On Stage – this week in local theater
American Dreamer: “A Raisin in the Sun”
@ Westchester Playhouse
The Kentwood Players stages Lorraine Hansberry’s seminal 1959 play about a black family’s internal and external struggles to achieve their hopes and dreams on Chicago’s south side.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 and 8 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 13 at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. $20. (310) 645-5156;
End of the Line: “Last of the Knotts”
@ Santa Monica Playhouse
In this one-man comi-tragedy written and performed by poet/performer Doug Knott, a carefree hipster with a painful history of abuse agonizes over becoming a father when he falls in love with a beautiful woman and her pet boa constrictor.
Plays for one night only at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. $25. RSVP required. (310) 394-9779, ext. 1; santamonicaplayhouse.com
The Mind Bender: “1984”
@ The Broad Stage
Straight from London’s West End, Headlong Theatre Company brings Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a future patrolled by Thought Police, surveilled by telescreens, ruled by a corrupt political party and dominated by Big Brother to life in a radical new adaptation by critically-acclaimed writer-directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.
Now playing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 6 at The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica. $50 to $75. (310) 434-3200; thebroadstage.com
Guilty Pleasure: “Temptation,”
Jewish Women’s Theatre presents salon-style performances in private L.A. homes, sharing juicy stories about danger, desire and intrigue by Cindy Chupack, Julie Orringer, David Masello and more. This week the gossip travels to the Westside. Location and directions are kept a secret until ticket purchase.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 18 and 19. $40. (310) 315-1400; jewishwomenstheatre.org
The Legal Case: “The Dock Brief”
@ Pacific Resident Theatre
Comedy and tragedy tango in this two-man show about an innocuous man accused of murdering his wife and the bumbling barrister assigned to defend him. While the lawyer prepares for grandstand greatness in court, neither one is quite ready for the verdict ahead.
Run extended. Plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 24. Pacific Resident Theatre, 705½ Venice Blvd., Venice. $25 to $30. (310) 822-8392; pacificresidenttheatre.org
The One-Man Wonder: “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey”
@ Kirk Douglas Theatre
Writer, actor and activist James Lecesne plays all the parts to tell the story of Leonard Pelkey, a fictional 14-year-old boy with a unique spark who dares to be different and goes missing in small New Jersey town.
Now playing at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays and at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays through Jan. 31 at Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. $30 to $70. (213) 6282772; centertheatregroup.org
The Songbird: “Julia Migenes Sings Kurt Weill” @ Odyssey Theatre
With nothing but the bare essentials — her voice and a piano — acclaimed mezzo soprano Julia Migenes takes audiences on a musical journey of composer Kurt Weill’s music, from Berlin to Paris to New York.
Closing at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16. $35. The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. (310) 477-2055, ext. 2; odysseytheatre.com
The Connoisseur: “Awake and Sing!”
@ Odyssey Theatre
Clifford Odets aficionados may revel in this blast from the past. His play about the hopes and struggles of a lower-middleclass, multi-generation Jewish family living in the Bronx during the Great Depression still resonates 80 years after its 1935 premiere. Director Elina de Santos and lead actress Marilyn Fox return with this revival of the smash Odyssey production that ran for nine months in 1994-95.
Run extended. Now playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 31. $15 to $34. (310) 477-2055, ext. 2;