Connection, collaboration and the need for change are the watchwords for February—we mean regarding this month’s theater offerings, of course. Through war, physical pain and the vicissitudes the universe imposes on us, the characters in our February best bets ponder meaning and purpose, with considerable self-examination, reaching out to others for support and inspiration. Among an astounding number of quality productions this month, we’re betting on these as worth your theater-going time and money.
Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, Jan 30–March 4
Martyna Majok’s play follows a Polish immigrant over two decades as she faces life’s cruelties and choices. The only thing not changing is the bus stop at which she sits each night. Tyne Rafaeli directs Marin Ireland (Broadway’s reasons to be pretty, Amazon’s Sneaky Pete) and Josiah Bania (The Good Wife), as they reprise their Off-Broadway roles, plus Christian Camargo (Dexter) and Marcel Spears (The Mayor). New York critics called Ireland’s performance “dazzling” and “beautifully complex.”
10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles (310-208-5454). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 3, 8pm; Sun at 2, 7pm. $32–$90.
The Elliot Trilogy
Various theaters, through March 19
Los Angeles theater demonstrates connection and collaboration as Quiara Alegría Hudes’ three plays centering on Iraq War veteran Elliot open in succession at three of our theaters and run somewhat concurrently. As the Puerto Rican Elliot comes home to his military family, we see all the connections—among family, via cyberspace, through art. Take your pick among the plays or see all three.
Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue
Kirk Douglas Theatre, through February 25
Shishir Kurup takes on this one after directing the other two Elliot plays at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
9820 Washington Blvd, Culver City (213-628-2772). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2, 8pm; Sun at 1, 6:30 pm. $25–$70.
Water by the Spoonful
Mark Taper Forum, Feb 11–Mar 11
Lileana Blain-Cruz directs this 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner.
135 N Grand Ave (213-972-4400). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2:30, 8pm; Sun at 1, 6:30pm. $25–$95.
The Happiest Song Plays Last
Latino Theater Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Feb 17–Mar 19
The world premiere of this part of the trilogy is directed by Edward Torres.
514 S Spring St (866-811-4111). Thu–Sat at 8pm; Sun at 3pm. $22–$52.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Feb 15–Mar 24
Even this Tennessee Williams classic must face changing times. Director Michael Michetti gives it racial overtones, as the iconic Blanche Dubois, caught in the 1940s, arrives on her sister’s contemporary urban doorstep, and we watch Blanche make mistake after mistake in this theatrically new environment. It stars superb actors Jaimi Paige, Desean Kevin Terry, Maya Lynne Robinson and Luis Kelly-Duarte.
70 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena (626-683-6801). Thu-Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm. $20–$39.
Interact Theatre Company at Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, Feb 16–Mar 25
The 25-year-old company of treasured actors offers up this surreal play about two men—a stand-in for each of us, really—searching while metaphorically frozen. Written by Mark Rylance (revered for his acting) based on the prose poems of Louis Jenkins. Rob Brownstein and Anita Khanzadian (revered for her helming) direct Interact founder Barry Heins and founding member Don Fischer, plus company members Kristen Egermeier, Rick Friesen and Tamika Simpkins.
1238 West 1st St (818-765-8732). Fri–Sat at 8:30pm; Sun at 4pm. $25.
Rogue Machine in the MET Theatre, Feb 24–Apr 2
The overweight Colleen, who aches physically and emotionally, has moved back in with her unwelcoming parents, next door to a man whose cat is ready for another one of its nine lives. Los Angeles theater icon Justin Tanner storms back onto the scene with this wickedly vulgar yet intensely sensitive comedy about how we cause emotional pain and how we could heal from it. For this world premiere production, Tanner reunites with his longtime collaborator, director Lisa James, and his long-favorite actors Melissa Denton, Maile Flanagan, Danielle Kennedy, Joe Keyes, Jonathan Palmer and Nick Ullett.
1089 N Oxford Ave, (855-585-5185). Sat at 8:30pm, Sun at 3pm, Mon at 8:30pm. No performances Feb 26, Mar 19. $40. Pay-what-you-can Mon, Mar 5 ($5 minimum) starts 7pm at box office only.