As we approach the celebration of the birth of our nation, we thought you might be looking for some American fare in your theatre selection to chase your fireworks, apple pie, and adult beverages (in red Solo® cups, of course) this holiday weekend. Here are some productions playing this week and next that are telling a variety of American stories on Los Angeles stages. Happy Independence Day from the staff at both @ This Stage and LA STAGE Alliance.
Who will save the children? All American Girl follows Katie, a bright and attractive girl committed to rescuing innocents from hardship and poverty, as she evolves into a passionate extremist. How does a seemingly ordinary American kid become radicalized? And is violence ever justified? The show is written by Wendy Graf and Directed by Anita Khanzadian. (Check out @ This Stage next week for a conversation between Graf and Khanzadian.)
All American Girl runs through July 26. Tickets and info.
Stanley Ann chronicles the extraordinary life of Stanley Ann Dunham, President Obama’s mother. A world-traveling mother of two bi-racial children who earned her PhD in anthropology, Dunham made painful sacrifices to find fulfillment for herself and her family on her own terms. Drawing on real events, the play follows Stanley Ann’s journey from single motherhood, to international adventure, to a crisis of conscience at the farthest edge of the American Empire. The show is written by Mike Kindle and directed by Mark Bringelson.
Stanley Ann runs through July 26. Tickets and info.
Picnic explores girls becoming women, and all that entails. On a balmy Labor Day in the American heartland, a group of women are preparing for a picnic… but they’ll have to lay a lot on the line before they can lay out the checkered cloths. The arrival of Hal, a handsome young drifter possessed of uncouth manners and titillating charm, sends the women reeling — especially the beautiful Madge, who must decide whether their fleeting encounter is worth changing the course of her life. Picnic is written by William Inge and directed by Cameron Watson.
Picnic runs through August 16. Tickets and info.
In a small Southern town during the Great Depression, the idyllic childhood of eight-year-old Scout and her brother Jem is changed forever when their lawyer father defends a poor black man accused of raping a young white woman. Through the drama of the trial and its aftermath the children experience the harsh realities of racial prejudice. The show is written by Christopher Sergel and directed by Ellen Geer.
To Kill a Mockingbird runs through September 27. Tickets and info.
The true and fascinating story of legendary Los Angeles music producer John Dolphin, a well-respected and successful black businessman, record label owner, and music producer well before Motown ever existed. In 1948 he opened his World Famous Dolphin’s Of Hollywood Record Shop on legendary Central Avenue in South Los Angeles, the music mecca on the West Coast, but his contributions to music and the formative years of Rock’n’Roll have often been overlooked. The show is written by Matt Donnelly, directed by Denise Dowse, the music and lyrics are by Andy Cooper, and the story is by Jamelle Dolphin.)
Recorded in Hollywood runs through July 26. Tickets and info.