The best Los Angeles theater productions for fall 2016

Heading to the theater this fall? Check out our guide to the best productions taking place in Los Angeles this season.
Hedwig & the Angry InchBelasco Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus Hedwig & the Angry Inch
By Stephanie Morino |
Advertising

It may not be Broadway, but LA's theater scene is on point—especially if you look at what Los Angeles performing arts centers and theaters are presenting this fall. From classic hits to world premieres, there's no shortage of must-see productions. Don't see anything that entices you? There are plenty of other theatrical events taking place across Los Angeles, from dinner theaters to murder mystery shows

The best of Los Angeles theater this fall

Macbeth Plácido Domingo
Photograph: Courtesy LA Opera
Theater

Macbeth

How fitting to have one of opera's greatest singers performing in one of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies of all time. Plácido Domingo plays Macbeth as James Conlon conducts the operatic rendition of this thriller. Witness Macbeth's rise and fall as he sheds his role of general to assume the title of King of Scotland, while becoming a tormented murderer in the process. Ekaterina Semenchuk plays the manipulative Lady Macbeth during this new production sung to Verdi's hauntingly moving score.

A View From the Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy Jan Versweyveld
Theater, Drama

A View From the Bridge

The Ahmanson Theatre is opening their special 50th anniversary season with the Olivier Award-winning production of A View From the Bridge. Experience Eddie Carbone's explosive and palpable jealousy as he can no longer control his obsession for Catherine, his 17-year-old niece, when she falls in love with the Italian immigrant who is new to town. This emotional drama comes from Arthur Miller.

Advertising
Photograph: Courtesy A Noise Within
Theater

Arcadia

One of the Southland’s great classical repertory companies takes on the extraordinary playwright Tom Stoppard’s 1993 romantic look at our never-ending curiosity and quest for knowledge. It takes place in a country home in England, some characters living in the early 19th century, others in the present. Science, art and romance blend in an entrancing play for the epistemology nerd in all of us. Directed by Geoff Elliott.

Photograph: Courtesy Kirk Douglas Theatre
Theater

Vicuña

This aptly timed world premiere satire by Jon Robin Baitz follows a tailor who is struggling to serve a real estate tycoon/reality TV star who decides to run for president—and actually becomes a major party's nominee. It won't take audiences to use their imagination much as the election spirals out of control, forcing both the tailor and his apprentice to rethink their roles as image-makers for the man. As the theater is promoting it, this show "offers a unique opportunity for a play to participate in our nation’s political discourse as it unfolds."

Advertising
Hedwig & the Angry InchBelasco Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Joan Marcus
Theater

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

This glam-rock musical spins the travails of East German singer-songwriter Hansel (Darren Criss), who falls in love with an American soldier and becomes Hedwig after a botched sex-change operation—only to find herself stranded and abandoned in Kansas City. This is framed and followed by a rock 'n' roll odyssey of self-discovery sprinkled with ample humor and gender politics. The songs by Stephen Trask are glam-rock gold, with foot-stompers such as “Tear Me Down” and gorgeous, thoughtful works such as “Wicked Little Town” and “Origin of Love.”

Pasadena Playhouse.
Photograph: Courtesy Freed14
Theater

M. Butterfly

In this tender play by David Henry Hwang, inspired by Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly and inspired by true events, a French diplomat falls in love with the star of the Peking Opera and has an affair for decades. Then he discovers that she is a man. The show explaores the role illusion plays in perceptions and the whether people are ever able to truly know another person. The play won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Play and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Advertising
Theater

Barbecue

This family drama is more has been called one of the funniest comedies of the year. The O'Mallery family has had enough of their drug-addicted sister Zippity Boom who arrives to their family barbecue strung-out. The family decides to confront her, which only triggers a new fuse that offers a warped look into the American family. Written by Robert O'Hara and directed by Colman Domingo.

The Theatre @ Boston Court
Photograph: courtesy The Theatre @ Boston Court
Theater

Bars and Measures

This premiere follows two brothers, both of whom are musicians. One, Eric, is a classical pianist and a Christian, the other, Bilal, is a jazz bassist and Muslim. When Bilal is accused of being a terrorist and jailed while awaiting trial, Eric tries to stay connected by pushing aside his own classical aspirations in order to learn his brother's jazz style. Separated by prison bars and religion, the brothers use music to stay connected. As the trial progresses, Eric struggles to decide if he believes the charges against his older brother, or if they are false accusations.

Advertising
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Photograph: Courtesy Craig Schwartz
Theater

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

August Wilson, the legendary American playwright who crafted 10 magnificent plays about the African-American experience during each decade of the 20th century, takes on the 1920s at an ego-fueled, ultimately tragic music-recording session in Chicago, where upstarts and old lions, artists and technicians battle it out. Phylicia Rashad, widely admired for her helming of Wilson works, directs this production, which stars Greg Bryan, Keith David, Jason Dirden, Damon Gupton, Matthew Henerson, Nija Okoro, Lamar Richardson, Ed Swidey, Glynn Turman, and Lillias White.

Is going to the movies more your style?

Nuart Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy Nuart Theatre
Movies

The best movie theaters in Los Angeles

There are movie theaters, screening rooms, DIY projections, outdoor screenings and local film events everywhere. But when you're looking for the cream of the crop, the best possible place to plant yourself for two hours of cinematic bliss, there are a few spots that rise above the rest. Whether you're into arthouse, black-and-white, B-movie bonanzas or the most luxurious assigned-seating theater/cocktail lounge, this city has it all. 

Advertising