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5 must-see theater productions happening in January 2017

Written by
Dany Margolies

Los Angeles theater in January wrings out the old, rings in the new. Theatergoers thirsty for a fresh start to the new year have choices among world premieres, rarely produced classics, and a local standby. Here, listed in order of closing dates, are five shows we’re betting are worth your theatergoing time and money this month. 

The Manor at Greystone Mansion, Jan 5–Jan 29

Money can’t buy love, or peace of mind, or even a long life. But it can get you in to see this immersive, site-based show, now in its 15th year, that reveals the tragic history of the family who once occupied this gorgeous hillside mansion. Follow the characters from room to room and eavesdrop as they reveal events that took down a dynasty. Written by Kathrine Bates, directed by Flora Plumb. 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills. Free parking onsite. Wed-Fri 8pm, Sat-Sun 1pm. $65. 310-364-3606. Reservations must be made by phone, in advance. No online ticketing. No one will be admitted without advance reservation.

13 Things About Ed Carpolotti at the Edye at the Broad Stage, Jan 11–Jan 29

Ever wonder what the human version of The Secret Life of Pets might look like? Or more particularly, ever wonder what your partner or spouse has done without telling you? This one-woman musical centers on widow Virginia Carpolotti, who has been sifting through loving memories of her late husband, when suddenly characters from his past kick up plenty of dirt. With book, music and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on the play by Jeffrey Hatcher, it stars the role’s longtime interpreter Penny Fuller, aided by Paul Greenwood’s musical direction and accompaniment. 1310 11th St, Santa Monica. Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm. $45. 310-434-3200.

The Last Vig at Zephyr Theatre, Jan 14–Feb 19

What happens when mob bosses age out? Are they ready to be put out to pasture? Or perhaps those offers you can’t refuse can be put to new and different uses. In this world premiere comedy written and directed by David Varriale, Burt Young (Rocky) stars as Big Joe, who faces changing times. Also stars stage and screen actors Ben Adams, Clint Jung, Bruce Nozick and Gareth Williams. 7456 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm, Mon 8pm, plus Fri Feb 10 and Feb 17 at 8pm. $40. 323-960-7712. 

The Found Dog Ribbon Dance by the Echo Theater Company at Atwater Village Theatre, Jan 21–Feb 26

Atwater Village’s purveyor of the dramatically unique, Echo Theater Company offers the story of a woman’s mission to return a lost dog to its rightful owner. Along the way, because this is Echo, she’ll meet L.A.’s most interesting theatrical characters and come up against a twist of fate. Or, as the theater describes the show, it’s “a bittersweet romantic comedy about loneliness, oxytocin and the healing power of Whitney Houston.” This world premiere is written by Dominic Finocchiaro, directed by Alana Dietze. 3269 Casitas Ave, Atwater Village. Fri-Sat 8pm, Sun 4pm, Mon 8pm. $30. 310-307-3753.

Beckett5 by the Koan Unit at Odyssey Theatre, Jan 21–March 5

Whether you like to dig for intellectual meaning in every phrase or prefer to let the various concepts slowly sink in, the works of legendary writer Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot) make a richly textured evening at the theater. The veteran actors of the Odyssey’s Koan Unit will bring out the best in five of Beckett’s classic short pieces: Krapp’s Last Tape, Come and Go, Footfalls, Act Without Words II and Catastrophe. 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, West L.A. Wed or Thu 8pm (alternating weeks), Fri-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $30-$35. 310-477-2055.

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