Ellen Griley compiled these listings.


THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HEDDA GABLER. The problem with Hedda is that she keeps shooting herself—yes, that's correct. Shooting herself—and Tesman has to bring Mammy out of Gone With the Wind to clean up. Now, this might seem to make no sense at all, but Hedda lives on in “The Neighborhood of Tragic Women,” see, an alternative hell where fictional characters are forced to endure until at last they're forgotten. Who can blame her for getting tired of playing the same role over and over for a century? Surely not I. Finally, Hedda escapes, but will she ever really die? SOUTH COAST REPERTORY, JULIANNE ARGYROS STAGE, 655 TOWN CENTER DR., COSTA MESA, (714) 708-5555. Preview performances continue thru Thurs., Jan. 12; opens Fri. Tues.-Fri., 7:45 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2 N 7:45 p.m. Thru Jan 29. $20-$58.

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Rude Guerrilla and Flea-Bitten Productions proudly present this, the play about the people in the thing which was once made into a movie and made famous by that one guy with the eyebrows. Have no idea what I'm talking about? Me, neither. So here: The classic story of a mental patient who leads a revolt against the totalitarian nurse who runs the hospital, the play is an adaptation by Dale Wasserman from Ken Kesey's critically-acclaimed novel. It should also be noted that this is not a community theater-type presentation, so leave your damn rugrats at home. RUDE GUERRILLA THEATER COMPANY AT THE EMPIRE THEATER, 200 N. BROADWAY, SANTA ANA, (714) 547-4688. Opens Fri. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; also Thurs., Jan. 19, 8 p.m. Thru Jan. 29. $10-$20.

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION. Holy moly, this is a play which began a cultural craze! Can you believe it? Seriously: it explores the saddest fact of urban life—how close people are physically while they remain economically and psychologically apart. It's the true story of a young man who entered the homes of the privileged by purporting to be Sidney Poitier's son and brings into collision the normally separated lives of some modern Manhattanites, each yearning to know about some distant and romantic way of life that is actually just an acquaintanceship or two away. Wooo. “Acquaintanceship.” Now that's a mouthful for you. STAGESTHEATRE, 400 E. COMMONWEALTH, FULLERTON, (714) 525-4484; STAGESOC.ORG. Opens Fri. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. Thru Feb. 18. $16.


THE BED. This one here's about a marriage. From the honeymoon night to nights beyond the mortal life of the marriage. A re-working of the play and film The Four Poster, we see the lives of painter Joe Isaia and his new bride Sara as they discover new love, children, growing apart and the importance of lasting love. CAMINO REAL PLAYHOUSE, 31776 EL CAMINO REAL, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, (949) 489-8082. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m.; also Thurs., Jan. 19, 8 p.m. Thru Jan. 28. $18.

BREAKING LEGS. In this one, the worlds of the Mafia and the theatre clash hilariously! A professorial playwright seeks funding for his new play from the family of a former student. Turns out the “family” turns out to be minor Mafia godfathers who are willing to underwrite the play provided they never have to read it. I could go on, but why? LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE STUDIO THEATRE, 5021 E. ANAHEIM ST., LONG BEACH, (562) 494-1014. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Thru Jan. 21. $10-$20.

THE BUTLER DID IT. This spoof of English mysteries with a decidedly American flavor finds Miss Maple, a society dowager noted for her imaginative week-end parties, awaiting a group of detective writers invited to eerie Ravenswood Manor where they are to assume the personalities of fictional characters. She arranges all sorts of scary, amusing incidents. Then a real murder takes place. Bwah ah ah! LONG BEACH PLAYHOUSE MAINSTAGE THEATRE, 5021 E. ANAHEIM ST., LONG BEACH, (562) 494-1014. Fri.-Sat.; 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Thru Feb. 11. $10-$20.

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