New Year's Eve with Kristen Chenoweth and more fabulous ways to ring in 2020

December 28, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

Here is a list of Southern California theater openings, Critics’ Choices, etc., for Dec. 29-Jan. 5. Capsule reviews are by Charles McNulty (C.M.), Philip Brandes (P.B.), F. Kathleen Foley (F.K.F.), Margaret Gray (M.G.) and Daryl H. Miller (D.H.M.).


All I Want for Christmas Is Attention Drag artists BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” celebrate the season. The Montalbán Theatre, 1615 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Sun., 8 p.m. $35 and up. (323) 461-6999.

Neil Hamburger Live Comedy-variety show with Tim Heidecker, Open Mike Eagle, et al. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., L.A. Sun., 8:30 p.m. $8.

ABBA The Concert Tribute act re-creates a performance by the Swedish pop group. Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Mon., 7:30 p.m. $39 and up. (714) 556-2787.

The Annual One-Time-Only New Year’s Eve Musical Revue Family-friendly show features comedic sketches, sing-alongs and more. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Tue., 6 and 9:30 p.m. $49.50, $69.50; discounts available. (310) 394-9779.

Charley’s Aunt A young man impersonates a wealthy relation as part of his friends’ romantic scheme in Brandon Thomas’ classic 19th-century farce. Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 N. Orange St., Glendale. Tue., 6:30 and 9 p.m.; Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-next Sun., 2:30 p.m.; ends Feb. 1. $22 and up. (818) 244-8481.

Groundlings New Year’s Eve Spectacular! Sketch comedy and more. The Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Tue., 10 p.m. $100. (323) 934-4747.

New Year’s Eve Comedy Bash With comics Kira Soltanovich, Jason Love, et al.; for ages 13 and up. Scherr Forum Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tue., 7 p.m. $25. (800) 745-3000.

New Year’s Eve with Kristin Chenoweth The Broadway and TV star (“Wicked,” “Glee”) sings show tunes, standards and more; with special guests Cheyenne Jackson and Shoshana Bean. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Tue., 7 and 10:30 p.m. $68-$202. (323) 850-2000.

British Rock Royalty Singer Brody Dolyniuk and his L.A.-based band re-create classic hits by Pink Floyd, the Who, Queen and Led Zeppelin in this multimedia stage show. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos. Sat., 8 p.m. $30-$65. (562) 916-8500.

The Island Crooners Vocal group sings show tunes, standards and more. La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m. $10-$47. (562) 944-9801.

Things to do

Musket and the Rat A young woman in a gritty Chicago neighborhood arms herself after a friend is assaulted and another is killed in Sammy Horowitz’ new drama; for mature audiences only. Arena Stage Hollywood, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 7 p.m.; ends Jan. 18. $15, $30. (800) 838-3006.

The Wendy Chronicles Jewish Women’s Theatre and Pop-Up Playhouse present a trio of works by the late Wendy Wasserstein: “Uncommon Women & Others,” “Isn’t It Romantic” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Heidi Chronicles.” The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave., #102, Santa Monica. Next Sun., and Sun., Jan. 12, 12:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m. $50, $60 each; passes available. (800) 838-3006.

Critics’ Choices

Disposable Necessities Neil McGowan’s play is set in the not-so-distant future, when society’s privileged have become essentially immortal, able to download their identities into new “modules” — i.e., bodies of the recently deceased — while have-nots must content themselves with providing premium carcasses for the affluent. Director Guillermo Cienfuegos and a lively cast nail down the laughs – or, conversely, the pathos — in this richly imaginative world premiere, which challenges our expectations at every twist of its deliciously disturbing plot. Just don’t lay bets on where the story ends up. You’ll lose. (F.K.F.) Rogue Machine Theatre, Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Sun., next Sun., 7 p.m.; Mon., 8 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.; ends Feb. 3. $25, $40. (855) 585-5185.

Jitney Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Tony-winning revival of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” a triumphant melding of acting and drama, puts the audience in the unique position of eavesdroppers on the colloquial music of life. This early Wilson play, the first to be written in his 10-play cycle exploring the 20th century African American experience, takes place in the 1970s at a gypsy cab station threatened by Pittsburgh’s urban renewal program. Wilson takes us inside the drivers’ lives to reveal the way history has challenged and changed their destinies. What was once dismissed as a minor Wilson drama is now considered major. And it’s not because our standards have plummeted. Rather, it’s that the play, when fully realized by a company of actors working in communal concord, satisfies our growing hunger for complex and compassionate character truth. (C.M.) Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Ends Sun., 1 p.m. $25-$110. (213) 628-2772.