Plays in Los Angeles: September 2016

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up. Photo by Craig Schwartz Photography.

Check out the best plays in Los Angeles this month.

Haunted House Party, A Roman Comedy
Sept. 8-Oct. 1. The 11th annual outdoor theatrical production at the Getty Villa is a hilarious adaptation of Plautus’ 2nd-century B.C. Roman comedy, Mostellaria. Even though it was written in 200 B.C., it would be right at home as a contemporary television sitcom: “When big daddy Theopropides is away, his son Philolaches will play. The lovesick youth has borrowed a large sum of money from a swindler to buy the freedom of a slave girl. When Theopropides returns sooner than expected, his slave Tranio is forced into some high-concept scheming to save the day.” The production is co-produced by Troubadour Theater Company.  $36-$48. 8 p.m. 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades, 310.440.7300.

A View from the Bridge
Sept. 7-Oct. 16. Fresh off recent Tony wins and sold-out runs on Broadway and the West End, Arthur Miller’s play follows a Brooklyn longshoreman obsessed with his 17-year-old niece and his raging jealousy over her love of an immigrant. For a more intimate experience, opt for onstage seating. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up
Sept. 10-Oct. 2. Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Beasts of the Southern Wild, spins yarns about a unique childhood that included a run-in with a lecherous goat and Pentecostals on the radio in this play, having its official world premiere here. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Anaïs, A Dance Opera
Aug. 27-Sept. 18. The cutting-edge stage production interweaves dance, music and theater to explore and illuminate the riveting life of famed diarist and literary figure Anaïs Nin and her world of words, sex, passion and creativity. Greenway Court Theater, 544 N Fairfax Ave., L.A.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sept. 1-Oct. 16. Phylicia Rashad directs August Wilson’s groundbreaking play—inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey—which depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry present during a 1927 recording session in Chicago. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Sept. 6-Oct. 16. Award-winning playwright Robert O’Hara’s comedy about a dysfunctional family barbecue that turns into an intervention for a drug-addicted sister makes its West Coast premiere, with a cast including Yvette Cason, Dale Dickey and Frances Fisher. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Titus Andronicus
Through Oct. 1. How should a nation choose its leaders? What happens when a government insulates itself from the citizens it once served? What is the difference between justice and revenge? Will Geer’s Theatricum sets Shakespeare’s first tragedy, the bloody tale of a government gone awry, in the future to spark a flame of caution … but always with a flicker of hope. (Recommended for mature audiences due to adult themes and violence.) Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.3723.

Romeo and Juliet
Through Oct. 2. Set in East Jerusalem, director Ellen Geer elucidates the continued relevance of this 421-year-old play, setting Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love and warring families in a city beset by age-old prejudices, street violence and religious differences. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.3723.

Through Oct. 1. A world premiere adaptation with music, written and directed by Ellen Geer, that brings a fresh perspective to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Long before Black Lives Matter became part of our lexicon, Stowe’s great novel demanded freedom and equality for all, changing forever how Americans viewed slavery, galvanizing the abolition movement and contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, 310.455.3723.