Productions around town are starting to “kick off” in the new year

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I’ll tell you all about each play on this list, as I see them. In the meantime … this week’s column is a tasty little morsel of things to come … for your consideration. Mark your calendars.

Menopause: The Musical

Ladies … This one’s for you! An international hit, this poignantly hilarious show has wowed audiences worldwide! I saw it in Hollywood many years ago, and laughed uncontrollably! Poking fun at the undeniable “changes” menopause bestows on “ladies of a certain age” … four fine actresses will take you on a joyous journey! Starring Liz Hyde, Kathy St. George, Margo Moreland, and Ann Harris, I can’t wait to see it again! Footnote: Fellas … you should see it too … It is maniacally funny … and you may just learn a thing or two about your ladies! Opening Jan. 23 thru’ Feb. 3 only (15 performances) – at The El Portal Mainstage in NoHo. To book seats early call (818) 508-4200.

Giving up is Hard to Do – A World Premiere

Based on her own personal journey, veteran actress Annie Abbott’s one woman show promises to be entertainingly intriguing. Based on her own life, both onstage and off, playing multiple characters with humor and passion … she reveals her personal quest to embrace life’s little twists ‘n’ turns. Directed by Joel Zwick, best known for directing the hit film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding … his vision and Annie’s story are sure to captivate us! Opening Jan. 25 at The Victory Theatre. To book seats early call (818) 841-2422.

Smoke and Mirrors

Master magician, Albie Selznick has performed this highly entertaining and mystically magical show to L.A. audiences in the past. I gave it a rave review last October, after seeing it in Santa Monica! With a quirky cast of assistants … he will boggle your mind, and tickle your funny bones! Now coming to NoHo, opening Jan. 26 at The Road Theatre, do not miss it! For early booking and more info. Go to smokeandmirrorsmagic.com.

Stepping Out

I look forward to this one! Directed by veteran pro-dancer, Stan Manzin … this sweet tale takes us into a Community Center, amateur adult tap dancing class. An eclectic mix of locals is in rehearsals for a big charity show, as each struggle to face their own personal issues. Sounds like a winner! Opening Feb. 8 at The Lonny Chapman Theatre. For early booking call (818) 763-5990.

Theatre West

will kick off an exciting Sunday night “solo” series … starring seven of their most prominent company members, in “one person” performances, starting off with Lee Meriwhether in The Women of Spoon River, on Feb. 10. To read the schedule of the series’ upcoming offerings, go to theatrewest.org or call (323) 851-7977.

Von Bach

Written by Owen Hammer, adapted from a romance novel by Elsa Jaeger … this gothic comedy promises to be hilarious! Quoting Publicist Phil Sokoloff’s clever “press teaser” … “Frankenstein’s monster? A pussycat. The Wolfman? Just a lap dog. Dracula? Has no bite. The most terrifying being to return undead to the living is the one, the only ‘Von Bach!’” This one sounds like a casket full of fun! Opening Feb. 16 at The Fremont Centre Theatre. For early bookings call (866) 811-4111 (toll free).

Well, there you go … lots of theatrical options for you to start off the new year. Catch one or all of them. To live in the “entertainment capitol” of the world, and not support the amazing talent that lives in our own backyards is a shame. Make 2013 the year to bring the joy of “live theatre” into your reality. It is so much fun … and offers a “peek” into endless life situations and viewpoints!

Happy New Year … See you at the theatre!

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