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This Week in Theatre: Dolly Parton Inspires Small Town Waitress

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LA’s theatre scene is packed with good stuff this week: Dolly Parton serves as muse; a Korean family’s road trip goes wrong; and a bunch of people sing about chess at the Ford. So without further ado, here are LAist’s five theater picks for this week:

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Journey to Dollywood
Jolene is a small-town waitress who idolizes obsesses over Dolly Parton. When a stranger’s car breaks down in town, her life, a rival co-worker’s, and their eccentric boss’s lives are all changed forever. This dramedy is billed as a journey of self-discovery, but we wonder how many Dolly Parton boob jokes make it into the production?

The Matrix Theatre. 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. 323-960-4418. Tickets are $20. $15 for previews. Previews tonight and Friday at 8 pm. Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm until Oct. 27.
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Chess: The Musical
Chess is used as a metaphor for romantic rivalries and US-Soviet relations during the Cold War. The story focuses on a love triangle: the ugly American grandmaster, an intense Russian champion who wants to defect to the West and the Hungarian-American woman player who arrives at an international chess championship with the American, but falls in love with the Russian. Part of the proceeds of this one-night only performance will be donated to Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS.

Ford Amphitheatre. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd.,East, Hollywood. 323-461-3673. Tickets are $35-$200. One performance only on Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 pm.

Durango
This is the first play of East West Players 42nd season. Durango chronicles the struggles of a Korean-American family reaching for that elusive American dream. Because of work troubles, Boo Seng-Lee forces his sons to take a road trip with him (and that in itself can’t be a good thing). Isaac fights with his inability to meet expectations with med-school applications and his teenage brother confronts issues of race and sexuality.

David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts. 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles. 213-625-7000. General admission tickets are $30-$35. (Preview tickets are $45 and opening night seats are $60.) Opens Wednesday, Sept. 19 and closes on Sunday, Oct. 14.