The L.A. Theatre Digest: Feb. 16–22 | Playbill

Los Angeles News The L.A. Theatre Digest: Feb. 16–22 The Geffen Playhouse announces its new season, Bessie Smith comes to the Los Angeles area, and more updates!

The Geffen Playhouse Season Announcement
The Geffen has announced its 2017–18 season, which will be focusing on producing works by both up-and-coming and established playwrights. First up is the West Coast premiere of the Off-Broadway hit A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City by Halley Feiffer. Neil Labute is also bringing his seventh play to the Geffen, The Way We Get By. Tyne Daly and Robert Foster star in the world premiere of the musical Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical by Joshua Ravetch. Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau’s final installment of The Detroit Projects, will make its Los Angeles premiere. And the season rounds out with the West Coast premiere of Sell/Buy/Date by Tony Award winner Sarah Jones. There are three additional plays as yet to be announced. Specific dates and times are still to be determined.

Odyssey Theatre Extends Debussy
Debussy: His Letters and His Music has been extended to March 11. The life of the famous composer, Claude Debussy, is explored in this solo show based on Debussy’s own letters. Visit for details.

Actors Equity Association Los Angeles Chapter
Actors’ Equity Association recently voted to significantly change its contracts offered to members on the West Coast, sparking a backlash among its members. In an effort to better attune themselves to their wants and needs, AEA has recently started sending out online surveys to randomly selected West Coast members, another step in the on-going dialogue between the union and its members.

Vagina Monologues
Eve Enseler’s Obie Award-winning Vagina Monologues is being performed by VDay Studios this March 11 and 12 at the Federal Bar on Lankershim in North Hollywood. Every year groups across the nation perform the show to bring awareness about violence towards women. Each group is instructed to donate all proceeds to local charities working to help end the violence. This production’s proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Tickets can be purchase at

Thrones! Extended
After an initial run of sold out houses, Thrones! The Musical Parody has been extended through March 26 at the Hudson Theatre. In it, a group of friends attempt to catch someone who’s never seen Game of Thrones up to date by acting out all six seasons. Visit

Coming soon to the Los Angeles area:
The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith
Written by Angelo Parra
Featuring Miche Braden
February 22–March 12
Rubicon Theatre Company
1006 E. Main St. in Ventura
It’s 1937, Memphis, and the “Empress of the Blues” has just been turned away from a whites-only theatre along with her band. The story of the evening and the life of the extraordinary Bessie Smith are told through song and dance. Miche Braden reprises her role of Bessie from the Off-Broadway production.

Good Grief
Written by Ngozi Anyanwu
Directed by Patricia McGregor and featuring Dayo Ade, Wade Allain-Marcus, Ngozi Anyanwu, Marcus Henderson, Omoze Idehenre, Carla Renata, and Mark Jade Sullivan
February 26–March 26
Center Theatre Group
Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Blvd. in Culver City
The story of a first-generation Nigerian-American girl growing up in suburban Pennsylvania. From days with her childhood crush to med school, Nkechi makes all the “right” choices but learns that some things never go quite as planned.

Closing soon in the Los Angeles area:
Lyrics From Lockdown
Written and performed by Bryonn Bain
Directed by Gina Belafonte
Through February 25
The Actors’ Gang
The Ivy Substation
9070 Venice Blvd. in Culver City
This true story follows Bryonn Bain, the spoken word champion and hip-hop artist, after being wrongfully imprisoned in jail. Drawing on his experience and using the talents he’s known for, Bain unfolds a story of racial profiling and constant wrongful imprisonment through the voices of over 40 characters. Visit

Claudio Quest
Written by Drew Fornarola and Marshall Pailet
Directed by Marshall Pailet and featuring Beau Brians, Andrew Puente, Monika Pena, Kim Dalton, Miguel Cardenas, Kellie Spill, Amy Rebecca King, Elise Borgfeldt, Ashley Arlene Nelson, Joseph Ott, Jimmy Saiz, Jack Reid, and Dylan Shube
Through February 26
Chance Theater
Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center
5522 E. La Palma Ave. in Anaheim
From the co-creator of Triassic Parq comes a new musical like no other—in 8-bit nostalgic glory. With superheroes, side-kicks, killer eggplants, and a minor existential crisis, it’s a true adventure quest worthy of any video game platform.

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