We’ve got one more weekend before Halloween, and there are plenty of darker-themed, spooky plays up and running through next weekend – and beyond – for those who want to get their creep on.
I’m seeing one of them this very evening, the rebooted “Wait Until Dark” at the Geffen Playhouse. This one’s a suspense thriller rather than a ghost or horror story. Having interviewed adapter Jeffrey Hatcher, director Matt Shakman and star Alison Pill for a story that ran on playbillonline, I couldn’t very well miss it
There are probably more classically Hollween-y options on the boards. A quick spin through the press releases and L.A. Stage tix reveals…
1. “Absolutely Halloween” through Sunday at the Santa Monica Playhouse.” Tis the season, right? “ A heartwarming tale of the aptly named “Candy,” a sweet young girl who learns some surprising lessons about life, love, laughter and sugar, from a delightful array of characters who take her on a magical All Hallow’s Eve adventure, enlisting the audience’s aid to help save Halloween for one more year. “Absolutely great!” This one sounds more bring-the-whole-family-and-get-your-face-painted fare, maybe an annual tradition, than something that anybody would review. But they’ve got Saturday and Sunday afternoon shows and a low ticket price. http://www.santamonicaplayhouse.com/ (310) 394-9779.
But since we’re talking about taking in an actual play.
“The Afflicted,” 68 Cent Theater Company at the NoHo Arts Center through Nov. 16. What’s Halloween without a post-apocalyptic, zombie frightfest with horror moveis and music video fighting techniques thrown in? This one’s a quickie 80 minutes with a 10 p.m. show on Halloween. http://www.68centcrew.com/, www.plays411.com, (323) 960-5068.
“Blithe Spirit,” West Valley Playhouse, through Sunday. Noel Coward’s sorta ghostly tale of a man, his wife and the ghost of his last wife. And a kooky medium. http://wvplayhouse.com/ (818) 884-1907.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” at Actor’s Co-Op through Nov. 17. As long as they don’t sing, it’s probably safe. This is Jeffrey Hatcher’s version, same guy who also adapted the aforementioned “Wait Until Dark.” And it’s got Mark Bramhall frequent A Noise Within player. http://actorsco-op.org/wp3/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-adapted-by-jeffrey-hatcher/, (323) 462-8460.
“Dark Heart of Poe” – Elite Theatre, Oxnard, through Nov. 24. OK, so you can’t see it this weekend since it bows the night before Halloween. New version of the play that was a hit in 2012. Poe as in Edgar Allan, as in “Tell-Tale Heart,” “Cask of Amontillado,” etc. Nuff said. http://www.darkheartofpoe.com/, (805) 483-5118.
“Hamlet” at Odyssey Theatre through Sunday. Admittedly, there are Shakespeare plays that are more eerie, but this one does feature a rather prominent ghost. Last chance for the all-female version produced by the L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company and Odyssey Theatre co-pro at the Odyssey. Producer/director Lisa Wolpe also plays the melancholy Dane. www.odysseytheatre.com, (310) 477-2055 ext. 2. www.OdysseyTheatre.com
“The Late, Late Show” at the Bootleg Theatre through Nov. 23. “Supernatural musical” moving through three performance spaces. We’ve got an African-American man born in slavery in 1820, “re-born” as a vampire in 1855 and living as a creature of the night for the next three hundred years. www.bootlegtheater.org,
“Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite,” Visceral Theatre Co. at the Lex Theatre through Nov. 3. If anyone is going to out fright Poe, it’s going to be H.P. Lovecraft. Adapter/director Dan Spurgeon takes us through six Lovecraft stories: “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” “The Cats of Ulthar,” “The Outsider,” “The Picture in the House,” “Cool Air” and “Nyarlathotep.” www.thevisceralcompany.com/lovecraft.html, (323) 871-1150.
“Luci’s Thoughts on Empathy,” Loft Ensemble, through Dec. 8 “Luci invites the audience to witness a ghost story, told in three chapters, as she and her hounds weave in and out with the evening's special guest. In this tale, three spirits from the 1920s come face to face with an actress at her breaking point.”, www.loftensemble.com, (213) 680-0392.
“The Mystery of Irma Vep,” Falcon Theatre through Nov. 17. Charles Ludlam’s spoof of monster movies which, if done correctly, is bust a gut funny. You’ll never hear the word “sarcophagus” in the same way again. www.falcontheatre.com, (818) 955-8101.
“Titus Andronicus: A Vaudeville,” Stella Adler Theatre, through Nov. 17. I know, right? Shakespeare’s most gruesome – and probably least performed – play. Told vaudeville style. Wcoka, wocka, wocka. www.stellaadler-la.com, (323) 455-3111.
“Wait Until Dark,” Geffen Playhouse, through Nov. 17. A trio of ruthless thieves and conmen terrorize a blind young woman as they try to steal to steal a doll containing precious stuff. She turns the tables. www.geffenplayhouse.com, (310) 208-2028.