Music, comedy and a very unique form of theater give Southlanders on a budget several opportunities for top entertainment. These five picks were chosen for their affordability and quality. From two nostalgic looks to music’s past, an up-and-coming pop superstar and a walk-around theater drama to improvised comedy, these shows promise headliner-style entertainment on a budget. Take a break and save a dollar; it’s time to enjoy, take in a show and walk away with a memory.
Detour Improv Comedy
Fremont Centre Theatre
1000 Fremont Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Last Sundays at 7:30 p.m.
Since 2007, the folks of the Detour Improv Comedy have been producing family-friendly comedy in the Southland. Its team of “improvers” is led by captain Kyler Ernst with new monthly themes. Game based, the format goes all over the map and is interactive with audiences. Improvisation means no show is the same and nobody leaves without a smile. A popular specialty is keying off prompts into song.
The Build Up
Hollywood Presbyterian Church (Shuttle to site)
1760 North Gower St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. (Shuttle 6:30 p.m.)
This innovative walk-around show, by writer-director Peppur Chambers (Harlem’s Night: A Cabaret Story), breaks all the rules. After a wine and beer reception at an upscale private home, the romantic drama unfolds as a married couple struggles with their rocky marriage as it reaches the boiling point. The filmmaker and music manager couple expose the deeper side of a love/hate relationship. The play moves from room to room as a the soundtrack accents the drama. To buy tickets, go to the show’s EventBrite page or get them at a major discount through Goldstar.
Annual Elvis Extravaganza of Southern California
276 E. 9th St.
Upland, CA 91786
Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
The Annual Elvis Presley Extravaganza promises to bring new impressions of the pop star icon. All generations will be impressed by the legacy of the King. The tribute artists are, in part, drawing from never-used early recordings at Sun Records. One of the last widely viewed shows was in 1968, and the extravaganza draws much from that era of his career. In his comeback TV special, Elvis proved he could still rock the house. This year’s show looks into the 70’s unique arrangements. The seven-piece TCB Flash Band LIVE will prove, once again, that is has what it takes to bring Elvis alive. Even though he “never expected to be anybody important,” Elvis lives through the decades.
Marshal Tucker Band: Country Rockers Live at The Canyon
28912 Roadside Drive
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
No other band represents classic Southern rock like the Marshal Tucker Band. More than a nostalgic look back, this iconic band will prove innovative within its genre. The band improves on its crossover reputation with new subtle rock, jazz and country themes. On tour for 30 years, the group also returns to hit singles like “Take The Highway,” “Heard It In A Love Song” and “Fire On The Mountain.”
Related: Los Angeles Spring Comedy Preview
Carly Rae Jepsen at the Greek Theatre
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.
Carly Rae Jepsen brings her multi-platinum pop music talent to the Greek with special guest band Hot Chelle Rae. Nominated for a Grammy, the Canadian-born pop phenomenon is a fast-rising talent being widely recognized in the industry. As an international star, Jepsen has sold over 10 million singles around the world, hitting number one in 47 countries. Music aficionados expect 2013 to be equally successful for this young talent, and for Southlanders this is a bargain opportunity before she reaches superstar status.
Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.