26 Theatrical Performances You Don’t Want to Miss

Photo by Jenny Graham/Courtesy of Fountain Theater

Summer’s not completely over yet, but it’s September, and that means the theater season is in full swing. This month, make sure to get your tickets for our experts’ top picks, which are certain to sweep you off your feet.

Now Playing

Good Mourning
The world premiere of Hosea Chanchez’s solo show focuses on a grieving man who forms an unlikely relationship with his daughter’s favorite toy, giving him insight to a world he never knew. Through September 8. Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Moving Arts/Facebook

Early Birds
Two senior women, each running from their past, begin an unlikely friendship on a cruise ship in this heartwarming comedy from 2019 O’Neill finalist Dana Schwartz. Through September 7. Moving Arts at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue

Self-Injurious Behavior
Based on playwright and star Jessica Cavanagh’s own experiences, this achingly honest one-woman show chronicles her struggle as a single mother of an autistic son and the guilt she felt while admitting him to a home for special needs children. Through September 28. Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood

Photo courtesy of Theatre of Note/Facebook

Driving Wilde
From multi-L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award–winning director Bart DeLorenzo comes a surreal modern adaption of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray, a gothic horror story concerned with the particularly timely theme of humanity’s pursuit of beauty. Through September 21. Theatre of Note, 1517 North Cahuenga Boulevard

Photo by Gina Long/Courtesy of Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

The Gin Game
Donald L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play comes to the Botanicum, a story of two rivals in an eldercare facility whose competitive rummy games devolve into an epic battle to prove their own worth. Through September 29. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 North Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga

Photo by Jenny Graham/Courtesy of Fountain Theatre

Hannah and the Dread Gazebo
Two weeks away from becoming a board-certified neurologist, Hannah receives an odd package from her recently deceased grandmother that forces her to trace her family’s roots back to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. This edgy comedy from Jiehae Park was the grand prize winner of the Arnold L. Weissberger Award. Through September 22. Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Avenue

Photo courtesy of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Fefu and her Friends
Odyssey Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebration continues with a revival of another play that premiered at the same time as Odyssey Theatre opened: a signature feminist work by avant-garde legend María Irene Fornés.Through September 29. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard

Photo by Jeff Lorch/Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

The Witch
Featuring Maura Tierney from television’s The Affair, this boldly funny new play follows a charming small-town newcomer who offers to fulfill the locals’ darkest wishes in exchange for their souls. Through September 29. Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue

September 5

Hand Job
The world premiere of Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award winner Erik Patterson’s newest work, a darkly funny exploration of how art can overlook the themes that underlie real people’s lives, set during a conversation between a gay writer and a man he hires to be a “shirtless cleaner.” Through October 20. Echo Theater Company, 3269 Casitas Avenue

Photo courtesy of the Public Theater

Latin History for Morons
After being the talk of Broadway and enjoying a sold-out run at the Public Theater, multitalented John Leguizamo brings his raw energy to Los Angeles in this one-man show about the lack of Latinos in his son’s American history books. Through October 20. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 North Grand Avenue

September 7

In Circles
A modern production of the thoughtful and explorative 1968 show in which selections of Gertrude Stein’s famous and beloved prose are reworked as a collage alongside Al Carmine’s eclectic musical selections. Through October 27.Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard

September 11

Composite photo by Benedict Evans/Courtesy of Center Theatre Group

A Play Is a Poem
A collection of one-acts from famed filmmaker and playwright Ethan Coen, this sprawling show features American settings as distant from one another as Hollywood high-rises and hillbilly hovels, but always with Coen’s trademark mixture of comedy and drama. Through October 13. Mark Taper Forum, 135 North Grand Avenue

Not a Genuine Black Man
The longest-running solo play in San Francisco theater history comes to Los Angeles for two nights only, as Brian Copeland tells his own story of moving to a California town known for its white supremacy and failing to fit into the racial conceptions of his neighbors as he struggled to define himself. Also September 18. Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre, 5636 Melrose Avenue

September 13

Photo courtesy of Center Theatre Group/Facebook

On Beckett
Tony Award–winning actor and MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellow Bill Irwin explores his connection as a performer to the work of Samuel Beckett. This one-man show provides an inside look at what makes the legendary playwright timeless. Through October 27. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Boulevard, Culver City

Scored by Ovation Award–winning composer Ryan Thomas Johnson, this new musical finds its world premiere on the Broadwater Main Stage and is based on true circumstances in 1893 Chicago, where a cunning killer built a hotel to lure unsuspecting women to their doom. Through November 2. Sacred Fools Theater Company, 1076 Lillian Way

September 14

Photo courtesy of Skylight Theatre Company/Facebook

Never Is Now
Award-winning playwright Wendy Kout presents the story of 10 survivors who were, for whatever reason, pushed onto Hitler’s list of undesirables and forced to suffer the consequences, a play meant to bridge the past to the present and consider the world we live in through a difficult lens. Through October 27. Skylight Theatre Company, 1816 ½ North Vermont Avenue

September 17

Little Shop of Horrors
This zany musical comedy has been going strong for more than 30 years, and Pasadena Playhouse has assembled a tremendous cast, including Audience Choice and Lucille Lortel Award–winning actor George Salazar, to make this production one to remember. Through October 20. Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena

The Spanish Prayer Book
When an atheist inherits a rare collection of Hebrew manuscripts, he begins an investigation of their origin and discovers a tale of thievery, moral gray area, and war that has led to the books ending up in his possession. This thoughtful story was recently selected as one of the top 21 new plays by the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative. Through November 23. The Road on Magnolia, 10747 West Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood

September 18

Sisters in Law
Chronicling the personal connection between America’s first female justices on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor, this West Coast premiere features powerful performances from celebrated stage and television actresses Tovah Feldshuh and Stephanie Faracy in the famous leading roles. Through October 13. The Wallis, 9390 North Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills

Photo courtesy of Tld Play/Facebook

Treya’s Last Dance
In her critically acclaimed one-act, one-woman show, Shyam Bhatt gives voice to dozens of characters, as this funny and energetic performance explores the power of the human spirit in the face of tragedy. Through October 23. Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard

September 19

The Surveillance Trilogy
Fresh off a successful run of her previous play, Theatre 40 brings Leda Siskind’s newest work to the stage: three stories of people from different times who realize they are being watched, a thoughtful consideration of how our most intimate vulnerabilities can be used against us. Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, 241 South Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills

September 20

Photo by Ed Krieger/Courtesy of Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company

Last Swallows
Surprising and transgressive, this new comedy focuses on a woman who is convinced her husband is dying and desperately gathers her family for a final holiday, only to find that their children have unfinished business to discuss before any peace can be made. Through October 20. The Actors Company, 916 North Formosa Avenue

Grumpy Old Men: The Musical
TV star and Tony Award winner Hal Linden stars alongside Broadway’s Ken Page in this musical adaptation of the hilarious 1993 film about two feuding neighbors who both become enamored when the girl of their dreams moves into the neighborhood. Through October 13. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 4900 La Mirada Boulevard, La Mirada

September 21

The Drowsy Chaperone
This postmodern oddball farce has been described by New York magazine as “the perfect Broadway musical.” The story follows a man as he listens to the recording of his favorite (fictional) musical, all the while knowingly poking fun at the tropes we’ve seen again and again onstage. Through October 13. Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

September 22

Photo courtesy of A Noise Within Theatre‎/Facebook

Gem of the Ocean
The first of Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, a series of plays that focus on the African-American experience in different stages of American history, follows one man’s spiritual journey for redemption in 1904 Pittsburgh. Through November 16. A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena

September 26

Living a Why Not Life
Singer, actor, and touring member of The Lion King, Tonoccus McClain guides the audience through his life experiences and mantra while also making room for the songs that got him involved in theater in the first place. Through September 29. The Colony Theatre, 555 North 3rd Street, Burbank