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L.A. theater openings, April 13-20: 'The Tallest Tree in the Forest' and more

April 10, 2014|Matt Cooper
  • Daniel Beaty portrays Paul Robeson in "The Tallest Tree in the Forest" at the Mark Taper Forum.
Daniel Beaty portrays Paul Robeson in "The Tallest Tree in the Forest"… (Don Ipock )

Celebrations of legendary performers abound when Frank Ferrante plays Groucho Marx, Annette Bening salutes Ruth Draper, and Daniel Beaty portrays Paul Robeson. Plus, a return engagement for a rememberance of Gene Kelly.

An Afternoon With Groucho Frank Ferrante portrays the mustachioed Marx brother in this one-man show. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Drive, Cerritos. Sunday, 3 p.m. $20-$50. (562) 467-8818.

Glory, Glory Hallelujah Benefit show features songs and stories of the Civil War. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Sunday, 7 p.m. $12-$25. (626) 355-4318.

Celebrity Autobiography: The Music Edition, Volume 4 Fred Willard and others put a comic spin on selections from musicians’ memoirs. Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A. Wed., 8 p.m. $45. (213) 765-6803.

Ruth Draper’s Monologues Annette Bening pays homage to the legendary stage actress in this world premiere. Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 18. $37-$77. (310) 208-5454.

Taking the Plunge SHINE’s storytelling series presents true tales of risky undertakings. YWCA Santa Monica/Westside, 2019 14th St., Santa Monica. Thu., 7:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation. (310) 452-3881.

CRITICS' PICKS: What to watch, where to go, what to eat

Water by the Spoonful An Iraq war veteran readjusts to civilian life, while four strangers connect in an internet chat room, in the California premiere of Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Pulitzer-winning drama. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego. Thu.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends May 11. $29 and up. (619) 234-5623.

ABBAMEMNON Workshop production of Troubadour Theater Company’s irreverent, ABBA-infused spin on Aeschylus’ classic tragedy. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m. 310-440-7300.

Be a Good Little Widow A young woman navigates bereavement in the L.A. premiere of Bekah Brunstetter’s comedy. NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 3 p.m.; ends May 25. $25. (323) 388-3874.

Detective Partner Hero Villain West Coast premiere of Brett Neveu’s mash-up of the crime noir and superhero genres. NoHo Actors’ Studio, 5215 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 3. $20. (800) 838-3006.

Gene Kelly: The Legacy — An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly Kelly’s widow shares memories, memorabilia and rare and classic clips of the late, great actor-dancer-director. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m. $15-$70. (626) 356-7529.

Sjalusi (Jealousy) Deaf West Theatre presents Norway’s Teater Manu in a black comedy, performed in sign language, about three women living in a luxury high-rise. Info at www.deafwest.org. Inside the Ford, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 4. $25, $30. (818) 762-2998.

PHOTOS: Best in theater 2013 | Charles McNulty

Five Mile Lake World premiere of Rachel Bonds’ drama about brothers and others in a small Pennsylvania town. South Coast Repertory, Julianne Argyros Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Sat.-next Sun., 2 and 7:45 p.m.; ends May 4. $22 and up. (714) 708-5555.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers The comedy-and-juggling troupe performs. Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Sat., 2 p.m. $20-$40. (310) 506-4522.

The Tallest Tree in the Forest Writer-performer Daniel Beaty’s one-person show salutes African American singer-actor-activist Paul Robeson. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends May 25. $20-$70. (213) 628-2772.

24 Hour Theatre Performances of five brand-new plays written and rehearsed in the preceding 24 hours. Studio at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $10. (562) 494-1014.

Cats Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-hit musical based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 11. $20-$70. (562) 944-9801.

The Lion in Winter James Goldman’s classic dramedy about England’s Henry II, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their three ambitious sons; with Ian Buchanan and Mariette Hartley. Colony Theatre, 555 N. Third St., Burbank. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 18. $20-$49. (818) 558-7000.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore Nora and Delia Ephron’s seriocomic exploration of the female experience. Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 p.m.; ends May 18. $39, $49. (805) 667-2900.

Premeditation World premiere of Evelina Fernandez’s comedy about a fed-up woman who hires a hitman to off her husband. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. Sat., 8 p.m.; ends May 11. $20, $40. (866) 811-4111.

The Yellow Boat Coeurage Theatre Company presents David Saar’s family-friendly fable about overcoming one’s fears; for ages 8 and up. Grove Theater Center, 1100 W. Clark Ave., Burbank. Sat., 8 p.m.; next Sun., 4 p.m.; ends May 25. Pay what you want. (323) 944-2165.

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