Already running to much laughter, here is the world premiere adaptation, by Neil Simon, of his play “Fools” where he’s credited with book and lyrics along with Phil Swann and Ron West. It’s set in the Ukraine in 1893 when a young tutor arrives after a harrowing journey. Soon he finds that the village is cursed, with every resident as dumb as a rock, but can he save himself and the village too? Presented by Open Fist Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave, Atwater. Tkts: (323) 882-6912 or www.openfist.org. Free parking.