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Arts and Entertainment

This Week in Theatre

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There are other ways of supporting your actor friends around town – besides leaving a good tip at restaurants. LA is home to a great number of renowned theater groups and local community productions. Some of the shows are much better than Cats and way cheaper than anything on Broadway.

So here are five plays opening this weekend whose descriptions are piquing LAist’s interest:

A Nice Family Gathering
Written by Phil Olson and directed by Richard Alan, this family's Fourth of July reunion has a surprise guest: the ghost of dear old Dad. He wants to tell his wife of 35 years that he loved her – but she can’t hear or see him AND she’s brought a date to dinner. (Hilarity must ensue, no?)

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Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood
818.700.4878
Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm until July 21.
$20

Mental
In this musical comedy, a co-dependent, clinically depressed and sex-addicted family (half of LA, huh?) find themselves at a mental health facility for family therapy. (We might check this one out just to see Rob Estes of Silk Stalkings and Melrose Place sing and dance!)

Edgemar Center for the Performing Arts
2437 Main St., Santa Monica
Runs Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 7 pm until August 26.
310.392.7327
$28

Five Course Love
How would you like a little lovin' with your linguini? Written by Gregg Coffin and directed by Caryn Desai, this musical comedy focuses on couples out looking for love in five different restaurants. Each restaurant has its own musical style, from German cabaret to 50's doo-wop.

International City Theatre
at Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
562.436.4610
Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm until July 15.
Opening night: $50-$60. Other shows: $35-45

Monster of Happiness
Writers and directors Tina Kronis and Richard Alger also star in this innovative science fiction love story based on Adam and Eve. In this work, the Theater Movement Bazaar company borrows from early American modernist literature and post-revolution 'Soviet Style' cinema. Integral to this process is a feedback loop, an invitation for the public (via the TMB web site) to provide personal views on happiness.

24th Street Theatre
1117 W 24th St, L.A.
800.838.3006
Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm until July 14.
$25

Victims
Written and directed by Maria Olsen, Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group provides a "quirky" examination of a serial killer's psyche. (Yeah, we've never used "quirky" and "serial killer" in a sentence before either.)

Zombie Joe's Underground
4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
818.212.4120
Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm until July 7.
$12