Compiled by Christina Campodonico and Angie Fiedler Sutton:
Telling a Yarn: “Gelfite Fish & Chips” @ dnj Gallery
Daniel Cainer draws upon his British and Jewish heritages to tell moving tales about his family through observational comedy and entertaining wordplay strung with brilliant rhyming, musicianship and haunting tunes.
One performance only: 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 10) at dnj Gallery, 3015 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica. $20 suggested donation at the door. (310) 315-3551; dnjgallery.net
An Assortment of Plays: The Binge Fringe Festival of Free Theatre (BFF) @ Santa Monica Playhouse
Billed as the “only free theater festival on the West Coast,” this annual celebration of the dramatic arts features 55 plays, musicals, workshops and cultural exchange events all for, you guessed it, free! This week, follow one woman’s cancer journey with “Chemo Barbie,” learn how one very blonde Swede lost her hair in “(Im)perfekt,” and hear about one man’s crappy year in “Birthday.”
Now playing at various times from Oct. 12 to 27 at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. Free with RSVP. (310) 394-9779; santamonicaplayhouse.com
Big Brother Returns: “1984” @ The Actors’ Gang
Michael Gene Sullivan’s dark and twisty adaptation of Orwell’s literary classic, directed by Academy Award winner Tim Robbins, returns to Culver City after a world tour. Winston Smith hates his job in a government bureau that rewrites history, but even amid prying eyes and screens he starts to feel the stirrings of rebellion — and something else that feels a lot like love.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. some Sundays through Dec. 7 at The Actors’ Gang, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Tickets are $25 for preview shows on Oct. 10, 11, 12, 17 & 18 and start at $34.99 after that. (310) 838-4264; theactorsgang.com
Family Tragedy: “All My Sons” @ Pacific Resident Theatre
In this 1947 Arthur Miller play, family secrets are stirred up when two old neighbors show up unexpectedly in a Midwestern town, exposing a scheme that sent defective airplane parts to the skies of World War II.
Run extended: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 24 at Pacific Resident Theatre, 705½ Venice Blvd., Venice. $25 to $34. (310) 822-8392; pacificresidenttheatre.com
Strains of Hitchcock: “Dial M for Murder” @ Westchester Playhouse
Hitchcock’s 1954 film starring Grace Kelly made this story of a tennis pro who plans to off his wife famous, but before that it was a hit on the British stage and TV. The Kentwood Players bring this suspenseful thriller back for live audiences.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 19 at Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., Westchester. $22+. (310) 645-5156; kentwoodplayers.org
Animal Magnetism: “Miss Lilly Gets Boned” @ Electric Lodge
Sex, faith, absurdity and violence intersect in this Rogue Machine production penned by “This Is Us” and “American Gods” writer Bekah Brunstetter. Miss Lilly is a virginal Sunday school teacher looking for a sexual awakening. Meanwhile, a doctor in Africa tries to communicate with a traumatized elephant. Worlds apart, the universal links between human and animal nature connect Miss Lilly with the pachyderm in extraordinary ways. Recommended for mature audiences.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (and some Mondays) and at 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 28 at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. $10 to $40. (855) 585-5185; roguemachinetheatre.net
Drowning in Fun: “The Drowsy Chaperone” @ Morgan-Wixson Theatre
When a producer’s Broadway starlet wants to quit the stage to marry her one true love, an elaborate scheme and cast of characters emerges to stop the nuptials in this frothy musical comedy.
Closing soon. Last shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 13 at Morgan Wixson-Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. $23 to $30. (310) 828-7519; morgan-wixson.org
Flash of Genius: “Andy Warhol’s Tomato” @ Pacific Resident Theatre
When a teenage Andy Warhol finds himself in the basement of a working-class bar in Pittsburgh, he receives inspiration, guidance and friendship from a surprising source.
Run extended: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 27 at Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice. $15 to $34. (310) 822-8392; pacificresidenttheatre.com
Love Games: “Mono/Poly” @ Odyssey Theatre
When two monogamous couples encounter a polyamorous triad at a costume party who become increasingly entwined in their personal and professional lives, the monogamous couples are forced to reexamine their long-held beliefs about love, devotion and marriage. Leave the kids at home for this sexy adult comedy.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 10 at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. $20 to $37. (310) 477-2055, ext. 2; monopolytheplay.com
“In Circles” @ Odyssey Theatre
Recasting Gertrude Stein’s famously “nonlinear prose” in ragtime, tango, waltz, jazz, opera and even barbershop quartet settings, Al Carmines’ plotless 1967 off-Broadway work “In Circles” puts a diverse musical spin on the Lost Generation eccentric’s controversial “there is no there there” literary saying.
Now playing at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays (plus some Wednesday and Thursday shows) through Nov. 10 at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West L.A. $17 to $37. (310) 477-2055, ext. 2; odysseytheatre.com