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5 L.A. theater productions you should see this April 2019

Written by
Dany Margolies

Spring is springing and bringing with it a varied bouquet of shows about what love means and how it can change our circumstances. In full bloom this month are a tasty new musical based on a classic children’s book, a “traditional” musical, another one about really bucking tradition, a splashy musical based on a classic film about making movie musicals and a 110-year-old play that just might be your cup of tea. We’re betting these five shows, listed in order of closing date, will be worth your theatergoing time and money this month.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Pantages Theatre, through April 14

Do you like watching superb musical-theater performances in a show in which evil is punished in hilarious ways while good triumphs? The national tour of this 2017 Broadway treat has arrived in Los Angeles, guaranteed to make audiences crave chocolate—or at least more time in the theater. David Greig penned the book, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote the score and Jack O’Brien directs. But the performances, starring Noah Weisberg as Willy Wonka, plus an alternating trio of young men as Charlie, will leave a sweet taste in your mouth.

6233 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood (800-982-2787). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2, 8pm; Sun at 1, 6:30pm. $52–$179.

Fiddler on the Roof
Pantages Theatre, April 16–May 5

You don’t have to be Jewish to love this 1964 musical about what it takes to bend with the times when following tradition is expected of us. Tevye the milkman lives in czarist Russia, where it’s hard enough to get his wife to obey and his five daughters to follow Jewish customs. Then ethnic cleansing sets in. Bartlett Sher directs, Hofesh Shechter choreographs based on the original by Jerome Robbins. Tickets might be pricey by the time it hits town; go for the more affordable ones and just hum, “If I were a rich man.”

6233 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood (800-982-2787). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2, 8pm; Sun at 1, 6:30pm. $49–$1,215.

Singin’ in the Rain
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, April 19–May 12

A leading man of silent movie musicals has had it up to his top hat with the inept starlet cast opposite him. A chance meeting with a talented and confident chorus girl leads to talkies and, of course, romance. This splashy musical brings the 1952 movie to the stage, based on the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Spencer Liff directs and choreographs. Along with unforgettable songs and big bouncy tap-dance numbers, the rain pours down.

14900 La Mirada Blvd, La Mirada (562-944-9801). Wed, Thu at 7:30pm; Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2, 8pm; Sun at 2pm. $15–$84.

Ahmanson Theatre, April 16–May 19

It’s the 1980s again: Time to meet Marvin, his ex-wife Trina, his psychiatrist Mendel, his son Jason, his neighbors Cordelia and Dr. Charlotte, and his lover Whizzer. Love of various forms blooms, but AIDS will overshadow all. The original ’92 production of this musical (with book by William Finn and James Lapine and music and lyrics by Finn) won Tonys for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Its 2016 Broadway revival, directed by Lapine and which arrives here this month, earned five Tony noms.

135 N Grand Ave, Downtown L.A. (213-972-4400). Tue–Fri at 8pm; Sat at 2, 8pm; Sun at 1, 6:30pm. $30–$135.

Diana of Dobson’s
Antaeus Theatre Company at Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, April 18–June 3

Theatergoers in 1908 London were startled by and yet fell in love with Cicely Hamilton’s socio-political romance. In it, a shop assistant in the outskirts of London, laboring under harsh conditions, receives a small legacy. She heads for a Swiss resort, where she attracts various opportunists. This month, Antaeus Theatre Company revives this pointed play about a woman’s place and how money can shape our views of ourselves and others. Casey Stangl directs two alternating casts.

110 E Broadway, Glendale (818-506-1983). Fri, Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm; Mon at 8pm. $35.

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