• 02/26/2014
  • Reporters Desk

Feb. 28
Top Dog/Underdog
Cal State Dominguez Hills Theatre and Danced Department has produced a Topdog/Underdog, a character study of two black men, at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28, March 1, 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. March 2 and 9, at its Edison Theatre.

Topdog/Underdog is a powerful play written by African American playwright and screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by assistant professor of theatre arts Sharrell Luckett.

In the play, Parks provides an intense view into the lives and relationship of two brothers, as they attempt to survive a difficult past and deceive their way into dominance over the other.

Their father named the brothers Lincoln and Booth…as a prank. Now grown men, their names and their histories haunt them. Trapped by their poverty, family history of abandonment, and ominously prophetic names, these two black men find themselves locked in a dangerous game of deception, fighting over which one’s the player and which one’s the played in this darkly passionate story about family grievances, racism, deep wounds and healing.

Topdog/Underdog considers nothing less than the existential traps of being African American and male in the United States, the masks that wear the men as well as vice versa.

The action of the play centers around a game of three-card monte—a scam game—in which there is no winning. Topdog/Underdog poses some difficult questions regarding “systemic and overt oppression” for black males in America.

Although the play deals with deep issues, the play is infused with satire and she is including other upbeat elements.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and senior citizens.

Details: (310) 243-3589;
Venue: Edison Theatre
Location: 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

March 7
Taiko Center of LA
Experience traditional Japanese music, starting at 8 p.m. March 7, at the Grand Annex in San Pedro.

Tickets range from $20 to $55.
Venue: Grand Annex
Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

March 12
The Wiz: The Broadway Musical
L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz is updated into a modern retelling of the Oz Story and its acclaimed sassy score, from 12 to 1:15 p.m. March 12, at Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

The retelling has been juiced up with elements of hip-hop, crunk, Latino-funk, retro-soul, and jazz with a professional adult cast that breathes new life into show stopping tunes.

Rediscover Dorothy’s legendary journey through Oz with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion in this modern contemporary musical theater production with dazzling costumes and eye popping digitally projected 3D scenery. Added to the show are themes on modern youth social ills such as bullying, declining dress codes, and the power of education and believing in yourself.

Tickets range from $7 to $10.

Details: (323) 450-7844;
Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

March 14
Woodstock (1970)
This iconic musical documentary covers the three-day 1969 music festival on the property of Max Yasger’s farm that symbolized the late 1960s in terms of musical, social and political ideology of the era, starting at 8 p.m. March 14, at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

Jimi Hendix, The Who and Joe Cocker give riveting performances. Jefferson Airplane gives the wake up call with their song “Volunteers Of America.” Crosby, Stills and Nash deliver a memorable performance. John Sebastian gives an impromptu set with a borrowed guitar from Tim Hardin. Santana, Sly and The Family Stone, Sha-Na-Na, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens and Joan Baez also appear.  Come in a “flower child” costume because we’re giving away prizes to the best dressed hippies.

Venue: Warner Grand Theatre
Location: 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

March 12
Flyin’ West
International City Theatre presents Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage, March 12 through 16, in Long Beach

Flyin’ West is a contemporary classic about the strength of black women

and their role as pioneers in the settlement of the American West.

In Pearl Cleage’s powerful historical drama set at the turn of the 20th century, four African-American women journey west to the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas to seek the freedom promised by the end of the Civil War — only to be challenged by the harsh and unforgiving terrain, the social climate of the time and the men who claim to be with them for love.

Tickets range from $32 to $52.

Details: (562) 436-4610;
Venue: International City Theatre
Location: 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach

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