Photo by Jim Carmody
Raymond J. Lee and Jackie Chung in Tiger Style
With its DJ mixing transitions between scenes and its two young protagonists riffing at warp speed about cultural stereotyping, over-parenting and the plain fact that sometimes things suck, playwright Mike Lew’s Tiger Style! at La Jolla Playhouse works overtime at being hip and relevant. It succeeds in Act 1, even though too often the diatribes delivered by costars Jackie Chung and Raymond J. Lee sound as if they’re coming right off the page of Lew’s sharpened script and not from any semblance to reality. This can be funny, however, as when the exasperated brother and sister Jennifer and Albert decide to go “Western”: she resists analysis in a shrink’s office; he goes rogue at his office.
Then reality goes out the window completely in Act 2, when Jennifer and Albert go “Eastern” instead, as in go to China. The antics there, variously involving a cookie-cutter general and broad humor about government surveillance and confinement in a Chinese prison, take Tiger Style! into the unwelcome territory of parody. The abrasiveness of Lew’s “heroes” doesn’t help, either. Their moment of self-awareness at the end feels, shall we say, less than sincere.
Tiger Style runs through Oct. 2 at La Jolla Playhouse. $20-$59; lajollaplayhouse.org
The siblings of Jiehae Park’s Peerless, which opens Moxie Theatre’s 12th season, are just as self-absorbed as those in Tiger Style!, but they’re younger and nastier. What appears to have been written about the cutthroat nature of the (exclusive) college application process is also a not-at-all-loosely-veiled take on Macbeth. Dana Wing Lau is M and Jyl Kaneshiro her twin sister L (uh, get it?), who in a frantically paced 70 minutes decide to do away with a nut-allergic nerd (Justin Lang). Why? He’s got the coveted acceptance spot into that exclusive college that M feels should have been hers. In an equally frantic nod to the witches (aka weird sisters) of Macbeth, Jennifer Eve Thorn in Stevie Nicks fright wig appears and reappears, gesticulating and dropping omens.
If you accept Peerless as dark silliness, it’s an entertaining enough one-act. Stow the commentary and the literary allusions in your dog-eared college textbooks.
Peerless runs through Oct. 9 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando. $30. moxietheatre.com
Amelia Lives and The Last Flapper: Two plays about historical women Amelia Earhart and Zelda Fitzgerald. Part of the Women’s History Theatre Festival from the American History Theatre company, it opens for four performances Sept. 24 at the Women’s Museum of California in Point Loma. womensmuseumca.org
The Sweetheart Deal: Set in 1970, this drama revolves around a middle class couple from San Jose who leave their regular lives behind to join the United Farmworkers Union. Presented by Amigos del Rep, it opens Sept. 27 at the Lyceum Space in the Gaslamp. sdrep.org
Seven Guitars: Set in ’40s Pittsburgh, this comical mystery centers on a blues guitarist who dies just as his career is about to take off. Written by August Wilson and presented by Cygnet Theatre, it opens Sept. 28 at the Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com
Oklahoma! : Two cowboys fight for the women they love in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical. Directed by Teddy Eck, it runs through Sept. 25 at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad.
Sylvia : A couple of empty nesters are forced to confront underlying issues in their relationship after adopting a dog in A.R. Gurney’s comedic romp. Directed by Samuel Young, it runs through Sept. 25 at the Patio Playhouse in Escondido. patioplayhouse.com
13 : Teen and young adults make up the cast of this musical about teens and young adults in small-town Indiana. Presented by STAR Repertory Theatre, it runs through Sept. 25 at the Thomas and Pearl Martinez Auditorium in Escondido. starrepertorytheatre.com
The Addams Family : A new musical comedy based on the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, but otherwise beloved family. Directed by James Vásquez, it runs through Oct. 1 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. moonlightstage.com
The Cocktail Hour : An affluent New England family’s reunion is hilariously shaken up when one of the sons reveals he’s written a script that hits a little too close to home. Directed by Rosina Reynolds, it runs through Oct. 2 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Duck Hunter Shoots Angel : A tabloid journalist has a catharsis while investigating two Alabama hunters who accidentally shoot an angel. Written by Mitch Albom, it runs through Oct. 2 at Lamplighter’s Community Theatre in La Mesa.
The Lion King : Hakuna matata…Need we say more? Presented by Broadway San Diego, it runs through Oct. 2 at the San Diego Civic Theatre in the Gaslamp. broadwaysd.com
Tiger Style! : A new comedy about two overachieving siblings who set out to visit China in hopes of becoming better adults. Written by Mike Lew, it runs through Oct. 2 at the La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org
Manifest Destinitis : Set in 1800’s Alta California, this world-premiere satire is about a crazed Don Aragon, who’s trying to marry off his daughter, but little does he know she’s in love with (gasp!) a guapo Americano . Written by Herbert Siguenza, it runs through Oct. 9 at the Lyceum Space in the Gaslamp. sdrep.org
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike : This Tony Award-winner for “Best Play” tells the tale of two small-town siblings whose world is thrown into upheaval when they get a visit from their movie star sister and her much younger boyfriend. Written by Christopher Durang, it runs through Oct. 9 at the Scripps Ranch Theatre. scrippsranchtheatre.org
Seussical the Musical : A family-friendly musical where all of the characters of Dr. Seuss share the stage at the same time. Directed by Desha Crownover, it runs through Oct. 9 at the Coronado Playhouse. coronadoplayhouse.com
Dangerous Obsession : A disturbed man obsessed with the death of his wife terrorizes a married couple. Directed by Jay Mower, it runs through Oct. 16 at PowPAC Community Theatre in Escondido. powpac.org
October Sky : Adapted from the popular 1999 film, this new musical set in ‘50s West Virginia tells the story of a high schooler who’s hell bent on building his own space rocket. Featuring music by Michael Mahler, it runs through Oct. 23 at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org