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5 must-see theater productions in June 2017

By Dany Margolies
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While there's plenty of amazing things happening this month in L.A.—from concerts to food and drink events (hello, L.A. Beer Week)—these stand-out theater productions are sure to be a hot ticket. Heroes and heroines seem to populate this month’s slate of best-bet shows. Some are animals (anthropomorphic, of course), some are real-life activists and some are the theatermakers who stepped out of comfort and ordinariness to bring new and powerful ideas to the stage. We think these five shows, listed in order of closing date, will be worth your theatergoing time and money this month.

Hold These Truths, Pasadena Playhouse, through June 25

Jeanne Sakata’s play tells the true story of civil rights activist Gordon Hirabayashi. The Seattle-born pacifist openly defied internment, was sentenced, and with dignity continued to shine light on his prosecution. Jessica Kubzansky directs, Ryun Yu stars in this reworking of 2007’s Dawn's Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi. 39 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena. Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 4pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm. $25–$115. (626) 356-7529.

The Book of Mormon, Pantages Theatre, through July 9

Hello! It’s name is The Book of Mormon, and it would like to share with you the most amazing musical! Because Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of "South Park," and Robert Lopez, co-writer of Avenue Q, wrote this world-famous Tony-winning hit, you can bet it’s outrageous. But it also reminds us that hope keeps us alive, even in a world gone mad. 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 1pm & 6:30pm. $39–$175, subject to change. 800-982-2787.

Oklahoma, 3–D Theatricals at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, June 16–July 9

3–D Theatricals promises a “re-imagined” version of this gorgeous 1943 musical from the Golden Age of American theater. In this once-groundbreaking story about blossoming romantic feelings and the land that is grand, we’re betting a few issues facing modern times will rear up to stun us. To this, we c’aint say no. Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach. Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm, June 16–June 25. Moves to Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 12700 Center Court Dr, Cerritos. Thu 7:30pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm, June 30–July 9. $25–$100. (714) 589-2770.

Constellations, Gil Cates Theater at Geffen Playhouse, June 6–July 16

Roland is a beekeeper, Marianne is a quantum physicist. Nick Payne’s play examines the little flights of fate and free will that bring us to that big collision known as falling in love. We’re all abuzz in anticipation. Giovanna Sardelli (Archduke) directs Ginnifer Goodwin ("Once Upon a Time") and Allen Leech ("Downton Abbey"). 10886 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles. Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm & 7pm. $32-$90. (310) 208-5454.

Animal Farm, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, June 17–Oct 1

Legendary writer George Orwell penned this novel about tyranny in 1945. Legendary theater director Peter Hall musicalized and staged the novel for Britain’s National Theatre in the 1980s. But the time is always right for theater about idealism, fascism, rights and equality. Now, Theatricum Botanicum presents it at the canyon home developed by the legendary Will Geer, champion of freedom. 1419 N Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga. The theater is outdoors, cushions available for rent. Repertory schedule. $10–$38. (310) 455-3723.

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