Another month, another list of shows!
I saw ten shows in March! This last March was the most shows I've seen since pre-pandemic, and it felt good to be back. My boyfriend was in tech/rehearsal for After Hour's The Tempest: The Immersive Experience which also made seeing shows easier because I had more solo time this month than I had in a while. I also wanted to front-load some shows that are still running through April because I am traveling a lot this month (stay tuned for a list of shows I'm seeing abroad!).
I am changing up the format because I am not actually seeing that many shows in April, but still want to help spread the word of shows in Los Angeles. So instead of a list of shows I am personally seeing in April, this is a list of shows I think you should see!
“Twilight: Los Angeles 1992” by Anna Deavere Smith
Produced by Center Theatre Group
March 8 – April 9
Nearly thirty years after the Los Angeles uprising following the Rodney King verdict, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 returns home to the Mark Taper Forum to be reimagined with an ensemble cast for a new generation of audiences. A powerful piece of living record and one of the most important works in the history of the Taper, Twilight... is a stunning and seminal play that explores the devastating human impact of the five days of uprising following the Rodney King verdict.
Why I think you should see it: This show is incredibly powerful, I think all Angelinos should see it. It is a long, emotional show, so prepare yourself accordingly, but definitely make the effort to see it. I made actually ended up making an instagram reel about it here.
“Menstruation: A Period Piece” by Miranda Rose Hall
Produced by Camille Jenkins, Big Little Theatre Company, and Los Angeles LGBT Center
March 16 – April 16
Claire is desperate to figure out if a lesbian period is the ultimate lesbian tragedy; meanwhile, Emily, a hormone inside her body, decides to take matters into her own hands. A comedic, musical, poetic rendering of the menstrual cycle, our heroines leap between the living room, the uterus, the ovaries, and the fallopian tubes to test the limits of love, the limits of the body, and the limits of what any single organism can accomplish alone.
Why I think you should see it: This show is probably what most people think of independent theatre, it’s unapologetically weird, it’s a musical, it’s queer, and it is such a delight. Also made a reel about this show!
“Unrivaled” by Rosie Narasaki
Produced by Boston Court and Playwrights’ Arena
March 16 – April 23 Thursday, April 6 is AAPI Affinity Night
11th-century Ladies-in-Waiting Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon are, to this day, two of Japan’s most beloved writers.
They also kind of hated each other.
This play is about friendship, heartbreak, and what it means to be a female artist. Perhaps most of all, it’s about how no matter how much things change, the more they stay the same… even after a thousand years.
Why I think you should see it: It is a really interesting new play that talks about the longevity of women artists, it was funny, lighthearted, and definitely worth seeing. Support new plays! Support women artists!
Below are shows I have NOT seen yet but am looking forward to!
“Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Manuel Puig
Produced by A Noise Within
March 26 - April 23
Set in a South American prison cell in a country under authoritarian rule, two polar opposites discover that love may spring in the most unlikely of places. Poignant and chilling, funny and sensual, Manuel Puig’s pinnacle creation runs the thrilling gamut of fantasy, danger and finally – inspiring and eternal hope.
Why I am seeing it: I remember reading this play in college during a class called "Theatre for Revolution" and being incredibly moved by it, I am excited to revisit this show and it's politically charged themes.
“L.A. Real” by Theresa Chavez
March 30 – April 8
Pondering its complicated layers, a Latina dives deep into her California ancestral history and how she should embrace it on a personal, political and cultural level. How can she connect to a past that has been nearly lost in time and move forward with a deeper sense of her identity?
Written and directed by Theresa Chavez, and with original video, music, painting, and vintage photography, L.A. Real peels away L.A.’s fantasy past to find a deeper, visceral connection for the 8th generation Latina.
Why I am seeing it: I am always excited to check out a company I haven't seen before, and I appreciate the use of multi-medium to tell a deeply personal story.
“Dimanche” by Company Focus & Chaliwaté
Produced by Broadstage
April 13 – 16
Somewhere in the near future, a family is about to spend their Sunday together as strong winds and torrential rains rage outside. Meanwhile, three filmmakers journey to the edge of the earth to document a variety of animal extinctions before meeting their own apocalyptic fate. Through an ingenious blend of clowning, puppetry, and plain old theatrical magic, Dimanche paints a witty and tender portrait of humanity surprised by the uncontrollable forces of nature.
Why I’m seeing it: Political theatre and puppets. I’m there. I’ve also heard incredible things about Broadstage’s shows and haven't had the opportunity to check them out before. They tend to bring in really incredible international artists and I want to support that!
"A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
Produced by Pasadena Playhouse
April 25 - May 21
Desiree Armfeldt, a renowned actress, is growing weary of her life on the road. A chance encounter with an old flame sets in motion a series of romantic misadventures that culminate in a madcap weekend in the country where passions erupt, jealousies flare, and hilarity triumphs over all. Recipient of three Tony Awards including Best Musical, A Little Night Music is a sumptuous, sexy, laugh-out-loud masterpiece that will leave you thoroughly enchanted.
Why I'm seeing it: I really loved "Sunday in the Park with George" in March and am very excited to see what Pasadena Playhouse does with this lesser-produced musical. They have consistently surprised and delighted me and I look forward to seeing this!
"The Index of Forbidden Books" A solo performance festival
Produced by Coin & Ghost
April 28 - 30
For as long as there have been books, there have been men in power trying to dictate which books are safe to share. From the Library at Alexandria to 15th-century Rome to modern-day Florida, censorship of the written word has always been a primary tool in attempts to control the masses. And in our own experience, we’ve often found that the books these would-be autocrats are afraid of are EXACTLY the ones we should be reading. Named after the Vatican’s original banned book list (1557-1966), “The Index” began with a simple prompt: what topics feel too dangerous to talk about, even in today’s society? What parts of you have you been socialized to hide? What is off-limits?
Why I want to see it: Coin & Ghost does badass and radical shit. Their production of "Mama Mama Can't You See" was one of the most memorable productions I've seen from an intimate theatre company. This festival sounds like the work that should be done right now!