Top Performances and Plays in Los Angeles this January

plasticity

Alex Lyras portrays twin brothers in multimedia play, Plasticity, which makes its world premiere this month at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by Jonathan Schell.

Check out the best performances and plays in Los Angeles this month.

The Lion
Jan. 4-Feb. 19. The Drama Desk Award-winning piece written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer, has redefined the genre of musical theater. Scheuer tells, sings, and plays the turbulent story of his family and his own brush with mortality, with his supporting cast of six guitars. $60. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.com

Bakersfield Mist
Jan. 6-30. Jenny O’Hara and Nick Ullett reprise the roles they created in a revival of Stephen Sachs’ smash hit comedy that premiered at the Fountain Theatre, then went on to see productions around the world including London’s West End. Maude Gutman, an unemployed, chain-smoking ex-bartender living in a run down California trailer park, believes the painting she bought in a thrift store for $3 is really an undiscovered masterpiece worth millions. When stuffy New York art expert Lionel Percy arrives to evaluate the work, the result is a fiery and often hilarious debate over class, truth, value and the meaning of art. Inspired by true events. $15–$35. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., L.A., 323.663.1525. fountaintheatre.com

Cirque du Soleil Toruk—The First Flight
Jan. 12-15. The new Cirque du Soleil touring show us inspired by James Cameron’s movie Avatar. Set thousands of years before Avatar, the show transports audiences to the world of Pandora through cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft and a soaring cinematic score. The immersive experience is an ode to the Na’vis’ symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the interconnectedness of all living things. When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, two Omaticaya boys fearlessly take matters into their own hands. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, 310.330.7300. cirquedusoleil.com

The Last Vig
Jan. 14-Feb. 19. In the world premiere of this new comedy by David Varriale, Academy Award-nominated actor Burt Young (Rocky, Chinatown, The Pope of Greenwich Village) stars as aging mob boss Big Joe—the last of a dying breed. Times are changing. Can Joe stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hip loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig? $40. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., 323.960.7712. plays411.com/lastvig

The Bad Plus
Jan. 15. A dynamic and idiosyncratic jazz trio without frontiers, The Bad Plus delves deep into thoughtful exploration with every live performance. $45. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, 310.434.3200. thebroadstage.com

JACK Quartet and Lightbulb Ensemble
Jan. 15. The trailblazing JACK Quartet joins forces with the multi-instrumental Lightbulb Ensemble (LBE) for a special collaborative concert that combines contemporary composition, newly created instruments, and complex contrapuntal gamelan percussion. $16-$20. 7 p.m. REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., downtown, 213.237.2800. redcat.org

The Found Dog Ribbon Dance
Jan. 21-Feb. 26. Professional cuddler Norma’s quest to return a lost dog to its rightful owner leads her to encounter a slew of oddballs, and maybe even discover a second chance at love. The world premiere of the bittersweet romantic comedy is about loneliness, oxytocin and the healing power of Whitney Houston. $30. The Echo Theater Company @ Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., L.A., 310.307.3753. echotheatercompany.com

Eko Nugroho and Wayang Bocor: God Bliss (In the Name of Semelah)
Jan. 22. With a whirlwind of shadows, humor and iconic visual images from street art, popular culture, and Javanese traditional forms, provocative artist Eko Nugroho riffs on the story of how Islam first came to Java in the 15th Century eventually resulting in Indonesia eventually becoming the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Performed in Javanese and Indonesian with English supertitles. 7 p.m. $20-$25. REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., downtown, 213.237.2800. redcat.org

Meg Stuart: Hunter
Jan. 26-28. Staged within an exquisite installation created with video, scenography and light, choreographer Meg Stuart’s acclaimed solo Hunter explores her own body as an archive populated with personal and cultural memories, ancestors and artistic heroes, fantasies and invisible forces.Presented with support from the Getting To Know Europe program, awarded by the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S. $16-$25. 8:30 p.m. REDCAT, 631 West 2nd St., downtown, 213.237.2800. redcat.org

Plasticity
Jan. 28-March 13. The multilayered, multimedia theatrical event that aims to take audiences on an often comedic tour of the collective unconscious. Ovation Award-winning co-writers Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill (The Common Air) team with Grammy Award-nominated composer Ken Rich, visual artist Corwin Evans and two-time Emmy Award-winning editor/producer Peter Chakos (The Big Bang Theory) to examine how the brain is able to rewire and heal itself. In it, a comatose man recreates his identity by delving deeply into his memories, while hovering family members and loved ones (all played by Lyras) divide into scheming camps over grave neurological decisions. Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., 323.960.7787. plasticitytheplay.com

Kings of Leon
Jan. 28. Nashville alt-rockers Kings of Leon take the stage at the Forum with special guest Deerhunter. The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, 310.330.7300. fabulousforum.com

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jan. 31-March 18. Eugene O’Neill’s semi-autobiographical masterpiece pulls back the curtain on the Connecticut home of the Tyrone family, where deep-seated resentments and bourbon-fueled tirades cause a family to expose their darkest natures. O’Neill paints the powerful and heart-rending portrait of a single day that begins as any other, only to become a night from which they will never recover. $32-$68. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.com

Piano Spheres Presents VickyRay: Dream Teams
Jan. 31. Continuing REDCAT’s Piano Spheres 2016-17 season, Vicki Ray’s “Dream Teams” program includes premieres of works by Dylan Mattingly; Brad Lubman and Erik Griswold, and a suite of pieces by Bang on a Can founders Michael Gordon and David Lang. $20-$35. 8:30 p.m. 631 West 2nd St., downtown, 213.237.2800. redcat.org

Continuing
Amelie, A New Musical
Through Jan. 14. This mesmerizing new musical is based on the beloved Oscar-nominated French film of the same name. Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo stars as the quirky Amélie in this pre-Broadway production. Pre- or post-show, keep the Parisian theme by dining on French favorites from Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar, on-site at the Music Center. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I
Through Jan. 21. Set in 1860s Bangkok, this musical tells the story of the relationship between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, and features classic songs like “Getting to Know You” and “I Whistle a Happy Tune.” Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323.468.1770. hollywoodpantages.com

 

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