The Mountaintop June 6-July 9, 2023 at Geffen Playhouse

The Mountaintop

  • By Caroline Lenher

“I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I’ve Been to the Mountaintop, April 3, 1968

As he ended his speech, some felt Reverend King prophesized his own death; he was tragically assassinated the following day. 

What happened during his last night? While we will never truly know, two-time Tony Award nominee Katori Hall (P-Valley, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) imagines what his final conversations could have been in her Olivier Award-winning play, The Mountaintop

After returning to the Lorraine Motel, Dr. King ordered room service, which the mysterious Camae delivered. She lingers after bringing his coffee, and they begin a powerful discussion about racism, righteousness, and the rocky path toward justice. The Memphis storm referenced in Dr. King’s speech continues to rage outside, providing a fitting soundtrack as the legacy of America’s most revered civil rights leader is laid bare, revealing his profound humanity. Their conversation is reflective, sometimes funny, and often touching as Dr. King examines his achievements, failures, and unfinished dreams. 

Patricia McGregor (Light’s Out: Nat “King” Cole, Skeleton Crew) directs the two-person drama starring Jon Michael Hill (Superior Donuts, Elementary) and Amanda Warren (Dickinson, Gossip Girl).

Performances begin June 6, 2023 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. For tickets and more information, click here.

The Ants June 20-July 30, 2023 at Geffen Playhouse

The Ants

  • By Caroline Lenher

We are surrounded by media, fiction, and video games of violence, wars, and threats to our global and personal safety. One cannot help but occasionally run “what if” scenarios through our minds…what if something terrible happened? What would I do? How would I keep my family safe?

The new Geffen play, The Ants takes this a step further by creating a most feared scenario and putting into question all the preemptive measures one family took for protection.

The recently fired and soon to be evicted, Nami is staying in his brother and sister-in-law’s luxury home. The incredible house has a state-of-the-art security only excessive wealth can buy. The seemingly impenetrable fortress is put to the test as a violent uprising rages on one fateful night. The three are trapped, facing the physical vulnerability of their four walls, and left to question why we spend so much money protecting ourselves instead of investing in our shared humanity.

This powerful new horror play is an original piece created during the Geffen Playhouse’s The Writers’ Room program. Playwright Ramiz Monsef’s darkly humorous social commentary is brought to life by director Pirronne Yousefzadeh. Monsef is an actor (N.C.I.S., S.W.A.T., Shameless, and Young Sheldon) and theatrical writer. Yousefzadeh is a theatre director, writer, educator, and Interim Associate Artistic Director at Playwrights’ Center.

Performances begin June 20, 2023, in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. For tickets and more information, click here

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat June 2-25, 2023 at La Mirada Theatre



Go, go, go Joseph! La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts’ final production of its 2022–23 season is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical perennial, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This beloved family show opened at the Royale Theatre on Broadway in January 1982 and ran for 747 performances. Since that time, the show has been performed in over 80 countries and is a favorite of schools and amateur theatre groups. The show is a tuneful reimagining of the biblical story of Joseph (Book of Genesis), his father Jacob, his 11 brothers, and his coat of many colors. Bill Hutton originated the title role on Broadway; other actors who have played Joseph include David Cassidy, Michael Damian, Andy Gibb, Jason Donovan, Donny Osmond, Sam Harris, among many others. 

Directed and choreographed by Gerry McIntyre with musical direction by Jennifer Lin, the La Mirada cast features Chris McCarrell (as Joseph), Kelli Rabke, Daniel Dawson, Peter Allen Vogt, Ellie Barrett, James Everts, Josh Grisetti, Juan Guillen, Ceron Jones, Kurt Kemper, Edgar Lopez, Rorey Michelangelo, Dino Nicandros, Marcus Phillips, Brandon Keith Rogers Bernadette Bentley, Johnisa Breault, Jasiana Caraballo, Lauren Decierdo, Andrea Dobbins, Ashley Evangeline, Marie Gutierrez, Callula Sawyer, Rianny Vasquez, and Bridget Whitman, Anyssa Navarro, and Thomas Whitcomb. The production will also boast a full children’s choir. Take my word for it … you cannot go wrong with this show! And don’t forget my favorite feature of La Mirada Theatre — free parking!

For tickets and more, click here.

Now or Later June 15-25 (part of Hollywood Fringe) at The Matrix



The 2023 Hollywood Fringe Festival has arrived, and with it a production of Now or Later by Christopher Shinn. Directed by Ann Bronston, the cast features Cherish Monique Duke, Brendan Farrell, Suzanne Ford, Samuel Garnett, George Kappaz, and Jack McKeever. The play had its world premiere in 2008 at the Royal Court Theatre in London — starring Eddie Redmayne! In the story, it’s the night of the US presidential election and success is imminent for the Democratic Party. All is well until a revelation about the candidate’s gay son plunges the campaign into an international crisis. Woven within the brittle fabric of a political family, the play exposes uncomfortable truths about politics, religion, bigotry, and freedom of expression. Eerily of the moment, wouldn’t you say? The production team is rounded out by assistant director Raquel Berney Needleman, scenic designer Barbara Kallir, and graphic designer Carra Yoder. There are only seven chances to catch this show at the Matrix Theatre on Melrose — June 15–18, 24, and 25. And it’s the kind of theatre we love … the running time is 60 minutes. I can’t wait!

There are a few other shows in the festival I’m looking forward to (all world premieres) — Flayed, written and performed by Josiah Blount; a play called Stockholm Syndrome by Kamal John Iskander (another one with a 60-minute running time!); and SoundTrip: An InterActive Audio Experience. If you’re into immersive theatre, this one’s for you!

For more, click here.