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Arts and Entertainment

This Week's Theatre Picks: Pirates, Ninjas, WWII, A Rock Opera and Black Stand-Up Comedy

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Labor Day Weekend is a great time to be in town because everyone else leaves. The streets are empty. There’s elbow room at your favorite local watering hole. And … there’s plenty of local theater just waiting to be seen. Here are LAist’s five theater picks for this weekend:


Calling Aphrodite
Keiko and her sister were playing outside their home, when something unimaginable happened. It was Hiroshima in 1945. This play focuses on Keiko’s life after the “accident” – and watches her stages of anger, denial and, ultimately, growth.

International City Theatre at Long Beach Performing Arts Center. 300 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. 562.436.4610. Tickets $29-$42. Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm until Sept. 23.
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The Hasty Heart
Six wounded soldiers and their nurse at the British General Hospital struggle for recovery. This play is based on his playwright John Patrick’s own experiences as a WWII ambulance driver.

Pacific Resident Theatre. 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. 310-822-8392. Tickets are $20-$25. Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm until Oct. 14.

Junk: A Rock Opera
This social satire focuses on Anna, who has to choose between stardom and her punk ideals. She works for Junk Incorporated, a company that owns the last great city on the planet that’s not covered in garbage. There’s a live band each performance that plays the production’s full rock score.

Lyric Theatre. 520 N. La Brea, Los Angeles. 323-939-9220. Tickets are $40. Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays special performances on September 16, 23 & 30 at 7 pm. Ends Sept. 30.

Pirates and Ninjas: An Extravagant Adventure
Arrrgh. What could be better than a night of short works focusing on history's great adventurers: pirates and ninjas? There are three segments to the show, each written by a different author and evoking a different time period. (Who knew that Christopher Columbus was really a ninja?)

Theatre of N.O.T.E., 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd. 866.219.4944. Tickets are $10/$8 students. Runs Fridays and Saturdays at 9 pm. Added pay-what-you-dare performance on Sept. 15 at midnight. Ends Sept. 22.

Spook Night
This dramedy examines the three R's: rage, revenge and raciscm. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the world of contemporary black stand-up comedy and offers a historical perspective through the eyes of legendary minstrel performer Bert Williams.

Lillian Theatre. 1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood. 323-960-4443. Tickets are $25. Runs Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm until Sept. 30.