Italian American Reconciliation
Stones in his Pockets
By John Farrell
Little Fish Theatre, which is the busiest show in town, has two plays on offer for the next few weeks, “Italian American Reconciliation” on Friday and Saturday night (plus a couple of odd days as well) and “Stones in his Pockets,” filling their Wednesday and Thursday night slot this week and next. They are both entertaining (though “Italian American Reconciliation” is not at heart a nice story, though told with plenty of humor) but if you have time for only one, go see “Stones.”
In fact, if you don't have time, make time to see the Irish comedy that features only two actors, David Graham and Bert Pigg, taking on all seventeen parts in a story that has heart and point as well as brilliant performances, all at a break-neck speed. “Stones” is ostensibly about the comic impact a Hollywood production has when it comes to a remote Irish village, but the play is really about two men who learn about themselves and their own lives while experiencing life as extras on the set.
Tickets for “Italian American Reconciliation” are $25, $22 for students and seniors. It plays though May 28, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
Tickets for “Stones in his Pockets” are $18. It runs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. through May 12.
Venue: Little Fish Theatre
Address: 777 Centre St., San Pedro
Information: (310) 512-6030 or visit www.littlefishtheatre.org
“Entropy General” is an original play by Ryan McClary staged by the ever-inventive Alive Theatre in a former automobile garage in Long Beach with minimal sets (including four borrowed hospital gurneys) and plenty of medical hilarity, but with a point. It starts with two victims rushed into the hospital emergency ward, one with a steering wheel embedded in his chest, the other a cute teenage cheerleader dead of a drug overdose who keeps coming back to life to offer commentary on life and death. It's a MASH-inspired look at medicine and other important things, and ends with a pie fight.
Due to Long Beach City regulations it can only be offered two night every other week, so the play isn't being produced this weekend but next, and then two weeks later. After the Saturday performances Alive is presenting “Post Mortem,” a “grotesque burlesque” that is just as entertaining. Go for one, stay to see the other.
Tickets for”Entropy General” are $15-$18, for “Post Mortem” $5. Both play through May 28, “Entropy General” Friday May 13 at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 14 at 2 and 8 p.m., Friday May 27 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 28 at 2 and 8 p.m. “Post Mortem” will be performed Saturday, May 14 and Saturday, May 28 at 11 p.m.
Venue: The MADhouse
Address: 624 Pacific Ave., Long Beach
Information: (562) 818-7364 or visit www.alivetheatre.org
It sounds like a gimmick: putting Shakespeare's “The Taming of the Shrew” into the wild west, but it works wonderfully well at the Long Beach Playhouse, especially since Amber Bonasso, as the shrew Kate, brightens up her performance with a wickedly knowing eye for the comedy of her situation. David Santana, as Petruchio, is as rough on her as the play calls for, but is also ready to address the audience directly to explain his situation. It makes for a great show, and director Gregory Cohen uses the modified thrust stage to bring the action right out to the audience.
Tickets are $22, $20 for seniors, $12 for students. Performances through May 28 are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. through Saturday, May 28.
Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theatre
Address: 5021 East Anaheim, Long Beach
Information: (562) 494-1014 or visit www.lbplayhouse.org
“Mr. Marmalade” is the invisible friend of four-year-old Lucy, and he isn't what you'd expect a four-year-old to conjure up from her imagination. He snorts coke, drinks, goes through rehab and has a failed relationship with Lucy and does it all in the space of one very busy night. Lucy, a survivor if ever there was one, gets over him and starts to learn how to play dodge ball with her non-imaginary friend Larry (Au Pacheco.)
It's all in an evening's work in the Garage Theatre's production of Noah Haidle's iconoclastic play. Lucy is Calli Dunaway, and she tries to be all sweetness and light, but Mr. Marmalade (Angel Correa) is pretty much of a corrupting influence, even if he is imaginary. Bradley, (Joe Howells,) Mr. Marmalade's equally imaginary manservant, is much more likeable. Amy Lou Sebelius plays Lucy's Mom and Mathew Anderson her boyfriend (they both double other roles.) The play is a simple romp through a four-year-old's slightly nightmarish dream life. Or is it real?
Tickets are $18, $15 for students and seniors. The play continues through May 21, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Venue: Garage Theatre
Address: 251 East 7th St.' Long Beach
Information: (562) 433-8337 or visit www.thegaragetheatre.org