Plays in Los Angeles: July 2015

Curt Hansen (background) and Ryder Bach in the 2013 Actors Theatre of Louisville production of Girlfriend. Photo by Alan Simons.

Check out the best plays in Los Angeles this month.

A Night with Janis Joplin
July 21-Aug. 16. Janis Joplin exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock. A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences – trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest legends. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626.356.7529.

Sandra Tsing Loh presents The B**** is Back: An All-Too Intimate Conversation
Opening July 9. Radio personality and author of The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones is hilarious in this one-woman show that tracks her roller coaster ride through menopause. (For mature audiences only.) The Edye, the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, 310.434.3200.

Through July 12. Based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel, Matilda the Musical arrives in L.A. with big theater buzz. Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards, and billed as Time magazine’s “#1 show of the year,” the Tim Minchin musical weaves an empowering tale of an ordinary girl who takes an extraordinary stand for her destiny. The show earned raves from Broadway to the West End, and the critically acclaimed touring cast, which includes Gabby Gutierrez, Mia Sinclair Jenness and Mabel Tyler, looks set to continue the magic. Bring the kids and, pre- or post-show, stop by Kendall’s Brasserie, just south of the Ahmanson, for a Matilda-centric kids menu: Two courses are offered for $17 for children 10 and under, including choice of entrée and a special dessert. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

Opening July 12. Set to the music of singer Matthew Sweet’s eponymous 1991 pop album, this rock musical tells the story of two teenage boys’ summer of self-discovery and first love. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Opening July 15. This love story by Martin Sherman follows two gay men trying to survive in Nazi Germany. This version of the play, directed by Moises Kaufman, is the work’s first major U.S. revival since its 1979 Broadway premiere. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

The Phantom of the Opera
Through Aug. 2. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece about a deformed “phantom” and his love and protégée, Christine, makes its way to L.A. following a sold-out U.K. tour. The cast and orchestra of 52 make Cameron Mackintosh’s production of the musical one of the largest on tour. Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 800.982.2787.

Bad Jews
Through July 26. Heralded by The New York Times as the best comedy of the season, this production with a cast of faces you’ll recognize from sitcoms finds the youngest generation of a Jewish family battling over which member is the most devout. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Murder for Two
Through Aug. 2. This creative two-man musical murder mystery finds one actor playing a wannabe sleuth trying to find out who murdered an author and the other actor playing all of the suspects—and both playing the piano. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454.

Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego