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Arts and Entertainment

Lincoln Heights Fairy Tales and Singing Ohio River Deadbeats

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Our two picks for Los Angeles theater this weekend are a completely free show at a high school and a new musical premiering on Melrose — one with a cast of students, one with French Stewart and Sara Rue leading a star-power ensemble.

For the cheapskates and the fairy-tale-minded, Cornerstone Theater Company presents 3/7/11: A LINCOLN HEIGHTS TALE for two performances only. A collaboration between playwright Jose Cruz Gonzales and groups of third, seventh, and eleventh graders from Lincoln Heights, 3/7/11 tells the story of three powerful spirits — a wolf, an ice queen, and a witch — who seize the neighborhood. Cornerstone has been creating collaborative community-based theater for 20 years. Their local LA shows, always with the rare sense of an engaged audience, are too special to be missed. Admission is free.

The Matrix Theatre Company opens LITTLE EGYPT, a jazz musical about Midwestern suicidal misfits suffering from PTSD and loneliness, this Saturday. This original musical by Gregg Henry, based on the play by Lynn Siefert, has been in development for years at the Matrix. We saw an early preview on Tuesday and were impressed by the cast, which includes former series regulars alongside with Antaeus and Matrix heavyweights John Apicella and Jenny O'Hara — not to mention composer Henry himself as the evil seducer Watson Mason. Prove the folks who say new musical theatre can't come out of Los Angeles wrong.

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Show details and times after the jump.

Written by Jose Cruz Gonzales in collaboration with third, seventh, and eleventh graders from the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. This Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 12:30 pm only, at Lincoln Heights High School Auditorium, 3501 N Broadway. Admission is free. Reservations are not required: more info at (213) 613.1700 ext.33.

Written by Lynn Siefert, Music & Lyrics by Greg Henry, directed by Lisa James, with John Apicella, Misty Cotton, Gregg Henry, Jenny O'Hara, Sara Rue and French Stewart. The Matrix is located at 7657 Melrose in between La Brea and Fairfax. LITTLE EGYPT previews for $20 tonight and tomorrow and runs Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, through 6/11. Tickets, $30-$35: or (323) 852-1445.