BUTLER'S BACK: Dan Butler of TV's "Frasier" is once again performing his critically acclaimed one-man show The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me, playing at Theatre Geo in Hollywood.
After a successful run off-Broadway (taken over by Greg Louganis after Butler went back to LA to resume taping "Frasier"), the one man show consisting of 15 vignettes about the American gay experience returns to it's birthplace.
For more information or for tickets to The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me (thru March 25), phone (213) 466-1767.
CO-OPERATIVE PRODUCTIONS: The Actors Co-op, a theatre company based in Hollywood at the Crossley Theatre, has extended its current production of Ibsen's A Doll's House, adapted by Michael Meyer, through April 14.
This famous play was one of the first to portray a woman using strength and courage to break free from a condescending husband who has stuffed her into the minimizing household roles of mother and wife. Written in 1879, A Doll's House is still modern in its illustration of the universal dilemmas and challenges one must face in the quest for truth. Upcoming at the Actors' Co-op is Moss Hart's comedy, Light Up the Sky, the fourth and final production of the season, running from April 24-June 9.
The comedy reveals all the pleasant and unpleasant idiosyncracies of theatre people, as producers and backers gather in a star's suite for a toast, 2 hours before the opening of a new play in 1948. The succeeding ten hours are a comic rollercoaster ride filled with unpredictable quarrels and events.
The performance schedule for both shows is Thu-Sat 8pm; Sun 2:30pm. Tickets are $15; phone (213) 964-3586.
A-NOTHER HEROINE: singular productions (yes, those lower-case letters are correct), Culver City's resident theatre company, opens its 1996 Season with the West Coast premiere of Phyllis Nagy's adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic The Scarlet Letter.
The story examines the relationships between Hester Prynne, whose punishment for adultery is wearing at all times a huge red, letter "A," the Reverend, father of Hester's extremely bright and insightful child, and her hateful, manipulative husband.
The singular productions troupe is dedicated to presenting plays never before seen in LA, or ones that have not been produced here for a long time.
Performances are Wed-Sat 8pm; Sun 7pm at the Ivy Substation in Culver City, through May 11. Tickets are $18; phone (310) 558-1555.
OTHER SEASONS LAUNCHING:
FOUNTAIN THEATRE: Hollywood's Fountain Theatre kicked off its 1996 Season this month with the West Coast Premiere of Oyamo's I Am a Man, which dramatizes the 1968 Memphis garbage workers' strike that attracted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There for his final march.
I Am a Man plays through March 30, followed by the Los Angeles premiere of Lonely Planet by Stephen Dietz (May 16 - June 22). All box office proceeds from this drama, about two best friends living in their fear of AIDS, will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and VOICES, the Fountain's HIV/AIDS acting workshop. Tickets for Lonely Planet are $25.
A four-month celebration of Tennessee Williams ends with a mainstage production of Orpheus Descending (Aug. 1 - Sept. 14), and begins in the lab with Three By Tennessee consisting of Lord Byron's Love Letter I Can't Imagine Tomorrow, and A Perfect Analysis Given By A Parrot (June 25- July 28).
The final production of the Fountains Theatre Season has not been announced yet. An entire dance calendar is scheduled through December.
For tickets and more information, phone (213) 663-1525.
ACTORS ALLEY at the El Portal opens it's 25 anniversary season with the West Coast premiere of Marvin and Mel by George Tricker and Neal Rosen. The somewhat autobiographical comedy is about two sixty something television writers who scheme to get back at and in the world of television writing (April 12-May 19).
Walter Koenig, "Star Trek'"s 'Chekhov,' will direct the second production, Three By Tenn, yet another combination of three Tennessee Williams one-act plays including A Perfect Analysis as Given By a Parrot, the other two are The Long Goodbye and Portrait of a Madonna (July 11-Aug. 25). The season closes with Peter Lefcourt' s Only the Dead Know Burbank (Sept. 19-Nov. 3), which had a workshop production at the Alley Too in 1989.
The Alley Theatre is celebrating it's second year surivival from the damage done to it's space from the earthquake. For information and reservations on Actors Alley, phone (818) 508-4200.
ZEITGEIST THEATRE COMPANY: The zeitgeist, or "spirit of the times" for this season is humor, as the season opens with the World Premiere of Diane Simkin's Carried Away, a trio of playlets whose characters find themselves in a fantastical world (April 28-May 18).
This will be the first production the company will mount in their new space, The Wooden-O Theatre , a 52-seat theatre in West LA. No other shows of the season have been announced.
For information and reservations, phone (310) 473-9064.
ENSEMBLE NEWS: Annie Korzen, the yenta of the much-gossiped-about Yenta Unplugged!, will hang over the fence for two extra weekends, in extended performances at the West Coast Ensemble at the Lex Theatre in Hollywood through March 30.
Korzen's piece, subtitled "Stories and songs straight from the mouth . . ." chronicles the coming of age experiences of Jewish womanhood from the Bronx to Beverly Hills. Through story and song, her performance captures the essence of growing up female in America.
The Los Angeles Times says of Korzen, "A real Yiddische charmer, Korzen should only love and be well. So should her show."
Opening on the mainstage at West Coast Ensemble, is Welcome to Four Way, the Town That Time Forgot, a drama by Kent R. Brown, about a small rural town in which tradition and values get tossed aside, as a city transplant intent on bringing Four Way into the 21st century moves in. (March 22-Apr 14).
For tickets and information phone (213) 871-1052.