🎭 History and Parallels in Numbers | “Eight Nights” @ Antaeus

Eight Nights (Antaeus Theatre)One thing I’ve noticed about the congregation of which I’m a member (Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge) is that there is a love of live performance. At almost every theatre event I attend, or most concerts, I’ll run into a member of the congregation. I think, perhaps, it relates to the value of storytelling in our culture, the value of shared experiences, and the joy that comes from being in a room with other people. Theatre creates community, and so does our congregation.

I mention all of this because our congregation recently started a number of small aligned interest groups on various subjects — all ways to build community. I suggested a group centered around live theatre; as I get so many press releases and announcements of theatre, I offered to facilitate it. My goal is to build a group that will go to theatre with Jewish themes, to provide a forum for discussion, exploration, and education. The themes may not always be overtly Jewish, but they will relate to Jewish values, Jewish thought, Jewish questions, and the Jewish experience.

Our little group had its first outing last Sunday: to see the production of Eight Nights at the Antaeus Theatre Company (FB) in Glendale. The reason becomes clear when you read the press release I received from the publicist:

A German Jewish refugee is haunted by her past, but resiliently moves toward the future. Antaeus Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Eight Nights, a story developed in the Antaeus Playwrights Lab that honors the global refugee experience. Written by Jennifer Maisel (FB) and directed by Emily Chase (FB), Eight Nights opens at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale on Nov. 8, where performances continue through Dec. 16. Low-priced previews begin Oct. 31.

Set during eight different nights of Chanukah over the course of eight decades, Eight Nights tells the story of Holocaust survivor Rebecca Blum, who arrives in America at age 19 to forge a new life. As Rebecca moves through time, the play explores the lives that come and go in her New York apartment, where ghosts of the past both haunt and guide her. Maisel lyrically weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East.

“It was essential to me — seeing the parallels between the Syrian refugee crisis in 2017, when I started writing the play, and the Jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s — that this piece be an exploration of the universality of that experience and its overlap with other communities,” explains Maisel. “It’s about people finding a way to live after surviving loss and trauma, and witnessing how that brings joy to the future.”

This play seemed appropriate because it was more than your traditional Holocaust play. If I had wanted to do that (and I could fit it into my schedule), I would have taken the group to see The Diary of Anne Frank which was being produced up in Newhall. But this took a different approach: it didn’t look at the Holocaust; it looked at the impact of the Holocaust on the survivors. How it shaped their lives and attitudes afterwards. How their experience had parallels in the experiences of other cultures.  How today’s refugee situation often requires us to put out that hand that wasn’t often put out for the Jews back during WWII. It was a true echo of the line we say on Passover, remembering that we were slaves, we had that experience, and that memory shapes our ethics.

As noted in the press summary, the play focuses on Rebecca Blue, who comes over to the US in 1949 at age 19, to live with her father. He is the only surviving family member: Rebecca’s mother and two sisters perished in the camps, although they remain as ghosts to her. We then see her in scenes that progress approximately 10 years per jump, always to the next night of Chanukkah. We see how she gets married, how she starts a business with the wife of the man who saved her from the camps, how she has to face telling her daughter about her story, how her daughter comes home with a non-Jewish man — half Japanese, half-Irish — who is researching the parallels between the internment and the holocaust. How that relationship progresses into the generation of Rebecca’s granddaughter and her unconventional relationship. It closes with Rebecca in her 90s, as they invite a Syrian refugee family into their apartment.

Throughout the show, there are interesting parallels drawn to other cultures. The first are some of the parallels to the black experience in America, followed by the internment of the Japanese. There’s an undercurrent of resilience: of letting the past shape you but not define you. We see the stress these experiences bring, and how the survivors often didn’t want to talk about them until it was almost too late. Eventually, they came to learn that by sharing the experiences, others could grow.

There were a number of “gasp” moments: I vividly remember when Rebecca was telling her story to an interviewer — she brought back what the camps must have felt like for the survivors. There was the audience reaction when the granddaughter displayed a tattoo that she  thought would honor the experience, only to learn that it was more of an insult. There was the business partner sharing the story of having to have “the talk” with her son.

All in all it was a very touching piece. Our little group went out afterwards for coffee/tea, and the consensus was similar: a very moving and appropriate piece for our first outing.

Director Emily Chase (FB) did a wonderful job of creating the apartment that serves as the “home” for the story, and for working with the actors to bring it to life. She did a particularly good job of handling the multiple characters that each actor played: multiple actors portray Rebecca at various ages; the same actors play her daughter and granddaughter. Each brought a unique characterization to the character. The actors also silently portrayed ghosts of their characters who through movement and expression alone commented on the story Discussing the show with one of our group members after the show, he provided a great summary of what the director brings: the director builds the cup, and the actors help to fill it. As I understand that phrase, the means the director established the structure for the story, taking the words from the page of the author and creating the realization in the world while staying true to the story’s intent; it is the actors that then create the characters, with the director helping to fine tune the creation.

So let’s turn to those creations. Two actors create the main character, Rebecca Blum: Zoe Yale (FB) Younger Rebecca / Amy / Nina and Tessa Auberjonois (⭐FB) Anna / Older Rebecca. We meet Yale’s Rebecca first, with Auberjonois’ Anna as the ghost as she is a nervous 19 year-old meeting her father after he seemingly abandoned them, she had a harrowing travel on the MS St. Louis.,  returned to Germany to be separated from her mother and sister, and then be rescued by a US solder at Dachau. Yale also handles the scene where Rebecca is newly married with a child on the way, meeting that soldier and his wife. Yale handles these scenes very believably and with a nice tenderness. She then switches places with Auberjonois, who takes over as Rebecca whilst Yale becomes first Rebecca’s daughter Amy, and then her granddaughter, Nina. Yale does a great job of creating different personas and characterizations for the younger women. Auberjonois seamlessly handles the older Rebecca well, doing particularly well with her aging in the final scenes. I was particular impressed with what Auberjonois brought to the stage this weekend, having lost her father earlier in the week. It can’t be easy, and if she reads this by chance: condolences to her family on their loss.

The primary men in Rebecca’s life are played by Arye Gross (FB) Erich / Joram and Josh Zuckerman (FB) Aaron. We meet Gross’s Erich first: a seemingly genial fellow, who doesn’t seem to have been affected that much by Germany, or the loss of his wife and other daughters. Perhaps he had moved past that already. He is around for the first few scenes, and then hovers as a ghost for a while, reappearing in the end as the father of the immigrant family. Zukerman was stronger as Aaron, Rebecca’s husband. He provides an unspoken strength behind her and supporting her, and captures the character well.

The other two primary actors we meet are Christopher Watson Benjamin / Matt and Karen Malina White (⭐FB, FB) Arlene / Lacey. Watson captures the character well of the soldier (Benjamin) that rescued Rebecca, but has equal PTSD from what he has seen. He has a smaller role in a later scene where Rebecca is interviewed and recorded as the camera operator. I really likes White’s portrayal of Arlene, Benjamin’s wife and Rebecca’s future silent business partner. She brought a wonderful exuberance to the role; she brought a similar energy to Lacey, Nina’s partner.

Rounding out the cast was Devin Kawaoka (FB) Steve / Inge, as Amy’s Irish/Japanese husband. He had a nice playfulness and good chemistry with Yale’s Amy.

Lastly, turning to the production and creative side: Edward E. Haynes Jr.‘s Scenic Design created a believable apartment that adapted well over the subsequent decades; this was aided by Alex Jaeger (FB)’s Costume Design for the period appropriate costumes and David Saewart‘s Prop Design. Adam R. Macias‘ Projections told the audience the specific date and time. Jeff Gardner (FB)’s Sound Design provided appropriate sound effects, and Karyn D. Lawrence‘s lighting worked to establish the mood and draw attention where appropriate.  Other production credits: Lauren Lovett Dialect Coach; Paula Cizmar New Play Dramaturg; Bo Foxworth Fight Choreographer; Ryan Mcree Dramaturg; Heather Gonzalez (FB) Production Stage Manager; Connie Ayala Asst. Stage Manager; Adam Meyer Technical Director; Lucy Pollock Publicity; Bill Brochtrup Artistic Director; Kitty Swink Artistic Director and Ana Rose O’Halloran Executive Director.

Unfortunately for you, Eight Nights closed last night (Monday, 12/16). But perhaps another theatre will choose to mount it. For information on other Antaeus productions, visit https://antaeus.org/.


Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre (or music) critic; I am, however, a regular theatre and music audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre and concerts in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted (or I’ll make a donation to the theatre, in lieu of payment). I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I currently subscribe at 5 Star Theatricals (FB), the Hollywood Pantages (FB), Actors Co-op (FB),  the Soraya/VPAC (FB), and the Musical Theatre Guild (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals). I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows:

Our last show in December, other than the movie on Christmas Day will be Elf at Canyon Theatre Guild on December 21.

Looking to early 2020: most of the January is currently quiet, but the middle of the month is busy, with What The Constitution Means To Me at the Mark Taper Forum, and Frozen at the Hollywood Pantages (FB) the third weekend, and Cirque Éloize at  the Soraya/VPAC (FB) the last weekend. Things start heating up in February, with The Last Ship (with Sting) at the Ahmanson Theatre the first weekend; A Body of Water at Actors Co-op (FB) and It Shoulda Been You at Musical Theatre Guild (FB) the third weekend; and (whew!)  The Simon and Garfunkel Story at the Hollywood Pantages (FB), Escape to Margaritaville at the Dolby Theatre/Broadway in LA (FB), and Step Afrika at the Soraya/VPAC (FB) the fourth weekend. Yes, that is the Pantages and the Dolby the same day — that’s what I get for not entering season tickets on my calendar before ticketing a bonus show. March comes in like a lamb, with the first two weekends (2/29 and 3/7) being quiet… but goes out like a Lion. The 2nd weekend brings the MRJ Man of the Year dinner (and possibly The Wild Party at Morgan Wixson); the 3rd Morris’ Room at Actors Co-op (FB) ; and the last bringing Spongebob Squarepants at the Dolby Theatre/Broadway in LA (FB) and the MoTAS/TBH Seder. April is similarly busy: the 1st weekend is Mamma Mia at 5 Star Theatricals (FB); the 2nd is during Pesach and is open (but has Count Basie at the Soraya/VPAC (FB) the Thursday before); the 3rd is Once on This Island at the Ahmanson Theatre; the last is Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages (FB) (and possibly Hands on a Hardbody at the Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse (FB)), and the first weekend of May is Mean Girls at the Dolby Theatre/Broadway in LA (FB)

As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Better-LemonsMusicals in LA@ This StageFootlights, as well as productions I see on GoldstarLA Stage TixPlays411 or that are sent to me by publicists or the venues themselves. Want to know how to attend lots of live stuff affordably? Take a look at my post on How to attend Live Theatre on a Budget. Want to learn about all the great theatre in Southern California? Read my post on how Los Angeles (and its environs) is the best area for theatre in the Country!



All This Desperate Boredom

Uncle Vanya (Anteaus)userpic=yorickUntil last night, the only Chekov play I had seen was “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike“.

I’ll wait for that to sink in. If you don’t understand it, look at the linked Wikipedia page for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. I’ll wait.

Get it. Got it. Good.

Now that my unfamiliarity with Chekov has sunk in, you’ll understand why a production of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya piqued my interest when it came across my theatrical RADAR. Combine that with the fact that it was being done by one of the best small theatre companies in Los Angeles, and it was almost a certainty I’d go. But it wasn’t up on Goldstar. Luckily, their publicist contacted me and arranged for comp tickets… which I paid for when I got to the box office (remember: I don’t take comps).

So, last night, with our tummies full of wonderful Russian food (see Dining Notes below), we journeyed to Russia in North Hollywood with the Anteaus Theatre Company (FB)’s production of Uncle Vanya. I should note that the production was not super-Russian: the adaptation used was by Annie Baker, based on a literal translation of the original Russian text by Margarita Shalina and the original Russian text. This updated the language of the play to modern vernacular, although the play was not updated in any other way (including the Russian names, places, love of vodka, or tolerance of peasants).

As I indicated above, my only familiarity with the play coming in was superficial, based on a play that combined various Chekov notions into a single story. I knew that it was a slice of life story; and I had a vague notion that it emphasized the dreary side of life. But that’s it. As I watched the story, I found that I kept drawing parallels to Vasha and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and it turned out that Durang’s modern play had actually kept many of the notions in the original Uncle Vanya story.

Uncle Vanya tells the story of life on a Russian estate in pre-revolutionary times (probably the turn of the 20th century). Ivan Petrovich Voynitsky (Vanya) has been living on and maintaining the estate together with his younger unmarried niece, Sofia Alexandrovna Serebryakov (Sonya), his mother (and Sonya’s grandmother) Maria Vasilyevna Voynitsky, Sonya’s old nurse Marina Timofeevna, and their right-hand-man, Ilya Ilych Telegin (Waffles). Into this mundane existence comes a retired university professor, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Serebryakov, who was married to Sonya’s late mother. With him is his significantly younger second wife, Helena Andreyevna Serebryakov (Yelena). Lastly, to this mix is added Mikhail Lvovich Astrov, a middle-aged country doctor and environmentalist (well, he cares about saving the forests). The professor is old, bitter, and curmudgeonly. The doctor has the hots for Yelena, as does Vanya. Sonya has the hots for the doctor. Yelena wants none of them. Almost all the characters feel their life has been pointless, making no impact.

The first two acts are a long (but interesting) introduction to the various characters and the interactions I’ve noted above. We learn who they are, what they desire, how they feel about each other, and so forth. You can find a detailed summary of what happens on the Wikipedia page; I won’t repeat it here. Essentially, it is Explain, Mix together, Shake, Stir.

Post-intermission (which is logically Act II, but is really Act III), a catalyst is introduced when Aleksandr announces he wants to sell the estate, invest the proceeds, and live off the interest. This provokes Vanya into action, protesting that he and Sonya have essentially set aside any hope of happiness (and, by implication, family) by maintaining the estate and sending him money to live on. He notes that the estate is really Sonya’s, as she inherited it from her mother, Aleksandr’s first wife. Tensions mount, a gun comes out, and … boom … no one is hurt. The play concludes by everyone expressing their general disappointments, going on their separate ways, and life going on a dreary and boring as before.

This may sound not all that exciting. The characters really don’t grow and change that much, although they do learn about themselves. Lives don’t significantly change. But that’s how life is sometimes, and the exploration of the story proves to be interesting, with spots of humor and drama. Chekov’s story is really everyman’s story, providing a commentary on despair and the futility of life, where it can take us, and how we just have to accept that life is what life is, and that it is sometimes boring and depressing. In other words, it is a very Russian story :-).

[Hmmm, that just made me realize how Chekovian Avenue Q really is.]

Annie Baker’s adaptation brings the language to modern usage (for the most part), and makes the characters seem realistic and accessible. You don’t get a strong sense that this is a story that took place over 100 years ago, other than the lack of electronic gadgets and the references to horses for transportation.  Robin Larsen (FB)’s direction aids in this by making the characters seem real, casual, and accessible. I’ve often wondered how to separate out the contribution of the director (although this article helped a little), but here I think the director helped the characters find the naturalism inside the people they portray, and it worked quite well.

Uncle Vanya Production Photos (Mermaid Cast, Ph. by Karianne Flaathen)Anteaus Theatre Company (FB) double casts (excuse me, “partner casts”) each show (something they couldn’t afford to do under AEA’s proposals for LA Theatre, which is why I’m pro99 and proud). For our production, we had most of the “Mermaid” cast (all of whom were Equity members). In the lead positions were Rebekah Tripp (FB) as Sonya and Don R. McManus (FB) as Vanya.  I really liked Tripp’s portrayal of Sonia. There was just something about the character she inhabited that was accessible and likable and weary and hopeful and just magical, and there were points in her performance where she was wordless but just conveying so much. Her interactions with Linda Park (FB)’s Yelena were just great. Truly a fun performance to watch. McManus’s Vanya was more weary with age, but equally passionate about what his life was lacking. He reached his real fire in the second half of the show, both in his response to the proposal to sell the estate and the subsequent incident with the gun.

The other main pair of characters in the story were Lawrence Pressman (FB)’s Aleksander Serebryakov (Professor) and Linda Park (FB)’s Yelena. When the story began, I wasn’t sure what to make of either character: Aleksander was an enigma, and Park seemed just to be eye candy. But as the story went on, their characters (and the actor’s portrayal thereof) grew really interesting. Pressman imbued his character with an age-appropriate weariness and view of life: he was old, and he was angry about being old and about his life not having amounted to much. Park’s Yelena proved to be much more interesting. Despite the first impression of the character, she came into her own in her interactions with the other characters — in particular, Tripp’s Sonya in the latter part of the first half and throughout the second half. She was also great in her interactions with Jeffrey Nordling (FB)’s Astrov and McManus’ Vanya. I was familiar with Park only through Enterprise, and it was really nice to see her on stage — a pleasant and unexpected surprise of a nuanced powerhouse performance.

For much of the action, Jeffrey Nordling (FB)’s Astrov was the catalyst. Nordling captured the mid-life crisis of the doctor well: he felt his life hadn’t amounted to all that much, and he was much happier with his vodka and with his trees. He thought he had found a new passion in Yelena, but she really didn’t want anything to do with him (or perhaps she did, but she didn’t want to destroy her marriage or deal with all the ramifications of giving into that passion, so she was settling for the boredom instead). Nordling made Astrov come off as an affable character, but also captured the underlying anger in the character that came out when he was drunk.

In supporting roles were Mimi Cozzens (FB) as Maria, Lynn Milgrim as Marina, Morlan Higgins (FB) as Telegin, and Paul Baird as Yefim. All captured their characters well. Milgrim made a nice Marina in her interactions with Astrov in the beginning of the piece, and I enjoyed seeing her character knit (one wonders if it was in the casting sheet that she could knit). Cozzens’ role as Maria (Sonya’s grandmother, Vanya’s mother) was smaller, but I did enjoy her reactions during the scenes where Vanya starts to break down and hugs here. I particularly enjoyed Molan Higgins’ music as Telegin — well performed on the mandolin and quite tuneful (and luckily, the composer and music director, Marvin Etzioni (FBmade it available to patrons of the show during the run, once they get the links fixed). According to the credits, he’s part of a band called Staggering Jack (FB) — I’ll need to look into that as I like Celtic music. In addition to Higgins music, his portrayal of the right-hand-man Telegin was quite good. Baird had a much smaller role, but was great on the accordian. I look forward to seeing him later next month if he continues in El Grande Circus de Coca Cola at The Colony Theatre (FB).

As I noted above, Anteaus double casts each role; you find out which cast you have at each performance. The cast we didn’t see (the “Vixen” cast — so named because Yelena is referred to as both a Mermaid and a Vixen) is Harry Groener (FB) [Aleksander Serebryakov]; Rebecca Mozo (FB) [Yelena], Shannon Lee Clair (FB) [Sonya], Anne Gee Byrd (FB) [Maria], Arye Gross (FB) [Vanya], Andrew Borba (FB) [Astrov], Clay Wilcox [Telegin], Dawn Didawick (FB) [Marina], and John Allee (FB) [Yefim].

Turning to the technical: The scenic design by Michael B. Raiford (FB), complimented with the scenic art of Colony regular Orlando de la Paz, established a convincing estate with nice little touches (such as the samovar). The lighting design of Leigh Allen (FB) worked quite well, especially for the storm scenes. Similarly for the sound design of Christopher Moscatiello (FB), which was very convincing during the storm. Jocelyn Hublau Parker‘s costume designs weren’t particularly Russian (which was fine), and some (especially for Yelena) were clearly very modern and elegant. Rounding out the production credits: Mallin Alter (FB) [Assistant Director], Christopher Breyer (FB) [Dramaturg], Bill Brochtrup (FB) [Co-Artistic Director], Emyli Gudmundson (FB) [Rehearsal Stage Manager], Emily Lehrer (FB) [Rehearsal Stage Manager], Adam Meyer (FB) [Production Manager / Props Design], Rob Nagle (FB) [Co-Artistic Director], Matthew Sanchez [Assistant Stage Manager], John Sloan (FB) [Co-Artistic Director], Kristin Weber/FB [Production State Manager / Wardrobe Mistress]. Lastly, one of the more interesting credits buried in the progam: Ned Mochel [Violence Designer].

Uncle Vanya continues at the Anteaus Theatre Company (FB) through Dec. 6 on Thursdays and Fridays at 8p, Saturdays at 2p and 8p; and Sundays at 2 p. Tickets are $30 on Thursdays and Fridays (except Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 which are $34 and include a post-performance reception), and $34 on Saturdays and Sundays. The Antaeus Theatre Company is located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, CA 91601. Parking is available for $8 in the lot at 5125 Lankershim Blvd. (west side of the street), just south of Magnolia. The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call 818-506-1983 or go to www.antaeus.org. I did not see discount tickets on Goldstar or LA Stage Tix.

Dining Notes. Given we saw a Russian play, we decided to go get Russian food before the show. Luckily, there’s a great Russian restaurant not that far from the theatre: Russian Dacha (FB) over on Laurel Canyon, just N of Magnolia. It looks to be a great restaurant for groups, but is BYOB. My wife had a delightful borscht, and we shared a great combo kabob. We plan to go back there.

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I subscribe at three theatres:  REP East (FB), The Colony Theatre (FB), and Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals).  I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows: Halloween weekend sees me at CSUN for Urinetown, and then both of us out in Simi Valley for “The Addams Family” at the Simi Cultural Arts Center (Simi Actors Rep Theatre (FB)). The following weekend sees us back in Simi for the Nottingham Festival (FB) on November 7. We then go out to Perris for “A Day Out with Thomas” at Orange Empire Railway Museum (FB) on November 11 (I can’t skip seeing my buddy Thomas and his friend Percy). The following week brings Deathtrap at REP East (FB) on November 14. The weekend before Thanksgiving I’m on my own. I picked up a postcard for “Timeshare”  at Eclectic Theatre Company (FB) while at the Colony for Best of Enemies, and it sounded so interesting I booked a ticket for November 21. The last weekend of November is currently open. December brings “El Grande Circus de Coca-Cola” at The Colony Theatre (FB) the first weekend, followed by a mid-week stint as a producer, when we present The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam as the dinner entertainment at the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC). December also has dates held for “The Bridges of Madison County” at the Ahmanson Theatre (FB) and “If/Then” at the Pantages (FB). There are also a few other interesting productions I’m keeping my eyes open for. The first is the Fall show at The Blank Theatre (FB), “Something Truly Monstrous”, sounds wonderful — however, it runs through November 8, so squeezing it in would mean a double weekend. The show at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (FB) also sounds like an interesting exploration of clutter —  but “The Object Lesson” only runs through October 4, and I’m not sure we can squeeze it in. As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, and Musicals in LA, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411.