There is a bit of everything in the theater scene in Los Angeles this spring. From stimulating philosophical discussions, literature-based plays, revisits of well-known stories, stress-relieving comedies, to original material by local artists, theater is very much a viable option for your entertainment in the upcoming months. Below are just five options for your consideration.
“Freud’s Last Session”
The Broad Stage (at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center)
1310 11th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Price: $54 – $110
There are still 16 opportunities to see “Freud’s Last Session” until Feb. 10 in its West Coast premiere at The Broad Stage. Starring Judd Hirsch (who you may recall from “Taxi” and “Independence Day”) and Tom Cavanagh (“Ed,” “Providence”), this play discusses it all, from love and sex to death and belief in a god. The play presents an imagined discussion between the atheist Sigmund Freud and the Christian writer C.S. Lewis, during which they consider some of the most insistent questions that lingered in people’s minds just as World War II approached.
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Price: $42 – $62 gallery/$52-$100 orchestra
“Fallen Angels” is one of English playwright Noel Coward’s most popular comedies. At the Pasadena Playhouse until Feb. 24, this is the story of two happily married best friends who share a common past – they had both enjoyed an affair with a handsome Frenchman named Maurice. On a day when both their husbands are out playing golf, Maurice shows up wanting to spend some time with the ladies. A chain of ridiculous events develops, making “Fallen Angels” one of the funniest plays you will ever enjoy.
“Driving Miss Daisy”
Sierra Madre Playhouse
87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Price: $25 adults/$22 seniors 65+ and students 13-17/$15 children 12 and under
Playwright Alfred Uhry won the Pulitzer Prize for this play and later an Oscar for its screenplay. “Driving Miss Daisy” is set mostly in Atlanta between 1948 and 1973, and depicts the relationship between an independent rich Jewish widow and her black driver. Subjects of race and class inform the narrative, as do historical events, such as the bombing of Atlanta’s largest synagogue in 1958 and the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize of 1964. It showcases at the Sierra Madre Playhouse until March 9.
Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival
Renberg Theatre at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center
1125 N. McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90038
The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival achieves a milestone with its 20th anniversary of celebrating the art of solo performers, in particular females, with original material. The festival will be held this year at the Renberg Theatre from March 21 through 24. The Renberg is a beautiful 200-seat modern facility with a central location and convenient parking across the street. Tickets for individual dates as well as passes for the full festival can be purchased on the website posted above.
“The Grapes of Wrath”
A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
Price: $34 to $38
Starting Feb. 16 and running until May 11, A Noise Within presents John Steinbeck’s story of the Joad family’s trek from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression. Adapted here by Frank Galati and directed by Michael Michetti, this quintessential American story will once again remind audiences that even amongst tragedy and pain, man’s instinct for survival is always present, as is the goodness within the heart of his neighbor.
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Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.